Using that Freedom Pass

Went up west to see my ceramic tutor’s work at Royal Opera Gallery in Pall Mall. Up on the tourist bus 38 from Lea Bridge Roundabout to the door. The whole exhibition “Parallax AF” is just gorgeous. There’s oil on canvases, 3D works, sea-scapes, animations, quirky laughable stuff and a very good welcome. And wait ’til you see the sink in the toilet. Awesome all of it. 38 bus back to Hackney to pick up my ticket for the Empire sing-song concert in conjunction with St John At Hackney. Shopped around the Narrowway then bused out to Dalston for the web-site construction work shop at The Lawns. I gave up going to the Irish Ceilidh at Claremont Centre, Islington for that. Live and learn. Took the 236, 56 and 253 to Springhill in Upper Clapton to check out the Floating Cinema. Interesting. Had a cuppa at the  Riverside Cafe there and watched cyclists galore swinging by. Couldn’t manage the climb up into Springfield Park so had to walk the walk, the tow path (hardly, all cleaned up now) back to Lea Bridge Road, under the AV Roe Bridge and realised the old “triangle ” is still there, the vast area of weeds under the tracks where 3 lines meet. It used to be a dodgy area with all kinds of nutters  wandering in tthe elephant grass. Not changed really. Feels safe as it’s opened out and we all have mobiles anyway. Talk about up close with nature; a huge grey heron was flapping itself silly right by me over the reeds. Not one smell of wild flowers though and tons of barges called houseboats line the River Lea now. It’s a community like.

Thirty years ago I walked the same  tow path in a younger sweat, when it was a tip, to get to work during a transport strike. Daft. Other peoople had phoned in to say they weren’t coming in as they were supporting the strikers! There’s me carting my kids to the childminder’s before negotiating the journey across the Marshes, in them days.

Shattered and so fell asleep in Corrie mid-flow

Computer access, seniors and women.

                    Looking forward to two events next week all about seniors engaging in the digital arena. Of course if any 40 somethings are to talk about ‘older people’ and how they engage with the internet and computers,  I think we seniors should be there. The government wants all seniors to be able to access computers and use the internet by the end of 2012 so authorities are getting nervous now because there is a major task ahead, not least because many older people can’t be asked. For a kick off the useless ones who ‘teach’ seniors should be ousted. I have witnessed, and had reports of, the condescending way that so-called teachers operating from community venues, talk to their students. A bit of respect wouldn’t go amiss. I’ve seen seniors ignore the quasi teachers because they know a patronising tone when they hear it. And I’ve applauded. It’s granny abuse.

            Digital inclusion and exclusion are the buzz words. When all the libraries start shutting down where will the public computers be housed? Two excellent places for seniors to become computer literate are The Lawns, Matthias Rd in Dalston and Priory Court Community Centre, Walthamstow. And there again, those are two venues where seniors are respected and seen. The tutors are dedicated and under-valued. But the government wants seniors ready , itchy fingers  at their laptops, after the Games.

              Watched the Neil Oliver programme on BBC2 tonight all about the history of the British Isles. It was nothing without the superb photography and the eye- candy that is Oliver. That was after swim and gym to get active for the better days ahead and to fulfill the challenge that is “Swimathon” at GLL centres around and about. Larkswood Pool in Chingford  was getting decorated with love hearts in time for the free weekend coming up. Kelmscott in Walthamstow has a published programme for 50+ seniors for its open weekend. Hooray! Larkswood Pool is so very white: you just know you’re in Chingford. Walthamstow Village, Chingford and Wapping all UK 1950!

I met up with Up Your Street5 subscribers today at The Harvester in Chingford. Yuk! Agitated, unsmiling staff put me off my food big time. Beware, they salt the chips before serving. Not my eaterie of choice. Am soon to visit a couple of places in Houndsditch and Whitecross St, EC1 with Groupon vouchers. There’s no rush as the vouchers last.

Tons of stuff coming up for International Women’s Day. It’s the 100 year celebration this year.Pleased that the name has been retained because in the past few years the date has been watered down to “Women’s Day” and “Women’s Week”. Get your purple and green ribbons ready. Saw that ‘Wapping Women’s Group’, ‘Docklands Women’s Group Island Neighbourhood Project’ and ‘Shadwell Women’s Group’ are raising  their banners. A young woman was telling me how with the soaring increase in the cost of food and clothes over the past 6 months so rose the price of tampons. “What are we women supposed to do? Bleed all over the place?” It’s bad enough that women’s sanitary items are taxed. I meant, it’s a disgrace.