I is for…


With both my brothers living in Islington (Andrew in Caledonian Road and Mark in White Lion Street near Angel Station) we decided to stay nearby. We stayed in Highbury Place which overlooked Highbury Fields, which contained a leisure centre (gym and swimming pool) and a really cool playground. Our apartment was a converted stables next to the terraces which overlooked the park.

It maximised space cunningly and there was an upper level with a bathroom and big bath with another bathroom downstairs with a shower. The kitchen had a dishwasher and a washer dryer. Andrew wanted to move in after us as it was better than his place.

The kids slept in bunk beds and woke up early because there were no curtains in their room and they’re genetically programmed to wake early to irk the bejesus out of their parents.

We were about 50 metres from the Highbury Islington Tube Station and a Tesco on Holloway Road. We were also about 100 metres from a bus stop which could take us down Upper Street and into the city or simply down to Angel Station. The apartment was well insulated and sound proofed, so that traffic from nearby Upper Street and Holloway Road never reached us

I was acquainted slightly with Upper Street from a brief visit to the lovely Ms S in 2001 when she was living in London with her husband Mr S. The street has become more gentrified since then, and there have been concerted efforts from the Council to upgrade footpaths around Angel which is a shopping hub (a new shopping centre, a Marks and Spencer, a Sainsbury’s and Waitrose).

Add to that a mixture of vintage stores (all lovely but quite pricey), boutique toy stores and children’s wear, mixed in with the usual eateries, off licences and newsagents and you have a lovely stretch!


When we I packed for our trip, I made sure not to include anything which would require ironing. Even my ‘good dress’ looked pretty good after you hung it up after spending a day in the suitcase.

Putting a load of washing on at my auntie’s house, I was surprised to see it all folded and IRONED, and I mean EVERYTHING. Jeans, undies, pyjamas. The only thing not ironed were my tights.

My auntie irons tea towels, face washers, towels as well as the usual load of shirts, tops and trousers. It’s a good way of ensuring that everything is fully dry before it’s put away, I guess. Ireland is not especially renowned for its good drying days, but she also made sure the washing would go out on the line, even if it were for a couple of hours.

The day we left, I did her ironing of stuff I would have simply folded up and put away in my house. When in Rome…

Now at home, I am ironing more of the kid’s tops (Mr BG has always done his own), and sometimes their jeans. The tea towels and face washers can rest easy that they’ll never see the hot side of the iron!


A travel tip- please ensure that you thoroughly read your itinerary before you pack and go to the airport a day early, while dropping off your hired car a day early. And that is all I can say on the matter…


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