{market memo} clocktower market

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Sometimes I love my flea markets big but other times small ones do just the trick. When I first learned of the Clocktower Market in Greenwich I was ecstatic to have yet another reason to head East and spend time there. Greenwich has such a charming village feel and this small but quality flea market on its High Street only adds to the area's appeal.

Not all of the stalls were filled but the vendors who were there were friendly and helpful. I always find it interesting to overhear them chatting amongst each other about how "things aren't how they used to be" and how slow business is these days. It's literally the same conversation at every flea market and antique fair that I got to. I wonder how much of it is true or if they're just trying to indirectly guilt me into buying something. Either way, I appreciate them and all of the vintage treasures they share with us day in and day out. The goods for sale were varied though I did notice that winter coats and fur hats were a major deal for obvious reasons. I, of course, ended up buying a black sequin blazer for twenty quid (that's "bucks" talk in UK English) regardless of actually needing a winter coat! What can I say, it made me feel like a disco diva and that feeling is hard to resist.

Though tempted by a pair of suitcases (DIY side table?) we left with just my blazer and a funky piece for the shop. The market was perfectly manageable and non-exhaustive which is definitely key considering that just around the corner you've got Greenwich Market, Greenwich Park, the Royal Maritime Museum, and the Observatory. Lots of fun to be had!

weekend, we

my new blinggreenwich park view of the royal maritime museum from the observatory view from the observatory it got this cold overnight view from greenwich park we break for churros @ greenwich market enjoying some sun while we munchboarding the thames clipper (water taxi)cross-town river taxi brixton market for dnner westbourne grove cafe brunch post "i need to feel the sun's warmth" breakdown i love him

Hello everyone, how was your weekend?

Despite temperatures reaching freezing levels overnight, London got some beautiful blue skies. We enjoyed Greenwich on Saturday by shopping their local flea market (see my new sequin jacket), walking through the park, and breaking for churros from one of the stands in Greenwich Market. We then got a craving for Colombian food so we hopped onto the Thames river taxi and headed west to Brixton Village. We really love that place...great dining options, unique little shops, and all of your grocery needs wrapped into one eclectic package.

Sunday was much more mellow with time spent in Westbourne Grove and Notting Hill. I actually had a bit of a surprising meltdown after breakfast that day. Temperatures were in the high thirties and though I was perfectly warm with what I was wearing, I desperately wanted to sit in the sun feel it on my face.  After walking to several cafes I thought might have some sunny outdoor seating, I was quickly devastated to see that the sun was too low (even at its peek) and there was nothing but more cold shade. Feeling defeated, we walked back to get some grocery shopping done but as we stopped at a crosswalk divider to wait for traffic, I felt it. The sun was shining through the cross street in full force and I felt its warmth from head-to-toe. I closed my eyes to surrender to it for a quick moment of nirvana but once we crossed the street and stood on the corner, a sudden feeling of total panic and anxiety came over me and I was practically whimpering. I had no idea what was happening and even though I recognized how crazy I was getting, I couldn't stop myself. I wanted so badly to sit outside, enjoy a hot drink and soak in the sun's rays. I had never felt so desperate in my life. Like, hello sun...I can see you but I can hardly feel you! I literally had a seasonal breakdown. My first and hopefully last.

Joe, being the amazing man that he is, squeezed my hand and lead me down that sunny street. It was the opposite direction of where we needed to go but he was determined to find a warm place to sit and calm my nerves. Of course, our detour wasn't without any of his playful teasing (he grew up in Alaska so he simply can't relate) but we eventually found a sunny spot at a little french cafe near Hyde Park. As we sat in the sun and I sipped my cappuccino, I couldn't believe how hysterical I had gotten. I felt so helpless, so silly. I've never in my life have had to make such an effort to get direct sunlight but I now fully recognize how much I cherish it. You can take the girl out of Southern California but you can't take So Cal out of the girl.

weekend, we

Hi, how was your weekend?

We slept, lounged and watched lots of online TV and movies. Yet after a 1pm breakfast on Saturday we somehow mustered up the energy and enthusiasm to go out to Greenwich for the afternoon. By the time we left the flat and got to the river taxi it was nearly sunset. I was initially bummed to have missed the day's sunshine but quickly got over it as we cruised east on the Thames with a beautiful warm glow trailing behind us.

Greenwich was fantastic. Though we were only there for a few hours and didn't stray too far from the market, I saw just enough to fall in love with its village charm. The market was full of great indie designers and artists, the street-food stalls were just the right mix and quantity (I ate Ethiopian, Joe ate English), and the shops and restaurants around the market block were equally independent and intriguing. It was a mad house as lots of people were doing their Christmas shopping so I'd love to return on a quieter  day to take my time to visit each store (especially a vintage one that had an amazing coat in the window!). We didn't leave empty handed though. We quickly fell for the Arty Globe drawings of London artist Hartwig Braun. We're not really into traditional tourist souvenir items but 1) we needed coasters and 2) his cityscape drawings are awesome so if you're going to buy something "London-y" then this is your guy.

After a round of the best mojitos in town, it was back to the river taxi and onward to our local pub for a final night cap. They have a seasonal hot drinks menu and I'm taking all of the hot cider and hot toddies I can get. We've been spending a lot of time there lately but can you blame us? Especially this time of year when it looks and feels extra extra cozy? On the walk home (literally 45 seconds) we spotted exterior Christmas lights on a residential building - a very rare sight in London as I've only seen retail stores do anything outside. I'll be you anything that those flat residents are American but, I'll take it as it instantly put a smile on my face. Tis the season indeed.