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…

Spruce up



Last weekend Thom and I took Duchess for a walk around the madness that is Columbia Road on Sunday morning. I’ve never been there in the throes of Christmas before (even though we’ve lived in the neighbourhood for nearly four years). Sprigs of mistletoe, holy holly wreaths, clementines, and huge stacks of fir trees. Suddenly I’m feeling Christmassy after all.

Window Canteen


I really like Hackney Road. It’s gritty, it’s lively, it has a lot of shoe shops per capita, and it’s where the bar is… but it isn’t quite gentrified to the point where you can find a decent coffee any which way you swing your limbs. So it was a delight to find Window Canteen,  a cosy little outpost amongst all the heels and trainers. While the place is named for the walk-by coffee service they offer, Thom and I chose to sit in and sip our flat-whites in quiet contemplation – him, pondering the frothing qualities of soy milk, me – admiring the cool installation of raindrops by Studio Mufufu*.

No food on this visit, but lunch looks lovely judging by the other reviews. Small, simple, and a real DIY spirit. I’ll be back.

Window Canteen
276 Hackney Rd, Hackney
London, E2, UK

* “Mufufu is a mimetic word that represents a chuckle in Japanese. It is the overflowing, involuntary smile brought forth by an epiphany, a light bulb moment.”

Let’s do the time warp again

I spotted this little laundromat on Whitmore Rd, Hoxton, while out walking around our neighbourhood. It’s been closed for nearly five years, but not a thing has changed since the day the door shut. Aside from some saggy ceiling panel stalactites and newly formed mountains of dust, that is.

Hoxton Time Warp

First thought: Would love one of those retro blue dryers… Second thought: This would make a good bar…

Daily photo: the fox of Hoxton


An early riser spotted in Hoxton this afternoon, just before sunset. A brave little fellow (or fellow-ess?), the fox didn’t blink at any of the passersby. Likewise, they didn’t see him either, wrapped up in their own little worlds of late-for-work, what-should-I-buy, head-phones-on. It’s good to breathe deeply, take things slowly and see some nature in the city.

God’s Own Junkyard

God's Own JunkyardLast September, news got out the God’s Own Junkyard, artist Chris Bracey’s shrine to all things illuminated, was being closed after developers purchased the site. Cue hordes of people, including myself, high tailing it to Walthamstow to see the collection before it was dismantled. Thankfully, a new home has been found for God’s Own Junkyard – resurrection!

Here are some snaps of our visit to the original site (on its last weekend), a feast of glorious, blinding neon:

100yearsGod's Own Junkyard God's Own Junkyard God's Own JunkyardGod's Own JunkyardGod's Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard

Unit 12, Ravenswood, Industrial Estate Shernhall Street
London, E17 9HQ, UK