Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ning Nang Nong

Yesterday, the Greenacre Writers held a walk with a difference - The Walking Writer Workshop. Organised by myself on a donation basis to fund my PhD.

Writers at Finchley Golf Club for refreshments
A walk from West Finchley along Dollis Brook and up to Swan Lane Open Open Space. Along the way we stopped for readings and writing, advice and reflection. We turned off mobile phones and had periods of silence where we listened to the breeze in the trees and concentrated on the senses. Luckily there was no sound of rain. (I packed two umbrella's just in case) Mike, our walking guide and local knowledge guru organised a short break at the splendid Nether Court House, home of Finchley Golf Club, for refreshments and writing.

After our break we continued along the brook. There is a new cycle path that has been laid running alongside the Finchley Lawn Tennis Club (although the lawn disappeared years ago), and some of us continued the walk along here. Unfortunately the path isn't quite finished yet. The bridge to the other side has not been built yet so we crossed the brook via stepping stones across the water. 
We continued (a little late after our detour) stopping opposite where Spike Milligan used to live. Zaahiri, delightful daughter of Murni, one of the Greenacre Writers, read one of Spike's poems.

On the Ning Nang Nong

Where the Cows go Bong! 
and the monkeys all say BOO! 
There's a Nong Nang Ning 
Where the trees go Ping! 
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo. 
On the Nong Ning Nang 
All the mice go Clang 
And you just can't catch 'em when they do! 
So its Ning Nang Nong 
Cows go Bong! 
Nong Nang Ning 
Trees go ping 
Nong Ning Nang 
The mice go Clang 
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Lunch was at the lovely Redwood Cafe in the Swan Lane Open Space where delights such as venison stew or beetroot and goat's cheese toasted sandwiches were followed by delicious courgette and lime cake or healthy portions of carrot cake.
Mark, Irving, Zaahiri, Mike, Zaki, Murni & Charlotte

After lunch we had another treat when Zaki, Murni's son, read what he had written earlier at the golf club:
"I flew to the peak of the evergreen tree, the tree that waved to me every day. Whilst the tree waved the wind would whistle the tube larks liked to sing. The reflections in the water would dance like the humans did: soft, smooth and steady.

The mellow sound of the wilderness and the crunching of gravel by other forest animals made music in my ears. Rhythmic tapping of my woodpecker friends and vibrant colours of humming birds seemed to create a harmony amongst the animals."

What an amazing piece of writing at such a young age. 

Mike organises walks for the Finchley Society. If you fancy joining us, you can find the details  of the latest walk here. We're hoping that some writers will come along and produce some poems or prose on the walk and read the results at Oakhill Park, the final destination where we finish for tea and cake.