sobota, 31 sierpnia 2013

Waking on a pretty day

Again, I am so sorry for the randomness of the pictures below but yeah, the best summer holidays of my life definitely - and I thought it would be so difficult to beat Italy on this one! - so more piccies is kind of a must. Seriously, we had a full on Eat, Pray, Love experience on Malta minus Julia Roberts minus romantic Spanish guys (??? I've never watched it or read it but that's how I imagine it anyway) so even for me it is so nice to get back to those moments, those 40 degress Celsius, wine drinking and facing death each time we boarded a bus. And you CAN say these are fashion-y, personal-style'y, blog-gy pictures, CAN'T YOU? CAN'T YOU?

wtorek, 27 sierpnia 2013

Flat-hunting in London: The essential guide.

AKA "Things I wish someone had told me when I was about to move here".

Me, a week before moving to London. So innocent. September 2011

If you like things to be said straight away here's a tiny list for you:

1. Be prepared for having the worst couple of weeks of your life. I'm serious - living in London is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me (apart from having the best parents and boyfriend and flatmates in the world but it's kind of obvious) but I cried a lot. A LOT LOT.

2. Get ready for getting to know the worst people in the world - estate agents. They will want to know everything about you, even stuff you don't usually tell your best friends and won't care about your glorious recommendations from anyone.

3. Right, recommendations. You need those.

4. If you still think of living in Lodon as of living next to Trafalgar Square or Natural History Museum STOP IT RIGHT NOW and be ready for a reality check. Zone 2 is GREAT and if you can afford it then it means everyone will be jealous of your shiny new flat. Unless you live in Elephant&Castle...

5. Speaking of which - get to know London first - some neighbourhoods are better than others even though they are further away from the centre.

6. Start thinking what do you want to devote. Seriously, you won't get a full package so - do you want a bigger flat but in a worse neighbourhood? Or a tiny one but with great transport links? Etc.


Near my first flat, June 2012. 

I am a West London girl - I like my Victorian houses and I like my good looking neighbourhoods. I lived in Kensignton last year, YOU KNOW (ok... West Kensington, I know it doesn't count but it was a 10-minute-long stroll to Chelsea I SWEAR) but if you asked me where I was going to live two years ago I would probably said nothing: why? Because even though I visited London a few times I had no idea about the actual city. Well, the only thing I knew - I didn't want to move to Stratford or Tooting or any of the places where riots took place.

Thank God LCF's Lime Grove campus is in Shepherds Bush because two years ago Shepherds Bush was kind of affordable and it made me think "ok, it's close to my uni, it's close to my boyfriend's school so why not try to move there?". PLUS after living in Hackney for a week I just wanted to get out of there and move in somewhere where you can actually use the tube not the overground.

Long story short, I ended up in a bedsit with shared kitchen on Hammersmith Grove. With bills included and lovely landlady, it was a better deal than halls which are, BY THE WAY, crazily expensive. And I wasn't living in Acton, Elephant&Castle or Tufnell Park (I've only been once so I'm not sure if it's any good but still, Hammerstmith Grove was better), I was living on your typical middle-class-zone-two street with its own yoga place and a pretty good deli.

Near my second flat, our ESTATE, November 2012

As I've already shared a great chunk of my life with you, let me spare you the details about my second year of flat hunting that ended up with eating only tomatoes for dinner because my stressed body couldn't take any other food and this year's search (it wasn't over when I started writing this, now I can happily say I will be based in the West again). LET ME HELP YOU FOR ONCE AND PREPARE YOU FOR THIS.

Estate Princess, September 2012



Ok, so where do we start?

This is a map of London Tube network (long live TFL!):

This is a map of London Tube network that I kind of adjusted for this post's sake, just couple of examples as I really can't be THAT bothered:

As you see, you need to decide where you want to live, narrow your search. I would focus on two-three areas at first at start your flat-hunting. If you are from another country, of course you can do it online but everyone will look at you suspiciously and you will have to come to London to see your flat anyway, so the best decision is to move in with family/friends/rent a room in a hostel for a week or two. The worst month to search is probably early September or late August when all students start to look at properties as well.

Head to or - these sites show you only legit ads, run by real estate agencies. Of course, agencies can be a nightmare - they need a pile of references and guarantors from you and you need to pay them admin fees but at least they won't scam you and take your money away. If you are adventurous, check gumtree as well - sometimes you can find some pretty good deals there  - but remember, if something is too good to be true it probably is not.

Arrange a couple of viewings and then, if you like what you see, ask an estate agent what is needed from you - what references (if this is your first time moving in by yourself, you will be probably asked about some character references provided by your old teacher/someone you used to live with/etc.), what guarantor (this is the hard one), how much deposit you need to pay them (usually 4 to 6 weeks of rent).

For the guarantor - it must be someone who can pay your rent if you decide to, I don't know, flea the country or something. Two years ago, as I didn't know anyone in London, my agency let my dad to be a guarantor, with his bank statement as a vital document. Right now, more and more agencies ask you for a UK home owner as your guarantor which is bizzare, xenophobist and funny so it's better to ask straight away.

Ok - you like the flat, agency likes you, you can provide all the documents needed. What now? The craziest two or three days of your life while you try to collect the papers as quickly as possible so no one can steal your dream London home from you. And then, you made it. You are happy. You see me and we go to have a cup of tea and a biscuit at 5 o'clock together while watching Big Ben doing its thing and riding monocycles or whatever these British people do these days.

Here it is. The essential, simplified version of a few weeks of your life if you decide to move to London one day. And trust me. It is worth all the tears your cry. ALL-OF-THEM.

If you have any questions (probably in Polish, I KNOW I KNOW HOW PATHETIC I AM), leave them down below and will happily answer.

czwartek, 15 sierpnia 2013

A little bit TOO serious...

If you read this, it's probably not the first time you typed my blog's address into your browser - you're also probably Polish remembering times when I was a seventeen-year-old with a blog slightly less popular than this one so the idea of reading a blog post in English here seems somehow stupid. I know it kind of is but here's the thing - I've been studying fashion journalism at LCF for two years now, somehow managed even to get the best grades at my course last year and as long as I spend half of my time speaking Polish even when in London thanks to my wonderful Polish boyfriend, my creative writing in my mother tongue is kind of rusty. Plus the "show-me-your-blog" thing I mentioned before. Plus some things just seem better in English.
I love sharing with people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Endomondo - have those and I'm really cool with it. I'm not a privacy freak nor am I going to pretend that I don't like showing people slightly better, slightly prettier, slightly instagrammer version of my life. On top of that, I have a blog. Everything exposed. 

However, there is one thing that matters for me big times and I've never tried to touch it here - eating disorders. Eating disorders plus fashion in particular. C-L-I-C-H-E, right? Kind of. Yeah, right, we all know those models, eating an apple a day, blah blah blah boring stuff - but what about other people? Stylists, journalists? Well...
After watching "Devil Wears Prada" half of the universe thinks that everyone in fashion is obsessed with being skinny and kale chips. Bullshit. What's more, I have to disappoint you but we need to estabilish it once and for good "Devil Wears Prada" is not how fashion industry looks like. Runaway's office may be similar to that of American Vogue but have you ever been into an office of fashion magazine somewhere in London? If you were not - it's probably dusty, messy, tiny and not at all fabulous. I'm sorry.

Getting back to the main thing - eating. Well - I've never seen more people eating crap anywhere (and by that I don't mean sugary granola bars or, I don't know, wraps: I mean the real worst - canned beans with white bread, chips, crisps, chocolate, chocolate and even more chocolate) than I see in LCF's canteen every school day. People laugh at me, you know, for eating crispbread and yoghurts from time to time and applause me when I bring "normal" lunch to school. One of my closest friends ate a big box of flapjacks in front of me once and another one is obsessed with food (working freelance for Time Out now, I'm so proud!). I've never heard "x's too fat" coming from someone's mouth but I did hear couple of tooskinnys. A couple. Because even though everyone loves gossip and bitching about fellow coursemates their bodies are their own business. And this is LCF, one of the best fashion schools in the world, people.

And yet two months ago when my doctor, concerned and tried to figure out whether I'm anorexic or not asked me why did I decide to start dieting in the first place I didn't even think about it and said "ohhh you know fashion school, everyone's so skinny...". I played on a stereotype and you know what? It worked. She just nodded. 

I am not and have never been anorexic though in the past year and a half I lost a lot of weight, totally destroyed my digestive system, developed an unhealthy relationship with food and got addicted to exercising. I had days of eating 1200 calories and then burning 700 doing purely youtube workouts. I fainted at work,TWICE, and, yeah, I finally managed to fit into xs everything. And then I woke up. And then, after waking up I realised that it won't be that easy so I went to my doctor to find out that I need to gain at least some weight. After endless bloodtests and a month of eating more than I thought I was supposed to I came into the doctor's office only to find out I lost another two kilos. It's a lot harder to get out of it than get into it really. I eat super-healthy now, my workouts are more moderate and I really have days of sugary overload now but that episode of my life will be with me forver.

Why did I lie to the doctor? Why did I share something so private with you? Fashion + eating, once again. 

I've been an editorial team member for a really good magazine (as in "content-good" not "world-renowned-good" though we have an impressive list of contributors) for some time now - biscuits are our office staple, lunches are made by our lovely boss and every meal must end with bread and cheese overload. Every fashion event I go to has its catering and, WELL, everyone eats. A lot. Why did I spend couple of sad months of my life eating only weight watchers and tesco light choices meals for lunch then? Blogging. 

After moving to London I gained some weight - British food, moving in with someone for the first time, moving to another country, working crazy hours in a retail giant's chain store and not having days off at all made me go from one size to the other. Still considered pretty ok. Maybe more average than small. And then it started - comments about my weight. I stopped eating sweets. I lost couple of pounds. Got back to S. Comments were still there - one meaner than the other. I pretended not to care but, come on, I cared - I was a twenty-year-old girl, how couldn't I? After some time I stopped publishing them and they stopped to appear or maybe my weight started to be all right and so fashion for someone? I don't know. But why am i writing about it right now pretending to be a voice of my generation or something?

Because today, when making some pancakes for breakfast it just stroke me:
if the up and coming fashion journalists, creme de la creme of fashion journalism undergraduates don't really care if you are 10 or 6 why should people spending their time looking at fashion blogs do? Will that make them more fashion or will that make the people the bodies their commenting on more fashion? I don't get it. I'm sorry. Saying hi to you while eating my grilled cheese sandwich and sorry for getting too serious. Sometimes you have to. 

czwartek, 8 sierpnia 2013


I travelled to the end of the world and came back with over 300 pictures and over 300 000 beautiful memories. Sharing a fraction of them with you, hope it's ok.

As much as I miss London and nearly cry every day when thinking of smallest things (today I had an emotional meltdown when thinking of walking from Notting Hill Gate to West Kensington after work one day and it was not the most pleasant walk everyone has ever had in their lives trust me) and as much as Malta was the most magical week of my life, it is good to be home-home for a while. Away from my dissertation, job and internship hunting, away from endless tube journeys and just staying on top of things. Couple more weeks to recharge my batteries.