Mutant watermelon

Last week, I went out round Shoreditch (daytime) with my husband.  I was wearing a most questionable outfit – yellow shorts, blue top and orange cotton sweater.  I wore my giant sunglasses and pretended that it was because I am a hipster, don’t you know, and not an early middle aged woman with a very strange wardrobe.  I did do that thing where I said “Do I look awful?” to my husband and he said no (he is generally very honest).

On the way home, we stopped off at a grocer on the Essex Road and bought an absolutely massive watermelon.

This was miles bigger than my head
This was miles bigger than my head

My husband had to carry it home as there was no way I could lift it.  And I am quite strong.  I was a bit taken aback by the price – £10.75!  On the cheapo Essex Road! But this was at least four times bigger than the ones going on Ocado.

The author of Knowing Kimberly pointed out that, should I have carried this myself, I could have pretended to be Baby off Dirty Dancing.  But I hate that film.

We won’t need any more watermelon.  Ever again.

Greengrocer

After going to the butcher, I went to the greengrocer.  This has great stuff but isn’t fancy.  However, it is about a quarter of the price of Planet Organic along the road (the other day, my husband went there with my daughter and ended up walking out, it was so damn expensive).

The Market Garden
The Market Garden

They have nice herbs (although I will try to be more organised and bring some herbs back from my garden in the IoW next time I go).

Christmas wreath

Walking around, I’ve noticed that nearly everyone has their Christmas decorations up.  We’ve finally put our wreath up (and my husband has tied it to the door so no one can pinch it).  It’s rather simple but that is fine with me.

£7 from the dudes on the Essex Road
£7 from the dudes on the Essex Road

On the way back from the Essex Road, we passed the organic supermarket, the fishmonger, the greengrocer, the butcher and this tree.  Everything is looking very Christmassy.

This tree looks amazing
This tree looks amazing

Getting ready for Christmas

Yesterday, I noticed that they’ve started selling Christmas trees on the Essex Road.

Christmas trees!
Christmas trees!

It’s a bit early for my taste but I suppose there are people who put up their trees and decorations in the first week of December.  When I was little, one year my Mum decided that we wouldn’t put up a tree until Christmas Eve itself – so we went out on something like 20 December to find that the Christmas tree seller had almost completely sold out.  I think he only had about four trees left and was about to pack up and go home for good.  Come to think of it, I must remember to remember to call Shide trees and order our tree.

There are lots of trees so far
There are lots of trees so far

Buying kids’ shoes

I take my kids to the shoe shop every month – usually, their feet haven’t grown but sometimes they will have gone up a whole size.  Now, I’ve been taking my son but his feet just haven’t been growing so there hasn’t been a need to get him new shoes – until now, as his shoes actually had proper holes in and were letting in water.  So yesterday afternoon, we went along and got him measured (half a size up) and got him to try on some shoes.  This is occasionally tricky – basically he wants exactly the shoes he has only slightly bigger and without holes.  This is rarely available so to begin with it is a delicate process of encouraging him to walk around the shop wearing a different pair of shoes until he decides he is happy and tells you so.

He was so pleased with these, he refused to take them off
He was so pleased with these, he refused to take them off

We go to Jimmy’s Shoes on the Essex Road.  The staff are SUPER with children and they have some great adult shoes as well.

The shoes have flashing lights (perhaps a bit vulgar but my son loves them and they are great for spotting him in the dark).

Here they are
Here they are

Recently I also bought my daughter some new boots.  It isn’t really cold enough yet but I hope they will replace a pair of shoes that my daughter loves but are too small (I’m going to have to lose those, I think).  They look great with tights and leggings.

New boots
New boots

I also bought my daughter some slippers (which are not actually slippers but she doesn’t mind).  These were a BARGAIN – about £6 from Amazon.

New "slippers"
New “slippers”
The shoes I'm replacing - these are just plain too small (plus not suitable for winter)
The shoes I’m replacing – these are just plain too small (plus not suitable for winter)

After the shoe shop, we went to the playground for a few minutes.  My son told several people that he had new shoes so he was clearly pleased with them.  Good thing as they were £50.

Filming on the Essex Road

Yesterday, I took my daughter to her Colourstrings class (which is basically a music class for toddlers but the aim is to get them learning an instrument much earlier than usual).  It is very middle class and everyone else always seems to know the words to all the songs.

On the way home, we noticed these guys filming next to the Old Queen’s Head on the Essex Road.  The film crew were French and were slightly irritated to find that we wanted to cross the road (but not, you know, horrible).

Film crew!
Film crew!
There were actually quite a few of them
There were actually quite a few of them

I am now rather holding out some hope for a chic new French drama set in Islington.  Something rather like Spiral or Witnesses, perhaps?

Dog Eat Dog

Last night, we met our friends S and H at Dog Eat Dog, which is apparently the only Brewdog to serve food.

Dog Eat Dog
Dog Eat Dog

I’d never heard of Brewdog but my husband asked the guys behind the bar why they were serving food at this one only – it’s because that spot on the Essex Road only has a licence to be a restaurant, not a bar.  So they do hotdogs and bar snacks.  We had some, they were nice – I had a “voodoo” which had a black sausage and spicy relish, I think.  Their onion rings were terrific.

I had seen some black pudding and pancetta, which I though would be a great bar snack but it turns out that was a bar snack for dogs.  As the place filled up, it also became filled up with dogs – this is a dog friendly bar (normal in the IoW but something I’ve not seen in London).

The beer was very good – I had This Is Lager but my husband and H had the IPA.  S had some beer that was infused with pumpkin which I didn’t try but looked pretty.

Beer!
Beer!

My husband and I disagreed on whether this counts as a hipster place.  He said it doesn’t, because Brewdogs are usually only filled with long haired students.  I said it does because (1) it encourages people to bring their dogs, (2) it is on the Essex Road and (2) piercings and facial hair everywhere, it reminded me of Shoreditch (except bar staff are like that all over London).