Saturday, 18 February 2012

Meditation Course for beginners, lunchtimes - Eltham

I wish I was around weekdays for this:
Mondays from 12:45 - 1:45 pm
27th FEBRUARY - 26th MARCH
COST - £20 (£5 per session if starting mid-way)
VENUE - Eltham United Reformed Church, 1 Court Road, Eltham SE9 5AD (In the Dobell Room - entrance to the side of the Church)

This is a five week course which will enable you to relax and learn the basics of meditation. The class will focus on relaxation, developing breathing techniques and increasing energy levels using simple techniques. Anyone can benefit from the meditation course and lots of advice will be given on how to make meditation a part of your daily life. The meditation techniques used do not require any particular beliefs, just come along, relax and experience the meditations.

There are many ways meditation may help are just a few:
- reduce stress and anxiety
- deepen your sleep
- aid pain management
- improve your ability to concentrate
- give you an increased sense of well-being

The course will include relaxation exercises, guided meditations, Qigong meditations and time for discussion, help and advice. Most of the work will be carried out either seated in chairs or standing/carrying out simple movements.
Suitable for all ages.
Contact Rhonda on 07985001782 or reply via this advertisement.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Colonial Eye: British Empire images of the Punjab, India - free event

Curious about film footage of life in India during British rule? This is a quick mention of a fab and free event this weekend, of public archive footage of this period in India, especially focusing on Punjab.

In “From the Archives: The Colonial Eye: British Empire images of the Punjab, India 1912 – 1947” artist Tajender Sagoo “has curated a series of short films produced during the British rule of India with a focus on the Punjab. The screening will bring together public information and travelogue films found in British public archives and rarely seen on the big screen.

The public information films selected are examples of state propaganda used to form public opinion, a practise still prevalent today in regions such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, even in this era of digital media. The travelogues selected are personal observations of places and people. Screened together they form a visual essay of Punjab as written by its rulers and administrators.“

The screening is going to be followed by a panel discussion with “four specialists on South Asian film, popular culture and history discussing what the films can tell modern day viewers and taking questions from the audience.”
Given my own family’s Punjabi background, it would be interesting to know more about how the Raj viewed the Punjab during my grandparents' time. Even for a south Londonist, this sounds well worth crossing the river for.

This event takes place Sunday 19 February at 14.00 at the Pheonix Cinema, 52 High Road, East Finchley N2 9PJ. It's free but booking is essential (Box Office 020 8444 6789)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

'Eltham Town Centre' Masterplan

Tomorrow you can view the 'Royal Borough' of Greenwich's Masterplan for 'Eltham Town Centre'. Eltham is one of four areas in the borough for which the Borough is setting out it's 'ambitions' and focusing on as 'key growth areas'.

Out with the old? Eltham Arcade, 204-214 Eltham High Street
The four Masterplans are now the subject of a period of consultation, until 9 March, during which time you can express your views. The status of the Masterplans, produced by Allies and Morrison and Urban Practitioners, is that they will be "adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and will support the planning policies for the borough".

The Masterplan's 'Introduction' for Eltham says:

In with the new?
"Eltham is a town with a long and distinguished history. However, this lies rather hidden, either buried behind modern buildings in the case of the network of historic lanes, or remote from the High Street in the case of Eltham Palace.A key aim of this document is to reveal and reclaim that history, and emulate the structure of the historic urban grain to create a place which is characterful, rich and above all, enjoyable.

The vision for Eltham is to consolidate and prosper. The vision is to help Eltham be an excellent local town centre for people who live and work in the local area. It can achieve this through a combination of a good mix of uses, great public spaces and good access. A mix of town centre living will also help to promote vibrancy."

The document goes on to describe proposed development, in phase 1, of Eltham's car parks, Passey Place, the Orangery (for 'small scale businesses'), shopping arcades, and the town centre's alleyways. It goes on to propose two further phases taking the plan up to 2027.

I haven't had a chance yet to have a proper look at the plans - you can access the full Eltham Town Centre Masterplan here and the other three areas here (ie. Charlton Riverside, Greenwich Peninsula West, Woolwich Town Centre). I haven't noticed too much around yet about Eltham's plan but if you're interested in Charlton, there are posts at Charlton Champion, 853 and Andrew Lainton's blog has an interesting piece.

Details of Eltham's consultative exhibitions are:

Thursday 16 February:
Eltham library foyer, Eltham Centre; focusing on Eltham Town Centre
Exhibition: 3pm to 8pm (including presentations at 4pm and 6.30pm)

Saturday 3 March:
Eltham library foyer, Eltham Centre; focusing on Eltham Town Centre
Exhibition: 1pm to 5pm (including presentation at 2pm)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Eltham in Royal Borough celebrations

Fireworks over Tudor Barn - my poor photo from the loft
It would be remiss of me to let today pass without doing a post on one of the biggest celebrations in Eltham in recent times.  As I wrote in a post earlier in the week, on 4 February the ‘London Borough of Greenwich’ became the ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich’ and there have been celebrations all over the borough - in Woolwich last Friday, Greenwich today, with Eltham’s turn yesterday. 

In Eltham, the newly-signed ‘royal charter’ went on display at the Eltham Leisure Centre, and there were events around town including at Eltham Palace. A tree gift from Her Maj was planted at the Well Hall Pleasaunce, and then later there was music and fireworks at the Tudor Barn, finishing just before the snow descended.

Due to family commitments and then my need to avoid ice-induced brain-freeze, I didn’t venture out to any of the events but lots of people did, and have commented on them:

- there’s great photos by greenwichcouk (Rob of the Tudor Barn events here:…

- Darryl’s wry post ‘Greenwich’s royal borough roadshow hits Eltham with a bang’

- a striking photo posted by Bryn McNeill (via twitter @bigsocietyis) of an icy fountain at Well Hall during the tree planting

- and @darryl1974 reported yesterday “Passing through Eltham. Just seen a town crier in full garb walk down Well Hall Road. Hope his bell doesn't freeze up...”

- a close up photo of that Royal Charter confirming Greenwich's Royal Status:

I’ve speculated before on what benefit royal status would bring the the borough and to Eltham - here’s a take by the Leader of Greenwich Council, Councillor Chris Roberts said: "These celebrations are a great way to showcase all the current and future inward investment, tourist and job opportunities that Royal Greenwich has to offer. Tourism brings in £774 million to the local economy, welcomes over 18 million visitors, supports more than 8,000 jobs and has helped make Greenwich the only UK destination listed in Frommer's top ten global places to visit in 2012. Our new Royal Borough status will drive forward our record levels of regeneration and cement our role as a key international destination for businesses and visitors from across the globe." 

Well, that would be good. Although a recent New Statesman piece casts doubts on the economic benefits often forecast for royal connected events.

And not all locals are enamoured:
@Labour_Partisan Tom: 'Royal servility festival in Greenwich this weekend, might give that a miss'.

Elsewhere, others have chosen to highlight the much-needed improvements to the borough rather than the expenditure and fanfare about royal status:
- 'Signs of the times' at the 853 blog
- 'Greetings from Royal Kidbrooke' at the Kidbrooke Kite

And finally, Rob (@greenwichcouk) posted: ‘London Tonight featured Greenwich and the its new name today - available to watch online… at 22 minutes in’

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Florence shakes it out at royal Eltham Palace

For those wanting a bit more on matters royal in Eltham ... did you catch up with the fact that Florence and the Machine shot a music video at Eltham Palace last year? The video for 'Shake it out', released in October 2011, was shot at the Palace and heavily features the 1930s art deco entrance hall and the surrounding rooms - a popular choice since you may remember that Cheryl Cole also shot the video to 'Parachute' there (my post here on that one).

Even if the music is not quite your cup of tea, it's a beautifully shot video and was directed by Dawn Shadforth. It's pretty stylised, with the mannequin-like, porcelain beauty of Florence Welch, the lead singer, at its heart. Welch described the video in Rolling Stone saying, "Think of a psychedelic 1920s dress party with a demonic twist. Possession meets The Great Gatsby"

Elsewhere, she talks about filming the video at Eltham Palace: "We were kind of going for a sort of 'Gatsby at West Egg'-style house party but with maybe slightly ritualistic and sort of satanic undertones and séances. That was such a fun video to shoot, for me especially, because I had all my friends down there, and they all came and we all got to dress up and do a casual séance in this beautiful art-deco mansion. It's basically a party house; there's one room which was purely just for cutting flowers. My best friend is sitting with me in the tree at the end of the video, and we just got to hang out in a tree for a while. It was really fun."