odds and ends

Guys and gals! (And anyone else who reads this blog – Love Bugs and Hugs?)*

I’ve one of my not-so-famous announcements to make.

Remember when I said that I’d be ending this blog by January 2015? Well . . . January came early this year.

Wait. That doesn’t make any sense.

What I mean to say is: This is my second last blog post. While I’m a lagomist for life, my writing interests lie elsewhere. I no longer wish to write on this topic, in this blog format.

And as I don’t believe in doing something when you no longer want to (unless you absolutely have to): This is it.

Well, almost it.

There’ll be one more blog post in early Fall announcing the launch of my novella and where you can find Sandy C in the future.

Which kind of brings us (but mostly, me) full circle. I started this blog because I wanted to improve my writing skills and share how living with less stuff has allowed me to pursue my various interests.

And one of those interests was to publish a book. So it ended up being a novella, and not a novel. And I’m self-publishing it, not going the traditional publishing route. It’s taken a different shape, but I’m happy with the result. Is that not the true measure of success?

But more on that in the Fall. Now onto today’s previously scheduled blog post!

this is (my) london

Originally, I planned to show a bunch of my working holiday photos, including a montage of pigeons. Seriously. But then I had flashbacks of having to sit through family and friends vacation slideshows.

So instead, I present to you my Top 5 moments in London (in no particular order):

the view from tate modern’s 6th floor café

livinglagom.com - odds and ends

I never knew this place existed. Probably because I never seem to go any further than the first floor or two of galleries and museums before I lose interest. (I’m working on this.) But a lovely Irish girl I met at the hostel told me about it. So I went on my birthday and was rewarded with this amazing view of the city and my favorite bridge.

This was also where my green trench coat was stolen. Probably as I took this very photo. Memories. But it was worth it. Two things were stolen that day: my coat by skillful thieves (I’ve decided it was a two-person operation) and my heart by this view. I shall return! (Without a coat and while keeping a watchful eye on my belongings.)

dipping my feet into the princess of wales memorial fountain at hyde park

livinglagom.com - odds and ends

On the day that marked the 9th anniversary of my mom’s passing, I went to Hyde Park to see Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana once lived. My mom was a big fan of hers. And though I’ve seen the Palace many times before, I thought it’d be a nice way to honor my mom on that day.

I also made my way through Hyde Park towards the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. I didn’t realize that people, mostly small children, actually went in the water. While there’s a sign saying to only dip your feet, I don’t think Diana would’ve minded children splashing about. My mom shared her love of kids, especially babies.

So against my usual germaphobic tendencies, I dipped my toes in the fountain. It was wonderful! My feet had been really sore from all the walking I was doing and the water completely refreshed them. It sort of felt like a cleansing, if you will. And I found the nerve to do it because it was the exact time of my mom’s passing. Or so I thought, until I remembered the time zone difference. Ah well, the intention was there.

enjoying a pimms and some strawberries and cream at wimbledon

livinglagom.com - odds and ends

I went to freakin’ Wimbledon!!! I know: bucket list – check! So it took 4-and-a-half hours to get in and I didn’t make it to Centre Court. I did get to see the final minutes of Nadal winning his match on the big screen and a bit of Monfils’ game on an actual court by jumping above the standing crowd and peeking through any gaps.

But the Pimms and the Strawberries and Cream were available to all, so I happily partook in those. Now that I know how the system works, I’ll be better prepared for the next time. Like, there’s a reason why people wear hats – it’s hot waiting out in the sun!

Even though I was only at Wimbledon for a couple of hours by the time I got in, I still went to freakin’ Wimbledon!!!!!!!!!!

discovering somerset house for the first time

livinglagom.com - odds and ends

I’d heard of Somerset House, but I never thought to visit. Then one day I needed to use the washroom, so I went exploring. And now, I’m in love! I don’t know why exactly. As with many love stories, it’s just a feeling.

Maybe it’s the fountain, maybe it’s the creative vibe, maybe it’s the view of the Thames River from the Embankment, or maybe it’s just the really nice washrooms. I can’t pinpoint it, but I love it. And I plan to go back again and again, if I’m lucky enough to have the chance.

waving at strangers in a boat whilst standing on a bridge eating an ice cream cone with a piece of flake chocolate

livinglagom.com - odds and ends

I think there are two types of people in this world: the kind that wave back at those standing on bridges and the kind that don’t. I count myself in the former. (Incidentally, this group also includes those that are willing high-fivers.)

Silly perhaps, but so much fun! And when you’re wandering the streets of a foreign land, mostly on your own, it’s uplifting to have that human connection. And the Flake chocolate was a nice bonus, too!

You can see more of my holiday photos on my Instagram feed. Yes, I know some of the images are tiny. But if you want to know what an image is, or why I included it, ask away!

I also drank a lot of lattes. A lot. And sometimes, I actually wrote while I drank those lattes. However, two weeks in, I decided to give up on following the exercises in The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt. I still think it’s a great book and I’ll use it again in the future, but I wasn’t feeling it on this particular trip.

Instead, I just wrote notes about different things I was observing. And there was plenty to observe staying in a room of 12 ladies. Something I wish to never have to repeat again. I do believe hostels are a great option for those that don’t have a hard time falling asleep to the sounds of snoring, sleep-talking, zippers opening and closing, rustling plastic bags, potato chip munching, and various mobile devices going off.

Alas, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m no longer one of those people. I probably never was.

challenge update: living lagom on $20,000 a year

As of June 30, 2014, I’ve spent a grand total of $9,773.88. Almost $3,700.00 of that was spent on my nearly month-long trip to London. I ended up spending more money than I planned on food (and the aforementioned lattes) and I also decided to stay at a budget hotel for 3 nights in order to escape the hostel and recover from a cold.

But I’m still under budget at the half-way point. Though, I’ve a sneaking suspicion this Fall is going to be expensive as I’m moving back to Toronto. Time will tell.

I’ll post my final result to Instagram in the new year as this blog will cease to exist at that point.

challenge update: limit disposable cup usage

I allowed myself 52 “free” disposable cups for 2014. I’ve used up 34 of that total as of June 30, 2014. Some of those were by conscious choice (like that Pimms cup above) and some were forced on me (like the cups on the airplane flight with my special ordered meal).

I don’t know if I’ll only be able to use 18 disposable cups for the remainder of the year. Regardless, I’ll still be using much less than what I would’ve used without this challenge as it’s at the forefront of my mind.

I’ll also update you on the final number on Instagram in the new year.

And those were some odds and ends I wanted to share with you, along with this quote:

“You can complete a project by dropping it.” – Arianna Huffington

Ain’t that the truth.

* A little doggie humor for my pooch sisters.

P.S. I’m back at the dorm for part of the summer . . . I know. So that makes this Round 3!

FINAL POST: Early Fall. I launch my highly-anticipated (right?) novella about a girl in search of herself whilst funny situations ensue! If you want to be notified of when that is, without having to keep checking back, subscribe via email!