Clickety Click

They came from all corners of east London. Jan had her knitting out and her chuckles too and in came Glenys from Ilford. Sylvia sprouted in her glory from Stratford and three friends from different parts of Leyton presented thamselves. Radha flowed in from Leytonstone and we supped tea, munched biscuits and felt good settled in our old age and company ready for “Old Women Talking” at Hackney Museum for Anti-University 2017.
It was an unstructured, unrehearsed event and after a little interview with Emma Winch we got our mouths and fingers busy. We naturally fell into conversation and were a team together sporting crochet brooches and sticking bits of material onto a bigger fabric to make a wall-hanging to leave in our wake just to show we were there and did what we said we’d do and that we were seniors including ourselves in the wave of events weird and wonderful around Hackney this week.
We particularly enjoyed Radha’s puberty stories from Mauritius and her longing for the genteelness of Bath. Paddy Pat entertained us with stories of late night capers but all the merriment was after a great discussion about the way seniors are targeted by scammers and how loneliness affects every generation. Sylvia had attended the Alzheimer’s Show in Olympia yesterday so was freshly pressed as an alert older woman. We were a busy bunch, writing our names, passing around flapjack, peeling satsumas, dipping into the glue, getting to know each other. When we go out to museums and art galleries, work shops and performances. installations and singing, pottery, drama, and all the rest we rarely sit and talk. Our average age was seventy. Yesterday some of us went to a Chinese Restaurant so were sharing reviews and laughing about how we time household chores because someone has to do them.
Why weren’t there any men? Well, we hardly know the men that do join in Up Your Street and also one of the aims of today was to squash any stereotypes about the interests of older women (who sometimes allow guys to dominate conversations). It was hard enough getting a panel as it was. People aren’t that ofay with the principles let alone the history of Anti-Uni. And we needed to trust each other which meant we’d shared spaces together before and managed and tolerated, even enjoyed that.
The high of my day was spoilt when in Roma Traveller Month, a ten year old Roma boy from Roma Corner was ready to punch me after he misunderstood something I said. It was such a playful remark I made, not one bit offensive but he stood in an aggressive stance. My worry was getting across my little something I said in a way he’d understand. In a grasped timely moment, I smiled and turned on my heel. Wouldn’t mind but I’m the only one up this road who even acknowledges the blighter’s parents by saying hello when I pass. Do the travellers and Roma know it’s their month. Does the Pope know it’s Ramadan?
After the day, I’m listening to and watching Chuck Berry and then I hope on some channel somewhere wotsisname is on talking with intelligence not heard in theses parts for a long time; Owen Jones.

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One thought on “Clickety Click

  1. saintchadsblog June 11, 2017 / 4:28 am

    Lovely piece of writing

    ‘Doris’ may go under glass and framed. John is working on her… er the painting I mean

    Many thanks

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