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BUSHY TALES: DRINK SHOP DO

A glass of wine in one hand and a pot of glue in the other, two sisters-in-law – Daisy Solomons, 72 and Susan Solomons, 73 – get stuck into making a piñata rabbit.

Q. How are you connected to Age UK Islington?
Daisy: I volunteer at Age UK.
Susan: Through Daisy. I’m happy to help. Age UK do a lot of good work. I enjoy singing and painting, the things that take my fancy. .

Q. Were you surprised when you realised you were making a sweet-filled rabbit from paper and glue?
Daisy: No – well I knew it was a papier-mâché activity. We made an Islington rabbit, called Lady Gaga. It’s a searing statement on inequality in today’s society wrought in papier-mâché, a 3D take on the classic collage.
Susan: [laughs] I thought that was well within my abilities – it’s just papier-mâché covering a balloon, but we couldn’t get it to stick very well..

Q. What’s been your best craft project ever? Do you still use it?
Daisy: Probably knitting – I’ve recently come back to it. I knit woolly hats for the family. I haven’t ventured into bobbles yet but my granddaughter made a wonderful set of pompoms for Christmas.
Susan: [laughs] I paint animals, people, anything that comes into view – at the moment I’m trying to use pastels. I may scan them and turn them into Christmas cards..

Q. Who was the best making your piñata?
Daisy: Very early on I recognised Sue’s superior craftswoman-making skills. I soon adapted to the supporting role, holding the paste pot, making suggestions and obeying instructions. I fell into a support role very easily.
Susan: [laughs] I had done it many years ago with my children, I didn’t expect to do it now though! It’s important to use your hands creatively, very self-satisfying..

Q. What did you most enjoy about the Drink Shop Do class?
Daisy: The wine… and the music was good.
Susan: [laughs] I didn’t realise it would be so enjoyable creating something out of nothing. You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to enjoy it! It’s not only older people it’s young people as well here. Our rabbit wasn’t particularly good, but we did put a sailor’s hat on top..

Q. Would you recommend doing something here to anyone else?
Daisy: Yes. Drink Shop Do is the kind of the place where you wouldn’t quite know what was going to happen! Perfect for the number 17 bus.
Susan: Yes come out, get out of that house or flat! Lots of older people in London are very lonely. If you come here you are bound to get talking to someone..

Q. When do you think you’ll make your next piñata?
Daisy: Sometime this summer I might do something similar with a balloon with my younger grandchildren.
Susan: [laughs] Might do it for a friend of a special age, or possibly Daisy’s next birthday to remind her of today. I might be better doing the second. I love to do things for charity, quite likely I’ll go and do one for Age UK Islington – if she asks – or maybe Diabetes UK..

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