January 16, 2009

Thursday 15th January

Happy New Year from Ice Breakers at Energy Cafe!


The last weeks have been spent acclimatising to the freeze and planning ‘ The winter season at Energy Cafe’.


New crew member ‘Amanda’ starts drawing up the winter calendar that runs from January 6th until the first day of spring which is March 21st (Spring Equinox).


and we start a brainstorming chart, a visual diagram of ideas generated so far, of the people involved during the first two weeks under collective construction, of further links and connections we hope to make, wish lists of what we hope to achieve by the spring and the continual research both locally and further afield.

a reminder about planning

‘Energy Cafe turns normal planning procedures on its head’ . Our approach has been evolving naturally, taking time to form and take shape , composed of many connecting parts, it is no ordinary cafe in the making, but one that we hope re-invigorates the feeling of commons…


of belonging to everyone involved in bringing Energy Cafe to life.


Where co-operation between humans and respect for the environment are co-dependent factors. Traditional ways and new ideas and inventions are all welcome here. “This land is for everyone” as the Abyssinians sing.

Its been a time of meeting people who work or live locally…

A meeting with Paul Roper, Lee Valley Park Projects Manager provided us with a greater sense of the ethos behind Gunpowder Park. His passion for the outdoors was sparked by Energy Cafe “its never the wrong weather, its always the wrong clothes!” And on a professional front he could clearly see the value in relation to the Lee Valley Park Authority’s main agendas. 1: Gathering feedback from local residents about how they use the park and general ideas for its continual shaping. 2: Statistical info on ‘park users’ – age range etc. 3: Popularity – i.e. how many people get involved or show interest in Energy Cafe.

Paul – a keen ornothologist, also told how Canadian Geese (that have been our reliant daily clocks – as seven fly over the site at precisely 4pm) are generally considered pests in public spaces and every attempt is being made to curb their growing population…an act that some consider controversial: www.canadagoose.org.uk


and he identified that occupying the area are also a number of Snipe. Apparently dawn or dusk is the best time to study their distinct characteristics.


A visit from Park Patrol; David and Paul who wanted to find out more about Energy Cafe as the rumours have been spreading…that cups of tea and all day breakfasts may be on the horizon!


Over a Field Station indoor cuppa, they expressed full support of Energy Cafe, we talked about how Gunpowder Park could be a perfect location for researching and demonstrating off grid energy production throughout the seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. They gave us some great tips on contacting schools in the area, on running workshops, as well as pointing out local farms along the crooked mile. They even suggested where we might find a spare caravan or two.

Energy Cafe is hitting the Town! Thanks to Kate who invited us to give a presentation at a press meeting at Afinity House, Waltham Abbey.


Pictured above from left to right: Kim: TWP web development, Internet marketing; Martin: reporter for the Local Mercury Newspaper; Kate: site editor ‘About my Area, EN9′ website’; Richard: Waltham Abbey church; Edmund: reporter for the Local Guardian Newspaper/ Epping Forest; Amy: Energy Cafe and Maggie: Treasurer of Waltham Abbey Town Partnership…not depicted but present in the meeting was Norma, Chair of Waltham Abbey Town Partnership and Ella: Energy Cafe.

Great to meet everyone, Lots of ideas and suggestions thrown up during the meeting, Maggie seemed to think this would put Waltham Abbey on the map; ‘oh its definitely going to International!’….in the meantime let’s see what the local press have to say about it.

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