Monday, January 25, 2010

The Best of Barking (1)

Barking doesn't fare well in the national news. Nick Griffin, BNP, wants to be our MP; we have the fifth worst train station in the country, and just recently Sukhwinder Singh was murdered trying to stop muggers snatching a woman's bag.

Childhood memories of Barking are linked to Nanny Barking (to distinguish her from Nanny Romford). Technically she isn't my nan at all but my cousins'. We call her nanny all the same. She is an East African Indian who likes nothing better than to cook a (vegetarian, if not vegan) feast for as many visitors as possible despite her ageing years. We recently introduced her to Isabella; she was in her element cooking for one of her sons, two grandchildren, two honorary grandchildren (C and I) and a great granddaughter. We left with three of the biggest red eating apples I have ever seen. Giving fruit after a birth is apparently a tradition in Sikh cultures.

We've lived here, by accident rather than design, for the last six years and I've grown attached to the place. When our house purchase eventually goes through (five months and counting) we'll be moving a little to the west to Dagenham. I thought I'd share what Barking means to me.

This is my brand-spanking new allotment plot complete with shed, compost heap, water butt, bean canes and a cherry tree. I have been granted one month to clear it for planting. (It seems the weather isn't taken into account; no fairweather gardeners here). And how long did I have to wait for a vacant plot? Certainly not the average three years or Camden's forty (!) but three months.

Links: allotments in Barking and Dagenham