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Market Estate Day 7: So many pants. A near move & delicious foods.

Posted: February 25th, 2010

Life stays exciting here at Market Estate.

We started the day by hitting the full row of charity shops in Camden, looking for performance outfits. Mary tried on so many pants she could no longer stand. We finally found something that fit, and then made our way to the hardware store to buy work clothes. We found out English jumpsuits sport very tightly cinched waists. How that is manly or tough, we do not know. Mary skipped the jumpsuit and went for the neon rain pants. We got dressed in our new duds and headed under the building to work.

And work we did. We amassed a huge pile of objects for our video, part one of which we plan to shoot tomorrow. We lifted tires, furniture, old clothes, suitcases, toys, among other things. Blithe accidentally grabbed something really really gross lurking in the dark. Fortunately it was hard and old (we’ll let your imagination fill in the rest).

We asked Gadi about some necessary electricity and saws to complete our idea. He is very willing to help us do things that are logistically a stretch. This spirit is so nice to work with as it allows us to take our ideas to a level of detail that we wouldn’t otherwise.

Early evening we made our way back to our flat to be greeted by our resident teens who reminded us that they are the true owners of these buildings and we are the squatters. They have become more present recently and seem agitated by the activity that’s happening. In response the organizers have decided to “absorb” their actions, rather then try to run them off the Estate or call the police (previous tactics). There is some concern that they will continue to bother us, so we may end up moving out of our flat to another spot in the Estate. While nobody thinks the kids are a real threat, there is a fear of their unpredictability or what they may do. This is also interesting to us, since this kind of fear seems to be a persistent condition described by neighbors and previous tenants. Moving isn’t exactly desirable, but may be the most practical. We will know more in the next day or so.

We ended the evening with a delicious home cooked meal by Laura and Matthew, volunteers for the project who we met our first day here during our outdoor tea. After reading our blog and seeing our space heater, they reached out with some much appreciated hospitality. Laura has studied city planning in London and offered a range of perspectives about the Estate system London and the idea of socialized housing in general. Matthew gave us an overview of city government and how politics changed under Margaret Thatcher. We ate Indian food and peach cobbler. It was wonderful to feel so welcomed and we are so pleased with our new friends.

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