After work last Saturday I decided to make the most of the longer summery evenings we have now, and took a little wander along Portobello Road. Considering I work at the top of it, this was only my third time visiting the market, and although it was mostly closing up I remembered why I loved it so much the first time. Usually packed full of tourists, it has this incredibly vibrant atmosphere, with antiques and jewellery stalls lining the streets, crepes and hot dogs cooking on stands and some form of music playing (today it was a dancing man with bells, and two men on bongo drums further down). There are a host of amazing vintage shops, and an amazing array of people shopping which serves as perfect inspiration while you browse. Also, the surrounding houses are amazing - huge, painted in different colours and with flowers winding up and over the fronts. It really is such a beautiful area...I'm looking forward to trying to get to know it more.
I wore my checkered trousers from Beyond Retro, with a shirt from Clothes Show, jacket from the East End Thrift Store, bag from Rokit and shoes from Asos. I bought the jacket about two years ago, but recently rediscovered it and worn it with absolutely everything (literally I wore it over every outfit last week...I am obsessed). Considering it cost less than £1 on it's own (£10 bag from East End Thrift Store and I got more than 10 things so it works out to less than £1 each!) it is so comfortable and good material, and just goes to show you don't always have to pay hundreds for clothes you really like. I tend to like bargains even more as I'm less precious about them - as I write this, I'm sitting on said jacket, and I'm not in the slightest worry about it creasing or going out of shape, whereas with more expensive pieces I am crazily particular about how they're worn and stored as I'm terrified of ruining them.
The stone necklace is from The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden, the brooches were my Mum's when she was my age, and the little bead necklace was from a teeny shop in Padstow.
Portobello is a classic example of a place that reminds you to look around and take in your environment in more detail. Looking up, you notice the coloured houses that line the streets and the beautifully designed shop signs, while paying close attention to even closed shops can result in the discovery of something beautiful or interesting.
The market makes Portobello incredibly popular and busy on a Saturday, and despite most of the stalls packing away by the time I got there it was still surprisingly busy, and with more than enough shops and last-minute stalls still open for us to see. It is much easier to see the actual street itself in the quiet of a Saturday evening, whereas I've found I missed so much when I only visited at the busiest times of the day.
I bought a few teeny little pieces in Lyndon's (an amazing shop - overflowing with all the ribbons/trimmings/buttons you could ever dream of) and then found Goldsmith Vintage, the shop I had been to the last time I was at Portobello, and where I bought the long tartan skirt that I still wear non-stop. I also bought a pair of cat-eyes that I used to wear all the time until I broke them whilst playing volleyball on holiday...so you can imagine my excitement when I walked in to see they had the exact same ones for sale again! I am now the very happy owner of a (second) pair of cat eyes.
Notting Hill is one of those places that is just so vibrant - everywhere is colourful, everyone is interesting and just the whole atmosphere is lively and exciting. Taking a camera was dangerous as I spent way too long taking photos as there was just so much I wanted to record. It also all has more significance to me now as after working at Hirst for about six months I have finally seen the film Notting Hill (thanks to my friend who finally got me to sit down and watch it). It's always nice to walk down a street and recognise places from film or TV - it's weirdly satisfying, and quite nice to remember that places like the ones shown in movies do exist really (even if Hugh Grant isn't also wandering along there too).
I had forgotten just how 'vintage' Portobello is - as a leading area for antiques, vintage and retro stores have been able to thrive due to the huge market of visitors who want 'the real deal' when it comes to antique and vintage pieces. The shops are not generally cheap, with the lower-end pricing up similarly to Rokit, while the upper-end sells little for under £60. That's not to say it's not worth a look - hunting and rummaging through the many shops can result in a handful of decent bargains, and even if not you can't afford to miss witnessing the amazing collection of items on display (for example loads of vintage Vogue magazines, old advertisement signs etc).
Writing this now, a week after visiting, is filling me with nostalgia for the freedom of being away from schoolwork and exam revision, something I haven't been able to escape today, even though this is my last day before exam leave (my English teachers did bring us brioche and chocolate though, so I did get at least a little celebration in before having to return home and continue revising). Also, the results of the general election this morning has put a serious dampener on my entire college's feelings, matching the grey and foreboding rainclouds that have skulked overhead all day. I am disappointed in England for not standing up for ourselves, and I for one will really miss the NHS. It's shocking to see that in my school's mini election, over 50% voted labour, about 30% voted green, and something like 4% voted conservative, which is unusual as you would expect our views to match the result as we would reflect the general public somewhat. I can only hope that the views of younger people, like those in my college, won't change in the next five years - the result shown in our election would, in my opinion at least, make for a very appealing government, and a move away from closing down hospitals and shutting down services like we have experienced over the last five years. I also can't help but notice how relevant David Bowie's 'Five Years' is to this whole scenario (hence the post title). Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend - and I'd be interested to hear other views on the election as I know mine are just opinion and I am the least knowledgeable about politics.