love thy neighbourhood


My relationship with london changes daily. I’ve been here most of my life from 18 years old.This has only been punctuated by a short move to the Oxfordshire countryside, an art foundation course in Banbury and then art college in Newcastle but apart from that, London is my adopted home.

During the week when I am suffering at the hands of rude and smelly tube users, I loath London and consider it at best a necessary evil. It is at these moments I really wish I could get away.

Even then, I manage to appreciate it’s multi cultural side, the fact that it has EVERYTHING and it gets it first. This is further eased by the fact that I think where we live has a lot going for it and we have the greatest friends most of whom live nearby.

cheese straw

When I’m not fighting with commuters and take the time to see what is around me, I feel much better about the place and I have time to realise that it is just outright splendid.

Take today.

freerange eggs, salami & vine tomatoes

Today has been one of those special days in London for me. I met 2 of my close friends out walking the dog and stretched my usual hour to two hours so I could spend a bit more unexpected time with them. I bumped into one of them again as she was taking her little son to meet friends while JC & I were striding out to enjoy what was on offer at a local Sunday Market. I saw the other friend again while we were at the market but this time with her husband..

breads etcetera

We hadn’t known about the market until we saw a small notice for it on a nearby ‘for sale’ sign and having asked what people thought of it decided we had to give it a try.

It is set in the playground of a local junior school and although the number of stalls there today were diminished due to half term and possibly the sudden turn in the temperature, it was excellent.

carrot cake

We got a fabulous coffee and mini cinnamon swirl to kick start us (we were at a boozy birthday celebration last night and although we weren’t feeling dreadful, coffee and cake always helps). We bought meat direct from a farm on Romney Marshes, italian sausage from a local italian, some amazing flavoured breads, vine tomatoes, eggs, and cake. There was so much more on offer such as cheeses, baked goods, Thai wraps, fish finger sandwiches (yes, fish finger sandwiches!!), jams, pickles, burgers, curries and much, much more.

eggs and salami

The stall holders were all lovely and incredibly chatty which is as much a part of the experience for me as the sampling and buying; the freshness in the air was blessed with sunshine and it really couldn’t have been better.

We won’t abandon our local butcher or the delights of the¬†Green Lanes shops completely but we will be doing a good part of our main meat and veg shopping here every week now. It makes the job of food shopping so much more pleasant and fun.


salami, vine toms & duck eggs

It is days like today when I remember that I love london, and I love my neighbourhood!!

missing in action

Hector looking very pleased with himself

The farm terriers decided that staying down a rabbit hole on sunday was much more fun than coming to a call.

After 2 hours of walking, stalking, whistling and calling, Patby very reluctantly had to abandon his desperate search for Henry the Border Terrier and Hector the Patterdale Terrier to attend a very important birthday lunch for his eldest daughter and her lovely man.


We got the call at about 11 am asking us if we could pop along to where they were last seen hoping that we might be able to find them and take them home safely.

We are pretty fond of the farm dogs (and Patby and Gaga!!) and are always willing to help out where we can because we enjoy an enormous amount of generosity from the farm and feel that we should say thank you as often as we get the chance to by our actions.

nearly home

So, not wanting to let the scent go cold, we donned our waterproofs, got the walking sticks out (expecting a bit of hard going), armed ourselves with whistles, leads and shovels (in case they really had gone down a burrow, gone to ground and needed digging out! It happens with terriers A LOT!).

We weren’t sure how long it would take us but we’d had a hearty breakfast and were happy to stay out there for as many hours as it took, Patby and Gaga needed to know that the boys were safe and were quite frantic about having to leave before they knew they were safe. It was important to get a result as soon as possible so they could relax and enjoy their special lunch.

dirty and clearly tired

We parked up in the yard near where they were last seen and planned our manoeuvres.

Imagine our surprise but complete delight when we hadn’t even stepped out of the car and 2 very dirty and very wet little terriers came cannoning around the corner looking very pleased with themselves.

a lot of the dirt transferred to the car. Quite a skill!

It was tempting to fib and say that it had taken hours of hard slog to find them and hadn’t we done well but we just knew that the most important thing was that they were safe. Patby and Gaga were distraught and really had to be told as soon as possible so they could relax and enjoy their day.

There is still a great sense of good that comes from a successful mission and finding 2 little troopers that were missing in action even if we didn’t do much more than turn up!