Daily Blog

9 Days, 2 Hours, 33 Minutes

That’s how long I’ve now been sober and cigarette free.

I have to say for the first time this morning I felt a change. Even though I set my new alarm clock to wake me up at 6.30am to go for a run and it very much let me down, the bin men (who I will never moan about again) woke me up at 7.10am and I still managed to get to work 45 minutes early.

I actually bought my alarm in December with a view to stop keeping my phone next to my bed, or even under my pillow at times. I was struggling a lot with my sleep (amongst other things) and thought this may help decrease my screen time. This was before I finally accepted that alcohol was mostly to blame. Seems silly now as it was so alarmingly obvious.

For the first time in what I can only describe as a long time, I woke up with a spring in my step. I wasn’t even too miffed about missing my run. And don’t get me wrong I was legitimately disappointed as it’s a really great way to start the day. But I didn’t hold on to that feeling for more than a passing thought. I’m not saying that I’m a changed woman who’ll never struggle to get out of bed again. That would be ridiculous. But it’s nice to have a sign that you’re on the right path, and your body is rewarding you just as you’re rewarding it, and treating yourself with the love and respect you deserve.

Saturday. This weekend was lovely, I wanted to keep up with my new routine so I got up at 7am and went for a run just as the sun was rising. I’m glad that I have a [small] park nearby that I can run around in the dark incognito should I wish, or during the day if I fancy doing some dog spotting – a favourite past time of mine. After that I went to a local cafe for a mint tea and some vegan porridge with fruit and seeds to set me up for the day. I’m still trying to stay clear of caffeine as much as I can to give my body an all over break from stimulants.

From there I decided to take a one hour bus ride to Peckham instead of catching the tube as I quite like looking out of the window and taking in the world around me. I’ve also realised how little I actually knew London as I would never walk anywhere, opting to take the tube or an Uber. So now I spend as much time as I can on foot or on the bus. And let’s think of the perks of this; better fitness, money, more day light (proven to positively effect many aspects of your health), and better awareness.

Once I got to Peckham I had a bit of a walk around the very windy high street. I’m not all that familiar with the area so I was keen to see what it had to offer. It wasn’t until I reached more of the back roads that I started to see what all the fuss was about. As well as dog spotting I also very much enjoy peeping into some of the lavish Georgian townhouses (from the pavement I might ad, not peeping Tom style before you ask). The stunning architecture, the gardens, vast libraries and chandeliers as well as brightly coloured doors with large brass knockers.

After a bit of a wander I decided to cheat and take a look at Maps and found a cute cafe called Anderson & Co. on a quaint little road not so aptly named Bellenden Rd. They had an array of quirky little outlets along this way from groceries to cafes and other restaurants I would really recommend. Unfortunately the cafe didn’t have any space (or many vegan options) so I settled for The Victoria Inn. A pub. And guess what, I was not in the least bit tempted to grab a glass of wine. I found myself a high table in a cosy corner and ordered a mint tea. A lovely older gentlemen was sat to the table next to me who was working on what looked like a design project so it felt like quite a friendly spot to do some work, or writing in my case.

From there my boyfriend came to meet me and we headed over to the Bussey building to check out the Independent Ceramics Market which was lovely, however I didn’t buy anything as I’m focusing on being a bit more economically friendly this month. Definitely inspired me to get a bit more creative again soon though.

For lunch I fancied something a bit naughty, and just because I’m focusing on my health more doesn’t mean I’m going cold turkey on life. We headed over to Giraffe in Spitalfields, they’ve always got a great selection of foods from around the world, but more so a great vegan selection – as well as a delicious Kombucha which isn’t too sweet which makes a nice change. We went for the Up-Beet Burger. Trust me, it’s good.

I’ve been wanting to check out The Grocery in Shoreditch for a long time and as we were in the area we popped in. It’s a lot like an independent version of Whole Foods or Planet Organic which I love. It is a bit on the pricey side but if you can afford it I would really recommend it as it’s supports local etc.

Sunday. Sunday can still be ‘funday’ is what I learned yesterday. I had a bit of a lie in until 9.30am (oh how times have changed) because my legs had completely seized up from this new exercise being imposed on them. After breakfast at home I headed out to check out a couple of exhibitions, the first being London Calling 40 Years of The Clash at The Museum of London which was really cool. They had some original guitars, outfits and song sheets etc, plus it was free! From there we headed to the Barbican Centre to check out the Beethoven exhibition – just to balance out the music genres haha. Go check it out – it’s also free. As well as the Barbican Conservatory that feels like stepping into a scene from Jurassic Park. You’ll love it if you’e a green fingered plant addict like myself.

So now onto the interesting part for all you AF lovelies. I popped in to BrewDog’s AF bar in Old Street and I was a little bit hesitant to put it lightly, but still intrigued to see what they had to offer. It’s a little bit of a hidden spot so make sure to check it out on Google maps. I was actually really impressed with their selection! Not only did they have the usual suspects as they have in their other bars, but they also had a range of sour beers, ales, wines, spirits etc. They also had quite a few collaborations on tap. I tried the Peach Popsicle which was really light and sour – which I’m a big fan of. And if you’re a fan of Nutella I recommend the Hazelnut Porter. The red wine was nice but a bit sweet and fruity for my taste. Also a bit expenny considering. I should also mention the great selection of board games they have for you to get involved with, as well as DJ’s and events etc on the weekends.

And finally I finished the day off with a mega vegan roast at the Duke of York pub in Haggerston. They also have a nice range of alcohol free beers both bottled and on draft. I headed home pretty early around 5pm as I wanted to catch up on some writing which I’m finding really cathartic, as well as prep some lunch for work the next day which helps me save money and feel on top of things. I’m also quite enjoying the feeling of being tired at the end of a busy day, and not overriding those natural signals with booze in order to keep chasing the night.

So yeah, it was a lovely weekend which led me nicely back into the routine of Monday morning. I’m going to watch Jojo Rabbit at the cinema after work, I’ve heard its really funny and I’m so in the mood for some comedy. Review to follow..

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