The Howling Hops
Saturday 31st October
Jack wasn’t sure whether I’d got up yet, and he was worried about whether to wake me, and eventually at 09:00 he gave me a shout, which was a good time to do it, giving me just enough time to get up and ready. I’d had nine and a half hours’ sleep! I cycled down to plant bulbs at Russell Square and saw Katie outside; she’d been wandering round the square wondering where everyone was, as I have done before. Soon Isabelle, Ceiling, quiet Richard, Claudia, and a girl called Mayuko arrived. We were supposed to work in pairs, but I wanted to be with my favourites Isabelle and Katie. After getting painful hands two weeks ago, when I found it difficult to get the planter into the ground, and vowing not to return, I found it much easier this week, as my ankle is a bit better, and I could jump onto the planter from both sides to get a good start. Also, the ground was softer after heavy rain last night.
The rain got worse, so we huddled under the café overhang for a bit, and the man in charge bought me a black coffee. It didn’t look as if the weather was going to improve, so the man went to pack up the tools. Ceiling came as well, and we decided to plant bulbs in any holes we’d already made. The weather had improved, but everyone else had left (and Lici didn’t come, as her husband wasn’t well and she had to look after the kids). So we finished earlier, than usual, which was ironic as this was the only week when I wouldn’t have had to leave before the others had finished, as the Highbury task was postponed.
Ceiling didn’t know what to do, as she lives in Limehouse but hadn’t got time to go home before cycling all the way up to Finchley for a task at 16:45, and she would have too much time to go straight there (last week they went for a meal after the Russell Square task). I’d cancelled the Finchley task because I was meeting Jack, and Jacqui had quickly taken my place. I think Ceiling wanted me to go to a café with her, or let her come to my flat, but I was wet again and wanted some time alone before going out again. I did have time to do the write-up, though when I said to Ceiling next day that I always spend a few minutes doing the report and half an hour thinking of a title, she says the title comes to her straight away, and I should have asked her.
Because of the weather, I got the train, rather than cycled, to Stratford where I was meeting Jack. We decided to head for a vegan café at Here East, but after a nice walk through the Olympic Park, along the river and through a wooded area, we found the café had just shut. I found there was another called Veganushi in a former small industrial area, Queen’s Yard by the canal. When we got there we found the physical outlet was closed for a private event, but if we sat outside we could order online. It proved to be impossible to get the website to work, so as I was desperate for something to eat, we found via the Happy Cow app that the brewery pub opposite, Howling Hops, did vegan options.
It’s a tank bar in what looks like a former warehouse, very lively with a young crowd, and it had a whole vegan menu. While we were there, I was getting alerts that the Government was going to announce another lockdown. They were going to make an announcement at 17:00, then they put it back to 18:30, so we decided to get a train rather than a bus home, so we could watch the announcement on television.