Some of you may or may not know that my second cousin (Angela) recently moved to London (from Toronto). As we grew up on either sides of the continent, we were never very close as children. The interesting part to this story is that it was Angela that I first came to the UK (Oxford) with when I was 16. Both of our families decided it would be nice to send the two of us and connect the families in doing so. Don't you think it's ironic, that it's in London that we find ourselves meeting up again?
Angela and I get along very well, and as cliche as it may sound, it is as if no time has passed since the last time we were together. I'm sad that she's only just arrived and I'm about leave (can you sense how difficult it was for me to type those last three words?...I don't want to talk about it).
Back to the weekend...
On Saturday (as part of my research for my final project), Angela took me out exploring her neighbourhood (Hoxton). We had a great day full of laughs, yummy food, and trouble makers...let me explain.
It all started when I met her in Hoxton Square.
There are some great little pubs and restaurants framing the park, and some gorgeous lofts.
From Hoxton Square, we wandered towards her apartment.
Great views of London (even a glimpse of the Gherkin) in the distance.
The little green grocer where they do most of their shopping.
We walked by Hoxton Garden...that is permanently locked to the public and nobody knows why. Odd considering they continue to mow the grass and tend to the garden. Strange right?
The friendly (but noisy) baker that rings her bell to bring in more foot traffic off the street.
Now check out Angela's amazing flat.
I see Apartment Therapy in her future...
Below are her two Canadian cats that survived the journey from Toronto.
Her favourite vintage post cards of Florida.
And her bar. She says it's a work in progress, but I think it's pretty sweet. Look at the straws!
She even has outdoor space. A patio...covered in astro turf!
These little monkey's tease the cats.
Where they buy their bread and coffee (and sneak it back passed the noisy baker with the bell).
Too many coffee decisions in the neighbourhood...this one's great also.
From the flat, we headed for a stroll along Regents Canal.
Taking a pitt stop to quench our thirst, have a little treat, and enjoy our surroundings.
We walked along the canal to Broadway Market. Below is Angela's favourite book shop. We popped inside for a look- it is truly awesome. One could spend hours getting lost inside their expanse of wonderful art books.
As it was market day, we were quite distracted by all of the yummy food.
...and singing rooftop hipsters.
And then I felt a tug on my arm as Angela spotted this...
Yup, it's Russell Brand.
It gets better...
Shortly (about five minutes) after I snapped the photos of the two of them walking down the sidewalk, we stopped and were looking at my pictures. At this point Russell (and his smoothie) had popped into an estate agent (I can't pretend that we didn't know where he was at all times). I had my back to his general direction, when all of a sudden Angela says, "Hi!" (I assume she's run into someone she knows).
I look up from my camera to see Russell standing with us (I'm not kidding, he came over).
Ange: I just wanted to say how much I LOVE your outfit (She runs a boutique in Toronto so can say stuff like that)
Russell: (In Russell, sexy and slightly fem..just like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall voice) Really? I thought I looked a bit creepy myself
Ange: No No! I was admiring it earlier. You look great!
Russell: Oh thanks! That means a lot, and coming from such a pretty girl
Ange: (dying inside and I'm sure turning 8 shades of crimson..but she continues) Do you live around here? I saw you down by my house last weekend also (how scary is that?!...pretty certain this is where we lost him)
Me: (still the mute friend..basically chopped liver on the side...the entire time)
Russell: (Same sexy voice) Oh you know, I'm around, I'm a bit of a trouble maker all over the place
He grabbed her hand and kissed it (YES!) ...ok, and we might have asked for a photo
and he said 'No, I can't' but we swore never to talk about that part.
...and so we headed to the pub for a celebratory glass of Prosecco.
After our drink, I headed for the overground and took myself home.
And where did my fabulous cousin go?
She and her man (not Russell, her actual fiance) headed to Somerset house to have a picnic and watch Mean Girls.
A great end to a fabulous day.
Russell, if you read this, we regret asking you for your photo, and we are sorry. Lesson learnt.
We wrecked Christmas.
...well, technically, Angela did, but who's counting?
*Again, apologies for the iphone photos, but I'm wanting a grainy 'polaroid' look for my project, so unfortunately the neighbourhood visits are all on the iphone 4.