An exploration of the Usual Shopping possibilities of London. Up West to Portobello on the Friday; pretty much as it’s ever been, with some interesting rummaging and reasonable prices on the on-street stalls towards Ladbroke Grove, no purchases but pleasurable looking. Broadway Market on the Saturday; very much the hang-out for Hackney hipsters, and somewhat smug, but good food stalls and again, some good poking-around on the flea market stalls scattered around in various courtyards within the vicinity; no purchases, but an enjoyable expedition (apart from the theft of D’s bike saddle: Hackney’s not that gentrified yet).
Sunday, first stop Columbia Road for the flower market – a wonderful spectacle with everyone buying Christmas trees and festive greenery, though antiques shops weren’t my bag – and then a long-time favourite, Brick Lane. Still varied and of mixed quality (and indeed, provenance of wares, I suspect), but then that’s all part of the fun; this is probably the nearest London comes these days to the likes of El Rastro in Madrid, if not on the scale or to the standard of the Paris flea markets or as charming as the San Telmo market, Buenos Aires (tango orchestras. Dancing in the streets). Still, no purchases.
As ever, it’s the less glamorous and well-known locations which generally prove the most fruitful, and it came good at a small car boot sale in a school car park off the Stoke Newington Road. Ben Sherman ‘Plectrum’ shirt for D, £2, and for me, a black and white jug (50p) which amused me because it looks like a penguin. It’s pictured here next to my Christmas present from Maria M, a little glazed earthenware jug which, thanks to a red glow just below its waistline, looks like a robin.
Had a comment the other day from an Aussie Usual Shopper, a blogger after my own heart (hello!); she calls it “pickin'”. Nice term. Wishing y’all rich pickin’s in your treasure-hunting.