Category: Community

Say Something About Our Scrubs!

SAMSUNGBe warned I am on my soapbox!  I am not normally one for good causes, I see the world as a place where good and bad are just opposite ends of the same spectrum, where change is constant weaving its magic at the same time as trailing its mucky paws across our familar realities.  So although I am going to invite you to sign a petition what I am really asking is for you to honour what is and be part of the vision of what will be.  That is what I am choosing for Wormwood Scrubs. The scrubs is a scraggy knobble of brush, grassland and woods in west London, England. Most people think it is the prison! It is not particularly pretty, not very well known or well frequented. That is pretty cool, 5 mins from home and I am out in the country; meadow pipits and parakeets, sparrowhawks (see photo) and model airplanes, there are playing fields for the kids and thickets of tangled briars that are rich with blackberries at the end of the Summer. It is one of those places that you can always find space for yourself, even in the Summer. In the winter it is a veritable paradise of mud and squelchy oozing earth – just like the country! When the temperatures drop is crunchy with frost and the air is icicled with magic.IMAG2666Boris Johnson dear man and Lord Mayor of London our latter day Dick Whittington, is being charged with stealing a large assed bit out of the north west corner (see photo) for the trendy HS2 (High Speed Rail Link 2) now I am not against development, in fact I love the new, the transformation of vision and action e.g. Westfield Shephersd’s Bush, the new Imperial College Gradpad and I even like the idea of Park Royal becoming des-res but taking this side swipe out of this unique habitat will alter its character and viability as sustainable slice of nature in London.  I cant see the sparrowhawks, or the meadow pipits hanging around, the wildlife will be squeezed out and this wild, raggy, underbelly of London will be tamed parkland for humans.  Now you may not care about my Scrubs but is there somewhere that you value that is slowly being eroded and changed, cleaned up and modified, somewher that perhaps could so easily slip from what is to you now to something conjured up by a development company?  Is that what you want or do you want a say?  I would love Wormwood Scrubs to be recognised as a vital and unique environment, I would love to see rangers running educational events, night time sleep outs under the stars, sustainable buildings and a gentle integration with the new development, how cool a community coffee shop and craft centre, more like Camley Street where I celebrated a 70th birthday wrapped up under dripping trees or Kennington Park Cafe where I attended a night time Singing Bowls ceremony.  I have signed the petition not so much because I want to Save Our Scrubs but because I want to .  I dont want it to stay the same I want to breathe new life into it for itself so that together we are all more. HS2The computer generated image of the new development and its impact is from the Lord Mayor’s consultation document.

Finding Findhorn

Now is the whole enchilada ~ ABRAHAM HICKS

November 8th 2013: From Glasgow we meander through the snow dusted Caingorms and along the Moray Firth where I can sense the seam where the sky meets the land at the North Pole. I swear I could see a little pom pom on the top of the world knitted by grandmas in the sky.  I change at Inverness to catch the Aberdeen connection to Forres where I am met by Fabien who has the spirit of a magical king.  We rattle off on our 5 mile trip in the first car in the community car pool, a trusty servant, it is about to be replaced by an eco friendly electric upstart.  Along the flat backroad skirting the Findhorn river estuary, we stop off at a local farm and shift through th produce at the unmanned vegetable shop.  It is bright but bitter cold .  The bamboo tea when we arrive in Fabiens cosy Finnish eco home in The Park is very welcome.  The Park, the heart of this interesting community which is celebrating its 51st birthday this month, has been Fabiens home for 25 years.  On the way to dinner we stop off in the community Sanctuary for 20 mins of silence, held in the clasp of the solemn reverberation of a singing bowl. Friday night dinner in the Community Centre and it seems like there are a 100 of us holding hands in a meandering circle to potentise our food with blessings.

The Park in Findhorn is like pixieland. Wood cabins and caravans, eco houses, round houses, houses built out of whiskey barrels, the Trees For Life office (or should that be cabin?), Findhorn Pottery, Craig’s place with his ceramics alcove and honesty box. Freewheeling through the Magic Triangle and The Field of Dreams to arrive at the Moray Art Centre – a hive of exhibition, art classes, creative studios, Steiner schooling. As the days grow shorter it seems we are always chasing the shimmering light as it slides down behind slippery stones of clouds back to Fabiens home, Meadow house; wood wombed, peat and woody fire, and apple straight from the tree.

It is a ten minute walk from The Park into Findhorn Village; sturdy stone cottages scattered tentatively along a sandy bar reaching into the Moray Firth. This village has been swallowed up by sands in the 1600s and was lost again to floods in 1701 but with some strategic help to stabilise the dunes it has found its feet weaving its blend of history to create an appealing haven from the rush of modernity. As the etheral light if the day slips over the horizon one of my favourite places to be is The Bakehouse

The Buddha sits peacefully on the bench, bracketted by regimental red petunias, a splash of colour on this grey day. The rain gently insists its presence trickling and the Tornando jets play tag under the mizzling clouds. Scotland.  There are quiet days cold days holed up in Forres when I do not love being in Scotland, I hate being pushed to face my limitations, admitting that I am not tough enough, finding that I need a hot bath to start my day, needing to do physio to warm my bones and dedicating myself to layers of lycra – any lycra; let me tell you it is a motley look! I am a pussy cat who wants to luxuriate in warmth and heat, to stretch my limbs into the day, to purr in the honeyed sun. The cold tightens my body, twists my mind and strangles my spirit.

And then there is Findhorn, a hive of activity. I cant keep up with the social events and the potential for lovely distractions in the warmth of the Community Centre or the magic of The Universal Hall, the olde world of The Kimberly or the decadence of the aforementined  Bakehouse. There is the scalding of the hot tub or the gentle glow of tea and conversation.  During my visit I was privileged to be involved in serving at the sherry reception for the 51st Birthday of the community; a sibling of mine, an entity of my generation that has to ride the wave of time, face change and build legacy.  What a wonderful inspiration it is moving beyond the half century mark