9 August 2011

Craziness.

This is a blog about sewing and I don't usually write on it about anything other than sewing. But it just doesn't seem right to post about waistline darts and shoulder gathers with no mention of the madness that has been going on in London, that has taken over our lives and our consciousness over the past couple of days.

I'm sure you've seen the news reports of the chaos, the lootings, the homes and businesses being burnt to the ground. I'm not going to use this blog as a platform to have a rant about the underlying roots of this kind of unrest, or the significance of the criminal actions being focused on the frenzied acquisition of consumer goods. But I do want to share a couple of stories about the positive side of human nature, of the culture of community, that may not have reached all my international readers.

On Monday morning, I opened my front door to find boxes from looted electronics littering the pavement, rocks from a riot strewn across the street, the stores round the corner completely ransacked, almost every shop window on the high street smashed in and destruction inside. A feeling of fear almost gripped me, a desire to barricade myself indoors and never trust anyone ever again. But standing there on the corner of Brixton Road was a lady handing out cupcakes. A simple gesture. I was hurried across the road so didn't get to taste one but seeing her there was enough to put a little smile on my face and to remind me that the world isn't so bad after all.

5oew.jpg
http://yfrog.com/kj5oewj

A bigger gesture is that there are the gatherings of people - calling themselves Wombles - armed with brooms rather than baseball bats, coming together to clean up the streets. Doing something constructive, but also making a stance to reclaim the streets and show the people whose businesses have been destroyed that there are people willing to help out.

y8eeq.jpg
http://yfrog.com/khy8eeqj

51 comments:

  1. A great post... in sad and troubling times, there are people who are restoring my faith in humanity once more! Well done to Ms Cupcake and the "wombles" for rising to the occasion, taking a stand and clearing the streets and creating a community atmosphere! xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for posting this. It is encouraging and heartwarming to see another angle on this event. Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw the picture of the folk wielding brooms earlier and it cheered me up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just found out about the riots there today when I had to finish some work for the UK team since they were being sent home early. Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for this post. It warms my heart instead of fearing it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you. The news only focuses on the riots so I hadn't heard about any of the positive responses. Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooh, Tilly, that sounds awful. Hope it's okay down in your neck of the woods tonight. Thanks for celebrating a wonderful swell of opinion and activity in London. Power to the people who count!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for sharing this. I always believe that this side of humanity is the majority. Hope you're staying safe!

    ReplyDelete
  9. i hadn't realized you're so close to the burning. nice to see all of the push brooms! thanks for the update. stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is really amazing that people can push through the fear that riots leave and help to clean up the mess.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Underground overground wombling free.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. We may have a resurgence of the 60s spirit of community!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post. Troubling times indeed but it's great to see the community service coming to the fore where it should be. xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Update: Operation Cup of Tea is in force, as you may have seen on Twitter. Instead of rioting, an alternative (virtual) gathering of people having a cup of tea at home will happen at 8.30 every night that the unrest goes on. Pictures posted here: https://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=261568193854371&view=all
    This is how the British react to riots...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Tilly I do hope you stay safe :)
    Thank you for posting this - hopefully this positivity and bringing together of people will reinforce community ties and get people to care more about one another and the local area they live in.

    It's heart-warming to see such good come from such chaos and destruction.

    ReplyDelete
  16. stay safe tilly. this is heartbreaking, but the womble spirit is quite a tonic to see,thank you for posting these pictures! I'm on holiday at the moment but live in hackney, it just breaks my heart that my community and all the others across the uk are being torn down in this way. big love to everyone affected x

    ReplyDelete
  17. hello from newcastle! so sad that i am nervous about going out tomorrow for fear of what damage i may see. Stay safe people and keep sewing p.s here's to the miss cupcakes of the world :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Go wombles! That sea of brooms is very heartwarming. I understand your feeling of wanting to barricade the door. I'm just waiting for the riots to reach my area. They're on my doorstop in Birmingham already. My prayers and good wishes are with all those who have been affected.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, Tilly, for posting this encouraging view. It is heartwarming to see this kind of response. More comforting than the hang 'em flog 'em rhetoric.

    Love your blog.

    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for this, Tilly. I was wondering what's up over there & was worried about you 2. But it's also so nice to see the fun/funny aspects, too. Humans! Aren't we great?! And horrible.

    I love the broom people!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm glad to hear you are OK. I have been watching the news about the riots and cannot believe. On the bright side, it is reassuring to see people banding together in dark times and helping each other out, as you have shared.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I read on another blog I read, about the unrest over there. I am sorry to hear of it. I cannot claim to know why. I do not watch the news or much TV for that matter. Stopped watching the news years ago just to stressful. But never the less why people feel the need to destroy I do not understand this. That solves nothing. I love the cupcake story :O).

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for posting this, it is encouraging for me who lives far from UK too. Hope you are staying safe.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Having read all about what's going on, I'm so happy to see these little examples of the good side of human nature. I hope there are many other examples like that happening all over!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I live in Sydney, Australia. I am a bit sad that a photo of the broomhandlers hasn't been published here. While I do have faith in humanity this sort of nihilism and anarchy among disaffected youth frightens me. David Cameron might want to invest more in education and addressing inequality.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I so needed to read this today. What powerful, memorable icons: cupcakes and push brooms. God bless our family of humankind across the pond.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My daughter and son in law live in Enfield and they were terrified. It's good to read of people deciding to take control of their own communities.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Being from the States, I've seen pictures of the riots on the news and heard awful stories on NPR. I'm so glad that you're staying safe, that there are nice cupcake ladies, and that people are coming together with brooms to clean up the streets.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am dumbfounded by the riots. But thank you for acknowledging them and reminding us that we can choose a better path than "the masses".

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you for posting this. It's always so encouraging and humbling hearing about the things oeoole do to come together and help each other in times like this! Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  31. it is brilliant that people are making a stand against the madness.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a very heartwarming post during a heartbreaking period, thanks Tilly. I especially liked reading about Operation Cup of Tea, made me proud to be a Brit! x

    ReplyDelete
  33. In times of chaos, it's things like this that make you proud to be British. Even though it might not seem like it at the moment, this country is full of kind, respectable men and women who should be applauded for not backing down when it would have been so easy to. Keep calm and drink tea is definitely the way forward. Well done everyone. P.s. Glad you're okay, Tilly! x

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ah... you have to love Brixton. The place has had its fair share of ups and downs, but it always comes out with some original way of showing that it will endure no matter what is thrown at it. I'm sure this is just one of a number of similar stories across London and I hope to see everyone back in a cleaned up Brixton Village again soon enough. Nice post Tilly. xx

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for posting this. It's really encouraging to know that not all is bad in this world. That there are people out there with kindness in their hearts showing a spirit of support and togetherness.

    Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you for the post. It actually brought tears on my eyes.
    It was theatening to watch all this madness in TV news, sorry that you've been so close to that burning and mess. Hope this bad days (and nights) are over. Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Very interesting points. Thanks!

    My site:
    rachat de credits www.rachatdecredit.net

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have been reading the news about everything for the past few days and wondering how many of my UK blogger friends were doing. It's so sad and distressing to see this happening. And yet, int he midst of it there still are good things! I love the story of the lady with the cupcakes. :)

    Be safe!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think this is the first good thing I've read about the riots over there. Thanks for sharing. Stay safe over there.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I was wondering how many of the bloggers I followed were affected - I'm glad you're OK and that you can see the bright side of all this mayhem! Hope you continue to stay safe :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a lovely post. It seems useless to say this from all the way up in Scotland, but everybody's hearts are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh! That picture of the wombles made me tear up. Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you for sharing this! I am in the U.S., but have been watching the news in London closely. It has been, depressing, to say the least. I am glad to see that the citizens of London aren't letting the violence and chaos get the best of them. Know that the thoughts of us in the States are with your city right now!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you for sharing a positive side of these terrible events.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for posting and letting us know you are okay. Hoping and praying everything calms down soon.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I thought of you when I heard they were smashing up Brixton.

    I'm just glad you think there are underlying causes. Was about to assassinate most of the smug middle class British people I know for boiling it down to "pure criminality."

    ReplyDelete
  47. Erm, not saying you're a smug middle-class person, just in case it came across that way!

    ReplyDelete
  48. That picture is awesome. THAT's the Britain I recognise! Thankyou Tilly.
    Px

    ReplyDelete
  49. Similar things happened in France a few years ago, so I really feel for UK right now. Sadly we had no cupcakes or brooms, but I'm glad you have those, and glad to see they're significant enough for you to post about it. Thank you for this!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thank you for your post. It is heart breaking to watch these events unfold wondering about the people's who's lives have been hurt. Thank you for showing us the good people are doing in the midst of this chaos.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.