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maryann johanson, not crying

it’s bliss to be up early for…?

Stonehenge at dawn

This morning’s news surfing found me greeted by this headline at The Telegraph:

Pippa Middleton: it’s bliss to be up early for a flower market

She’s discussing the New Covent Garden Flower Market (which is nowhere near Covent Garden):

It’s a place that every Londoner and visitor to the capital ought to experience – but it is one for the larks: 6am to 7am is prime time. Go earlier if you can (traders start packing up from 9am) to get the pick of the bunches. On the plus side the early rise means you get to see the city in the small hours, when the streets are sleepy and you can burn over the bridges. Be warned, it’s not warm in the market at sparrow o’clock at any time of year. The entrance fee is £5 if you bring a car, and you can park right outside. First impressions are underwhelming: there is no hint of colour or fragrance in the grim industrial surroundings – but step through the swinging doors and you enter an Aladdin’s cave of horticultural treasures.

Flowers of every hue fill every corner, aisles abound with foliage and shrubbery and the air is deliciously perfumed. In bunches, boxes and buckets, the variety is breathtaking: the florist’s favourite, traditional hybrid tea roses, are available in every possible shade – I love the sophisticated pastel ‘Quicksand’. Other favourites are the delicate nigella, or love in a mist, Golden Shower orchids, pots of mind-your-own-business, ‘Casa Blanca’ lilies and chincherinchee (also known as star of Bethlehem).

It sounds similar to stories I’ve heard about visiting New York’s legendary Fulton Fish Market in the predawn hours… if perhaps somewhat more pleasantly aroma’d.

What your predawn treat? It’s bliss to be up early for…?

The two times I (and my BFF bronxbee) got up in the middle of the night to drive from Stratford-upon-Avon to Stonehenge in order to be there for sunrise have been some of the most memorable days of my life, whatever time of day. (The photo above is from my first visit on September 29, 2008… five years ago tomorrow.)

As an everyday event, though, being up early is not my most favorite thing ever. Though perhaps it is to you…

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

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