Where I Live....


1. I live in London.
 I've lived here since we moved from Wales when I was six years old.
I grew up in south London (Dulwich and Clapham) until my mid 20s and have lived in north London (Hampstead and Muswell Hill) since then.

I've both lived and studied abroad for long periods of time and, although sometimes I dream of living in the south of France or moving to New York City, I absolutely love London.
It's the sense of history and tradition, the theatres and the museums, the parks and green spaces and most definitely the people. I am a city girl and I love the buzz and the busyness of London.

London is full of neighbourhoods and I love this in particular. I live within walking distance of two Underground stations and am 10 stops from the very centre of London, yet where I live is very green, very family-orientated and has such a strong sense of community - as has everywhere I have ever lived in London.


2. I live in an apartment.
Muswell Hill borders Highgate and Hampstead and is a 50/50 mixture of crazy-expensive houses with postage stamp-sized gardens and enormous apartments mostly occupied by young professionals.
It is a strange thing but, apart from 3 years when we bought a house when my daughter was first born, I have lived in apartments all my life.

My parents lived in very old and elegant apartments owned by my father's then employers and when my mother left my father with three young children and not a stick of furniture to her name, we lived in a series of apartments.

Muswell Hill is full of 1930s architecture and I live in a beautiful 1930s mansion block with wood panelled stairways and lovely views. We have plenty of space, are 4 minutes from school and every shop I need is within walking distance.
We might move within the next couple of years but in many ways I will be sad to do so....
apartment living suits me very nicely....I love having everything on the same level, we have lots of space and the fact that we don't have tons of storage space suits my decluttering nature perfectly :)
We lived in an another apartment in the same block when we first got married and I have spent both my pregnancies here, so I have so many happy memories.

Muswell Hill (Canary Wharf in the distance)

3. I live in my neighbourhood.
I can walk to East Finchley and Highgate Underground stations, the dry cleaners, Marks & Spencer, the library, Starbucks the chemist, the cheese shop, the butchers, the Childrens Bookshop, post office, the cinema, the pet shop and the hairdressers. Every one of my children's friends lives pretty much within a stone's throw away and preschool, school and, pretty soon, secondary school are within 4 mins of our front door.
I rarely drive because I simply don't need to, if I want to meet a friend for lunch then the lovely cafes at Highgate Woods or Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath are within walking distance, as are a huge variety of other locations.

For coffee, the gorgeous Danish coffee shop with the windows that soon steam up and the warm cinnamon bread that they serve fresh from the oven at 9.30am every morning is my current favourite.
(There is also the very good chance that if he's not away filming, you'll be seated next to Clive Owen as I was the other week. Hard to concentrate, that much I can tell you ;))



I live in a city of 10 million people....but my butcher and the ladies in the supermarket know me by name and always wave to me, I go for coffee, the people smile and ask how I am (and vice versa), the Children's Bookshop remember what books my children have read recently and if I need any help, I can call at least two hands worth of friends immediately.
I love local. I live local.

Not my desk. Not my kitchen. But what a fabulous space!


4. I live at my desk.
Or rather I live at my kitchen table since this is where my laptop is to be found and where I write, work, email and read the newspapers online.
We're not on the ground floor so the view from my kitchen window is trees and sky - plus squirrels and blue tits, I love it.

I love my kitchen - it could be bigger, it could have a large island, even more cupboards and a walk-in pantry.....BUT it does have a large table with enough room for me to sweep my papers etc to one side and still have plenty of space to work and read. It has my aunt's dresser which houses A Lot Of Stuff including my collection of pretty jugs and my favourite teacups.
It also houses, possibly most importantly of all, the radio, the programmes are the soundtrack to my day, and the kettle for my many cups of Earl Grey.
It's my favourite room in the house. 

My current favourite piece is an old leather chair recently that I bought from a junk shop recently.
I have friends who have the most fabulous junk shop finds - this was my first purchase so I'm very happy with it :)
However, passing one local shop recently, I saw this chair outside....it's the kind of "old" dark red leather I imagine you'd find in the Bank of England, dark wood, filled with what must be horsehair, slightly worn but so comfortable, perfect for reading and working in.

Today's Instagram photo - "Favourite"....my leather chair

5. I live in my kitchen.
I love my kitchen. wherever I've lived and wherever I live in the future (and even if I have an office), I know my kitchen will always be the warm heart of my home.
Oddly, as I spend increasingly more time working at my computer in here, I also am spending more time cooking in here, inspired by some new cookery books & my recent cookery courses.
The mantelpiece is filled with tealights and candles, there is a large canvas on the wall of my daughter (a favourite photo taken while sailing in France), my children do their homework here....
and here we sing loudly and dance madly together.


This piece of writing was completely inspired by the wonderful writer/screenwriter/film director Nora Ephron (You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, amongst other movies).
I read her book "I Feel Bad About My Neck" at Christmas - it's a great laugh-out-loud funny read and I absolutely loved it.

She lives in NYC and one of the chapters in the book is called "Where I Live".

So....where do you live?
Want to share? :) 

39 comments:

  1. One of my favorite posts of yours darling...just loved it. I love where you live, it is so different to where/how I live, I guess that's what I find so interesting!

    xxx Deej

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  2. What a wonderful look into your life, makes you all the more delightful.

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  3. I love the simplicity and warmth of your everyday.

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  4. Where you live sounds absolutely perfect! I am going to follow your lead and also do a Where Do I Live post - give me a day or so. Loved learning more about you! xxoo :). P.S. love Nora Ephron! xxoo :)

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  5. Love, love, love this post! I love getting a glimpse into the lives of bloggers. Echoing a comment above, i can feel the warmth in this post! Lx

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  6. A great post and so lovely to hear your 'live locally' too. I've just moved to the US, but once we are setted into our new home and neighbourhood I shall do a little piece like this too. Happy 2012.

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  7. Simone ~

    I love this post! Honestly, I feel as if you described your neighborhood perfectly so that I can picture you enjoying your daily routines.

    Love the fact you can walk EVERY WHERE! This is beyond dreamy! I'm not a fan of driving, and to be able to bike or walk anywhere my heart so desires to go, then I would be a very happy girl.

    What makes me smile the most is reading how much you adore your life. Good for you! Soak it all up and live in every moment!

    Bisous,
    Melissa

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  8. Love this, you did such a good and honest reflection of not only where you live and how you live, I feel like I can so easily envision it...nicely done.

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  9. Morning! I love this post, sounds a fab place to live! You may remember I live where you used to live in Cardiff and you now live where my husband and his parents lived before they moved to Cardiff when he was young, how funny :) Whitchurch has a great Village feel to it, there is def a sense of community here like your part of London, which is why I moved to this part of Cardiff. Thanks for an insight into your world. Claire x

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  10. Morning! I love this post, sounds a fab place to live! You may remember I live where you used to live in Cardiff and you now live where my husband and his parents lived before they moved to Cardiff when he was young, how funny :) Whitchurch has a great Village feel to it, there is def a sense of community here like your part of London, which is why I moved to this part of Cardiff. Thanks for an insight into your world. Claire x

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  11. Hello Simone! Thank you for commenting after such a long absence on my part! It is always sooooo lovely and humbling when friends like you have not given up on me! Now...on your post...how wonderful! I loved it! Think I will definitely try to share my version (sooooo different from yours!), as I am really going to try to get back on my writing bandwagon. And the Dorothy quote???? LOVE! P.S. Will probably be picking up that book too...!

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  12. such a fun post my friend!
    what a treat to peek into your world
    xo

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  13. Such a lovely lovely post! I live in London too, just outside Camden Town... Though my life doesn't seem as nice as yours, I'm mainly stressed about studying and going to the gym enough - feeling like the day doesn't have enough hours. Maybe I should start enjoying London more... I do love it..

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  14. Happy New Year to you too, we actually sold and moved very quickly before christmas, still in Whitchurch. Guess where my boys go to school, although Max in Whitchurch High. Obv know the roads you mentioned very well. Sadly the school is closing this year(council are giving it to the Welsh school in village) there is still a fight going on though. Blogging world is such a small one. Take care x

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  15. your slice of paradise
    looks like a lovely place to dwell

    as for me and mine
    we call home
    a tiny all-American town
    in southwestern Pennsylvania

    it is full of history
    and has
    a post office
    market
    and teensy hardware store
    all it's own

    we love it

    and though i don't have
    all the amenities that you do
    at your doorstep
    and must drive many places

    it is unequivocally

    home

    alison

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  16. I live in london to after moving around a bit and it has taken me a while to get used to but now I love it , there is nothing better than walking around the commons and having a coffee and seeing all the things London has to offer.

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  17. What a fabulous lifestyle...my dream to have the big city life along with my wonderful small town living!!

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  18. Fabulous post Simone...I love London too it is simply the best city in the world...I live in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire which I adore...but not a week goes by that I'm not in London...magical city.
    Have a lovely week.
    Catherine
    xx

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  19. What a wonderful post, Simone! One of my favorites of yours for sure. I feel like I got to see a real glimpse inside your life, and it is magical indeed. Simply lovely. I will try to post something similar on my own blog soon. Love it.

    (Oh and Clive Owen? Awesome.)

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  20. Wow! your post reminds me why I miss London SOOOO much and why I can't wait to move back. I love the area where you live;one of the few places in London that feels like a country village. Hampstead village is one of my fav places for shopping and eating. I also used to remember Kenwood's fab classical concerts in the park which we went to summer (do they still happen?).
    It was so lovely learning more about where you live and where you work.

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  21. Simone, you're making me want to move to your neighborhood. I have always wanted to live in London - ever since I visited it in 2009. We may even be going back again in May because I miss it!

    I love that you are within walking distance to everything, including the underground... it makes everything so convenient :) I love your chair, too!

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  22. Love this post...and the pics are amazing (as always.) I just joined pinterest and thought of you. If you are not already on it, you will LOVE it.

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  23. Lovely! I also adored that sense of neighborhood when living in San Francisco for 20-years (parts of Pacific Heights have a London flair).

    Now live in Carmel-by-the-Sea where there are many charming English cottages and I once saw Dame Judi Dench with two people walking on the Scenic Drive path above the beach. :)

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  24. I so enjoyed reading this Simone ~ sounds like that chair spoke to you as in ~ yoohoo Simone ~ over here ~ take me home!! Love that you are so close to everything that you need and love. My city is so tiny compared to yours but I do love where I live too. Will have to think about doing this kind of post too. Hugs sweet girl. xo

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  25. I love that big cities have small villages within them. I live in a small town now and have a lot of the same experiences that I did when I lived in the city. I knew all the shopkeepers then too!

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  26. What a warm, intimate post. Thank you for sharing.

    for me home is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka but that is Monday to Thursdays only! Friday to early Monday morning we disappear up country to the tea country of Rozella where we have a small holiday home.

    And. three times for the year (almost a month at a time) I call Melbourne home where my three children live. A leafy suburb, gorgeous for walking (which I never do in colombo) and close to the all important library.

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  27. Hello - seems the feeling is mutual amongst commenters; a favourite of your posts ever. I think it is the intimacy of it - funny isn't it? The more we give the more readers like it. I love that you describe this very Ephron-esque life and now I really need to read that book! As I said in my email, 'your London' sounds amazing and is a real lesson to those of us who only go there for an evening or a day. I always feel I don't get the best of it. Or that I am never really a part of it. You make it sound much more inviting. So - loved it. Lou x

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  28. I loved reading this post. You've painted such a wonderful picture of where you live. I find London so fascinating. I love that it's one huge city but you still get the lovely neighbourhoods with an almost villagy feel to them.

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  29. You could live in Shanghai and people would know your name, Simone. It's YOU, my love. Your personality, your heritage, your lovely attitude...all qualities most people don't have. I love this picture of you, where you live and how you live. I have never lived in an apartment because we have SO much land in Texas everything is just spread out across the land. I think I will take your advice and write about Houston, Texas as you did London. Simply splendid post, my friend...and I'm smiling...

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  30. You've brought a glimpse of dreamy London into my home this evening! Enjoyed so much reading of your cozy London life! So wonderful!

    I live in Holland, Michigan USA, where there's still a flair of things European yet while we live in America!!
    I enjoy the change of the seasons...and in the spring...The Huge "Tulip Time" Festival where Tulips pop up from the thawed out frozen ground most everywhere through-out the city!

    Wishing you the best! Look forward to reading many more of your posts!!

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  31. I'm packing my bags! Oh it sounds so lovely...and I just adored seeing this glimpse into your life. As you know, I've lived the city life myself in my past lives and oh how I miss it! Now my days are spent shuttling around in the car from place to place. I'm going to borrow this idea for a post myself. LOVED IT my friend. ox

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  32. Oh Sweetheart, I was checking to see if Miss Melissa's dodgy wi-fi setup had allowed her to comment before me! What a treasure of a post. I adored every single word of it. I can't wait to return there one day (my last visit was in 1994!) to visit you. *Sigh*. Before I turn 50 - promise! J x

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  34. Hello beautiful friend...
    I'm in warm heaven here- but in a heart beat I'd be sitting in your kitchen- sipping tea- dancing with happiness...eating lunch on H.heath....

    Huge hugs- and this just makes me miss you all the more....

    Melissa xxx

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  35. What a truly lovely post Simone - where you live sounds wonderful and exactly as I imagined. And now I feel I know you a little better which is wonderful! xxx

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  36. Simone a wonderful post!! I love reading about your life and abode and will post on mine soon!

    All the Best!
    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  37. Pop the kettle on - clear a space at the kitchen table, I'll be right over! Such a fabulous post Simone...you really are London's answer to Nora Ephron. I love that book! One of my favourites of 2011.

    Having never been to London, it was fabulous to get an insight into daily living in London, but outside the stereotypical scenes which are depicted in movies & tv.

    Your apartment sounds like charm personified. From now on I shall envisage you at your table or sitting next to Clive Owen in a cinnamon-scented, foggy-windowed cafe.

    Meredy xo

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  38. Loved this post, I have lived in Clapham Common, Knightsbridge, Stockwell, Tottenham, Turnpike Lane, Paris, Florence, Melbourne and now in a small coastal town by the sea 1.5 hours from Melbourne. A mix of the good, the bad and the ugly but all have had good times, amazing expeiences and my fair share of bad times but that all makes me the person I am today but I do love my quite, simple life by the beach! And yes after 5 years of living in London - I do know the attraction it has and soooo close to everything! I miss that - no-one wants a 20 hour plane trip before starting a holiday!
    x
    Melissah from Scrapbook

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  39. Hi Simone...I recently discovered your lovely blog and this post in particular really spoke to me in a big way...I currently live and work as a decorative painter and designer in Dubai,and I am working towards moving to the UK to be with my mum, who lives there.
    As an expat living in Dubai, we have quite an exciting life but after 13 years of being here and experiencing amazing times and really difficult times, I am now ready to settle somewhere where I can "live locally" as you so aptly described how you live.
    I never walk anywhere here in the summer...at 48 degrees C it is impossible to move without Air conditioning in your home and your car, so you end up driving to the Mall to shop. We have a local farmers market, but it is very limited and I long for a lifestyle where I can buy everything within walking distance-your post about how you live is exactly why I want to change the way I am currently living!
    ...thank you for sharing
    Julie

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