A floating market

LONDON – I stumbled upon a write up of a floating bookshop, Word on the Water, while reading a blog post on WordPress many weeks ago. Intrigued, I found them on facebook and decided to track their movements until they were nearby.

It’s essentially a barge that travels around the canals selling books, but they also do some ferocious poetry slams, readings and light accoustic music on their roof stage.

So this past Saturday, they were down the road and I ventured forth to see them as I was interested in seeing something new.

I went aboard and browsed their selection which wasn’t bad. First thing you should know about a barge is that it’s not for tall people, I (5 ft 9″) had to duck a lot. It’s also quite hot inside, now that I think about it.

They had a children’s section on their small barge that was watched over by the cat. Those kids got so excited when they saw the cat! Me, I’m more into dogs. Anyway, I’m currently on the look out for some plays, specifically by Tennyssee Williams. The bookshop owner helped me look for some, but we couldn’t find any.

Turns out, Word on the Water was actually taking part in a floating market called, Mile End Floating Market. It attracted a very hippy crowd, the ‘artsey set’. They also brought their dogs and kids and grandmothers. There was a great vibe, the police rode by on horses and people genuinely seemed to be enjoying the moment.

Lunch (my second for the day… I was only planning on browsing through some books but got tempted by all the smells!) began with corn on the cob. I’ve nevery eaten corn on the cob cooked on a BBQ before, so I was excited to give it a go. It was smothered in salt and butter and the contrast with the natural sweet flavour was delicious. At £2 per cob (a bit steep if you ask me), I tried to let the moment linger.


But I didn’t stop there. I saw a lady selling sausages and decided, well, got to try that too. It was massive, and I should have shared it with someone. It took me a while to finish, but was worth it.


I couldn’t move much after that, so I sat and did some people watching before I took a walk around and enjoyed seeing how people were turning their barges into ‘market stalls’.









I’m not sure when the market will be back, but it was definitely worth a visit, if only for the novelty aspect. Can anyone else recommend an interesting market?


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