Happy birthday, amor

Went out to dinner yesterday for the wife’s birthday. We decided on the Dark Horse, as the food was very good there last time we went. It was very good this time too, and we took advantage of the Early Bird special, allowing us two courses for £12.95, a very reasonable price. This is not a paid advertising feature.

There is movement on the former site of the dilapidated shithouse on the corner of the Green; the newly-laid patio area is being dug up once more. Will there be a new public utility there? Or is this the site of the new memorial:

… coming soon is a touching memorial to a wedding party who lost their lives during a Blitz bombing raid. Designed by local stonemason Hamish Horsley, it has just received planning permission and will be installed over the coming months.

I found this news in the pages of the latest Southwark Life magazine, which also informs us:

The great plane tree in the middle of Camberwell Green will soon be lit by 4,000 low-energy LED lights, which have been funded by a Safer London Foundation award and Camberwell’s cleaner greener safer fund.

Good news. Top of my wish list for development of the area was to light up a tree in the middle the Green.

Author: Peter

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

63 thoughts on “Happy birthday, amor”

  1. Yes Peter — don’t worry about housing, jobs transport, health & education, spiralling crime rates — everything will be alright if we have pretty lights in trees!
    Look at Peckham — since the palm trees were planted (Hollywood Boulevard style) on Queens rd
    Se15 has become the ‘new Notting Hill’ so I ‘m reliably informed.

  2. Many happy returns to Mrs Admin.

    Not sure Emma (my missus) would have been to chuffed about going for the cheap deal on her birthday?!

    What you going to do next year all you can eat buffet maybe?

  3. Much as I would like to I’m not sure I can get away with a cheap early bird special for a birthday either (and my recent suggestion of going to the Fox on the Hill for their two meals for £6.99 deal met with short shrift) so it looks like I’m in for expensive birthday celebrations next week…

    Has anyone been to Willows recently? What was it like? We’ve often thought of going but never actually got around to doing so — should we seize the opportunity or resort to a trusted dependable?

  4. I think Southwark are adding lights to the tree in order to prove what we all knew already: that in Camberwell it really is ‘like Christmas every day’.

    Of course I mean that purely in terms of there being rubbish everywhere and constantly being surrounded by inebriated people.

  5. Just a second; I didn’t ‘get away with’ anything. We didn’t go there because of the Early Bird, we went there and it was available. All it is is a limited choice from the A La Carte menu, which was also available. I asked my wife what she wanted, and she chose items from the limited menu.

  6. I like it. Went quite recently and everything was very good.

    You are right about her indoors though Peter. I’ll tell her you think she’s a mercenary.

    Greedy cow.

  7. Peter I didnt mean to imply that you were a cheapskate — I’m just sure that had I been in a similar situation we would probably not have been able to find dishes from the menu to get the deal.

  8. Mumu — Willow is lovely — definitely my restaurant of choice — menu changes a lot which keeps everything fresh and they have lovely seasonal specials. great selection of wine and there is a really friendly lady who owns the place — thoroughly recommend

  9. I was calling you a cheapskate but I was joking and I am actually much more of a miser myself.

    I have been known to buy her nothing for Christmas on more than one occasion.

    For me a cheap date is a must. If a girl doesn’t buy her round then she’s not a keeper.

    Ideally she drinks halves but those girls are very rare these days.

    Emma is more of one glass of wine for the entire evening type girl. Even when she’s not pregnant…

  10. I do not celebrate.

    The woman at Willow is Heather. She is very totally sound. And her daughter works there too. I have forgotten her name, which is a shame.

  11. happy birthday Mrs Peter.

    It’s not the cost of the meal that is important, but the quality of the company that you share it with.

  12. I think the tune that the langoustines play on their fiddles whilst Camber-hell is burning on the other thread is an important soundtrack to this blog installation.

    Encoded within that is, happy birthday Mrs Peter.

    I am fascinated that an outfit of unhooded youth from Sao Paulo, a band, called Moleque de Rua, meaning Street Urchin, is playing at a club called Guanbara on Drury Lane on Thursday 31st May.

    They make their innovative polyphonic percussion music from recycled-material instruments.

    I am exhilaratedly reminded of Lottie Child’s soon appearance at the Camberwell Arts Festival June 16–24 — she plays the urban environment like an instrument, makes music from it, you might say.

    Me knickers are on fire a bit about the street violence from the silly boys. They need some sessions from me on me knee to feel the real percussion rhythm.

    Bunbohue is right about the ghastly white middleclass officelife barging their way towards success at the expense of other people.

    All these oppressive people, the silly mugging scuttling boys, some of whom are mannish girls, the yuppies (there is no worse insult), do not know that they were born.

    We should not insult the police on this site. They are oppressed by the investment-industry-based, neo-con neo-labour establishment, treated like social workers, badly. It is stupid for us to insult them.

  13. Yes, happy birthday Mrs G.

    We should certainly not insult the police; the Camber-Hell comment is simply an observation of how the local authorities have collectively designated SE5 as a sponge to soak up the unpleasantries of neighbouring regeneration areas.

    But if you don’t campaign, don’t complain.

    Now, back to far more serious issues. Does anyone know a place that serves deep fried vegetables and prawns seasoned with saffron?

  14. The Camber-hell comment is totally unnecessary and offensive.

    I know a lady copper who works in Peckham. When she heard through friends that we lived in Cambo her immediate response was ‘what the f::ck do they live there for?’

    The fact that these people just commute in from Colchester and know nothing about what’s good about Camberwell makes it difficult for them to Police it properly.

    They need to learn to respect the people and the community they are serving. They do not need to call it names.

    I’ve had a similar response when I’ve had a car to the airport. The drivers are usually reactionary middleaged men from Kent who make no bones about telling me they think I’m an idiot for living here.

    They are wrong about Camberwell and unless you challenge people’s misconceptions then we will continue to be labelled as Camber-hell.

    They are wrong. I’d rather get mugged than move to Colchester but of course if I could avoid both then that would be first choice.

    Sadly I’m not built like a brick outhouse. More like a jelly wendyhouse.

  15. The Emperor’s new clothes are marvellous!

    In other news, we live in an era when grant money is attracted only to those areas which have conspicuously high levels of crime, anti-social behaviour, deprivation and infrastructural problems.

  16. So we are due a fat cheque.. or maybe a Bakerloo line extension.

    I genuinely don’t get the Emperor’s new clothes gag- are you saying I’m actually nude but think I’ve got a wicked outfit on?

  17. Southwark Executive has a view that things are getting better in Camberwell and so the investment goes to Dulpecklphant.

    If even we pretend things are not as bad as they really are, that damages Camberwell’s cause and makes us look fools in the long run.

    Let’s not criticise the police for such remarks, but ask if we can quote them in the SLP to highlight our problems and attract investment.

  18. I’ve just had a long chat with a few local police officers. They are part of the 36 strong team that work plain clothed to prevent street crime in Peckham, walworth and Camberwell. It’s been going since December and has been extremely successful. She said Camberwell is no way the worst place in Southwark for street robbery — I won’t mention where is. So I look forward to seeing Camberwell green fall right down that league table when it is next published (hopefully).

  19. Nice one Reg. That’s a good idea.

    I suspect that the reason they call it Camberhell has much more to do with their own prejudices than it has to do with crime and I will always find remarks like that offensive but maybe we can use such comments to our advantage.

    My other problem is that the Emperors New Clothes approach is paradoxically better for house prices. At least in the medium term anyway…

  20. This is off topic but has anyone been to the Crypt on a Friday night to listen to the Jazz?

    Was it good / bad?

  21. Thanks Alan. I just can’t see beyond the architects of planning and policy, as the villains of the piece.

    Criminals and people with an instinct to behave anti-socially sense when a local authority has abandoned an area to needless ugly street furniture, quick and dirty builds, lack of planning enforcement, limitless alcohol licensees and massive losses annually of shared community space.

    They can tell, and they’d have significant sensory deprivation if they did not notice, in all fairness. And criminals tend to have all the basics working — after all when were you last assaulted or robbed by a deaf or blind person?

    lucas — it sounds like you were meeting them in some official capacity (I am not suggesting the good cop bad cop variety) — perhaps you work for the Council? If so, it would be interesting if you could come to a Forum committee meeting in the near future to talk about crime.

    Can’t help pointing out, though, that areas without police stations have far lower reported crime.

  22. “areas without police stations have far lower reported crime”

    And households without telephones make a significantly lower number of calls.

  23. … the point being that crime is reported here, and expected to be reported, via internet and phone. Crime does, after all get reported occasionally in Camberwell.

    Whereas levels of reported crime would arguably be far higher if there were a police station.

  24. JK -I’ve bben to Jazz at the Crypt a couple of times — i really enjoyed it, although i know next to nothing about Jazz i’ve been told by those who know that the standard of music there is very good.

  25. @regeneguru, Lucas in not (alas) official in any capacity. He’s more of a music man — see post about jazz above.
    His police info comes from walking our dog in the park. Apparently one of the police officers wanted to take a photo of himself with our pooch. He’s a good looking dog so I can’t blame him. From there conversation went on to law and order in Camberwell.
    It’s odd really as about a year ago someone tried to steal our dog in the same park.

  26. thanks for the jazz notes(!)

    3 years in camberwell and i keep meaning to try it out.…i will get there one friday

  27. The Crypt is cool.. the real trick is getting there early enough to get a seat mind.

    I’ve got a friend who’s a ‘player’ ‚in the sense of tinkling the ivories rather than hanging out with Pharrel Williams, (though hang on, Jamie Cullum kinda did that) and he really rates it too.

  28. I’d say you want to be in there by 6.30, 7.00 absolute latest — it really gets rammed in there so you will end up with no sight of the band unless you get there early.

    Great venue though.

  29. Mr & Mrs Lucas and their dog deserve a round of applause for bringing news of the police efforts to subvert street crime here, on this rather sombre day when the Damilola forensic evidence enquiry findings are published.

    Does anyone have a preference for Chelsea or Manchester in the FA Cup tomorrow? Chelsea is a short cycle ride from here through Battersea Park, very pleasant, and should be our carbon choice. However, Manchester Town have a more illustrious history and are not funded by someone who has mugged a whole country of its hydrocarbons.

  30. Late Night event at The Horniman this Thursday:

    Thursday Lates: Late Night Tour — for adults only
    Thursday 24th May 7.30–10pm

    Do you marvel at marine life? Linger a little longer in front of the jellyfish? Have to be dragged away from the drums? Curiosity isn’t just for kids. Indulge your younger self alongside like-minded inquisitive souls with a one-night adult-only tour of the Horniman’s Aquarium and Music Galleries.

    See amazing underwater worlds in the Aquarium, where special night-time lighting will give unique views. Then visit our Music Gallery, where curator Margaret Birley will be giving a sneak preview of our upcoming Utsavam: Music of India exhibition. Plus, our curators will be on hand to answer any question you may have — so whether it be fish or flutes, seahorses or sitars, come and satisfy your curiosity.

    Drop-in session for adults. To book for the event contact mailto:marketing@horniman.ac.uk or call 020 8291 8168

  31. An adult only tour of the Horniman sounds great. I hope the toilets are available. At Tate Britain on Sunday (for the art trolley; baby off her trolley) some toilets were closed. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” read the text, as they call it there.

  32. There’s a police appeal for witnesses in Peckham Hill Street at the moment which is asking for anyone that saw the event they detail to contact the police. It says something along the lines of: Police Appeal — at 2335 on Xth May a young woman had her red leather handbag violently snatched from her at this spot by a youth that escaped into Peckham Hill Street. If you saw anything, please call.….….…..etc etc.
    What is the point of detailing the handbag quite so clearly? Is it in case you saw the youth with the handbag after it had been snatched? Wouldn’t your suspicions be raised by seeing a male with a handbag anyway (whatever the colour). They fail to mention if the youth was in fact male, so we can only guess.

  33. Something happened on the Camberwell New Road last night. I was cycling past on my way home from work at around 6pm and saw a crowd of schoolkids crowded around a prone youngster. All I could see was a pair of legs with feet on the end.

    There was an estate agent on the scene, apparently phoning the emergency services. All of the traffic had stopped for a good look and was backed up the road worse than usual.

    As a cycled on, first a police van, and then an ambulance van came screechng by.

    Anyone have any clue as to what happened?

  34. I cycled past at about 6.45. There were about 5 police cars and a couple of police vans at the junction of Camberwell New Road and Vassall road. I didn’t see any ambulances. Loads of people were stood around but there was no indication of what had happened.

  35. From what I could gather from my fellow drinkers in the Black Sheep last night it mainly happened in Vassall Road: there were two ambulances each of which took away an injured person and Policemen with large guns who arrested two people sat in a car on Vassall Road. By the number of Policemen and vehicles and the fact that they had guns I think it was a planned raid. Watch out for more in the South London Press on Friday…

  36. We live quite near the spot and a relative was in at the time. He said he thought here was a riot going on as swarms of school children ran back and forth and some hid in the co op. Some of the shop owners came out and pulled down their shutters.
    It seemed to our relative as though a young girl had been attacked but he wasn’t sure.
    When I came home (probably around 6.45 as well) the road was open again but there were still quite a few police offices on the corner of Vassall Road by the Union Tavern.

  37. Returing to the crime did anyone see what was happened on Denmark Road at about 6:50 last night? There seemed to be Police people arresting a man outside the former Denmark pub at the junction with Camberwell Station Road. When I walked by a big crowd had gathered. Ah the pleasures of inner London life!

  38. This site used to be really busy. What happened to Foxy Al and his tramp hate? At least that got people posting. And lets face it we do have a problem round here.

    My Mum went shopping in Lordship Lane the other day. She said she prefers it round there as people carry shopping bags rather than cans of strong white cider.

    I told her that she shouldn’t be so intolerant and that these people have a lot of problems. And that I’ll have a look on Rightmove.…

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