My favourite instagram hashtags all seem to have a theme:
I really love the idea of finding beauty in the everyday. The smallest of occurrences - blossom sprouting quietly on the trees; sunlight bouncing off a window; fluffy clouds clustered around a rooftop; my dog's eyelashes as she drifts off to sleep. I try to record these on my Instagram, as much as possible, taking joy from the little moments that make up my days.
I thought it might be fun to pick some images from my daily work life at the moment, given I have but a matter of weeks before I clear up my desk and depart on the adventure of motherhood for the next year. I'll be a different person when I return to work - I want to be able to remind myself of the lens I used to view the world through, the effort I made to find something pretty in my mundane commuter life.
I'm lucky to work in Marylebone, strolling past 221b Baker Street with a coffee in hand, Regent's Park beckoning across the road for a sunny lunch break, Marylebone High Street calling with its cutesy storefronts and floral displays. On fair weather days I try to go for a walk every lunchtime - during the winter, not so much. But here are some of my favourite photo spots that make up my day-to-day life.
The park is where I go when I need to be calm. If you pass the gaggle of geese and shrieking seagulls, down the paths and across the bridges, you find the perfect pockets of peace to while away a sunny lunch break. I came here to clear my head before having interviews with my current workplace; I come here when I'm stressed and need to sit and watch the water for a while, remembering how to breathe. Last summer I came here nearly every day with my colleagues, sprawling on scarves and eating jelly pots from the Co-op round the corner, chasing off some of the feathered thieves that have grown a little too brave for our liking. Coming to the park reminds me how much better I feel when I spend time outdoors - something that's all too easily forgotten in daily office life.
Here we're surrounded by the sort of gorgeous old townhouses I used to dream of - cheerful painted doors, flowerpots spilling over, shiny tiled porches. I can't get enough of them; they litter my Instagram from time to time, each door a different entity.
Along the road there's Paddington Basin - I make a point of walking this way to any meetings. There's something about open stretches of water that appeals to me; they're calm, quiet places to sit and enjoy the peace away from London roads.
That's the thing, you see - I let the stress of my working life take over sometimes. Days pass in a blur of commute, work, commute - and it takes a toll on my mental health. So when I've made an effort to appreciate my surroundings, enjoy what's available to me, and take time to make happy memories too - it's only natural that I feel more at ease with my day-to-day routines. I think looking around and taking a breath at least once a day is beneficial for all of us. And goodness knows what my daily life will be like in 3 months - a 9am coffee run could be a thing of the past (who am I kidding - it'll be a 6am coffee run!)