Hot, dry weather and no sign of Thames Water. Will we see them this summer? They have to get borough permission to dig up the road. Is that in train? Well, expect no rush from them or the Council. How these things play out is always dispiriting, delay the watchword. Our standpipe, hardly comparable to the Elizabeth Line, which was supposed to be completed in 2018, finally completed in 2022. Four years is unlikely for us, though, I shall read this in 2027 to check my prescience. Let’s assume no standpipe this summer, and do what we can in getting water from anyone and everyone in buckets and bottles.
This was a big weekend in Forest Gate. We had Forest Gayte Pride in the Library on Friday evening, and in the market and Forest Tavern on Saturday. Colourful and outrageous. To be part of it, the garden had Let’s Get Together, a celebration funded by the Mayor of London. Counting all attendees, adults and children, we had 208, at least, as always a few are missed from the sign up sheet.
Aroma helped us out with food provision. Three musical acts were booked, but one pulled out at the last minute. It’s annoying when this happens as you can’t replace them. The music began with Burno, a local youngster on tabla, playing along to ragas on tape. He was lively and enthusiastic. Followed by Tropical Peru who played South American music. They more than filled the gap, playing well over their allotted time, for which we thank them, with danceable, lively rhythms, perfect for a summer’s day.
Busy, too, were the woman doing mehndi patterns. This took a little time to pick up, but once some people had them, others were asking who was doing it and there was a queue. Lots for children too, painting and drawing. A success was cardboard triangles, about the size of a hand, on which children were free to draw and paint whatever. The restriction gave a great display. I have noted this before; give children too much space and the work isn’t so good, restrict the space and the art improves.
Looking around the garden, the standout blooms are the giant scabious, yellow, frothy mop-heads, and the compellingly blue lavender in the bed to the fence-side of Sophie’s herbs. The lavender flowers will fade soon and the seedhead will hold the fulsome perfume. Lavender Water was made by Yardley’s in Stratford, in the art deco building by the Greenway, with the colourful mosaic of the women with their full lavender baskets. Now a protected building.
The reed mace (aka bulrush) in the pond has toppled, always a likelihood with tall plants in insufficient soil, as happened to the hemlock in the wildflower display which now has a hefty stone in its pot.
At the pond, I look for the Peter Pan tadpoles, those left behind, in the journey to adulthood. In evolutionary terms, any line of tadpoles which did not get to become frogs and breed would, of course, die out. Either this just doesn’t matter as there are so many eggs in the spawn, or a high proportion of our PPs become frogs in the spring. There’s a children’s picture book in the making, like Hans Anderson’s Ugly Duckling. The poor PP sees its brothers and sisters developing legs, losing their tails, and becoming froglets, and leaping out of the pond. Goodbye! While PP remains a forlorn tadpole. And then a double spread, maybe two, of falling leaves, cold winter chill, ice on the pond and snow, and a shivering tadpole. But then it’s spring, sunshine, and hey presto! Legs. Very fine legs indeed. And so forth, to frogdom. Now I need to find an illustrator.