A slow, steady, solitary runner, I'm looking forward to meeting other runners, doing some good, getting fitter and losing weight.
Annie has just completed the second run to visit an isolated older person. They are now officially connected and are committed to supporting each other.
Annie has just done their first run to visit an isolated older person. This person will act as Annie's Coach; helping them to keep motivated to exercise. In exchange Annie will drop in each week for a chat.
Peter and I were greeted by a smiling Ms R. She said that she was waiting for the local authority to deliver a brown garden waste bin. I thought that I'd seen one as we crossed the front garden but realised I must have imagined it or seen one in a neighbouring garden, so I said nothing. We were shown to the back garden, a small paved area with a narrow overgrown border and a lot of stuff: bikes and car wheels and broom handles, mainly. We set to it right away. Work is always easier when you share it and Peter is a lovely workmate - as many of you will know - so we worked and chatted and in a little over an hour it was done. The garden was Snailopolis Central and in the execution of our service, a number of the lovely little gastropods were relocated to bags of greenery and dead leaves. Peter said that they'd be quite happy because they'd still have plenty of food; I wasn't so sure. Then - horror of horrors! - I heard/felt a sickening crunch as I stepped on one! When I found another shell-and-slime puddle a little while later, Peter convinced me that I'd killed a second one but that since I'd already punched karma in the face once, any snails killed after that couldn't make matters worse! (Did I say he's a lovely workmate?) The garden gate had a broken latch and was not secure so Peter (whose van is an Aladin's cave of useful things) fixed it. When we had finished there was a neat pile of rubbish to be collected and a row of black bags of garden waste, waiting to be decanted into the brown bin when it arrived. As we left, Ms R noticed the new brown bin in the front garden (I wish I'd spoken out after all) so we emptied the bags into it. Job well and truly done! We left a very happy Ms R. Peter, thank you for your companionship.
Come and join in the horticultural fun as we head to Meath Gardens to join the team for this month's great task!
This will be followed by the top-to-toe, 10-minute Body Weight Workout
Come on board with this always-fun, indoor task as we head to local arts centre, Oxford House, to help with a clearing and de-cluttering project and clear weeds from the area around the cafe!
Says task owner Deborah, "We'll be getting the dance studio spruced up as our little kidlets dance classes start again next week. And there's some more weeding/tidying at the café entrance as it seems to be a daily struggle trying to keep on top of it!"
So come on down - help out this wonderful community institution, which will be followed by The Weavers Workout - a top-to-toe fitness session in neighbouring Weavers Fields as we make the most of the summer sunshine.
Annie has completed their 15th good deed with GoodGym
Warm weather, warm welcome
It was a warm night as we gathered outside our lovely hotel base to welcome new runners, talk through tonight's task and welcome Dani, the new GG trainer for Derby!
After a couple of dynamic stretches, we headed straight out to our task, via a recce of the planters we were going to be tending to on Roman Road. Expertly navigated by Bryon and Chris, and formidably back-marked by Katherine, we made excellent time to our first planter, which set the tone for the evening: we whizzed up Roman Road, identifying which planters needed the most work; those that just needed just a lick of varnish, and areas that were in desperate need of a bit of litter-picking.
And then we arrived at the Fire Station, to be greeted by three of the warmest welcomes from the phenomenal Globe Town Community Gardeners, Joseph, Marco and Jess, who were brilliantly prepped with everything from wire brushes to a scooter (on which to shuttle varnish between planters).
Productive planter work
Two minutes of efficient briefing and we were dispatched: teams of 4 and 5 ran up Roman Road to their designated planters to start blitzing cobwebs, uprooting unsightly weeds, ditching Coke tins and glossing panels.
It was quite a sight to look down Roman Road and see a sea of red t-shirts dotted along this busy street, earnestly at work. Shop vendors came out to film; residents and local businesses came over to thank, and pedestrians smiled. We were appreciated last night. Of course, that's not the driving force for any GoodGymer ever, but it is so much appreciated and very much adds to a sense of community and positivity on the night.
Timings were adhered to and the work was complete by the 10 minute countdown. Last to finish were the painters working on the London Buddhist Centre planter who insisted on finishing the last panel (quite right - "GoodGymer's prerogative").
And so we gathered for outros and pics - and water. Courtesy of the Bethnal Green Fire Station crew (thank you very much - you made our night!).
What a brilliant time, all down to fabulous GoodGymers and our truly, truly terrific task owners tonight - powerhouses of efficiency, smiles and appreciation. We'd love to join you again soon!
Single leg burpees in the sun
So we still had time to run some of our fitness session as planned (with a last minute bit of mileage for our recce, I wasn't sure if we were going to have time for our scheduled workout). Cut a bit short, the runners still managed single-leg burpees, monkey push ups, eccentric lunges and a speedy lap of the Museum Gardens. Way to go. And in 30 degrees.
Monday night shout-out's
Bundles of appreciation for lots of runners tonight.
Thanks to Katherine for brilliant backmarking (and an additional thank you to Katherine, from us all, who attended the Shindig at the weekend, and will be briefing us further soon).
To Bryon and Chris for expertly, instinctively leading the crew to our first planter; and to Dani and Sam for being so hands-on and doing so much, while learning on the job.
And I feel compelled to give a mighty shout-out this week to Polly and Si who opted to take the task of jumping into a couple of tree planters and blitzing the worst litter (in terms of volume and material matter) we have ever seen.
To finish, a HUGE GG welcome to our first time runners, Caoimhe and Jill - well done for a fabulous first run, and we hope you'll come back very, very soon.
Don't miss more fun this Saturday!
On Saturday, we're doing it all again! It's the Tower Hamlets Summer Planting Party, complete with: two tasks, some running and Pilates, and a picnic and the pub.
Come for as little or as much as you fancy - this is YOUR day. Details and sign up can be found here.
And next week, we're back to Weavers Adventure Playground for our first visit of the year! Details and sign up are here.
I arrived just after 7am to find Dr D and Brian already hard at work. The garden is the car-park of a village hall; a tarmaced space with a narrow, weed-cluttered boundary. At first glance, it is difficult to see it as the oasis Dr D wants to provide for his patients to work in and, to be honest, the second and third glances aren't terribly encouraging, but just five minutes spent talking to this remarkable man about his vision is enough. Dr D and Brian dug the beds while I scraped weeds and soil from between the hard-standing and the kerb. It was hard, noisy and extremely satisfying work. At 8am we stopped for tea and a chat about Dr D's speciality (the holistic control of pain through activity) and GoodGymer J.C. turned up. The four of us worked on until 9.15 when J.C. and I had to leave and Adelaide arrived. I would love to be able to see Dr D's dream come true. J.C., it was lovely to work with you. Let's do it again. Adelaide, I'm sorry I had to leave as you arrived. Let's be at a mission at the same time!