Five minutes with…Suzanne Williams

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After a year of travelling around Spanish villages, Suzanne has discovered a similar community spirit in her native Tottenham.


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Suzanne Williams has just returned to Tottenham after a year travelling around eco-villages and organic farms in Spain.

Having grown up just off Lordship Lane, she is delighted to see that the community spirit she found in those small Spanish villages can easily be found here in Tottenham as well.

Suzanne has been writing for about a year but has always had a fascination with storytelling and social activism. When she has time off from her job as a support worker she enjoys gardening, writing her blog and sitting in coffee shops reading weird novels.

Suzy Williams
Suzanne Williams

How long have you lived/worked in Tottenham and why?
I am a born and bred Tottenham gal – well, actually I’m a born and bred Wood Green gal, but technically I live in the Tottenham constituency.

My family has lived in this area for over 100 years and I come from a long line of smiths who were still blacksmithing in Tottenham until the 1960s. I moved away for some time and lived in Bristol but have recently returned to my childhood home.

When were you happiest?
Recently, in a camp at the end of a long solo hike on the Island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.

It was up a huge mountain and when I arrived, I was greeted by a pine forest and a rushing river surrounded by ancient volcanic peaks. I had to crawl around on my hands and knees for the first hour as my feet hurt so much.

But watching the sunset and listening to the river made me very happy.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
I love the smell of jasmine flowers in summer.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Judging myself and others is a game that I can choose not to play.

What is your earliest memory?
I have a lot of tactile memories – like I can remember what it feels like to have someone hold my legs in the air and clean me, or awkwardly put a cardigan on for me – but my earliest proper memory is of walking down a London street with my mum on a sunny day when I was about 18 months old.

What makes you unhappy?
Politics.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Having the time to do things that I think are important.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I’ve got a lovely patch of psoriasis behind my right ear that I like to pick. It comes off in big satisfying flakes which I then flick at people.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Coffee and Come Dine With Me.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Addiction. It’s an evil entity that can sneak up on anyone and doesn’t know when it’s outstayed its welcome.

What is your favourite part/nook or cranny of Tottenham?
Lordship Rec. It’s a bit of wilderness that I can escape to when city life gets a bit too much.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“Nine out of ten for effort, one out of ten for effectiveness.”

Tell us a secret.
This is really a dream…

What is your favourite dish and why?
At the moment my favourite dish is kale that I get from my Crop Drop veg box, fried in lots of coconut oil with garlic, cracked pepper and Himalayan pink salt.

What did you do today?
I had epilepsy training for my job as a support worker, then bought a jumper, cardigan and pair of jeans for £9 in a second-hand shop in Archway and ended the day hugging a tree in Finsbury Park.

Describe yourself as an animal.
A goofy but curious rabbit.

Describe a good day or night out in Tottenham?
Doing some volunteering at the Hub Café, followed by a quick chat with the ducks before going to Bruce Castle to wander around the museum and look at old things.

Image by André Ainsworth

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