Hoxton Street

Tigger proposed for today’s outing to take the bus to Hoxton Street. As we had already been on one bus ride (see Bus to Tottenham Court Road), I couldn’t see any reason to object.

First, though, we took our reusable cups to Jusaka and left them there, pending our return, to save carrying them everywhere with us.

Window repaired
Window repaired

While we there we saw that their broken window has been repaired at last.

Aboard the 294
Aboard the 294

We crossed City Road and caught a 394 bus. These buses are single deck and have only one door for both entry and exit, making them shorter than most buses. As the journey proceeds, you soon discover why this is: the bus follows a tortuous route around the back streets, turning sharp corners and travelling along narrow roads. A “normal” bus would find this impossible to do.

Cafe life in Hoxton
Cafe life in Hoxton

We disembarked in Hoxton Street and found it quite busy. Many shops were open and cafes and other suppliers of food and drink were operating take-away service or allowing people to sit at tables outside.

Melons and other fruit
Melons and other fruit

This fruiterer’s shop had a fine display of fruit outside and there were plenty of customers.

Poundland
Poundland

Tigger had some purchases to make in Poundland. We had worn masks on the bus, as required, but taken them off in the street. We put them on again to go into the shop, though whether this is useful to do, I do not know. The shop was quite busy and maintaining a one-metre distance from other people was at times impossible.

Workhouse cupola
Workhouse cupola

In Hoxton Street is the Hoxton Trust Community Garden. In it, visible from the street, is what looks like a clock tower, albeit with a rather small clock. It is in fact the cupola from the old Workhouse (of which more anon).

Howl at the Moon
Howl at the Moon

This pub has a rather unusual name, Howl at the Moon. This, as you can imagine, is not its original name. The pub exists from no later than 1797 and was known by the more conventional name of The Queen’s Head. Its new name dates from 2010.

The Unicorn
The Unicorn

This is another vestige of the past: a pub called The Unicorn. It has existed from at least 1811 but, sadly, is no longer a pub. It has as least been spared the indignity of a silly new name.

St Leonard’s Workhouse
St Leonard’s Workhouse

This building, inscribed, somewhat euphemistically, with the phrase “Offices for the relief of the poor”, was actually the workhouse. Whether those forced to throw themselves upon its severe mercy felt any relief is a moot point. It bears the date 1863 which was when it was built, replacing its predecessor of 1777.

St Leonard’s Church
St Leonard’s Church

From Hoxton Street, we walked along Nuttall Street to Kingsland Road. There we caught the 394 going back to Angel. The stop is opposite the great mass of St Leonard’s, the Shoreditch parish church. The original church on the site was medieval and the current one dates from 1740. It is cited in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons in the line “When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch”.

Our bus carried us through the maze of small streets back to the Angel. There we left it and crossed the road to Jusaka where we recuperated our cups – duly filled – and then returned home. Mission accomplished!

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A walk with small creatures

Today is a day of mixed weather: clouds, rain and sunny intervals. We managed a short walk between showers. We didn’t go anywhere new but walked around some oft-visited streets.

Percy Circus Garden
Percy Circus Garden

This is the central garden in Percy Circus, looking rather dull compared with its brighter aspect on our last visit.

I noticed something about these houses that I hadn’t noticed before:

Curved façade
Curved façade

I saw that the facade is curved to fit the curvature of the Circus. I wonder whether this curvature affects the shape of the room within.

My next thought was a question as to whether all the houses in the Circus had curved fronts. One way to answer that was to photograph some of them!

Curvature of Percy Circus
Curvature of Percy Circus

The houses in the above photo certainly follow the curvature of the Circus but I find it hard to tell whether the individual façades are curved or not. The third one (where the first whilte car is parked) seems to show some curvature but the others look straight. What do you think?

I shall have to go back for another look!

From Percy Circus, we passed along Prideaux Place where I photographed this house.

Smallest in the street
Smallest in the street

It is by far the smallest building in the street, a fact that makes it stand out. Was it designed small to fit a specific site or did the owners-to-be ask for a small house? Either way, it’s very attractive and I can’t help thinking that it would meet our requirements with room to spare. We could at last unpack all these boxes for whose contents we have no space!

Street lamp  Street lamp

These street lamps caught my eye because the decorations around the widest part of the lantern were sparkling in the sun. The design is modern but reflects that of the old gas lights.

The sun came out during the last part of our walk and this, together with the moisture from the earlier rain, seems to have attracted the insects. I tried photographing some of them but it’s quite hard to do with the iPhone camera. One of the problems is that of focus: when there are insects among the plants, the camera doesn’t know to focus on them and instead focuses on the plants so that the insects are blurred, out of focus.

This is a case where Tigger managed better than I did so all the following photos are edited from photos she kindly let me use.

Unknown insects on a poppy
Unknown insects on a poppy
Photo by Tigger

I don’t know what these two insects are (maybe hoverflies?) but they seem to have alighted on this poppy flower to take a drink from the raindrops on it.

Ants on flower buds
Ants on flower buds
Photo by Tigger

Ants had climber all the way up to these flower buds to do whatever ants do on flower buds.

The most interesting are perhaps the bees. We found a lavender bush on which several bees were busily visiting the flowers. They move very fast and are therefore difficult to photograph. There were several sorts of bees, not just honey bees but I am not knowledgeable enough to identify the different types.

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Bee

Bee
Bees
Photos by Tigger

I must ask Tigger to give me a tutorial on photographing bees (and practically everything else, for that matter!).

You can guess what comes next: yes, a call in at Myddelton’s for our daily coffee and a quick walk home to enjoy it!

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Spitty weather

The sky was grey, it was spitting with rain and the temperature was hovering around 15°C (that’s 59°F for you recalcitrant Fahrenheiters) – all in all, not conducive to a long ramble. But at least there was no wind threatening to blow our hats off as there was yesterday.

“Once around the church?” enquired Tigger.

I agreed.

In the event, though, we went a little further than that, but not nuch.

Along the way, we spotted this

Left on the doorstep
Left on the doorstep
Photo by Tigger

Someone has ordered groceries but not been available to take them in when the delivery person called. With rain threatening this is a risky proposition.

Bring and swap?
Bring and swap?

On June 20th, I described a couple carting away items of furniture (see Give-away day) and suggested that they had found these in a heap of abandoned belongings in Milne Street (click for photo). I suggested that in addition to people taking items, they might add more. It seems I was right because if you compare the photos, I don’t think any of the items in the above were present in the first photo. This piece of pavement hasd turned into a “Bring ‘n’ swap” shop!

Turning into Myddelton Square, we captired today’s cat photo. (Everyone likes cat photos, remember!)

Two cats
Two cats

What do you mean, “What cats?” They are definitely there, in the room. Look harder. They are the same pair that we have photographed before – see Cold enough for trousers,.

Grape vine
Grape vine

Passing the Shakespere’s Head pub, I photographed this grape vine that is apparently making a bid to escape from the pub garden. You can probably see that it bears clusters of tiny grapes, though these look unlikely to ever produce wine. Then again, with global warming, perhaps a time will come when British pubs start producing their own vintages.

Latest arrival
Latest arrival

Since the first public hire bicycles (called “Boris Bikes” after Boris Johnson who was Mayor of London at their launch), we have seen a number of firms joining the party until London is now littered with bicycles waiting for riders. This was a new one to us, supplied by Human Forest. All bike companies need a gimmick to attract the notice of potential customers. This one comes with a sanitizer spray, chained to the basket on the front. It presumably allows you to spray whatever parts of the machine you think ought to be sprayed in order to avoid infection. Is that enough to give Human Forest an edge over the competition?

St Mark's Church amid trees
St Mark’s Church amid trees

I took the above photo as we passed by St Mark’s Church. You might compare it with this one, taken from a similar angle on April 9th, to see how much the foliage has increased in the meantime.

Coffee and Portuguese custard tart
Coffee and Portuguese custard tart

At Myddelton’s we bought our usual coffees and, in addition, as compensation for the weather, Portuguese custard tarts. I doubt whether these tarts have ever been anywhere near Portugual but, never mind, they are delicious!

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