Friday 15 July 2016

TGI Friday ...

And TGI the holidays!

Finally school's out for summer ... and we're already on the road! We're bombing up the motorway to Holyhead to catch the fast boat to Dublin. The weather doesn't look entirely congenial to sightseeing, and, as I'm incapable of not turning up 8 hours early for the ferry, we may have a soggy time exploring another epic Welsh castle. I'm really grateful to Edward I, back in the 13th century, for giving me so many stonking stop-off castles to kill the time until the Dublin Swift weighs anchor.

This week I've been shopping. Big time. That's not something I normally enjoy doing. It would be true to say that the average British shopping mall represents one of the outer rings of hell in my imagination. Quite why anyone would volunteer to go trawling around the shops for a fun day out when they don't need to buy anything is beyond me. Let's just say that I'm not a natural window-shopper. But this week I've been fixated with the notion that I'm not going to be in London for the rest of the summer. I've overlooked the fact that they do have shops, lovely shops, lots of shops, in Ireland, Devon and Barcelona where I'll be until September, and I've been frantically shopping for all my crafting supplies as though I'm sipping in the last chance retail saloon ...

And I've been revisiting my love of sewing.  It all started with a quick visit to John Lewis on Oxford Street. I was in the neighbourhood, and, as is my habit when I'm in that neck of the woods, I just had to stop by the fourth floor haberdashery department. For some reason the Vogue pattern book seemed to be calling my name ... and it was all downhill (with shopping bags!) from there.

There's a sale on in John Lewis at the moment. So naturally a few metres of this and that found their way into my shopping basket along with a few of those lovely paper patterns.

And there's also a sale on in the Liberty shop, which is the one department store in London where I could while away a few hours happily and aimlessly walking around admiring all the splendid good taste on display. That place rocks!

And then yesterday morning I took a trip down the Goldhawk Road, which is actually much more my milieu. Predictably, as night follows day, I came home with anther bag of wonderful summer cottons.
Goldhawk Road, London
The totally awesome Goldhawk Road, London
If you're interested in sewing you really need to check out the fabric shops down there. I'm a big fan of Classic Textiles. It's a little family run store with a big inventory. It's not a fancy pants shop, but if you're in the market for some Liberty prints at a fraction of what they cost down in the Liberty shop this is where you need to come. You can buy wonderful 3 metre packs of Liberty lawn cottons for 20 quid. Okay in the Liberty shop everything's displayed with origami neatness, and some charming girl with French pumps and perfect hair has created eye-catching displays with great bales of loveliness stretched artfully this way and that. But if you've got a big enough imagination to see the possibilities without  all that artifice, then you'll do really well down at the Classic Textiles shop. Go in, poke around a bit, and you'll see what an Aladdin's cave of a place it is.

Every time I go in there it's full of men. They're lovely, sweet, super-helpful men who know their stuff. Maybe I just go when the ladies are having a tea break. And I'm totally not complaining. I'm as susceptible to a charming young man who wants to sell me cut-price Liberty loveliness as the next gal.

So I'm all packed up, loaded, primed and ready for adventure. Whatever you're doing, wherever you're going: have a knock-out, sensational weekend!

Bonny x

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