Monday, 24 October 2011

A Saturday of contrasts...

London was blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather this past weekend, and for once, I got outside and made the most of it.

Saturday was a day of complete contrasts. I made an early morning trip into Notting Hill for a wander down Portobello Road. So early in fact that many of the stall holders were still setting up.
I don't think I have ever seen Portobello Road so empty!

There were some lovely things - I was quite taken with some of the silver, and there seemed to be many more stores selling silver than I recall from my last trip. However, I actually came home empty handed as I was busy abiding by my William Morris adage - there were some lovely items but nothing that actually really spoke to me in terms of its beauty. So I was content to wander and look, and listen to the gossip amongst all of the traders.

My favourite view of the morning was the large picture window of the All Saints store on the corner of Portobello Road and Westborne Grove. I noticed it when I was in Notting Hill a few weeks ago, but didn't have my camera with me.
Every window was simply full of old sewing machines. This is just one small section. The entire corner shopfront is probably about 8 window panels of this size - that is a lot of vintage sewing machines.

From the old to the new, I spent Saturday afternoon completing a guided walk with some friends in the old section of East London that is undergoing regeneration as the London Olympic site.
This was our final view of the walk - looking out of the rapidly developing main Olympic site. It was interesting to see, but there still seemed to be a lot of work left to do, particularly with landscaping etc, given that the games are now less than 12 months away.

I was fortunate to be living in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics and still recall what a fabulous vibe the city had during those weeks. I never thought I'd be going to another Olympics, but have somehow managed to have some success in the ticket ballot and I'll be back here next year for an evening at the velodrome (and hopefully the chance to see some swimming at the paralympics - still awaiting the outcome of the ballot for those).
 Designed by Anish Kapoor - it will have a viewing platform and cafe at the top.

Our route saw us wend our way through some of the heart of East London, with its mix of council tower blocks, industrial areas and the regeneration associated with the Olympic site. But, like all areas of London, you occassionally stumble across a little gem that reminds us of an earlier time...
In this case, the old lock-keepers cottage...

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