Marginal Land (Richard Mabey)

“… it is often in those awkward-shaped parcels of ground – left over like a hem when the surrounding areas have been sewn up – called ‘marginal land’. These seem to be multiplying with the piecemeal extension of built-up areas: a sliver left over between two strictly rectangular factories, a disused car dump, the surrounds of an electricity sub-station”
– p.38 The Unofficial Countryside (1978), by Richard Mabey
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The People’s Supermarket


Lamb’s Conduit Street

On the way to Coram’s Field yesterday we decided to stop by the cheapo chain supermarket in Lamb’s Conduit Street to pick up some carrots to feed the animals. Instead of the usual consumerist nightmare we found this brilliant community owned and run co-operative in its place. We chatted to the lovely smiley lady behind the counter about the store – staffed and run by members who volunteer a small number of hours per year.
I remember reading about a similar scheme in Brooklyn, NY – great to see it taking off here.

More info here
And some photos here

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Discovering London

Nick Papadimitriou Will Self

Only just seen this piece on the Haringey Independent previewing Invisible Cities at LIDF. The chronology isn’t quite right – the radio show came after the film.
I also quite like the misunderstanding between me saying that this blog started as just being about life, and what has then been reported as “It started really as a film just about life”. Sometimes it’s nice to see your own narrative re-mixed by someone else.

Discovering London

2:13pm Thursday 22nd April 2010

HIDDEN spaces, displaced people and disappearing landscapes make up The Invisible City, an all-day audio, visual and film exploration of Hackney, the Lea Valley, King’s Cross and North East London, which forms part of the wider London International Documentary Film Festival (LIDF).

This multi-media showcase, showing at The Hub in King’s Cross this Saturday, is linked by the common thread of concern for the urban environment and the way it affects those who live and work within it.

Leytonstone director John Rogers’ London Perambulator explores both built-up and natural landscapes and the borderline between the two. It features Iain Sinclair, Russell Brand and Will Self taking walks across London.

The film evolved from a radio series for Resonance FM created by John and Childs Hill resident Nick Papadimitriou.

”Nick and I bonded over a love of topographical books,” says John who is also author of a blog which documents his perambulations and thoughts on the area, titled Islingtongue>Leytonstongue.

“It started really as a film just about life. When I was living on the Barnsbury Estate in Islington, I witnessed a flat being emptied after a guy had died and nobody had found him for three weeks.

“I used to walk the route from the South Bank to Angel every day, and I’d write about the psycho-geography of the areas I was passing through. It’s about seeing a place in an abstract way and notions of how that space is used.”

John’s favourite views are looking back at the city from the outskirts. “It’s very instructive to walk around the edge of everything. Looking across the Lee Valley at sunset you get this incredible view of Canary Wharf. There’s also a great view from Highbury Fields towards Highgate and Hampstead.

“I don’t think you can understand where you are until you walk; that’s when you feel you are really in the landscape and almost a part of it.”

The day also features films from the London Refugee Stories Project and Stephen Gill’s eulogy dedicated to parts of Hackney Wick lost to the Olympics.

Hackney photographer Tom Hunter will be showing Life and Death in Hackney and Swan Songs in print and on screen. Other exhibits include Pete Marshall’s 20-year-long investigation of development in the Lea Valley, as well as audio exhibits, talks and workshops.

The Invisible City takes place on Saturday, April 24, from 10.30am to 4.30pm at The Hub, 34b York Way, King’s Cross. Details: www.lidf.co.uk

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