No time more than now have I realised how important friends are in our lives. The people we surround ourselves with do more than fill our time with activities and conversations – they literally mould and shape who we are. Going through tricky times, our friends (if they are our true friends) are always a phone call away or a ‘come over and I’ll make you dinner tonight’ message on your phone. I properly met Ailsa at the beginning of this university year; somehow we were brought together through a reading group in a module we both struggled with (this totally helped us bond) and decided we’d both embark on a university English trip to Amsterdam. By the end of this uni year, we are closer than ever and have amazing plans for the future together.
I also believe that friends inspire you and encourage you to do those things that you’ve been putting off or didn’t even realise were your goals. Never was it my intention to create a blog – I’d been a die-hard Instagram fan for years and couldn’t grasp the concept of blogging as it seemed like a ridiculously confusing and complicated thing to do. Nevertheless, I’d always wanted to be creative and share my thoughts and ideas through words and visual images and Ailsa’s blog Common Toff showed me how rewarding that can be.
Inspired by her drive and power to create an outlet for her creativity, I finally bit the bullet and made my own blog. In turn, the other day Ailsa thanked me for properly introducing her to the power of Instagram and that’s when I realised any kind of relationship is a transaction – that sounds really business-like, but I don’t mean it like that. What I mean is you both have to support each other, inspire, comfort, discuss, experience. Friends are actually amazing because, no matter what happens, they will never leave your life. Even if sometimes time and space can drift you apart, there is always the ability to reconnect. We’ve both even learnt together that social media has had the power to connect us to lots of other wonderful people who share the same drive to capture and illustrate their experiences online.
So, in true Ailsa & Elise fashion, we took to our university city of Birmingham for a relaxed morning out. We love our brunches, as you can probably tell from our numerous brunch-inspired Instagram pictures, and so began the day with an incredible spread at Madcup (a blog post to come soon on this little foodie haven, which has quickly become a favourite). We devoured acai bowls and pancakes before heading into the city centre to explore a modern art gallery.
Ikon is an amazing small gallery which exhibits different artists, constantly rotating their body of work so that every time you visit, there is something new to see. In our case, we saw and experienced some incredible work by Oliver Beer which married sound with visual three-dimensional and filmic art. I especially loved his filmography – there were detailed close-ups of human faces and hands that made you feel uncomfortably close and intimate with the distressing emotion that was being portrayed.
We finished our morning with a cup of tea at the gallery’s café Yorks, sat looking out of the window and discussing what we had experienced in the exhibition. I sipped on warm peppermint tea, whilst Ailsa opted for one labeled ‘champagne’ – it certainly looked fancy.
We decided to team up and take some outfit pictures of our matching blue and white Spring to Summer nautical looks. This month, I am obsessed with gingham. I think it is perfect for the erratic British weather, as it injects a summery care-free feel, whilst not being floral or too bold for the cloudier and rainier days (this day began sunny and then in true English style, water fell from the sky). This skirt is stretchy and comfy to wear and the ruffle down the front gives it some flare and makes it a bit different. I felt like a salsa dancer wearing it, and I felt like the shape was very flattering.
I paired the skirt, which was the focal piece of my outfit, with a simple white crop top and some faux leather Birkenstock-style black sandals from Topshop which I bought a few years ago. I also carried a beautiful little shoulder bag which I found in Venice, Italy and wore a simple silver necklace I got from etsy, which I never take off.
It was a lovely morning out, shared with an amazing young woman who I truly appreciate and I am so happy to say is my friend. I think we are lucky to be able to have friendships that share qualities like this one, so go out there and find the people who get genuinely excited when they see you are excited and are happy when you are happy, or thank those that you already have. Those friends really do care.
Check out Ailsa’s blog for her own discussion on friendship and to find out all her beautiful blue and white outfit details.
Until next time,