Chalk the Walk part 2

The chalk art keeps appearing on Wray Avenue, which is amazing!

Yesterday I noticed this when I got home from work:

"You Look Fantastic!"

The street looks fantastic! They’re fantastic! Keep it up!

Yoga Wrayurveda!

Last night I did one of the things that’s been on my to-do list for so long it has been gathering cobwebs: I went to a yoga class.

The end of year stress has been tightening my shoulders and traps so much that I’ve been in a real slump. I’ve always known yoga would be beneficial for this kind of thing and a whole lot more besides, including helping some general back problems that I have.

The Yogaveda Wellness Centre has been a yoga studio next to the Brown Cow Designs office beside Moondyne Joe’s for a while. When I went past the other day I picked up a timetable and made up my mind to go early Tuesday morning before work. That didn’t work out so I planned to make the afternoon session instead. That also didn’t work out but I new I had to preservere with my plan or yoga would go back to gathering dust and spider webs on my list.

I made the difficult decision to skip the South City Precinct meeting (where a couple of Wray Avenue matters we on the agenda) and take care of myself. I wasn’t disappointed.

I went to a beginner’s session run by Mimi (the usual instructor is Nikki Leaf but she was away in India). Mimi was very welcoming and extremely considerate of my lack of experience. She helped explain and model each of the positions from the session and guided me through achieving the correct form or modifying it to suit my embarrassing lack of flexibility.

The centre itself looks simple but clean and inviting. I’m not sure whether the aesthetic – polished floorboards and exposed brick – would appeal to hardcore yoga practitioners but I felt at ease and comfortable in the space.

The session cost $17 but you can reduce it to $15 if you pay up front for 10 sessions. All equipment is provided, including mats, rugs, cushions, blocks and straps.

As far as my back was concerned, I probably got a better outcome from this session than acupuncture or massage which costs considerably more. I’m really looking forward to my next session and, when I’m back from my summer holiday, will be purchasing a 10 session ticket!

Chalk the walk

I’ve had an idea for brightening up Wray Avenue for some time. It’s about building community, beautifying the street and reclaiming our public space as something we engage and interact with every day. I decided to try it out on the first weekend of this summer, to celebrate the sunny season.

I bought enough chalk to give to nearly every house and business on Wray Avenue between the traffic lights and the roundabout. I placed one in every letterbox with the following letter:

Happy Summer neighbour!

To celebrate the first weekend of summer on our lovely avenue, I had the idea of making it more beautiful than it already is with a series of chalk drawings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to reclaim our public space and make the footpaths a sea of colour and creativity!

We get so much foot traffic on our avenue but often all we see and hear are the cars, trucks and buses, people travelling through it. How amazing would it be to step outside and see our avenue blooming with colour and a sense of community!

To help achieve this, I give you the gift of a single coloured stick of chalk and ask that you draw a picture or write a message from your heart on the path in front of your house. 

Your neighbours have been given a different colour, so why not take this opportunity to introduce yourself and swap to expand your knowledge of your neighbours.

How special would Saturday be if everyone in our street was out in the morning, talking to each other and creating a mural along the pathways for pedestrians to enjoy for the rest of the weekend!

Please take time to be involved and share in this celebration of summer on Fremantle’s only avenue!

Your friendly neighbour

I put these into letterboxes on Thursday night after the first Cappuccino Strip Street Party of the summer with Emma, partly inspired by this event’s success in connecting community.

Along the way we met some of my neighbours who I didn’t yet know. They were really encouraging of the idea, which I was quite nervous about. Later, Tim from Replants even made me lay down on the road while he drew my outline with chalk. I was having fun!

On Friday night I noticed that Trish from Madame Bukeshla had decorated her front step with a chalky welcome mat and a message saying, “Let the light shine in, let the love sine out.”

I was ecstatic! People were starting to do it, get out on the street and reclaim their public space.

Saturday was even better when I went out to do my laundry and saw that Laura and Daniel (whom I later met as a result of this project) had drawn an amazing picture of tea drinkers with the caption, “Pleased to meet you!”

Further down by Attfield Street, some people had also been out early, drawing a wet dog with the caption, “Life’s a beach and then you dry!”

I went out several times during the day and saw these chalk drawings appearing, pedestrians interacting with them and neighbours talking to each other more than I’d ever seen.

My favourite story of the day was of an elderly man whose grandchildren had come over and he’d gone from house to house trying to track down more chalk for them to play with on the footpath.

The entire idea was inspired by some children whose earlier chalk drawings I had blogged about here. They also got out later in the day and did some amazingly colourful pictures.

Here’s some of the day’s highlights:

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I count it all as a real success and I look forward to facilitating this celebration again next year!