Pop-Up Cinema at Waltham Forest Libraries

Outa  the door and up the road I flew off to the Capital Age Festival film screening of Monsieur Verdoux at North Chingford Library. I’d spent the morning showing visitors Walthamstow Village and Vestry House Museum and bacon jam in Spar at nearly £3 a jar. (Not flying off the shelves despite the hype. Must be a vegan neighbourhood.) That was tiring in the heat of St Swithin’s Day but we got to smell some honeysuckle and the freshly sawn wood at the many renovation sites along Beulah Road and other tributaries of the sausage shop Orford Road. We saw the what looks like closed down Beautiful Interiors and took photos of baskets on bikes. (What? No bunches of ‘erbs?).

In the North Chingford Library hall I spied the cups of tea and cream buns. Yes I did. I spied Up Your Street subscribers and settled down with a crowd of forty other seniors,  some from U3A, some from the Monday film club, some from care homes and then some all in front of the paper screen. There had been a mix-up where the projector screen was needed elsewhere. Capital Age Staff sorted us out and no-one except me saw the difference.

The film was black and white and long long long  in an airtight room. I can’t stand the clown Charlie Chaplin but today I saw the true silver -streaked actor loving the spot light and his own voice. The buns were fresh.

Susie Miller of Capital Age Festival had put much hard work into expanding the Capital Age Festival into other parts of London other than posh ole Southbank. Up Your Street appreciates that.

The heat was still intense outside at half past five. Sam’s the chippy opposite was doing his usual roaring trade so a group of we  seniors had our early supper there.

The Day I Learned Nothing

9th July 2014. Soapbox at Tate Britain had its full 25 participants today, an audience of all those blessed with 60 years and thereabouts, “the New Generation” (as described by one active but absent agitator).


The posh biscuits and posher tea were wolfed down, the introductions given, and the agenda set for Stephen to perform,  as art appreciator,  giving it large at the  Capital Age Festival themed “Older Men and Expression” his take on the topic about older men and their ways with the expressive arts.

Mr  Drever


Apart from Matisse and other dead poets the theme perplexed me as I struggled to find in my own experience older men who express themselves in art and performance. On flickering screens Rolf Harris expressive entertainer  and portrait painter to HM goes down to paedophilia pit and Bee Gees Barry cries about his strained relationship with his dead brothers. There’s Lowry up and down on my wall as conflicting reports come in about his love of kiddies, and old actors stand up in court, silver foxes with dirty habits. I attend a drawing class and research Cézanne: another man in art who is nuts and then there’s Van Gogh. I try to uphold William Morris in my desperation as that elusive older man being artist but I am so tired of his leaves and socialism in big houses. Another Stephen wants to rant at Soapbox like a grumpy old man missing the positive point.


Back in the room, the soapers explored their idea of the word ‘hero’. Forget ‘heroine’ and ‘sheroes’, ladies in the majority here,  as it’s  C.A.F  and older men time. Stephen took the line about heroes and the received cultural knowledge about the nature of the hero and heroic acts or otherwise. He referred to a 1915 sculpture. Dr Max stood up to say nothing was debated about or referred to older men and expression and he was sorely disappointed. Twas right true too.


Unless I look at older men doing expressive dance I’ll never know what it was all about.wpid-img_95315535709391.jpeg

They say Chaplin’s “Monsieur Verdaux” is somehow relevant so I’ll look at that on Tuesday because it’s free.


Soapbox is free. To be in the Tate is marvellous. To debate and listen to others’ views is nice. For Stephen to research and then share his findings is first-class. To be brave enough to say you’ve never been inside an art gallery is jaw-dropping. To stand up and ask that we be counted is dangerous.


Neech sings a song, a melancholy one, entitled “All In My Stride”. Love it. She crescendos “If there’s a party, I wanna be there!”

                                                                       auntie Joan


All in my stride, all in my stride.




issue 24 Up Your Street

                                         Up Your Streetissue 24
Fri 11th July free 6-8pm Oxford House Bethnal Green . (by station). Older people’s dance performance. Part of Capital Age Festival 2014.
Sat 12th July free 10 am onwards. Take a camera! St Katherine’s Dock Clipper race homecoming. “Music, drummers, dancing at St Katherine Docks and prize-giving ceremony from 1.30pm until 3pm. The procession of yachts are as follows: 10.19am at the QE2 Bridge at Dartford; 11.48am at the Thames Barrier; 12.01pm at 02 Arena – 12.12pm passing Greenwich; 12.30pm at Canary Wharf Pier; 12.45pm St Katherine Docks.
        12th July again  free 1-7pm St John at Hackney by the Narrow Way Hackney (opp McDonalds)
“Another glorious summer fete in London Town! Plenty of the traditional ingredients such as tug of war, cake stall and coconut shy but this also has live music, craft beer and a dogs fashion parade – there are some proud pooches in happening Hackney.The Voice winner, Jermain Jackson will be opening the fete – being a Hackney lad it’s the least he can do. Jermain will be competing with the Pearly Kings and Queens and probably won’t be able to distract kids from the Playbus, bell ringing and sculpture painting.”

Tues 15th July free 3pm at North Chingford Library E4. Screening of “Monsieur Verdaux” celebrating with Capital Age Festival older men and expression. (!)
Wed 16th July free with the Stuart Low Trust  A walk about in The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wear comfy shoes, bring an umbrella/parasol. (phone Stuart Low Trust to become a member and to book
a place) Lunch provided. Bring your own juice.
                       free 6-9pm “East London in Flux” at Birkbeck Uni in Stratford (opp Morrisons) films about the changing east London.
                            Refreshments too.
Wed 17th July  free 5-8pm Open Evening with art exhibition, gorgeous refreshments at the Centre for Better Health , 1a Darnley Rd (opp Town Hall Hackney)
                  with taster workshops too eg. tile -making. Phone to book by Mon 14th July.
Fri 18th July  free 1.30-3.30pm Hospice in Mare Street St Joseph’s. A lovely workshop for carers and those sympathetic all about colours and emotions.

Capital Age Festival and Older Men

Got a strong inkling that for this herethereto unpublicized festival, “Older Men” may well materialise as “Older White Men”. We’ll see.

When I reflect on older men in my world, I see tortoise-like Clapton in his genius realm, Rolf Harris with his doll-like wife in her little girl ribbons, and waddles of men with white skirts a-flying emerging from Friday prayers.
I see Cameron and remember he’s not old,  then Jools’ hunching back as he continues flitting from stage to stage year after year, never changing.

I told my friend aged 70 and desperate for a life- partner, although when she chooses Mohammed they’ll both be at near end -of -life, that she should abandon her plans because she’ll end up as a carer, hardly a lover. Call me harsh.

Another friend was on edge everytime she came out of her house as her husband, like so many other husbands as described to me, hated her going out because who would be at his beck and call? She got stronger and ignored his whiney I need mothering commands disguised as pleas.

And then along came AgeUK organising tours at football stadia FOR  OLDER MEN ONLY. Up popped cookery workshops for older men too. We’ll never know any of the attendance rates. What I do know is that the older men I hear about need bolts up their backsides or prison sentences.
It’s a man’s world: They control women. If they’d wanted to get out and about, no-one stopped them. I do not feel sorry for them if on reaching widowerhood they don’t know how to cook and be part of a community. They had fifty plus years to get on with it.
On my one hand I can count older men who get respect from me.
I always wonder what teenage girls see when they watch old genius men like Mick Jagger who was once a sexual beast or Bob Dylan or Donovan who were once total eye-candy. Only those old men’s peers could know they once ruled the world.  Today I wait to see which old man is next for the Yew Tree chop. Terrible I know.

All the old men go to play and sing at Vintage TV and then sweat their armpits at Rewind.

Ooer. Fathers’ Day looms.

Tate Modern workshops

Art workshops reaching out to the community happen at the Tate Modern. The programme is allegedly a way to get people into the Tate to appreciate works of art in different ways. Well that could please the funders. For Up Your Street subscribers yesterday’s treat at The Tate was a way to get into the Tate, to have a real experience of appreciating art through physical activities in the Tate Garden, to be led by a professional artist, to have a go on the Millenium Bridge and to say we were there enjoying  and benefitting from the hereforto unknown Capital Age Festival 2012.

Well as per, it was majorly Up Your Street people identified always by the mix of cultural diversity in their genes , in a pre-booked class of 15 seniors. I was surprised on booking that there were only 15 places in total which increased my fear that the adventure may be precious and inclusive. When I booked 2 places for myself, I was told there were still 3 places remaining so went into a frenzy of trying to contact seniors who are not mobile- interested or email- efficient. My efforts were passionate and goodly. I knew the worth of a Tate visit.

The Tate should be grateful to Up Your Street: Capital Age Festival should be grateful to Up Your Street, so said the punters.  Don’t let me go on! Up Your Street is a business finding and SHARING the information about activities for seniors in the 6 London 2012 boroughs and does that with gusto. Up Your Street subscribers can be your punters. You want an audience, positive evaluations from generous seniors, then tell that intern to push the info my way and then relax; job done.

So in an humid Tate Modern we seniors found our way to the welcome room on the first floor. Greeted well by Michelle we humped our collapsible stools and clip boards into the lift to the 5th floor known as 4th and engaged with earthy art. We drew, we discussed, we felt confident and vocal. On and downwards then, past the lady-like silver birches to the reclaimed wilderness now the Tate Modern Garden which probably has another name. It rained, it was sunny, it rained, it was sunny. Off we went with our fat crayons and drew shapes and energy. Tired we were by 3.30pm.

Our artist leading us was superb. The film-maker was superb. The garden was superb. Thank you Capital Age Festival for doing good for we seniors.

Spent the next 3 hours traipzing around any free galleries at The Tate. Schools were there in numbers, babies in buggies, and young people schlepping around installations formed from sheep’s excrement and the artists’ hair, brillo pads and effigies of penii. Crap eh? Then the pictures about dreams and poems. Enough already. It was agreat day out.

Reminder:  Rosetta Arts and Birkbeck launching their second art awareness degree for all July 17th Stratford. Check Up Your Street listings issue 2 next week