Helene Latey's Blog (12)

The Big Dig 2018 - Queens Park Allotment

My daughter holds a caterpillar in her hand, determined to take the pale, earth covered creature home as a newly beloved addition to our family. She proudly introduces  ‘Pillar’ around the group of gardeners who, taking a rest from shovelling farm yard manure onto the allotment beds,  lean on tool handles and smile indulgently in turn. We all wonder whether it will become a moth or a butterfly, and we all want it far, far away from our budding vegetable plots.…


Added by Helene Latey on April 24, 2018 at 20:36 — No Comments

Kilburn Tube Station Planters - New Plantings

Standing with my two feet firmly stationed on the brick walls of the raised bed, I bend down, grab the underside of the large root ball and lift a sage plant high up into my arms, dirt loosening and crumbling down beneath it. The herb has reached shrub like proportions and I can barely see around its woody stems as I cradle its mass against my chest. As I jump…


Added by Helene Latey on April 24, 2018 at 20:15 — No Comments

Foraging at the Cemetery

Aged gravestones, inscriptions effaced by time, sit heavily at angles in ancient rows. Carved angels and women, draped in sorrow, melt into the stone plaques, their faces covered in lichen, their feet hidden in tufts of grass. Surrounding, covering and emerging from these stony beds: the unstoppable verdant life of goosegrass, bramble, hawthorn and…


Added by Helene Latey on May 8, 2017 at 20:59 — No Comments

Kilburn Station Book Exchange

The bookshelf is a series of lime green squares, each holding a haphazard collection of books. Titles range from ‘Hermeneutic Philosophy and the Sociology of Art’ to ‘Around Bruges in 80 Beers’, from ‘Fundamentals of Industrial Administration Vol. 1’ to ‘Dragon Bones’. I crouch with curiosity, head tipped to read the vertical spines. My fingers track through tall hardbacks and thin dog eared paperbacks as I assess the titles, often pulling books out to read the blurb. I’m at the…


Added by Helene Latey on April 8, 2017 at 20:02 — 2 Comments

Refugee Allotments at Queens Park Allotment

“We journey towards a home not of our flesh. Its chestnut trees are not of our bones.”

                                             – Mahmoud Darwish We Journey Towards Home[i]

“My hometown, like the stars just blinking on,

Is somewhere on the other side of a wide, wide river  -

More sensation, more memory than town.”   …


Added by Helene Latey on March 28, 2017 at 20:16 — 2 Comments

Worm Delivery

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" - Audrey Hepburn

I arrive home, arms weighed down with Kilburn High road spoils, to find a small square box nestled against the door. The shopping bags thunk disregarded to the ground as I kneel to read the label on the box: “If not home leave in a cool/safe spot”. I smile. This could only mean one…


Added by Helene Latey on March 16, 2017 at 21:12 — 1 Comment

Meanwhile: Endings and Beginnings

January: darkened days, morning frosts melting into winter gloom, and an email sent around from the Meanwhile @ the Corrib organising team confirming that we’ve pulled out. We’re no longer going ahead with Meanwhile @ the Corrib community hub.

There’s a moment of mental disconnect when you receive bad news about something for which you’ve been holding out hope, however tenuous. Time seems suspended as your brain absorbs this disappointing information and then, with an almost…


Added by Helene Latey on March 4, 2017 at 23:14 — No Comments

Meanwhile @ The Corrib: Beginnings

The Corrib Rest, 76-78 Salusbury Rd, NW6 6PA

October 18th 2016


1. The central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate.

2. The effective centre of an activity, region, or network.

The large downstairs room at the Corrib Rest was positively thriving. Long held friendships and connections were evident as people grouped together, conversing with familiar ease. …


Added by Helene Latey on December 8, 2016 at 14:57 — No Comments

Meanwhile @ The Corrib: Planning


“In every one of them, in spite of their diversity, their different people and settings, he found the same spirit, the same sense of people coming home to the place, to each other”

-          ‘ What the long, red-legged…


Added by Helene Latey on December 8, 2016 at 14:55 — No Comments

Meanwhile @ The Corrib: The Vision

I enter the flat to the overwhelming smell of buttery popcorn. The scent brings such strong associations that my mind relaxes into the expectation of passive movie night viewing. While we, the Meanwhile @ The Corrib planning group, are gathering together to view something, it will be a much more active viewing process than the popcorn suggests. We are at our ‘vision’ workshop, facilitated by local ideas development coach Emma Rae. The plan is to extract the individual Meanwhile @ The…


Added by Helene Latey on December 5, 2016 at 14:04 — No Comments

Hedgerow Harvest

Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters Fryent Country Park Event

Sunday 2nd October 2016

Fryent Country Park, Fryent Way NW9 9SE

The undergrowth within the hedgerow is a tangled mass of thistles, bramble and nettles held together in stringy nets of coiling bind weed.  Littered amidst the tangle lie misshapen spheres of brown, gold, green and red: fallen apples. Crumpled flesh softens through brown bruising, the doomed…


Added by Helene Latey on October 12, 2016 at 13:22 — No Comments

Treading NW6

Unthinkable Drinkable Brent wine making event

Saturday 24th September 2016

Harvist Rd, Queens Park


Tumbling, overflowing crates fill the front garden, mimicking the  flow of people spilling onto the pavement. Convivial chatter, bursts of laughter and many ready smiles pass between the crowd as glasses of sangria…


Added by Helene Latey on September 30, 2016 at 21:30 — No Comments

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