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23 February 2015

snapshots | greenwich village, london

i've been having some problems sleeping over the last few weeks, no thanks to a bit of a dodgy neck and a life-long problem with stress-related insomnia, so to have enjoyed a total of more than 20 hours of unbroken and unaided sleep over friday and saturday night was absolutely incredible. knowing that taking in too much sleep on a sunday morning usually leaves me sleepless come sunday night, i wanted to make sure i got out and did something that would tire the brain and body, and help along the fun new sleeping pills the nice doctor was lovely enough to prescribe me in the week.

after a stonking hot shower, freshly washed (and in desperate need of a dye job) hair and quick faff about in my newly tidied wardrobe, i still didn't really know what to do with my day. the weather was looking a bit sombre, and clearly promising rain later on, but having wasted a perfectly good saturday indoors taking care of a lot of personal admin (and eating a lot of pancakes), i was desperate to get out. i grabbed my coat, and set off - destination: unknown.

first things first i needed coffee; having discovered recently that my local hills & parkes delicatessen serves the glory that is monmouth coffee, it's now my new favourite deli. i used to have to go all the way into borough market to be able to indulge in the deliciousness, but now i know it's no more than five minutes walk from my flat - best news all year. their only downfall is that.. well, they're not as 'efficient' as the team at monmouth, and i'm usually left waiting for my coffee to be made with such care, that i could pop into sainsbury's and do my weekly shop before it's ready (worth the wait).

coffee in hand, i jumped on the first train out of honor oak park, still not totally sure where i was going...six minutes later i hopped off at new cross, plan in mind: greenwich village. there's always a variety of sunday markets on in the village - from antiques and trash-and-treasure type markets to the fresh food stalls undercover in the centre, so i knew i'd find something to entertain myself.

unfortunately, the wind was playing up so badly that a lot of the stalls had to close for the day in fear of all the wares blowing away. i thought i might blow away at one point! i did manage to wander through two of the vintage markets on the walk through to the centre of the village where i discovered that the undercover market is actually being renovated... typical. not wanting to be defeated by bad planning, i took off up the road to the park, to see if anything was occurring up there...

as i walked, it started to rain. as i upped my pace, the rain came down heavier. always without an umbrella, i threw my hood on over my headphones, put my head down, and charged on up the hill with zero regard for the families scuttling about trying to find cover - i was not about to join them in their huddles under drippy trees - i knew where the cover was; in the observatory. a hill that defeated me two summers ago (it was hot, i was unfit) was now nothing to me in the rain, and i overtook buggies and dogs and inappropriately-shoed women all clacking their way up the footpath.

as i reached the top, the rain seemed to slow... or maybe i stopped caring about it, when i was faced with such a beautiful view of my adopted city. for as far as the eye could see, there was london. from a foggy but visible st. paul's in the far left, through to the thames barrier and the excel centre to the far, far right - everything in between was just... mine. i was stood atop a hill in the south east of this enormous city, staring, smiling like a loon, as the rain continued - or, didn't, who knows - down around me. at that moment, there's nowhere else i would rather have been. honestly.

when i could finally break away from my spot on the hill, i made my way back down. having earned a hearty lunch (sunday, after all - would be rude not to), i was on the look out for a nice pub with an affordable sunday offering. realising that every pub i'd passed on the way in was now heaving with families trying to escape the rain, i knew my best bet would be somewhere closer to home; i hopped on a bus headed south, and made plans to eat at my local - the honor oak - having been teased enough by their feed on instagram, it was only time before i made my way there to try for myself.

a sunday well spent, i'd say... tell me about yours?

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