It was springtime at Columbia Road.
(that’s a little photo from my instagram posts. If you are not familiar with Instagram, may I just tell you how addictive, and fun, it is? Like looking at everyone’s visual diary; and unlike anywhere else I’ve encountered on the internet…with the possible exception of the comments section of this blog… entirely without malice).
Here’s Carl Grover, his usual cheery self. Carl only sells “Top Quality” flowers. We sometimes tease him about the inverted commas. Are they really Top Quality, or just “Top Quality”? Well, I’d say the former. You can read all about Carl on The gentle author’s post over at Spitalfields Life, here…
I couldn’t resist buying a couple of trays of Tiger Stripe primroses, that I’ve always known as gold laced polyanthus. Although with minor variations, perhaps.
Arms laden, Maggie and I made our way back to the car and home. We’d decided to pop into Granger for breakfast.
“Ooooh”, said the smiley guy at the door when we walked in… “I’m afraid we’re not open just yet. Can you come back in 15 minutes?”.
So Maggie and I had a little fifteen minute wander around Clerkenwell Green. It’s amazing what you can discover if you take 15 minutes off to look.
We walked down beautiful Seckforde Street, which I’d walked down before, but had never lingered to look at the details:
Can I admit to being a bit sick and tired of Clet Abraham sticker attacks on No Entry signs? Do you know what, Clet? I think clever irony has had its day. Can you try something more interesting?
Okay, so that said: if you want to get your front door on the blog, can I suggest painting it bright apple-leaf green?:
We loved the cool, crisp facade of the Finsbury Bank For Savings, Instituted A.D. 1816, Erected A.D. 1846. Safe.
And I loved the austere brick warehouses on St. John Street:
Turning the corner on to Woodbridge Street:
And onto Corporation Row, where we found this sign. Are you a Special Girl?
Or just a Girl, or Infant?
I’ve always loved the church that towers over Clerkenwell Green, but I’ve never really stopped for a second look. This morning, we had time.
It is austere in a slightly menacing way. And very large. I was reminded of some of the streets we visited in Liverpool, a couple of years back.
We stepped inside. It’s a beautiful space.
Loud pop music filled the interior.
We spied a young guy mixing the music on a bank of computers at the back pew.
“Are you the DJ?”, I asked.
“Nope”, he replied. “I’m the junior minister”. He was a fun guy.
Beneath the war memorial, was a drum kit and keyboard.
It may not be your thing; it may even not be my thing; but this place did have energy.
I’m not sure I didn’t find the earlier music machine more beautiful.
England Fecit 1792:
I loved the cool, gray lobby.
Where we found old framed photographs of street parties past. My type of image. Happy.
And we loved the beautiful, simple oval glazed panels in the doors, still complete with incredibly fine late Georgian glass:
On one corner was a plaque to the Fenian Conspiracy. I’d never heard about it. Luckily, thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to do a bit of research. Which is the intelligent sounding word for looking things up on google.
You can do the same here. Reading the story teaches me one thing. There’ve always been people who, for one cause or another, want to blow up parts of London. They may succeed, or they may not. But life will probably carry on just as it always did, when all is long forgotten.
I liked these finely lettered plaques in the entrance to the church.
It’s a plain, straightforward kind of place, with no great sense of deep history, and no frills. Which made their approach to the modern worship no bad thing, I concluded as we were walking away.
There is a beautiful view looking down to Clerkenwell Green from the raised steps of St. James’s.
I rather like the slick art deco building that Granger finds itself in. We had a very good breakfast.
And I made my way back to the office, to pot up the polyanthus, and put some daffodils in water.
I love that poster by Andy Warhol, which I bought on our trip to Stockholm last spring.
It pretty much sums up my life. And hopefully, just hopefully, the real raison-d’etre of this blog.
I hope that you can find a bit of time to take 15 minutes to discover a bit more about something you walk past every day, but never have time to look at.