The Sheep Fayre at Spitalfields City FarmThursday, May 24, 2012
This weekend I took a break from working on Sunday and headed down to Spitalfields City Farm for the Sheep Shearing Fayre.
Why yes, I did say 'city farm'.
Right in the middle of the city is a lovely little green haven, set aside for animals and sustainable plant-growing. It was quite an experience trying to get to the city farm, though. Thanks to London's amazing route-planning service I figured out which bus I had to catch, which stop I had to find, and which direction I had to walk to get there on time for The Sheep Shearing.
But, the bus driver decided that Today Was Not His Day. And so, he didn't go the route planned. I hadn't noticed, not having taken that bus before, but the rest of the passengers were less than impressed and ushered me off with them. Stranded in Bethnal Green, I ummed and aahhed about which was The Right Way until two very lovely Irish gentlemen from the bus offered to escort me part of the way. They were on their way to the rugby, you see, and they knew the way to the bus stop I was looking for.
We went down many side-streets and along a bridge, but we got there. All the while, my Lovely Irish Escorts insisted that there was no such thing as a city farm in Bethnal Green, but they were wrong. You don't get more 'city farm' than this picture, do you? London calling!
Spitalfields City Farm is a beautiful place, and you can see that a lot of love has gone into it. With little features like these (above), with pretty picnic tables and chairs, and a whole lot of bunting, it's a rather charming little city escape.
It has oh-so-chic accents too, which make for lovely photographs. That's a very sensible use of a wheelbarrow, methinks.
And then, the Sheep Shearing. There is a sheep under all of that, can you imagine it? It was sheared just in time, too - we've had the most blistering hot weather this week with lots of people suffering from sunburn and sunstroke. Good thing the sheep has its woolly coat removed!
There were other lovely animals too. Here's a lamb that made me feel guilty about eating preferences (of the meat variety).
... and a particularly greedy goat who thought it best to sit in the trough than to gently and gracefully nibble.
... and a giant piggywig! This oinker was enormous and made a really nice snuffling sound.
In a random spot of garden up a set of steps along a random pathway, I stumbled across a brightly-painted table and chair that was ideal for sitting down and having a cup of tea. Luckily, there were plenty of stalls around from the weekly eco-chic market selling tea, cakes and yarn; a very sensible collection indeed.
It just goes to show: there is a city farm just a short stroll from Bethnal Green Station. And, it's not packed with city pigeons and foxes, Thank You Very Much.