Pete, Nicola, Lola and Nell love to travel with the lightest of carbon footprints. Here's one way to get to Ethiopia. Post by Nicola (for more of her writing also see http://www.homemadekids.co.uk/)
Bread and coffee are my staples. But if I tweak the ingredients so it's a flat bread - injera - and add a bit of ceremony to the coffee, maybe with frankincense then it's easy to be transported to Ethiopia. It certainly helps if you add in the wonderful music of singer Honey Solomon at the 24th Gillespie Festival (held the 2nd Sunday every September) Ethiopia came to a pocket park in the shadow of Arsenal's football stadium.
The Gillespie Festival is a large fete with a cultural spin that reflects the area's unique mix of peoples. While the stalls are piled with secondhand or homemade creations. There's usually also a fast trade in homecooked or home grown produce (I bought rhubarb and plum tomatoes from the Quill Street Allotments and damson jam from Olden Community Garden's stall). Defying categories - a pedal bike that powered up a fruit smoothie maker being run by Finsbury Park Transition Town.
But the real pleasure of attending Gillespie Festival is its amazing multicultural mix of music and people.
Get up and dance
Honey Solomon specialises in Ethiopian songs - and during her set a tower block version of the flatbread injera was passed around for sharing to everyone in the audience. This bread was delicious tasting (and is ideally eaten with the right hand).
To one side of the stage a coffee ceremony had been set up, beans roasted, frankincense flavoured the air. The hypnotic effect of Honey's music, food and scented smoke soon had the crowd dancing.
Today I was back in this little park walking my dog and there's barely a trace of the Magic Carpet trip the people of London, N4 and N5 took yesterday to Ethiopia. But it's not one I'm likely to forget if I can turn my coffee love into something with more ceremony and less addictive-behaviour.