As I was leaving work on Friday my colleague Lyn asked me if I had any plans for the weekend, I told her that the only plan I had was to have a lazy weekend. Not having plans doesn’t aways equate to doing nothing, there is always something happening in Walthamstow, it could be an event like the recent E17 designers market or doing something as simple as meeting friends in a cafe for tea and cake. This weekend got off to a slightly more usual start, I say unusual because I found my self standing in the middle of the Bell Pub taking my jeans off at eleven o’clock on Saturday morning. I didn’t hit the bottle early and make a fool of myself and no police were involved, I was taking part in a photo shoot for local food bank Eat or Heat. My friend Nat is involved with the charity and regularly organises fund-raisers for them. The latest is a photography project based on Walthamstow themed tattoos, I have two so Nat asked me if I would be involved.
It turns out that taking photos of tattoos is no easy task, getting body parts angled in the right direction whilst trying to look relaxed is pretty tricky, its like playing twister, left arm down, right leg up a bit, now hold it. Local photographer Alex Bell did a great job getting us in the right positions but it must have looked pretty bonkers to passers-by. I saw one lady do double take as she peaked through the window and saw me first take my jeans off, then lounge by the open fire wearing shorts. Its moments like this that make me wonder, do things like this happen in other places? or is there something in the air in Walthamstow that makes it slightly different. When a weekend starts with you taking your jeans off in a pub and not being thrown out or arrested, its difficult to know what to do next.
Having dressed myself and returned home we decided to go for a long walk over the marshes. It had been raining just before we went out so there was that lovely post rain freshness in the air. Nothing shows the contrasts that make Walthamstow so interesting as starting out for a walk on the often traffic clogged Markhouse Road, and then finding yourself next to the River Lea watching the cows mooch about on the marshes. Today we headed to the other end of town and treated ourselves to tea and glorious cake from Aura Rosa Cakes in Wood Street Market. As we wandered home through the village and then down the high street I started to think about how unique E17 really is. Marshes, markets and reasons to take your clothes off in public, there seems to be something for everyone. I don’t intend to make a habit of stripping off in local pubs, but I do look forward to spending more weekends like this. Wandering around with no particular plans and generally enjoying life in Walthamstow.