A question of care.

That someone who was never shown love could grow up to give love is amazing.

I met Alex Wheatle  at the Idea Store Whitechapel where I’d booked to hear him do a platform debate about diversity or rather no diversity in publishing in the UK. I saw him in the corridor and felt comfortable enough to go up and take a hug. My companion thought I was brave and expert at networking. Not me. Like my grandson I stand back if I get a bad vibe.

I just watched on Twitter the interview he gave on Channel 4 about his miserable young days in Lambeth Care.

It sparks a long-held motto of mine that if you feel it ain’t right then you’re probably right. Last year I visited a children’s nursery and just wanted to carry off those kiddies. One miserable cow was feeding the children in silence. One child ate at a time and the others had to sit in silence in the horseshoe around the bitch’s feet. She couldn’t even look up to say hello to me a prospective customer. What wasn’t taught to those kiddies then?

Got in and googled for the OFSTED report. One singular inspector went in on a pre-arranged time of course. Dandy report ticking all the boxes and giving a “good”. I opened my own pop-up nursery.

Someone else was with me at the time and phew! had the same reaction as myself. To calm ourselves we agreed that the sour- looking mothers who went into the building to drop off their babies probably saw nothing wrong with kiddies being silent and passive especially in front of Mr Maker on a small DVD machine.

Whilst there, there was a ring at the bell and a man was allowed to go upstairs with no questions asked and see some worker. The nursery is a three bedroomed house in E10 obviously granted a licence by the Council. Yep I could name names but I need proof.

There’s another nursery in E10 run by nuns. Don’t get me started.


Write Idea at Whitechapel.

Up Your Street subscribers attended the Write Idea writing Festival over a dew days  at the Idea Store, Whitechapel.

Today we enjoyed Spitalfield’s own “Gentle Author, meeting Alex Wheatle, Irenosen Okojie and Sunny Singh, and getting fired up by Owen Jones. We aso had free food courtesy of Tower Hamlets and Bhaji of Docklands.

A child of five was busy video-taping Owen Jones.

Alex chaired and managed comfortably the conversation or debate  about  publishers’ lack of interest in publishing works by authors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Around the late 1990s there was a shower of BME published authors in the UK and the way was set for a post racial literary stage. Not any more. We are going backwards. To me though the struggle for BME authors is aligned with the lack of BME people in telly adverts, on stage, and in TV dramas. Nothing changes.

Owen Jones! Well, he’s Jesus.

The Gentle Author showed us and explained to us loads of photographs from the early C20th about children all called “Spitalfields Nippers”. What was interesting was that the photographer had identified by name each child and those children’s lives have been discovered.