Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Sunday Stroll Revisited

Sunday we went for a stroll around Spitalfields Market. The old market is being redeveloped so all the stalls are crushed into a much smaller space and it seems that tourists have joined the londoners, soon I suspect it will be as unbearable as Camden Lock. There are still a few of the designer shops hanging round and some stalls of own designed work but also a few of the more commercial market traders are creeping in.

When we tired of the crowds we cut down through Hanbury Street, passed Absolute Vintage and through the back entrance of the Old Truman Brewery. Went into the shops all along this sort of arcade and criss crossed Brick Lane into their second hand designs style clothes shops. Wandered along Cheshire Street at around closing looking at the neat little parade of old fashioned shop fronts. Ogled a couple of windows and went into Labour & Wait because it was open and it was selling all sorts of house and garden stuff that we remembered from our 70s childhoods - particular sort of broom with a yellow handle and red tips on the brush end, ostrich feather dusters that wouldn't look out of place on a carnival headdress, gardening gloves made of cream leather, apple peeler & corker, balls of brown twine...

Today I did a dash around the same route running from Old Street across the bottom end of Spitalfields across to Hanbury Street to drop into the end of an exhibition to collect the fabulous brown and black leather boa that I bought from Anne Ogazi of Warped. It was a love at first sight purchase, possibly impractical but certainly divine.

I love this area for its old brown brick houses, with their original shop fronts and old signs. Sagging but many of them lovingly restored. We once visited the Dennis Severs House (18 Folgate Street) at Christmas - a re-enactment of a House and its inhabitants, the residents rush in or dart out, left behind is the smell of baking or candles burning or cloves. Made you want to drink mulled wine and sit by an open fire wrapped in a shawl reading a long tongue-twisting victorian novel where the hero can't marry the heroine until he has made something of himself and therefore has something more to offer her than himself, despite the fact she is in love with him from the moment they meet.

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