Friday, 21 May 2010

A Lenton day

Yesterday (Thursday) was the kind of Lenton day I enjoy. Nothing earth shattering, no rushing, life at a leisurely pace.
Into Lenton Recreation Ground to take some pre-arranged pics of the Nottingham Peace Garden being marked out, ready for work to begin. Along the way and in sight of home, I found Harry, our park apprentice, busy hoeing away. He and Dave start early, so by the time some of us bowlers arrive in the afternoon, the workers are slowing down and rightly so. The trouble is some of us old farts don't see this side of the job, so this pic is for them.
Dave came across and joined me with Ian Cooke, a Nottingham City Council horticulturalist, who is working closely with the Nottingham Peace Garden Group and is ordering most of the plants, as well as marking out where the Garden will go in the park. Dave and Harry will be looking after the Garden once it is finished and Dave has been attending meetings as well as the volunteers who are pushing the project forward.
This is Ian marking out the head of the dove shaped garden. He knows Lenton Recreation Ground well, having worked as Nottingham University's horticulturalist until he retired and has been involved in park planting schemes in the past.




Later in the morning I wandered off the Forum office to collect the keys to The Crocus Gallery, where I was doing a volunteering stint from 12–6pm. On the way I saw another gardener, Rexx, one of our American community activists, originally from Los Angeles, who lives on a narrow boat in Lenton's Castle Marina. She is enjoyable company at all times and is involved with the Gallery project and the Crocus Café as well.
When I arrived at The Crocus Gallery, which is beside the Crocus Café, I saw these two young ladies knitting. I have written a bit more about Natalie and Lizzy in the Gallery blog posting I have just done.
After I had opened up the gallery, Hannah came in and I took this pic of her beside her three exhibits and I paid her for the picture of the spoons which I bought for Susan, after she had said that she liked it. Again, there's more about Hannah in the latest Gallery blog posting.
When I closed the gallery at 6pm, I went across Church Square and bought some samosas from Khan in the Lenton Tandoori restaurant, which I took home for tea with a salad and some lovely mint yogurt, which Khan had made. I am in the process of taking pics in of the shops and people who work in them as part of a longer piece about the Square.
After tea with Susan and Judith I left them chatting whilst I went off to meet a friend, Richard, who has recently started his own blog called Richard's World, much of which has been devoted to one his passions — the River Leen — which is how we came to meet last year. He has also written about some of Nottingham's caves. Richard lives five minutes away, so we wandered off to Radford together to visit a stretch of the Leen which has just been made accessible by the building of some student accommodation and a new footpath. For centuries the Leen was the powerhouse of Lenton, Radford, Basford, Bulwell and the other historic settlements which grew up alongside or close by. King Coal helped to change the relationship, but the river still has an important place in the local psyche and, both Richard and I believe, matters far more to people than Nottingham City Council planners realise.
Somehow, in the midst of all the development going on around them, these three, gnarled, trees have managed to survive. Behind them you can catch a glimpse of the kind of steel shuttering which has been hammered into place to shore up some of the banking. In places, the Leen looks ugly and might be dismissed by many as little more than an eyesore. Of course they would be wrong. On Saturday 7 August, Richard and I are finally going to do a walk along part of the Leen. Richard will choose where we go and to encourage a few others to join us, another Richard, my next door neighbour and Crocus Café volunteer cook, is going to do a picnic for us, which he will bring to an agreed meeting point, with the small charge we make going Café funds. More about this later.


Senior judges have overturned a high court injunction this week halting industrial action, but urged British Airways and the Unite trade union to negotiate a peace deal instead of relying on the courts. Their judgment means that five days of strikes will now begin on Monday.

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