Tag Archives: Balham

It’s all about Tooting (this week….)

Thought I’d keep it a bit local this week and there seems to be lots going on!

I volunteered for Foodcycle in Tooting a couple weeks ago, it’s one of their newer branches, and I just wanted to highlight what a great project this is. The local Sainsbury’s and local greengrocers donate food that would otherwise be chucked away and local businesses/restaurants donate their facilities (i.e. kitchens) and volunteers (i.e. you and me) donate their time. a three course extravaganza is then prepared (given what’s available!), this is then offered (for free, although donations are obviously welcome) to whoever wants it. They target the disadvantaged and the socially vulnerable, those who otherwise might not get a hot meal; those in sheltered housing or hostels.

We whipped up courgette and tomato soup with croutons, stuffed peppers au gratin, baked chow chow (we had to google it too) and banana milkshake and fruit, oh and some mini doughnuts too. As you can tell, there a surfeit of bread!

They are always looking for volunteers, either in the kitchen or Front of House (meeting and greeting and getting people in off the street – literally!) and it happens twice a week on a Friday and Saturday, all the details are here.  Lovely people too. There are also other Foodcycles around London and the UK so spread the word!

I bought this cushion last week from E A Wates in Tooting, I saw it on Twitter and a friend also sent me the pic. I had to have it. They were commissioned specially so you won’t find them elsewhere, and there are others saying ‘Fabulous Furzedown’ and ‘Tooting Popular Front’, I’m getting that one next!

My new pride and joy from @eawates

A post shared by Joanna (@tootingwurzel) on

And finally, I found this – Tribe Tooting.  Running from 7-28th August (and hopefully onwards), you can book your kids (age 7-12 years old) for outdoor adventures. They can forage, build dens, make totem poles….the list seems to be endless. I just think it’s such a great idea. If this had been around when I was young I would have LOVED it. Also, the weather’s great at the moment. And it’ll wear them out. They’re on Twitter too @TribeTooting

Park Run maybe coming to Tooting!! The council have marked 1, 3 and 5km routes around the park, find the map here.

Oh, and how could I forget, Honest Burgers is finally open opposite Sainsbury’s at Tooting Broadway.

And finally, I managed to get myself into The Imperial Durbar for one of their goldfish bowls of G&T. With around 10 different gins and as many mixers, it’s worth getting  involved.  They also do cracking tea, coffee, cakes and all with free wifi. What’s not to love?

Well I think that’s quite enough to keep you busy for now….

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The one where I go to yoga. By mistake.

Yesterday I went to yoga, by accident.  Until yesterday yoga was a cartoon bear who lived in Yellowstone Park (I think that’s YogI, but you get my drift?) I actually meant to go to Pilates, but there was a cock-up with the timetable and so having bothered to change into a gym kit and walk 15mins (this is a BIG DEAL alright?) there I thought I might as well ….Many moons ago I tried yoga – just the once and that was enough. The ‘experts’ made sure they were in the front row and seemed to be having a competition to see who could hold their poses for longest, or look most serene. Talk about showing off in front of teacher.  These people were in their fifties ffs.  I didn’t last long  before wanting to poke their eyes out.

Now, I thought it was time to give it another try seeing as I was here anyway.  These people looked normal, no dreadlocks and wearing no hemp clothing that I could discern……My first thought on walking in was ‘oh good – they’re lying down’, but this was different, oh so very different than the minimally tiring class I had envisaged, nay been hoping for.   For starters, I never knew you could get so hot by doing so little and, for the record, I’m ignoring those silly classes where they just seem to sit in an overheated room and sweat.  I mean how unhygiene is that – you wouldn’t take a shower or bathe with these people.  Who knows what’s coming out of those pores?!  Have you been on the London Underground.  Ew.  No thank you.  But I digress.

God was it hard work – and I whilst I didn’t embrace as enthusiastically as say, Gwyneth Paltrow –  or even the Dalai Lama –  might have done, I wasn’t *not* enjoying it.   I think that is what is called an unexpected result.

I slightly lost it at the end, just a bit, instead of listening to the outside noises, I was deciding whether a glass of wine when I got home would negate all that I had done in the past  hour (the answer to me, predictably – no).

Even better, as I stepped out of the building, a bus pulled up – the one that drops me at the end of my road.  I took that as a sign.   Thanks Gwynnie.  I may be back.

Tooting Wurzel – doing Boot Camp – so you don’t have to….

Last night I went outside. Literally and figuratively.  Out of my comfort zone and outside. I went to Bootcamp. Mostly because it was free, (I am unable to resist the lure of something for nothing). I mean why not give it a go? The other reason was more obviously that I needed to do some kind of exercise as I have sat on my increasingly middle-aged arse for the best part of a year. What could possibly go wrong?

It’s safe to say I didn’t really think it through.  It’s mid-October, of course it’s going to be dark – but I underestimated just how dark it would be –  very.

Trainer: Right. Sprint to that big tree over there and then run back.

Me: It’s dark and we’re in a park. WHICH TREE!

You see my problem.

In fact we were lucky there were no collisions although the up side was that I could hide behind people easily and the fitness instructor couldn’t see me if I stopped mid-burpee (that’s a bunny hop to you and me) and fell flat on my face, which happened with alarming frequency (I told you I was unfit).

It had also been raining – ergo it was wet, muddy and very slippery. So it was no surprise that all the people there last night, along with me had not done it before – all the regulars had wised up and knew the filth bath that awaited us.

Trainer: Now do press ups.

Yes, press ups. Now I know this is Tooting Bec, hell it’s practically BALHAM and that these people probably *do* pick up after their dogs, but there was the ever present threat, in my mind at least, of dipping my nose in a turd. Every press up was a lottery, every sit up a challenge and not in the way intended. Every time I put my hand down I gave it a surreptitious sniff – just to check like.

Having said that it was nice to be outside the fresh air, rather than pounding away on a boring treadmill watching adverts for insurance with the sound turned down – but I don’t like lying down in mud, so maybe – one day – in the Summer (ever the optimist!). So tomorrow I’m trying Pilates. Inside.