Too nice to stay inside

This past weekend we planned on dinner and a movie to celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, the weather was beautiful for this time of year. It was cloudy, but pleasant. Sitting inside seemed like a wasted opportunity. We headed to Spitalfields Market. Sunday is the liveliest day to go and the flower markets are present. We went on a Saturday, which means I’ll probably head back there on a Sunday. The market is a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. Since 1638 a market has been located on this site. Today it’s a trendy area where you can find clothes, food, books, and more.

I only stopped long enough to snap a photo. I'm still banned from buying books this year.

I only stopped long enough to snap a photo. I’m still banned from buying books this year.


How cute are these shoes?


It was hard to resist these.

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After wandering through the market we headed over to Brick Lane. If you are in the mood for curry this is the place to go. We opted for Chinese from the food market. Many Bengalis live in the neighborhood. It’s a lively area to wander through and is famous for its graffiti. You never know what you’ll find and each time I’ve been there something else catches my eye.

Underneath the sign you can see the street signs are written in Bengali.

Underneath the sign you can see the street signs are written in Bengali.057 047 046 045 044 042 039 037 035

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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79 Responses to Too nice to stay inside

  1. What a wonderful series of photos!! It looks like a great day to me, but I still can’t believe you passed over all of those books without buying even one. Your willpower amazes me!! 🙂

    • TBM says:

      And they were on sale…a good sale. I thought of you when I walked away. I’m stubborn.

      • I’m very proud of you :). So, how much has your TBR pile shrunk?

      • TBM says:

        So far I’ve read 7 of my own books, and a handful of library books. Every time I step into a bookshop it cost me 20-40 quid. I can’t just buy one book–just like I can’t eat just one chip. So I’ve saved some money so far. More for travel!

      • That’s awesome!! I can’t seem to get enough of reading lately. It’s all I want to do LOL!! Hey guess what? I got a snow day!!!!! Yay me :). The highways are terrible here today, and two of my neighbours have already turned around and come back home this morning, so I said the heck with it. Now I can finish the scrapbook that I was working on yesterday. It’s the one from my trip in 2010 to England and the Netherlands, so I figured it was high time I got it done :).

      • TBM says:

        Another snow day. How many inches do you have now? Where are they putting all of the snow when they plow?

      • OK, false alarm – I ended up going to work after all because it cleared up :(, but Daniel had a snowday from school yesterday and has another one today. We’re under a snowsquall warning right now and could get 15 cm (6 inches) over the next 12 hours, so hopefully it will get worse before I have to go to work LOL. We have quite a bit of snow now, but there have been many years where I have seen it worse. I can remember years where the banks in the driveway were so high that it was almost impossible to lift the shovel full of snow over the top. The NE US has been hammered pretty good this year and so has Eastern Canada. Cross you fingers for me :).

      • TBM says:

        What a shame. You were ready for a snow day and then the rug was ripped right out from under you. Snowsquall–that’s a new term for me.

      • You’ve never heard the term snowsquall? But didn’t you live in Boston? They got hammered with a bad snowstorm this year, much worse than what we have had, so I just assumed snowsquall would be a common word for you too. Maybe I just take the word for granted because we get so many LOL!! And yes, it was very depressing yesterday to have my day off ripped away from me. I had even changed back in to my pyjamas and everything :(. Oh well, that’s life in Dundalk!

      • TBM says:

        I remember the word Nor’easter. They love to use that one in Boston. First time I heard that I thought of Easter. I like chocolate bunnies–boy was I in for a surprise.

      • Mmmm, chocolate bunny. I could eat a whole chocolate bunny right about now :). This diet is killing me! Anyway, my hubby says the roads aren’t too bad, so I’m off to work. I guess I’ll have to wait for the weekend to get back to my scrapbook. Maybe I’ll give my boss a hard time today – that might make it a little more bearable – maybe I’ll start an elastic band fight LOL. Have a great rest of your day :).

      • TBM says:

        Elastic band fight–you’ll shoot an eye out! I hope all went well and no issues with the road.

      • Well, it actually turned out to be a punching fight, and I kept up punch for punch LOL!! Who says I have to act my 47 years?? That would be boring! Anyway, the roads weren’t too bad, and today my little brat is finally going back to school. He has been off for 5 days in a row including the weekend.

      • TBM says:

        do they have to make up the snow days at the end of the year?

      • They have to reach about 20 snow days before they will make them do that apparently, and they are not there yet :).

      • TBM says:

        That’s good. I wouldn’t want to extend the school year. I still remember the feeling as the school year came to a close–freedom!

    • Ya, he would not be a happy camper if that happened 🙂

  2. frizztext says:

    wonderful tribute to LONDON!

  3. I do love a market! And those books! My goodness, how did you resist? Not even one? I can spend all day weaving through a book store, especially a used book store. You never know what kind of gems will show up. Great shots. London just went way up on my ‘to see’ list.

  4. Beth Ann says:

    Absolutely loved that tour!!! The books looked soooo inviting….how on earth did you resist?

  5. Myra GB says:

    Books! Lots of them! I’d most likely head on to those yummylicious book shops before anything else! 🙂

  6. thirdeyemom says:

    I could spend all day snapping pictures here! What a great hood. I would also go nuts eating that Indian food. One of my favorites!

  7. Ah, I miss Brick Lane – such a fun place!

  8. cupitonians says:

    Such amazing photos! I can’t wait to be in London so I can try these myself. Also, you are a SUPERHERO. Passing those books and not picking it up like gollum!

  9. What a great place! You are very strong resisting bookshops that way. I’m doing fairly well–actually reading books I’ve had for years and only making an occasional Kindle purchase, all under ten dollars. It’s a bit easier to resist bookstores over here because there are so few now. Amazon is really putting the independent booksellers out of business.

    • TBM says:

      That does depress me. I remember as a kid hopping on my bike and heading to the bookstore for hours. Such a shame. we have tons more bookshops here–but I’m trying to stay strong.

  10. Wish we’d known about Brick Lane when we were there. I could NOT have left without books, or curry. I do envy your extended stay there!

  11. wordsurfer says:

    LOVE Brick Lane market…! I miss London. 😦
    Lovely snapshots.

  12. Valentina says:

    Good outing, especially when visits to books are included.

  13. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I love your market trips and have heard about this one before, it looks fab!

  14. Geoff W says:

    That looks like a great weekend outing! And on an uh oh better not share note, I hope you’re following Emily of The Matilda Project and her exploration of all the bookshops in London! I should do something similar for Boston, but the book buying ban for me is also still in place…mostly.

    • TBM says:

      I do follow her blog and each time I want to check out the bookstores. Then I remember my no buying policy. Maybe I should up the challenge, visit stores and don’t buy. Talk about setting myself up for complete and total failure. The other day I was trying to think of a way around it, like if the better half bought them–but that won’t happen unless I point out which ones to buy. One year for my birthday the better half mapped out bars and bookshops. We’d have a drink, go to the bookshop and I was given a number of how many books I could buy. Then another bar, bookshop, new number. It was awesome! We had to take a cab home for all the books.

  15. Northern Narratives says:

    I love your photos. I would have spent a long time looking at those books.

  16. Love Brick Lane – it’s been waaaay too long. I think I sometimes forget to head over that way becuase I’m a South London girl!

  17. bocafrau says:

    I’ll take the Hello Kitty shoes and some Pho, please. 🙂

  18. Fergiemoto says:

    What a great stroll!
    Is it difficult not being able to purchase a book for a while, since you are such an avid reader?

    • TBM says:

      It isn’t an easy challenge, but I already own so many books I haven’t read yet. And I’m trying to save more money for travel. It’s a sacrifice, but worth it.

  19. petit4chocolatier says:

    Thank you for the fun tour!

  20. Caroline says:

    So colorful… I miss living ina big city. That curry looks delicious.

  21. poppytump says:

    You didn’t buy a cushion with a Miles face on then TBM !!
    You have been very strong willed on the book front goldstar 😉

  22. Lynn says:

    That’s a great set of pictures. Was the curry as good as it looks? I hope so it looked delicious.
    Lynn 😀

  23. a book and bar birthday-how awesome. i would love that. no kindle for me. i want the real thing. the smell, the texture, the sound of a page turning. i love the market shots. reminds me of the markets in melbourne. we have no markets here sad to say.

    • TBM says:

      I haven’t purchased a kindle yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I love the feel of books but …

      • You know, if you put out the initial expense for an ebook reader, which is relatively little nowadays, you would have no problem sticking to your no buying books promise because I could tell you a website where you can get all of your books for free!! 🙂

      • TBM says:

        hmmm…let’s just say I’m working on that, but not sure when it will happen. However, I did promise to read more of the books that I own.

      • I go back and forth between my ebook reader and my real books because I too have a TBR pile that needs some work. I buy my favourites in real book format, and I have at least 500 in ebook format. It’s crazy, but at least I know I will never, ever run out of things to read :).

      • TBM says:

        500 in ebook format. Can I be a snoop and ask what type of ereader? I understand if you don’t want to answer. I’m thinking of getting an iPad but can’t decide. One day I say yes, the next I say no since they are pricey. I hate lugging my laptop around–I know, I’m lazy.

      • Ok, here’s the scoop. I have both an iPad and a Sony ereader, but I use them differently. I love my iPad and use it all the time, and I could not do without it. However, I never read on it. What people don’t realize is that for reading, tablets are not ideal. First, they are far heavier than an ereader and second, you cannot read on a tablet outside in the sun because of the glare on the screen. Ereaders have a different technology that makes the screen look like normal print, so that you can read it anywhere. My ereader is light as a feather, and I can throw it in my purse no problem, so I always have 100’s of books with me :). Plus, you can pick up ereaders now for under $100 which is far cheaper than an iPad. Another thing is that the battery life on an ereader is way better than a tablet. You can literally read for weeks without having to recharge. Hope that helps :).

      • TBM says:

        It does help and I appreciate your honesty. Basically you’re saying I need both. Now I need you to come up with the perfect answer for the better half. Take your time, it will have to be perfect 🙂 And saying it’s heavier won’t work, since I’m supposed to be working out. I am worried that if I have 100s of books I might feel tons of pressure to read them quickly. I like to see progress.

    • First of all, even with hundreds of ebooks, you don’t see an actual physical pile of books growing before your eyes, so it’s not near as daunting LOL!! Now, I’ve been thinking all day about how to approach this with your better half. It’s a tough one for sure, but I’m thinking that you need to appeal to his man logic. Men hate how much women pack when they travel, and you and the better half love to travel, so you have to push the idea that you are trying to downsize to make travelling easier :). An iPad is much smaller and more practical for travelling (as long as you will have access to WiFi at your destination). As for the ereader, you just need to reinforce the fact that you will save a ton of money on books because you have this wonderful blogging friend who knows how to get ebooks for free :). Ok, how’s that? Does it sound good, or does it still need work?

      • TBM says:

        Perfect. You take your duties seriously! I appreciate all of your help! I should mention when I pack I don’t bring much, but I won’t mention that when I make my case for both. Might start by asking for the iPad–get the expensive one out of the way and then say oh an ereader is so cheap I might as well get one.

      • What are friends for right? By the way, if you get an iPad, I can tell you all about the database app I have that keeps track of all of my books, and then you will always have a complete list of your books with you wherever you go, and you will be organized just like me LOL!!!!

      • TBM says:

        Umm, are you trying to talk me out of an iPad?

      • LOL!!! No, of course not. I just really think you would love these apps :).

      • TBM says:

        It will be interesting to see how techy I get with one.

      • Yes, it will be!! I am rubbing my hands together and smiling in anticipation – I will convert another one Mwahh ha ha :).

      • TBM says:

        You have no idea what you are taking on. I don’t even own a cell phone!

      • No cellphone?!?!?! I would die without my cellphone. One time I bad to leave mine at the store for a couple of hours so they could check out the battery problem I was having, and Mike had to let me hold his so I wouldn’t go crazy!!! LMAO

      • TBM says:

        At first I thought I would really miss mine. When I moved here I cancelled my American phone. Since I worked from home I decided to try living without one. I found out I like not having one. I used to have a job that required me to be on call 24/7 and I always had my cellphone with me and fully charged. And I hated it. My work always called during a date or a movie–I think they knew and waited to “create” a crisis.

      • Ok, that would definitely suck to be connected to work after hours. I could not tolerate that because I need to shut my brain off from work at the end of the day to preserve my sanity just a little bit LOL!

      • TBM says:

        I loved my job, but the stress was brutal. I used to go for long, long, long bike rides to get it out of my system to enjoy the evenings–the evenings I didn’t work that is.

  24. dd16591569 says:

    In Sydney there are a few local markets like this one ( post) but I always find myself heading to the countryside markets .

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