Autumn Days in London




I have finally managed to grab a few hours to edit personal photos of my adventures across the pond. My posting on this blog has been sporadic to say the least, reasons explained a little further down. I’m really hoping that going into the new year, I can start posting more regularly. Even once a week?


Back to my London trip, it had been six years since we packed our few meagre belongings and moved to Dubai to set up a new life, make a home out of a house and build our family. When I left London at that time, there were only feelings of excitement and anticipation of new horizons.


I did not harbour any feelings of sadness or regret upon leaving this city of cobbled pavements, buildings shrouded in years of history or the fickle weather that changed without a moments notice. But as they say, the grass always appears greener over the fence.


With time, I have grown to miss London- the seasons, nature, walking through quaint alleyways, watching elderly couples in cafes huddled over a cup of tea served in vintage crockery, that crisp cold air that almost feels like drinking a cup of sparkling water that has just been corked.


I yearned to wear layers of woollen sweaters and to wrap myself in the warmest scarves. Knee high boots and cozy sheepskin gloves. That is what I was looking forward to as I arrived in beautiful London. To show Maryam and Hassan the other side of the coin.


London did not disappoint. This trip of less than two weeks allowed me to make memories that couldn’t be made whilst living there for nearly seven years. It allowed me to find joy in the distressed grey buildings that I once found morbid, to tingle in the cold wind that forced me to stay indoors in the past, capture the myriad of tones of orange and red and gold and yellow in a single tree that I had never even noticed before. How could I not have.


How could I have never fed walnuts to a squirrel at the park? Or visited a farm? Or gone apple picking? Or listened carefully to the crunch of the leaves under my boots? Or walked down the cobbled streets of London without any aim or destination?


London was amazing, it was good to us. Bright blue skies, an exciting chill in the air and carpets upon upon carpets of rustic leaves. Maryam was enthralled. Rightly so. As was I.


We spent our days revelling as tourists. Maryam particularly enjoyed the Duck Tour of London. Feeding the ducks was quite an experience. She was unsure about them to begin with but before long, they were eating out of her hand. ‘It feels ticklish Mummy,’ giggling as she came back to grab more bread. Over and over.


One thing I was most excited about was visiting flea markets to pick up unique vintage items for the kitchen. I cannot believe I had never visited them before. I could spend hours, no days, there. Beautifully worn in just the right areas. I was in heaven.


Our trip ended on a high as Maryam visited her first animal farm. The heavens poured and there was a chill in the air. It didn’t dampen our spirits and the landscape appeared dark shades of green, grey and blue. ‘Will there be cows and Shaun the Sheep?’ Oh yes, indeed. And more.


She fed the horses and baby sheep and counted the eggs in the chicken barn. Held the baby hamsters and sat on her first tractor. There were many firsts for her on this trip. Her first pumpkin, her first rain boots, her first umbrella, her first trip to the circus. More about that in another post though. 


It was also MY first holiday I have taken with my parents since nearly twelve years. It was so good to spend time with family, my sister Zara and Abbas. They welcomed us into their home warmly and treated us to a magical experience that is London.


We cannot wait to go back. Wimbledon, fresh strawberries with double cream, dewy grass, ice cream cones with Flake 99. Summer awaits us next year and we are excited from now.

And why I’ve been posting much less….Well, I’m photographing a cookbook. It’s exciting times for me. I have been pouring all my time, creativity and effort behind this project. There’s only a week left and I can’t wait tot share the results with you early next year.

Last picture taken on Instagram


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Comments (17)

  • Avatar

    Rosa's Yummy Yums

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    Lovely clicks! The animals are so well captured… It looks like you had a great time there.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply

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    Radhika @ Just Homemade

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    Beautiful! Can see through your pictures, you've had a great vacation in London Sukaina..
    Congratulations! On the cookbook project and More exciting times in the new year!

    Reply

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    Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings

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    I love your London travel photos!!! I, too, miss London…I've never lived there, but I always enjoy visiting the city. When our 3 kids are older, hopefully, I can show them what I love most about London ๐Ÿ™‚ And your food photos…so tantalizing! I love them!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Suzanne Perazzini

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    I love the photos of your gorgeous children and that squirrel is super cute.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Alexandra

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    What a declaration of love to London in photos and words! Beautiful.

    Reply

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    Kulsum@journeykitchen

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    beautiful indeed! Such bright, clear and crisp weather, really contrasting the grey dull winter as I peek out of the window. Many congratulations Sukaina – I did guess the news looking at your tweets but now that its official – I can't tell you how excited I'm for you! YAY!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    thelittleloaf

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    Gorgeous photos and HUGE congratulations on the book! So happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

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    Anonymous

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    I went through the same that you did: I left London ago, glad to move to Dubai, and dreaming of much sunshine, a more relaxed pace of life, and an something different. After five years in Dubai, I yearn for London. My friends here tell me I'm crazy to go back. "There's the financial crisis, you'll struggle finding a job. And even if you do, the salaries are much lower, here you earn tax free money. And let's not forget the perennially uncertain weather!". That might well be so, but I miss beautiful London; I miss the museums, the galleries, the theatres, the opera, the wonderful restaurants, the diversity of people and cultures; the energy; the vibe; the parks; the nature; and so much more. London is an amazing city, in a league of its own. What I have learned during my years in Dubai is that all that is much, much more valuable than any tax free salary.
    Thanks for sharing this blog, it helped me much in my decision making process – I can't wait to go back to London! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

  • Avatar

    thelittlebite.com

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    Beautiful pictures! I've always dreamed of visiting London and England. Hopefully someday soon!

    Congrats on the cookbook shoot!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Louise Cook

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    I lived on Portabello Rd for 9 years and made some wonderful friends before I returned to the States. I live in CA now so there's no perceptible change of seasons. I have to admit I hated the freezing cold winters but miss the Spring and the Fall. I miss my British friends with their wry sense of humor, I miss London. And getting sick on the Eye ;)). You visited the Eye, did you not? Adorable children.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    jehanne@thecookingdoctor

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    Is hare the same feelings as we only moved out of London last year, and miss the place like crazy now, despite all the moans and groans of horrible weather when we were living tjere. Your pics bring back lots of wonderful memories, Sukaina.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    chilliandmint.com

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    So glad to see that you all enjoyed the duck tour! Lovely photography by the way. best Torie

    Reply

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    MoonFaCe

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    I am just in owe of your photography. You just take the most beautiful pictures that I wish I had taken them. Glad you had a great time. I always wished to visit London and your pictures only made me more eager. Congratulations on the cookbook your photographing. I am sure it will be filled with admiring photos.

    Reply

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    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

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    Maryam and Hassan look like they were having a great time they are all smiles. What a great shot of that squirrel by the way, too cute!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    mycookinghut

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    Lovely photos! Looks like you had a great time in London!!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Anonymous

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