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Weekday in Nottingham

March 16, 2017


Hat Brixton Jacket Realm & Empire T-shirt Kooples Trousers ASOS Trainers Converse

Photography by Natalie Jade Reading

We’re halfway through March and I have no idea where this year is going. Since September, it’s been one blur of travel, work and just taking it week by week. This approach has seen me get to March relatively unscathed, happy with how freelancing is going and feeling upbeat about what’s to come for the rest of the year.

What keeps things fresh and exciting is putting aside dates to get away from a desk and head out, however far or near. Sometimes even the shortest of trips can be just as enjoyable.

As I’ve said before, Nottingham is so close and switches things up a little from the norm. New places engage you to take in what’s around you. You’re out of your normal cycle and you’re looking down the streets away from the main road and looking up from your phone.

I headed to Cartwheel for a much-needed coffee and I’ve slowly started to put together a list of places I want to visit in New York. I said at the start of the year I wanted to travel there and although I’ll be heading out on my own, I think it’ll be such a cool experience.

The transition from walking around Nottingham, to getting work done was seamless.

Keeping things easy while being on the move is my AER backpack from One Endeavour. Their aim is to bring together the best of the independents and the AER is certainly up there. It just has a zip where there needs to be one. One for the main compartment, one on top for smaller items and then one on the front shell for easy access. It allowed me to have my camera within reach at all times and my laptop protected in a separate sleeve. The transition from walking around Nottingham, to getting work done was seamless.

When on foot and outside there was definitely a feeling of spring. This week has seen me replace heavier coats for lighter options, like this one from Realm & Empire. Worn with a simple Kooples piece, grey ASOS trousers and black Converse, it made for an easy outfit, which wasn’t eye grabbing, but certainly appropriate for a day of warmer weather.

This post is sponsored by One Endeavour. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue to create content.


Finding balance in London

March 9, 2017


Hat Brixton Coat Urban Outfitters Jumper Norse Projects Trousers Topman Trainers Common Projects

Almost every week, I find myself heading to London for meetings and each time I leave knowing a little more about the city. Whether it’s a cool coffee spot that my 10am was at, or just a nice side street that I’ve walked down to get to my next meeting, London keeps showing me more of itself. Though for all these meetings and trips to the city, I’ve forgotten parts of London that make it so great.

My routine in London consists of meetings from morning through to early evening and grabbing a quick bite to eat before heading back to Leicester. I want to upset this a little. There’s more to London than meetings and relying on coffee to get me through to the end of the day.

What helps me add more to my trips is when I’m able to stay overnight. My last stopover was with hub and this time, I wanted to make sure I found balance in my stay. I know I have work to do, but it’s also important to carve a couple hours out of the day to do something new. Located at Tower Bridge, I was able to make the most of the extra time I had in the city. Hub’s location meant that I was a short distance from anywhere. Head East, go into Soho, I had the choice of being anywhere across London in no time at all.

The room was pretty much spot on. It always comes down to the bed and I think the fact I slept through my alarm is telling. Outside the window was the second best thing about the room, the view. The Shard was there, staring right back at me (room 606 for those wanting the same view). With all the tech bits that come along with staying at the hub – controlling the lights and temperature through a phone app – I was able to enjoy a hassle free room.


Photography by Joe Galvin and Matthew Pike

With all my meetings finished up on the day of my stay, the morning was left to see friends. After a cinnamon bagel and some emails in the room, Joe and myself met up for breakfast no.2 at Grind. This is a perfect example of finding balance. We’re the first to admit we don’t hangout often and that’s because both of us are working constantly. It’s important to dedicate time to seeing friends. With the weather in London transitioning towards spring we headed east, taking a couple photos along the financial district, Leadenhall Market, Spitalfields and Brick Lane. Joe’s blog post does a good job of following us on this little walk and captures the light beautifully.

“It was a real luxury to be positioned in an area where I could work, travel to meetings and play tourist for an afternoon”

For some reason, The Tate has always escaped me and the bonus is that it’s across the bridge from hub. In both the Boiler House and Switch House there were airy spaces within and between installations. At times, I found myself appreciating the light and shadows that were being created in the space, rather than the contents in the room. The Tate made for a perfect backdrop for conversation as you find yourself going from floor to floor.

It was a real luxury to be positioned in an area where I could work, have meetings and play tourist. Being reminded of how much there is to see in London was refreshing. Soon I want to dedicate a weekend to explore without the guilt of work commitments. It’s important to appreciate where you’re visiting. Do as much as you can to get a feel for the place, even if you’re there for work. Take the scenic route, walk where you haven’t and discover something new.

This post is created in partnership with hub, but my views on London and finding balance are my own.


The flexibility of freelance

February 24, 2017


Overcoat eBay Knitwear Percival Trousers Initial Fashion Trainers Common Projects Tote bag Carhartt wip

The freedom freelancing gives you means it allows opportunities to travel and work anywhere. When I was coming to the end of my degree, I considered different career paths and there wasn’t a job that excited me. But the idea that I could go anywhere and work (as long as I have my laptop and camera) did and is something that excites me every time I open up my laptop. Being able to dictate where, when and how long I work for suits me perfectly.

Nottingham is a short journey away and for a couple days I met up with Mat to spend time meeting a few of the creatives that keep the city ticking over. Going to a new city is great. Finding the independent stores and cafes that really make a city individual. Luckily for Nottingham there’s plenty of these spots. As a freelancer, they make it easy to get more done on the road before seeing what’s next on the to-do list. Our first coffee hangout was over at Outpost Coffee to get some thoughts down using the Bellroy notebook. I’d also recommend checking out Cartwheel if you’re in the area.

With some freelance work done and a blog improvement chat with Mat – we’re both redesigning our websites – we then headed to Universal Works, Rough Trade and Aesop. Universal Works is offering solid menswear pieces to Nottingham and we even headed to the UW offices the next day to see what’s in the pipeline for the future.


Photography by Matthew Pike

We also visited designers, Lane, located in Primary Studios, friends Ian and Felicity from Campbell Cole and Norm from Waste Studio whose work might be familiar to those who checked out Realm & Empire from my trip to Brighton.

Doing what I do puts me in a very privileged position to be able to have interesting conversations with the people that make the brands what they are. It’s important to me to try and meet the people behind the emails and Instagram accounts and make real connections. Only then do I feel I’m able to get a real understanding of a brand. It helps me learn what work has gone into a product and learn information that gets left off press releases. It also means by the end of the campaign I end up working for friends rather than ‘just another job’.

Having the ability to work wherever is handy. You only need a pen, notebook and cardholder to get things moving.

As a freelance writer, I’m in charge of where I am and when. To make sure everything gets done, I’ll plan ahead on the Sunday evening before the week begins. Take this week for example. Knowing I was going to be away, it meant assigning what needed to be done on my weekly to-do list. I save this on my laptop in order to try and stay organised and free up some headspace. So on Monday’s list it included packing in the evening to make sure I had my essentials, including my cardholder and key cover.

For sometime now I’ve been using a cardholder instead of a wallet. It’s a lot more practical and helps prevent receipts from building up. It’s all part of trying to stay as organised as possible by staying on top of small tasks like clutter. I don’t want to be pulling out last month’s train tickets and invalid passes while looking for my card. I’m always recommending them to friends and they honestly keep things light for short trips.

Having the ability to work wherever is handy. You only need a pen, notebook and cardholder to get things moving. The latter to pay for the caffeine fuel that is customary when working to freelance deadlines. Time to recharge, spend some time behind the desk and start planning the next trip.


This post is in partnership with Bellroy, although my views on visiting new cities, how useful cardholders are and my joy in meeting new people are all my own.