Well, autumn is upon us and nowhere in London have I seen more evidence of that than at London Fields this weekend. The whole park is practically glowing with rich russet tones, and since it's been so unseasonably mild, this was the first time I felt like autumn had kicked in.
I met my friend Callum for a walk around
but first we had to crunch about in the leaves for a while, because it's as impossible not to walk on crunchy leaves as it is not to pop bubble-wrap or draw pictures in condensation. Broadway Market is a bit of a hipster hangout, according to Callum, as is London Fields in the summer, but on this particular day it seemed like more of a blessing than a curse. The whole street was full of people dressed in lovely British-heritage style tweeds and woolens with smart tan brogues, and the delicious food being cooked permeated the crisp autumn air. It was quite lovely, sort of like being at a street party thrown in honour of autumn. Staying true to its East End roots though, the street also had an F Cooke's Pie and Mash shop where you could by hot and jellied eels. It seemed to be doing a roaring trade, but then working-class food is probably hipper than yuppy deli food these days.
We went a walk along Regent's Canal towards Angel, and spotted this gang jumping down in to the canal with their dingy. It looked ever-so-slightly illegal but that just made it funnier. (Lots of funny things happened yesterday, primarily on my bus journey into Billericay. The old lady behind me, talking to her friend about her husband, was saying, " he's SUCH a pussycat, we never have any trouble with him. In fact, that's why they call him the Pussy Man." All said in such an earnest, loving voice. Then, I kid you not, I looked out the window and there was a bloody OWL perched on a crash barrier on the High Street. You couldn't make it up. I don't know what sort of a place I'm living in but it's highly amusing.)
We stopped for sausage sandwiches at a cafe called Towpath on the edge of the canal, and sat on a pontoon that lurched dangerously every time someone got on or off. It just made having a beverage so much more thrilling.
[Bear in Camden Passage, Angel]
Callum had to go to work so I went to Oxford Street to try to get ideas for Christmas presents. It got quite dark and all the lights were on, and I thought that suddenly, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Personally I can't wait. Bring on It's a Wonderful Life (and the oceans of tears that accompany it), Christmas cake (I think I'm going to make the
, I love the decoration on top), present-buying and wrapping, carols, rushing around in the snow and then waiting 5 hours for a train home because of it, and going to the pub in your home town on Christmas eve and finding that everything and nothing has changed. While there's still a little bit of autumn left, though, I must share the pictures from the pumpkin-carving competition I organised it work - they were all great, so here they are:
Jo's Pumpkin Graveyard
Wendy's Drunken Pumpkin
My scary/creepy pumpkin
Kirsty's cute pumpkin
Witch Pumpkin - never found out who made it, but it was fantastic!
And the winner - the cannibal pumpkin!
I'm so grateful to everyone who entered for indulging me, and the customers seemed to like them too - some even tried to buy them! I'll have to come up with something equally exciting for Christmas. In the meantime, I'll be snacking on Peppermint Bark from M&S (totally delicious, dark/white peppermint chocolate with smashed candy canes on top) and wearing my orange boots (most cheerful shoes in any weather).
I think I might also bake
(deliciously autumnal flavours), start embracing Starbucks' Christmas drinks (hello Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Latte), get out for lots more cold-weather walks and track down the perfect Rupert-the-Bear scarf to go with the coat Santa is bringing me. For a final pre-Christmas treat, check out this
my friend Bon made - I think I might be using it a lot before my trip home this Christmas.