I like Sundays. I'm not particularly sure why, although I'm sure it stems from the tradition of Sunday being a restful sort of day. Sunday has always been the day family pop over for lunch, or you go for a morning walk, or get to just catch up with the world and read the Sunday newspapers. It's always a long day, mainly spent trying to make it last longer to avoid the inevitable truth of school or work the next day. Today however, had all of the blissful peace of most Sundays, without that nagging feeling that the freedom of the weekend is nearly over, as I am off school for the Easter and so have another whole week before I even have to start thinking about going back again.
I hate to be unproductive, and as quite a few days this past week have been spent holed up in my house desperately trying to understand physics, I decided I would use the day to pay a visit to Columbia Road Market, which I have been meaning to go to for ages. It's a flower market, however the surrounding shops were supposed to be quite quirky and cute, so I got up at my usual ungodly hour to go and check it out.
We arrived at the market at about 10 o'clock, which was a little later than intended considering it opened at 8 o'clock. It was incredibly easy to find; all you need do is look to see where the trail of people carrying various bouquets and potted plants are coming from. Luckily, we didn't seem to have missed anything...the relatively small street was crammed with stall upon stall, packed to bursting with hundreds and hundreds of flowers. The throng of people got so intense at times you ended up at a standstill, boxed in by tulips, cacti and a hoard of excitable human traffic. Despite being someone who hates busy streets, I didn't mind - the atmosphere was alive with the stallholder's "30 stems for a fiver! The police will be here any minute, price's so cheap you're basically stealing them from me!" Tourists hurry about with cameras, children's eyes wide with the surprise at so much colour and vibrancy all in one place. And it is completely that - one small street, nestled in the heart of an area not known for being exactly picturesque, and yet it is totally vibrant. The pleasure is infectious - every single person seems happy.
As well as an amazing array of flowers (that were really reasonably priced!), there are some amazing independent shops that line the busy road. With rents so high, independent shops are really hard to come by these days, and so to find a whole street without meeting a 'Joy', 'Oliver Bonas', 'Boots' or the usual 'Tesco express' is a real achievement. My favourites included 'Vintage Heaven / Cake Hole', a dusty pink shop that sold numerous vintage china and kitchenware at really reasonable prices, and doubled up as a café, and 'Beyond Fabrics', a cute fabric and haberdashery haven that sold mainly vintage and retro prints. There are also some gorgeous arty shops selling handmade goods, such as 'Jessie and Buddug.'
There was even a vintage sweet shop (the key to my heart is through my stomach) so really the street has pretty much everything. They even serve coffee from tiny little stands made out of shop hallways that have had the front door removed. Considering it isn't far from where I live, I can't believe I hadn't ever been before. I'm sure it will now become a regular haunt of mine though.
I even managed to find a little antique and vintage section just off the main street. Browsing the eclectic mix of books, homewares, clothing and artwork was made even more enjoyable by the presence of one out of the market's three buskers, who was kind of like a one man band (he had a tambourine strapped to one foot and everything). It was lovely to see someone so talented attract a crowd that really appreciated his music, and to see young children dance in front of him while he played. You honestly could forget you were in London, it felt much more like a country market in a far away village.
I hope you are all having a good Sunday, and recommend you check out Columbia Road Flower Market if you're nearby on a Sunday morning and fancy something to cheer you up before a new week starts. Also, thank you so much again for the nominations for Company's Style Blogger Awards...they are still going on, and so if you do have a moment (sorry to ask again, I know it's getting really annoying) to vote for me here it would be really appreciated.