7 Month Streak
Sat 28th Oct at 9:00am
Halloween 2023 brought another instalment of last year's popular task: spookifying the Northfield Allotment! The oldest allotments in Ealing were setting up their favoured Halloween family event - the Halloween Pumpkin Trail! GoodGym Ealing offered help decorating part of the spooky trail: putting up lights and pumpkins on Radbourne Walk!
Sevan and Kash were first to arrive, running a short distance to get to the allotment, where they met the task owner, Clare. They stood in the middle of the path, getting the brief, oblivious to the passers-by.
'Careful, a bike!' said Sevan.
'That's one of ours!' Kash noticed.
'Oh, that's Penny!'
The access to the allotments was restricted by a metal fence. Only the holders of the keys had the freedom to go in and out. Clare abolished the unfair system and bestowed one of the keys upon Kash so the goodgymming class could enter the site.
The first task was to distribute 50 carved pumpkins along Radbourne Walk, the path running alongside the allotments. The requirements were as follows:
After letting all GoodGymers behind the fence, Clare revealed a group of carved pumpkins hidden under a tarpaulin. She gave us wheelbarrows and battery-powered tea lights. Soon, we faced those few small challenges that made all the fun!
One pumpkin didn't have a face, so Michelle stepped in to massacre (I mean: decorate!) it. Her piece was a brutalist art manifesto, capturing GoodGym's sense of community, equality, simplicity and strength.
After the Steel Curtain was abolished and the pumpkins had the freedom to go out of the allotment, they evenly distributed themselves on both sides of Radbourne Walk. When a strimmer operator was cutting the overgrowth on the left side of Radbourne Walk, all the pumpkins suddenly decided to move right. After the radical Strimmer Reform and abolishing the reign of nettles, we convinced some pumpkins to return to the left and restore the balance of power.
We discovered there were not enough working tea lights for all the pumpkins. We had to appoint two tax collectors to find the pumpkins who had accumulated all two lamps and collected a whopping 50% tax. Luis and Christos then gave a tea light to the poor pumpkins that didn't have a single lamp in them.
When Rohan joined us, we started the final task: putting up ropes with lights and spooky decorations across Radbourne Walk. We were at an advantage this time as the allotment crew had already assembled the strings. All we had to do was switch on the lights and fix the cables to hooks on one side of the path and trees or the fence on the other. We had plenty of hands to do that and a step ladder (however, Clare was very happy when she heard earlier that The tall guy from last year would come to the task. At some point, Kash and Sevan had to run East for their next mission, so there was a change of command. Caz, who got the keys and the hotline to Clare now, led the group, making sure all strings were in place for the event.
After dusk, Sevan and Kash returned to Northfield Allotment to inspect whether the decorative strings held up till evening and whether every pumpkin on Radbourne Walk was glowing well with a single light in. As other GoodGymers, they got free entry to the event. The code word GoodGym, didn't seem to work at the entrance but the name Clare did the trick. The visiting GoodGymers could see all the effort their team and allotments' volunteers had put into the event. If Sevan and Kash were not terrified by the skeletons on the trail, they got a bit scared of the pouring rain that just started. Nevertheless, the event has gone well. When they encountered Clare, she mentioned 3000 visitors popping into the Pumpkin Trail so far.
Sat 28th Oct at 9:00am
Helping the local community enjoy the eventRead more
Sat 14th Oct at 2:00pm
Two unnamed strangers, escaping the brief hail storm and the jurisdiction of Northolt after their exploits in neighbouring Greenford, arrived at the little town of Sudbury Hill. There, they found two families vying to gain control of the town: Friends of Grove Farm and LAGER Can. The Strangers decided to ally with both families by demonstrating their speed and accuracy with the litterpickers to both sides. Unfortunately, there was a shortage of litterpickers and litter bags.
Mike of Grove Farm, staying on the West Side of the lane stretching between David Lloyd and Sudbury Hill Station, had a cunning plan. He was going to break into Fort Container where a bunch of litterpickers and bags were stored but he couldn't figure out the sequence of the safe's lock. Without the litterpickers, a few new people who came today to join the Grove Farm family couldn't prove themselves. The two Strangers decided to run to the other side of the lane.
On the way, they met the third of their kind, the Masked Stranger. The two convinced her to go with them as they recognised that she knew the litterpicking craft and was fast on the draw. Three Strangers arrived at the East Side and met Cathy of LAGER Can and her dog Minnie. Cathy wanted to clear the whole lane of scum but she was on her own, and Minnie was deaf, part blind and couldn't hold a litterpicker in her paws. Cathy pulled out a spare, short litterpicker hidden in her stagecoach and gave it to the Masked Stranger whose picking skills were supreme.
The leader of LAGER Can had a good amount of litter bags. The redhead Stranger seized the opportunity and sprinted with Cathy's bags to Anna of Grove Farm on the West Side and shared the treasure, then ran back to the East Side. While the Grove Farm family, armed with LAGER Can bags and the litterpickers eventually retrieved by Mike, progressed to the East, the Strangers worked with Cathy on her side of the lane. They collected bagfuls of litter, especially metal cans and plastic and glass bottles, most retrieved from the thorny bushes along the road. Cathy wanted to keep that litter separately as she planned to build fortifications on the East Side, using the bags full of recycling materials.
When the Grove Farm family reached the East Side, the fortifications were up and none of the families had any ammunition - the lane was cleared of rubbish, so there was nothing left to pick up. The two families pledged peace, dropped their litterpickers and even sang Happy Birthday to a young, new Friend of Grove Farm. Two of the Strangers, seeing the positive influence of their actions, left the town and let the allied families work together to bring order to Sudbury Hill. The Masked Stranger stayed in the town to continue supporting Grove Farm and LAGER Can in their joint mission.
Sun 24th Sep at 8:30am
There was a great turnout for the first GoodGym cheer station at Ealing Half Marathon. Many from the earlier Warm Up came to encourage the runners, along with a few more who felt that the 7:55am warm up was too early a start on a Sunday morning 😂. They lined the route at their commandeered bus stop, standing in front of the GoodGym flag.
Milly took control of the motivational tunes while Tish brought her race cheering experience, with shouts to charge the runners up. There were a few problems with the flag... the gaffer tape wasn't great and keeping it stuck to our bus shelter, so running repairs were needed which kept people busy.
The runners passed at 1 mile in, then again at mile 11 with many GoodGymers, current and lapsed being spotted. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were cheered on, as was a half-man-half-T-rex and thousands of other runners who took part in the amazing community driven event!
P.S Milly also gets a bonus 🌟 for helping a runner tighten up her running belt.
Sun 24th Sep at 7:55am
What a great team of GoodGymers we have in Ealing - good sports, fun and not afraid to stand up in front of the runners about to take on the Ealing Half Marathon! Let the images speak for themselves...
Sat 23rd Sep at 10:00am
Three explorers and path makers arrived at Grove Farm this morning wondering what they would be asked to do today. Their last visit had completed carving out the Western Passage through the wood, which all the GoodGymers involved were immensely satisfied with.
Kash, Penny and Sevan were told that there'd been grumbles from passers by that the new path was too dimly lit and unwelcoming. That wasn't the experience that Mike and Anna from Grove Farm wanted to give the locals. The trio, along with the other regular volunteers were set a task of improving the path by letting more light shine across it. Tooled up with loppers, hedge trimmers and occasionally a saw, they were asked to remove the ivy that was keeping the wood dark and mysterious.
The ivy was woven through the boundary fencing of the wood. On the outside of the fence that'd previously had a first pass, those with loppers picked away at the vines bit by bit, trying not to take the fence out with it. On the inside, Kash was swooshing her hedge trimmer around, cutting away the masses of thinner vines to reveal the thick branches that would need to be lopped or sawed.
After 20 minute, the first chinks of light made it through the fence and we could see each others faces. We kept working our way along fence, cutting and sawing more and more away. By the end of the session, all but the most stubborn ivy had been banished from the wood's boundary. The Western Passage was now well illuminated and the locals on the outside of the fence also could see the transformations that were happening inside it.
Sun 24th Sep at 8:30am
A fun morning supporting GoodGym runners and many more from around the country!Read more