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Notting Hill Carnival
2nd September 2017

The GOOD List #33

FOUR. DAY. WEEK. Now if that isn’t a reason to smile, I don’t know what is. Here’s some GOOD news for extra good measure…

Katie's GOOD news

This bank holiday weekend I finally ticked off something that's been sitting on my To Do List since moving to London eight years ago. On Saturday, my housemate and I threw ourselves out of bed and made the journey from Stoke Newington to Hampstead Heath. After feeling slightly lost for a good while, we managed to direct ourselves to the women's swimming pond and were greeted by a serene and calm atmosphere. The pond was extremely secluded and it was great seeing women of all ages enjoying the freezing water. It's definitely something that I'd recommend everyone doing before the summer shies away. | Find out more about the Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association and Hampstead Heath's swimming ponds here.

Hampstead Heath is open year round. This film courtesy of Hanna Aqvilin shows the pond in chilly December.

Emily’s GOOD news

The best bit about the aftermath of this year’s Notting Hill Carnival is quite simply the multitude of clips of dancing policemen finding their way onto my social media feeds. I can’t help but watch the films on a loop, howl with laughter, and share them with anyone who will watch! Nothing else to say apart from please enjoy …

Policeman dances at Notting Hill Carnival

Amy’s GOOD news

On a failed trip to Eltham Palace (closed on Saturdays apparently), I found myself meandering the parks of south-east London where I discovered Greenwich University's Winter Gardens. Although open to the public and clearly maintained to some degree, most of this incredible cast iron, brick and glass Victorian masterpiece in Avery Hill Park is in disrepair. Brilliant for that post-apocalyptic overgrown look, but pretty sad for the building itself. Despite being “sold” to the University for £1 in the 90s, Greenwich University is trying to sell it off at a profit of a couple of million, even after being offered lottery funding for its restoration. Fortunately, a local group are campaigning against this with a popular petition due to be handed into the next full council meeting on 18 October 2017. | Head over here to sign the petition and find out more about this London hidden gem.

Greenwich University's Winter Gardens in Avery Hill Park

Jodi’s GOOD news

Over the bank holiday weekend, I visited the studios and gardens of Henry Moore. I couldn't recommend it more. Located at Henry Moore’s former home in Hertfordshire, the studios and gardens are open to visitors each summer. The gardens showcase the artist’s iconic sculptures in a beautiful 70 acre setting and it’s a true privilege to see Moore’s iconic pieces against the landscape that he shaped. | For more info, visit the Henry Moore Foundation’s website here.

Jodi's dad attempting to mimic one of the Henry Moore sculptures

Dorothy’s GOOD news

On Monday, I went to Margate to enjoy the bank holiday sunshine. I loved how old fashioned the town is and the beach was packed full of families, perfect when you're a fan of people watching! I also visited the Turner Contemporary which I have wanted to see for a long time. It is a beautiful building and I loved the Michael Armitage exhibition. Living and working in-between London and Nairobi, Armitage paints with oil on Lubugo, a traditional bark cloth from Uganda. They had a video in the exhibition of them making this canvas which was fascinating to see.

Michael Armitage in the Studio 2017

Sabine’s GOOD news

One word: CARNIVAL.

This year, for the first time ever, I felt genuine low-level anxiety about going to Notting Hill Carnival. Following the harrowing Grenfell Tower tragedy and the recent attacks in Barcelona, this year’s Carnival felt slightly different than usual. That said, I knew it was important to go and to be honest I would’ve never missed it. The good news is that once immersed in the streets of Notting Hill, the atmosphere couldn't have been more positive. Same comedy carnage as ever, but with an added layer of luminous sunshine, more love and much more community spirit.

After a long while of feeling pretty embarrassed to be British, and fearing that London (and the UK at large) is losing its open-mindedness, Notting Hill Carnival was pure unadulterated magic from dawn til dusk. It completely reasserted my love of this city with its rainbow-coloured costumes, massive beats and people from every corner of earth, dancing, hugging, kissing, grinding, singing and celebrating.

That was Carnival and this IS London. And, oh my god, watch the now-predictable, annual dancing-policeman viral, it's pure joy.

This is London for Sabine
Want more GOOD news? See what we were shouting about last week here.

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