A Little Break and A Lot of Fabric

I’m sorry if I’ve fallen a bit behind with comments on your blogs for the past couple of weeks but I sort of went ‘off grid’ for a while which I am now paying for with mountains of emails to read through.

Guess where I’ve been?

Fish and chips on Brighton pier and a glass of Pimms – can it get more English than that?  I never eat the mushy peas though.

Mlle. Tialys the elder took the Friday off work and we spent a long weekend together.  In Brighton (see above), meeting up with an old friend (no photos of our Prosecco fuelled nostalgic ramblings) and a trip to Walthamstow Market which is right at the end of the Victoria line on the tube but Mlle. T. had heard rumours of good fabric to be had there so we made the pilgrimage.

I was slightly disappointed because although there were multitudinous fabric shops behind the market stalls, the vast majority of them carried sari fabric and the like which, though beautiful, isn’t what I usually buy to make my distinctly more conservative clothing.  However, Mlle. T. was looking for some sparkly stuff to make a ‘unicorn dress’ which she will be making to wear to a wedding where all the guests have been asked to wear costume.  Also, she needed some fabric that looks like chain mail to complete an outfit she is making to wear to this year’s Comic Con (a comic book convention where people wear costumes based on their favourite characters from comic books/fantasy/Dr. Who/manga/etc.  So, the sparkly, colourful fabrics were a treasure trove for her.

This is who she’s going as.  I’m hoping Security will let her in.

Haberdashery galore – all these beautiful fringes and trims were very cheap and I was dying to buy some but couldn’t bring a project to mind where I could use any – and I did try!!

Frankly, the rest of the stalls were mostly the usual market tat although the fruit and veg looked very good.

Despite these difficulties, we did manage to find a few bits and pieces.   I had to leave my fabric haul behind as I had travelled with cabin bag only and couldn’t fit it all in once I’d rampaged through Marks and Spencer’s lingerie department and stocked up on plain white t-shirts in Primani.  Mr. T. will, hopefully, remember to stuff his cabin bag with it all and bring it home with him tonight and then I’ll show you what I bought – none of it is sparkly, glittery or sequinned though as my days of dressing as a unicorn are now behind me.  I can’t walk in hooves any more.

Walthamstow Market is apparently the longest in Europe.   We took three hours to get down it and about 10 minutes to walk back.  We then collapsed into a café where we were the only English speakers so I really did feel like I was on holiday.

We could have gone into this traditional Pie and Mash shop to eat I suppose.  It has been granted Grade II listed status (see blue plaque to right of it) and dates from the 1920s with beautifully preserved decor inside.  Despite being a Londoner by birth and upbringing, I have never liked jellied eels or eels cooked in any other way or even the mention of eels and, even though I think the pies they serve now are made with minced beef, the aversion lingers and I’m not a big fan of mashed potatoes unless I make them myself and ensure that all trace of lumps are extinguished (school dinners anyone?) and I’m not sure about the green liquor either.  All in all, I was probably better of with a panini in the Polish café.

However, here is a photograph of the interior which, had I known was this beautiful, would at least have had a cup of tea in there or something.

On Monday Mlle. T. went back to work and I had a hygienist appointment (as such a profession doesn’t exist in France) and a bra fitting in M & S.  Nobody can say I don’t know how to enjoy myself.

Not only tempted by the bras and knickers, I bought myself some lunch in M & S to take back to the flat before setting off to my Mum’s to spend the night before returning, with her, to France.

This is a beetroot and feta wrap with a pea, edamame and avocado crush.

In case you were wondering.

Meanwhile, the garden furniture I’d ordered had arrived in France and Mr. T. sent me a photo of how it was being appreciated in my absence.

Mum’s visit is now over and I took her back to the airport yesterday afternoon so I’m catching up with ‘stuff’.  While she was here I abandoned the sewing and indulged my new crochet obsession – I have two blankets on the go at the moment but I’ll save that for the next post.


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  1. #1 by Janice Marriott on May 18, 2017 - 15:33

    Walthamstow market…. or any market….my idea of a day out.

    • #2 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 15:46

      Would you have gone for the pie and mash?

  2. #3 by poshbirdy on May 18, 2017 - 15:49

    Ooh, I had pie and mash in that gorgeous place nearly 40 years ago when I was dating a boy in Walthamstow! Hope you had a lovely time at the hygienist 🙂

    • #4 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 16:01

      I really regret not going in now – maybe next time…..

      Hygienists are a bit brutal aren’t they – I preferred the bra fitting 😉

  3. #5 by nanacathy2 on May 18, 2017 - 16:29

    You certainly do know how to enjoy yourself! Not certain about fish chips and pimms, did it work. I love mushy peas! Can’t wait to see the fabric and love your garden furniture.

    • #6 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 20:26

      I feel like I should like them – I like peas after all – but there’s something about the texture.

  4. #7 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 18, 2017 - 17:32

    How lovely the dogs new furniture looks 🙂
    I adore that 20’s pie and mash shop. Beautiful. Those bags tell of a successful trip. Look forward to seeing their contents when you’re reunited. Looks like a lovely break all round, although I’m not too sure about pims with fish and chips.

    • #8 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 20:25

      Pimms is lovely with everything! They do a Fish & Chip Celebratory dish which comes with a glass of champagne. I do normally go for that – after all, I usually only get there once or twice a year – but I fancied a Pimms this time.

      • #9 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 19, 2017 - 00:46

        Although champagne is an improvement I still can’t help thinking the best drink to have with fish and chips is a cup of tea – sorry to be so uncouth.

      • #10 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:13

        Tut! You’ll be saying you like a slice of white bread and butter with it next. Actually available as a side order on the menu 😉

      • #11 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 19, 2017 - 11:58

        Absolutely not! I am shocked you could think that about me. Would never touch mushy peas either, before you ask 🙂

  5. #12 by Frivolous Monsters on May 18, 2017 - 18:03

    I don’t know who or what that guy is, or how it fits in with unicorn dresses. The first time I read that I thought that the costumes were for the wedding.

    Is your garden furniture waterproof? Or do you not have rain down there?

    • #13 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 20:19

      Sorry, I might have confused the issue. She is indeed going to a wedding where they have been asked to go in ‘fancy dress’ or ‘costume’ as they seem to say now. She will be going to the wedding vaguely done up as a unicorn – I await the transformation.
      The bloke is called Link and is the main protagonist of The Legend of Zelda, a very popular high-fantasy action-adventure video game series. This is how she will be dressed when she goes to Comic-Con at the end of May. Luckily her boyfriend has similar interests and will be going as Deadpool. I don’t know whether you’ve seen the film but I shudder to think of what he’s going to look like.
      I hope the furniture is waterproof as it’s hammering down outside as I type.

      • #14 by Frivolous Monsters on May 18, 2017 - 22:54

        I’ve not seen Deadpool – I rely on TV to show all these new films now – but I know what it as and can imagine that. More than the unicorn!

      • #15 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:21

        I have to say that I don’t think the boyfriend will cut as much of a dash as Ryan Reynolds does in a skintight all-in-one suit.

      • #16 by Frivolous Monsters on May 19, 2017 - 11:22

        Well…don’t let the daughter find out that you think that. You’re probably not supposed to be looking!

      • #17 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 12:45


  6. #18 by tinaor on May 18, 2017 - 19:52

    Great summary of your trip – love the comment ‘I know how to enjoy myself’. He he, so glad you did lots of nice things before the necessaries. Loving the look of those beetroot wraps – not saying that’s the only thing I liked about your blogpost – just they looked unusual! Fabric store recommends are always good – though like you – I have found sometimes they just don’t have the fabric I usually go for. I was in Brighton last summer and did find some great fabrics in a shop near The Lanes. I hope you got to The Lanes – quirky there, and it’s fun just to go in the jewellers and try on at least one piece of bling you could never afford … or is that just me?! Have only done it once, but it was fun!

    • #19 by tialys on May 18, 2017 - 20:24

      I love Brighton – it’s one of my favourite places from growing up and I always try to get back there at least once a year and eat fish and chips on the pier. I prefer the North Laines to the South and that is where Ditto Fabrics is to be found which is a great shop but, unfortunately, this visit we mooched around for far too long in Snoopers Paradise – have you been in there? – full of individual vintage and antique sellers crammed in every nook and cranny – so it was closing just as we arrived. 😦

      • #20 by tinaor on May 18, 2017 - 20:42

        Me too – I used to live just along the coast in Hastings and Brighton was where we went to be ‘cool’ – to be away from anyone who might know our parents and to shop and see bands! The shops were always better than at home, though I didn’t appreciate sewing then so wouldn’t have gone into fabric shops, just fashion shops! I dabbled in knitting but was probably not picky about what I used as long as it was cheap! So, recent visits to Brighton – I can’t remember the name of my fave fabric shop there – just remembered it was a treasure and sadly last time had hubby with me so was on a bit of a time limit! He can only stand hanging around for a short while. Must go back with a girlfriend soon! I did buy polka dot fabric for a summer dress and then we found a cafe and ate great cake. I think it might have been in the North Lanes actually, after wandering through the Lanes and looking in jewellers windows.

      • #21 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:26

        It’s ideal for shopping, eating, people watching and a bracing walk along the pier and with a bit of nostalgia – as we have – thrown in, it’s a great day out.

      • #22 by tinaor on May 19, 2017 - 23:55

        It sure is !

  7. #23 by craftycreeky on May 18, 2017 - 20:30

    Fish & chips & Pimms sounds good, I hate mushy peas too, I usually ask for garden peas instead. I was interested to read your comments on Walthamstow market, I haven’t been back since I lived there briefly 30 years ago, I tend to go to Goldhawk Road, I was thinking of checking it out again, but maybe I’ll stick to Goldhawk Road!!

    • #24 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:40

      We went to Goldhawk Road on one of my previous trips back and although there are a lot of Asian fabrics there too it is a goldmine and the shops are so concentrated you can literally come out of one shop and into another can’t you? If the journey isn’t too onerous for you, you could give Walthamstow a try – it’s a very vibrant market – more ‘atmospheric’ than Goldhawk Road and there are a couple of outstanding haberdashery shops. Also there is a famed ‘man outside Sainsbury’s’ stall which is excellent and I bought a few things from him as well as, down the far end, a shop called Saeed Fabrics which was slightly more expensive than some of the others but he had furnishing fabrics, craft fabrics and dressmaking fabrics and that’s where I spent most money. I printed out this map and took it with us – it’s from 2012 but mostly still accurate.

  8. #25 by Catherine on May 18, 2017 - 22:47

    It sounds like you had a lovely time, and I can’t wait to see your non unicorn fabric. Your dogs look like they enjoy ‘their’ new seat!

    • #26 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:22

      It has arrived – and my husband is complaining of a sore shoulder due to a heavy cabin bag. I advised him to get one on wheels.

  9. #27 by magpiesue on May 18, 2017 - 23:07

    I’ll have to show my husband that I don’t spoil our dog the way some folks do! What a lovely trip you’ve had. I’d have been doing my best to find an excuse to buy some trims in that shop too – with similar success I bet.

    • #28 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:19

      I’m back now so some form of discipline has now been reinstated!

  10. #29 by katechiconi on May 19, 2017 - 00:04

    It sounds as if you deserve to be thoroughly exhausted! But clearly you’ve had a blast and have accumulated quite a haul for M. Tialys to drag home 🙂 I do feel envious of your M&S foray, though, I can’t find underwear or lightweight knitwear I like anywhere. Who knew it would be impossible to find a fine merino cardigan in chocolate brown to replace the ones the moths have made lace of? It’s all acrylic, in nasty shades of khaki, burgundy, rust and purple. I shall have to make do with my now rather elderly ones in blackberry, navy and jade. Lovely garden furniture, BTW, extremely enviable!

    • #30 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 09:54

      Did you know there’s a dedicated M & S site for Australia? Here it is http://www.marksandspencerlondon.com/au/
      No merino wool for ladies at the mo – although there is for men, strangely – but none on the UK site either so must be the time of year.
      You could have a ‘virtual’ underwear foray.

      • #31 by katechiconi on May 20, 2017 - 00:03

        Yes, the time of year thing is the problem. I don’t understand the Australian obsession with acrylic knitwear, when they produce so much good wool. Thanks for the link, I’ll take a long and lavish look, but I suspect the postage cost will probably make things unfeasible.

      • #32 by tialys on May 20, 2017 - 08:33

        I had a quick look and I think, if you stick to ordering from the dedicated Australian site, you’ll be presently surprised at the postage costs.

      • #33 by katechiconi on May 20, 2017 - 09:07

        I shall spend some quality time browsing…

  11. #34 by anne54 on May 19, 2017 - 00:26

    Nothing better than an indulgence, unless you can indulge with sweet company like your daughter! I admire your resistance to the fabric and braiding. I would have to buy some, even though I had no use for it. I am like a magpie, attracted to the bright and sparkly. And enjoy your time with your Mum.

    • #35 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:15

      I do stand and stare and try to imagine what I could do with some of it. Before I go again, if I go again, I’ll have a look on Pinterest and see if I can come up with some inspiration. I’m sure there are some ideas for home furnishing projects that would be lovely out there.

  12. #36 by Born To Organize on May 19, 2017 - 05:34

    You’ve been having a great time! I’m so happy for you. Time with your mum, your daughter and an extended weekend with your husband all sound wonderful. I love a good fabric shop and can’t wait to see what Mr. Tialys brings back in his bag. There used to be several sewing shops in San Jose when i was a girl but we are now down to two in a city of nearly a million people. Isn’t that sad? I was turned on to an incredible website called Spoonflower, though and that was exciting. Do you know the site?

    • #37 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:12

      Sewing and knitting and crafts in general do seem to be ‘on trend’ at the moment in the U.K. and it’s great to see young people getting interested but, as with most shops in the U.K. High Street, most fabric and yarn shops are either concentrated in one area or in ‘out of town’ centres or online. I do know Spoonflower and it’s a great concept but, last time I looked, the postage was a little prohibitive.

      • #38 by Born To Organize on May 20, 2017 - 01:03

        I didn’t think about the postage costs for Spoonflower. That puts the kibosh on the whole thing, doesn’t it? It is nice to see young people discovering a craft that many of us grew up with (or at least I did..I’m in my late fifties). I think the decline in sewing was two-fold in this country: many women started working full time while at the same time cheap fashion hit the scene. There was a time when sewing was always the more affordable option, but that isn’t the case any more.

      • #39 by tialys on May 20, 2017 - 08:32

        You’re right, times have changed and cheap fashion is what deters a lot of people I think but there is still a desire amongst some to create something that you won’t see anybody else wearing and the sense of satisfaction is immense.

      • #40 by Born To Organize on May 21, 2017 - 03:57

        I agree! I used to sew my own clothes in high school, and took on small commissions for friends, my mom’s co-worker and even made costumes for a few high school students. After graduating in theatre arts I worked in several costume shops, so sewing was a big part of my day. I loved it (and still do). I make costumes at Halloween and always enjoy the challenge. It’s wonderfully creative.

  13. #41 by Thimberlina on May 19, 2017 - 09:04

    What an ace time you had, but the best pic for me was the one back home of your new furniture, priceless 😆

    • #42 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 10:05

      Now I’m back discipline has been reinstated and they’re not allowed on it – although I suspect they sneak on there when my back is turned.

  14. #43 by KerryCan on May 19, 2017 - 12:39

    My favorite line in the whole post was the one where you said you can’t walk in hooves anymore! Ha! It sounds like a good trip, with all the family time, and I’m sure you’re also glad to be home, sharing the outdoor furniture with the dogs.

    • #44 by tialys on May 19, 2017 - 12:51

      I’m glad I made you laugh 🙂

  15. #45 by claire93 on May 19, 2017 - 12:45

    oh gosh, the interior of that pie shop is so beautiful. I wonder if they’ve ever been used as a film set for films or TV?
    Sounds like you had a brilliant trip. Hope your Mum enjoys her stay in France.

  16. #46 by lovelucie1 on May 19, 2017 - 20:17

    Ha! Crochet! I knew it would get you eventually! I’m currently completing an octopus and then onto a life size stag head. Quite normal.
    Looking forward to seeing what your up to. Just be warned of repetitive strain/stress injury. I’m sure my physio thinks I’m mad when I tell him it’s worse after computer work and crochet.

    • #47 by tialys on May 20, 2017 - 08:36

      Never say never!
      I’ve seen those life size knit/crochet animal heads and I can’t say I haven’t been tempted by a fox 😉

  17. #48 by dezertsuz on May 20, 2017 - 20:36

    That all sounds like SO much fun! Your outdoor furniture has a water-resistant finish I presume? It’s lovely, even if only the pooch got to enjoy it at first. =) I look forward to seeing what you are crocheting and what you bought in England.

    • #49 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 10:53

      It is water resistant and, supposedly, you can leave it out all year round. However, I have invested in a cover so that I don’t have to keep taking the cushions off and into the house any time rain is forecast as I don’t think it would do them good to get soaked repeatedly.

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