19 April 2008

early bird

Lots to get through, mostly studying, today. That meant going to the market before my 9.15 pilates class and, as I did not leave home until half eight, I had to do the whole trip in about 20 minutes. I didn't set out to blog this or take any photos, but the contrast between the grey and gloomy weather and the colours and textures of the fruit veg, fish and flowers was really uplifting, especially after being down with a cough and cold all week. So the pictures that follow were all done at speed along with the shopping.

I've been going to Globe Town market for years, and I like to be loyal if I can. It is not trendy and only has a few stalls and shops. It's no Borough Market, and can't compete with Broadway Market. In fact it's quite ugly, north facing, architecturally uninspiring (though there is a Denys Lasdun round the corner for those in the know) - a built for the locals space that has struggled over the years to go beyod the basic. But it's amazing how much the few stalls that are still there have changed - and some of them have been around for a long time. At one time the choice would have been fairly limited, but now you can get pretty much anything you want by way of fruit and veg.

First off today, was Leslie Herbert's fruit stall. Les's family have had market stalls for years, both here and in Hackney . (On Sundays he sells smoked fish and herrings in Brick Lane, another part of the Herbert Empire.) Great range of stuff but no time to snap it.

I'm not a great lover of red apples - I bought Cox's this morning - but these were still in their box and looked liked like they came straight out of a fairy tale.

Next off was Patrick Goggins for veg. It's a while since I have been early enough to see the stall at the start of the day - recently I've been so late that he's been stalling in. Today it was totally inspiring, a work of art.

Orange butternut squash, rusty red, sweet potatoes, creamy caulis, blue- green broccoli, pink rhubarb..

... soft green fennel, coriander, deep red beetroot, and the purplest sprouting broccoli. And that was only the half of it.

Dash to Joanne's to buy flowers. It isn't a stall but a little shop in the corner of the square where you can get anything from the familiar - daffs, tulips, anemones - to the more exotic. I bought my daffs and had to dash, so no time then to photograph the beautiful lilies she had today.

Final stop was the Downey brothers, Roger and Derek. They sell traditional smoked and pickled fish, including jellied eels, as well as wet fish and shellfish. They had not even had time to unpack their crabs or oysters today when I arrived. So much to choose from. I went for half a dozen oysters (they taste better when the weather's cold) though the striped- to -the -utmost mackerel and plaice were tempting too.

Half an hour later I was recovering my posture under the tutelage of the wonderful Janine, followed by a short blast in the sauna (so much nicer when someone else is responsible for the cleaning and laundry). Starting by now to feel at least a couple of inches taller and restored to something resembling a healthy human being.

Which meant that I could have one little treat when I went to pick up the papers at the corner shop when I got back home.

So I have the whole afternoon free to work. And I put this burst of energy down to a small dose of alternative medicine I had last night, a hoppy taste of Kent to put a spring in my step. I've saved some for tonight, so let's hope it does the trick tomorrow too.

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