Around Holloway Road

Islington Central Library
Islington Central Library

My back is still painful, making certain movements difficult. I was due to see the doctor yesterday for a routine appointment and was able to get her advice. There doesn’t appear to be any major damage, such as a slipped disc, so I am taking pain-killers and hoping that the condition will subside by itself as it did last time.

Old tomb
Old tomb

I wasn’t going to sit at home moping on a warm and sunny day so, as soon as I had got the chores done, I set up to catch the number 43 bus to Holloway Road. It’s always a good idea to have a destination and today I had two or even three. The first was Islington’s Central Library, pictured above. It’s a handsome building, dating from 1906, and well decorated in the style of the period. The entrance to the library is no longer the door you see in the picture. We now have to go round the corner to the modern part of the building.

St Mary Magdalene Gardens
St Mary Magdalene Gardens

I had come mainly to nose around because last time I was here, the library was being refurbished and I wanted to see how the work had turned out. You would hardly know that anything has been done to it – rather a relief when you think how often “modernization” schemes ruin the place.

Across the road from the Library is this beautiful park. Now called St Mary Magdalene Gardens and maintained by Islington Council, it was obviously once the graveyard belonging to the church, as vestiges such as the old tomb (above), suggest.

Guess what this is
Guess what this is

One of the better features of London is its wealth of parks and gardens which provide green and peaceful areas where you can walk or sit a while and listen to the birds. This one is slap bang beside the Holloway Road, a major artery through town.

I was tempted to sit down and read the book I had borrowed from the library but preferred to continue to my next destination. This photo is a clue to where I am going.

Shaggy sheep
Shaggy sheep

I was heading for Freightliners Farm. There are several so called “city farms” in London and this is one of the better ones. It may seem counter-intuitive to have a farm in the middle of the city, especially when it is not a farm that was there to start with but is a modern creation.

They all have a struggle to survive, so why do they exist at all? The Freightliners site explains the philosophy of the farm well enough. At a time when reports suggest that many school children cannot identify common animals such as cows and sheep and have no idea where milk comes from, these farms play a valuable educational role as well as providing people with an opportunity to see animals close up and touch them.

Expectant goose
Expectant goose

You can buy food to give to the animals and I think this goose above was hoping I had brought some food for it.

Because the farm is not run on a commercial basis, it is possible to have a wide range of species and breeds. For example, the stock includes exotic birds, such as parrots and cochins that you would normally see only in a zoo or special collection.

Bees at work
Bees at work

Nonetheless, sales of farm produce do make some income for the farm. Eggs are sold and so is honey, produced by the farm’s apiary.

I couldn’t get very close to the hives but you may just be able to make out to bees coming and going in the photo.

This farm has a no-slaughter policy, which made me feel a lot happier as I went around looking at the animals. I would have hated to think that any of them would end up on the dinner table or in a bacon roll.

Goats play-fighting
Goats play-fighting

These goats were rushing around energetically and play-fighting, which makes me think they were fairly contented. One would rear up on its hind legs as if to smash the other but they would only gently tap horns and then run around and start again.

There nevertheless remains a question in my mind, whether it is right to keep beautiful creatures like this in close confinement, just so that a bunch of big apes (us) can come and stare at them. I suppose there is no simple answer.

Longhaired goat
Longhaired goat
Brown bullock
Brown bullock
Hairy pig
Hairy pig
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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Around Holloway Road

  1. Villager says:

    Sorry to hear about the back; such problems can be extremely painful and recurring. I’m sure it won’t affect your travelling spirit.

    • SilverTiger says:

      I’m trying to carry on regardless. Yesterday while photographing in Holloway Road, I dropped my lens cap. Short using a parked car for handholds to descend to my knees in the gutter, I had no means of retrieving it. I politely asked a passing traffic warden to do the honours for me. She looked at me severely but retrieved the lens cap!

      At times like this, one must put aside such luxuries as pride and embarrassment!

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