The sun is shining and positivity spreads like a virus. Today three other willing volunteers joined me and we talked to each other and whoever chanced by.
Apart from someone who works here but lives across the water, (and enjoys being here), we met several long term dwellers who make my 25 years in the area seem short term, and a recent arrival who has “gone up in the world moving to Hackney”; all who call it home.
Today the spirit of being rooted in Hackney was strong. “Nobody can move me out of Hackney, Hackney is home,” said one man heading to the park with his daughter and her new bike. Another long term resident loves the “down to earth people here.”
Some of the guardians of the street who run their own unofficial ‘friendly’ project see us as we trundle the cart to and fro and say “hello”. They witness and tolerate us, a temporary diversion in the life of the street.
I often pass this way several times a day, rushing to the station or nipping out to buy a metre of fun fur, printer inks or a pot of tiger balm, but now I am beginning to know the street from a different perspective. There are currents and tides that ebb and flow bringing people north to south and back again.
My fanciful notions of social media and networking are put in their place, when I offer a shiny new business card (with the web address proudly marked) to a man with his feet on the ground.
“Do you use a computer?” I stupidly ask, “No, I just use my heart,” he replied