A beautiful autumn day yesterday. This is a Texan’s reward for suffering through the summer–we breeze through October and early November in seventy-degree bliss, until the first Arctic cold front dips down from Canada (in Texas we call this a Blue Norther, not sure why) and the shorts and flip-flops are abandoned in a scurry for our stored woolies. But in the meantime, walking the dogs in the woods with golden leaves catching the sunlight as they drifted through the trees, I thought, ah ha, photo op, and so this morning took along my camera. And discovered that it goes against the laws of physics to freeze two big dogs, running happily loose in the forest, in the same frame. If you call out to them, they run towards you and you get snouts in the lens. If you try the candid op, you get waving tails and furry behinds. In the end, this was the best I could do, one in focus and one a blur of motion, and in the process I discovered why professional photographers are so agile. To get eye (or nose) level with a moving canine requires putting one’s body in positions a professional trainer would envy. The motto, I suppose, is that while I tried to capture a moment, the dogs lived in it.
I visited the new Whole Foods Market in Kensington High Street with great anticipation; after all, this is a Texas store that has morphed into a giant, and this is its first venture into the UK (gobbling up any rival natural foods stores in the process.) It’s a beautiful building, tucked just in front of The Daily Mail, but rather than the comfortable familiarity I suppose I was expecting, I found it rather scarily corporate. The first floor has a sushi bar, an oyster bar, a pizza station, a juice bar . . . and a DJ, along with lots of green and very expensive spa and decorative items. A long way from the early funky stores in Austin and Dallas, when you could have a contest to see which cashier had the most piercings and tatoos. Still, later in my visit, all over London I saw shoppers proudly carrying WFM bags with their groceries or dinners, so it looks like WFM UK is on its way.
This is my favorite Portobello Market photo–a juxtaposition of the traditional grocers’ van parked perfectly in front of the Starbucks near the bottom of Portobello Road, new meets old. In fact, I have this print framed in my kitchen. Portobello’s traditional fruit and vegetable vendors are struggling to hold their own against the influx of chain stops, and I can’t bear to imagine the market without them.