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peculiar weekend

Somehow I got gang-pressed by a bunch of teenagers into spending Friday night sleeping in a box with them in the middle of Peckham. I wanted to back out of it after I'd agreed, but they were trying to raise money for a slum development project and do a bit of empathising, and they couldn't get many adults to do it with them, surprise, surprise. Here are a few doodles of some of them. The hairy one with the wary expression in the top right is my stellar friend Dan, another grown-up type who came along us.

I didn't take many photos, but here's one of Amy and Tola in the middle of cobbling bits of wood and cardboard together to make our shelter. We had a fire in an oil drum and the kids were amazingly good at scrounging bits of wood from nearby skips, although a lot of the pieces were heavily varnished bits of furniture and even a flight of stairs, and I think we breathed some nasty fumes.

The box was way too small, so we were pretty much curled up like puppies (but not half as comfortably). The rain started about four in the morning, and all the girls started shrieking and ran outside to warm up by the oil drum fire. So then I got a bit of space to stretch out and tried to ignore the river flowing by my head. The good bit was lying there listening to the dawn chorus, and realising that the airplanes fly much lower over Peckham than they do over my flat. And this one girl had me in stitches with the way she could imitate a whole host of accents: Russian, Jamaican, Liverpuddlian, you name it. A lot of them were Nigerian, or their parents were Nigerian, and they were having a great time joking around about the songs people sing at Nigerian parties.

On an entirely different note, I was at East Croydon station on Sunday and started stalking this elderly lady to try to get a good photo of her. I was too shy to run around to the front to snap one (and she didn't look like she'd say yes if I asked). She was fabulous in her yellow coat, yellow beret, rainbow bag and brolly. I totally want to be dressing like that when I am her age.

Kate Beaton's getting fascinating comments on her latest post, asking how people got interested in history; lots of different stories. And harveyjames has posted an epic comic here, but it is not for the faint-hearted or squeamish.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
you see this is where the sneak camera phone "look like your a blind and have to hold the phone away from you to send a text but really your taking their photo" approach really works cept when your phone makes that annoying camera click sound and people start to look at funny....not that I go around taking unsuspecting peoples photos like that...on the tube....during rush hour...
Apr. 13th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I need to get me one of them camera phone things. My camera looks way too obvious. But I really hate mobile phones in general, I'm keeping to the stone age with the one I have now. Hmm.
Apr. 13th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
I actually hate mobiles, mines always on silent as I can't stand the sound of ringing phones regardless of what the ring tone is. My phone is used as a clock cus I hate wrist watches more then phones and a camera cus from some reason I'm always losing the batteries for my camera. I currently have three cameras - mine, my mums and my dads - sitting in front of me, all with no batteries, I swear the cats take them out when I'm not looking.
Apr. 14th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Yes, cats are like that!
Apr. 14th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Now that sounds like one interesting night, I loved sleeping in hand made shelters when I was a kid. I miss the boy scouts. Was it a busy or hidden area you were in?
Apr. 14th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, I used to build shelters in the woods, too, it was good fun. But sleeping in this one, between the concrete floor and flailing legs, my body felt like someone had been giving it a good kicking for several hours, ouch. Luckily we were tucked around the back of a building on Bellenden Road, so we weren't right on the street, but we were overlooked by the backs of a bunch of houses and very loud. I can't believe no one called the cops about the noise levels.
Apr. 14th, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
You did WHAT? How amazing! Kudos to you, hon. See you Saturday! :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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