Thursday, 8 September 2011

Time Travel

Every summer, depressing as the thought is, I resolve to shop for school uniform earlier. My heart sinks when all the high street stores plaster their windows with Back to School banners in July - the day after the kids break up. Little mannequins dressed in grey acrylic jumpers and teflon skirts. Ugh! And so, inevitably, in early September, I find myself at M&S in Angel, snatching trampled black trousers off the floor in the vain hope that they may come somewhere close to fitting one of the boys. Just a few steps away from the scrum and a million miles from the ubiquitous chains of Upper Street I retreat to Camden Passage for a mug of hot chocolate outside the Elk in the Woods and a stroll around the vintage jewellery stalls and antique shops. I always stop for a browse at Odyssey, 11 Pierrepont Arcade. The little shop is lined with glass shelves displaying a myriad of  jewel-coloured vases and ornaments from the the middle of the 20th century. Voluptuous Murano glass sits cheek by jowl with icy Scandinavian crystal. Cutesy folkloric wall plaques jostle for space with kitsch advertising memorabilia. An enormous, cut glass ashtray in the window is so decadent it must have surely come from Roger Moore and Dorothy Squire's Mansion. A more utilitarian fruit bowl, identical to one we had in the 70s instantly transports me back to the security and familiarity of my childhood; laying on an orange wool rug with my sister and a couple of kittens, watching Ace of Wands on the black and white telly. Glance up and the ceiling is crowded with funky lights from the 60s; wicker pendants, dazzling chrome and glass contraptions, atomic sputniks... Chatting to Paul the owner he says he's getting EVEN MORE stuff in over the next couple of weeks! Starting Christmas shopping in September? I think that will be an easier resolution to stick to. 

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