Columbia Road

Mrs P and I went to London last weekend and thought we’d do something different. We’ve spent to much time repeatedly roaming Kensington and the West End. So we jumped on a bus and went on a ride to the East End. We feared being beheaded, or sprayed with acid or to come to some other dastardly demise at the hands of a Cockney Jihadist. If you read the news you’ll well know that this part of London is a no-go zone. You’ll have read about these no-go zones popping up across Europe as the Islamic invaders move in.

We did indeed find a lot of invasive non natives everywhere we looked. There was no escape from them. Alien immigrants lurked round every corner. But they were of the floral variety at the Columbia Road flower market. The UK is home to a wondrous diversity of plant life, most of which has been brought to these shores from every corner of the globe. We needed these immigrants. Britain’s native flora lacks much diversity and for an island has surprisingly few endemic species. We can blame the last ice age for that, rather than Brexit, Trump or immigration. But otherwise, Bethnal Green on a sunny Sunday afternoon is a pleasant place to be. Most ‘no-go zones’ usually are. You probably read too much into the news, or just the wrong type of news.

The market is not far from the Regents Canal, which makes for a nice walk back to civilisation. It’s a long walk back to the centre of London but it’s an interesting walk too, through a multitude of different Londons. The canal itself is a 200 year old relic of a rapidly industrialising city. Along the way are post war workshops and housing blocks.

There are modern, colourful residential blocks. Old churches. And little eateries offering flavours from around the world have popped up along the canal to keep walkers fed and watered. The canal is still used, but by narrowboat owners enjoying an alternative way to live in London rather than by transport boats being tugged along by horses. At times the canal is unkempt and there are regular spots of graffiti. But these are not out of place in a stretch of the capital that has largely escaped gentification thus far.

Click here to see more photos of the day.

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