9 August 2011


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.


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.