This morning, the first morning of decent weather in what feels like 20 years, saw me heading for Islington. Laser-like, I was focused on being at a particular cycle shop at 11am, so they could fit the special rear rack to my Pashley that my local shop could not.
The weather was warm but blustery, causing a certain number of lane-changing careers as I passed roads leading from the river. However, I managed to make my way successfully as far as Smithfield, before I was brought to a Sherlock-related halt (more later). Navigating the food trucks and inflatable mattresses, I continued to Islington, where the kind gentlemen of East Central Cycles took charge of the Pashley, and requested my return in an hour.
East Central Market in Islington is dominated by restaurants, and I managed to pick the most preposterously Islington-esque of all of them – for no reason other than the muffins in their window looked yummy. Inside, it was all organic-presse-Lemonade, and artisan-bread-with-goats’-cheese-salsa. All I wanted was a bun and a Coke, but everything was hand-made, personally selected by the owner, and served at wooden tables so achingly authentic I could have caught smallpox from them (were they not scrupulously clean).
A scone with proper butter and jam with actual fruit in it (horrors!) and a lemonade later, I had warmed to the place. Gail’s Artisan Bakery if you’re interested. I am the last person you should ask about food because my palette is so unsophisticated and accustomed to sugar, that anything other than infant food tastes like bitter seeds and sour grass.
Back to the bike shop, where my Pashley was now ready for the wicker panniers which were waiting at home. Back through Islington to Smithfield, and the Sherlock set. The climactic scene from the most recent broadcast episode appeared to show our hero having flung himself from the roof of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. My route to and from Cannon Street took me directly through the melee of high-vis jackets that comprises a modern television shoot. I’m a fan of Sherlock, but did not have the leisure of waiting behind the barriers for a glimpse of the Great Cumberbatch. I did however glance backwards once through the crown, and spotted a tall figure in a swirly coat and floppy fringe. Does it matter that it was probably his stand-in? Not to me.