Portobello Road, London Okay, it could be my age, or my waning lust for even more brightly colored objects, but the famous and crowded collection of just-about-everything-imaginable in Portobello Road Market simply does not thrill anymore. 

In the old days, I couldn’t leave without adding to my silver collection, grabbing a great piece of jewelry, or having a fabulous platter to tuck into my suitcase.

But nothing rang my bell today. I truly have enough platters, and I’ve just purged my jewelry collection, plus I no longer collect cigarette cards. And, my silver chest is full.

But that didn’t stop us from wandering the streets of the market and seeing what was on offer. The food was quite ethnically diverse and aromatic, and aromatic. And the vegetables were picture-perfect.

But the ‘stuff,’ well, it just looked like stuff today. Maybe I need to have my retail juices replenished. Or, just maybe, the vendors of the really quaint and quirky items of some quality have all gone digital.

It was fun strolling with the crowds, but it was more of a farewell tour.

Moving on, we went to the Design Museum. Like all modern complexes, it had a tastefully concealed front door, but we managed to find it. Interesting building, with a dramatic but not large exhibit space.

It was a bit of a change from Portobello Road. Items were tastefully spaced – many seemed to be observing Covid protocols – and carefully curated. We learned that design is all around us and affects everything we touch. Go know!

However, unlike the items at the market, most of these displays focused heavily on watchwords such as “ethically sourced,” “sustainable,” and – of course – “organic,” along with “ergonomic.”

Hmmm. I guess my tastes fall somewhere between the market and the rigors of modern design. I benefit from both, but do there have to be so many rules about new stuff? Whatever happened to pretty???

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