Days in and around Folkestone Gardens start early. Before six the first commuters are on their way to work, a bit later joggers run their rounds on the way to Deptford Park and cyclists are cycling into town.
FESTA opens at eight. We have a Tai Chi group outside and people come in for a morning coffee. Kids go to school, the smaller ones with their parents. People are on their way to work in the nearby offices and light industrial units. Mid morning builders from the nearby construction sites come over for a quick coffee and local business folk hold a meeting. Mothers come with their toddlers catching up after having spent time in the playground. On the weekends locals have a leisurely breakfast. The first skate boarders draw their rounds in the skatepark. A handful of people sit with their laptops and work.
Lunch is for everybody and on Sundays there is a bit more time for it. A couple of ladies sit on a bench and their dogs sleep on the sunny warm pavement. Business neighbours are discussing a new business deal over a glass of wine. Children fetch ice cream. On Saturday a group sets off for a history tour of shipyards, sailors and pirates around Deptford. A boy’s parents organised a little party in the playground for his fifth birthday and fetch some drinks and sandwiches.
Office workers come in for an early dinner, families and friends meet for a drink and meal in the evening. The lady from down the road celebrates her 70th birthday party on Friday evening. Family, friends and neighbours have come. Groups of people come after their fitness classes or playing football in Deptford Park around the corner. A community group holds their quarterly meeting. In the summer weeks the skatepark is busy until after ten in the evening. A local charity celebrates its Christmas party on an evening in December. On Saturday evening will be Christmas carols in support of a local project.
FESTA closes at ten in the evening and the last guests go home.