Hot Stuff

Whilst my niece was  up at Buckingham Palace looking at the magic of Kate’s wedding dress I was at The Hackney Museum (always a pleasure) watching the photographs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games site along with photos of the commissioned art installations clicked by artist Monica Biagioli. The work is called “Sound Proof” and is part of Mapping Olympic Cities which is under “Mapping The Change”. Hot stuff  because the art is exciting and Monica was on a touchy subject when she showed photos of Barcelona and we in the audience obviously had pictures of Leytonstone High Road, Leyton High Road, Stratford High Street and dumpy Hackney Wick in our heads: Just some of the ignored places and only a year to go before the big event. We turn to promises of legacy and things aint looking too good. But hey we were there for the art. Unless you can stretch your neck outside your box, it’s a different way of doing things to have an encounter with a soundbox and a letter on the ground and then feel engaged/connected  with the transformation of the brown sites of old Stratford. I could do that. I had gone along to get some aesthetics into my day.  Bizarrely I’ve  just finished reading “Invisible Cities” by Calvino and you can’t grapple with that while Jeremy Kyle’s on! The book is connected to “Sound Proof” in as much as people can dream of their ideal city but the ever-changing scenes make the dream change too. Deep. Beautiful words. Come to Book Brunchers at Sutton House and get down on it. We’re going to grill it. I already know the reactions. “Stereocilla” is another project  going down in The Site based on Calvino’s book. I recommended Calvino to the book group to have a tie-in with a local project. There are so many arty projects going on re Olympics and Paralympics development but who knows how many and do the artists ever come under an umbrella and do the Stratford people care? Are they really engaged? Time for a survey a la Open Stage at the Theatre Royal Stratford east where the volunteers are forever asking the locals “What DO you want?”

On the other hand  art isn’t up for demand. It must retain its integrity.

Well. Worse than sitting in an uncrowded room was the information got from the Cyclists Federation member present that the tow paths and the waterways along the Lea Canal/River (who knows?),and  the Greenway will be closed off from March next year! Astounding news.  Why didn’t we think that would happen as the Floating Cinema furiously and freely opens its bow to us? It’s a case of ‘get in quick’ and I will. So glad I’ve done the walks alomg the tow paths and the river trips up and down, all around, as if I knew. Why would we be naive as to think the tow-paths will not be developed after the Games?                                                                                            (Hackney Wick)

So after that  free treat at the Museum I went off to Beautiful Interiors in Walthamsow Village to be at the launch  of an exhibition of fine art which actually launced the E17 Arts Trail starting today. Buzzin’!   The whole street was warm with open -doored restaurants aand Tapas bars. Full of theem media types. The top of Orford Road is such a different part of teeming multi-cultural, always fiercely busy Walthamstow. It’s a step back in time to 1970s but as you ogle at the vintage stuff in Beautiful Interiors you’re actually back to the fifties; granny brooches, floral tureens, glass-fronted cabinets, and  painted thimbles. It was all about the art and the exhibition is well worth a browse.

Up Your Street Issue 32

Mon Aug 15th     Phone  0300  2012550 at 9am to grab a tour of The Olympic and Paralympic
                          Games site, E.20 during Open Weekend 10 and 11th September 2011.
                          free 2-4pm Bruce Castle Museum , Tottenham.”Nitter Natter” chat,
                                       knit and remember 1951.
                           from St John at Hackney, Mare Street.
  Dear FriendsJoin us for an afternoon tea on Clarence Road this Monday 15th August at 5pm. We
will be meeting at 4.30 pm at St John at Hackney to move tables, please come and
help if you are free.The tea is happening on Monday to coincide with the moment the riots started
last week, this is a community event to reclaim the streets.
Tues Aug 16th     free   6.30pm Bryant Community Centre E15 Final ACT planning meeting
                           before the Stratford Summer Festival. Feel welcome at a lovely
                                     community centre and meet friendly as ever Stratford residents.
Wed Aug  17th    free  1.10-1.40pm St John’s Church Stratford, E15, Saxophone session.
Thurs Aug 18th   free   noon. Meet Jacky Hyams at Sutton House, Homerton High Road, 
                          author of “Bombsites and Lollipops”. Buy your 99p Ebook by Jacky
                          at Amazon Kindle offers.
Fri Aug 19th        free   (for residents of Bow primarily) Walking and photography
                           course for 5 weeks. Email Graham for details at 
                          It’s possible the places are filled as it is a very popular Friday afternoon course.
Sat Aug 20th       free  noon-4pm The Stratford Summer Festival, Stratford Park. Meet
                                                     Up Your Street. 
                                                     Open Stage TRSE 2012
                                                     Mapping Your Manor
                                                     Action Community and Stratford residents.
Sun Aug 21st     11.30pm -0700h. free to watch The largest crane in Europe arrives in Stratford to erect a bridge
                                    over Stratford High Street …. all part of The Games.
Wed  Aug 24th   free  7.15-9.30pm Poetry in The Park, Coronation Gardens E10
               That Old Black Magic… tea dances on the horizon
 Stratford Old Town Hall £2 tea dances 1.30-4pm on  12th Sept, 17th october.
 Leyton Community Action £2.50 tea dances happen monthly at The Plum Tree Centre, Leyton Green, E10 
Go to London Transport photographs (IanVisits alerted me to this) to see  wonderful photographs of Wapping Station as it was.
Book at Floating Cinema for the free boat trip with eco-green films  and Harvest Festival at Abbey Gardens, Newham.
                    (no wheelchair access.) There is so much more to enjoy at Floating Cinema.
Check issue 33 for

activities resuming soon after the Summer Break “Still Alive and Kicking” (Songololo-Feet)

                                                                            Hackney Harmony Singers 
                                                                            Agewell Singers
Stocking up for Eid, BBQs, parties, larder? Go to Tesco. Bargains on savouries and 241 offers on those expensive Patak pickles.
Streetlife Radio is live on internet. Our very own Mary Katherine Presents plays marvellous music from golden times and chats , reads poetry and generally lifts us up for daily life. Other shows keep you on the music pulse as does Tony Regan at The Olde Rose and Crowne theatre pub in Hoe Street E17. 
Vintage TV on Sky is excellent for music and archive film from 1950 to 1980.
Up Your Street   an information-sharing service for seniors listing free events and activities in the 6 London 2012 boroughs.

Shaping our awareness

was at the first of a series of FREE workshiops in Waltham Forest, you know the Borough whose council is allegedly hardly preparing for London 2012 (not just me who says that!) all about environment, Permaculture and sustainability for Waltham Forest businesses delivered by Islingtonians. It was just wonderful. Spot on in terms of pace, information, participant interaction, and group loveliness. We were all full up on the delicious dinner served before the proceedings. What a welcome! Waltham Forest always comes up top when it comes to receiving guests so we hold out positively for the Games.

Once you’ve accepted the science of Climate Change then you can be practical in the work place. Lots of talk about transport costs, energy bills, Waltham Forest’s car borrowing schemes, disposal of recycled materials and the rest and what does go into a cup of tea. it was ace. We were mostly the converted but always uplifting to come together for the common good. was sometimes reminiscent of the measures the public had to adopt during the 1970s oil crisis. Hey ho!  Hold onto your seat belts. A rough ride ahead.

Next workshop’s in mid-March . All welcome. I’ll list it in Up Your Steet5 issue 10. It’s in a fabulous venue. Today we were guests of Argall Bid in the Argyll Industrial Estate altho’ I will check on that name as over the years the dump by any other name has had so many unconvincing titles. That area is where not even High Street Seniors would want to stroll at night. What is does have is the pong of Kingsmill Bread being manufactured; I mean baked. 

Off to the Stratford Theatre Royal  TRSE to see “The Graft” AGAIN because I can! I am after all an Open Stage 2012 volunteer. The play finishes its highly successful run in 2 days time. Get there!