Festival of Life, Red Lion Square 25th September 2010. I round the corner at Euston to find hidden among the tall, grey concrete and glass, a small park bustling with life. Long hair and hemp clothing was the prominent attire of rich earthy colours. A lady sat in the centre singing beautiful Celtic folk music of a sorts that seemed to have not been heard for hundreds of years. Stalls were being set up selling raw foods, and carved goods. To the corner of the park a small building held clusters of people queuing to gain entry, and once inside yet more life was bustling away, more stalls of good foods, soaps, incense and much more. Lists of talks in several different rooms were on the wall, interesting topics addressed by equally interesting people were continually being given through out the day in little pockets of the building.
Back outside I find my friend whom I’m here to help, we construct a traditional apple press consisting of two parts - a mangle and the press. Parents were happy to offload their children onto us while they went to explore the fair. We got them chopping up the apples and passing them through the mangle (a health and safety nightmare, but no fingers were lost that afternoon). Once we’d collected enough pulp we transferred it into the press, round and round with the handle tightening the press and squeezing out all the juice into a bucket. Producing apple juice like I’d never tasted dark in colour, full in flavour. The kids drank it down. It was great for them to see how apple juice is made and how easy it is; they were round us all day getting their hands dirty. The laughter and the smiles on everyone’s faces and the music was such a pleasure it made me forget for the day that I was in London, rather in this small island of potential and joy. Courtesy of Bayly.