Better than I thought

In yesterday’s post I remarked that I had an appointment today “that I am not looking forward to.”

Pickering Dental

The appointment was at the practice of Pickering Dental at 11:20 am. According to the Apple Maps app on my phone, it takes around 15 minutes to walk there from home. What Apple Maps didn’t know was that my dentist has her surgery on the third floor, at the top of a steep staircase of 49 steps. I deliberately arrived early so that I could sit in the tiny waiting room and recover my breath.

My last appointment had involved root canal work and had lasted well over an hour. Today’s appointment was for the dentist to finish the job by installing a crown on the tooth. I didn’t know how long this would take and how much discomfort would be involved. In fact, it took about 10 minutes and there was no discomfort at all.

(The only “ouch factor” was the price. Dentistry is the one branch of medicine in the UK for which the patient is required to pay part of the cost. I chose a ceramic crown, which is the most expensive option, so there was a considerable “ouch”!)

St Mary’s Church

According to my dentist, I must wait a couple of hours before having hot drinks or chewing in order to let the crown’s adhesive set. To help me avoid temptation, I decided to take a walk before going home. Pickering Dental is almost opposite St Mary’s Church and I decided to start with a stroll in the church garden.

St Mary’s Vicarage

Beside the church stands this large house. A plaque beside the front door identifies it as the vicarage.

Dansk Florist

A section of the house that looks as if it might have been the garage, or even a stable, has been given over to a florist’s called Dansk Flowers.

St Mary’s Church Garden

I walked through the church garden (originally the burial ground until London’s cemeteries were closed in the 1850s). A couple of hardy citizens were sitting on benches, otherwise it was deserted.

Squirrel

There I met a squirrel but he preferred to play it safe and take refuge in a tree.

Waterstones Bookshop

Arriving at Islington Green, I thought I would take a look inside Waterstones bookshop. It occupies a building dated 1897 on the site of the once famous Collins Music-hall, sadly destroyed by fire.

No shortage of books

Though bookshops are becoming ever rarer, no doubt because they find it hard to compete with online sellers such as Amazon, there seems to be no shortage of books. The place was piled high with new books, both fiction and non-fiction. I vaguely hoped I might find some books in French but was not surprised to find none. Too often, the shelf label “Foreign Languages” means only bilingual dictionaries and language tutorials, not books in foreign languages.

Islington Green

I walked onto the Green which was nearly as deserted as St Mary’s Church Garden.

Street Cat Bob

While I was there, I paid a visit to the statue of Street Cat Bob. We last took a look at him on Boxing Day (see Boxing Day brunch), when he had been dressed in Christmas finery. Today he was unadorned.

Oxfam Bookshop

As my visit to Waterstones had not produced a result, I thought I would try my luck at the Oxfam Bookshop where I bought three books recently. Having climbed to the first floor, I found that the French books, which are in a narrow part of the shop, were blocked from access by a stand. I tried pushing it but couldn’t move it, so I gave up.

Angel Central

I walked through the mall called Angel Central, with its lights that continually change colour.

Empty once more

The courtyard with its artificial lawn has been restored to its open aspect. Over Christmas it was cluttered with decorations and figures such as reindeer but these have now been removed. In summer they sometimes put out deckchairs for people to lounge in the sun.

Saved – the Angel Wings

The present management of Angel Central, which has carried out an expensive remodelling if the site, wanted the Council to remove the famous Angel Wings (sculpted by Wolfgang Buttress, 2003) but a “Save our Wings” campaign was successful in having them retained. (See here for the story.)

An ordinary street on Mondays

I passed along Chapel Market which, on Mondays, becomes an ordinary road which motor vehicles can use. There are no stalls and no tables and chairs in front of cafes. I do notice, though, that because it is pedestrian-only on 6 days a week, even on Mondays people tend to walk in the road, something they wouldn’t do on normal roads. Motorists beware! (The new Highway Code privileges pedestrians over cycles and motor vehicles and requires these users to pay careful attention to their safety.)

I now have to be patient for a little while longer to give my crown a chance to “set”, then I can have lunch, including a nice hot cup of tea!

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Staying close

The weather continues cold and grey. Whatever the thermometer may say, the air feels freezing cold. After a busy week at work, even the intrepid Tigger feels disinclined to face the inclement conditions.

Saturday

After lunch we went for a short walk with a predictable goal.

The Curvaceous Tree
The Curvaceous Tree

We did at least walk round Myddelton Square where I photographed (yes, again!) the Curvaceous Tree.

The cat in the window Photo by Tigger
The cat in the window
Photo by Tigger

As usual, we looked for the two cats who live in the square. We hadn’t seen either of them for quite some time but today we were lucky. One of the cats was visible, perched on furniture near a window. We merited a blank feline stare.

Arboreal filigree
Arboreal filigree

I was struck by the filigree pattern made by the unadorned branches of the winter-bare trees in Myddelton Square Gardens.

River Street
River Street

We walked along River Street, named, as you perhaps remember, after the New River whose course runs along behind it. At the end of the road, in Amwell Street, our goal is visible: the red awning of Myddelton’s deli.

We have to wait
We have to wait

When we reach the deli, we found that there were other customers ahead of us and we had to wait a while. When our turn cane, we were greeted in friendly fashion, as always.

We returned quickly home with our coffee and stayed indoors for the rest of the day. The warmer days will return, I am sure, when we will feel more disposed to go out and about.

Sunday

Sunday is of course shopping day but today we enjoyed an added pleasure: a cooked brunch!

Grey skies over Pentonville Road
Grey skies over Pentonville Road

As we crossed over Pentonville Road, I stopped to take a quick photo while there was a gap in the traffic.

The Farmers’ Market
The Farmers’ Market

We reached Chapel Market and I noted that there were relatively few stalls active today. I had to walk some way along the street to take a photo.

Cafe Sizzles
Cafe Sizzles

Our first destination was here, a friendly, small cafe in Chapel Market called Sizzles.

Inside Sizzles
Inside Sizzles

We were soon served and enjoyed our cooked brunch.

Stall belonging to a shop
Stall belonging to a shop

The regular market was also thinly attended. Some of the shops also have stalls outside, perhaps as a way to compete with the market.

Many regulars missing
Many regulars missing

The market presented something of its usual appearance but a number of stalls we are used to seeing on Sundays were not present. Are stallholders taking a post-New Year holiday?

At the checkout
At the checkout

We entered Sainsbury’s and with two of us collecting the needed items we had soon finished our shopping. We then had a bit of a wait at the checkouts.

Walking through the market
Walking through the market

When I walked through the market on the way to Mercer’s I found it much less busy than usual with fewer stalls and fewer customers at the stalls.

At Mercer’s
At Mercer’s

Mercer’s was not very busy either and I was served straightaway. We then returned straight home to put away the shopping and enjoy our coffee. We will spend the rest of the day at home. Tomorrow Tigger returns to work and I have an appointment that I am not looking forward to. Let’s hope we can relax for the rest of today.

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Museum of the Home

We performed our usual shopping run this morning and returned home to put away the spoils.

The clock tower in reflected light
The clock tower in reflected light

After lunch, we set out again, starting our journey at the clock tower where we boarded a 394 single-deck bus. This threads its way along a complicated route, terminating at Homerton Hospital. We, however, did not travel quite that far.

Almshouses now Museum of the Home
Almshouses now Museum of the Home

We came here, to this impressive three-wing set of almshouses founded in the early 18th century as a bequest of the will of Sir Robert Jeffrye. Today, the building is part of a complex constituting the Museum of the Home. It was until fairly recently called the Jeffrye Museum but then the founder’s reputation suffered an eclipse owing to his connections with slavery. His name was removed from the museum’s name though his statue, with an inscription, still stands above the main entrance.

Entrance hall
Entrance hall

We have visited this museum many times but this was the first visit since the complex was enlarged and remodelled. Admission is free but thanks to Covid, you need to book a time for your visit. Our time was 3 pm.

Take a seat
Take a seat

I appreciated the old museum for its display of room settings from Tudor times to the modern day. They are still present but the enlarged museum displays much more than it used to with examples of the furniture and other contents of the home through the ages.

Cleaning implements
Cleaning implements

As well as a broad range of objects found in the home, there were videos to watch and information boards to read. I, though, was impatient to see my favourites, the room settings. I will show you just a few of these, so as not to bore you.

A hall of 1630
A hall of 1630

A parlour of 1695
A parlour of 1695

A parlour of 1790
A parlour of 1790

A parlour of 1870
A parlour of 1870

Loft style apartment of 1998
Loft style apartment of 1998

The Chapel
The Chapel

In the centre of the main wing, accessed through the main door, lies the chapel. It was a condition of being admitted as an occupant of an almshouse, that one attended Sunday services in the chapel.

Molly’s Cafe
Molly’s Cafe

As you might expect, there is a cafe attached to the museum. You have to leave the museum building and walk to what was once an independent pub but has been acquired by the museum and converted into its cafe.

Tea and lemon drizzle cake
Tea and lemon drizzle cake

We ordered tea and lemon drizzle cake for two. I was rather surprised at the price: more expensive than our cooked lunch at Cafe Sizzle yesterday. Still, I suppose that compensates for the free admission.

A park with ancient trees
A park with ancient trees

In front of the almshouses, separating them from the road, is a broad garden or park with ancient trees. No doubt the occupants could sit out here on warm days without being troubled by the traffic on the road.

Moon over the museum Photo by Tigger
Moon over the museum
Photo by Tigger

The stop for the 394 bus to take us home stands conveniently in front of the museum. We had a 10-minute wait for the bus during which time Tigger photographed an almost full moon over the roof of the almshouses.

The bus duly arrived and carried us along its tortuous backstreet route back to the Angel and home. It was good to see the museum again, especially the room settings which always fascinate me and are for me the main attraction.

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