No trees today, just sprouts.  For some reason, these vegetables have become an essential part of the traditional Christmas dinner in the UK and Ireland.  They look like tiny cabbages, and the taste divides families.  (My husband is a fan, I’m not.)

Sprouts close-up

The Christmas supplies have reached London.  These sprouts from  Perry Court Farm in Kent were on sale yesterday at the Marylebone Farmers’ Market.

Sprouts at farmers market

The stallholder suggested that reluctant sprout-eaters like me should try sprout tops, those leafy greens at the top of the stalk.   The Guardian newspaper agrees: click here to read their article from December 2013.

Sprouts at farmers market topsNot everyone wants to buy the complete stalk, so it’s more usual to see individual loose sprouts on sale.  When the sprouts are harvested, the bare stalks are left behind in the field.  I captured this image of a sprout field in March 2015 for my other website, Townlands of Ulster.

sprout field

Now it’s over to you.  I would love to hear what my readers think of Brussels sprouts, so I’m launching a Sprout Poll.  Please vote!


Since I launched the Sprout Poll, 25 people have voted, and it is a landslide victory for sprouts.

Adding together the simple yes votes, with the people who love sprouts but eat something else at Christmas, and the people who love sprouts but don’t celebrate Christmas, and the people who wrote in special answers like “I love sprouts but they won’t be part of a Christmas dinner in Finland/India/Brisbane”, we have a total of 16 people supporting the funny green vegetables.

The only person who seems to be on my side in this debate is my friend’s 10-year-old son Rhys, who wrote a poem accusing sprouts of being “slimy and bumpy…bitter, dark and mucky”.  You can read the full poem in the comments below.



28 Photos Later: Day 20 in London

Welcome back to London on Day 20 of “28 Photos Later”.  Drive carefully!


Today’s photo is “Still Rolling”.  This market stall was resting at the edge of Church Street market, Lisson Grove, NW8.

market stall

What makes this market stall unique to London?  If you look carefully, and maybe turn your screen upside down, you can just about read a name carved into the wood –  Ellen Keeley Barrows, 33 Neal Street, Covent Garden.  The Keeley firm made and rented out barrows and hand trucks to traders operating in London’s markets.   I don’t think the firm still survives, but this old wooden market stall is still going strong.

Click here for an article about the history of Covent Garden, including a photo of Ellen Keeley’s shop on Neal Street.

Click here for one of my own posts about Indian street markets.