Monday, 13 April 2015

Day 13: The Gate in the Forest


Gate Library
6.00 pm
11.1 km from Covent Garden

Forest Gate is named after the South Gate of Epping Forest and the library stands hard by the Romford Road which marks the passage of the Roman road from Londonium to Camulodunum (once the capital of Britannia until people came to their senses).

Staggering from my taxi (I don't travel that well) I encountered Martine outside the library who wanted to know if I was doing anything that evening. Sadly she was drumming up business for my talk and upon my explanation ushered me inside.

They take their culture seriously in Newham and there were a ton of local councillors there to see the events, not me you understand but the much more entertaining events that had been laid on in support.

One of thee attractions was the Unity Dance Academy (soon to be on Britains Got Talent) but they were stuck in traffic and the audience was getting restless.

I'll get to the audience later - they were an interesting bunch.

First into the breach was Mike Hamilton who read an extract from Rivers of London but even he could fill the void created by road works on the A118

Into that void stepped Tamika Cater who performed an impromptu solo and very good she was too.

Obviously Newham is so stuffed with talent that you can jury rig a variety performance in less than ten minutes. There must be something in the water - I should investigate and find out who.

Alas it was enough and I thrust into the limelight to keep everyone entertained for ten minutes.

We are The Audience - entertain us!
This was a tricky audience - on the one hand you have the toddlers, cute little bundles of noisy energy, on the other you have the serried ranks of SF fans and gruesome Grannies (I love a good murder I do) that form my normal audience and then there were the teens. Why they were there I never did establish but in conformity with EU Directive 96/6589EU Maintenance of Intergenerational Stereotypes they spent much of the time texting, giggling, whispering and taking selfies. They also asked some surprising erudite and pertinent questions which just goes to show that just because they didn't look like they were paying attention didn't mean they weren't paying attention.

Fortunately the dancers arrived and I managed to escape with my dignity intact.

Next: the wilds of Central Hackney!


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