The greatest bonus in having The Arch is that it sits within cheese smell distance of Borough Market.
I adore markets as much as I don't like supermarkets. Don't get me wrong; I use supermarkets...because I have to. We all have to. They fulfil a role. But I don't love them. My heart sinks as I pick up a trolley; it's no big tragedy, but it's a minus, not a plus.
Whereas... enter a market anywhere and my heart starts to sing. Big plus. Any market will do. I like le Marché de Castillon, Henley Farmer's Market, Ulverston Market, Durham Market. I particularly like that fish market on the Grand Canal by the Ponte Vecchio. Adelaide Food Market is a huge treat because the whole world is there, and Borough Market is getting that way. It's going increasingly cosmopolitan if that's the word I mean.
Guy making raclette, next to fresh Turkish Delight, French Squabs next to those milky italian cheese things look like little pouches tied with raffia. It's endless. I could live in Borough Market. I could quite likely die there too...in a Monsieur Creosote gastric explosion. 'Way to go', as they say.
But my market obsession is not just because I'm a Notorious Guts. The smells and tastes are not everything. It's the people, the life and the colour. And the sheer intoxicating fix got from the lovely creativity and obsessive passion of small producers ...of anything....doesn't have to be edible.
I suppose I just don't like BIG.
Big always sits so heavy. If I had loadsamoney I'd help anyone who wanted, to set up a market or market stall anywhere that didn't have one. I'd have stalls down streets, in car parks, waste spaces, old barns. It's a dream; millions of planners and healthnsafteyers would have to be taken away and locked up for this to happen.
If everyone's life could revolve around a happy market, a sunny vegetable garden, a big noisy dining table and a deep wine cellar it would mean that we had, in fact achieved heaven on earth.
Today was a day off in the sun. Pretended to be tourists; with Barbara and friends. Did the market, popped into our place for a sip of Champagne, did Southwark Cathedral, then caught the fast cat ferry down to Greenwich for a wander around the Naval College.