Silver today

Hackney Museum was just busy and buzzing all morning. The one mistake about the African Threads Hackney Style exhibition  is that it is crammed into a small space.  I know Hackney people,- Gawd bless ’em,  gov- like to live on top of each other but the exhibition space is a danger area what with kiddies on the floor copying Adinkra and people getting in front of others viewing the video. There is too too much to internalise on one visit. It’s all free too. So repeat the visit.

Fashion and textiles design entrepreneur, Honey, guided us around the white area, the whatever area and we saw cotton looking like wool and bark being transformed into cloth and a nod to The East India Shipping Company. We are allowed as adults to feel the cloth, (V& A faint, ) and know we are amongst the history of people of colour with a thousand references to the nasty slave owners but a great emphasis on how Hackney was “back in the day”. Well, it was green fields and rich owners of mansions who wore wigs and employed servants and where did they go to the toilet?

We were at a textiles workshop where some mums came an hour late with their offspring. The advertising had been diverse and so no-one could be blamed but I did leave way ahead of time to give space to the little ones.

Out into the sunshine but only after I’d checked the well-presented exhibition in Hackney Central Library. And after I’d been issued with my coffee and cake reading club current book.

Straight into the Hackney Picture House with ten minutes to go before “SPECTRE” Well. last week I’d endured “Suffragette” but today there was that proper cinematic experience with LOUD music and trembling seats. For a fiver on my Silver Screen ancient membership I got to see the film, drink a hot chocolate and eat their biscuits. Well bargain as a London hot chocolate costs more than the tin. The staff are just welcoming and lovely, I’d say. Spectre is amazing to quote the world but it is in  the old fashioned meaning of the word. It is nastily violent so I wonder why it’s a 12 A film. I mean I watched FGM videos so am used to huge violent scenes but a 12 year old except in a war zone or trekking through the Balkans is still innocent. I loved it all, came home  fried my own delicious chips then sold a painting.

Exhausted but  still kicking.

Strange how it’s kinda acceptable for grey James Bond to have a meaningful fling with a twenty something pouter. Talking of pouts my niece packed out of the world of Uni after two days (a record) and is about to have her self-esteem dragged to the ground as she flicks her locks at one modelling interview after another. Her mum and I have our wrinkly hands ready to catch her as she falls. Skyfall.


Tonight is MUSEfest in Hackney London. Not the old Hackney but the noo schmoo, the one of Hackney Picture House and bicycle stands, and beards and low-slung brown skinny trousers and a Premier Inn at Dalston Junction, land of lattes and wraps, closing down pancake shops, and toilets transformed into pop-in pop-ups.

Zeb Achonu has a Facebook page all about mothers making music. She as a musician and a young mother puts it out there that motherhood cannot squash your music creativity and it’s great for like minded music makers to join together and keep music and spirits alive.  It need energy just to get that off the ground between the carting to and from nursery, teaching language skills to own toddler, buying Tampax and Pampers, and getting to work on time.

Whilst in Paris she plunged into balconies and music by producing with Léopold Naessens “Balcony TV”. Hannah Judson was also on that same balcony. Since June, Zeb and Hannah have Skyped together and  set up gloriously MUSEfest , an evening showcasing women who make moves in music and who inspire others to create notes. The line-up is impressive, Mr Geldorf, and the tickets are as cheap as chips at £7.

It’s evenings of damp and mulled wine lit up by shop displays of Christmas glitter. It’s Hackney with its Empire, Town Hall, Tesco and sparse free parking. It’s The Attic on top of the rather stunning Hackney Picture House next to queues of buses on main street Mare Street.

From Up Your Street and HIGH STREET SENIORS who,  as well as The Bhaji in Docklands,  are feeding the musicians come best wishes for our daughters and granddaughters, for success for those women relentlessly producing music which deserves a place in the very man-dominated sphere of composing, conducting and techno-creating.

If it takes a charity event to get earnest and creative women recognised as musicians who have more to offer than music-videos selling mush hyped up with bouncing bottoms and air-brushed lips, then so be it.   Zeb and Hannah have that energy as work-loaded mothers to bring about a change in the music industry.

Light up tomorrow with today!

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:

                              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.



Up Your Street issue 9

up_your_street_2[1] (2)    

Thurs 14th Mar £2.50      1pm. Hackney PictureHouse Reminiscence screening   “The 400 Blows” (1959 French  film with subtitles).

Fri 15th Mar      £3.00      1.30-4.30pm Tea Dance Stratford Old Town Hall E15. Raffles and sequins.

                              £5.00           films  3.15pm. Stow Lounge 74, Orford Road Social Club E17

“Friends with Kids”

7.45pm   “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ”

                            free  In Old Spitalfields Market E1. Book a table and try Le Drunch for free over both weekends at  www.visit, or just pop into the market where alongside serving Le Drunch, visitors will have the opportunity to sample and buy Maille’s extensive range of mustards, condiments and sauces. (until 24th March).

Wed 20th Mar free   5.30-7.30pm Find out about the Marie Curie Helpers at Finding Space, St Joseph’s Hospice, Mare St., Hackney.

                             free 6-7pm Geffrye Museum , Kingsland Rd. Planning meeting for future activities. Go along!


The Paperboy

Yep, excellent nasty violent sex film with a conscience thread running through it: “This is about the wrongful taking of the life of a convicted man”. Macy Gray is very good as narrator and actress. The film covers all the latest angts, US Civil Rights, homo-erotic stories, pond-life, predator sex and state murder. Jolly for a Sunday members’ freebie  at Hackney PicturHouse. The film is over-loaded with sex in all its beasty ways and … more later

Issue 20. Up Your Street. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

                                         Issue 20.  Up Your Street

Mon 3rd Dec   free 7-9pm Leyton Community Association meeting (LCA) Saint Mary’s Church Hall, Lindley Road, Leyton E10 6QT (near the junction with High Road Leyton)

 Tues 4th Dec            free  to invitees (phone Hackney Museum for a place) 10-4.30pm  A day conference with Mapping The Change to shape in our community the Legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Hackney PictureHouse and Museum.

Wed 5th Dec    free  6.30pm The Mill E17, Drop in to knit. Any level welcome.

                              free  5-7.30pm Choice in Hackney event…

Alex Rook, well known human rights lawyer, and Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts will discuss accessing Community Care Support and disability benefits during times of austerity.  Refreshments   City and Hackney Carers Centre Conference Room. 5 TYSSEN STREET, Hackney, E8  Disabled access. Email:

Sat 8th Dec       free  11am Craft Fayre at Sutton House Homerton Rd Hackney.

                                 £5 donation 7pm Chats Palace Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton Rd Hackney. Unfinished Histories Christmas Quiz Night

“Unfinished Histories is a project recording British Alternative Theatre, 1968 -88, through interviews and the collecting of archive material. Companies involved were among some of the first Black, Asian, lesbian, gay, women’s, disabled, political, experimental, TIE and community-based theatre groups seen in Britain. Work ranged from experiments in physical and visual theatre or performance art, to vernacular drama, agit-prop and satire, championing a generation of artists whose work has influenced and shaped present day theatre.”

Sun 9th Dec     free   11 am Craft Fayre at Sutton House Homerton Rd Hackney

Mon 10th Dec  free   12.30-2pm .Christmas social for seniors with Malcolm’s Dance Classes at 28 Powell Rd E5

Tues 11th Dec   free 2-4pm Christmas Party  at St Andrew’s Church, Colworth Rd E11

Wed 12th Dec   free but book in advance.2-5pm Brady Arts Centre E1 Christmas tea dance for seniors.

Thur 13th Dec £2  7.15pm  West Green Learning Centre, Tottenham.  Coen Brothers  film “Burn After Reading” hosted by Haringey Independent Cinema. Another shorter film too. In the break to celebrate the season there will be mulled wine and samosas. Event all done by 9.50pm.

£2.50 1pm Hackney PictureHouse Reminiscence Screenings Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush” Best seats in London! The Tower Hamlets U3A keeps the price down for us from the usual £4 a time. Cheers U3A!


Vintage TV has started its “Simply Having A Wonderful Vintage Time” Christmas programmes. Interesting archive films and excellent editing.


Until  31 Dec. free  Photographic exhibition ” Art In The Community,”  The Salvation Army , 122-124 Lower Clapton Road E5

                         free.                   Hackney Museum (not Mondays) “Independence”. Excellent exhibition showcasing Jamaica and its tie-in to Hackney.


Next Up Your Street listing will be for the festive season and the last of the year so if you have any events to share please email them to me at

Hackney PictureHouse on a wet sunday.

As Vistaprint says “There’s nothing better than free”.

Came out of the rain and swallowed the last ticket for the members’ freebies screening of “ARGO” at Hackney PictureHouse. Hackney PH does it for me: Clean, luxury seating, attentive polite staff and an ambient hum about the place. The lift was down today. Mechanicals, eh! I knew the pre-booked event would not be a full house because it was bucketing down as Hurricane Sandra’s offspring tried to match her maliciousness. It was wet, wet, wet soaking the headscarves of the trouping African church-going mothers and bringing out the designer wellies on laptop hipsters.

Earlier I’d gone up to Rich Mix, not my favourite place, to join in the East End Routes day headed by Patrick Vernon OBE. Two rooms on different floors were set up with displays and a fully-equipped play area for the kiddies. A nice vibe. I’ve always rated Vernon’s talks and projects. I supported him today.

RAGWORKS wanted to join in the Routes day but Rich Mix is strict about what pins are used to brighten their walls. Another time.

Red Riding Hood is in another kinda rich mix venue: The Hornbeam Café in Bakers Arms with other world-wide folk-lore characters. I passed the Hornbeam Café on the bus and the lounge lights in there threw a spot on the evil, white-furred  Snow Queen. She’ll be praying for snow.

“Argo” is great. Went back in time to 1979 (Thatcher rising) and Iran. The film is gripping with one damn handsome actor hardly moving a muscle doin’ his thing and in the tense nail-biting story there were dry, dry jokes leaving us chuckling over our pop-corn and wetness. The acting is brilliant and the events are based on the true story of the rescuing of six Canadians from revolutionary Iran in those days.

At my Hackney bus stop I turned to see a mate. Sad looking and thinner than in the summer, he told me he was off to the soup kitchen in Lower Clapton. Whatever next?

Now there’s free and there’s free.

I’m blogging for “A Season Of Bangla Drama”. That’s more free stuff too.  All to the good and yes Vistaprint is quite right.

Exhibition on in the foyer of Hackney PictureHouse:-


Went to Hackney Central Library at 6pm for a reading group treat, the showing by DVD of “Waterland”  based loosely on Graham Swift’s book. I was in agony, bored out of my head and had to decide whether to last out another hour after the first in order to look well-mannered. I was ready to climb over my chair and pull out my hair. I left.

The Attic over the road in the Hackney PictureHouse was presenting a contemporary music school’s show case evening. The venue is ace and the evening rounded off well.

issue 7 Up Your Street

Wed   July 4th free (or dead cheap) all day course 9.30-3pm. Basic sewing at Priory Court Community Centre (and on 11th July) Phone  the Centre  and mention Up Your Street pls.

free              10-4pm      Last day of Steve Lewis  London as it was photography exhibition at Stratford Circus  E15.

free 11.30am but book       venue  The Hackney Empire

E5 Schools chamber music concert.Donations accepted.

Thur July 5th  free 10 am digital training at CLR Library, Dalston Junction  Hackney

                               free 2pm book at Hackney Picturehouse for a free seniors afternoon of films and a blockbuster and  tea , biscuits and a swing dance band. Arranged for us by Capital of Age Festival. Phone Hackney Picturehouse for your place.

Fri July 6th  free 11 am at Rosetta Arts Centre (West Ham Station) for informal introduction to “Understanding Visual Awarenes” a funded art appreciation course starting in October with Birkbeck University.

Sat July 7th free   2-3.30pm Mapping Your Manor walk around the Olympic site. Meet Lucy 2.00pm at Hackney Wick station. She will provide MP3s to listen to the podcasts.

Sunday morning in Hackney and Waltham Forest

Went to the free to members screening at Hackney PictureHouse to watch “Salmon Fishing In the Yemen”.

Passed the Save Our Marshes tents outside the Lea Valley Ice Centre. A proper brazier had been lit and fired up such that protesters were warming themselves. In the opposite field possibly Millfields South (names get changed daily ) real travellers are grounded.

There were some really funny lines in the Yemen film. One character says in a matter of true fact way that  he doesn’t know anyone who goes to church on a Sunday and then on reflection says in his Neil Oliver accent, “On Sundays we go to Tesco!”

One beautifully photographed  scene showed farmed salmon being transported in containers swinging from army helicopters. When I lived on a remote Scottish island it was a rare spectacular sight to look up and see a helicopter with its blades whirring and a container of salmon swinging under it as it went on its noisy way from one island to another. Of course there you could order a whole fresh salmon for a mere £12. Tasteless fish. Give me cod any day.