London Diary Part II

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Location
LOCATION: LONDON

Right now, I’m sitting at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, waiting for my gate to open so I can hop on a plane to take me home. There’s not a word to describe the emotions that I’m feeling. I’m wetting myself with excitement to see my boyfriend, family and friends. I’m desperately craving the feeling of the hot Queensland sun on my bare skin. I cannot wait to live in a clean house with kitchen utensils and fresh food and a big, comfy bed to curl up in. I’m anxious because I am not a big fan of flying and I’m currently staring down the barrel of 24 hours straight on a plane. I’m a little terrified at the fact that I don’t have a job to go home to, and my bank balance is looking pretty sad. I want to cry just a little because I’m going to miss all the incredible people I’ve met over the last few months. And I want to cry a lot because London feels like my home now, and I don’t know when I’ll be back again.

The last two months have been a crazy experience. I’m definitely not going to miss the London weather – instead of the coldest winter in one hundred years, we got the wettest winter in three hundred years. I also didn’t have a very positive experience with the company who organised the trip, and for the last few weeks I’ve been feeling pretty homesick. But for every tough moment there were ten amazing ones.

In the second half of my trip I felt less like a tourist and more like a Londoner. I spent my weekends wandering through the famous markets – antiques and pastel townhouses on Portobello Road, vintage clothing in Camden, and meats, cheeses and pastries in Borough. I experienced a real Sunday roast, a traditional afternoon tea, and more pastries than I can count. I spent one Saturday exploring the Tower of London, losing myself in the medieval culture and drooling over the crown jewels (no photos allowed!). I visited family in Greenwich, where we explored the historical Old Royal Naval College, The Painted Hall and the museum before climbing the hill to the Royal Observatory, with killer views of London and the Greenwich Meridian. Then there was St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, Hampstead Heath, Kensington Palace and a sneaky visit to Somerset House in the middle of London Fashion Week! There was also a particularly memorable Sunday morning where I hired a Barclay’s bike and attempted to ride from Stockwell to Kensington Gardens. I don’t quite know how I survived that ride – London drivers are completely insane!

One of the highlights of my whole trip would definitely be the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I’m a HP nerd from way back, and I’m not even ashamed to admit that I went by myself – camera and audio guide around my neck – surrounded by ten year old kids shouting spells at each other. I took so many photos that evening that I think they’ll get a post all to themselves!

Well my gate is now open and the plane is about to begin boarding. Looks like this is goodbye, dear London. Let’s not make this harder than it already is… No tears please. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Nicole x

London Uniform

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I feel like I have not taken these pieces off in the last few weeks. Reppin’ the high street.

TOPSHOP fluffy jumper
Zara camel coat
Oasis clear umbrella
Vero Moda skinny jeans
TOPSHOP leather backpack
Mango striped scarf
New Balance 574 sneakers

Nicole x

Paris Diary

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Location
LOCATION: PARIS

Last weekend I packed my stripes and beret, and hopped on the Eurostar for a whirlwind weekend in Paris.

I’ve been dreaming of this weekend for months – my Pinterest is overflowing with artistic shots of the Eiffel Tower from pretty much every angle – and I was definitely not disappointed.

Highlights of the visit included exploring the cathedrals of Sacre-Cœur and Notre Dame, watching the painters at Montmartre, eating traditional crêpes with butter and sugar from the street carts, a trip up the Eiffel Tower, wandering aimlessly along the Champs-Élysées, absorbing the incredible beauty at the Louvre, bravely trying escargot and foie gras, celebrating a memorable Australia Day at the hostel bar, and generally eating and drinking far too much.

I had such an incredible time in The City of Love, but was most disappointed that I didn’t find myself serenaded by any cute French boys. C’est la vie, maybe next time.

Nicole x

A Day In My Shoes

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0730
My alarm goes off. It’s dark. I hit snooze.

0745
My alarm goes off again. It’s still dark. Not impressed. Nonetheless, I drag myself out of bed and into the shower. Even though I’m waking up almost two hours later than my normal time at home, the long English winter night has really put my body clock out!

0830
After a quick bowl of Weetabix (like Australian Weet-bix but with an ‘a’ instead of a dash – weird) and spending far too long in front of the mirror deciding what to wear and battling my hair with a curling tong, I’m ready to go!
It’s a short ten-minute walk to the local underground station (Stockwell), and then it’s time to battle my fellow rush hour commuters for a spot on the tube. One perk of Stockwell station is that it’s on two of the main lines, Northern and Victoria. My work just happens to be on the Northern line also, so I only take one tube, which takes around 25 minutes. At first it was unsettling spending the commute underground without any mobile service. Now, I relish the half an hour without technology, and have already almost finished reading the first Game of Thrones book (no judgement please).
Another perk of Stockwell station is the Jamaican train announcer who brightens every morning with his cheery “Stand clear of da closing doors plis. Rastaman driver, take these beautiful people to their destination!” Who can honestly have a bad Monday after that?

0920
I arrive at work, ready for my 9:30am start. I’m interning at a boutique PR agency in Camden called Fluorescent PR. They specialise in fashion and beauty, working with clients such as Ted Baker, Burt’s Bees and TK Maxx. I work with a small team of five full-time staff and two other interns, and I absolutely love it.
My first job every morning is to visit the local newsagent and collect the day’s magazines and newspapers to scan for media coverage of our clients. What a chore. Who wants to spend their morning at work sipping a cappuccino whilst flicking through the latest Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire magazines? It’s a tough gig, but someone’s got to do it.

1100
We receive regular deliveries from couriers all morning, mostly press sample returns from magazines. It’s my job to manage the samples, which means marking off the items and reorganising them on the shelves. I also help with the media call-ins, which is when fashion editors and stylists request samples for upcoming spreads. We’ll curate a selection of items and organise a courier to send them over, then cross our fingers and hope we get printed!

1300
Lunch time! Most days I bring a packed lunch from home, but once or twice a week I’ll spoil myself to lunch at the famous Camden Market. The market is less than two minutes from the office, and boasts an incredible hub of food stalls. From traditional souvlaki and Chinese to homemade pizza and curry, the toughest part is deciding what to eat!

1400
I get to run a lot of errands at work. Today it’s taking a pair of men’s suede brogues to Vogue House for Brides magazine. Yesterday it was taking a Burt’s Bees care package to the management office of girl group The Saturday’s. Whatever it is, I love getting to see different parts of London like Chiswick, Greenwich and Richmond, and it’s nice to get out of the office and stretch my legs (unless it’s raining, in which case it’s usually fairly horrible).

1630
At this time every day I take the mail to the post office. Not much to elaborate on really. Exciting stuff.

1730
And it’s home time! Back on the tube and then home to Mansion Tower to have a shower, cook myself dinner, and relax watching some Celebrity Big Brother BBC News.

2300
In bed, alarm set, and ready to do it all again tomorrow!

Nicole x

This post was originally written for my Absolute Internship blog, which you can visit here.

Stonehenge & Bath Diary

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Location
LOCATION: SOUTH WEST ENGLAND

One of the many perks of living in London is the incredible array of places to visit of a weekend. With such a short time in this epic city, I’m finding myself cramming in as much touristing as possible every Saturday and Sunday. One such excursion was to the truly magical town of Bath, with a slight detour by way of Stonehenge.

Every time I mentioned Stonehenge to someone in my plans, I was told that it was ‘boring’ and ‘a pile of rocks’. Well, I cannot deny the truth of the latter, but Stonehenge was far from boring. With stones first raised over 5,000 years ago, and hundreds of burial mounds surrounding the site, the incredible, rich history of such a place was overwhelming. We were also spoilt by a rare sunny day, which was perfect for tourist shots in the late morning light.

The rest of the day was spent exploring beautiful Bath, which is said to be the largest complete Georgian city in the world. The Roman architectural influences and the traditional Georgian townhouses mixed with the perfect winter’s day and a great bunch of people made for an unforgettable afternoon. We visited the city’s namesake Roman baths, sat down for a traditional English pub lunch (complete with a pint of cider), explored the diverse street markets and got just the right amount of lost.

I didn’t get in as many photos as I would have liked as I unintelligently forgot to charge my batteries, meaning I had to ration camera time. But I guess that’s a pretty good excuse to make the trip back sometime.

Nicole x

London Diary Part I

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Location
LOCATION: LONDON

London, you beautiful thing.
I have had the pleasure of making your acquaintance three weeks ago now, but it feels like I’ve known you all my life.
I’ve fallen in love with your sprawling green parks, enchanting 17th century landmarks and towering glass skyscrapers.
Even your weather mood swings are kind of endearing (kind of).
I love the way I get lost in your endless streets and then find myself again in the middle of the shopping district (it’s not my fault I swear).
You charm me with your endless culture – the museums, markets, music and more.
But most of all, I love the way you make me feel at home.

~

My first few weeks in this amazing town have been an absolute whirlwind. I spent the first week playing tourist, visiting all the main attractions with a camera around my neck.
Some highlights include: a bus tour of the city, climbing the Monument to the Great Fire of London (for the best view in town), Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, shopping at Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus by night, the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, bangers and mash at the pub, museum and art gallery hopping, a rotation on the London Eye, New Years Eve on the River Thames, window shopping at Harrods, and of course, catching the famous tube.
I can’t wait to see what else this beauty has in store for me.

Nicole x

Roadtrippin’

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Location
LOCATION: NEW SOUTH WALES

Last weekend involved surf, sand, sunburn, family, old friends, a beautiful wedding, too much champagne and over 12 hours of driving. Summer road trips don’t get much better.

Photos taken in Nambucca Heads and Yamba, NSW, Australia.

Nicole x