Hetty’s August Feast

My feet are hurt­ing and I can feel my back, but… I had a fab­ulous after­noon! Want to know what I did? Well, I’m one of the volun­teers at West Nor­wood Feast and this time I went to as many parts of Feast as pos­sible… and I learned a lot! The theme for today was ‘dan­cing’, so I first headed for the tango les­sons in the Artis­ans’ area. The teach­er came from Argen­tina and he was so kind as to teach me the first steps of tango dan­cing. I only stepped on his toes once…
Then I spoke to a fire­man at the fire engine at the end of that hub and learned that the fire bri­gade even res­cues anim­als from time to time! By the way, they will have an Open Day on Septem­ber 22.

Next stop was a cheese stall out­side Beam­ish and McGlue, the Bath Soft Cheese Com­pany, so I learned a bit more about dif­fer­ent sorts of cheese, and tasted some. That was not all, because on the other side of the road there was pop­corn freshly made (smells lovely…) and a man was mak­ing sug­ar­cane juice by pulling plants through a mangle like my moth­er used when I was a little girl. I learned that the plants they use grow in Jamaica. Apart from the bread, the tea and the cakes sold to humans, dogs and cats could have their share from ‘Dul­wich tails’, ‘for healthy dogs and cats in style’. I think my dog qual­i­fies as such, so I bought her a toy to chew on…

On I went to the Por­tico Gal­lery where I was impressed by the artist­ic cre­ations of the chil­dren. Across the road the Retro area had been turned into a dan­cing floor. There I learned the first steps of the jive, which was great fun. Back to the Food hub in front of St. Luke’s, where on the steps a group of young people, related to the BRIT school, played rock music in quite a pro­fes­sion­al way. After they had left, anoth­er group of young people, called South Lon­don Samba, impressed us all with their ener­get­ic per­form­ance! Along­side you could see young and old swinging…

The chil­dren in the Food area made their own little beaches with the help of South Lam­beth Play Part­ners and as usual there were many kids around, which is always lovely to see. I learned about a new char­ity shop in the Crys­tal Palace area which had a stall — I was told they try to help home­less people and those hav­ing dif­fi­culty to pay their rent. Appro­pri­ately they call them­selves ‘Shel­ter’.

So yes, I had a fab­ulous after­noon and I was not the only one. I asked sev­er­al people what they thought of Feast and these are some of the answers: ‘The chil­dren love it! It’s very good!’ ‘It’s great fun!’ ‘We just passed by and thought we’d bet­ter stop here…’

For those who like num­bers: about 2400–2500 people vis­ited Feast today.

Do join us next month (again)!

Hetty Lalle­man

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