This morning I strolled into the footpath leading up to the mosque; skirted the London Road edge of Morden Park; crossed this road into Central Road; bore right into Green Lane; wandered through the Haig Homes estate; travelled back to London Road; and returned to Links Avenue via the park.
Cars were streaming down Links Avenue and into the path by the side of the railway. People were pouring into the mosque in their thousands. Jackie tells me that the view of this sea of people from the eleventh floor of the civic centre was amazing. At the entrance to the worshippers footpath, another young man was standing with a board announcing that the Eid (15th. August) car park was full. A very well organised and friendly group of young men, many using mobile phones, were directing the swarming traffic to the meadow I had seen being mown on Friday. The reason for the mowing was now clear. It was a vast overflow carpark. The marquee I had seen being erected was in fact three. These were filling up fast. As in the mosque itself (see post of 18th. May), there was separate accommodation for men and boys and for women and girls. I thought I’d best not photograph the women’s tent. This is a pity, because they were all wearing splendid attire. Until lunchtime I could hear singing and speeches from our flat.
I spoke to two Community Support officers who were counting the cars coming into the arena. Like me, they were disgusted at the flytipping which continued. The pile I had seen on Friday was still there, and had been supplemented by another huge heap which had been dumped in what seemed to be an attempt to block the route to the temporary additional parking area. We speculated that anyone caught tipping would probably save money by paying the fine incurred, rather than covering the expense of legitimate disposal. One of the officers pointed out that general rubbish was also strewn among the brambles which were providing one the ingredients, being collected by two women, for blackberry and apple pie.
Another two women, in Green Lane, asked me if I knew St. Anne’s school. I had to acknowledge that I didn’t. There are Haig Homes on either side of Green Lane. Haig Place lies alongside a very well kept estate provided by this organisation. These little houses all have beautifully tended gardens. I chatted with an elderly woman who lived in one. She identified a screeching coming from the trees as the call of squirrels. I had not knowingly heard a squirrel before. She said they are at their noisiest at night. She enjoyed the sound. More so than the cranking of magpies.
On 13th. August, I had confessed my own vagueness about Douglas Haig. I had therefore been amused at the response to a question I had put to a small boy on 17th. August. In fact the street sign ‘Haig Place’ was right outside his house. There was a terra cotta plaque on the wall between two semi-detatched houses, one presumably his own. Not even sure myself, I asked him if he knew who the man depicted was. He shrugged and silently indicated that he didn’t know. I’ve since used Google to confirm my supposition. There are Douglas Haig Memorial Homes throughout the UK.
Watch Me curries and Kingfisher completed the day. As usual, this excellent restaurant on Morden Road was also catering for several happy, celebrating, Sri Lankan families, the women in colourful clothing, and the children running about gleefully.