Today, I feel sadness. Sadness because of a recent loss in my life. Something I fought like I’ve never fought before, not to lose. But I lost it anyway.
Because of this loss, I now find myself sitting in my little rocking boat, my new home on the Thames. I live here because I, and others fought tooth and nail, yet lost the fight to keep our home. A beautiful, rare community of 18 people, that has existed since the ’70’s, and was the last of its kind. I even wrote a song about the fear of losing it, which you might have heard. We fought so hard and had so many victories along the way. We did so fucking well. But we lost in the end. To the money hungry landlords who will soon be making a lot of money out of the luxury flats they will no doubt build in the place of our home.
On the day I left Islington Park Street Community, I stood on the roof and, feeling totally skinless and exhausted, and putting the landlord out of my mind, said thank you for having had seven precious years of such a beautiful and unusual way of life. Just before I climbed down from the roof and picked up my bags, I took one photo. It was a beautiful morning…
So now I sit on my boat, to the soundtrack of the Thames lapping outside my window. I love living on the water, I couldn’t have asked for a luckier twist of fate when my friend called me about the boat that is now my home …
I am sad because the destruction of the community where I lived feels like an attack on my tribe somehow. Lovers of community. Lovers of creativity. Islington Park Street was also a place which included people with vulnerabilities and frailties, the oldest member having died recently aged 80. This eviction feels like a wound to so many things I believe in.
I feel so sad about what London is becoming.
And grateful for the magic of the water.
Love … Karen x