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March 23rd, 2019

So, I removed the washing from the lovely Pendleton road bike, and set off for the station. It was slower than dear old Brunhilde, my trousers kept catching on the pokey things, my knees were up with my wrists, and again it left deep indents in my hands. So, I tried, but she isn't for me. A real shame as a lovely looking and lightweight lady.

So, off to Hackney to visit Nan and Grandad's old flat. Ostensibly to photograph Grandad's beautiful roses for my Mum. He was a great gardener and did all of the ground floor's gardens. I remember it all so well, Nan flitting about making tea and loading us with bread pudding. The terrible faux leather 1960's suite, which was a perfect as the day it was purchased (cuz she cleaned it EVERY DAY). The big mirrors with gazelles on. The old fashioned radiogram. And of course, the gilded hostess trolley. Not forgetting the dreadful antimacassars. Or the even worse crinoline lady bog roll cover.

I had a strange journey, reading American Gods, gazing out of the window, overheating and crying. No particular reason, but several I suppose. I got off at Hackney Downs and the first thing that hits you is the smell of piss. And then you see people strolling around before lunch time with super-strength lager.

Straight to Marcon Place, only a three minute walk. The little walls are gone and replaced with pointless 1 foot high black rails. The roses are no longer. So that was that. I know

I decided to go to Ridley Road Market, and was glad I did. So many fishmongers and fresh fruit n veg sellers. Black hairpieces, underwear for ladies of a certain age, cheap shoes, knock-off everything, Jamaican Reggae records and butchers with whole chickens hanging and the cheap fabric places. The shouts of the traders, the jostling of the locals and just a really bloody feel-good factor of being in the proper East End. Not the now poncified Colombia Road or the completely Hackney wankered Brick Lane. Good old fashioned East End. Exactly how it was 40+ years ago.

The whole area has been mostly taken over by people who don't come from London. London people can't afford to move or move back if they wanted to. Average rent £375 A WEEK for a 1 bedroomed flat with no garden. These people are financiers, media and dotcom people who don't make anything and in most instances don't actually physically sell anything either. And I watched them, in their expensive faux vintage clothing, sitting outside chi chi cafes, eating £25 brunches. In fact you can pick, £3.50 for a coffee or £3.50 for a chikin meal box. The chasm is right there in front of your eyes. The haves and have nots, cheek by jowl, but the haves gradually pushing the have nots out. Rows of empty shops in Dalston Lane, where the locals have been priced out, and the shop fronts newly Dickensianed, to sell £8 cacti no bigger than your thumb, and £65 haircuts. I could weep. This isn't right. People begging next to several thousand pounds worth of bikes outside cafes isn't right.

I found a gorgeous little garden, Dalston Curve. Went in, it's free, and was just blown away by what a lovely oasis it was. Treated myself to coffee and cake, the coffee wasn't from a machine, it was a cafetiere, result! However, my joke, can I pay extra to have the gluten put back in the cake, was lost on the lovely boy server. It had multiple insect hotels and quirky little bits n bobs. Daffs and hyacinths, with the promise of more to come.

Came home, tired and a tad emo. Decided to be very thankful and appreciative of what I have, by way of cracking on with the garden. So a couple (or more) hours and a sore back later, the garden is, as they say, Spring Ready. I have weeded and mowed and planted. Nails are totally wrecked, but I don't mind.

It's now almost 6.30. I have had a bath and put on my shabby, yet uber cosy jammies. I may order a take out, I may not. Just glad to have accomplished everything I set out to today.

And expecting to see roses grown by a man who died of cancer 25 years ago? That's just stupid, like many of the foolish yet optimistic things I do. Doubt it'll stop me though.

I have tried really hard to stop being Eeyore. But Eeyore I am for the moment. I don't mind cuz donkeys are bloody marvellous creatures, look 'em up!

Standing by for bad news incoming.

Somebody I Like Sez

"Mostly you seem adept at keeping the brass knuckles wrapped under so many layers of velvet that one doesn't even notice one's skull has been fractured until it's too late.

Metaphorically speaking, of course."

Now, the interesting thing about this person, or should I say, the relationship per se, is/are, he is substantially more intelligent than me and moves in very exciting and interesting circles, and I said to him, I wondered why he had any interest in me, given that I am not exciting or amazing or indeed anything that most of his cooterie seems to be. He replied that that's exactly what I was. Further given that there is a 20 year age gap and no fancy on either side, it is pure friendship. I find myself able to be utterly honest with him. He doesn't judge and he always gives his best. I need a few more people like this, but nearer my own age.

People who make me think hard and engage me in meaningful discussions are ace.


Call me Madam

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