Sat 6th September – Portobello and Old friends

17 09 2008

Saturday I caught up with Nicky, it was so good to see her – been far too long and I always have such a great time with her – one of those people who are only ever ‘partners in crime’, we like to get up to no good.

We were fairly well behaved on this occasion however.

We met up on a tube platform, as is the London way. Our meeting time was about 30 mins after we had planned cos Nicky got the wrong train and I got the meeting location wrong, as is our way. After Nicky lost and found me about a hundred times (my transition from blonde to brunette has really thrown her!) we grabbed a counter meal at a pub in Notting Hill and planned our attack on Portobello Market. Our Pub meal was more of a sharing of middle eastern tapas style selections, I decided against traditional pub fare after seeing for the first time Mushy Peas – you have got to be kidding me. People not only actually eat that stuff, but do it by choice. Gross.

We headed into Portobello market and made straight for the clothing and designer end – weaving our way through food and antique stalls. While I love food, we had just eaten (silly thing to do really, the market food looked fab and was far cheaper!) and while I love the idea of getting something Antiques Roadshow would envy, the logistics of me transporting antique hardwood sideboards back home (not to mention getting it up a flight of stairs and finding somewhere it would fit in my little Ikea furnished flat) was just unrealistic.

We made it to the fashion end as I honed my pushy pedestrian skills and saw some great things – vintage, new designers, one offs – it was great. It was good to do it with someone with a similar approach to fashion – where a grey tweed coat with big buttons might be a bit over the top, but that bright red lame handbag that is bigger than my primary school backpack is understated and practical. I think Nicky is still thinking about one jacket she saw – and I was totally into the old military wear shop – if only the scottish guard men’s dress jackets were more accomodating of large female chests… ah well.

We stopped along the way at a few hat stalls – I’m a big fan of hats – and am quite lucky as they suit me fairly well. Unfortunately I’m just not confident enough to pull of wearing them – i feel like a bit of a poser. After trying on about 10 hats Nicky told me that my personal growth challenge by the end of this London trip is to buy and confidently wear a hat. I saw one I liked, but felt it a bit OTT. The next stall we went past I found the most fabulous jacket – knee length, fushia cuffs, collar and lining, and multicoloured everywhere else – beautiful, like a rainbow. Again the chestal region proved the limiting factor, but I was going to buy it anyway – I had fallen. When the lady came over she said “come back next week, the designer will be manning the stall and she can take your measurements and custom make you one – she needs to make more anyway, so it would be easy” Fabulous – despite my fears of an over the top basic grey hat, I am going to become the owner of a jacket Joseph (of Technicolor Dreamcoat fame) will envy. Plus when I receive the millions of compliments I expect to receive and people ask where I got my fab jacket, I can reply “Oh, the designer at Portobello Market in London tailor made it for me” – those bragging rights justify the cost of the jacket right there!

When leaving we stopped for a well deserved cupcake at Hummingbird. Apparently its a famous cupcake place, and while it was indeed tasty, it doesn’t have a patch on my precious Candy Cakes.

Nicky and I said our goodbyes for the time being, and I rushed home to change and get back to Shan’s place on the other side of town. She and Brendan had turned his salty pasta sauce into a lasagne that masked the saltiness (mostly). After our lovely meal we headed into town to meet Shan’s friend Emma from primary school. She had come over for a holiday and to visit her sister Sara and her boyfriend who both live over here at the moment. So the 6 of us tore up Covent Garden and Cidered our way through a couple of pubs, until last drinks were called and last trains loomed.

It was lovely to see familiar faces and hear some familiar voices.




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