Category Archives: Covent Garden

Lovely having a little girl after two boys

And now she's 48!!
And now she’s 48!!

I’m so proud of all my children and grandchildren. Louise, our third child, is now 48 and a very successful director of a language college and an author.

Excerpt from Woman in a White Coat
After two boys I was hoping for a girl. The boys had slept in carry cots, but for my third baby I borrowed a friend’s wicker cradle and spent hours trimming it with lace and making matching pillowcases and coverlets.
I started having labour pains in the early hours of the first day of spring 1966. Joshua drove me and the boys to the private maternity clinic in Welbeck Street. The room was like a bedroom in a country cottage, with a blazing coal fire, deep carpets and a soft feather bed.
Josh took the boys off for breakfast to an all-night café in Covent Garden – then still a thriving fruit and vegetable market with cafes for the market porters. The woman at the counter carefully poured hot water over two teaspoons before putting them on the saucers.
‘Just to sterilise them, sir. Need to make sure the kids don’t catch anything,’ she said. Continue reading Lovely having a little girl after two boys

Covent Garden and Pétillon’s ‘Heartbeat’

Quartet playing classical music and Pétillon's 'Heartbeat'
Quartet playing classical music and Pétillon’s ‘Heartbeat’

Walked though Covent Garden Market on my way to buy a purse, and was overwhelmed by louring installation of a cloud of white balloons by the French Artist Charles Pétillon. He said he wanted to represent the Market building as the beating heart of the area.

Gallery showing Pétillon's 'Invasions' and other work
Gallery in the market square showing Pétillon’s ‘Invasions’ and other work

But I remember the market as a thriving fruit and vegetable market which also sold flowers. Established around 1654, the market was translocated in 1974 to a site near Nine Elms because of the traffic congestion it caused in Central London.  The building was reopened in 1980 in its present guise with masses of shops and cafes and a craft Market.

In the years our toyshop, John Dobbie, was open, 1963-73, Joshua used to go to Covent Garden market at Easter and buy trays of primroses and at Christmas, holly sprays. We gave them away to our customers – a bit surprised when the odd customer said ‘I bought two toys so do I get two bunches?’