Portobello Market

I know no one reading this cares about my internal conflicts about photo editing, but I’ve had a breakthrough. I have been doing some research and I’ve decided that photo editing isn’t so much changing a photo from what it was to something new, as it is choosing which information from the photo file you want in the final image.  Semantics, I know.  But it seems that the general consensus among photographers is that photo editing is as much a part of the art of photography as the camera.  So that’s that.  I’m now learning my way around Lightroom.  

An empty train. A good podcast. A dream come true.

On Saturday we had plans to go out as a family but Mim and Simon were sick so Richard offered to stay home with the kids so I could go out for the day.  I chose a market. No surprise there.  

Portobello Market.  


Portobello Market is in Notting Hill. So charming.

I walked the market street for hours, literally, and still didn’t see it all.  There would be a few blocks of “New Goods” and then a few blocks of “Fruit and Veg” and then a few blocks of antiques and then more food.  It was a sensory circus, with so many good smells and colors and delicious things to taste.  It was PACKED though, so I was really grateful to be childless.  

It was so hard to choose what to eat- but I finally settled on a salted pork sandwich, served on a baguette. It was so yummy and I loved people watching while I ate it on a plastic chair that had the legs broken off and was cemented to a concrete bench in a make-shift food-court.  It was totally un-glamorous.  

Then I wandered more, bought a few Christmas gifts, and saw some books that I think my literary family members would swoon over.  



The walls of the All Saints Clothing store were lined with antique sewing machines. There were hundreds. It was stunning.

My weeks are hard.  I think I’m dealing with some homesickness, loneliness and culture shock that manifests itself in ways I never expected.  Before I came here when everyone said it would be hard I nodded and agreed.  But I was just being agreeable. I didn’t really think it would be hard.  I thought I was so open-minded and so brave and so grateful for this opportunity that I would be immune from the hard parts.  Truthfully, I had no idea what the hard parts would even look like.  I humbly write these words today; I was naive. ( I hate it when I realize I’ve been naive.  Naive is one thing I do not like to be.)  

So it turns out it IS hard. Sometimes during the week I cry and I wallow in self-pity.  I miss my homogenized world back home with my mini-van and secure social circle. Then I languish in guilt for not valuing this experience enough and for not BEING more open-minded and grateful and brave.  

But then I get the chance to wander the streets of this really beautiful and wondrous place and it’s worth it.  For a few hours I can be present and “conscious of my treasures”.  Portobello Market was one of those experiences for me.  And it’s strange sometimes, the ways and places we feel close to God.  But my heart felt full, amid the cigarette smoke and crowds and happy chatter of families and friends in their world, and I felt lucky to be a part of it.  

2 thoughts on “Portobello Market

  1. Jo you are such a brave person. Not sure I would have the courage to go out on my own. Toy are an inspiration to all of us back in the states. Thank you for sharing such unique places. It is truly amazing. Gary would love to hear from Cameron if he ever gets a chance. I hope they are all adjusting to the new life for the next couple of years. May God bless you and your family.💖 julie


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