I have a beautiful blog and blogger to introduce to you today (if you don't know her already!) - Lisa from Not Quite Enough. I've chatted with Lisa at a couple of events, and I can tell you that she's as interesting, intelligent and lovely as she seems. Being a fellow Londoner, I go to her blog for restaurant inspiration, to quench my wanderlust in and outside of the UK, and to admire her photography - she takes gorgeous photos. So much to admire about Lisa - I'll let her take it away with our Q&A!
1 :: Please introduce yourself and your blog to us! What do you like to write about, what made you start, and what's behind the blog name?
I’m Lisa and I write about pretty much anything that interests me, mostly that means food, London, travel and whatever else I get up to in my spare time. I use the term ‘lifestyle’ amongst the blogging community but I fear that the term suggests I believe that the way I live my life is worth sharing. In reality there are definitely cool things worth writing about but to be honest, my life is mostly about trying to control my unruly hair and not let people down.
I started blogging about two years ago to motivate me to do more with my life. I’ve probably always had this fear that I’m not quite enough, that I should be learning more and doing more and doing more. I’ve read blogs for as long as I can remember and thought it might be a good way to document what I was getting up to, partly so I could put my photography to use, partly as a kind of diary and way to look back and partly to share my experiences.
2 :: One of the many things I admire about you, is how you manage to explore different parts of the UK. I'm guilty of not travelling a whole lot within the country, so I would love to know your favourite places here aside from London.
This is tough. I will always have a soft spot for Sheffield, having been to university there, especially as it was at the time the Arctic Monkeys came to prominence (at least outside of an S postcode anyway), it felt like there was a real buzz in the city at the time. I need to pay another visit to Sheffield soon.
I love Stratford-upon-Avon for a Shakespearean theatre break but also fell for Norwich on a recent weekend away. I hope to continue to see lots more of England, it’s all too easy to think that you have to go abroad for holidays or breaks but there’s so much right here on our doorsteps that’s amazing.
3 :: You have a demanding day job, and manage to work hard on your blog and make it brilliant. Do you have any tips on how you juggle your time and motivation?
Haha, absolutely none. I mostly spend my time trying to do everything and generally fail at juggling it all. I always feel like I need about six more hours every day, probably to sleep, I need a lot of sleep and never get enough. I mostly get through the day with lots of tea. So I suppose a constant stream of caffeine is what keeps me going and at least believing I might be able to do it all.
4 :: I love that you're a fellow London foodie! Give us 3 recommendations - one high end, one casual, and one "fast food" type.
I’m an East London girl (I think after four years here I can say that now) and so my recommendations are all going to be based in the East, not because there isn’t delicious food everywhere else but because I love supporting my area.
High end - Typing Room - based in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, this is delicious high end food without pretension or too high a price tag (especially if you go for lunch).
Casual - Jones and Sons - with two branches in Dalston and Haggerston, this is a firm favourite for solid British dining.
‘Fast food’ - DF Mexico - Wahaca’s little cooler sister, it’s ideal for a quick weeknight after work dinner and definitely won’t break the bank.
5 :: You also get up to so many interesting and inspiring adventures around the city. If someone was visiting and you wanted to show them around the highlights for the day, what would that look like?
Obviously it would depend on the day and the weather but I love Columbia Road Flower Market for an early Sunday morning shop for fresh flowers and breakfast, then probably a trip to Greenwich, a stroll through the Old Naval College and a walk up the hill there as the panoramic view across London is incredible. Then maybe a trip by boat back to the city as London from the river is lovely, then maybe time spent checking out street art before dinner and drinks.
6 :: What do you find most challenging about blogging? Are you private about it amongst non-blogger friends, or encourage others to join the club?
Probably the most challenging thing is that I never have enough time to do what I want with it. For example, I’ve been meaning to create a blog roll page of all my favourite bloggers for ages but just have never found the time to do it. I need to find time at some point.
I am super private about it and other than my boyfriend, I haven't told anyone about it. If any of my friends and family have stumbled across it they haven't 'fessed up. I suppose I'm worried they'll think it's silly or mock it. For a while I did contemplate keeping it very anonymous with no photos of me and using a different name, but I realised that the blogs I love the most are those that, without being super narcissistic, allow you to feel like you know the person behind the blog and that's really hard to do when remaining completely hidden behind a screen. I don't feature friends and family on the blog though as it's not fair to put up photos and details of someone on the open internet without their full consent (and that would mean telling them!).
7 :: As well as around the UK, you travel abroad often. If you could visit one of those places again, where would it be? And which country/city is at the top of your travel wishlist?
Oh you are making this difficult, only one? I suppose it would have to be Tokyo, I went for work last year got to see a little bit of the city but with very long working days (I seriously got an average of three and a half hours sleep a night – for a week) I didn't get to see anywhere near as much as I know it has to offer.
As for the top of my wishlist, I really want to visit Thailand but I’m struggling to convince my boyfriend that it isn’t full of drunken backpacking idiots. I might have to play on his love of Thai food.
8 :: You take stunning photographs - I wish I could take a few lessons from you! How did you learn, and do you have any basic tips that you could share?
Thank you. My family has always been a photo taking family and my mum has albums full of photos that follow me and my sister from birth right up until now but I really have my boyfriend to blame for it becoming more than just taking a few snaps on holiday. We went on our first holiday as a couple back in 2010 (to Venice – it snowed) and he saw how much I enjoyed taking photos on my little pink Nikon Coolpix point and shoot so for my birthday I few months later bought me my first DSLR. I had absolutely no idea how to use it properly and so booked myself onto a course designed to get me off Auto to allow me a bit more control over my photos. From then on I was hooked, spending money on lenses and generally doing all the things that first time DSLR users do (shaped bokeh, long exposures etc). I actually dread to think how much I've spent on photography over the past five years, but I enjoy it and my boyfriend just about tolerates the monster he created!
My biggest advice to anyone would be to know your camera, seriously sit down and read the instruction manual, even the most basic cameras often have really cool features that you'd never know about if you dodn't properly take the time to learn about them.
9 :: You're going to a desert island, and you can take 1 DVD, 1 CD and 1 book with you. What are they?
Gilmore Girls season 1 would be my DVD - TV perfection. I’d take all of them if I could though!
I’m not that big of a music fan so I’d struggle to pick one CD that I felt worthy of desert island status. If I couldn’t swap the CD for a book on survival, then I’d probably end up taking a compilation CD of cheesy tunes to cheer me up when island life got a bit tough or lonely.
For my one book, I’d have to cheat a bit and go with the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake. Titus Groan and Gormenghast are masterful pieces of gothic literature. Titus Alone shouldn’t ever be read by any lover of the first two but it’s necessary to get the first two under the one book rule.
10 :: How would you describe yourself in three words, and how do you think your closest friends and family would describe you in three words?
I’d probably say independent, loyal and a lyrical-gangster.
My mum has described me (with love) as ‘prickly’ before. My boyfriend would probably say ‘single-minded’ and I’m not sure about my friends, maybe ‘driven’.
I hope you enjoyed reading this Q&A as much as I did - I got to know Lisa a little better through this myself, so it was a pleasure to "interview" her!
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