Up Your Street. Issue 10

Tues Mar 21st £1 on the first day of Spring.10-1pm. Hilary Davis’ Tuesday’s Sociable Sewing at the Mill Coppermill Lane E17. Bring your own sewing project or follow Hilary’s suggestions.

free 1-6pm Art exhibition at Memorial Church in Barking Road. Women artists. Open weekends an Tuesdays until April 8th.

Wed Mar 22nd free “Local Art Exhibition by the very talented students and teacher at Forest Gate Learning Zone’s Fine Art Classes.
The exhibition takes place at Forest Gate Arts, 11 Upton Lane E7 9PA

from Wednesday 22 March until Saturday 1 April (except Monday 27 March).

Many of these fine art works will be for sale at very affordable prices.”

(Thank you, Richard and Anna, for sharing).

Fri Mar 24th free 12-5pm drop in Photo fun at Pembury Centre in Hackney. The Posh Club presents some senior fun. Glad rags and elegant wear.

Mon Mar 27th free 6.30pm Tate Modern Starr Cinema screens “Frida” as a nod to International Women’s Day. Long film. No need to book.

(Thanks to Emma for sharing.)


1)There’s a very nice welcoming café with a West Indian flair and bakery along Cann Hall Road,E11 just by clean Londis. The bread is delicious but carries Hoxton prices. Parking is okay too still.

2)Thurs Mar 30th free. 11.30am Last of the three champions from Gillian Lawrence’s art project “Champions” at Hackney Central Library E8 our local Hilary Davis who will tell us through her chat and chosen music at East London Radio in Leytonstone what experiences drive her to support her local community. She will close the art project by being the final guest as down comes the exhibition and she collects her beautiful canvas.

Mary Katherine’s East London Radio’s programme is dedicated to lifting Yourself up to good living and so many champions who deal with very difficult emotive subjects were not invited for a March interview despite my recommendation as project leader. Ah, the year is long yet.

Hilary can be found every other Tuesday at the Mill E17, oft times at The Claremont Project in Islington or enjoying a brunch at Bill’s.

3)I made a Simnel Cake already.


Beggars Belief

Yesterday evening I bought some posh honey and Maple syrup to take along to pancake day at Claremont in Islington because I can and do. I came out of Tesco and mused that the beggars must go somewhere when it’s dark. Wrong I was for there sitting on his cardboard patch  in the shadow behind the 55 bus stop was a young man. I zipped open my shoulder purse and knew I hadn’t a sou . A pound is not enough for a cuppa. Two pound may do the trick though. I’d just missed the bus and decided I wouldn’t give the note yet because I’d be embarrassed. Remember I didn’t have any coins. I know it’s illegal to give beggars money but in my book…there but for fortune.


I gripped my Tesco bag of honey, syrup and the reduced mushrooms and parsley. My Halal unboned shoulder lamb sat cold on my leg and I saw myself thanking the Tesco butcher for throwing in an extra cube because he took a shine to me. Let me digress and tell you he has raven black shoulder length hair and a Spanish smile. His meat is the best unlike the packaged cubed beef which has no blood and reduces to pea size on cooking. And yes I did go into the camel shop opposite and wondered how a place can stink of air-freshener disguising sordid meat. Mind you. it is a popular shop so I must have sensitive nasal glands.

I pretended I was looking at the bus shelter and spied the beggar still there when lo and behold he took out his phone under his lapel and the screen light betrayed him. I said to myself like the nan in Catherine Tait’s  sketches that his phone was better than mine and  surmised indignantly like a Farage mistress that he must charge it somewhere and that and that and that. Ah the charity within my soul can make you ache. My conscience was clear and the fiver was folded back into my bus pass holder. Don’t judge me reader. In UK 2017 beggars are two a penny. Some woman sitting on her backside on a cold cold paving stone with neither a wail in her voice nor a cup in her hand will be offered by me a pack of sanitary pads as tampons are considered invasive by groups in my neighbourhood. She will accept and I will feel like the best feminist in the free world for the time it takes to carry my loads to the bus stop around the corner.

At Christmas having been given a fiver change in Tesco and having thought it was akin to Monopoly money and what with it being the season I gave it to another bus stop sitter. The young man jumped up and asked me “Are you sure?” He was most surprised I think to be thought of as worthy of a note.

I remember in the nineties checking with the beggar with his dog if he were vegetarian  otherwise he’d be getting given by the hand of this bountiful queen the pork pie for his daily bread. My friend offered some wrapped food to a beggar outside Iceland and he went crazy saying he didn’t want food but money. She said it must be for drugs. Anything to get through a life of misery, love.

Juliet’s Free from Gluten artisan bakery has opened yesterday where old Robertsons the Bakers was on Lea Bridge Road by Peterborough Road. All around me people are turning to gluten free and lactose free and I can’t wait for a pancake.

This year, Matthew, I shall be baking Simnel Cake for Mothers Day. Beggars beware!