What a week! Susan Venner (Venner Lucas Architects) and I collecting our Awards at this week’s Wandsworth Green Champions Awards from the Mayor and Konstam’s cook Oliver! Thanks to those that nominated us and many a cheer for our Tooting work to get a Transition initiative off the ground. We always talk about acting as a catalyst for imagining how we’ll put our head, heart and hands to positive solutions to the challenges we face in building a low carbon society and holding these sparkly awards on Thursday night it felt as though it wasnt just talk: others also believe we are making a practical difference too. Hurrah! Working hard day by day, week by week, you have to trust your instincts that you’re getting somewhere so it’s uplifting to be recognised – and that goes for the whole TTT team – in this way. No stopping us now.
Many a week in transition world has a roller coaster feel. The last has been no exception. Monday was spent preparing for a gi-normous ‘stake holder’ meeting with representatives of Emergency services, Fire, Ambulance, Police, Transport for London, London Traffic Control, London Buses, Tooting Town Centre Management, our Carnival artists Emergency Exit Arts and a number of Wandsworth Council employees to discuss closure of Upper Tooting Road on Sunday July 4th for the Trashcatchers’ Carnival. Road closure of any of London’s main roads is a very complex business and traffic management plans have to be worked out with incredible care and precision, to divert buses, fire engines and ambulances. The first meeting made progress – we are not there yet, but hopefully more work, more plans, more meetings and we can get there. In a nutshell we’re proposing that a community that has heavy traffic pass through it 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, is given the chance to celebrate itself, see itself, hear itself, know itself, renew and re-imagine itself for a few hours as a spectacular, inventive, creative, non polluting Carnival passes through.
Today we spent some time visiting shops and businesses along the High Road letting them know about the Carnival and asking if they had any trash we could start collecting…We met with positive responses and many smiles. It seems the Carnival gives pleasure to people simply imagining it. Fingers crossed the real thing will prove memorable and magical for all. Email Transition Town Tooting if you’d like to know about the Feb Carnival workshops being held Feb 27th/28th to design and build the Carnival story.
The Copenhagen Climate Change talks back in December were of course more than disappointing. But for me they made one thing crystal clear. It is on the ground, person by person, house by house, shop by shop, heart by heart where the real changes are made. It really really is down to us in local communities. As Gary Snyder the American poet says ‘Find your place on the planet. Dig in and take responsibility from there.’ How proud and glad I am that’s Tooting for me!