A second bit of outside toilet news. Or as I call it; some wee news you might to be glad to be privy, two. And a rare thing for me, a public thank you to our local Islington Council.
Nearby Highbury Fields is a lovely green space and is working very hard providing a place to socialise safely in the sunshine. With pubs and bars still closed the place has been quite busy becoming a bit of a beer garden.
Bigger crowds bring their own bursting issues of course. Especially after a skin full.
Some local people have understandably been upset that some revellers have been relieving themselves in the park and local gardens. No one likes an inconsiderate slasher in the park.
Luckily the local council staff have been creative and have now opened additional toilets in the Highbury Fields play area with a fab one way socially distanced queuing system accessed on Highbury Crescent near the swimming pool. Open 9am - 9pm. So that makes three places to take a leak.
What a relief!
Mainly people are respecting physical distancing in the Fields and there’s a lovely hum of chatter and fun across the whole area. So it is great to see the council staff responding by thinking hard about how people can use the park safely and without pissing off (and on) the neighbours.
As a side note, like many public spaces around the country, not everyone takes their picnic waste home or at least puts it in one of the many bins provided. So good old Islington Council greenspaces team have provided extra staff each night - not only making sure everyone is safe but as late night litter pickers too. Nice one.
So thanks for both taking the piss, and for not being (or standing for) rubbish.
Great that Stuart's family could come up to see us yesterday. Richard drove Brenda and Ronnie up and we sat in Highbury Fields. Stu made us a lovely picnic. We’d not seen Brenda since our Hawai’i trip before lockdown. We had a right laugh.
I used to love Alan Bennett's Talking Heads when they were first broadcast on television way back in the late 90s and late 00s. Single-handers, they were both funny and moving. Back then the monologues had famous names like Julie Walters, Maggie Smith and Patricia Routledge attached.
Well, a brand new adaptation of them all is coming to the BBC soon - with a clutch of new stars rerecording them (and an extra couple of plays added to boot).
The series will start 9pm next Tuesday 23rd June with casts including Jodie Comer, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Tamsin Greig, Martin Freeman, Lucian Msmati and more. All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from that date too.
All of the films were shot with casts and crews socially distancing, with a full list of those involved below.
The full line up is: Jodie Comer in Her Big Chance (1988), directed by Josie Rourke Monica Dolan in The Shrine (2019), directed by Nicholas Hytner Martin Freeman in A Chip in the Sugar (1988), directed by Jeremy Herrin Tamsin Greig in Nights in the Garden of Spain (1998), directed by Marianne Elliott Sarah Lancashire in An Ordinary Woman (2019), directed by Hytner Lesley Manville in Bed Among the Lentils (1988), directed by Hytner Lucian Msamati in Playing Sandwiches (1998), directed by Herrin Maxine Peake in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet (1988), directed by Sarah Frankcom Rochenda Sandall in The Outside Dog (1998), directed by Nadia Fall Kristin Scott Thomas in The Hand of God (1998), directed by Jonathan Kent Imelda Staunton in A Lady of Letters (1988), directed by Kent Harriet Walter in Soldiering On (1988), directed by Elliott
According to Government stats (coronavirus.data.gov.uk) Islington has lowest infection rate in London by a very long way. 👏👏👏
There have been only two confirmed cases in Islington since 27th May (on 5th and 10th June). Not bad. Unless we are all just asymptomatic and/or suffering in silence! 🤨
Mind you, we’re not all champagne socialists in Islington. 42% of us live in social housing. We have the fourth-highest child poverty in the country. The 14th most deprived borough. A third of children living in overcrowded conditions. Forty per cent of older people living in poverty. The lowest life expectancy in London. The highest number of serious mental health issues in the country. The highest levels of depression in England.
Still, we have an ace football team and that artisan bakery does a lovely brioche.
We Islingtonians have been warned about out of borough folk strolling into our low virus bubble unannounced. If they do, they get handed an artisan mask and scented hand gel at the border.
This Twitter thread is shocking. The videos in the thread are the truly shocking bit. A group of racist locals shouting “go back to Africa” and worse - in my home county of Hertfordshire. This week. #BlackLivesMatter
“Imagine your house is on fire and somebody comes up to you and says, 'Hey, all houses matter.’”
Article contributors: Kehinde Andrews is professor of black studies at Birmingham City University, director of the Centre for Critical Social Research, founder of the Organisation of Black Unity, and co-chair of the Black Studies Association. JT Flowers is a 26-year-old American rapper, student and activist living in the UK.
Oh, and in case of any doubt, my personal opinion, it’s utterly disgraceful that a statue to a slaver survived as long as it did in a public space.
Maybe put all those statues in museums with a suitable sign explaining their controversial history as an education tool? Or better still, just ask Black people what they want!
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."