Since I was in London for the weekend anyway I decided to go to an event I had been invited to on Facebook called Come we Grow, an all-day festival about Earthships and sustainable living. It was hosted by Concrete Jungle Earthships and May Project at a venue called InSpire, located in the crypt of St Peter’s Church near Burgess Park. I was staying at a flat in Finchley, some 12 miles distant, but I had my bike with me and was looking forward to a ride through London. I went via Finchley Road, Regents Park, Piccadilly Circus and Westminster Bridge. Somewhere near Elephant and Castle I stopped to look at the map and was passed by two gentlemen in top hat and tails riding penny farthings, which you don’t see too often. I followed them round the corner and came upon hundreds of cyclists who were obviously out on the annual Tweed Run. I watched them ride past, admiring the vintage bikes and outfits, before continuing on to the church where I found a lovely carving of a chimp holding a child.
After locking up my bike I had a quick look round the stalls in the churchyard before heading into the crypt, where one of the first things I came across was a cardboard furniture workshop being run by a French woman called Elodie. She had a partially made cardboard chair but the workshop involved making simpler things by cutting, bending and folding corrugated cardboard and joining with masking tape. I made a cardboard cup with handle and painted it with acrylic paint and found it quite therapeutic. After that I went to a presentation in the main hall about Earthships and the Concrete Jungle project. The guy giving the talk (I don’t recall his name) had been involved with Earthship Brighton, the first Earthship to be built in England. He explained the principles and construction methods (rammed earth tyre walls are a key feature) before going on to talk about the project in London. Apparently there is an opportunity to build an Earthship in Burgess Park and the idea of the festival was to inspire people to get involved in fundraising efforts to make it happen. After the presentation I had a look round some more stalls and chatted to various people before embarking on the ride back up to Finchley. I was glad I made the effort to get there and I hope the project goes well.