G is away in Liverpool for a couple of days, visiting family and friends, and staying out til 4am according to his phonecall this morning. At our age that's a bit reckless. Anyways, I opened up the shop this morning and upon entering the world of Bonnington Square came upon this fragrant steaming pile. Now, we've been in the square for over a year now and it throws up some bizarre sights every so often, but piles of giant dinosaur turd, fresh, isn't a regular occurence. For anyone who has visited the shop they'll know just exactly what the square is like - an oasis, a sanctuary, a surprise. It's also home to the small but perfectly formed 'pleasure garden', a piece of reclaimed land that serves as a community garden, children's playground and refuge from the rest of Vauxhall. This is all in zone 1, just yards away from the six-lane South Lambeth Road, railway bridges and packed Vauxhall bus and Tube terminal. I remember first discovering the place a few years ago, meeting G for lunch in the brilliant unpretentious café and just being in awe of the place - not just the quietude, but the totally unexpected community feel, the jungle-like streets and the exotic flowers and plants. It's only because of the café that the shop, as it is, and where it is exists. We have often talked about the square here on the blog and at the knitting group but I don't think we've ever really given it, and it's people, enough credit for what they have created and for what that gives to us at I Knit London. We're the only shop anywhere near and some might say it's a business nightmare...but for us, our little knitting shop and sanctuary seems the perfect fit.
So, back to the pile of poo...the tireless garden association were having one of their regular gardening days today, hence enough manure to save the Amazon rainforest piled in the street. One of the wonders of the square is the upkeep, the spirit that keeps the square 'local'. Here's Draeyk, one of the first to pop his head round the door when we opened and a constant inspiration. If you've never visited the Bonnington Square café try Vegan Thursday - superb food, more than you could imagine and all fresh too. Apart from watching the squirrels playing in the square in summertime, the other thing that makes me smile is Draeyk cycling past on his way back from the allotment with a bike rack full of veg, knowing a few hours later it'll be served up to a packed crowd in the café!
The square is a model of how to still remain a community in the heart of a capital city and everyone who takes part in this community should be rightly proud. If you come along to any IKL event at the shop you must add a trip to the café to your visit - real food, great atmosphere and nastertiums in your salad!
(Thanks to Lynsey for the pics)