This feels like such an unusual thing to do, where once it was such a usual thing to do... It's been very quiet around here lately, I know. Blame it on 2013 being the death of the blog (though I'm still reading) or the fact that I changed cities, or that it was winter and now it isn't.
What better way to start again than with a London cliche: the Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday morning. One of those places that (apart from the teeming crowds) feels like someone thought up a perfect Sunday and then planted it, piece by piece, into East London: jazz bands (see here), spring sunshine, tulips, 10 roses for £5, be-tweeded chaps carrying thistles, girls in dresses with bouquets wrapped in paper parcels... it was a bit ridiculous really.
I almost never buy flowers as I've always felt quite conflicted about buying them from supermarkets (where they are most often to be found for sale). On one hand, whenever I have, I've felt like I've been somehow emancipating them from a miserable artificially temperate end, carefully looking after them for the brief hours that their unfortunate beginning in life has left them for the end of it. They die quickly.
On the other hand, I always feel as though I don't want to encourage supermarkets to sell, and subsequently mass produce, something so vastly unnecessary in such an unnatural setting. (I also once spent half an hour watching men panic over sad supermarket roses one merry 14th February evening, which put me off even more.)
While I have no idea about the relative heritage of the Columbia Road flowers, buying them felt better somehow. My multi-coloured tulips are still blooming, the paper parcel they were handed to me in felt reassuringly heavy, and combined, that all makes them seem absolutely necessary somehow.