Holloway Road is grimy, noisy and inconsiderate, the cars that speed selfishly towards Highbury are still in motorway mode. The return leg (north side) is even worse as the lanes don’t allow for bicycles and those behind the wheel honk furiously at the cyclist who dare to cross their path, rest assured it’s not pretty. It does have it’s plus sides though - a few considered businesses, Outpost a wonderful ‘fair trade hand craft’ type shop and a good cafe Spoke (both are a little out of my price range though) I can just about gather enough change for a tea £2.50, whilst I hot desk in the cafe. I’m keen on Elli’s florist who sold me a money plant for £1.25 cheaper and friendlier that Columbia Road, Crystal £5 for a massive vegetarian turkish stew with bread, salad and rice (enough for two people) and the amazing Michael’s a greek greengrocers with amazing olives and perfect plantain.
What’s especially great about Holloway Road though is the authentically crap car boot sale, there are crack heads who set up makeshift stalls in the dingy alley at the back of McDonalds just outside the looming steel fence selling old Nokia chargers and really naff clothing, the stench of weed and desperation is palpable “I just wanna make a few sales, then I can fuck off” was one sentiment I overheard. (It reminds me of my heady days in Dalston, the Saturday morning market was then a shit pile of junk). I go there a lot as it’s super close to my house and I love thrifting… I’m at my happiest expertly scanning piles of junk, like a lioness hunting it’s prey. What’s great about Holloway Road car boot is that in amongst all the scratched plastic, Primark dresses and rusty broken tat, there are a few (not many) wonderful things lying in wait.
I do particularly well with shoes, plants, plates, knifes but not so great with records, clothes or plant pots (the eternal hunt), each week there are the regulars and then the unsuspecting newbies that get pounced upon by the heavily skilled staunch ladies who barter with baffling conviction. This can be entertainment in itself.
This week was no exception I swung by on route home from Columbia Road, purchased two items and generally wandered chatting to crazies and soaking up the atmosphere.
The candelabra was £2.50 from a lovely stall of antique looking trinkets and in really good nick. I’d bought an old light fitting from there a few weeks earlier and had glossed it white ready to stick in the bedroom. However it has sat incongruously with me for a week as it doesn’t quite match my Victorian cast iron bed, black fireplace and dark wood. Glad I found real thing in brass. I reckon the other one will be great in the bathroom for when I’m relaxing with my Epsom salts.
The boots were 50 pence and at size 5 they were annoyingly too small. But I’m currently super skint so bought them as an investment. They are now in my to be eBay’d pile.