The Hoxton Hotel

Monday, 19 January 2015

Hubbard and Bell inside The Hoxton Hotel in Holborn is Soho House's newest venture. 
If like me, you can't afford the £900 a year to be an ACTUAL Soho House member, this little bubble is perfect.
You might slip into thinking you're a big music producer or the owner of a creative agency if you stay in there too long mind, so be sure to drop your t's occasionally and think about your dissertation or the sales assistant job applications you're sending out.
Even if you're not, just for steady grounding. 

I've just embarked on a new job and felt all heady with the future, so I asked my most sensible no nonsense friend for brunch.
I met Sophie a few times back in the Jacksgap office and I always felt quiet in her presence. 
She was effortlessly cool and it terrified me.
When we went to Ibiza in the summer it all changed. 
Hot summer wind painted our salty skin on a kayak in the middle of the sea, clear crystal water trickling over our legs and a kindred passion exchanged in our eyes. 
Before not too long I'd find excuses to borrow her aloe vera after sun just so we could have time alone to chat.
Sophie really got me and I felt as though she let me really get her. 
It was like falling in love without wanting to touch her and stuff.
It was a friendship unfiltered that I knew even if we wanted to we couldn't ignore when we got home and we never did. 
Her crazy intelligence and emotional strength are now things that merit sunday brunches and it's times like these, in a central London cafe that I know I'm not alone and am wondrously blessed to have people like her perched in my life with a Mimosa in hand. 

We ordered a big ol brunch: avocado and poached egg on toast with brussel sprouts and cranberries (sans bacon as originally listed on the menu) and a Red Mojito for me and a full english and Mojito for Sophster.
You can't feel guilty about a cocktail when it's got carrot, beetroot, ginger etc in it. 

The service was slightly testing, when Sophie asked to change up her full English she was greeted with a bit of a smarmy 'maybe you shouldn't order it.' remark from the waitress, but to be fair I couldn't work out if it actually cut me or if I was cut on the rum. Either way, service was lacking a smile.

Generous portions and exquisite cocktails, I'd say ditch the dinner and head straight for drinks instead. 

'There's no such thing as love, it's just fantasy'

Thursday, 1 January 2015

'There is no such thing as love, it's just fantasy.'
A nonchalant Zoe Deschanel echoed in my ear at a sticky floored Odeon cinema when I was fourteen.
I scribbled it in the back of my school planner thinking it important and as weeks went by it was replaced with initials of boys in the years above and kitsch tumblr pictures of love heart shaped fingers and silhouetted couples.

Shortly after this concept was instiled, a boy would hold my hand on Valentine's Day in that same theatre row that I contemplated the idea of love and a week or so later he'd call to break things off and I'd cry so hard it'd leave me with a nosebleed.
Six months pass and years to come follow and it's a similar routine, this time on a bench in Oaken Grove park and again over Facebook Messenger and again in a university dorm room and again in a car in Weybridge and again on a sofa in East London.
And again, and again until the 'you're a lovely girl, but-'s all transform into a monosyllabic noise that scream a now completely expected numbness through my fingers and lips.
I can recall every time I've convinced myself a drink with someone is the beginning of love and recite each memory I have of uttering 'I love you' under my breath somewhat delusional naked in somebodies bed.
This year I've scribbled love notes and turned up on people's doorsteps, desperate to consolidate in my head that I am the protagonist of my own shit romantic comedy, later to berate and beat myself up when things learn to be unreciprocated.
I am stunned to a freeze how crazed I must've seemed but it was always with such confused and kind intentions at heart that I twisted spontaneity for a naive idiocy.

Zoe Deschanel as Summer Finn had served me a resounding piece of advice that I chose to ignore throughout my heartbroken adolescence and it's only now, at 4:52am on New Year's Day, on a sofa I once balled my eyes out on silently, do I realise the weight of infectious honesty those words could've been.
Fourteen sucked just as much as sixteen did and as badly as nineteen ended up to be, being besotted with someone is often a chore we don't realise we're enduring until it comes to a bitter end and heartache swiftly takes over.
The last year has seen umpteen dates and four short emotional adventures and it exhausted me past a point of understanding why I was constantly traipsing my mind through a never ending labyrinth of relying relentlessly on the fantasy of love with the wrong people (but also wonderful and unsuspecting) instead of focussing wholeheartedly on the things that I love.

It is now that I can lay these shards of lustful nights and listless dinners and place each fragment into a solid understanding of what is actually important.
I don't want to be the dick that tells you to 'invest the love you want from others into yourself from you', but I am going to be that dick and you should.

Seldom do we give ourselves the opportunity to realise the person who ends up picking up the pieces and nourishing our wine stained mistakes is the one who will always love you the most.
Seldom do we give ourselves the opportunity to realise that that person is and will always be you.


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