Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Willesden street wildflowers, this evening

Oxeye Daisies. St Andrew's church, Willesden High Road

Perennial Cornflower*. St. Andrew's church

Oxeye Daisies. St. Andrew's church

Forget-me-nots. St Andrew's church

Forget-me-nots in context

Common Ragworth? St. Andrew's church

Yellow Corydalis*. Maybury Gardens

Maybury Gardens

Maybury Gardens is Yellow Corydalis land.

Unknown. Maybury Gardens

Serbian Bellflower*. Harlesden Road

Serbian Bellflower*. Harlesden Road

Violets. Harlesden Road

Common Ragworth? (Yellow).
Serbian Bellflower? (Mauve). Harlesden Road

* Thanks to Alison Hopkins for identifying some of the mystery flowers. Ed.

Featured authors update, May 2012

Emma Martin of New Zealand has won the Commonwealth short story prize for the Pacific region with her story "Two Girls in a Boat". Emma's story "Victor" was included in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 5.

Charles Lambert's story "Bad Romance" is runner up in the Short Fiction competition 2012. His story "Curtains" features in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 6.

Somewhere Else, or Even Here, a short story collection by A.J. Ashworth, has been short-listed for the Edge Hill prize. A.J's story "Overnight Miracles" was also included in New Short Stories 5.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wildflowers update

I can see that this will need regular updates as the scene changes very much from day to day. Here are a few new snaps from today, Tuesday May 29th. I'm not happy with the picture quality, so I might try my trusty old Minolta next time.

Unknown. This is from beside the path in to sports centre.
The one in the picture is quite a big example but this prickly
thing is everywhere around in the grass around the meadow.
There are warty prickles on the leaves. Not nice for dogs' paws.

Meadow Vetchling? Lots of these yellow flowers today in the meadow.

New mauve flowers out today in the meadow.
Do they belong to that plant with the rather elegant fronds?

Another view of the mauve flowers
together with the pretty yellow flowers and some red clover.

This is an attempt to zoom across to where
what appear to be purple thistle flowers have appeared.

Wild Geum* Solitary yellow flower.
A couple of these appeared in the back garden today (May 29).
Also see: Later (August) with burrs like sea mines
I wonder what those cute rounded leaves belong to?

* Suggested by A. Sherlock

Thames Jubilee Pageant map

Thames Jubilee Pageant Map from

This is just a detail. Click to see the complete scrollable map.

Thieves in the night


This morning between 2 and 3am Richard Barrett, Brent's Property Officer, raided and stripped our library.
About 15 workers took the books from the library and also took the murals painted in the 1930's specifically for the library along with all the plaques commemorating the library's opening by Mark Twain.

They took tables and chairs and other assorted objects including a microwave and a box of sticky tape.

They were assisted in this action by about 12 police officers.

In a meeting with campaigners last week the new leader of the council Mohammad Butt promised that the murals and furniture would not be taken.

We asked him to hold off stripping the library until he had organised a meeting with All Souls College, the council and ourselves.

This action this morning is proof that the council had no intention of trying to ensure that the reverter on the library had not been triggered.

Cllr Mo Butt said he wanted to listen to the community, engage with them.

This is how he listens. By taking this action he has jeopardised the ability of this community to run this library.

We may be finished with Brent council but our campaign continues. We will not let their cowardly, middle of the night plundering defeat us.
Cllr Butt's words to us are worse than meaningless.
They reveal what a cowardly, conniving, bunch of dishonest panhandlers they are, but what else would you expect in the Banana Republic of Brent?

You may want to email Cllr Mo Butt at Brent Council and tell him what you think. *

Margaret Bailey

* Also let him know what you think on Twitter, where he lurks under the moniker @lwxmb19. Not that they care at all, but they will go down in the annals of shame for their destruction of the libraries of Willesden and Brent. What Willesden could afford at the time of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1900, "it cannot afford" at the time of the present monarch's jubilee in 2012. What was created by the generosity of previous generations has been destroyed by the stupidity of a few reckless councillors. But make no mistake, it's not that they cannot afford it, they are spending £650,000 (yes, oh mateys! who will get the contract?) on repainting Kilburn library. They just don't want us to have local libraries, they don't want study space for local kids, all they want is more flats because that is how they get more money. And that is all they care about. (Ed.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

There's Chianti in the Carafe

Air: Whiskey In The Jar

As I was posting bon mots and doing a bit of blagging,
I met a brazen troll, oh and my buddies he was slagging.
I first adduced indiff'rence, elliptically deplored him;
I shared a Blondie classic, then I studiously ignored him.
With me ring dumma tone dumma larf
Whack for my daddio
Give me your addy-o,
There’s Chianti in the carafe.

I deconstruct his bunny, which makes an ugly patter.
I’d chop it into couplets and I’d serve it on a platter.
I called the rubbish po’try, recited it to Emmy.
She uploaded a mashup to a film by Jonno Demme.
With me ring dumma tone dumma larf
Whack for my daddio
YouTube and Vimeo,
There’s Chianti in the carafe.

From Stephen Fry on Twitter a mention made her fortune
And Emmy's billion hits paid for a house in Temple Fortune.
The house she named it Rime Riche, next door to Lenny Henry’s;
And I’m the son-of-a-biche that's left without a single penny.
With me ring dumma tone dumma larf
Whack for my daddio
That's a nice patio,
There’s Chianti in the carafe.

Now some men like the porno and some men like the blogging
And some men get reborn though others rather go out jogging,
But me I like the Facebook, and also love the Twitter,
But the devil take that woman for she left me in the shitter.
With me ring dumma tone dumma larf
Whack for my daddio
And now I have to go,
There’s Chianti in the carafe.

Stephen Moran

Wildflowers of Willesden Meadow 2

White Campion? These flowers have appeared since midweek.
They seem to have followed the sun by turning west (about 7pm).

White Campion? In an awkward spot to photograph.
There's a blue flower in there as well. I wonder what that is?

Spidery/ferny thing has grown daisy-like flowers since midweek.
Update: probably Yarrow.

Oxeye Daisies? Newly appeared in the last few days. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


It's that time of year when the soccer posts are removed and the tall posts installed in King Edward VII playing fields. So if you want to play rugby, Australian rules, American football, Gaelic football, hurling or what have you, there's your chance.

Wildflowers of Willesden streets and gardens

Update: Wild Geum* (Suggested by A. Sherlock)
Type of nettle? Back garden, 29 May 2012

Wall lettuce? Path by the sports centre. 27/5/2012

Dandelions on 27 April 2012 near the sports centre

Unknown yellow five-petalled flower with russet leaves.*
The flowers close up tiny at night. The leaves are like shamrock.
Sweet Alison (bottom). Front garden. 26 May 2012

Cleavers. They cleave, i.e. cling and stick, to anything .
Beside a wall near the sports centre. 23 May 2012

Herb Robert. Back garden, 23 May. Some leaves red, some green.
The "Robert" might be derived from Latin "ruber", meaning red.

Unknown. Back garden. 23 May 2012

Unknown. The flowers are tiny, only 2mm in diameter.
You need a magnifying glass to see them right.
More numerous petals, otherwise a bit like Cornsalad.
On a disused old tarmac path near the sports centre. 23 May 2012

Herb Robert? Beside a tree on Donnington Road. 23 May 2012

Unknown. Front garden. 23 May 2012

Unknown. Feverfew? 23 May 2012
Update 7 June 2012. They have developed into daisy-like flowers.

Unknown. A bit like Sage? 23 May 2012

White flowers: Sweet Alison.
Yellow five-petalled flower: Unknown. 23 May 2012

Violets and unknown yellow flower

Unknown sort of daisies. Feverfew?

One of the types of Prunella? Similar to Selfheal but different leaves.
This is the original mystery weed from Willesden Herald 2003.
* From A. Sherlock: "I think the little yellow one with russet leaves, 26 May, is an oxalis, possibly creeping red woodsorrel. The unknown front garden of 23 May looks like a bit like a white valerian."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wildflowers of Willesden meadow

The wild meadow area behind the Willesden sports centre, which was mowed at the end of last summer, started to grow back a few weeks ago. With the help of Wildflowers of Ireland (I know, this is not Ireland but it's a great book), I have tried to identify some of the wildflowers. Most of the pictures have more than one plant in them as the meadow is very luxuriant but you can assume that I'm referring to the ones with flowers. (O.G.)

Cowslip. There were many of these on the 1st of May, when this
was taken. The area where they stood is now overgrown.
The remaining pictures were taken this week between
21st & 23rd of May.

The solitary pink flower looks like a type Crane's-Bill.
The spotted trefoil with yellow flowers (bottom right) is Spotted Medick.

Unknown, 2 metres high
with white flowers like elder but not.

Water Dock

A reader suggests this could be Yarrow (see comments).

Unknown tiny pink flower, possibly one of the types of Crane's-Bill

Common Vetch

A better view of the Common Vetch's almost orchid-like flower

Red Clover

Black Medick (trefoil with yellow flowers)
Ribwort Plaintain (pointed sword-like leaves and tall drooping stalks)

Green Alkanet

White umbrels in front: Cow Parsley
Mottled red tall stems: Common Sorrel
Blue tinges in the background: Green Alkanet
White umbrels near the back: Cow Parsley

Another view of the beautiful Sorrel


View of the second of four main parts of the wild meadow area.
The third part is behind the camera.
The trees are Silver Birch.

View of third part of wild meadow area in the distance.
The fourth part is to the left. The grass is full of daisies.
It appears that further large areas are being allowed to grow.
There are many different types of trees, would need another page.
That's Capital City Academy in the background.

Poppies. This is an old picture from the same area, 18 August 2007.
That was before the meadow area was created (planted?).
I will try and identify the yellow flower behind them now.
Update: Is it Meadow Vetchling? Not sure.