Camberwell 2007

Happy New Year to all readers (who conform to the Gregorian calendar)!

NYE was a three stage affair for wife and me: first a curry at the Khyber Indian restaurant in Stockwell; it doesn’t look like much from outside (or inside, for that matter), but the food was great. After that we went to a party at a friend of a friend’s house; we didn’t know beforehand that it was a party for the friends of Dorothy, so we felt a little out of place, but the hosts were very welcoming and their back garden afforded a nice clear view of the London Eye and the firework extravaganza.

Shortly after midnight we jumped on a bus back to Camberwell and dropped into the Sun & Doves to finish the night off; the place was still pretty full at 1am and there was lots of good music and frivolity. I believe the expression that the young people use is that it was “off the hook”.

A couple of news items: Carmen Lindsay, founder of the Camberwell After School Project (CASP), has been awarded an MBE; and a new scheme being trialled in Camberwell will allow community organisations to tell the court what projects they think criminal offenders who have been sentenced to community service should work on.

So what do we have to look forward to in 2007? Of most interest to me is the opening of the refurbished (and renamed) Church Street Hotel and Angels & Gypsies tapas restaurant / cerveccaria. I enjoyed the food there when it was Viva Espana, and I’m curious to know if it will be as good (or better) in its new incarnation.

Then there’s the transformation of BRB/The Grove into a Young’s pub; I’d imagine that it will keep the same name. No more pizza, but a more traditional menu instead.

I’ve a feeling that the Mary Datchelor development will be given the go‐ahead this year, although I’ve no idea of how long it will be until we see a final result.

I’d love it if someone would open a Japanese restaurant here, but that’s just me being selfish. Oh, and a decent butcher or delicatessen wouldn’t go amiss. And a bookshop.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

95 thoughts on “Camberwell 2007”

  1. The Flying Fish on Camberwell Church Street is excellent.

    The owner seems to have been significantly influenced by Sea Cow (posh chippies found in Clapham and East Dulwich.)

    There is a deli style counter offering a range of different fish types for frying and everything is smartly decked out and clean.

    My friend’s parents are from Grimsby and consequently will not eat cod. No‐one in that area eats cod as it is considered to be a dirty, bottom dwelling, wormy fish and I suppose they should know.

    He said he went to the Flying Fish and specifically advance ordered Haddock. The staff were really helpful and the fish was delicious.

    You’ll not get a better endorsement of a local independent business. My only concern is that is not receiving the popular support it deserves so please give it a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

  2. It’s been almost a year since I last went to the Flying Fish. I thought the food was very good from there, but I don’t eat fish & chips very often.

  3. I’ve never been either but have likewise heard glowing reports from several people. I heard that they also act as fishmonger — you can buy fresh fish direct from them. I don’t know if that’s true. If it is then people who want more independents should know and could support that way.

  4. Happy New Year, and thanks for keeping up the blog and doing a fantastic job. Thought I’d add my tuppence to the Great Debate about the Future of Camberwell and some sense, albeit temporary, of New Year enthusiasm decided I should do it now.

    I’ve lived here for 7 years and have seen, even on the road I live on, subtle but remarkable changes to the character of the place and I welcome that change. I was under no illusion about colourful edgy Camberwell when I moved here, and like many of your correspondents, enjoy it for its colour and sharp edges. Nevertheless, in what appears now to be known as the Camberwell vs. East Dulwich debate, we need to welcome change and inward investment and be careful not to dig in our heels and blindly cherish all the other bullshit that is part of our lot; drugs, streetcrime, filth and gunfire. No amount of fondness for the area overcomes how I felt when visitors to my house could not get into my street because the police had roped it off — a young teenager had shot at our local officer with a homemade gun. It takes a stern resolve to love an area when the yellow police plaques lining Camberwell Road are a constant reminder of the fear and death that people have to live with.

    So perhaps the answer is not to aim to be the next Clapham East (hurray!) but let’s not dismiss any progress.

    I too don’t fancy meeting a fleet of wealthy mums wheeling their little Locanda’s down a parade of chi‐chi(?) gift shops, but I would love if I could say it was safe enough for all mums to do that. Even after dark.

    I don’t want a bland characterless urban‐centre of Starbucks and Foxtons, but does every new vacant shop really need to be a late‐opening off‐license or a nail clinic? Where have all the butchers, bakers and tasty‐stuff makers got to?

    I do want — horror of horrors — more homeowners to be attracted to, and spend in, the area. A visible inward investment will bring the small businesses in tow. God forbid that the injection of a some private wealth should be seen as alarming.

    I do want the Elephant torn down, the Walworth/Camberwell Road redevelopment completed and Southwark council to keep using those Polish lads who did such a good job on the footpaths round our way.

    I want to keep the Sun & Doves little German sausages and jazz in the Summer, Frulli ‘strawberry breakfast’ beer in the Phoenix, the excellent cycles lanes from North Camberwell to Peckham, Su‐Thai, the 24‐hr Turkish shop on Walworth Road, Burgess Park, Chris and Mark’s Dark Horse and the excellent grown‐up pricy cocktails, the students (really), the old Georgian houses, the £10 pound‐drunk taxi ride from anywhere and all the cool places a stone’s throw away in Bermondsey, Peckham, Brixton, London Bridge and Waterloo.

    But I want all of this and much more. I want the default choice for a night‐out for my North London friends to be Camberwell not Clerkenwell. I want Borough Market and East Street market. I want to live next to someone who doesn’t dump his mattresses/fridge/wardrobe under the railway bridge.

    I’ll put a few quid up for the challenge, and will try to put a few quid into as many and as varied local businesses as I can. That’s as good as my plan gets.

    Happy New Year.

    R.

    P.S. There was a huge queue outside the Post Office at 8.30 this morning, and none of the little old ladies had parcels…

  5. Nice post, Rosy — thanks! :o)

    I want #sniff# Wordsworth back.
    Sorry to open up an old wound/state the obvious.

  6. Peter — I’d love to open a Delicatesen/Bakery, it remains a long standing ambition of mine and I’d love to do it in Camberwell but unfortunately the rents are far too high at this moment in time and I may have to look East instead…West Ham probably…

  7. Flying Fish is great, a really wide selection, without the prices of the aforementioned East Dulwich SeaCow. as for Angels and Gypsies does anyone know when it will open? Feliz Ano Nuevo, Bonne Annee etc

  8. £10 taxi ride to Camberwell? I had to abandon ship yesterday as my cab was £33 from Paddington to Victoria! Happy New Year!

  9. Hi,

    Totally off subject but.…. my new year’s resolution is to seriously consider getting rid of the car so I’ve been looking into alternatives and the best one I’ve found is the Streetcar car sharing scheme (http://www.streetcar.co.uk) but lo and behold they don’t have one in SE5 at all! When you look at the map there is a huge gap between East Dulwich and South Bermondsey.… typically we’ve been totally wiped off the map of London again!
    I’ve asked them if they’ve got any plans to put one in the area (being self interested I’ve asked for the Camberwell Grove area!) but I just wondered if anyone else would be interested in such a scheme and if so would anyone want to email them and support my assertion that it would be well used!

    I’ll try and post this on the SE5 forum too.

    Thanks!

    Rhian

  10. Eusebiovic — the rents are not that high outside Camberwell Green, where they are truly ridiculous. I have a couple of ideas if you are set up and ready to go. One of the advantages of Camberwell is that it is not Philadelphia; citizens are sprightly and will walk 10 minutes for quality.

    There is also a reasonably local deli whose owner is emigrating who will sell or rent his leasehold interest. Send me a message at the Forum if you want to know more.

    Whoever does open a quality deli/bakery/cafe here will make a killing, particularly if Southwark finally sorts out its parking priorities and stops discriminating against local businesses.

  11. I would walk 15 minutes for a good deli, no problem. Beats cycling to a deli, which is what I have to do at the moment. But the key to a good deli is the right products at the right prices — the East Dulwich Deli is great but I find a tad overpriced — is this reflective of the rents paid or the local clientele?

  12. Richie — Lordship Lane has a comparatively recent reputation as a quality shopping destination, which enables it to charge higher prices. It is helped by the abundance of free visitor parking in side streets. This, together with affluent residents (we actually have more here, though), enables a quality business to thrive.

    Here in Camberwell we are beset with resident permit CPZs with only a few pay spaces — hardly calculated to attract custom. This is our main problem, and it’s what is killing off Walworth Road/Camberwell Road right now. At the Forum, we are in discussions with Southwark. If you feel strongly, contact Tim Walker of Southwark Parking.

    I think that particular Deli’s prices are too high — why don’t you try the one on the corner of Brixton Road and Prima Road near Oval? He has fresh vegetables artichokes & sun dried tomatoes, fresh anchovies, ciabatta, an incredible selection of quality pasta and sauces, and incredible fennel or chive sausages.

  13. I’ll second or third any votes for flying fish — it’s excellent.
    I’d love a decent butcher in Camberwell — and if the queues outside the one on East Dulwich (40 mins) just before Christmas are anything to go by, then I’m sure the rules of supply and demand would support one.

  14. Happy New Year everyone.

    Me and my girlfriend (a Camberwell Taffy and Camberwell Kiwi) are hoping to put our money where our mouths are and move from the world’s smallest flat to the world’s smallest house in the near future. Both are in Camberwell, and after 5 years here I’m going to stick around and do my bit. This is largely due to the creation of the Forum and the critical mass of people who care about SE5 — I can’t bear the thought of missing Camberwell finally coming good!

    The seemingly abandoned properties at the bottom of Grove Lane (between the Dark Horse and Seymour’s) would be good for a deli…

  15. P.S. I too rate the Flying Fish, and appreciate the effort they’ve made. Did have my doubts at the beginning when they spelt “scallops” wrongly in the window, but my doubts proved unfounded. Just wish their chips were a wee bit fatter 🙂

  16. Regeneguru, a couple of questions. When you say you are ‘in discussions with the Council’, do you mean serious negotiations or have you as an individual, like a lot of people, just spoken to Tim about the issue of CPZ’s? If the Forum is now in full‐scale discussions, what do you stand for? I’ve yet to read what your views are on things like this. I think it unfair to start making claims that are supported by the SE5 Forum when the majority of us who have signed our names when attending sessions don’t really have a clue as to the Forum’s aims.

    To be frank, all I see is the Forum has been going a while now and has done a lot of talking and gotten some money but has yet to really do anything to change Camberwell. You made one failed deputation on one property, which I still don’t know why it was such a priority. And I’m not sure your deputation represents my views because there is no fundamental statement of what signing up to the Forum means I’m signing up to.

    Perhaps this is a better discussion to continue on the Forum website.

  17. I had a really bad fish and chips at the Flying Fish and was put off going there afterwards – the fish was overcooked and disintergrated on my plate into tiny flavourless flakes. But after reading everyone’s glowing reviews, I am willing to forgive them and give it another try.

    There is a very good fish and chips in Herne Hill called Olleys, if any one is ever over that way. It’s just opposite Brockwell Park.

  18. Thanks for the advice regeneguru, I’ll give that one a shot.

    There was a consultative paper put through my door a while back to make my road (Dagmar Road) a CPZ. However, this was after a lot of pressure on thecouncil from the residents association. Residents were fed up with commuters parking on the road, making it difficult for them to find a space for themselves. I attended the residents association meeting where there were a lot of angry people,but I voted against a CPZ, as I am not a car owner, but from time to time hire or borrow a car and CPZs make it a living nightmare to park even outside your own home.

    I wonder how many of Camberwell’s CPZs are down to resident pressure or whether councils like putting them in in order to raise revenue.

  19. David — you raise valid points.

    The SE5 Forum website is due to be updated with the Forum’s aims, which were finalised in early December following the General Meeting.

    I have personally been in correspondence with Southwark Regeneration and Parking, and we will be meeting in February to discuss what is possible. It is important to know this before making unrealistic demands.

    I believe that by that time the Forum Website will have a section for voting on local issues, which is a way we could consult on the extent to which residents are willing to abandon their cars to attract outside custom.

    The deputation on Crawford Road was an unequivocal failure, you are correct in my view. It did however raise the profile of the Forum, and identify two significant issues; SE5’s proportion of the Southwark Capital Fund, and the halving of retail space in SE5 since 1996.

    I can’t comment on the public money situation on behalf of the Forum except to say that I have not received any, and will not accept any.

    Richie — the solution to commuter parking is free short stay parking, through a CPZ, 20 minutes to 2 hours as appropriate to the area. Ironically, this could raise more revenue through penalties than pay parking.

  20. I’d be an absolutely massive fan of a good deli somewhere round the Green. I love the one up at Oval, but I don’t have a car and live near the Arts College so it’s a bit of a traipse.

    I shall have to try Mr Sparkes, although a good fishmonger in Camberwell or E Dulwich (like the one in Nunhead) would be a big bonus too.

  21. The Dagmar family have just got back from their native Cornwall. Camberwell looks a bit grim and grey at night in January.

    Who was it who described Camberwell as “crunchy”? A sort of cross between edgy, funky and crappy.

    What lets it down are the schools. There’s one good primary, as far as I can see, unless you want your kid dumbed down to drooling status.

    East Dulwich lacks the bite, crunch and edge of Camberwell but all the schools, even Goose Green, are good, nice and mixed, rainbowy, all that.

    There is no more boring topic, until the condom tears, a new life appears in King’s, and the provincial parents remember their own good‐enough schooling far from London.

  22. Yes, Dagmar, Camberwell is blessed with hospitals. My two daughters were excellentlily delivered in King’s and I myself have a letter from a Camberwell Green GP Practice doctor referring me to the Maudsley Emergency Clinic for treatment for severe paranoia following an accidental overdose of speed several years ago. I didn’t attend. In fact I think that letter is in a book which I have lent to my elderly mother or some impressionable teenage child of one of my friends.

    I am concerned about Henry. Christmas is always a difficult time for such highly strung blue‐bloods.

  23. For what it’s worth the three or so boarded up shops at the bottom of Grove Lane are owned by Southwark but on lease to someone who has not done anything with them.

    *sigh*

  24. There is perhaps a case for compulsory purchase of the leases by Southwark in the public interest, at the market rate for boarded up shops whose goodwill has dissipated.

  25. Lorn Mayers, black 6′3″ best British player in American football, shot on New Year’s Eve in the Elbow Room Club, Islington, still critical. His name into BBC website search finds the story. Big bloke, small club.

    My trip to Peckham yesterday was a huge success even though half the trip was missing. Peckham Library had a 10p book sale in the foyer. That library and its concourse could be in Europe. The Scope charity shop had some art books withdrawn from Central St Martin’s library. I bought one for 50p, Basil Alkazzi, brilliant.

    Felt so happy, went 30p over budget at Lidl:

    1kg small spuds 79p
    1 litre foam bath 48p
    1 bottle red Bordeaux £2.64
    Camembert “Silver Oak” 69p
    Sardines in olive oil 49p
    Baked Beans 18p
    Carrier bag 3p

    TOTAL £5.30

    The little spuds are “Annabelle” and grown in the UK. The “Sunny Glade” brand baked beans are not brilliant, but very beany therefore fine with dash of Lea & Perrins. They are “made in the EU” for the German Lidl. They don’t say “German Baked Beans”, I suspect, because no‐one over 50 in the UK would buy ‘em. The Bordeaux is not bulked up with rough Cabernet Franc, just has Cab & Merlot and at 12.5% is excellent value. The Camembert is good, 45% “matiere grasse” — fatty matter.

    Lidl UK GmBH has two addresses: 19 Worple Road SW19 and Crabtree Manorway North, Belvedere, Kent. Sinister.

    Anyway, the Dagmar family could eat and drink once more. Woman to man in Lidl: “Of course they do, they sell brown bread in Lagos now, it’s better for you.”

    Ran out of time to repeat visit to SLG to see video art and go to Hermits Cave for 6.15pm pint, but bathed baby drinking £2.64 Bordeaux.

    Many real butchers in Peckham, amazing range of meat, no queue of metrosexuals outside like in East Dullwich. Peckham town centre is great these days, much better feel than Camberwell.

  26. I was thinking that once the Mary Datchelor has been re‐developed, the old estate agents now ‘youth workers?’ on the corner of Camberwell Church St & the Grove would make an excellent spot for a deli.. Change the ugly ‘cube bar’ opposite to a buzzy, independent, arty cafe and the area really will be improving.

  27. I’d like to put in a word for Paul’s (aka The Olive Shop) in Church Street. Their dips are delicious — fresh, authentic and — if I’m not mistaken — made on the premises. Try the taramosalata …

  28. Try Nick Edwards in Vanguard Court. He is primarily a framer, but he can sort you out. He is framer to top galleries and corporations, first‐rate work, decent price. Nearby on Shenley Road there is pink blossom growing on a tree, amazing for the first week of January.

    From the Library you can see a big bright sign in the dark for PECKHAM SPA. This should be SPARES

    The Lidl in Peckham is like the Feeding of the Five Thousand in the Bible, or the Tardis in Doctor Who. I went there today to really splash out and still it was just over a fiver:

    Plum tomatoes 13p (chopped are 15p)
    Butterbeans (“Fagioli”) 29p
    Golden Syrup (big 907g tin) £1.13
    Tomato puree x 2, 50p
    Jalfrezi sauce 69p
    Cotes du Rhone £2.79
    Carrier bag 3p

    TOTAL: £5.56

    Watched the video in the SLG all the way through. Bit pretentious at the end, but that’s to the good, edgy, crunchy.

    The Spar at the petrol station had ingots of Xmas‐themed Yorkie, 300g for £1, down from £2.49, so I bought the lot, 6 ingots, because I’ve packed in smoking and taken up obsessive compulsive disorder instead. OCD, to be precise.

  29. The Peckham Lidl drink department contains many mysteries. There is a whisky called “Queen Margot”. Has anyone heard of a Scottish Queen Margot?

    The £2.64 Bordeaux is “Mis en bouteille dans nos chais”, blended in our wine storehouses, but the cork is a solid cork, not compressed cork chips, which is class.

    The Degustation (tasting) notes on the Cotes du Rhones are almost too small to read, but they say that “Red fruit can be smelled through its fairly intense nose.” The grape varieties used are Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvedre i.e. all the rough grape varieties of the south, every single one of them, so is full of anti‐oxidants, “thee wine will prevent you from rusting”. It ought to be made available on drip at King’s.

  30. Carole: I’m also a massive fan of the Olive Shop. They have great quality feta by weight and fantastic bergamot Loukoumia (Turkish Delight) — sweet but not too much so, which is rare (Aphrodite brand — nice box too).

    Dagmar: Good tip about the Lidl, I didn’t realise there was one so close and I’ve almost run out of coffee. I’m also seeing quite a few freaked out trees bearing blossom on my cycles to town, and all the bulbs are advancing speedily with their sprouty bits. I’m just waiting for the suddent cold snap…

  31. I too love the Peckham Lidl. Over summer i was really skint, and managed to feed myself for a whole week on a tenner from lidl. they do a great german lager for 50p a can as well, sorry can’t remember the name of it at the moment!

    i haven’t seen the video at the SLG, but mrs squidder works there and she says its been a hit with young and old — even our friend’s 18 month son loved it!

    well done for packing in smoking Dagmar, it does get easier believe me!

  32. The coffee in the big Somerfield with the car park is good, Eva. Unusual continental brands, you get there, with interesting shaped jars and lids.

    Lidl has things like shrink‐wrapped venison. Today I saw some “Precooked Irish Crab” which is presumably the result of Sellafield boiling the arachnids in its radioactive effluent.

    That bike shop on the way to Peckham is easily the best in London.

    I’m more & more intrigued by Peckham Lodge, the budget hostel‐hotel, once the HQ of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, a grand building truly, on the way to Lidl.

  33. 3 years ago Lidl on Acre Lane used to have good coffee, the 99p shop has Douhle Egberts (however you spell it) for a few days per week until it runs out. The only trouble with Lidl stores is that as soon as you become hooked to a particular obscure brand they stop stocking it.

  34. Thanks for the tip‐off about the Douwe Egberts. I will camp outside the 99p Stores (as they are called, slogan: “Quality products for less than a pound!”) and be first in with my elbows amongst the bustling, wide‐hipped ladies who fill the aisles.

    I wish they did wine for less than a pound. The Lidl Bordeaux is worth about 13p and only good for cooking. I had forgotten how thin and acidic it is. The label has a nice old print of ships docked on the Gironde and is overlaid with gold filigree. The bottle itself is embossed with an emblem that looks like the Bristol Rovers crest. But the wine goes through you like a surgeon’s scalpel, shining bright red and sharp as you like.

    I wonder if Aldi on the Old Kent Road can undercut it in price and quality. I will cycle over and have a look. I am sent for printer ink anyway for baby pictures to send as thank you cards for Xmas rubbish. But if the trip can also produce a successful bathtime red, it will not have been in vain.

  35. A bit out of the way, but the Aldi on the Old Kent Road beats lidl hands down. Same prices as lidl but always empty and clean. All the packaging is made for the british market and they have a great selection of wines and ales.

  36. I’m intrigued by Peckham Lodge too, Dagmar. If you turn into Lyndhurst Road, there are some really strange‐looking flatlets attached to Peckham Lodge. They look minute, but there are always streams of people entering/exiting whenever I pass.

    On the subject of the bold and the beautiful (in architecture), there are two other little gems in the area. Continue up Lyndhurst Rd for 300 yards to Lyndhurst Square. It looks as though it was originally built with three sides (which doesn’t quite make it a square, but who am I to pick holes). One side appears to have gone (the Secod World War, perhaps?) and one block of the Pelican Estate now inhabits the third side. A more unsypathetic re‐build is hard to imagine. The remaining houses on the Square are beautiful, with ornate lintels. It’s worth a look. I have this fantasy that one day, I’ll be rich enough to live in that square, but fear that this will remain a fantasy. It’s not helped by the fact that the present residents never seem to sell — I haven’t seen a “For Sale” sign in that square for yonks.

    The second are “The Maisonettes” in Vestry Road, which runs alongside Lucas Gardens near the Town Hall. They have beautiful full‐length concave windows. I think they are owned by Southwark, but might be wrong.

    Where’s Lord Henry, by the way?

  37. Slightly different thread: does anyone know of a good pub in Camberwell that isn’t too smokey and has non‐alcoholic beer? I have a friend who is pregnant and I don’t know where to take her when she visits. On Christmas Eve we were looking for a place and ended up going home for some disgusting Kaliber. I was impressed that the Wetherspoons in Surrey Quays do a non‐alcholic Becks(!). I may well be looking up the nearest Wetherspoon for her next visit.

  38. The Maisonettes are privately owned — or at least one of them is, unless the residents are doing a bit of illegal subletting…

    on a different tack: why is there a mobile police station parked outside the silver buckle when there’s a perfectly good police station — although not technnically functioning in its full capacity, I know — around the corner?

    Happy New Year to all

  39. RE TREES IN BLOSSOM
    don’t be too freaked out — there are several species of winter‐flowering cherry. I was freaked out too until my greenfingered Pa set me straight

  40. I would like to sing the praises of Rat Records for very good cheap music. A real gem in Camberwell.

  41. I like Rat Records too — my only reservation being that I once went in there on my way home from work in a suit/shirt/tie and the person that served me treated me like a piece of s**t on his shoe. I now dress down before crossing the threshold.

  42. A man gave me his trousers! He gave me his trousers! This was on the way to the Aldi on the Old Kent Road. It’s a long story. You’re right, Lucas, the Aldi is a lot better than Lidl. Their “Corale” brand baked beans (18p) are in an intriguingly bright orange sauce. They are crunchy beans, really quite hard, and are listed in the contents as “navy beans” which is very queer.

    But yes, Lucas, the Alcoholic Department is brilliant. Anything that doesn’t have its own brand is called “Oscar’s”. There is a 5.4% abv drink called “Oscar’s Summer Blush Spritz: a sparking blend of crisp wine, raspberry, blueberry and orange flavours.” That’s nicely labelled, nicely described, but they don’t say what flavour crips the wine is. Crisp wine! Still, at £1.29 for half a litre you can’t complain.

    Anyway, my beat‐that‐Lidl wine is a crazy screwtop called “Escape Hills”. Escape Hills! The Degustation notes begin, “Escape with this warm mediterranean red…” Escape! You can’t say that! It’s totally illegal under the drinks marketing codes!

    Also, it’s made from Grenache/Merlot. Are you kidding! That’s like making a wine from the blood of Chris Eubank and whatisname — my mind is going… The Dark Destroyer. They’d call the wine The Dark Destroyer. Instead of having that line on the back label, “Drink responsibly,” it’d read “Die responsibly.”

    The “Escape” at 13% abv is now taking over… I must bath the baby. Oh gawd, there’ll be “Where’s the baby?” “I dunno.” Maybe even:

    — Where’s the baby?
    — What baby?

    There is pink blossom in Burgess Park. There is pink blossom in Lucas Gardens. Your dad may be right, locallocal, but I’m beginning to see pink blossom everywhere.

    More later about the trousers.

  43. @ Eva — The Kentish Drovers on Peckham High Street is a Wetherspoons pub, so obviously has a no‐smoking area. I don’t know if they sell non‐alcoholic beer, but you imply in your earlier posting that this is a Wetherspoons policy.
    It’s fairly big inside. I think the building used to be a Bank, so it has very high ceilings even in the smoking area, so it doesn’t get oppressively smokey, though I smoke, so take that as you find it.
    The downside with all Wetherspoons pubs is that almost all have a small aged alcoholic contingent!
    There’s also The Fox on The Hill at the top of Denmark Hill — that’s a Wetherspoons as well.
    Good luck.

  44. Thanks Mushtimushta, I never thought I’d be glad to know where my local Wetherspoons is but there you go. A funny part of our Christmas Eve story is that when one of our number went into the Funky Monkey to find out whether they had any non‐alcoholic beers the woman at the bar told him that her pregnant friend was told by her doctor that she should be fine if she continued drinking but just cut down to a couple of glasses of wine. She then added that her friend was French so maybe we should take this with a pinch of salt.

  45. So the baby washed away I think, dunno…

    maybe see it in a bottle at the Cuming Museum

    Aldi queue, right?

    This natty dread says, I was in front of you.

    I packed in smoking so at the mo I am often short with people

    even tho he’s twice my size

    i say

    tell you what mate — you weren’t in fro9nt of me

    — but

    get in front of me

    get in front of me

    ok he says, but you dont have much, trying to wriggle out

    no

    i say

    get in front of me

    get

    in

    front

    of

    me

    this in stark contrast to the man who was so nice HE GAVE ME HIS TROUSERS

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