The angel statue, again

There’s a scene in Ignoring Gravity where Rose has an important letter to open. Prevaricating, she sits on a bench beside a memorial to contemplating life. angelThe memorial, a statue of an angel, is based on a real statue near Sadler’s Wells opera house in Islington, London [above], in a small garden called Spa Green. angelangelRose sits and watches the pigeons. I revisited Spa Green recently, and it hasn’t changed. The pigeons are still there, the statue, and the primary school next door, children running around the tarmac. The buildings do look rather different, the road is gentrified and the beaten-up shops I remember are now replaced by a trendy wine bar. angelangelangelangel

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Inspired by real life: the angel statue in IGNORING GRAVITY #writing via @SandraDanby


  1. I proposed a series of articles to The Independent in the 1990s, retracing the steps of novelists, who have featured cities in detail.

    The first followed Knut Hamsun’s semi-autobigraphical account of 19th century Oslo in ‘Hunger’. It was published under the title ‘Frustration on the trail of this Hamsun man’.

    The second took Graham Greene’s ‘Brighton Rock’ as its inspiration, trying to locate the places Pinkie haunts. That was not published.

    I take the liberty of linking to the Hamsun article:, which I updated in parts.

    I hope to publish the Graham Greene article on my site soon.

      • Thanks, Sandra. For avid readers, I think there’s little better than somone doing all the work for you and leading you to all the secret haunts of writers, and the places that inspired certain trains of thought.

        I have know Oslo and its history since childhood, so it wasn’t hard for me to find places. I also have family there.

        I also saw a lot of places in the north of Norway that inspired me while writing my first draft of my novel Pedersen’s last Dream. I just wish I could now complete the final draft and write Pedersen’s final paragraph.

    • I stumbled upon it because it’s around the corner from the old Family Records Centre where the archives were kept before they went online. I visited this office many years ago as part of my research for ‘Ignoring Gravity’ and found this garden. SD