lately in london



this week, winter came to london.

on my saturday morning run, as i jogged over the cobblestoned streets around covent garden piazza, a huge smile stretched across my face. i was happy because i was cold. there was a wintery biting chill in the air around the christmas decorations, and i was glad to feel it on my face and in my bones. i’ve missed having a real winter during my years in california. the crispness, the shivery sting – i love it. {i know, i will probably have a different attitude by late january…}

the past few weeks have been a real change of pace for us. more slowness and less activity outside of routine life has been really good in a lot of ways, and also challenging in other ways. the boy has been working long hours and i am honing my ability to be alone but not lonely. i am seeking to appreciate the ordinary and the extraordinary, develop my gratitude, become better at using my time wisely, and relish being alive in my own present. i’m so glad we get to be learning and living this chapter of our story in this amazing, amazing city.


today i’m sharing some photos from two very classic london outings i’ve taken lately. i seriously, seriously love living here.

one: watching the changing of the guards at buckingham palace.
we live about a seven minute walk away from the queen’s residence, and i decided one day that i might as well go watch the changing of the guards some late afternoon. {the last time i saw this spectacle, i was maybe eleven or twelve, and it’s just such a classic london thing…!} i met a few new friends at the front gates. even though it was a grey november weekday, it was pretty outrageously crowded. this picture pretty much sums up the experience:IMG_8716
a sea of humans, cameras and selfie sticks cramming in for a good photo of the action! we got there pretty early in an attempt to get a good view, but a loooot of tourists had gotten there before us – haha! from our vantage point, the event was kiiiiind of slow and boring, and once it got a little more exciting when the instruments came marching in, it started raining pretty hard. it was funny.
we enjoyed nonetheless! and when the whole thing was over and the crowds just started to disperse, a rainbow appeared in the sky!
and everything above turned blue. london weather…so variable!
^^ from the walk home. my new friends came back to covent garden with me and i introduced them to homeslice pizza in neal’s yeard, which is undoubtedly my favourite food find in london thus far. ^^

two: saturday afternoon at the portobello road market.
while the boy was working on saturday, i bundled up and perused the delightful, iconic notting hill outdoor marketplace. portobello road on a saturday is something that photographs really can’t capture. there is just this unique brand of charming there – it’s hard to describe. i sipped on some peppermint steamed milk while i strolled among the stalls selling everything from produce to antique magnifying glasses, peeking down side streets at the colourful row houses along the way. jazzy music was streaming from a corner stall selling records and cds and it was getting dusky at 3:30pm.

i really, really love london. and this monday morning on the week of thanksgiving, i am feeling full, full, full of gratitude. life is so very beautiful, and i am so glad to be alive now and here.

happy monday and thanksgiving week!


  1. Ohhhh! The books. The china. The rubber stamps. And, the colored houses all in a row. Splendid!

  2. Dear Charity,

    I am glad to see you are enjoying your time in London. I grew up in London so it is so weird to see your blog change from wild California living to a life that I take for granted! I just wanted to let you know about the Christmas Markets in Bath that start this Thursday, they are very popular and a great way to spend a day. The cobbled streets of bath become bustling with people from all over the world buying and selling crafts. Do come along and if, like me, you find yourself alone whilst your husband is working (studying in my case) I would love to have hot chocolate with you and can introduce you to the local missionaries I have become friendly with (I am not LDS but so keen to learn about other peoples beliefs and stories)!

    Happy for you to email me!

    Happy Monday! X

  3. amazing pix...i want to be eating those doughnuts with you! i'm coming to buckingham palace to visit you SOON!!

  4. I't all delicious! Wish I could go the Christmas Market in Bath with you!