LONDON TOWN

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I really do cherish the quiet moments in which I find myself here again, sharing simple stories about life and realizing that foremost and selfishly I am writing for myself,just to remember.

A fair chunk of last month was sublimely spent in London town, revisiting old haunts and discovering new ones.  I was happy to spend time drinking chocolatey tasting lattes at Monocle Cafe, be it on a late afternoon accompanied by Cohen’s poetry, or early Sunday mornings with one of my best friends. I find the café atmospheric in a really understated way.

Another new discovery was The Koppel Project, which is a hub space that contains Phaidon’s only UK bookshop. I found a book on collecting art that I had trailed the ends of central London in search of to no avail, so I was pretty pleased about that.

Halfway through the month, my family left the harsh cold of my favourite city for Las Vegas!

The past few weeks (part 2)

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The word nesting harbors imaginings of warmth and coziness, often ascribed to winter. But I wish to paint an alternate picture. One of  late afternoons at Gail’s, spent reading  a book,over freshly brewed iced berry tea with rose and pistachio cake. Sometimes I’ll have the oat,pecan and cranberry cookie,which is one of my favourite things to eat in the world.

Over the course of summer, I read a succession of great literature.While at Daunt Books on Haverstock Hill some weeks ago, I found myself holding pleasant conversation with a well read Canadian man. We found out that we shared a mutual love of James Baldwin and so he fished around the bookshop to find me the last copy of Baldwin’s Another Country,which I purchased in a blink. It was no Giovanni’s Room,but it was uncomfortable and genius.

During my trip to Oxford last month, my sister took me to Blackwell’s where I purchased a hardcover copy of Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love. I had read his somewhat prequel to the book On Love some months back, which I found to be beautifully philosophical, albeit a grim take on first love. The Course of Love felt like a maturation and practical understanding of human interaction. I still find myself picking up the book and feeling absolutely breathless by how this man puts words together.

Two evenings ago I devoured the last pages of Chogozie Obioma’s The Fishermen. Obioma’s strength lies in offering quite a varied narrative of Nigeria, than the international literary world is used to.He also plays this magic trick of conjuring up such strong and beautiful metaphors.

It is how past 5am and I am certain that the morning light will meet me here,if I write some minutes longer .I am however  glad that I have briefly covered the solid few books that will keep on living in my head.

 

 

I have been quite enjoying

My sparse attempts at writing have culminated into months of not writing here at all.It is not that I haven’t had anything to say, it is just that I have mostly been caught up with work,which has been more of a priority than ever before. As a result,things are going quite well and I might be moving soon, to take up a great position,working closely with a CEO I admire a great deal. There is so much I wish to say about the politics of the day for example,but having felt so downcast by the order of things,such as America’s institutional racism alongside the leniency of gun control laws ,I feel it is best to keep the faith in my heart,as opposed to getting upset over and over again.

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For now I have left a rainy Lagos for an even wetter Blighty. The haphazard gallop between the vestiges of colder months and summer, is actually a nice compromise. Lately I feel as partial towards an evening spent in good company, as I am to cosying with a beer and book,on my loveseat by the tall windows. I recently finished E.M Forster’s A Room With A View, which I believe should be one of those rite of passage books for any girl. In a somewhat related vein,I discovered that the singer Ameriie(who also happens to be a writer signed to Bloomsbury) has a YouTube channel that is a sort of book sanctuary for us bibliophiles. She has so much depth and is really smart, so I have been quite enjoying her point of view.

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Something else I have been quite enjoying is Lanka‘s Green Tea with Rose Petals. Lanka has a beautiful little shop just off Finchley road, located in Goldhurst Terrace.It is usually the perfect respite,after seeing my dentist who is located a short distance away.All their teas are purely Ceylonese and I would say that I’m averaging about 5 cups a day!

I’m not one for summer fashion,which often translates to garish and sometimes badly made garments, with a wardrobe life of only a few months, so this summer seemed to be the perfect time to alternatively invest in my mind.I enrolled for a course on collecting art at Central Saint Martins,which I am ridiculously ecstatic about. That being said,the  other day I picked up a pair of Gucci mid-heel horsebit sandals,which were the only pair left,in my size and on sale. As luck would have it, the shop manager was able to knock a further amount off the sale price and I walked away with a classic pair of sandals that will be kissing dancefloors for seasons to come.

london in february

February is in transit to March.

Sunny days deceptively mask the bitter cold here in London.Within a month I have lived so much and here I am to write all that comes to mind.When everyday felt like simultaneously jumping through a furnace, I promised myself that I would still trust life. And even when it felt like my soul had been squeezed of every ounce of faith,I continued to hope on.

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I gave up on a love that wasn’t lovin’. It turns out that a verb is ineffectual without action.

I made several leaps career wise and although I wouldn’t exactly say that they were smooth sailing,I didn’t land on my bum.I cannot wait to try again.

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My curiosity about horology was amplified when I bought an 18 carat yellow gold and steel Cartier Tank Francaise,which felt terribly grown up and deserving.I had previously worn a Gucci timepiece that was aesthetically beautiful and had been a present to myself after my advanced law degree 6 years ago.So it was a move from a purely aesthetic brand,in terms of luxury watches, to one with historical craftsmanship. What I adore most about the concept of time, is that it is a journey through knowledge,the same reason why I love books and story telling.I not only adore the noble luxury of Cartier,but also how the Santos watches were revolutionary,by deviating from pocket-styled timepieces. And how the Tank watches introduced a square look to timepieces,influenced by the Renault Army Tanks of World War I.My experience at Cartier in Selfridges was indulgent and Sylvie who assisted me (and gave me a complimentary jewellery pouch for travel) has become a friend.

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My sister tuned 29 and we celebrated by drinking champagne and shopping at Chanel.We saw The Book of Mormon which was hilarious and a little uncomfortable(I am religious after all). A little group of us had supper at Hakkasan and read amusing Chinese New Years messages that were strung on the walls of the restaurant.We ended the night with coffee patron shots and a lot of dancing to Diana King 🙂

On an afternoon that was deceptively spring like, a darling friend and I had some wine and pizza at a really chic Italian place off Kings Road. A prelude to champagne at Harrods with some boisterous men.

And as persistent faith would have it,I got the last ticket to see the Painting of The Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts last night(what luck! because I leave for Lagos tomorrow night). It was breathtaking. Monet’s work has always been ‘other wordly’, to me.I also discovered artists I wasn’t familiar with,like Santiago Rusinol and Emil Nolde.

What were perpetual daydreams are now within my grasp.

Ai WeiWei

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I’m in America.

As I sit on my aunt’s bed in the suburbs of Baltimore,fresh pyjamas on, tea tree and mint lingering on my skin from my bath earlier,I am missing my always city.

I’m thinking back to last week in London, when I popped into the Royal Academy of Arts,to see Ai Weiwei’s retrospective exhibition.Prior to my visit,I had been experiencing a crisis of faith. A black hole with no end to it. And so I became consumed with a peripheral nagging to fill that hole.

I filled it with art.The kind that brings a complexity to the notion of simplicity.From Ai Weiwei I will always remember that the social conscience of politics and art is freedom.

I sent the postcard pictured,a triptych titled: Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,to my dearest Parisian friend Mathilde,as we hurt for her city(which was also once my city…Paris pour toujours),in light of the recent acts of terror.

Scribbled underneath a brief greeting I wrote 3 words.

CHEERS TO FREEDOM.

mind

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Are you familiar with the word Rubatosis?

Whilst indulging in my slight obsession with etymology,I discovered this word, which refers to the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.I cannot fault the beauty of its meaning.A biological realization of your humanity or perhaps a metaphoric awakening(in my case).

After concurrent months of silence and an all-consuming depression,I can hear the thrumming of my own heart once again. I’m really humbled by my wellness.Sometimes I doubted the possibility of it happening.

Life and style

I’m convinced that Orrery Epicerie has the best summer luncheon on Marylebone High Street.From the chalkboard list,I picked the cold haddock and potato salad. It seemed the perfect thing to eat while basking in the begruding remnants of summertime.

P1110962How I needed this afternoon. I’ve been described recently as ‘glowing’ and yes I am 🙂 . I’m sporting clearer skin, an even clearer mind and a determination to live by the Nayiraah Wahid quote that goes- “I don’t pay attention to the world ending.It has ended for me many times and began again in the morning.”

P1110953 These days I drink almost equal amounts of coffee and tea- the bibliophile I am finds this quite romantic.I’ve become really fond of iced-lattes and it makes me feel like a pretend American.The simple things give life so much character, n’est- ce pas?

P1110999My light tweed blazer seemed fitting for summer’s departure. Underneath I’m wearing my Allsaints Marilla dress and an old red scarf from Gap. I love the Marilla because the luxe fabric moulds to the shape of my body,subtly celebrating my lines and form. Can you tell I’m getting all Picasso/Matisse and a dash of reading E.E. Cummings on you?

P1110995 I stopped at Daunt to pick up Alexa Chung’s book IT,then headed to Souli for a spot of Mariage Freres Marco Polo tea. Lucky for me,my favourite table was free and I alternated between people watching, sipping slowly and reading about Alexa’s style influences.To some degree I feel a sartorial kinship towards her.I don’t relate to anyone in popular culture or care to(to be honest)- but as a fellow delicately ankled Ferragamo wearing girlie , she is interesting.