Bethnal Green and a new mural

Friday, 16 November, 2018

I seem to be having loads of Torino hints in front of me. That’s so odd.

Chocolate in the kosher shop, Clapton
Chocolate in the kosher shop, Clapton
Great range of Lavazza coffee in Sainsbury's, Dalston
Great range of Lavazza coffee in Sainsbury’s, Dalston
On Bethnal Green Road
On Bethnal Green Road
Shrine, so Italian, on April Street, Hackney
Shrine, so Italian, on April Street, Hackney

If I were superstitious…

I had bloodwork on Thursday morning. Once upon a time they told us the old doctor’s office would be renovated or built over with a new office but this never happened. The offices are in such a drab old building and the interior isn’t all that much different, but there’s a lot of new technology. Maybe one day they’ll rebuild it. Meanwhile, the phlebotomist is the nice one, and not the mean one, so that’s a very good thing!

Somerford Grove General Practice
Somerford Grove General Practice

Opposite the doctors is an imposing 30s style buildingOpposite the doctors is an imposing 30s style building[/caption>

My plan after that was to go to a pop up bakery, check out a new mural I’d seen on Instagram, and then meet Krish for lunch.
Continue reading “Bethnal Green and a new mural”

Graffiti groupie in Torino and what I had for lunch

Sunday, 16 September, 2018 30C

Today we went to the Balon flea¬† market but it wasn’t there! I’m puzzled since I thought it was every Sunday! Never mind. So we headed back up to the main road, Regina Margherita.

On the side of the mosque near our flat
On the side of the mosque near our flat
Haven't noticed this flat before - nicely done!
Haven’t noticed this flat before – nicely done!

At the top of the street, we saw a roughly painted whale shape on the wall and, looking a bit more, there was a guy sitting on a wooden crate – the artist? Yes! So I went to chat with him. He said his name was Fijodor. He was from somewhere else but now in Turin. Where he comes from, it’s on the French border and in that part of the Mediterranean there are whales. His theme for the wall art will be plastics and the plight of the earth. The other interesting thing was he was from the place where plastic was invented.

He gave me his card.

The outline for the whale
The outline for the whale
Mr Fijodor takes a break
Mr Fijodor takes a break

Continue reading “Graffiti groupie in Torino and what I had for lunch”

Saturday markets and Lavazza

Saturday, 8 September, 2018 28C

I’m going to start recording temperatures, for the record.

Saturday was another hot day. And, although we prefer to stay well away from the market on Saturday, there we were. And while we went there for four things, we came back with about ten. No big surprise there.

The market spilled over into Balon., where they were having a flea market. The photo I missed was the woman carrying a rather enormous package on her head. Well, I thought I got it, but it was one of those photos where you can’t see for the sun and your shot is of something entirely different. Missed!

The market spilling into Balon
The market spilling into Balon
The farmers' market much busier than on weekdays, and 50-50% higher prices too!
The farmers’ market much busier than on weekdays, and 50-50% higher prices too!

We got bok choy, damsons, my favourite expensive olives, parsley, sesame grissini, two fresh goat cheeses, sparkling water, milk, tomatoes, russian salad…could that be it?

My favourite grissini, two euros' worth
My favourite grissini, two euros’ worth

On our corner is the very-popular Galina, a seafood shop and restaurant. However, at the outside wall of the covered market is another fish shop that sells fritti misti from a side window. It’s cheaper and I like it better. Five euros for a small, eight for a large. Krish queued for a large one while I tried to stay out of the sun, and checked the haberdashery stalls along the side of the road. I wish I could find a fabric one.

The goat cheese and olives made a lovely salad, and the fritti – well, it’s deep fried and yummy. What more can I say?

Lunch - goat cheese and beet salad, fritti misti!
Lunch – goat cheese and beet salad, fritti misti!

We moved the furniture around the way we had it last year. So much more homey now. Photo to follow. And we napped. Krish suggested a walk and, wow, I didn’t feel like it but I knew I’d be glad of it once we were out there, and I was.

We walked across the river to the Lavazza complex. They’ve done some work on regulating the flow of the river and I seem to recall some elaborate machinery there last year.

The Lavazza grounds (haha) were still underway on our last visit but now they’re all finished. It’s quietly stunning. I stole this next picture from the Lavazza site. Ssshhh. (Of course it’s greener and lusher than this, with summer in full swing and everything bloomed and flourishing.)

Lavazza Headquarters, Torino
Lavazza Headquarters, Torino

The complex on via Bologna, which includes the modern office building, is unusually shaped, the architects describing it as a ‘cloud,’ (Krish thought it might be a coffee bean and I like his idea better) and it’s flanked by some renovated buildings, one of which was a power station and now houses the bistrot and a convention centre. Around the perimeter and through the central courtyard are green spaces. They aren’t as people-friendly as I expected when I was watching construction last year – the central ‘parkette’ (Share) is pin-neat and greenery is contained within plant oases.

At the back of the building you can see the archaeological remains through a semi-basement window, and there’s a huge employee gym.

Looking towards the Lavazza Shop. In the window the Turin Eye is reflected
Looking towards the Lavazza Shop. In the upper window the Turin Eye is reflected so you can see how close we are to the headquarters
One view of the garden
One view of the garden
The garden I hoped would be more people-friendly. The converted power station at the back
The garden I hoped would be more people-friendly. The converted power station at the back
Checking out the archaeological remains through the window at the back
Checking out the archaeological remains through the window at the back

I’m not one for museums but ‘Museo’ is clearly signposted. I hope the remains are part of this, the way it seems to be laid out, labelled and with viewing platforms and stepping stones. I must do this really soon! Even the Shop looked intriguing. And, even though Krish wasn’t keen, I think I’ll head back to the bistrot and join in on this ritual too.

But there’s one thing the literature doesn’t tell you. This place smells amazing! Two areas had a strong spicy smell – reminded me of sea minerals, and another was strongly floral and vanilla-like. Each time, I tried to figure out the source of the aroma and failed. I need a Scent Detective!

Turin Eye from Lavazza
Turin Eye from Lavazza
I've seen very little wall art ar all this year. This was near Lavazza
I’ve seen very little wall art ar all this year. This was near Lavazza

Liat’s visit

Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Liat came to stay for about ten days. We looked about a bit other than our visit to the Tate Modern.

Picnicking at London Fields
Picnicking at London Fields
Crooning at the Vegan Market
Crooning at the Vegan Market
Frida Kahlo, Broadway Market
Frida Kahlo, Broadway Market
Not so many years since I could see the Gherkin on this skyline
Not so many years since I could see the Gherkin on this skyline
What looks like a sponsored ad disguised as Street Art, Hanbury Street
What looks like a sponsored ad disguised as Street Art, Hanbury Street
New art on Hanbury Street
New art on Hanbury Street
Liat at Skygarden
Liat at Skygarden
Street Art piece near Leadenhall Market
Street Art piece near Leadenhall Market
A little Hackney scene
A little Hackney scene

Couch! and a meeting with an old friend

Wednesday, 27 June, 2018

Maybe one day we will buy a new couch but so far every attempt has failed. The couch is either too short, too long, too uncomfortable, too expensive… There have been five failed tries – the Ikea couch was too big, so too was the couch at Sofa Workshop, one that was advertised online was too short, the couch at a floor model sale wasn’t comfortable enough, and the Conran couch wasn’t sturdy enough. So I’m stuck with a couch that I can’t stretch out on and that sags in the middle. We think an interim step we can live with is to replace the foam inside the cushions. Soon! We did need to make two visits to Westfield, though.

The prosecco truck at Westfield, Stratford
The prosecco truck at Westfield, Stratford
Take a photo, Krish the Lego fan demanded
Take a photo, Krish the Lego fan demanded
Nachos at lunch, Giraffe. Brits aren't so good at them
Nachos at lunch, Giraffe. Brits aren’t so good at them
Not sure they quite understand 'tacos' either
Not sure they quite understand ‘tacos’ either

Belle Epoque, our local Parisian Patisserie, provided mini treats at the Floor model sale Continue reading “Couch! and a meeting with an old friend”