One woman crusade to save motorists from fines

Image: Thanks to Hamish Pringle

A public spirited Chsiwick woman has made it her personal crusade to stop motorists from being fined as they drive down Turnham Green Terrace. For several days she has been walking up and down the Terrace with a banner trying to stop drivers from inadvertently being fined £130.

New signs were installed at the entrances to Devonshire Rd and Turnham Green Terrace at the beginning of July and by September more than 4,000 penalty notices had been issued. Most drivers paid £65 rather than delay and pay the full £130 but many have appealed, saying they hadn’t noticed the signs or that they didn’t understand what they meant. The signs allow ‘access’ but don’t explain what that means. If a driver is approaching from Hammersmith to enter Turnham Green Terrace, only once they have made the turn can they see the sign.

Parking bays were removed but disabled drivers are able to park and so are people loading or unloading heavy or bulky goods. If there are no spaces available though, even these drivers get fined as there is no option, in the absence of a space, but to drive straight through.

Images: Thanks to Hamish Pringle

The woman is being hailed as a hero on social media:

“She’s great. She’s saved others a lot of fines, bless her”

“Legend”

“I applaud you”.

A group of architects and planners who live in Bedford Park are now planning an online workshop about how Turnham Green Terrace can be improved, making it a more pleasant place to shop and dwell but without banning cars altogether. Details here: urbanmovement.co.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Group of Bedford Park architects & planners organise Turnham Green Terrace workshop

See also: Traffic changes May – July 2020

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chancellor announces support for hospitality businesses

 

Image above: Chancellor Rishi Sunak; photograph Sky News

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced financial support for hospitality businesses across all tiers of Covid-19 restrictions. The Chancellor outlined a financial support package which can be backdated to August.

After the Tier system was introduced across the country, pubs and restaurants in Tier 2 found booking drop dramatically as people who would normally go for a drink or eat out with friends found they could no longer do that. Industry bosses, including Fuller’s CEO Simon Emeny, warned the Government that thousands of jobs could be lost unless Government help was forthcoming.

Rishi Sunak told MPs on Thursday 22 August that “it is clear that even businesses who can stay open are facing profound economic uncertainty”.

After a meeting with representatives of the hospitality industry earlier in the morning, he said:

“Their message was clear – the impact of the health restrictions on their businesses is worse than they hoped … So I am taking three further steps today.

“I am introducing a new grant scheme for businesses impacted by Tier 2 restrictions, even if they aren’t legally closed. We will fund local authorities to provide businesses in their area with direct cash grants. It will be up to local authorities to decide how best to distribute these grants, giving them the necessary flexibility to respond to local economic circumstances.

“But I am providing enough funding to give every businesses premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors a direct grant worth up to £2,100 for every month Tier 2 restrictions apply. That is equivalent to 70% of the value of the grants available for closed businesses in Tier 3.

“Crucially, I am pleased to confirm these grants will be retrospective. Businesses in any area which has been under enhanced restrictions can backdate their grants to August. I am pleased to confirm that the backdating of the new grants means we are being more generous to businesses and places which have been under higher restrictions for longer.”

Image above: Hospitality workers on the ‘Hospodemo’ on Monday 19 October

‘Just a small step in the right direction’

Rachel Harty, who organised Monday’s demonstration by hospitality workers in Parliament Square, gave the Chancellor’s initiative a cautious welcome:

“While it’s encouraging that the government has listened to us and responded quickly on Tier 2, let us be clear: today’s announcement is just a small step in the right direction” she said. 

“The Job Support Scheme for hospitality workers in Tier 2 and 3 needs to go further. Hospitality operators need higher grants, the introduction of rent relief and an urgent review of the 10pm curfew, to avoid a tsunami of insolvencies and associated job losses”. 

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Restaurants and pubs hit by cancellations

See also: ‘Critical’ that hospitality industry gets support says Fuller’s boss

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Marathon boost for Hogarth Youth Centre

40% of Hounslow workforce now unemployed or on furlough

Covid-19 update

Chiswick Calendar freebie

Images above: Chiswick author Diane Chandler; Her latest book Only Human

I’ve just finished reading Diane Chandler’s book Only Human, a very engaging novel on the Maeve Binchy end of the spectrum which starts when a Chiswick resident, about to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary, spots her husband from the top of the 94 bus in a passionate clinch with another woman.

It’s quite strange reading a book in which you know all the reference points – all the places she has lunch and walks the dog.

Photograph: Alastair Hilton

Where is this dog?

Diane is very kindly giving away a signed copy of her book to the first five readers to identify correctly where in Chiswick this picture by Alastair Hilton was taken. The first person to answer correctly also wins a framed print from Alastair’s portfolio of work. See his work here: londonw4photographer.com

Email you answers to info@thechiswickcalendar.co.uk

If you are unsuccessful and would like to buy the book, you can order it from Waterstones in paperback for £8.99 here: waterstones.com

Or you can read it on Amazon Kindle for £1.99 here: amazon.co.uk

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick In Pictures 2020 

See also: Web developer makes free websites for charity

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Seal found dead near Strand On The Green

Man in the Middle – Chapter 56: Mixed emotions about the day ahead

I often wake up with mixed emotions about the day ahead. I’m not sure why. I used to be bubbly at breakfast and often thought I was at my best before noon. Carpe diem, I used to say to myself every morning, like Bertie Wooster, pumped on Highballs for Breakfast. Now, I start too many days with my teacup half full and sugarless.

‘I’ve lost my mojo,’ I say to my wife, as a chunk of marmalade falls from my multi-seed toast onto my PJs.

‘What with Covid and our silver wedding anniversary coming up is it any wonder?’ says my wife.

I am about to agree with her wholeheartedly, but something in my subconscious, applies the emergency hand brake in my brain and no words slip from my marmaladed mouth. Instead, I just chew on my toast slowly and near silently, like a cow mulling over the weather.

That was a close shave, I mull. If I had agreed with her, I would have been guilty of admitting that the loss of my mojo was partly caused by the length of our marriage. Effectively, I would have been blaming her. And blaming your wife for anything in front of the children is a monumental blunder to match the Charge of the Light Brigade or the Titanic playing chicken with an iceberg. Any Fule Kno That.

Even more importantly, it would have been a breach of the ancient British common law tradition, which rules that ‘Serious or Intimate Conversation is not allowed at breakfast, except in unusual circumstances, like war.’ I can almost hear Mark Francois MP in my inner ear saying ‘Britain didn’t build its Empire by men discussing their mojos over the eggs and B.’

Thankfully, instead of Mark Francois MP, I have a tiny lawyer inside my head who works tirelessly to prevent me from unnecessarily incriminating myself or generally fouling things up with what my wife calls my ‘foot in mouth’ tendency. If this lawyer were real, they’d be making a fortune with the hours they’re clocking up for me.

My inner lawyer advises me I have to reject her suggestion our anniversary is a cause for my depression. If I do not go on the record soon, my silence may be taken as an admission of guilt. Choose your words carefully, they whisper, words make history.

‘Our marriage is one of few things that keeps me positive,’ I find myself saying.

‘Reeeaaally? Can’t you keep that sort of thing for the privacy of your bedroom? I’m still eating breakfast,’ says my son.

‘When mum still thought you were fun, she used to say you were half man, half Labrador puppy,’ says my daughter.

‘Now you’re more like a quarter man, three quarters chihuahua,’ says my son.

‘Dad’s just trying to be sweet,’ says my wife.

‘But it’s sad watching him struggle with something so alien to him,’ says my son. ‘Like a child with its first bike.’

Before my daughter can chip in again, my wife reminds her that I have volunteered to drive with her to her teaching college this morning. As she is still a learner driver, she needs me to go with her. Or it’s three buses.

‘Let’s just let this conversation go. That way, no one will get offended and change their commitments,’ she says.

She’s referring to me. I love it when she talks about me in the abstract. It feels like being wrapped a 15 TOG duvet. I finish up a second piece of toast and turn to my daughter.

‘Shall we go?’

‘Yup’ she says.

As I pass my wife, she says she didn’t mean to imply our wedding anniversary might be a source of depression. It certainly isn’t one to her, she says. And nor does she think our wedding anniversary is in anyway comparable to a deadly and oppressive plague like Covid, in case I had accidentally drawn that inference from what she said earlier.

‘It was my fault for even mentioning my mojo at breakfast. That was a clear breach of British breakfast tradition. Nothing personal should be said until the kedgeree is cleared away,’ I say.
She looks at me bemused. From the hall, my daughter is scrabbling around in the key box. There’s an angry rattling.

‘I can’t find the car keys,’ she says. ‘Who had them last?’

‘Nothing to do with me,’ I shout.

‘Nor me,’ echoes my son.

‘Oh for heaven’s sake, do I have to do everything around here?’ asks my wife, to which no one replies, because the answer is too obvious.

 

Back to square one?

Chiswick Park and Ravenscourt fireworks displays cancelled

Group of Bedford Park architects & planners organise Turnham Green Terrace workshop

Image above: Turnham Green Terrace

A group of architects and planners who live in Bedford Park is organising a Zoom workshop to examine the traffic changes to Turnham Green Terrace on Friday 6 November.

The road was closed to through traffic in July. Motorists are supposed to drive in only if they are intending to park in a disabled bay to use the shops and restaurants, to stop for up to 20 minutes to load or unload something bulky or heavy, or because they need access to Turnham Green Terrace Mews.

Many local residents say they applaud the aim to reduce traffic and make the Terrace a safer and more pleasant place to shop, but they dislike the changes that have been made. LB Hounslow has issued more than 4,000 penalty notices to drivers. Some people have appealed on the grounds that the signs are confusing and hard to see, or that as long term residents they just didn’t realise a change had been introduced and they weren’t looking out for them, and some have won their appeals on that basis.

Many of the traders in Turnham Green Terrace say they have lost trade because of the restrictions, and some residents of Bedford Park claim they are effectively cut off from the High Rd because to drive there, they now have to go along South Parade to the junction beside the Old Packhorse pub, or along Bath Rd to the Goldhawk Rd, creating traffic jams in both directions.

Images above: Foubert’s and Lizard women’s fashion on Turnham Green Terrace

How do we make Turnham Green Terrace better?

The workshop will look at the question:

“How do we make Turnham Green Terrace a better place to shop and dwell by improving the quality of public space, conditions for pedestrians and cyclists while allowing reasonable vehicular access, and how do we ensure that  changes in traffic movement do not lead to increased rat-running through local residential areas?”

The group behind the workshop describe themselves as a group of architects and planners in the area who want to involve the local community in the process of design and help them envisage how change could positively impact on the area.

‘Our aim is to help to protect the amenity of the area and our wonderful local shopping streets, and to ensure they are safe and healthy’.

The trial road closures to Turnham Green Terrace, Devonshire Road and Fishers Lane were introduced in July to permit greater social distancing for pedestrians and safety for cyclists. The work was carried out without local consultation because the government insisted in June that such measures were introduced “within weeks”.

The changes were installed as Experimental Traffic Orders which means that the Councils (Hounslow for Turnham Green Terrace and Hounslow and Ealing for Fishers Lane) will need to go through a consultation process if they are to be made permanent.

Images above: Traffic signs for Turnham Green Terrace on Bath Rd and for Fisher’s Lane on South Parade

The organisers say: “The sort of binary responses provided by web based surveys are not very helpful in guiding future changes to streets. By bringing people together in a creative way we can design the use of streets and the quality of places that suits the area while taking into account the wider traffic network”.

They will present the outcome to the council as part of the consultation process.

The workshop will be facilitated by leading transport planners Urban Movement: urbanmovement.co.uk

To join the workshop on Friday 6 November, from 10.00am – 1.00pm please register here. The event will be recorded and available for comment at: facebook.com/tgtworkshop

The consultation workshop steering group is: Peter Murray; Peter Oborn; Peter Eversden, John Scott, Hugh Broughton, Malcolm Reading, Bill Taylor

For further information contact:

TGTWorkshops@icloud.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick traffic management changes May – July 2020

See also: More Low Traffic Neighbourhoods planned for Chiswick

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick could be in the congestion zone

Restaurants and pubs hit by cancellations

Image above: Annie’s restaurant, Strand on the Green

Takings were down at many pubs and restaurants this weekend as London went up to Tier 2 Covid restrictions. It is no longer permitted to go to a pub or a restaurant and sit with friends. There can only be one household per table. People who had previously booked tables to eat out with friends, rang to cancel.

Lorraine Angliss, owner of Annie’s restaurant at Strand on the Green, Little Bird by Chiswick railyway station and Rock & Rose in Richmond, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“We’ve had hundreds of bookings cancelled this weekend. We’re at least 40% down on bookings. Really this is the final nail in the coffin for us, there’s so much fear and anxiety.

“When people go out to dinner, they go out with friends. Ninety-nine percent of the time I go out to dinner, I go out with friends. People are just cancelling fast and furiously”.

So far she hasn’t had to make any of her staff redundant, but she says, that would be the natural next step.

“I feel so terrible for the staff, because we just can’t give them the hours”.

Annie’s restaurant has recently launched a ‘take your pudding home with you‘ campaign to encourage people not to be put off by the 10.00pm curfew.

Images above: Strand on the Green – Bull’s Head; Bell & Crown

Pubs by the riverside told a similar tale. The Bull’s Head, a Greene King pub, told The Chiswick Calendar they had about 30 people ringing them on Friday to cancel for the following day. On Sunday bookings were down 30% on what they had been the previous Sunday. The Bell & Crown, a Fuller’s pub, lost 40 bookings over the weekend. Their takings on Sunday were half what they had been the previous Sunday.

Images above: Salads and cake at Chateau

On the High Rd, Chateau also reported cancellations – more than half their bookings for Sunday brunch and lunch.

“It’s pretty scary” owner Anette Megyaszai told The Chiswick Calendar.

“Of course we have to do anything we can to stamp out this awful disease but we are back to where we were at the beginning of March, when restaurants were suffering a slow death. It’s like we’re being shot in the foot and told to stand still”.

Like many another restaurant, Chateau has worked out its social distancing and hygiene procedures; it has introduced QR codes and the track and trace system, which is in itself very difficult Anette says, as only about 40% customers want to use it. Now they are fielding phone calls from people wanting to know whether they can still have lunch and they find themselves trying to police whether people really are from the same household or not.

“We are not the police. We are doing our best but this is really difficult”.

From the beginning of November she will have to think very carefully about how many hours she can continue to give her staff. If an employee works a third of their expected hours, the government will top up their pay with a contribution of 22%. Employers then must pay 22% of the hours they are not working but would normally have been expecting to work, leaving the employee with 77% of the wage they would usually have expected to earn – a cut of 23%.

Image above: Donna Thompson Smith, owner of Le Vacherin

Donna Thompson Smith, owner of Le Vacherin on South Parade says “fortunately it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be”. Even so she lost covers on both Saturday and Sunday. Bookings were down by half on the Sunday.

“We’ve had cancellations but people have been really supportive and understanding. A lot have re-booked for later on. Our bookings now are mainly tables for two and we have had some walk-ins”.

Like Anette, the restaurant has jumped through every hoop in order to stay open. They’ve moved to 5pm opening in the evenings so people can still have the full dining experience with three courses. They are now open all day Sunday and on Mondays for lunch, which they used not to be.

“Because we’re a family owned business we are able to be flexible and to change things very quickly”.

One thing she really thinks needs to be changed is the 10.00pm closure. Le Vacherin is next door to the Duke of Sussex pub, so both premises empty out at exactly the same time.

“That really isn’t working” she says. “The times need to be staggered”.

As yet Donna hasn’t had to reduce anyone’s hours or had to lay anyone off, but she says if the government does decide to go for a ‘circuit-break’ without providing financial support, it will be very difficult.

“It’s rough” she says. “Really tough”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: ‘Critical’ that hospitality sector gets support says Fuller’s boss

See also: London going into Tier 2

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

More Low Traffic Neighbourhoods planned for Chiswick

Images above: Planters being installed in Devonshire Rd; plastic barriers being replaced by traffic wands on Turnham Green Terrace

The Cabinet Member for Transport at LB Hounslow, Hanif Khan, is due to give his report to Cabinet on Tuesday 20 October about the roll out of ‘Street Space’ schemes, or ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ which have caused such ructions in Chiswick.

He’ll be reporting on those which have been installed already across the borough (Wellesley Rd, Stile Hall Gardens, Devonshire Rd, Turham Green Terrace, Duke Rd and Fisher’s Lane in Chiswick) and those which are in the process of being installed (Grove Park and Strand on the Green).

He will also be talking about proposals for a raft of new plans to stop commuters cutting through residential areas, which includes schemes for a lot of the rest of Chiswick. The proposals are contingent on money from Transport for London, who are busy negotiating their own budget with central government at the moment, as their current budget runs out at the end of this month.

New schemes proposed

Phases one and two of Hounslow’s introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods designed traffic schemes to restrict through traffic on the roads with the heaviest traffic.

Phase three will be looking at the feasibility of ‘school streets’ around Belmont Primary School, Chiswick and Bedford Park Prepatory School, Kew House and The Falcons School for Boys.

Cllr Hanif Khan’s report on phase three says:

‘A significant proportion of residential areas experiencing through traffic have been identified through Phases 1 and 2. However a number of additional zones are also noted as requiring further investigation. These include the following, though note that not all areas will necessarily have feasible interventions possible’.

Areas in Chiswick included on his list are: Bath Rd area, Duke Rd area, Beverley Rd area, Wavendon area, Sutton Lane area, Marlborough Rd area, and Oxford Rd North.

There is no further detail in the appendices published for the Cabinet meeting explaining what the council has in mind. The money isn’t available yet from either from Transport for London or the Department of Transport to carry out new traffic schemes, but there is a map outlining the areas under consideration.

Map showing the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods forming part of phase 3 of the street space programme (in purple)

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps “not prepared to tolerate” badly designed road closures

Both Chiswick’s Conservative councillors and a group of local residents have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, one opposing the traffic restrictions which Hounslow has introduced so far, the other backing them.

The Minister has replied to the councillors saying:

“Schemes must balance the needs of cyclists and pedestrians and the needs of other users, including motorists and businesses …. we are not prepared to tolerate hastily introduced schemes which create sweeping changes to communities without consultation, and ones where the benefits to cycling and walking do not outweigh the disbenefits for [others].”

The Minister announced a £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund in May, intended to promote walking and cycling. Councils were forced to bid for the money quickly, with no time for the normal consultation, in order to get a slice of the money.

There have been protests in many other places where Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are being introduced, often citing the lack of consultation. Among the most vociferous are the protesters in Ealing, where resident Sara Nathan is organising a Judicial Review of the council’s decisions. Protesters have overturned planters repeatedly and thrown oil across the road.

As a result of all the protests, Grant Shapps has sent out a strongly worded letter to councils saying her is “not prepared to tolerate” badly designed road closures.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday 17 October that the letter, sent the day before to local authority transport bosses and local highways authorities warned that a “notable number of councils used their funding poorly and were simply out of step with the needs of the local communities.”

Mr Shapps continued: “I saw or heard from the public and parliamentary colleagues about far too many instances where temporary cycles lanes were unused due to their location and design, while their creation left motor traffic backed up alongside them; of wide pavements causing unnecessary congestion in town centres; and other issues that many have, rightly, reacted angrily to.”

He added that the Government is not anti-car: “No one should be in doubt about our support for motorists.”

Background – how we choose to travel

The background to all of this is the concern that as people gradually went back to school and work, everyone would jump to the same conclusion, that public transport wasn’t safe to use, and  decide as one to take the car, creating road chaos.

According to the report Cllr Khan will present to LB Hounslow’s Cabinet on 20 October, levels of traffic flow across London are now close to, or in some cases exceed pre-COVID levels. Rising traffic has particularly been evident in outer London, with Waze reporting that congestion on some roads in August was 153% higher than equivalent levels in 2019.

Use of public transport on the other hand has fallen dramatically, with tube and rail services falling to a low of 5% of expected patronage. By the end of August, levels of use had still not recovered and even on buses, trips remained at 50% of the levels seen in 2019.

Cycling, both for leisure and as a replacement for car journeys or using public transport increased to a peak at the end of May of 150% more than it was in 2019. That had dropped back considerably by August, but is still well above what it was the previous year.

Walking has also increased significantly as a leisure activity, but fell sharply as a means of travel for shopping or getting to work. Levels of high street activity remained 50% lower than expected at the end of August.

 

Strategy for active travel

The briefing documents accompanying his report say that uncertainty about how the pandemic will develop and about our economic recovery make it difficult to plan. We know that in Hounslow over a quarter of all trips are usually made by public transport. We know also that public transport will continue to run at only around 25% of capacity while there remains a need for social distancing.

Travelling by car as an alternative will lead to more congestion and delayed journey times directly affecting commuting and deliveries, as well as having an adverse impact on the environment. The encouragement of active travel on the other hand has positive health benefits.

Transport for London warn that if all car-owning households switched their public transport journeys to the car, boroughs such as Hounslow would see large increases in the number of private transport journeys, causing severe congestion issues. There are already many junctions in the borough ‘close to capacity’.

Hence the need to promote a strategy which encourages us all to either walk or cycle where possible.

 

New cycle routes

As well as the new areas where the council would like to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Cllr Khan will give the Cabinet a list of additional cycle routes which he would like to create to complement the existing routes. Those in Chiswick are listed here along with the transport department’s notes as to which would result in a ‘Quick win’.

Route 13: Chiswick – Richmond

Sutton Court Road: Feasibility design due to start in 2020-21 (costs TBC)

Grove Park Bridge + Bolton Road + Cavendish Road: Traffic flows expected to reduce significantly following introduction of South Chiswick Low Traffic Neighbourhood. Quietway treatment and wayfinding – Quick win (£10k)

Hartington Road: Existing on-street cycle lanes provided.

Route 14: Chiswick – Acton

Fisher’s Lane: Traffic volumes will be significantly reduced following LB Ealing’s closure of the rail tunnel to vehicular traffic, complementary Quietway treatment and wayfinding – Quick win (£10k).

Route 15: Chiswick – Thames Path – Richmond

Chiswick Lane: Consideration of cycle facilities and parking rationalisation. Medium term (£100k).

Chiswick Lane South + Chiswick Mall + Pumping Station Road + Edensor Gardens: No through route for traffic. Quietway treatment and wayfinding – Quick win (£15k)

Thames Path: Shared off-street facility, some maintenance and wayfinding improvements may be needed – Quick win (£25k)

The Promenade: No through route for traffic. Quietway treatment and wayfinding – Quick win (£10k)

Dan Mason Drive: No through route for traffic. Quietway treatment and wayfinding – Quick win (£10k)

More new projects ‘premature’ says Cllr Sam Hearn

Transport spokesman for Chiswick’s Conservative councillors. Cllr Sam Hearn told The Chsiwick Calendar he thought it was “extremely premature” to be thinking about another tranche of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

“It is extremely premature to be seeking agreement in principle to the development of a further raft of LTN projects across Chiswick, and indeed the Borough. There has been no public consultation worthy of the name on the schemes already up and running and any evidence gathered pre-COVID-19 must surely now be of historical interest only

“Across London councils are already decommissioning poorly designed and hastily installed schemes. Chiswick residents have not asked for the phase 1 and phase 2 schemes let alone a completely new set of phase 3 projects. It would be sensible to first review the impact of the schemes that have been implemented or that are currently in the work programme before giving the green light on any further schemes.

“A responsible and wise council would reflect on the anger and frustration that many of the initial schemes have generated before proceeding. Unfortunately, Hounslow Council shows every sign of allowing itself to be overly influenced by the ideology of the vocal but tiny cycle lobby rather than seeking the considered views of all the Borough’s residents’ views via a genuine public consultation.”

Watch the Cabinet meeting

Cabinet meetings are taking place virtually at the moment. You can watch the proceedings by logging on here.

Comment on how you think Chiswick should be developed

LB Hounslow has launched a consultation on the town centres within the borough. You can have your say on how you think Chsiwick should be developed here. The consultation will remain open until Sunday 8 November.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Protests against Ealing’s traffic restrictions make national news

See also: Chiswick traffic management changes May – July 2020

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Chiswick House wins second Green Flag Award

Headliners comedy club closed 

Headliners comedy club, which has been running in Chiswick for the best part of 20 years, has closed until further notice because of Covid restrictions.

The popular club, which stages stand-up comedy in the Boston Room of George IV on Friday and Saturday nights, reopened in September after the summer break, with reduced seating to accommodate social distancing.

But now that London has entered Tier two and only members of the same household can sit at a table together, owner Simon Randall says the club is no longer viable to run.

“I didn’t have any choice” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “The new regulations make it completely impossible”.

People go on a night out together with friends and it isn’t the same if they can’t sit together. He is effectively left to selling tables of two only, which with the required amount of social distancing,  means taking a loss.

Images above: Jeff Innocent, Eleanor Tiernan, Neil Delamere

Scheduled shows with Jeff Innocent, Eleanor Tiernan, Neil Delamere, George Lewis, Andy Parsons, Steve Gribbin and John Moloney have all been cancelled.

Simon is angry about the whole way in which the government has managed Covid restrictions as regards the entertainment and hospitality industry.

“They’ve managed to exceed even my low expectations”.

He describes the way in which companies have been able to apply for government money as “a chancer’s charter” without any proper scrutiny, so that some payments have been “absurdly generous” while others have been “pointlessly tight-fisted”. He says he’s taken losses of about £8,000 so far.

Images above: George Lewis, Andy Parsons, Steve Gribbin 

He also despairs at the stupidity of making everyone leave pubs and restaurants at the same time.

“Driving home the other night at 10.00 o’clock I saw what must have been 200 people queuing up outside Sainsbury’s to buy booze to take home. If they’d asked anyone who runs a pub they’d have told them that’s what would happen. The 10.00pm curfew makes it more likely people will catch the virus. It’s beyond counterproductive”.

“We could cope with social distancing, wearing masks and hand sanitising, serving people at their tables rather than the bar; even the 10.00pm curfew. But when everyone on the same table has to be from the same household it just becomes impossible”.

Images above: John Moloney; Simon Randall as MC in the Boston Room at George IV

Simon hopes he will be able to reopen Headliners in November, but as things stand, the club is closed until further notice.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: ‘Critical’ that hospitality sector gets support says Fuller’s boss

See also: London going into Tier 2

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

‘Critical’ that hospitality sector gets support says Fuller’s boss

Image above: General Manager of George IV, Ben Bullman and Fuller’s CEO Simon Emeny at George IV

CEO of Fuller’s, Simon Emeny, says now that London has gone into Tier 2, it’s critical that the hospitality industry gets government support by the end of the week or thousands of jobs could be lost. The Chiswick based executive has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak with four other CEOs – Greene King’s Nick Mackenzie,  Stonegate’s Simon Longbottom, Young’s Patrick Dardis and Mitchells and Butlers’ Phil Urban, saying that further financial support for the pub sector is “critical to our survival”.

Between them they represent more than 9,500 pubs and bars and more than 105,000 jobs across the country, including Chiswick pubs the Bell & Crown, George IV, The Old Packhorse, The Pilot and the Dove in Hammersmith (Fuller’s) and the Bull’s Head, City Barge, Bollo House in Chiswick and the Ship at Mortlake (Greene King), plus many more pubs in Acton, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush.

Their letter outlined the case that without further financial support for the pub sector “critical to our survival”, then “lives and livelihoods are at risk”. They want similar support to that which has been made available to hospitality businesses under Tier 3 to be extended to those under Tier 2.

It said: “We have already seen many thousands of jobs lost in our sector as a direct result of the pandemic and if we continue down this path without adequate support we will certainly see more. The perverse reality is that as a sector we are financially better off under Tier 3 Covid measures than we are under Tier 2 and that is surely not right.”

Images above: City Barge; The Old Packhorse; The Pilot

Simon Emeny said the footfall in pubs hasn’t increased since September but that the absence of tourism, arts and sporting events were “short term challenges”. He expects London to bounce back eventually, but government help is needed to keep the industry alive until that point.

“The Chancellor promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support the economy – and one of the best ways to support the economy is to ensure the hospitality sector is well positioned to lead the economic recovery when all this is over.

“To do that we need to keep our excellent, well-trained team members on our payroll through an extension of the furlough scheme to Tier Two areas. Otherwise we will end up with mass redundancies across the hospitality sector and the need to rehire and retrain when normality finally returns”.

The Fuller’s executive is one of those behind a petition for there to be a Minister of Government specifically for the hospitality industry. You can find the petition here.

Pubs ‘better off closed’

There has been a chorus of voices over the past few days warning that the Tier two restrictions will kill off pubs and restaurants. The combination of not being able to sit at a table with anyone you don’t live with, and closing time at 10.00pm is making a visit to the pub a lot less attractive.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said businesses in central London were probably better off to be ‘paid to be closed’. She described Tier two as a ‘curse’ for traders. She told BBC Breakfast:

‘If you go into level three you are getting support if you’re closed, so at least you would have something to pay the teams. ‘Being moved into tier two is a curse for businesses. They will be trapped in a no man’s land of being open, but with severe restrictions that will significantly hit custom, all while unable to access the job support available in tier three. ‘It is the worst of both worlds for businesses.’

Simon Emeny told ITV:

“The government needs to be honest with us. If it wants us to close, tell us to close. Give us the financial support so that we can protect jobs and make sure we don’t send a million people to unemployment”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London going into Tier 2

See also: West London culture venues receive government money

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

 

Trufflehound Dining Club Menu 20 October 2020

Trufflehound Catering launched their Dining Club in autumn 2020, offering fine dining meals delivered to your door. Each week a new menu is unveiled on Friday with two or three-course options for either £40 (two courses) or £45 (three courses). Local delivery (W4, W6, W12) is free. No minimum order. Clients have the weekend to consider their selection before placing an order on Tuesday (aka Chooseday) for delivery three days later on Friday.

Each delivery comes with preparation guidance (minimal effort required) and can be eaten either that day or on the Saturday. All the food is prepared using fresh ingredients supplied by local independent retailers – meat from Mackens Bros and fish and shellfish from Covent Garden Fishmongers.

A safe alternative to eating out

Jo Buckingham, owner and chef, has a loyal following in Chiswick and continues to provide a full service with chef and waiter in clients’ homes, to small groups of up to four people, to meet Covid restrictions.

She sees the new Dining Club as a safe alternative to eating out with the added benefits of not paying restaurant prices for a bottle of wine, or having to shell out for a taxi and not having to finish by 10.00 pm.

Trufflehound works with Tim Syrad Wines, who specialise in half bottles of wine. Each week he suggests wine pairings to accompany their Dining Club menu. By specialising in half bottles, clients can enjoy a different wine with each course. Dining Club clients can arrange to have wine delivered from Tim together with their food delivery.

Here’s this week’s menu, to order on Tuesday 20 October for delivery on Friday 23 October

Menu

Images above: Beef carpaccio; Baked Ricotta 

Starter

Beef carpaccio with rocket pesto, parmesan and focaccia (Jo’s focaccia is something else!)

or
Baked Ricotta with kalamata tapenade, basil oil, slow roasted tomatoes and parmesan crisp

Images above: Belly of pork; Sea bass
Main

Belly of pork with smoked creamed potato, apple puree, pork crackling and red cabbage with pork reduction

or
Sea bass with sweetcorn purée, padron peppers, dauphine potatoes and tomato salsa
 Images above: Almond pannacotta; Chocolate tart
Dessert

Almond pannacotta with poached plums
or
Chocolate tart with caramelised oranges and cream

Contact

Contact Trufflehound at 07899 800 594 / jo@trufflehoundcatering.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Lyric Hammersmith reopening in 2021 with new shows

See also: Covid case confirmed at St Mary’s RC Catholic Primary School

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Harriet’s Kitchen – menu 20 October 2020

Treat yourself with some delicious home booked food. All you have to do it warm it up

Harriet Benton launched Harriet’s kitchen during lockdown as a way of helping neighbours in Bedford Park. With more than forty years in the catering business, she has a well tried repertoire of delicious dishes, which her team will deliver to your door, with no charge in Chiswick, and with a 10% discount for Chiswick Calendar Club Card members.

Order on Tuesday for delivery on Thursday.

To place your orders contact
harriet@harrietbenton.com
or phone  020 8747 1627 / 07973 858 642.

Images above: Roasted aged Sirloin of Beef; First stage of making a genuine curry sauce

Here’s this week’s menu, to order on Tuesday 20 October for delivery on Friday 23 October

Menu

Mulligatawny with crusty bread roll. £5.50

A relic of the Raj, this is one of the great gastronomic hybrids. It’s said that Mulligatawny soup was one of the earliest dishes developed in India, combining British concepts of how food should be presented and Indian recipes.

Roast mushroom soup with baguette. £5.00

Sweet white onion, thyme and roast portabella mushrooms. A good, classic soup.

Three rice chicken. S £650. L £12.00

A very popular dish which Harriet offered early in lockdown. Roast corn fed chicken, three types of rice and a wonderful sesame oil dressing. Small or large.

Duck confit with French peas and sauté potatoes. £12.50

Soft and succulent duck legs with petit pois à la français and potatoes sautéed in duck fat.

4 lamb Lancashire hotpot. £12.75

By request from quite a few, a rich lamb stew made from four different cuts of lamb and topped with sliced potatoes.

Slow roast pork belly, Celeriac mash & spiced apple sauce. £12.50

Juicy, luscious, slow-cooked pork belly, reduced wine gravy, celeriac mash & crackling.

Keralan curry with rice, roti & katchumber. B £12.00. P £12.00. V £8.00

Kerala is India’s spice hub. This is where Vasco de Gama landed in the quest for India’s prized spices. Fresh coconut, curry leaves, green chillies, shallots, coconut oil and a subtle dose of spices are always in the mix. Beef or prawn or vegetable.

Pasta alla Trapanese with garlic bread. £7.50

This wonderful sauce is made from the last of the massive haul of basil from a friend’s allotment, mixed with rich, juicy plum tomatoes and roasted almonds. Pasta & garlic bread.

Macaroni cheese. £8.50

By request! Elbow macaroni, very cheesy sauce, studded with quails eggs, cherry tomatoes, and topped with breadcrumbs & crispy bacon.

Lindy’s New York cheesecake. £6.00

The original cheesecake. No crumbled digestive biscuits, just a fine pastry base and a luxurious baked cheese cake.

Autumn compote with meringue or custard or cream. £5.00

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Lyric Hammersmith reopening in 2021 with new shows

See also: Covid case confirmed at St Mary’s RC Catholic Primary School

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

 

Episode 25: Talking with Human Rights Lawyer Clive Stafford Smith

Cricket authors (and obsessives) Peter Oborne and Richard Heller have launched a new podcast to help deprived listeners endure a world without cricket. They chat regularly about cricket topics – hoping to keep a good line and length but with occasional wides into other subjects.

Clive Stafford-Smith OBE  is a cricket-lover who is also one of the leading human rights lawyers in the world. He is the founder of Reprieve, an organization which specializes in defending people facing execution and victims of rendition, extrajudicial detention and torture in the name of counter-terrorism.

As a lawyer practising in the southern United States he personally represented over 300 prisoners sentenced to death: all but six were spared. He won five cases in the (pre-Trump) Supreme Court.

He has secured the release of 80 inmates detained without charges at the American facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, including all the British ones, and is still at work at another seven cases there. He is the guest of Peter Oborne and Richard Heller on their latest cricket-themed podcast.

For information and how you can support Clive’s local cricket club, Broadwindsor, visit: crowdfunder.co.uk/savebroadwindsorcricket


More Platforms

He sets out his philosophy – and practice – of cricket as an alternative to war, especially between India and Pakistan, and hails the Taliban’s enthusiasm for cricket.  8-11 and 24 minutes He has had a long relationship with Imran Khan, forged in campaigns for victims of drone strikes, 14-18 minutes and repeats Imran’s stark warning of the possibility of a nuclear exchange in the recent hostilities over Kashmir. 18-19 and 21-23 minutes

He sets out ways in which cricket-lovers and other sporting enthusiasts might move human rights forward in different countries, including Dubai, the headquarters of world cricket, where foreign workers are victims of discrimination and exploitation. 50-55 minutes

He describes his amazing experiences playing cricket at Guantanamo (a location not so far mentioned in Wisden’s Cricket Around The World) with the poorly-paid Jamaican workers, 2-7 minutes and how he managed to give the latest scores to cricket-loving inmates despite often bizarre US censorship over numbers. 13-14 minutes

Clive learnt his cricket at Radley College, where his Warden was the inspirational Dennis  Silk, a major figure in English cricket. 36-37 minutes He became the College’s opening bowler despite a teenage struggle against bulimia. He describes this movingly, along with his response to Freddie Flintoff’s recent account of his own struggle with a condition still poorly understood among men. 39-41 minutes

He recalls his long experience of a thriving cricket scene in the United  States, 47-49 minutesparticularly  playing in Atlanta with and against many famous West Indian cricketers. They included Conrad Hunte. He speaks warmly of his ethical personality and his on-field kindness and forbearance with the efforts of his lesser playing colleagues. 42-46 minutes

He recently testified on behalf of Julian Assange in his fight against extradition. He explains the significance of the case and looks forward to welcoming the most celebrated member of the Quito Cricket Club into his local cricket club, Broadwindsor in Dorset. 26-28 minutes He is now trying to save the club from the threat of eviction by the new owners of their ground. 29-35 minutes He gives listeners the chance to donate to the campaign (and purchase an office or title within the club). Henry Blofeld sent such a fierce letter of support that he felt compelled to tone it down slightly. 34 minutes Surprisingly for such a battling lawyer he remarks: “The law’s not a great way to solve anything. I’d rather solve it by the rules of cricket”. 33 minutes

Peter Oborne & Richard Heller

Peter Oborne has been the chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, a maker of several documentaries and written and broadcast for many different media. He is the author of a biography of Basil D’Oliveira and of Wounded Tiger, a history of Pakistan cricket, both of which won major awards.

Richard Heller was a long-serving humorous columnist on The Mail on Sunday and more briefly, on The Times. He worked in the movie business in the United States and the UK, including a brief engagement on a motion picture called Cycle Sluts Versus The Zombie Ghouls. He is the author of two cricket-themed novels A Tale of Ten Wickets and The Network. He appeared in two Mastermind finals: in the first his special subject was the life of Sir Gary Sobers.

Jointly, he and Peter produced White On Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, including the true story of the team which lost a first-class match by an innings and 851 runs.

Peter and Richard have played cricket with and against each other for a variety of social sides, including Parliament’s team, the Lords and Commons, and in over twenty countries including India, Pakistan, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

The Podcast is produced by Bridget Osborne and James Willcocks at The Chiswick Calendar.

Play Scrabble with a friend

Guest blog by Julia Langdon

Nigella has produced a new cookbook. Ali Smith has written and published another novel. Others have written operas and poems and life plans. The creativity of this most extraordinary year has been remarkable. Me? I’m still getting round to clearing out the cupboard under the kitchen sink.

But I do have one minor achievement to boast about. It has provided a welcome weekly diversion. It has kept the brain ticking over. And it has brought my old friend Sue into the house, every Wednesday at 8 p.m., for an evening of tussling over the Scrabble tiles – even though she lives 75 miles away.

Sue and I both like Scrabble and we started playing together every week or so about 50 years ago. Then she joined the Foreign Office, went abroad and stayed there. On the few occasions we met, we might sometimes have a game, but it wasn’t often. Since she returned to live in the UK a couple of years ago, however, we have played a few times when visiting each other.

And then came lockdown.

We must have been talking on the phone. I think maybe we had to cancel a planned meeting, when we all had instead to shut our doors, stay at home and find our own amusements. Was there any way we could organise a game of Scrabble? Sue plays the on-line game Words With Friends, but that doesn’t appeal to me because it isn’t sufficiently immediate. I was sure there must be some way we could devise a means to play an actual game, in person and in real time.

It took a bit of thinking out, but we got there. This what you do:

How to Play Remote Scrabble for Two Players

(It would be easy to cheat – but, really, what is the point?)

Both players need a full Scrabble set, a pen and paper and internet access. We started by using WhatsApp on our Apple iphones, but then realised that Facetime was easier and more direct. We both use Apple ipads but a phone also works fine. One player is “Host” and the other “Guest”. We take turns because it is slightly more time-consuming being the Host and thus you get less thinking time.

The Host has a full bag of letters and two letter racks. The Guest needs only one letter rack and spreads all the letters face up on the table.

The Host draws seven letters for herself as normal and, without looking at them, draws another seven letters for the Guest and places them on one of the racks, facing away. She then holds this rack up to the screen so the Guest can write down the seven letters in the order they are arranged. The players agree which letter is numbered 1 on the rack and which is 7. The Guest draws these seven letters from the open letters on the table in front of her.

The players

both draw a letter for who starts play; the guest obviously closing her eyes to take a letter from the table.

Images above: Sue and Julia, Scrabble partners

Say the Host plays first and writes the word “HEARD”. She tells the other player what she has written on the centre “double word” and specifies the placing of the letters: i.e. with the “H” on the “double letter” tile. The Guest chooses the letters H,E,A,R,D from the letters in front of her and places them on her board, in the given spaces.

Both players keep the score. The Host takes five more letters. The Guest then decides her word and chooses to write, say, “VIAL” on the “A” of HEARD, placing the “V” on the “triple letter” tile. She tells the Host which letters she is using from the original order on the duplicate letter rack by denoting their numbers: for example 1,3,5, 7. Her remaining letters thus remain secret. Both players write down the score. The Host chooses four more letters, without looking, and holds them up to the screen for the Guest to write down. Play continues.

I promise it works and it is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. It is necessary to look out for homonyms, words which are spelled differently but sound the same – like HEARD (HERD) and VIAL (VILE). This has caught us out a couple of times, but it is easily resolved and only happens because we are chatting as we play, as we would in person.

Images above: Sue, the victor; Julia the vanquished

In the spring and summer we listened to the birdsong in each other’s gardens. In the autumn we have heard the rain on our respective roofs. We laugh at the dogs snoring in the background and the echoing discrepancy when we play Classic FM and one of us has the radio on a digital receiver and the other does not. We have played with continuing enjoyment, every week now since the beginning of April – except once when Sue went away – and it has certainly made up for all those years she lived abroad.

Julia Langdon has been a political journalist since 1971 and became a lobby correspondent in 1974. Leaving The Guardian in 1984, she was appointed political editor of the Daily Mirror, the first woman to hold the position on a national newspaper in the UK. She’s been a freelance writer since 1992.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Street cat – Julia Langdon

See also: When working from home turns out ok

Mind Matters – A pandemic of anxiety

Why don’t we hear talk about stress?

I’ve noticed that as news intensifies around COVID-19 infections, Brexit, Climate Change and the US election all the media channels are intensifying focus on mental health. I wonder whether this might be because those working in the media might be struggling themselves or whether this is entirely directed by a proportionate ground swell of rising psychological struggles?

I suspect it’s both so I would like to sound a note of caution that as we are in this for some time to come yet there is a danger of both “compassion fatigue” and causing people to start to doubt themselves and become suspicious about whether they have a mental health concern. Are we stressed or developing anxiety?

The phenomena of compassion fatigue is one often talked about in the helping professions when people experience numbness around people in pain, whether physical, psychological or both. I have been particularly struck by constant coverage of anxiety and feel alarmed that we might be in danger of applying such a significant word to everyone’s daily experiences without fully thinking through the consequences.

I wonder whether we are in danger of creating an anxiety pandemic; in a similar way to how negative talk in financial markets can lead to panic trading.

Anxiety is conventionally thought of as something experienced from a pronounced and intense period of stress. Whilst enquiries to our counselling and psychotherapy services are showing significant increases in anxiety driven struggles it almost feels as though everyone is being told they are not normal unless they have anxiety at the moment.

I’ve also spotted that when people say they feel anxious at the moment it is rare that people are asked to say what they mean by that. As a psychotherapist the first thing I do when people talk with me about why they come to see me is to explore their experience. If they say they have anxiety we will talk through exactly how they experience that, for how long it’s been around and whether there are any external factors to which it is connected, for example a bereavement. More often than not the idea that they have anxiety is often a source of difficult feelings in itself so understanding it is key and part of treatment.

The existence of a word as powerful as anxiety can lead people to feel overwhelmed and powerless. Personally I can’t understand why the word stress is so rarely used at the moment. I think for many people, to be able to say they are stressed makes much more sense because we all know that we are prone to stress. We have behaviours that tell us when we are stressed and activities that help us to relieve it. It is also easier to think of things that we can do in the various parts of our every lives that are positive and supportive.

To be readily accepting that we are suffering from anxiety is potentially to lose control of the problem, allowing it to escalate and possibly colluding with behaviours that we might otherwise find easier to combat. For example if you go to a busy place and you say it was stressful you are likely to take a rest to feel better. However if you say you felt anxious going shopping then you might not find it so easy to identify a way to recover. Maybe you will start to avoid going shopping?

For sure some people are really struggling right now and need additional help and support. If you are finding you are not coping then make and appointment with a GP or a psychotherapist /counsellor. However if you are finding that you are starting to struggle then the first thing I suggest is you spend a little structured time writing down how you feel and what parts of your life come up in your thinking. Maybe its work, loneliness, money etc. Then take a good hard look at what you’ve written and think about what is not there – you might not have put health or tiredness.

As a psychotherapist and counsellor people often tell me they have come because they are struggling with a particular aspect of life, however as we explore and work this through we often end up talking about something that was previously not part of their thinking. So when I am listening to someone I reflect not only on what they are talking about but also what they are not.

At the moment, whilst we live in this challenging time of change, uncertainty and for many actual specific hardships around health, money and isolation, it is really important to pay attention to keeping a balance. To focus on the things we can do something about and avoid spending time worrying about those we cannot.

Pay attention if you find yourself suddenly thinking that a new project, health regime, or learning a life skill is the answer to all your problems – instead think about the important aspects of life and look to do make small improvements and progress in each. Here I am thinking about health, relationships, what makes you feel secure (work/finance), your interests and your spirituality.

If one area is particularly under threat, for example you have no work at the moment, you might have to pay considerable attention to finding solutions however you will also need to support yourself by setting yourself some achievable challenges in the other areas. Maybe you need to increase zoom coffee dates with friends, increase your daily exercise, schedule time to just sit and daydream.

Getting through may well be easier if you fine tune your existing sources of support than fall into the trap of thinking you need to make a huge change – unless you do of course?

In summary then: It’s good to think about psychological well being and mental health but be careful that constant exposure to bad news and media reports of mental illness do not leave you feeling overwhelmed and powerless. You might find it helpful to think about stress rather than anxiety, focus on the everyday than the bigger picture – but if you aren’t coping there are many of us who are ready and waiting to help.

Nicholas Rose & Associates
Counselling, psychotherapy and coaching for children, adults, couples and families.

UKCP registrant, MBACP (accred), UKRCP
PGDip, MA, Adv Dip Ex Psych

Nicholas Rose & Associates
Counselling, psychotherapy and coaching for children, adults, couples and families.

nicholas-rose.co.uk

Lyric Hammersmith reopening in 2021 with new shows

London going into Tier 2

Image above: Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

London is going into Tier 2 on Saturday 17 October, which means no mixing of households indoors. Speaking at London’s City Hall, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said there was “simply no other option”.

“Nobody wants to see more restrictions but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners,” he said.

The Mayor has backed the call by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for a temporary national “circuit-breaker” to slow the spread of the disease and he said he is continuing to press the government for more financial support, adding that “we’ve got a difficult winter ahead”.

The three rules for Tier 2 are:

  • No household mixing indoors
  • Rule of six will apply outdoors
  • Pubs and restaurants to shut at 10.00pm

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Covid case confirmed at St Mary’s RC Catholic Primary School

See also: West London culture venues receive government money

 

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Covid case confirmed at St Mary’s RC Catholic Primary School

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Chiswick has had its first case of Covid-19 confirmed.

Parents were informed by email just after 9.30pm on Wednesday 14 October. The school will remain closed until Monday while staff carry out a deep clean of the premises. Classes will get their homework posted on the school’s website for Thursday and Friday.

“The school has been preparing for this since day one” a parent told The Chiswick Calendar. “The head teacher and governors seem to be really on top of it”.

The news came as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told Sky News that tougher restrictions were now “inevitable” in London “in the next few days”.

“All the indicators I have, hospital admissions, ICU occupancy, the numbers of older people with cases, the prevalence of the disease, the positivity are all going the wrong direction” he said.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London’s Covid rules stay the same for now

See also: West London culture venues receive government money

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Stolen Landrover ends up in the river

Photograph – Jeremy Day

A stolen Discovery Landrover is stuck in the mud by Chiswick Bridge. The Port of London Authority say it went into the river on Saturday night from a local slipway, probably from one of the rowing clubs. They suspect the thieves drove it along the mud at low tide and abandoned it once it got stuck.

“Unfortunately any modern vehicle is usually a write off once it’s submerged” said PLA spokesman Martin Garside.

The police have been and checked it out and recovery will now be a job for the insurance company.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Residents’ opposition to pub’s riverside nook takes away jobs

See also: West London culture venues receive government money

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Residents’ opposition to pub’s riverside nook takes away jobs

Three people who were expecting to return to work at the Bell and Crown on Strand on the Green this autumn will not now be employed because the pub isn’t able to use the terrace facing the river.

General Manager Fiona Sparkes and her husband Andrew Durn got planning permission in 2019 for a metal structure with a canvas awning, which they built on the back of the pub, allowing them to seat seven tables in shade, with a great riverside view.

They didn’t get planning for the glass panels which they put in at the beginning of 2020, so customers could use the terrace tables and be out of the winter weather. Strand on the Green Residents Association objected on the grounds that the structure was ugly and out of keeping with the area. LB Hounslow backed the residents group and the glass panels were taken out, leaving just the frame and the awning.

The pub of course was shut during lockdown and since reopening has had to lose about 250 covers across a week, Andrew estimates, to accommodate social distancing, in addition to revenue from drinkers at the bar. Over all the pub’s takings are down about a third on last year.

Recently the Bell and Crown has asked the residents group if they would relent and allow the glass panels to go back in for the winter, to give them more inside space. The answer from Richard Griffith, the chairman of Strand on the Green Residents Association, (SOGA) was a swift ‘no’, says Andrew.

As a result the pub is now not taking back three staff they’d planned to re-employ over the winter (seven tables equates to 14 shifts a week, or three people). Current staff who have been waiting on the tables over the past few weeks were making about £35 per shift on tips.

Images above: Riverside frontage of the Bell and Crown before and after

Andrew told The Chiswick Calendar:

“I think it’s too restrictive, for something which you only see when you walk past. You can’t see it from any of the residents’ living rooms. It just makes it nice and cosy inside and looking to the future, we need to use that area for the pub to be viable”.

When the residents group objected, 80 people sent letters to the council complaining .

“They have 220 – 230 members, so that means two thirds of their members either weren’t bothered or actually like to be able to sit by the riverside out of the cold to eat”.

The pub has 18 tables in the bar, but of course no one wants to sit outside in the elements to eat in winter, except on the occasional bright, sunny day. Andrew and Fiona had hoped to make the case to the pub owners Fuller’s to make a two story permanent extension, for which they say they already have planning permission which has been agreed with SOGA. But that would cost a million pounds which no one would consider investing at the moment.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London’s lockdown rules stay the same for now, (13 October 2020)

See also: West London culture venues receive government money

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.

Man in the Middle – Chapter 55: In the sweat of your brow shall you eat

My wife gets anxious at the weekends. It’s not just because she has to spend more time with me. It’s because she likes to GET THINGS DONE and with the working week behind her, she has to hunt around for things to fill up her time. And ours.

It’s not enough for her to drift her way through the weekend like a jelly fish, happy to be swept along by the tide whichever way it ebbs and flows, which is how I would choose to spend my Saturdays and Sundays. In her world, time is precious and must be used purposefully. Pleasure should be earned. Lists must be drawn up and ticked off. In our house, the clock never stops tocking for ticking.

It was different during the summer when Gavin Williamson was flip flopping across the education system in his muddy sandals, changing his mind every few days about the exams. Then, she spent the weekends working out which way Gavin would jump on Sunday night and what impact it would have on her school plans on Monday morning. She simply didn’t have time to worry about other things such as the laundry, the empty light sockets in the hallway, the coffee stains on the skirting boards and the permanent imprint of my backside on the sofa.

Now that school is back to near normal, the usual pattern of our weekend is re-establishing itself. She has needs to find things to do again. I wonder if it really is a coincidence that a new series of ‘Taskmaster’ has just restarted?

It’s Saturday morning. We’re in bed and I can hear several plans for the weekend preening themselves inside her head, like horses in a paddock before a race.

‘I don’t want to fritter away another weekend doing nothing,’ she says, as we sip a coffee in bed.

‘You say to fritter, I say frittata, let’s call the whole thing off,’ I sing.

I’m hoping that a pre-emptive strike of breakfast buffoonery will put her off her stride.

‘By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat,’ she says, citing the Bible.

‘Fake news!’ I say. ‘Simply order your food from ‘Just Eat’. There’s no need to sweat at all.’

‘It’s a metaphor, not the post Brexit food policy.’

‘Can’t we just be lilies of the field? No toiling. No spinning. Just lounging.’

She’s heard this nonsense before. It’s the usual sound and fury signifying nothing, except the fact I haven’t grown up yet. She’s already put her coffee mug back on the dresser beside the bed, swung her legs out from under the duvet and is standing up sounding her reveille. Metaphorically, of course.

‘The house is a filthy. Can you ask everyone to do two hours cleaning? And I mean proper cleaning: washing floors etc. Piling things up in heaps doesn’t count.’

‘Muck In to Muck Out,’ I say, smiling.

‘What?’

‘It’s our slogan for today. Muck In to Muck Out. Like Rishi’s ’Eat Out to Help Out’, only for the indoors economy.’

‘Do you need a slogan to do the housework?’

‘It’s motivational. Like songs on a chain gang.’

‘I’ll be back in two hours. Remember to tell the children to help.’

And with that, she is dressed and gone.

Downstairs my son is in his pyjamas and playing ‘Mortal Kombat’. He looks up as I come into the sitting room.

‘She said I could have ten more minutes,’ he says getting his retaliation in first.

He knows it is 11.05am. According to the Family By-Laws, wearing pyjamas in public spaces is banned after 11am. We call it the Pyjama-shed. It’s like the TV watershed only for clothes.

‘OK,’ I say. ‘But after that we need to ‘Muck In to Muck Out’.

‘What does that mean?’ he asks.

‘It means two hours of house cleaning. For everyone.’

From the kitchen my daughter asks: ‘Can’t you get a cleaner instead?’.

I explain to them that today the house is going to be run like a Kibbutz not a Fun Fair, which means everyone needs to do their bit to make a success of the project.

‘If everyone chips in, it’ll be over quicker,’ I say.

‘I’ll chip in £5 for someone to do my share’ says my son.

‘By the sweat of your brow shall you eat,’ I say.

‘That’s so typically portentous of you,’ says my daughter.

‘The sweat part really worries me,’ says my son.

I decide I must win them over to the project through persuasion, not hectoring. So, while I make them a second round of pancakes for their Saturday brunch, we discuss how they can help me clean the house.

They start by saying that leadership will be crucial to the success of the project and that I should set them a good role model on how to GET THINGS DONE.

‘You are the Pater Familias, after all’ says my daughter.

‘Why don’t you start by washing the kitchen floor and we’ll come down once we’re dressed,’ says my son.

They are young, they continue, and haven’t had a chance yet to develop the domestic skills necessary to clean a house by themselves. But they are certain, given enough time and the chance to observe me at work, that they will be able to ‘pick up the necessary skills’. They just need to feel ‘empowered enough skills-wise before they start.’

‘You do have a Health & Safety Policy, don’t you?’ asks my son.

‘Health and safety policy?’ I say, flummoxed.

‘Yes. You can’t expect us to handle dangerous substances like bleach and cleaning fluid without one. This isn’t Victorian Britain,’ he says.

This reminds me that I haven’t renewed my life insurance.

‘Just get dressed and get back down here, pronto’ I say.

I look at my watch. My wife has been gone an hour and nothing has been achieved. If she walks in now, I will get my first yellow card of the weekend. Even though I am also still in my pyjamas I start sweeping.

An hour later, the kitchen floor is clean. The sitting room carpet is hoovered and the cobwebs in the window frames have been brushed away. I am so immersed in project ‘Muck In to Muck Out’ that I haven’t noticed that the kids haven’t come down yet.

I am scrubbing away the tea and coffee stains on the ground floor stairs, when my wife walks back in.

Frankly, the timing is perfect. I am still in my pyjamas, so it looks like I have been cleaning non-stop since she last saw me. I am sweaty from all my efforts and the wooden floors are wet and smell of pine, so I clearly haven’t just started cleaning. All in all, Rufus Norris couldn’t have staged it better for me.

‘In the sweat of your brow shall you eat,’ I say, with a sycophantic smile.

‘Good job,’ she says.

‘It’s much cleaner, isn’t it?’

‘Where are the kids?’ she asks.

‘I don’t know.’

‘Did you tell them they had to clean up too?’

‘Of course. They said they’d be right down once they felt empowered skills-wise,’ I say.

She puts down her shopping bags in the hall with a thud.

‘Enough of that nonsense. It’s time for them to Knuckle Down and Muck In.’

‘It’s ‘Muck in to Muck Out’,’ I correct her.

But she’s not listening. She’s off, bounding up the stairs, two steps at a time to find the kids.

Read the next in the series – Mixed emotions about the day ahead

Compassion Wars