Sevan

Ealing

TaskForce

92Good deeds

112runs

334cheers

TaskForce achievements

0

Community Missions
listed

2

Group Runs
back marked

1

Walking Groups
led

1

Run reports
written

2

Run reports
photographed

0

Group Fitness Activities
led
Sevan went on a mission
Mission
Brent

Runs N' Roses: The Garden

Sat 25 Jun
Report written by Sevan

Arriving at our final mission of the day Kash and I were still full of energy, fuelled by doing good, not the drugs and alcohol of our missions' namesakes. We found ourselves nudging up towards Harrow on a very respectable looking street with large family houses. Quite a change from where we started the day as we'd moved further and further out of London.

When we met Mrs S, we found that she and her husband has a beautiful mature garden at the back of their house. Mrs S explained that they both loved to tend to it but that she was no longer able to bend down to weed the flower beds and her husband could no longer help either. This appeared to be a pretty straight forward task, weed one of the flower beds and cut back anything that was growing through from the garden next door. The fence from the neighbouring house was disintegrating and according to Mrs S the tenant wasn't maintaining the garden well, so we were to give the chop to anything that was passing over the fence. As ever, what appeared simple took a long time to deliver.

We split the flower bed into 2 sections, front and back, not that Kash and I are competitive or anything. Armed with some unusually good tools provided by Mrs S, we got to work trying to clear our own sections first. We used different tools and tackled different weeds, pausing only to stretch and review our progress. Nevertheless, we finished at pretty much the same time then went on to attack the bindweed growing up and over from next door's shed.

Our last challenge was to fit all the cuttings into the green recycling box we'd been given, so we took turns to jump around to our favourite songs to compact the waste... at least that's what was going on in my head, I assume Kash was doing the same 🤘 🤷

Before we left, another head scratcher, how could we get a good photo with one of Mrs S' rose bushes. We had to find one that was neither too low, nor too high, nor where the flowers were hidden behind leaves. The thread for the day was already in Kash's mind, so we needed to look good. After a change of phone and finding a better angle, we were happy and headed off to show Mrs S the results of our work.

On the way out there were amazing smells coming from Mrs S' kitchen and we knew that it was time to grab some food for ourselves, nourishment for the body ahead of the long walk home.

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Sevan went on a mission
Mission
Brent

Runs N' Roses: Welcome to the Jungle

Sat 25 Jun
Report written by Kash

It is inexcusable for rockstars to arrive too early on the stage but we showed up at Mr L's doorstep a few minutes too early. The front door to his house was already ajar and blocked with a can of paint. After Sevan knocked on the door, we heard Mr L's voice inviting us in. We found him in the kitchen, attending to a frying pan which was making a lot of crackling noises. He opened the garden door for us and we knew right away which kind of garden it was.

It was the "jungle" type, the one that gives you a bit of an eerie feeling. Tall weeds took over the whole place, the grass looked intimidating for the rusty lawnmower and a single branch of the neighbour's rose bush joylessly dangled from the fence. We weren't sure what we would find behind the overgrowth - a Predator? The answer came shortly when I discovered a half-dead rat that must have gotten injured by a nearby rat trap. We didn't feel like gods of life and death at the time, so we reported the case to Mr L who took the rat to the rear end of the garden and assured us that "the blackbird will sort him out".

We decided not to go off track from our task, so we moved a heavy ladder away to get to the lawnmower. I have seen Sevan with a mower in action, so I was sure he will handle the grass-cutting job nicely - even against tall grass while using a worn-out piece of equipment. I was right about that. He quickly came up with an inventive technique to tackle the long grass while I attacked the tall weeds that I couldn't pull with my hands with shears.

I found time for a small talk with Mr L, who shared his advice about education, his opinion on covid and memories of his wonderful friend who happened to be of the same nationality as I am. In the meantime, Sevan had most of the grass cutting sorted out. Encouraged by his impressive results, I decided to give the mower a shot as well and took up the challenge to cut grass by a dodgy trench we kept tripping over.

The outcome we achieved in less than 80 minutes was pretty good, so we started wrapping up to have enough time to run to our following task. Mr L was happy with our work and asked whether me and my "husband" would come again to help with the rest of the garden.

Mr L might have gotten our relations totally wrong but he rightly identified us as coffee lovers. He tried to give us a pretty substantial reward that would buy us a half dozen decent cappuccinos but we firmly but politely refused. He seemed disappointed, so I asked if he could give me a glass of cold water. I found the drink as refreshing as Mr L's advice about old age, relationships and life in general. Without a doubt, that was my favourite mission of the day.

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Sevan went on a mission
Mission
Ealing

Runs N' Roses: New Rose

Sat 25 Jun
Report written by Sevan

We arrived at Mr S' house for our first task of the day and were met by his daughter, who was a keen gardener without the time to look after both her parents and the garden. Kash started off the task with some weight training, carrying a bag of compost in each arm into the back garden. We then set to work weeding the flower beds and the edges of the lawn in the back garden so that Mr S could enjoy the space. Kash chose to take the big wins of removing overgrown weeds from the grass and I worked through the flower beds, trying to dig out the roots and finding some invaders to be disposed of in a slightly rock 'n' roll way (perhaps).

We soon converged on a rose bush that was growing more out of the flower bed than upwards which also had some new stems emerging from the soil. A plan was made to tie it back and stop it from growing over the grass any further. With Kash doing the dangerous work of pushing the stems back while trying not to get scratched, I tried to tie some string around the wall behind the bush and we managed to hold it back and also wrap the main branches in wire to bunch them together. Will it hold? Only time will tell. Maybe the next GoodGymmers should brush up on their knotting technique.

At this point as time was short, we split the team. I went to the front garden and Kash stayed out back. Moving the rose bush had opened up more weeding opportunities and while Kash was digging them out, she uncovered a hidden power cable which Mrs S explained ran from the house out to the shed. Luckily, we didn't damage it! Finally, Kash and Mr S' daughter got their hands dirty by potting some new plants to make the back garden look amazing.

In the mean time out front, I was clearing up the weeds growing between the paving stones in the front garden so that they wouldn't be a trip hazard for Mr S. This was my first go with the wire-brush-on-a-stick and I was disappointed, it stripped the leaves off the longer weeds while leaving the stem. A change of approach meant that I ended up on my hands and knees pulling any long weeds up before scrubbing what was left with the brush.

We left with praise for our hard work and some lunch recommendations from Mr S' daughter. Always useful when you're in an unfamiliar area. Too bad that the Perivale branch of Hard Rock Café was closed for refurbishment this weekend.

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Sevan signed up to a group run
Group run
Kingston upon Thames

Project Wall Paint for WelCare - 2nd attempt!

Tue 28 Jun 18:45 pm
Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 2PT

Please note that this group run has been cancelled.

Improve the garden area for our families

Paint brushes at the ready! WelCare have asked us to paint the outbuilding in the back garden. We tried to paint it before but heavy rain ruined our plans. Hopefully June will be full of sunshine.

If we have enough volunteers then we can also help tidy up the paths and get rid of any weeds.

Task owner Aruna will meet you there with the tools needed for the job and her number is 07986 286903. Don't forget your gardening gloves - and wear old clothes that you don't mind getting paint on!

Meet at the Quaker Centre and for a 3km run to get to the task and a 2km run back.

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Sevan signed up to a mission • Help Mr S with his garden
Sat 25 Jun
Sevan signed up to a mission • Garden tidy up for Mrs S
Sat 25 Jun
Sevan signed up to a mission • Garden tidied for Mr L
Sat 25 Jun
Sevan went on a group run
Group run
Kingston upon Thames

Moshing in the heavy nettle

Tue 21 Jun
Report written by Rachel White

GoodGym's Kingston Tuesday's group run saw us go to the 3rd Kingston Scouts. We'd last visited a couple of months ago and it's amazing how quickly the weeds had returned with all the rain and sunshine. With our 8 runners, we split into two teams and got stuck straight in. One team went and worked their way round the perimeter of the bigger car park pulling out the long weeds that made it look sad and neglected.

The other team headed to the smaller of the two car parks which had become a dumping ground for litter and the nettles had become an issue on the bank. Piles of green waste soon appeared which was bagged up with a small amount of wrestling trying to avoid being stung by the nettles. All that tried failed and we compared our nettle stings at the end - 'good for arthritis' was the old wives tale that we used to distract ourselves from the itching.

A sunny and busy run along the river finished off our evening and we said goodbye at the Quaker Centre. A few notable mentions go to Tara for achieving 10 good deeds this evening (well done!), congratulations to Dave for completing his Run Leader training (yippee) and a cheery welcome to Sevan who ran a very long way to join us. Hope to see you next week!

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Sevan went on a mission
Mission
Hounslow

Bound by Bindweed - Act 3: (Not so) Manic

Sat 18 Jun
Report written by Kash

After completing two successful missions of the day, Sevan and Kash abandoned Hammersmith & Fulham and headed to the Hounslow territory. Feeling like they deserve a little reward, they jogged to a nearby coffee shop just before their third task. The espresso machine has been just switched off, so a bonus run through a wild meadow had to suffice as a reward.

The third garden the GoodGymers were to approach belonged to Mrs F and her husband, the latter sadly suffering from dementia. Sevan and Kash were ready to encounter their arch-enemy: bindweed, but to their slight disenchantment, the vicious weed was nowhere to be found. The garden looked like it was maintained pretty well until not so far ago. Mrs F explained that her gardener, who used to look after the place for thirteen years, recently switched careers and started a job in the City. Upon closer examination, one could tell that there are weeds to be pulled and the edges of the lawn mowed in a more precise way.

The GoodGymers, having agreed on the definition of a weed (anything you don't want in your flowerbeds), started the weeding, each in their own unique style. Sevan did his job carefully and meticulously while Kash was all over the place, hunting for the big wins (or the big weeds, if you prefer). There should be no doubt about who was the culprit if a few plant bulbs ended up accidentally removed.

The task was pretty uneventful, apart from Mrs F's son popping in for a chat and bringing the volunteers water, and Kash finding a tool in a shed which looked like a cross between a lawn mower and a trimmer. Kash, unsure about using it, reached out to Sevan for his expertise. Encouraged by his opinion that the tool will do the job, she eagerly plugged it in. The space between the lawn edge and the flowerbeds was neatened in no time.

The only task that has been omitted in Mrs F's garden was watering the plants. But everything happens for a reason, as the saying goes.

After finishing the final mission of the day and grabbing some food, Sevan and Kash were ready to return to their homes. Sevan, living closer to the last task location, was robbed of the grand finale. Kash, who had extra four kilometres to get home, ended up caught in a storm and got drenched within seconds. Luckily, that meant that the last garden got a solid shower too. Whatever GoodGym was not able to achieve today was sorted out with the help of the generous heavens.

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Sevan went on a mission
Mission
Hammersmith and Fulham

Bound by Bindweed - Act 2: Panic

Sat 18 Jun
Report written by Sevan

After our first mission of the day, we arrived at Ms J and her father's home full of energy after a quick and tasty local lunch. When we got there, the scourge of the mission runner, there was no answer at the door. After a couple more attempts, we called Ms J who said that she had had to take her dad out for some errands. Ms J had tried to call GoodGym HQ with no reply as it was a weekend and she was panicked and apologetic that we'd turned up with no one home. We had 3 hours until our next mission and Kash was determined to do something to help Ms J and her dad, so suggested that we could at least weed the front garden while we waited.

It was while we diving into the flowerbeds that we found our old enemy from Act One, bindweed! Tons of it, all over the place and wrapped around all of the other plants (and weeds) as it does. We did what we could with only our gardening gloves and pulled out as much bindweed as all the other weeds that we found.

We were getting close to finishing the front garden when Ms J arrived home with her dad and a cheery greeting. Amazed by what we'd achieved, we soon had a new and varied list of things that we could help with as neither of them were able to do any heavy lifting or bend to work at ground level.

First up was relocating the father's swing seat that was sinking into the earth with its legs surrounded by grass. Some paving slabs had been purchased for the seat to rest on and they'd been loaded into the car by a B&Q employee, after that, Ms J had no way of getting them out of the car which can't have been great for her fuel economy. Kash and I grabbed a paving slab in each hand - Kash being smarter as she'd kept her gardening gloves on - then walked through the house towards the back garden until we hit (cue dramatic music) a sticky door! With a slab in each hand and our arms getting more and more stretched, we couldn't get through until Ms J eventually rescued us. We lined up the slabs, moved the swing seat (harder than it sounds and the centre of gravity kept moving) and placed it in its new location.

On to our next tasks, I tackled a thorny invading plant with some secateurs and a special, extra thick and protective gardening glove. As an extra bonus, the spiky thing was also covered in bindweed. Meanwhile Kash tried to remove some bitumen roofing from the lean to at the back of the house. In hindsight, we should've switched places as I'm taller than Kash, but she enjoys a challenge. Try as she might, the bitumen panels wouldn't come down without some more dangerous moves, so that task was abandoned and Kash moved on to weeding the flower beds and grass.

By this point we were most of the way through the task and we had a hard stop to make it to our next mission on time. Despite this, we managed in total to fill 4 garden bags with weeds and a rubble bag full of spiky branches.

Before we headed off, Ms J offered us a swing on the seat which we couldn't say no to, thanked us A LOT and then tagged GoodGym_Ealing on Instagram to share the great work we'd done with all of her friends. We left feeling super proud of what we'd achieved, a very fulfilling task.

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