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Amanda Goes to England, Vol. 3: 11 May 2014

After I starred in the film “Sleepless in Tunbridge Wells,” I had to get to the train station as early as possible in order to go through with plans I had for the day. When I told Tony that I’d been awake all night, he asked what I’d been doing that whole time. “I just waited.” Here’s the thing, and it might sound strange, in an “is this something that happens to you enough that it’s really a thing?” sort of way, but: when I crash at a friend’s house, I tend to wake up before the friend does (due to my aforementioned flaw of being “bad at sleeping.”) So I’m used to waiting for friends to wake up. At least the situation that morning was that I had to go to the train station early on, and my “waiting” didn’t have me killing time by myself in a friend’s house until noon! (that has happened to me before, for real…multiple times.)

Fuzzy morning, waiting to go back to London

I didn’t miss the train back to London this time, since I got one of the first trains of the morning! I appreciated that Tony got up that early on a Sunday to take me to the station. I hope he got to have a nice lie-in after I left!

The morning got pretty hectic from there. I had to hop a train back to London, temporarily check out of the hostel so I could check into a different room that night (in the same hostel,) and make it out to Kayla’s end of London. The lack of sleep had me feeling incredibly ill.

Waiting at the Tunbridge Wells train station for the next train to London

 To give you an insight into my state of mind that morning, here’s an actual quote taken from an email I sent my sister:

I wished so badly that I could fall over and sleep on the train ride. I sat at a table (with four seats to it,) hoping I could rest my weary head. Nope, two men sit down promptly and start having THE most boring conversation about sports. I was like “take me now, God!” I just clutched my 36 count box of Jaffa Cakes,  occasionally eating one (as I didn’t know when I would get my first meal of the day,) and staring out the window because the table had me in close proximity to these boring men in bad suits, and I had no desire for eye contact. I am sure I looked like a nutter.

I was feeling like a sleep-deprived drama queen, apparently.

I made it to the hostel about twenty minutes before check out time. Meaning that’s all the time I had to pack my things up, put some of it in a locker (and manage to break the key card they gave me for the locker,) freshen up, change clothes, and get to my girl Kayla! Actually, I had a bit of a delay getting to the hostel. As I was standing at a crosswalk across from the Tube station, the tiniest old lady asked if I’d help her cross. I took her hand, she said “Your hands are cold?” I said yes, and continued to help her cross the street. It was really cute!

Leaving Swiss Cottage to get to Kayla

I navigated my way to Kayla, told her that I’d had a rough morning, that I was choosing to hit the “reset” button on my day, and that I wanted to put all the those hurdles behind me. Rebooting my day worked! Due in large part to the lovely Kayla and starting our day together with brunch at a local haunt called Banner’s. Pancakes and coffee, all around! Kayla had recently moved to the city from Merstham, where she’d lived last time I was in the country. She caught me up on all the amazing things happening her life. Coffee and pancakes make for the BEST catch-up session.



This was the coldest day during my England 2014 trip. Kayla definitely needed to wrap her hands around that hot cup of coffee!

Condiments at Banner’s. I still haven’t tried HP sauce.

Very “attractive” photo of my pancakes and eggs, midway through eating them.

Kayla took me on a walking tour of Crouch End (including highlighting where certain parts of Shaun of the Dead were filmed.) We went up to “Ally Pally” (or Alexandra Palace, its proper name.)

Alexandra Palace

I had to stop and take pictures of a couple of purple things while we were walking

I LOVE Kayla’s new digs! Things are really coming together with the ‘Kayla’ touch.


K makes the prettiest and tastiest iced bickies! If you are in the London area, you should hire Southern Belle Bakes for your baked goodies.



We actually did a fair amount of walking around the ‘hood. Good walks, good talks.

I don’t know enough about British autos to know what this is, but I do know it’s SWANK.

Senior picture!

Photo of a church that I don’t remember taking, so I don’t know its name

Kayla is the best. She’s not only a fun girl, but she makes me feel so at ease. That is important because, in 2012 and this time, she happened to be the person I was around whilst having an emotional time in England! I think I underestimate the impact of flying so far, fitting so much into the first weekend, and being in surroundings in which I’m not uncomfortable but which are out of the norm for me. Hopefully next time I visit, I will have gotten some sleep before I see Kayla and won’t have a cleansing cry while telling her something traumatic that happened ten years ago. I think I owe her girls’ night out next time! Or at least an afternoon hitting up cute bakeries and vegetarian restaurants. NO TEARS!

(Thanks so much for being awesome, Kayla ♥)

Photos taken with Olympus XA, Yashica-Mat, Konica Big Mini 201, and Nikon EM


One comment on “Amanda Goes to England, Vol. 3: 11 May 2014

  1. Because of my “attention deficet”, (mostly),Amanda is allowing me to view her England blog, and photography, in increments.When I finished today’s assignment, I insisted that the word awesome is becoming too overused.and too commonplace. so I wanted a new word. The new word is AWE-INSPIRING!

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