My resolve

Hope you are all having wonderful evenings. I have prebooked my Thai delivery, have a movie lined up (Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed) and a hot water bottle. Tomorrow at 6.30am I’ll be helping with breakfast at my homeless shelter I volunteer at, then a yoga workshop! A virtuous start to the year? Perhaps. Or peaking early…

Anyway, I wanted to share my single resolve this year. Nothing about losing weight, being kind or making a truckload of money. That would be nice though. All I’m going to do is pick up one piece of litter a day. Start small, lowball. If things tally up, great.

If everyone in London picked up one crumpled water bottle a day, or an empty crisp packet, imagine how clean it would be… Clean canals, empty green fields, sparkling high streets. Wishful thinking but you’ve got to start somewhere.

One thing a day.
That’s all.
Be the change you want to see.
Make good in 2016.

Ten days of pigeons

Baby pigeons - ten days

Have you ever wondered where all the baby pigeons are? You’re not alone – a quick Google search for this yields approximately 3,090,000 results.

My boss recently found an anonymous fledgling, and after an extended adventure, dropped the poor chick off at a wildlife rescue centre. It turned out it was a (very exotic) baby pigeon, approximately aged 6-7 days old. They promised to rehabilitate it as much as possible… but it might have been too early.

The above is an amazing illustration of just how fast these little dudes grow – from egg to woah in just ten days! Plus, they’re complete homebodies, staying in their nests until they reach maturity. No wonder we never see them – they’ve barely taken their first breath before they’re feathered and ready to go.  Human infants could learn something from them…

[Via Pinterest]

4th of July

Stars & Stripes

On Saturday the fourth of July my buddy Jen and I headed to a party hosted by Three Mobile to celebrate the best of Americana and #makeitright by bringing the fun to East London. It was a pretty cool little shindig – each of us were given a new Samsung Galaxy S6 on arrival to have a play with.

Pop Corn

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

The phone itself, which was the reason for the season, is pretty nifty piece of technology – instead of having ‘letterbox banding’ – the screen was full length, and wrapped satisfyingly to the edge. If I hadn’t just upgraded my own phone, I probably would be very easily seduced by the 16 megapixel camera.


After a round of snacks, we were introduced to three ‘fun’ games to play at your next American themed party (Thanksgiving perhaps?):

  • Beer pong. This was a fail for both my teetotal and uncoordinated states of being. Jen and I took around half an hour to get the party going. Stars & stripes rating: 5/10.

Beer pong

  • The Saltine challenge. The premise is simple – take six of these salty little crackers, and try to eat them all in less than a minute.  MY technique of shoving them all in at once proved to be  non-starter, as my mouth became dryer than the Mojave. As I wiggled my tongue around to produce more saliva, even more crumbs of dry carbohydrate dust got stuck to the roof of my mouth. Most unpleasant, however we both finished with a semi respectable time of 1.55 each. Stars & stripes rating:  2/10.

Saltine Challenge

  • Flip cup. I hadn’t heard of this before, but it’s excellent. It’s like a Mexican Wave of drinking then, flipping your plastic cup to land rim side down. Harder than it sounds. Race in teams of two, up one side and back down the other. Stars & stripes rating:  9/10.

All in all, a good evening. Jen and I strolled merrily into the remainder of the summer evening (after taking our very first selfie stick photo with the one from our goodie bag) – and ended up meeting an old friend of hers who was on his way to a party. We gave him a selfie stick to take with him – one has to share the love,  right?

Amber & Jen

(This girl is about to move to Australia, I am going to miss her so much!)

Pie and mash in Walthamstow





Throwback to the time we ventured East on the Victoria Line to Walthamstow and stumbled across this frozen-in-time pie and mash shop – unchanged since 1929. From the gleaming white tiles to the wooden booths, it was in pristine condition. Pie, mash and eel shops have been in London since the 19th century and you can still find them – there’s one on Broadway Market, and closer to home, Hoxton Market. I’ve tried a vegetarian pie and it was quite decent, although I have no love for liquor – a watery parsley gravy that used to be made from the water eels were cooked in…

Good, better, best Friday




Good Friday brought a touristy morning, heading west to Notting Hill and Portobello Rd Market. Thom and I had breakfast at the Electric Diner, a chromed little retro cavern with good coffee and even better gruyere omelettes.

Then back to good old East London with its lizard streets and cult fiction I’ve been meaning to read for an age…



Darcy Clay – Jesus I Was Evil

I’m hitting all my Kiwi music favourites up on  Youtube today. In less than two weeks I’m making my regular February pilgrimage to the sweet shores of Aotearoa. I always get really nervous before a trip home – what if everything has changed? What if I’ve changed too much? What if none of my friends love me anymore? What if I decide I can’t leave again? I just become a stressed out knot of feelings. I’m not ready to leave London yet, but New Zealand in the summer is just so damn amazing…

by Amber Parkin