What came from the bush

Checked the Sally Army shop in Forest Rd E17 and smelt the corridor to the furniture hall. What a whiff of grandma’s polished airless room. Loved it. Bought a packet of fat chips from the last chip shop standing, almost, and wended my way across the road to sit on William Morris’ back step. He’s a socialist; he won’t mind.

The William Morris garden is fantastic and a real bee magnet. lloyd 2I saw it being laid out eighteen or so months ago when I attended the heritage sessions with Ellie Mortimer. Today it’s an ordered blanket of flowers and grasses as tall as a toddler. The circular beds behind the house itself are back in full yellow glory. Across the way the Warner maisonettes are dolled up now as they’ve been made fashionable and desirable with their wrought iron balconies and French windows on the first floor.

Just polished off my chips and something cast a shadow on my lap. A walking human being looked at me and sat down. It had no breasts but wore a white broderie -anglaise pee-stained knee-length skirt and petticoat. I sneaked a peek to see grey stubble and long greasy hair swung around a bald patch then that lank stuff was hooked up unto a half-hearted French Roll. I saw a prominent Adam’s Apple and knew I was in male company. Of all the seats in the park, he chose mine.

He fiddled with a purse, a lady’s change purse. I felt bad as he looked hard up if not weird and I could have easily shared my chips with him. He crossed his legs like a lady and swigged from a fizzy drink bottle. I thought that people must shun him all the time because of the way he is and so perhaps never talked to anyone all day. I started a conversation of pleasantries and out of his mouth came a high woman’s voice. Who was confused then?

A child went by on roller skates, done up in all her crash helmet, knee pads, elbow protectors and pink leggings: She never disguised her surprise as she passed staring at the bearded skirted one.

I remarked to my bench-mate that there were never any aeroplanes overhead. He smiled and I moved on to another bench.


The Lloyd Park shuts these days at 10pm. There’s a car park at a £1 an hour and £3 for four hours; £6 all day up until 5pm and then whether it gets locked I don’t know yet. It was only four years ago it was all free. Someone’s gotta pay for the blooms. There are ducks and sand-pits, art exhibitions and a roller park and pear trees dropping their fruit for anyone to scrump.

Issue 39. Up Your Street

Mon 23rd Sep. free 6.30pm Birkbeck University event at Theatre Royal Stratford E15. Community engagement evening “Birkbeck Connects”.

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Tues 24th  Sep             The Salvation Army shop in Forest Rd E17 is shut today for a funeral.

free  2 – 4pm      Reminiscence Café at Bruce Castle Museum

Decimal and Imperial Do you still think in old money and old weights and measures? Share your fond memories and frustrations with us over a cup of tea

Wed 25th Sep.  free 10-noon Lloyd Park Sharing Heritage. Animation techniques.

                               free 6-7.30pm Poetry at Centre For Better Health, Hackney. Read, enjoy, discuss.

                               free 7.30pm Joyce Rosser at Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham talks about the history of Tottenham High Road and Spurs. Refreshments at 7pm

Sat 28th  Sep     free noon-3pm. Forest Recycling Project, Give and take day at The Asian Centre, Orford Road  E17

Sun 29th Sep     free 11.30am-1pm. Community Breakfast at the Mill E17, Bring food to share if you can.

breakfast home made bread