Monday, September 08, 2008

Back Track

I need to back up a little and talk about London and let you see what I found at Portobello Market and Camden Market and Spitalfields. Its a short 45 minute flight from Amsterdam and the Paddington express train is alot easier to manuever since its in English. And the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow is downright amazing - first class shopping and huge video screens. I know - who blogs about airport terminals? The store, Paul Smith had some great displays, including a vintage looking girls dress made from maps. Way cool. And of course, I thought, I can do that...

As soon as I could, I dumped my luggage and headed for Portobello market, which was about 10 blocks away. It was full of life, interesting antiques and food. It went on for blocks. I found four terracotta soldiers that I had to have - having seen similar at my colleague's house in Driehues. One is sitting in my office at work. And two small beautiful wooden printers tray, about 10 x12 with Fleet St. London on top. I had a great time looking in all the booths and call me naive, but shocked to see Nazi stuff. Too weird. As I walked back to the hotel, I saw signs that Notting Hill Carnival was that weekend and in my same neighborhood. For a girl from New Orleans, carnival is nothing new. I stood on our street corner and took about 100 photos of the crowds as they made their way by - London is definitely global, so worldly. The following days I made my way to Camden Lock/Market and my favorite, Covent Garden and also Spitalfields. It was cold at Spitalfields but I scored 14 vintage cabinet cards and photos (mostly brides) for roughly GBP 2 each. I had a wonderful time looking through that stash and visited with several ladies who also enjoyed the hunt. I love that there are others that I don't have to explain it to. At Camden I found playing cards that were so much fun - mostly royalty or Beatles or limericks - I shared them with my s/b friends for collage. I also slipped into Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. Both were yummy, in theor displays and the goodies I brought home. I used the excuse "oh, it's my birthday" as often as possible! At Covent Garden I got a beautiful juniper trivet (the aroma is intoxicating) and she gave me a beautifully carved giraffe pen. I said it was for my niece but I don't know if I can part with it! The shopping was oh, so much fun but the city is very hard on a girl. How? Moving around via tube is fantastic but so different when you're used to the comfort of a vehicle. I lost a package somewhere - just not used to keeping track! And the worldliness of the city gets right in your face and you'd better pay attention to it. I was gone one day too much and was ready to come home. But it was a great shopping trip and a wonderful birthday. I love the English and I love London.

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