Leaving London

After nearly five and a half years at the same bank, it was time to leave and take a break over the summer.  It is perfect timing for me to stop work for a few months so I can have some “me time” and be around to spend time with Harvey during the school holidays.  So on June 29th I packed my laptop up for the last time, boarded the train to EC1 and had my last day at work.

I had a leaving drink on the Tuesday of my last week at the Artillery Arms, a very old London pub next to a very interesting graveyard; Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.  Besides being a very tranquil and green space it is the resting place of an estimated 120,000 people including some very well known people: William Blake, Daniel Defoe, John Bunyan and Susannah Wesley.  This interesting place is Grade 1 listed and is well worth a visit.

I liked these words which formed part of a large mosaic near the office.

P1080807P1080806P1080805We definitely need more kindness in the world and I particularly like this.P1080804On my last day, our division held a fund raising event which involved each team dressing up as Disney characters and following clues and taking challenges to go to 5 different pubs.  We went as the Little Green Men from Toy Story.  It was a really fun way to end my time at the company.

I was happy to leave because I am excited about all the things I can do with my spare time and I can easily keep in touch with friends and colleagues.  Who knows, I may even return and work there again one day.

One focus of my time off is, as always, to lose weight and become fitter.  I am doing yoga once a week and I want to increase that and also introduce my own yoga practice at home.  I also want to walk, cycle and swim a lot.  I like swimming and sea swimming is very good for you.

I swam for the first time at West St. Leonards one evening in June.  The sea here is so much clearer and cleaner than I was expecting so it made my ambition to swim as often as possible even easier.IMG_5128On my first Monday at home, I set off to swim, but then realised I wasn’t sure where to go !  There was no one on the beach or in the water and I was anxious about swimming alone.  I walked all the way to Azur in St.Leonards and went in the sea there because there were people on the promenade.  It was exhilarating and I really enjoyed it.  That walk and the walk I did later in the day in Sissinghurst took me to over 20,000 steps which was a great start.IMG_5239

IMG_1953Another day I took Milton and we went to Bulverhythe where dogs are allowed on the beach.  We were the only ones there.IMG_5259The sea was very calm and I did quite a lot of swimming and then enjoyed just sitting there with my faithful hound.IMG_5254Monday this week was my most fun swim, mainly because I had a friend to swim with (Lucy) and also because the waves were very lively so it was great fun.  Can you see the cherries at the bottom of the picture?  I took a box to enjoy on the beach.IMG_5309Rebecca rented a cherry tree in Northiam and we helped her pick it on Friday.  Since then I have eaten lots.  Some fresh and I have also stoned and frozen 3 large bagfulls, made smoothies and 2 litres of cherry brandy!IMG_5307IMG_5308IMG_5334

Thank you Rebecca for sharing so many cherries with us – my favourite fruit.

IMG_5276IMG_5273Some other things I have enjoyed recently were listening to Jeremy Corbyn when he came to visit us in St. Leonards.ED9BD303-A7BA-4122-BC23-977E2C22EAA8Eating kohl rabi which I have been growing.IMG_5243It tastes similar and has a similar consistency to a radish.IMG_5241I have learnt I need to cover the plants with a net because they were rather popular with cabbage white butterflies and their caterpillars!IMG_5242I have ventured back to London a couple of times since leaving work.  I enjoyed a day in Streatham with Michelle, Lucy and Sally.IMG_5236Another day I enjoyed lunch and then a visit to the theatre to see Annie with Lara and Harvey.IMG_5231It was excellent and Miranda Hart was brilliant.IMG_5225My favourite London day recently was with Guy, Rebecca, Ruby and Jake who visited us from New Zealand.  We shopped at some of London’s most famous shops and chilled in Hyde park.  It was wonderful to see them and my only wish is that it could have been for much longer.IMG_5246We met at Harrods and then went to a French restaurant for a very pleasant lunch.  Lara took a day off work to join us which was a bonus.P1080854Lara’s bird phobia was somewhat aggravated by the walk through the park.P1080857P1080858P1080859Lovely lady.P1080862P1080864London does have some lovely shopping spots.P1080872P1080874James and Harvey met us for a Chinese in the evening.  That was a day very well spent.P1080878We have enjoyed another set of visitors from New Zealand this week.  Helen, Henrietta and James are visiting home and we caught up with them at Helen’s Mum Kate’s house as she very kindly put us up for a night. It was brilliant to see them all.  We had a lovely dinner on the Friday (thank you Kate for finding me so much vegan food) and on Saturday enjoyed the All Blacks Vs Lions rugby match, a pub lunch and a walk in nearby woods.  Kate had thoughtfully chosen a pub with an excellent vegan menu; the Fox and Hounds in Shenstone.  The food was really good and we all had a good lunch.P1080886From the pub we walked along the tow path to the woods.P1080891P1080892

IMG_5287What a delightful walk – the woods were beautiful.P1080895P1080897IMG_5291P1080899P1080901P1080904

P1080906As before, we would all have liked to have seen far more of these lovely people.  Thank you Kate and Rob for letting us stay, it was all hugely enjoyable.IMG_5292I hope its not too long before we see you all again.IMG_5296Harvey and I went on from Staffordshire to Derby to stay with Gini.  I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos of Gini and her family !!  We spent Saturday night in Derby which was very lively.  I really enjoyed wandering around Derby on such a warm evening.  We saw the poppies and had a drink at Hide where we could sit outside.P1080909This is part of the bigger display that was originally based at the Tower of London.P1080910We had a FAB-U-LOUS vegan meal in the Post House which is a great concept; various foodie places surround a central seating area so you can all order from different places and sit and eat (and drink !) together.  The pakora was one of the best things I have eaten and the entire meal was amazing.  I had the bean chilli with homemade nachos and the pakoras.IMG_5297It was such a warm evening we sat out until the small hours, under this huge fig tree in Gini’s garden.IMG_5301We had cherries and apricots for breakfast.IMG_5298With roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts and avocado on sourdough.  All very delicious.IMG_5303I had a completely amazing week, catching up with some of my very dearest friends and both my God-daughters. I have, as usual, eaten and drunk too much so having got home, I have resolved (again !!!) to do better.

I had a very long drive home from Derbyshire but what a lovely sunset I enjoyed from my house when I got there.IMG_5305IMG_5304I have eaten better this week but not done enough exercise.  I took the dogs to the beach at Bulverhythe on Tuesday morning but we didn’t walk far as there were too many smells for them to enjoy so I enjoyed the views and planned a long list of chores to get through this week.

Strange to see so many clouds after so much recent sunshine.IMG_5318IMG_5317IMG_5324IMG_5325This was rather a long post but I seem to have had a lot to say !





About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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1 Response to Leaving London

  1. laura1952 says:

    Zoe I wish you all the best in your weight release goals, your yoga, your exercise, your way of eating healthy and everything you deserve.

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