My feet were killing me (I’d been wearing only heels for months and on this London trip I only brought flats–let me tell you, that was not intentional! My feet and leg muscles were telling me, in no uncertain terms, exactly how they felt about wearing flats after a heels-only arrangement for months! They hated the idea and me at that particular moment in time). They were absolutely murdering me. But I walked on–completely ignoring Portobello Road (which was an experience in itself – especially when the market is on!).
I walked on because I wanted to go to a Filipino food place. But as the experience was definitely forgettable, I won’t talk about it again.
My disappointment was all but forgotten when I left the Filipino food place because a few doors down was a familiar looking bookshop. People were posing in front of the shop, having their pictures taken and I couldn’t understand why. And then it dawned on me: I was in Notting Hill and they were posing near a BOOKSHOP! I ran (hobbled really quickly, more like!) the 100 meters to the bookshop and gasped (yes, out loud!) because it was THE bookshop. It was THE bookshop where the scenes for the Travel Book Company were shot for the movie Notting Hill (which rangs high up in my list of favourite movies, near enough to Sliding Doors for it to matter a lot!). I tried to be cool. I tried to be nonchalant and I managed to convince myself that I only wanted a photograph of the shop front, that that was enough. So snap away I did! Only just one photo! Ha!
So I walked away, and round the corner, I found the Notting Hill shop of the Biscuiteers. I had a look around the shop and oohed and aahed at the lovely iced biscuits. But I really wanted to ask the shop keeper if he knew where the house with the blue door was. I figured if they were local, they’d know where William Thacker’s house with the blue door was. I was told to go back to the Notting Hill Bookshop because the lady who ran the shop would definitely know. So my crown iced biscuite securely stored in my purse, I went then went back to the Notting Hill Bookshop to ask directions.
I went around to the bookshop because it was a bookshop and I LOVED bookshops. There’s something about the smell of bound paper that comforts me. Plus I didn’t really want to pounce on the lovely shop lady and just get the information and run out of the shop! It didn’t seem right. They had a copy of the Travel Book Shop Company’s sign up in the area where Rufus the thief stuffed a book down his trousers–or at least that’s where I thought it was shot. Apparently the interior layout of the shop hasn’t changed, it remains exactly same as it was in the movie! I couldn’t help myself and did a happy little dance because I was — sort of! — sharing a space with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts!
I bought a cloth book bag and a fridge magnet (to add to my growing collection) because I felt that I owed it to the lovely lady who ran the shop. As I waited at the till for her to ring up my purchases, I asked if she knew where the house with the blue door was. I also apologised in the same breath as I know she gets asked the same question time and time again. She laughed and gave the directions. I was relieved to hear that it was only a block away because as excited as I was to be in the Travel Bookshop, my feet were still hurting!
After a few pained steps, there it was, the house with a blue door! And for a while, I stared at the house, trying to decide why it looked a little different (I realised later that the pillars and the area framing the door were painted blue before and now they were white, except for the door). But it didn’t matter so much that it looked only slightly different.
For one brief shining moment, I was a girl, standing in front of the door, living a dream!