I've had an interesting and busy few weeks since the overwhelming success of our latest Bearwood Handmade fair. Haven't even had a chance to post about the craziness that was 500 people through the doors in the first two hours. Or being filmed talking about pop-up shops for the local news. Cringe. I did well in terms of sales, as I always do on my home turf. Lovely to see both returning customers and new faces. Someone commented that the whole fair had a bit of a 'post-war' feel about it, and I think it did. If post-war means community coming together, making something from almost nothing with just a bit of time and skill (not to mention love), and of course, with a healthy dose of vintage stylishness amongst all the handmade loveliness, well, I suppose it had to feel a bit 1940's.
This photo kindly provided by Andy Thorpe
On the other hand, with the country in complete financial meltdown, and holding an Olympics in just a few months, there are certainly echos of 1948. In a bad way. Friends are being made redundant, money problems abound, shops are closing and businesses failing every day. This is related, in part, to what I've been up to in recent weeks.
Photo by Ken Harrison Photography
Bearwood, my home for the last twelve years, is bidding to become a Portas Pilot. This is a competition launched by Mary Portas off the telly, and the government, to choose 12 towns that will benefit from a share of £1 million to help turn around "unloved and unused" high streets. It is what sparked the '4 weeks shopping local in Bearwood' project I wrote about last time, and it is why I've been pounding the streets surveying traders and locals and getting people signed up to support our bid. I've dragged the kids to quite a few meetings and on Saturday the whole family joined a large procession of passionate volunteers on the High Street to rally more support (and generally have a good time in the sun.
Check out Sonny (far right, above) looking like a dude in his shades
and Scout (far left, below) swaying to that drum beat.
Photos by Ken Harrison Photography
Our application, with YouTube film, needs to be in this week, so my work on this, for now, is done. Which is a bloody good thing, with the Easter holidays about to start. Looking forward to chilling with my babies, and getting some commissions done too. Mind you, there are a couple of 'underground' projects that I've got going with some friends that I cannot wait to share with you. But wait, I must.