CAMDEN LOCK MARKET AND STEELBANDS GALORE
It was a very diverse day with a visit to Camden Lock Market during the day and the Panorama competition during the evening.
Camden Lock Market.
I really enjoyed the Camden Lock Market when I visited it the last time I was in the UK and I thought it was the perfect place to revisit and for Clarissa to get a little extra shopping.
It's changed a lot: it's much larger and there's not as much handmade or quirky stuff. But it's still so full of atmosphere that it's well worth a visit.
And it's cheap ... Clarissa got a gorgeous leather jacket for less than 75 pounds (she's one serious haggler down from 100 pounds) and I picked up a double bedspread for 10 pounds I plan on using as a blanket for the lounge sofa.
Walking along the road towards the market ... the original market is on the left and now it's spilled over onto the other side of the road.
The lock opening: this was our view as we sat and ate our lunch.
I really enjoyed watching the lock open and close ... and watching the guy jump back onto the barge.
After lunch we walked towards the lock and bridge ... this bridge is the bump in the road from the first photo with SLOW written on the road above the bridge.
Check out the difference in the number of people ... we arrived pretty early in the day but by lunch time there was a huge crush of people at the market.
This lion was so 'touristy' that I had to get a shot ... and for once Clarissa let me take a photo of her and her dad together.
This was one of the arcades in the old part of the market ... I loved the ceiling in this bit.
This gives you an idea of the crowd.
These seats for lunch were so cute ... but it was too early in the day for us to stop here.
Horace and his favourite part of any market ... looking through the records.
And finally another view of the crowd ... this time Clarissa and Horace wandering around the market.
One of the highlights of Carnival, and one of the reasons for going, was to see the steelbands and we spent several evenings and tonight going to visit steelbands practising and to see the ten bands in total that competed in the National Panorama Competition in Hyde Park.
It was freezing each night as we watched the bands ... Clarissa's new leather jacket helped but it still wasn't enough and in the end I took the new bedspread with us to Panorama and we were as warm as toast. One person walking past smiled and commented ... maybe next year more people will do the same although Londoners (including the West Indians) never seemed to feel the temperature and there were short sleeves everywhere in temperatures we found cold.
When I first arrived I was able to take photos of the bands but after a while, as it started to get darker, I was too far away to do that and used the big screen not far away to get some equally good shots.
Our first visit to see Mangrove practising ... we turned up late and only saw the end of the last song.
We went back to see Mangrove practice the following day ... and this time Clarissa and I stood only a foot away from them at the front of the crowd while Horace visited with [lots of] friends.
We also saw Metronome practice ... they had the most amazing place by the canal and we arrived early enough to see them setting up.
Drum roll ... introducing the Notting Hill Panorama at Hyde Park.
The first band I saw: I arrived a little after Horace and Clarissa and the second band London All Stars was about to start ... a view through the crowd.
A close up of the crowd on the big screen.
A close up of Croydon Steel Orchestra.
Everybody in England seems to play pan: black, white, Asian, young and old. The Croydon Steel Orchestra, especially, seemed to have a lot of young kids in it.
A close up of one of the pans from the Croydon Steel Orchestra.
Another of the steelbands playing ... this time Real Steel.
Finally ... a view of Metronome through the crowd.
Metronome again ... this time showing how big they were.
A close up of Metronome playing.
Another close up ... this time of Ebony and the big bass pans.
The front row of Ebony ... the players really bounce around as they play.