1a Darnley Road, Hackney is where it’s all happening. It’s the Centre for Better Health, welcoming, smart, clean, full of courses and centrally located almost opposite the Hackney Town Hall.
Maria is the ceramics teacher and today the first class went ahead. Excellent.
In Hanlon Rd off Brick Lane is City Beach, a parlour for massage and body treatments and Garra Ruffa fish -nibbling. You get your feet de-scaled by small fish in a large tank. £18 approx but £9 through Groupon for 15 mins aand £10 for the same at Boom City in Bakers Arms, Leyton High Road, E10. Nice!
Fora Restaurant in Houndsditch. Just great. Massive tasty Turkish portions.
Double checked. You only get champagne and cake if you pay £10 to watch “The King’s Speech” at 3.45pm
“Taking Back Your Personal Power” A talk and workshop by a Reiki practitioner. details from firstname.lastname@example.org
So tomorrow a FreedomPassful of Waltham Forest seniors are going to Stratford Picture House in Stratford’s Cultural Quarter to watch for free on the big screen from plush comfy seats the Royal Wedding. We can even take our own hot food into the bar and even get cutlery off the fabulous staff who always welcome us, always. We think we’re getting wedding cake and champagne. We are excited, not particularly Royalists but like a good day out.
Had a day of good and bad stuff today. The coffee and cake reading group led by Lydia at Hackney Central Library is always worth the hour. Today’s book was “The Death of Ivan Illyach” by ole Tolstoy. Yep we delved deeply into that one as we tucked into strawberries, cream cake and almond cookies. All good.
Off to Songololo-Feet and learnt to crochet plastic off plastic bags. Absolutely rocking! Enjoyed the quieter group as people are still on holiday.
Went to the Princess Of Wales down Lea Bridge Road for lunch but actually £7 for a baguette is a bit much. Advertised High Street Seniors for May 9th in Wapping (see events and High Street Seniors later in this busy week).
In the evening I went to Walthamstow Central Library and OMG what a building, Upstairs to the reference library is a treat of polished wooden staircases and banisters. The ceilings are high and elaborately decorated. Lovely. There was a free very very basic workshop about social media and small businesses. I could have come off the street and said “These are the main 5 ways of using your computer to reach out to the millions who might want some of what you’ve got.” Good old Waltham Forest must have paid a packet for a consultant to entertain us. Done and over. Free it was to the public and part of WF libraries and businesses project/enterprise. Check out The Pamper Shop on this blog site to see what the Central Library is offering next!
Met my neighbour up my street whom I’ve spoken to twice in 10 years and we had a good natter and a chuckle when she told me her new neighbours have 9 kids. One end street.
This borough eh? You wouldn’t believe that it is one of the 5 London 2012 boroughs . What actually goes on in the green place? The youngsters feel despondent too. Check out what Josh Ryan had to say on his BBC London 2012 film. if you go to the trouble of making a film about what is not occuring in LBWF then you are serious.
I look for free activities for seniors in all 5 boroughs and woeful are my findings for WF. I have to reach out of the borough and then make sure that WF seniors are actually welcome. It doesn’t impress me at all when for example Newham writes on their flyers “Newham residents only” . I have to negotiate. I know it’s all to do with funding but WF seniors become refugees travelling just over the border to get something nice. Ain’t we 5 boroughs all in this together?
Sometimes WF wakes up and realises that we are near the Games time. “Personal Best”, a course which was offered to WF residents to cheer them up, motivate them and let them believe that The Olympics and Paralympic Games were for them and that they would very likely get jobs on the site they’d never actually seen, came and went in all its glory of achievement targets, Individual Plans, and final ceremonies. The course was well-delivered and structured but it was what it was and led to no trumpet fan-fares in the borough .
It returned disguised by funding operators as “Volunteering Works Summer 2011.” And it was hardly advertised: 70 years olds were stopped in their tracks at Priory Court Community Centre and asked whether they wanted to do a 2 full day a week 10 week hand-writing course for free. Volinteers already in place were asked to pop in to make up the numbers. What a farce. Class in Waltham Forest revived the old Personal Best course and never bothered to re -vamp it in any way despite the fact that we now have The Big Society, a change in funding for social enterprises due to massive public cuts, an unmanageable immigrant influx, funding having been swiped away from students on ESOL courses, and digital access as a means of applying for posts and indeed searching for anything.
Courses such as “Volunteering Works 2011” are aimed at a population seen as deficient in many ways: people with low self-esteem, women who have childcare responsibilities, non-working mothers, the unemployable unemployed, long-time job-seekers and lately, seniors who are already volunteering. The measurement of success is all down to how the individual raises her/his competency levels regarding writing a CV (used to be so banned in WF) and how successful their self-selling skills are; “soft skills”.And the high achiever may , just may get a look in as a Games Maker in the Games. So not, especially if the applicant has child care responsibilities, little English, mental dysfunction caused by low self-esteem in a society where everything just got harder, more expensive, more worrying. And those sought-after volunteering jobs on the Games site (What are they?) are unpaid, let’s remember.
I can be as positive as the next flower but that would be going along with an increasingly backward borough whose planners have not nurtured its residents in the run-up to a global event. “Volunteering Works 2011” has landed in the lap of the cynical and those who cannot commit 2 full days a week to something that leads to nowhere.