Why a Q&A section? Why about North Kensington?
Well, firstly because I want to share with you the faces, the smiles and the places that make London my home. Secondly, because I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and get out there and conduct interviews to know more about these faces. As a freelance writer, we sit at home quietly with our keypads and cups of coffee or we are sitting down on a café eavesdropping on a stranger’s conversation. Don’t get me wrong. I love doing it but as an introvert, I need to push myself and engage more with those who surround me. Maybe they have a story to tell. Or maybe because I wore them down to doing this interview and they just want to get it done soon. Either way here goes a picture painted in words of my neighbourhood and all of my favourite spots/people to talk to, to buy groceries from, to have brunch, to get my laundry done, to buy my magazines or to discuss the weather whilst our dogs are sniffing each other’s asses. Thank you for making me feel so welcome in this big city.
The first victim of Tatiana Daily is Rui Mendes, who lives in North Kensington, and who apparently is my husband as well. We need to start from somewhere and he wouldn’t say no or else he would sleep in Ja’Crispy’s bed (if he would let him in). Rui moved into London one month before I did in January 2014. He works as a business analyst at a French bank and I still don’t know the exact details of what he does. He tries to explain but I just fall asleep midway his explanation. But definitely, serious stuff going on there. He is from Lisbon in Portugal and lives in north Kensington. And loves it.
Q: How did you end up here?
A: You are the one to blame, actually! Cutting a long story short, I got a job proposal in London and my crazy wife said “Yes, let’s go! Just need to pack my warm clothes and send my resignation letter. Life is too short to miss these opportunities…”. From there I did an intensive research on apartments to let within a certain price range in a certain range of areas and of we came to London for a weekend of endless apartment visits. Our apartment now was the first one we visited. You fell in love with it. I said “No. We need to see more…”. You got pissed. Three hundred and seventy-three visits later it was our favourite. I did an offer. It had been already let. You got even more pissed. But luckily the next day another apartment got available and that was it. North Kensington, we have arrived. And so far, so good. If the wife is happy, I am happy.
Q: What do you love most at North Kensington?
A: The variety of nationalities, social classes, and cultures. Feeling safe in the streets. Waking up, throwing on the first sweater I could pick up and just cross the road and have the best brunch ever. And then coming back home to our sofa, without putting my feet on the tube. Having the best shops around to buy groceries, enabling us to support a healthy and balanced diet as in Portugal. Or even better!
Q: What could be improved?
A: I don’t have much to complain about but maybe the cleanliness of the streets sometimes. If you have a dog, just pick up his sh*t. It’s that easy. Apart from that, I am pretty happy with Sadiq.
Q: What is your favourite spot to go to?
A: Hum, that’s a difficult one. I have so many favourite places to go. I know you are going to cover all of them at Tatiana Daily soon so I can probably say the Lisboa Delicatessen at Golborne Road. Because it warms my soul as soon as I hear people speaking Portuguese. And because I can buy Portuguese products like dried cod or beer (that’s more for you!).
Q: Would you recommend living in North Kensington? And why?
A: Yes, definitely! After we moved in, we had a couple more of our friends from Portugal moving into the area as well. Some of our best friends live just across the road! That’s the best way to describe how we love living here and how good the area is. Safety, availability of stores, easy access to transports, good schools, friendly people and Portobello Road.