Wandering in Wandsworth (and Fulham and Victoria)

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Sign outside The Paradise Cooperative in Wandsworth

I rarely give myself time to wander; often my time is planned and filled with tasks from my ToDo list. I’d forgotten how magical life can be when I give myself a time boundary with no plans.

I was in London at the weekend, staying with a friend in Wandsworth and she was busy all morning. After trawling the internet for an hour (a whole hour of time wasting in a not good way!) I decided to go for a walk and see what it’s like in Wandsworth.

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I’d barely walked five minutes when I came across The Paradise Co-operative – a community garden. The gate was open so I wandered in and was greeted by a friendly couple who told me the history of the garden.

They invited me to stay so I did; I harvested some beans and tomatoes, some of which they insisted I take with me. All the veggies and fruit are organic and tasted amazing. I had the biggest smile on my face as I picked tomatoes.

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I left the garden and made my way to Fulham, this time in search of a vegan cafe – The Sanctuary on Fulham Road. It wasn’t where the Happy Cow map said it would be. Instead, there was a new cafe – Simply Vegan, which opened its doors a couple of days ago. I was after a savoury lunch, despite the tempting array of beautiful cakes and the owner directed me to a vegan pizza restaurant, Pickywops.

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Andrea and Cristiano, founders of Pickywops, and me

Oh my! It was amazing! I had the award-winning Vegan Temptations pizza, which had Violife mozzarella, kale, broccolini, almond ricotta and blueberries on it. I savoured every bite of each slice, especially the last because of saving the blueberry til the end, for the exquisite burst of sweetness. Yum.

If I hadn’t given myself time without plans, I would not have found either of these places, both of which promoted a healthier lifestyle and made me think about food, where it comes from, and my own buying habits.

Later, when I bought veggies from Sainsburys, I wondered about buying organic veg from farmers at local markets in Brighton, and about volunteering at a local community garden. Research turned up both options: the Upper Gardner Street Market and the Phoenix Community Centre Garden. I’m going to visit both at the earliest opportunity.

As I arrived at Victoria Train Station to catch a train to Brighton, I saw I had an hour’s wait so I looked on Google maps for a coffee shop and headed off to find the one I chose. It was closed, so I wandered in the general direction of the station and stumbled across Places for NOVA, an art installation by Saad Qureshi. I slowly made my way around all six pieces, photographing them from angles that I hoped would make nice photos. Then I sat on a bench and ate the vegan doughnut and drank the Earl Grey with soya milk that I gleefully bought from a cafe in the centre of the exhibition.

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I left London full of wonder. It’s quite a child-like feeling and it’s stayed with me almost all the time. I think it’s my favourite feeling.

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Book Spine Poetry

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I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter
Sculpting In Time by Andrey Tarkovsky
The Film Sense by Eisenstein
The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdoch
The Energy of Prayer by Thich Nhat Hanh
Why does E=mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
Elvis Presley by Robert Matthew-Walker
How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.
Coach by Steve Bavister and Amanda Vickers
Your Presence Is Requested At Suvanto by Maile Chapman
The Emporer’s New Mind by Roger Penrose

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Death in India

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Yesterday I met my ex-boyfriend and we spent some time talking over some of our experiences together and since we’ve been apart. We split up in 2009. It was a relief to see him yesterday. I ran away from him when it got difficult in our relationship. Ultimately, I ran away from myself. I closed down. Meeting him yesterday and talking about our relationship allowed me a sense of it being okay and I let go. We still have this strong connection that comes from our similar worldviews. I saw how much his vulnerability frightened me because it reflected my own. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t drawn / painted / coloured in for a while – fear of my vulnerability. Those activities access different parts of my brain and drop my guard against suppressed memories and feelings.

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Bluetooth keyboard’s words of wisdom

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On the sticker on the back of my bluetooth keyboard that allows me to touchtype when using my mobile phone are some words of wisdom: Operation is subject to the following two conditions: 1. This device may not cause harmful interference, and 2. This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. I laughed out loud when I read it. It’s true that in order to feel okay one must accept the harmful interference that happened in the past.

science in a can

http://sciencesoup.tumblr.com/post/26870917512/what-does-space-smell-like-its-strange-to-think I love this article. Late night visits to the kitchen to make toast generate that smell of hot metal as the element heats up, clicking occasionally. It never occurred to me that there might be a smell in space. But it makes sense. In October, when the air cools down, I can smell the cold. It brings a sense of foreboding: a need to take care of the draughts in my flat before they eat up my heating and cost me and the earth pounds of damage. This year I’m intending to make draught excluders for my doors and windows from old pillows and quilts.