Chintzy Florals And The Early Bird – The World Of The London Escape Artist
and the wall to wall stripping of wallpaper….
we have finally moved into our new home. I had an idealistic dream that we would have mostly finished everything before moving in, but far from it. We are still living with bare plaster walls and un sanded floors, but it is a work in progress, a long term project, we are slowly but surely breaking through and with each end result comes a sense of satisfaction and reward (usually a glass of wine).
We’ve discovered some gems along the way including these beautiful fireplaces boarded up in both bedrooms…..
We are so thankful they were left alone for us to uncover.
Also with the move has come the full time start of the markets and the world of a vintage dealer for me, an exciting concept but not always plain sailing. Anyone in the vintage and antique world will be familiar with the crack of dawn wake up calls, these of course go hand in hand with this surreal world, and are the epitome of the well known saying ‘The early bird catches the worm.’ I have always been an early riser much to The Woodfashioner’s horror in our early days of first meeting, but is something he has grown to well and truly sleep through (I occasionally manage to persuade him along to the odd car boot, he has a great eye, so is a strong side kick to have along). However the new alarm wake up call has been taken to a whole new dizzy height, one that even I am still slightly shuddering at, Mondays and Thursdays now bring a 3.30am wake up for a 4.10 am get away, OUCH!
The eve before my first Covent Garden, we were welcomed home on a cold February Sunday evening after a weekend away, to a very lifeless boiler. The electrician left to his own devices over the weekend, whilst rewiring the house had somehow (unbeknownst to him) cut off the power supply to our boiler leaving us with no heating and no hot water! Uncontactable until the following day we had no choice but to just crack on; but boiling a kettle at 3am the following morning to run myself a shallow bath, before driving into London to stand outside on a market stall all day, did get me wondering that I might have gone slightly mad, it was bleak! The next short encounter with a blizzard of snow when stepping outside ready for the drive into the city confirmed it, what had I done giving up a perfectly good job in a warm office?!
But a short time later, surrounded by an array of characters at a buzzing Covent Garden the doubts soon started to pass, and when setting up my stall in my own little world, free from the stresses of replying to endless emails and answering the incessant phone it was confirmed I wasn’t so mad after all.
Over the months the wake up calls have become slightly easier (they will never be easy), certainly helped by the warmer mornings, and with them come the excitement of what the day will bring. No market is ever the same, meeting wonderful wacky characters, customers with interesting, touching stories and nostalgic reminiscing are just a few highlights. Then you of course coupled with this you feel like you have nailed the front row seats of a catwalk model show, witnessing the most creatively dressed individuals in outlandish, wonderfully eccentric clothes, all extensions of their unique, inspiring characters.
So for now certainly no regrets, we are managing to live our seaside dream with a combined taste of London a couple of times a week, but always with the eagerness to return home to the sea air after the thrill of a busy day. We will never be millionaires, but some may say we have a millionaire’s lifestyle on a shoestring. Life as a market trader does mean a frugal way of life but with it comes freedom, and although sometimes challenging, living less extravagantly can be rewarding and satisfying. More to follow on this with future blogs on our cheap, yet tasty recipe ideas, we both love cooking and with a little less money coming in, comes the need for creativity with ingredients, which is always great fun! Furnishing the house is also a thrill when you don’t have access to lots of funds, a challenge we are embracing and loving, this is one of my latest finds and little project …..
More updates to come on our progress and challenges and delights and achievements in this new world, but for now an image from our evening walk……