Memory Lane

Cissy’s Christmas present to us was scanning all the family photos, so she has about half a dozen of the albums at her place. We were there yesterday afternoon for tea and McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits! – a wonderful treat – and shuffled through some of the photos.

Stefan came home inspired to make this

I love it, even if it did make me cry just a bit. We loved living in Soho – Berwick Street market still had four or five delicatessens who made their own pickles and olives in big barrels, and at Fratelli Camisa they would feed the children little scraps of smoked salmon and freshly sliced paper-thin prosciuttio from a huge spinning, singing blade, dropping it into their mouths like baby birds. We had a favorite butcher and fishmonger and of course the iconic market, where I was such a good customer I never had to carry anything home, they would send it over with a lad. Our dog Clancy was a big hit with the ‘girls’, who were always rushing from one strip club to another to give the impression of a cornucopia of flesh. When I was feeling lazy I would sometimes take the children to Pizza Pizza on Soho Square for their tea- pizza was a new concept then! – and the waiters would give me a glass of wine in a coffee cup to get around the licensing laws.

St James’ Park was closest, and I would take children and dog through Golden Square and Piccadilly Circus down Haymarket to the park to see the pelicans and, if we were very lucky, the famous birdman, a civil servant who had only to appear to have all sorts of birds sit on his shoulders, head and hands. Other times we would go to Regent’s Park (we moved there when we left Soho, couldn’t bear to go too far) to the zoo, or the open air Shakespeare where Will climbed a railing in a fit of exuberance and missed the whole performance because he had to get stitches.

The local toyshop was Hamleys, and I had those kids so bamboozled it was years before they worked out it wasn’t some kind of museum, and they could have bought stuff there. Museums were easy too, and art galleries, all on our doorstep.

Clancy was stolen from our doorstep one night – I was sitting in reception and heard him yip in surprise but thought nothing of it – we had a party that night, and a lot of people going in and out. Ten minutes later I went to call him, but he was gone. I have always wondered if someone thought he was lost, not just outside his own home in an unlikely place.

There were great advantages to living ‘over the shop’ no commute for one thing, and sensitive meetings and lunches could be held in utter privacy. It meant that I could stay in touch with the business while the children were at kinder in Covent Garden, just across Long Acre.

The silly thing? I had no idea how trendy we were back then.

About Tricia Rose

Not distracted by shiny objects.
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13 Responses to Memory Lane

  1. I had tears in my eyes, over both the house and the neighborhood. Your look is still very “Classic Country Urban Hip” If I do say so myself!! What shall we call it?

    • Tricia Rose says:

      I call it ‘fishwife chic’ at the moment – though it is shocking how little my tastes have changed over the years, and I was nowhere near the water then! I guess the words are just to play with~

  2. Caron White says:

    I caught your funny comment on “low tide, high style” this morning and just had to pop over and see your latest blog post. (Somehow I can see you lying in bed with your ipad.. krink (sp) in your neck – exactly why I am resisting getting one!)

    What a wonderful story! I can definitely see why this present from Stefan made you cry, what a beautiful space to live in and to raise your family. So sorry about Clancy, we lost our golden retriever, Rex, the same way and after that heartbreak, I never got another dog….

  3. Kat says:

    Tricia, it’s so funny that someone should comment about your comment and now comments on my blog (that was rather convoluted wasn’t it?). Your comments had me laughing out loud!

    Such a beautiful home you had/have and I love the way you have chosen to live your life! And what wonderful memories you have created for your children!

    Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face, even when I’m cursing my computer or tending to an ill child!

    Kat :)

  4. Ah yes, the dear little children. They are the same people grown up, but I love the endless horizon through their eyes. I had trouble with your website today. I was trying to look at the sheeting and prices. Things wouldn’t load.

    • Tricia Rose says:

      Could have been that Stefan was having to correct on the website my misunderstanding of American terms, specifically ‘sham’, which always stumps me. Pillow slips are properly called pillow slips now, but I am still insulting my Orkney pillow covers by calling them ‘shams’ (it feels like saying they are not real!)

      Maybe I’ll never get it right…

  5. Anne Marie says:


    I’m so excited to watch this……but I’m going to wait until after the baby is born, and it’s 3 am and I am up like the rooster :)

    I’ll comment back here when I watch it…….how cool!

    • Tricia Rose says:

      I remember the last 2am feeds with my last baby – there was nothing so poignant as sitting bundled up in the nursery with him and the moon shining through the window, no lights on, quiet house…

  6. Maxabella says:

    I loved every bit of this post, Tricia-Rose. It has made me feel very nostalgic for London (and McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits!) and all the wonderful experiences we had. Plus I also feel nostalgic for when we lived in inner-city Sydney, just lapping up the daily street parade. How lucky we were but, like you, we hardly even thought about it. x

  7. We have been traveling all day and just saw the news – I hope you and yours are well

  8. Wow, what an amazing home. And the location sounds absolutely wonderful… for a few years, at least :)

  9. Stitchfork says:

    And you are still setting trends!
    Oh, and Cissy…I have boxes of photos if you feel the urge to do more!
    xo Cathy

  10. Wonderful. (Although the part about your poor dog broke my heart – how sad you must have been!) …Made me ache for London too – even though we certainly didn’t live in a loft like that…in Soho! VERY stylish. Xx

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