Down a dark hole with Alice

ragworks at rabbitPhoto copywrite to Rabbit Hole. Wall-hangings by RAGWORKS

Today I was informed that The Rabbit Hole in Maryland (yeah, I know Maryland!) in E15 is threatened with closure. Sure I can’t/won’t afford the tea and biscuits there but I’m a different generation and I don’t have disposable income in a purse under my disposable nappies and all the other young parent paraphernalia in my “The Baby Show ” unique and blessed £75. 00 at reduced offer price pram- bag. The venue is definitely in E15 and not to be judged for tax purposes or clientele -magnetizing as the posher E20 with its Westfield and pop-up Marilyn Monroe soirees and Mini draped in British flags promotions.

The Rabbit Hole is unique. It’s set amongst final last offers fridge shops, burger bars  and chip bars, next to a part-time Radio Station and opposite a revived railway station and a long long brick wall on a dangerous turn down at Stratford as we leave the borders of down and out down-town Leytonstone forever. Maryland, land of all sorts and the wonderfully named Manbey Grove. The shop, likened to a warren because of the visitor being opened up to different channels, is almost sitting on a railway siding come to think of it.

It’s upcycled, that’s what it is. It’s welcoming and has an ear for what’s pulsing around it. It’s a sanctuary for the isolated young parent who hasn’t found her or his niche in a changing neighbourhood. There are racks of new and nearly new baby outfits to peruse. There are chances of workshops and prizes and raffles at baby discos. It’s a place for the confident tea drinking, posh pizza munching passer-by, a different experience to the Brazilian coffee-house nearby and the quick latte at the Morrison’s caff up road.

To me, The Rabbit Hole represents a sound business run by a woman entrepreneur who had done her market research, seen what other boroughs were doing for and with young parents and is forging her way successfully through the paper and string bound world of sharp business in times of austere cuts and depression in many communities. Where is the support from a Borough Council that goes on and on about women, about entrepreneurs, about small business success in their community? Away with the faeries who brought the world-renowned sports days, that’s where. Long gone. So last 2012. So in the bin.

The mad hatter of Newham says “There is no room at the table”.  Alice replies quite clearly and confidently, “There’s plenty of room.”

Did she add on “Silly”?


Xylonite Arts E4


You are cordially invited to the Private View of:
Xylonite Arts Open 2014

Tuesday 25 November, 6.30-8.30pm


Image Alexandra Santos
The exhibition continues until 21 December 2014
The exhibition features an excellent selection of works created by local, national and international artists.
Prices range from just £20-£450, so why not consider buying an original artworks as a gift this Christmas…
The artists:

Linda Bondy
Stephie Butler
Julie Caves
Luana D’Elias
Julie Fagan
Elsa Gallimore
Sarah Grainger-Jones
Emer Hayde
Michael Holland
Serena Holland
Gillian Lawrence
Veronica Lindsay-Addy
Christine Loze
Lisa McKendrick
Rod Melvin
Gareth Nathanson-Parry
Yvonne Overton
Chloe Roach
Linda Roberts
Alexandra Santos
Jim Smith
lili Spain
Bea Taylor
Tom Taylor
Juliet Thomas
Andrew Thomas
Xylonite Arts is open:
Wednesday-Friday 11.30am-7pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12-4pm

Dry desert

Glad to get home. I hate that walk from Stratford City Centre up to Marshgate or Pudding Mill Station (DLR); Not only is the main road as dry as a desert, full of concrete and overlaid with new traffic markings every time but the turning in past the Porsche showroom is deserted, dust-bowl dry and long. Sort it out someone. Unbearable.

Up at the View Tube Vintage Fair Paul gave me a lovely spot for RAGWORKS. Vintage sellers took over an hour to set out their olde worlde Grandma kitchen-ware and tat. The day was gorgeous. The café was packed all the time. A china mug  of Yorkshire tea costs £1.50, Posh cheese salad and couscous £7. I had my yesterday’s tea cakes. The service is wonderful. The cakes can make a grown woman swoon.

The View Tube is what it is and expanding what with sewing classes and cycle hire and craft fairs and coming soon “love the earth ” workshops.

decoulpage at view tubeDecoupage with Groundworks London. Flowering up a cardboard (obviously recycled) box.


The flowers are all out in full bloom but the place will look a bit different in November when there’s more “net them in”  events. Cyclists, cyclist watch crews, cops and folk with their babies in buggies are up on the gravel paths in abundance. It’s Sunday foot traffic; it’s Bank Holiday tourists.

view tube

Down in the Rabbit Hole

What a great time at The Rabbit Hole today. rabbit fair 3The sun shone all day on the RAGWORKS bunting fluttering above the entrance, and inside the shop, bright and reflecting like Alice’s looking glass, sellers displayed their classy wares. Music was provided by a beautiful pink-lipped guitarist strumming out favourites like Marley’s “No Woman..” Nicci brought on the tea and home-made coconut biscuits. There was a good buzz all day at the Community Fair in The Rabbit Hole, E15.

rabbit fair 4

Gayna was there with the lovely hand-made teddy bear buggies, proper wheels an’ all and RAGWORKS’  Red Riding Hood was being shy hiding behind hand-tailored upcycled toddler garments. gee's tots toysRed Riding Hood

There’ll be another sale soon as Christmas looms. I saw Kofi’s gorgeous Christmas cards and Sandra’s crochet hats for all. Definitely Maryland will see those nice things again.rabbit fair  2