Camden Calling

 

Camden is a part of London that swings so much the tube station closes periodically to incoming passengers just because it is too busy.  There are plans to expand the railway platforms but this will mean moving some of the iconic buildings that adorn Camden High Street.  This is currently my block as I am preparing a short play to be performed here over the Summer.  Whilst I was picking out photographs to share on the blog my mobile caught the back end of tweets saying a fire had moved through a part of Camden Markets.

Thankfully no one is hurt by the flames but the markets are momentarily deserted.  The eerie sense of emptiness, due to a temporary evacuation, makes the memories of the place more intense.  I remember buying my first leather jacket in Camden Market and heading to a rock concert.  I always feel young in Camden and I trip over my younger self every time I pass the iconic ‘Black Cap’ tavern where everyone gets a welcome.

There is always a scuffle, or full out fight in the street where the loser gets dumped on some garbage but no one gets hurt.  The most pain I have witnessed is amongst the families with adolescents dining on £3 Chinese ‘mix up’ buffet who decide now is the time to reveal true feelings.  Whilst everything about Camden is in the here and now, older London architecture is featured here.

I find Camden impossibly self-revelatory and practical.  The old stables that run past the canal is converted to house up and coming stalls full of entrepreneurs selling products they honestly believe in.  From crazy inflatable bags, flashing glasses, tattoos and designer T shirts; everything is for sale.

There is something in the air here that reinvents the past.  The shops selling goth fashions feel fresh although the street hasn’t changed much since it featured in classic films such as ‘Withnail and I’.  In medieval times there was a site for hanging criminals opposite where the tube station now stands, giving a darker side to this area of London that was named after a land owner.

The market reopens soon enough after the all clear is given from the fire.  Twitter (again) announces this.  I breathe a sigh of relief no permanent damage has been done to the horse statues, captured mid-gallop,  that fill the old market.  The photographs above hold a new value to me.  It took a string of tweets for me to re-appreciate a culture and a place I take for granted.  Unlike the bright colours of the  Mohicans around me it’s subtle how places become part of our own history.

 

 

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54 thoughts on “Camden Calling

  1. Pingback: The tasty challenge of broccoli leaves | Mermaid's tresses

  2. What a neat place that sounds like…and how much one feels as though we have just enjoyed a visit, reading your vivid descriptions.

    • Thank you! I enjoyed your post ‘Mrs Dash’ it let me revel in the tiny details that make a big impression. It changed also the way I see packet cake mixes! I love the wit and depth in your posts.

      Glad you enjoyed my take on Camden, it’s one of those quirky places that offers a unique experience to everyone so this is mine!

    • Aw Dawna that is a HUGE compliment coming from you! Your photography mesmerises me! You have nailed your own signature in compositions and I try and absorb tips from your posts.

      Thank you so much for my lovely comment. :-)

      • I’m blushing! ~°•○●~☆□●○•°~☆♢♡♤~`°•
        You are so kind my dear fair-lady.
        It’s not often enough that I hear from you. You’ll have to stop disappearing for such lengthy periods of time. You do know; you are a breath of fresh air.
        As they say in England, “Cheerio for now”
        (or is that just in the movies) (?) If so
        “Rainbows”

      • Ah I’m sure ‘cheerio’ still works down on the street!

        Yes I’m a big sporadic on the WP but looking forward to catching up on your beautiful blog posts today!

        *Rainbows* too

        Enjoy the weekend! ;-)

  3. Stayed in Camden when we did our London-on-a-budget in 2012. Amazing place with pretty reliable transit to everywhere we wanted to visit. Lively and colorful! Your pictures are beautiful too.

    • Thank you Linda. Glad you thought the photos did this cool place justice! I am nodding in agreement with your take on Camden and so pleased we are both fans. Bravo to you for doing London on a budget, I think it’s the only way to see the real city. You come across some total gems.

      I enjoyed reading your post on higher education so much, you share important insights and encouragement.

  4. I love that a world away, i can always visualize what you write about. You have a way of making a reader feel cozy and sad and happy all at once… or should i say.. .”whilst i was happy , so was i warm but melancholy….”….

    A treat as always :)

    • Thank you MissFit! I am thrilled you enjoyed our journey to Camden!

      I am heading off for a Summer trip soon and looking forward to doing ABSY along the way (you have a great post making this idea come to life!). It is new to me and such a good way to maximise use of time!

      Thank you for my lovely comment.

  5. Thanks for the flashback of this part of London, it sounded like a place of great nostalgia to you :) ! I was there long time ago, so glad to hear the fire didn’t do too much damage!

    • I think you would love it. There are lots of cool craft stalls (you would make a fat profit! here!). People are genuinely friendly although of course it’s still a city. But there is an open mind to new ideas.

      I love your latest design. Gorgeous work!

    • I would put money on those shoes being pretty superb! It’s so hard not to splash out there. The global food cafes are my weakness!! Glad you have a big piece of Camden!

      Your latest blog fascinates me, and has so many layers. I love how your posts surprise me, showing me something new. Happy weekend! :-)

  6. Wow, your post made me smile as it reminds me some crazy nights at the world’s end. Camden has a unique atmosphere that makes it so special, and it is by far my most missed part of London

    • Hello Paco! I am so glad you enjoy Camden. World’s End is terrific isn’t it? I had a great time catching up on your blog today. Your site is very stylish and tells me more about the industry of learning languages (such an important skill). I look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you so much Jack! The liveliness of Camden means that everyone will have their own story but I’m thrilled you found mine to be vivid!

      I am so glad I found your site today, I have caught up on the movies I may not get chance to see in full. Thank you!

  7. Pingback: A Hope from our Long Lost Distant Relations | Wired With Words

  8. Your writing is very evocative. It almost made me forget why I have a love/hate relationship with Camden. I lived in Camden but I’m grateful to just visit these days, having moved to the outskirts of the borough. It’s changed a lot in the past 15 years (it’s shocking I have been visiting for that long!) but I’ve also changed too. Still, I have many good memories of Camden and I will be sad if it changes much more.

    • Lovely to hear from you Lauren. The Stables seem to be different all the time with the individual shops changing. I read that changes may happen to make way for an Underground renovation. I can see the need for bigger platforms but even a small piece of Camden taken away will have an impact!! I am so glad the post worked for you.

      It was great to enjoy your photographs of Cardiff in your recent blog. Terrific you caught the place on a sunny day, I love your images.

    • It’s a place that is always changing, but somehow stays the same, to me at least!

      Bravo on your exquisite cacti photos. I love the fine detail you capture.

  9. I knew you would like Camden. Lots of live music and it feels so alive too. I feel cooler than I aught to there! Love your cake poem, it has perfect advice for all visitors ;-D

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