Category Archives: The South bank files

Resist | The Community Garden

Protected by cat & fox

The fox and the cat watching the entrance

A young garden in the hood. A young community-built garden tucked away behind old houses, with a recent eviction notice attached to it.

Most times I walk to Greenwich village I take the longer route via Royal Hill street simply because this neighborhood still feels like a community. People don’t rush, they stop for a chat, try the fresh produce in the local shop, greet and smile. It still looks like a residential area with a bit of heart, a flower shop, a couple of family friendly pubs, grocers.

The community garden popped up a few months ago. When I discovered it, on a grey late January Sunday, it still looked lovely. A big yard where everyone chipped in, brought a flower pot, a rake, a bench. And the less visible, but easily detectable additions: attention, time, patience, and care. The eviction note and ensuing quarrel on the walls is not in the least surprising. By most standards, this is a good location, and in London, that’s both a curse and a blessing.  

Given similar examples in other parts of the city, it’s a matter of time until the whole row of independent shops will be pulled down or “cosmeticized” to look like any row of stores in the western world. You know,  hotel-supermarket-hotel-corporate-flats-chain-cafe-hotel-supermarket-overpriced-fast-built-flats like.

I can only hope those in power realize that this city needs maintenance too, not just building (thank you, Mr. Vonnegut).
Oh yeah, I do know Greenwich park is nearby. It does close at sunset though, and you can’t have any humans tell stories around an open fire. Or plant mint.
This too is a form of resistance.
I hope they win.

Green fingers
Bringing the community together

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Leafless in Winter

Winter in the park

Solitary tree in Greenwich Park

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Our kind of lane

Walk in London

Carbon free Greenwich walk

#walk #London #green #Greenwich#spring #sidestreets #urban #nature

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South bank autumn

Walking seasons along the Thames Path

Walking all over seasons along the Thames Path, close to Thames Barrier

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Thames Path: The North Greenwich bit

Thames low tide

Low tide. Very low tide. @ that North Greenwich beach where very few tourists dare to go.

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Zooming out

Trees upon sky

Sweet chestnut tree @ Greenwich Park

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Thames walk

Royal walk, that Royal Naval College walk. Perfect sky. 24/7

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Upstream: From Bridge to Bridge

Try this on a sunny Sunday afternoon:  walk on the south bank from Putney Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge. Start around 4 pm (in summer, 1 pm in winter) to make the most of the sun. And sunsets. At Hammersmith Bridge cross and stop at a river pub, get some more sun while hugging some zingy blonde ale. When appropriate to leave, bid goodbye and walk on the north bank back to Putney. The sun sets on your right side, and will warm your back. I’m not gonna tell you much about what you’ll see along this rather short but mighty walk. But yes, it’s a story with gardens, forests, new developments, old pubs, palaces, churches, swans, wild ducks, boats and strolling humans. Joy! I mean, enjoy!

The agony of choice

The agony of choice

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The Blue Hour

Winter walk in Greenwich Park

January sunset @ Greenwich Park Credit photo: Ancapone

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Gandini – Juggling apples and ideas


Of Apples and Jugglers

An artistic director who talks about juggling, Pina Bausch and the mathematics of dance in the same sentence, by definition will not come up with a run of the mill circus act. “Smashed” tells stories with the help of 9 skilled jugglers, 80 apples, 4 crockery sets and a soundtrack that makes you want to waltz. In Berlin.

The story takes place in uncertain territory, building on a soundtrack reminiscent of the golden days of musical hall, the Blitz years, but also Bach, Tammy Wynette, and more. The rhymes and rhythms of music and jugglers slowly but surely predict a storm. The show is playful and dark, humorous and tragic, absurd and meaningful, constantly juggling with moods and ideas.

The day I saw “Smashed”, the wind was shaking the Underbelly tent. Kansas style. Not a planned extra challenge for the jugglers, but one that added to the dramatic effect of the finale. Needless to say it all went smoothly.

Beautiful and clever, this is a piece of contemporary juggling you don’t want to miss (must end 18 May). Also, you’ll never crave apples this much. And you may consider taking up juggling. Or waltzing. Or both.

Photo credit: Ludovic des Cognets

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