Getting to know the locals
Anmarie Bowler is a freelance writer and works part-time at The National Theatre. Her husband John works for the Performing Right Society and sings in the blues band 'JB and The Wolfmen'.
For a number of years Anmarie owned and ran Crimson, a women's clothing shop near Marble Arch. In 2009 she closed the shop when offered an opportunity to study play writing at the University of Birmingham.
Along with several theatre projects, she also writes a style blog, Huntress London
My husband and I live across the street from the Ealing Cricket Club. We moved to Ealing when we married 6 years ago. The summer sound of weekend cricketers wafts through our windows like music. What's not to love?
I enjoy Walpole Park and will enjoy it even more once it's fully re-opened. Every time I pass Ealing Studios, I smile. I'm a fan of the Ealing comedies. Pitshanger Lane has a parade of terrific food shops. And I love a honey/ginger steamer from W5 Farm Shop on The Green as a treat after I've browsed a few charity shops.
When I was a little girl, growing up in small town Ohio, my mom would wake me and my sister early on a Saturday morning and we'd head out to the weekend 'garage sales.' A great American tradition - selling stuff you no longer want from inside your garage. I'm sure that's when I fell for 2nd-hand treasure hunting. Charity shops offer that same kind of experience.
Ealing has so many good charity shops. From posh ones like the Mary Portas Living & Giving Shop to little out-of-the-way places like the Cat Charity Shop on Pitshanger Lane. If they've a friendly staff, I'm a fan. With imagination and a little knowledge, you can find stylish stuff anywhere.
I love browsing and I browse all the time, it's an exercise in training your eye. On my way into work, I build in time to stop at a few shops. I'm always on the hunt for interesting bangles, espadrilles, cashmere, denim, and shirt-waist dresses. But anything that's out-of-the-ordinary, possessing some degree of quality can win me over.
My latest find is always my new favourite. Last week I found a pair of Pepe high-waisted jeans at the Cancer Research charity shop for just £6. But my Ray Ban sunglasses bought several years ago from the Fara Charity Shop on Bond Street were a super-duper find. Just £20 including the case.
Women should always peruse 2nd-hand menswear. Men's style, made feminine, is a great look. Denim is hard wearing so a perfect 2nd-hand buy. Pop in charity shops often as stock is constantly being added. Always do a bit of 2nd-hand hunting when on holiday; there's a brilliant Sunday market in Rome, for example, in an old bus depot. Become a label reader; inside tags that are nicely sewn may indicate quality as do the words 'Made in England.'
It's a fashion site that's both informational and inspirational. 'Never Buy New' is my motto. On a daily basis, I feature a 2nd-hand find and tell its story, outline its pedigree - think fashion forensics for fun. I provide information on brands to look out for when 2nd-hand-hunting and examples of the unique style you can unearth if you use a little imagination.
I'd like Ealing Broadway Station to be made more inviting, and I understand there are plans afoot.
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15th July 2014