I learnt a lot today.

Well Street Surgery in Hackney pulled me in today and I was among other people interested in healthy living; people curious like myself about the five or six week free cook and taste course. Turns out it’s all to do with the British Heart Foundation of which I am or was a “Champion”. What’s it all mean, eh? Nowt but a fig.

I thought we’d done all this 5-a-day mantra pre Olympics and Paralympics, you know the Games with a Macdonald’s sponsor. Of course we have a nation of obese ones but when will people really absorb the lessons? Never. Who can afford to eat three times a day? That’s another blog.

Anyway all the free courses are government sponsored. We met carrots and spuds, garlic and veggie Oxo cubes. We tasted rye bread which only two of us liked but the rest managed to pack up the remaining slices and take home. It was nice. The facilitator (I can’t call someone a tutor if they can’t pronounce potato) had to pitch to all capability levels. Money for old rope. Time was of the essence and washing up was not included as anything us drop-ins needed to do. Suits me.
Before this midday treat I was at Leyton Leisure Centre. It is fabulous. Mind you I never knew my Freedom Pass would not get me in freely anymore. The place was empty considering it’s renovated, celebrated and the time slot was for above 50 years young. The welcoming sauna was the icing on the cake or the crust on the designer soda bread. I’m in training for the Swimathon on a Sunday at 6am.

Tomorrow I’m off to an ancient wood.

Issue 2. Up Your Street

Mon 13th Jan free 7.30pm The Welcome Centre Walthamstow E17  “Stowtellers” invite us to listen to stories.

free 12-2.30pm Learn to Ballroom dance for over 60 years young people. 28 Powell Road Hackney

IMAG002618The three photos show seniors getting together.

Tues 14th Jan  free Workshops constructing and being creative. No.1.

Sign-making using gold leaf!

Blackhorse Workshop, 1–2 Sutherland Road Path, E17 6BX
email studio@wemadethat.co.uk  to book a place.
                                            free 2pm-5pm Hale End Library, Castle Avenue, Highams Park, London, E4 Free screening of the film “Summer In February” (Cert 15) Book through Eventbrite

Wed 15th Jan    free 6-8pm Private meaning anyone can come preview at Peer in 97 Hoxton Street E1 . Exhibition “Out of Site” Moving images on windows.
Thurs 16th Jan free 6-8.30pm E17 Community Kitchen. Free cooking workshops. Bring yourself to Waltham Forest College E17. Burgers today.

Tues  21st Jan    free   6.30pm Hackney Archives, Dalston Junction. Hackney. Readings from Ben Okri’s work. No need to book

.all ears

Book in advance  for Tues 4th March 7-8.45pm. “Spread The Word” session called “Write Here In Waltham Forest” at Wood Street Library E17. Fun. Creative writing. Free. To book, email lucy@spreadtheword.org.uk


Elite hair salon above a pool in Waltham Forest.

Want a good haircut and style? For dead cheap? In a great venue? I have been an hairdressing model at The Waltham Forest College Forest Road E17 for years with lapses when I’ve used a fiver coupon at Toni and Guy in Bond Street or Vidal Sassoon near there. You have to have a lot of time and patience because an hair cut by a trainee can take three hours. Blow dry on top could be another hour. Oh yes. But remember tops you’re paying is £6.
This new year I went along to the College on a Wednesday and that evidently is a good day to get a last minute appointment. It’s a training salon and so from reception to goodbye the students are supervised. The managing/teaching staff are welcoming and friendly especially senior tutor, Sue and she is like an owl with eyes and mirrors everywhere making sure hands are never idle.
The salon is a joy to enter with perfume and hair product smells wafting along with you. The students are smart in uniform and client-awareness.
I have never actually seen a man client :I do know barbering is taught and a cut is £2. Give it a whirl. Nearly as cheap as a Mars Bar.

Oh and take your own hanger for your overcoat.
I went down to check out the hallowed pool, the community swimming pool which I’ve heard about but never seen. For I am a staunch Cathall Road supporter. That place is shut until March. Anyway the Community Pool is hosting The Swimathon event this March ending. There is little space for spectators. Suits me. The staff are ace. The changing rooms look neglected but are just old I guess. Good to see what others enjoy.up_your_street_2[1] (2)

Issue 1. Up Your Street. 2014


A rotten year gone
Prune back for new growth
Forward with all pistons
Into the fray. Stay true
In love and solidarity                Roger HuddleIMAG00648


 Wed 8th Jan £5     7.30pm Stratford East Singers show  with Byron Gold at Stratford Theatre Royal E.15

Thurs 9th Jan  £2.50 for Silver Screeners (Join on spot for free!) 1pm Hackney Picturehouse “Don’t Look Now” (1973). Cuppa tea too.

                                free  6-8.30pm  E17 Community Kitchen at Waltham Forest College              Forest Rd E17. Just bring yourself.

                                   free 7pm Rich Mix Bethnal Green E1 “Changing Spaces” preview of Jonathan O’Dea’s art.”Using recycled building  materials and found objects from  parks I created a  number of wall-mounted sculptures that explore regeneration and the  natural and industrial history of the area. (Lee Valley area)

Sat 11th Jan   10-11am  The Mill E17 Khyal arts – Indian Singing Classes

In these classes we sing in styles from North India,Pakistan and Bangladesh. We are open to all, regardless of ethnic or religious background. We are a mutually supportive class. Beginners are welcome, no previous musical experience needed.Info: khyal.arts@gmail.com

                              free 11-4pm                 Kim Dennis, who curated the photography show at The Mill E17 , is making a call out for budding photographers to participate in her workshop . Kim will give a preliminary talk, outlining the basics of street photography, and offer the opportunity of going on to central London after the market. Bring a packed lunch, meet your fellow enthusiasts, then head out to the High Street. So bring cameras – DSLR, film camera, a disposable, or your phone, a travel card if you want to continue in to Central London. Ask questions, wrap up warm and enjoy!2013-05-26 11.45.06                           up_your_street_2[1] (2)

Sat evening free 7 for 7.30pm News From Nowhere Club at the Epicentre West Street E11. A talk about the history of Working Men’s Clubs. Bring food to share please.



If you like Toulouse Lautrec you’ll like…

The exhibition of posters from Unfinished Histories is very good. It’s about to move to Camden Archives from Kentish Town Community Centre NW5 and was previously at Ovalhouse.
“Opportunity to view Re-Staging Revolutions: Alternative Theatre in Lambeth and Camden 1968-88, Unfinished Histories Heritage Lottery-funded exhibition which runs at Kentish Town Community Centre till 10th January and opens at Camden Archives on 10th February”

There are posters and fliers forty-five years old carefully framed for posterity and looking good in their shiny skins. I recognized Spare Tyre and their Cunning Stunts posters and enjoyed the artwork from pre digital internet eras all advertising alternative theatre meaning gay and lesbian and anti-establishment.
Black theatre did their own thing I guess.

Memory Lane, Kentish Town.

I invited myself to the launch of the rise of Unfinished Histories all about Inter Action 1968-1988 at the Kentish Town Community Centre. Inter Action was a community politico hippy on the edge but observing boundaries street-theatre movement set-up back in the day which no-one I knew ever talked about or knew about. Mind you in those days we didn’t have transport links like the 393 bus.

In my youth I went to loads of alternative and mainstream theatre and joined the casts doing “You Me Bum Bum Train” in Bethnal Green recently and “Imagine You are Everyone” or something during the Riots, based in Hackney yuk Wick. So I kept my hand in and thought today would be up my street.
I responded to the call-out to be a volunteer interviewer for Unfinished Histories and never even got a reply. I thought maybe they wanted young black and disadvantaged. So wrong was I. I let it pass. By experience I foretold what the participants would look and talk like today. Met ’em all before so when the opening speech included “And we have many estates around here (which need community awareness)” my disinterest rose. This is the same as the Mill In E17 coming into E10 to show the people how to live as one big friendly coherent community. Dream on. In Kentish Town there are loads of private houses with families obviously being deprived of community project patronising.posh houses
We were in the party today in the main one generation.

unfinThe time was taken up with actors and stage managers relating their personal memories and describing at length how they came to be involved in Inter Action. Anyone not from Inter Action might have thought they were at someone else’s party.
I learnt nothing except that the 393 bus is bearable before 10 am on a Saturday.