Lea Bridge Road was almost empty at ten on Friday morning when it was too early for Mosque prayers, and many shops were still shuttered. Don’t know why. The banks remarked on the same quietness and after the friendly banter still refused to give me change of a tenner. Banks!
Elders Crafting at Lea Bridge Library was the first treat of the day. This was a six weekly workshop offered to people aged 55 and better to take part in sharing their stories about the area and constructing a quilt from those memories. It’s £3 a session for materials which some would call rags.
The Bees Knees project at Priory Court Community Centre successfully hosted such a venture a few years ago and produced a marvellous billowy quilt depicting all the nationalities of the women participants. Quilting is the thing as an huge display of amateur and professional quilts is about to go up in a major exhibition in Islington. You have to pay £20 odd quid to enter your work. It’s business!
The Crafting session is friendly, chatty, full of sumptuous material and golden threads. If you like a cuppa, a chat and doing stuff at the same time, this is for you. You don’t need to sew because Sara provides craft glue. It’s a two hour session. Many of my friends couldn’t make it because of Friday being their prayer day even though the sessions would be just up their street. I was out at the Mauritian Spot in Walthamstow on Thursday with some Muslim lady friends and was able to promote Up Your Street events and give out the attendees their Adult Learners’ Week certificates for completeing at Lea Bridge Seniors
“The Joy of Meditation” and “Local History with David Boote”.
The Mauritian Spot is a dump. What made my mouth drop besides the bad service and the size of the fish, as big as my big foot! was one “Sister” shushing us. I waited until she said advisedly, “The men are looking at us”.
The women looked beautiful. All senior ladies resplendent in deep blues and fuchsias, shiny matching brooches and sequins shot by the 24 degrees sun.
The biryani was as dry as old Jollof Rice and micro-waved so the roast potatoes were soggy and the meal tasteless. The Mauritians were clever and ordered fish ‘n chips. Some ordered take-away cartons at the same time and scooped-up the monster cods . I joked to say that the take-away was surely for their tea tonight. “No, for our husbands.”
Don’t call me “sister”!
Following the Crafting session was Stroll London’s LB Baby Social, my baby. People in the area don’t know about it unless The Mill E17 and I advertise it, and we do fervently. The Library Promotions team must be reminded to promote what happens in Lea Bridge Road at a library which already has cut opening hours.
The new parents who come enjoy being in a different environment. The session is really for new parents to relax and chat whilst holding their babes in arms, so toddlers running around is not on. When that happens the children become the focus of attention. The point of LB Baby Social based on the Baby Bell Social model (Lisa at The Bell E17…check Facebook) is to allow new parents and carers to become their own person for a couple of hours instead of a sleep-deprived adult getting to grips with their new role. A cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit break the ice and young parents don’t even ask for chairs. The carpet in the Community Room is clean.
There’s always a good ethnic mix: It is Leyton.
The day was good and then the balmy evening. The Stuart Low Trust hosts Friday events at St Mary’s Community Centre next to St Mary’s Church in posh Upper Street, Islington Green. A quilt was on display made by women poets, members of The Stuart Low Trust. (You just sign up.)
The SLT choir sang some Beach Boy numbers very well and poets read from scripts or their mobile phones! Supper was free and served with a generous spirit from fantastic volunteers. I obviously donated cash as requested. What a super evening! And then some. Winston Hind played blues guitar and sang a little bit of Clapton, Marley, Cliff and “that singer with the eye patch” i.e Gabrielle.
The sky was deep blue still at 9.30 pm. Up Your Street subscribers went their ways and the Leyton lot boarded the 56 bus on their Freedom Passes.