Saturday. Camberwell. In the rain.

Had to go to the Green today to buy myself a new phone. I’m on a super-cheap tariff from a previous employer, so getting upgraded phones is not an option for me. Wanted to buy second-hand, but ended up buying a good (maybe; time will tell) new phone at a good price.

On the way back the downpour began so I entered the nearest pub: The Grove. Not somewhere I tend to go, for some reason, but it was very nice; they’ve covered the little open area at the back and introduced lots of cushions and Mediterranean colours; my mum would doubtless describe it as ‘looking like a tart’s boudoir’. There’s a picture here. I liked sitting there, listening to the rain, playing with my new phone, and drinking Wells’ Banana Bread Bear.

Banana. Bread. Beer. What a revelation! Why has nobody told me about this beer before? A break in the weather meant I could have gone home after the first bottle, but I had to stay for another. Now I’m a little drunk.

On the subject of the Grove, I see the new development has a website now: www.camberwell-grove.co.uk. Ruskin Park, The Dark Horse, Pesh Flowers and Sophocles are chosen to represent our area, reflecting the gamut of middle-class aspiration. No word on prices yet, but a date of March 2008 is given for launch.

I also bought a copy of the Camberwell Quarterly, which I found to be probably the most interesting issue I’d yet read. News nuggets included:

  • The Stationmaster’s House (by the side of The Phoenix, outside Denmark Hill station) is to be restored and to open as an information centre for King’s College Hospital. On a related note, I see that the row of houses on Windsor Walk are still for sale.
  • The new War Memorial on the Green sits above the entrance to a WWII air raid shelter. So we have an air raid shelter, a nuclear shelter, and sidings for the Bakerloo line; what else sits beneath Camberwell?
  • The Saturation Policy which has been proposed here didn’t work over in Dulwich; nobody ever complained about noise or nuisance there.
  • The Camberwell Society are against the proposed redevelopment of the snooker hall, as they believe the developers are cramming too many units in there, the exterior is too plain, and it doesn’t improve the street aspect.

I see that work is underway to convert the former Rhino sports into a shop that will fill a gaping void in the Camberwell shopping landscape: it will be a convenience store, off-licence, and mobile phone spares shop. Because god knows, we need that.

Another name to add the list of Camberwell’s celebrity residents: actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, perhaps best known for his role in Dirty Pretty Things, now the latest Othello at the Donmar.

That’s given you plenty to talk about, hasn’t it?

Author: Peter

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

98 thoughts on “Saturday. Camberwell. In the rain.”

  1. As for Sparty then I can assure you he is very real. My mate from university. He works as a beaurocrat in Belgium and owns a flat in Brixton and a house in the South of France.

    Whilst he may be a bit larger than life on here I think you get a good insight into the man behind the man.

    Foxy Al is also real but sites such as this are now barred at his work. He’s history. He moved to palace anyway after a failed attempt to purchase a flat in Linwood Close.

    To be honest I think we’re better off without him.

  2. Alan — I am happy to give you the lowdown on the Highlands at some stage; although not in public, at least while the English market is in potential crisis.

    That would be irresponsible and unneighbourly as many, especially in inner city London, are now finding it impossible to sell.

  3. I don’t have to much sympathy for the buy-to-let market…

    If you own just the one property and are paying for it and financially speaking, leaving some space to breathe then it’s always possible to tighten your belt and ride out the rough times…Still all those properties will be snapped up the already obscenely wealthy traditional landlords/landowning families for a fraction of the price…Yet again taking full advantage of the ignorance of the lumpen proleritat

    I’m not against people owning 2nd properies but don’t nail your goolies to the floor in trying to achieve it…Enjoying life is far more important than an unnessasary ball and chain…

    C’est stupid non?

  4. Speaking of property as this blog seems to return to on a regular basis there has apparently been an almost 30% increase in house prices on Paulet Road over the past two years.

    A flat that I looked at in December 2005 for sale at £249,000 http://tinyurl.com/yual3c is now on the market for £320,000 — a 29% increase and whatsmore there have been few location location location style property improvements, they are using the same photos to sell it. And its on the slightly ‘rougher’ end of the street — near the house where someone was stabbed in September. I dont believe it!

    Be warned however that the freeholder is Lambeth Borough Council and so leaseholders will be expected to contribute to the maintenance and in particular ‘Decent Homes’ improvements that are being implemented across all social housing (due here because the local authority remains the freeholder) and so you are likely to face a maintenance bill of £10,000+ payable in the next few years.

  5. @Eusebiovic, saying that concentrating purely on property price rises might be misguided.

    All I have to say to that is don’t mention the war anthropogenic climate warming and the role therein of participants in arbitrary non-linear prices rises in our warped value system.

  6. I get it. But loads of land in jockoland and plant fast growing trees.

    Ok your on.

    I am going to buy a failing golf club and turn it into a timber farm.

  7. Oh good, we’re talking about property prices again.

    I went to Peckham farmer’s market at the weekend; it’s small, but very good. I got a free brownie from the bakery stall, and some free sausages from the butcher. I think I’ll get my Christmas meat from there.

  8. Yeah why talk about property prices when there’s a whole world of organic produce out there?

    Were you shoplifting or just scrounging Peter?

  9. wow, that’s great news, I live down the “rougher” end of Paulet Road which is actually not at all rough, though I was hugely saddened by the murder.
    As I only bought my place this year a return like that would make me a very happy bunny.

    So who’s coming to the carol singing in Myatts Fields on Sat evening?

  10. Some folk don’t seem to get that the only people who benefit from property price hikes are banks, estate agents and those with additional investment properties. So if you are happy about the one and only property you own increasing in value then don’t be. It’s not in your best interest. Ah sh*t, I brought the thread back to house prices.
    On a happier note, we just went to the Golden Grill kebab house next to the Buckle. Delicious kebab and chips, which I thoroughly recommend.

  11. Not right BB. Right about the kebab house but not about houseprices.

    It’s definitely good to own a house which is worth considerably more than the mortgage liability.

  12. I hope to come to Myatts Fields but have another commitment earlier on in the day. As it will involve consumption of alcohol I fear my ability to get back in time will be limited but I will try.

  13. I bought a nice leg of lamb, some brownies, a slice of banana cake, and some vegetables. All lovely.

    Carol singing is probably not on the cards for me; I have pre-birthday drinks tonight, birthday dinner tomorrow, then will need a day at home in order to prepare for Grand Slam Sunday.

  14. Alan, you can’t just plant a golf club and expect it to grow into a timber farm! Not even a vintage driver or No.1 wood will sprout. Many Scots people have tried this, much to the mirth of the Forestry Commission.

    Whilst I’m being picky, pernicketty perhaps, fastidious and meticulous, pettily tweezer-wielding, that should be “bureaucrat” not “beaurocrat” — maybe you are thinking of Violet Beauregard in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

    Eusebiovic, that should be “lumpenproletariat” not “lumpen proleritat” — maybe you are thinking of Conrad Ritblat the property giant which turned into the behemoth British Land which is still run by John Ritblat and his son, Nick (Ritblat). I used to think Conrad Ritblat was a person like Conrad Black, or Hotblack Desiato, who was the male Amy Winehouse of his day in north London, but Conrad is also a surname. The insect order cockroach are also know as blattaria (Latin “blatta” = cockroach). Sometimes “blather” is sometimes contracted to just “blah”.

    Some called Bert Skinner has graffitied his name all over the sea defences on the Isle of Grain, I noticed yesterday, along with the date 2KT (2007) — I think Bert may currently be a vogue first name on Grain, where anonymous “tags” have not yet been taken up by paintcan artists.

    BERT SKINNER 2K7

  15. “Someone called Bert Skinner,” that should have read, first line last para.

    Regeneguru, are you the man behind that “Regen’s for Baby Linen” shop, no 193 Rye Lane in Peckham? The window is crammed with sexy lingerie — presumably, this is the “linen” that ladies wear so that the next thing they and the bloke know, she has a baby. Have you seen that display? It is most incongruous with the shop title.

    What interests me most is that there is no dot over the “i” of “Linen”. Maybe it has fallen off at some time over the years, but it may be an adventurous feature of the rather elegant typeface which must date from the 1940s, I’d hazard a guess.

  16. Stanton’zooks, it’s a good name for a shop, but I don’t know what it means. My influence does not stretch as far as Peckham, and has little elasticity even in this ancient metropolitan borough of C.

    Perhaps for expectant mums aiming to retain their sexuality until breaking point, or some kind of firming silk-a-lastoprene for after the event which does not compromise on the aesthetic.

    I wish them good fortune, in either case.

    Happy birthday, Peter.

  17. A little OT, but does anyone have a cleaner locally who they can recomend? I need some one to come about once a week to clean and iron.

  18. It may be that the lady’s gentleman-friend or other type of other half made her a present of a wrong-sized garment, creating a sucking sensation she was unwilling to blame on a partneurial ineptitude.

    There’s no silk in it apparently, the process being too cruel. Rather, the artyficial fabric has been “silked”, or made into a rough, luxuriant gossamer — so I hear, from distant Peek Ham. Never seen it in Cummerbunddell.

    Kia Blue — as long as it’s off one particular topic which I won’t mention, then we’re (almost) all happy.

  19. I see Ebbsfleet host the Carshalton in the FA Trophy today. What a fine birthday present it would be for you if the ‘Fleet could halt their run of league losses and progress in the tournament.

    The international railway station surely hints at the time when fans will take Eurostar from the mainland to see them and the onetime England manager Canaletto, what’s he, Cornetto, is their touchline wizard.

    The canny folk of nearby Grain, the “Webfeet”, will be cackling at the property prices smashing through the smog eructating from their long-recommissioned gas-fuelled power station. They’ll be talking as though it they dwelt near Old Trafford, or Cranford!

  20. If only I could afford a person to do my ironing 😉 — I don’t mind cleaning but those shirts take me far too long (although I make a good job of it, it’s boring)…Still I can dream of indulging in such luxury one day…ahhhhhhh!

  21. Perhaps that should be “winter drinks”, then dozens of secularists and others would respond. A local primary school recently had a Winter Fair

  22. I’d like to object to that localist categorisation on behalf of millions of Australians now enjoying summer in another hemisphere.

    The supermarkets are replete with loganberries and tomatoes in this global summertime. The only way to escape this PC nonsense is to usher in an official festival of greed and prudence, something with which the majority of no religious or secular denomination will object to. Indeed, any objectors at all will lose the right to vote, have credit withdrawn and be put on notice of repatriation to the nearest developing country of their traceable distant ancestors.

    This is a flag we can all wave, and join in with a glad heart and joyous chorus.

    Merry greedymass to all!

  23. I kid ye not — supermodel Erin O’Connor [the tall one with the black bob and the prominent nose in the MandS TV ads] was in the Hermits Cave last night. She red wine, drunk hesitantly; boyffriend on pint of Pride. C’est le truc!

  24. Many men have seen Erin O’Connor in the Hermits Cave, also Brigitte Bardot, Diana Dors, Marilyn Monroe, Renee Zellweger, Lily Cole…

  25. Dagmar @91

    Mmmmmm…Lily Cole — what a lovely girl she is too, with that alabaster complexion and shimmering red mane ‑a real Celtic goddess…my favorite…

    I met her at Tate Modern, lovely in person as well…not too sure weather that St.Trinian’s film will be any good though…Any film released on Boxing Day is always a guaranteed bona-fide stinker!

  26. Lily Cole is going to Cambridge, she is that clever. Not Oxford, which is full of dozy, bumbling chumps, but Cambridge, where the east wind pares the intellect down by slicing off the fat, not putting it on in pudding-spoonsful like at Oxford.

    However, all such iconic women are part of the same circle cycle thing. Britney has her value, so does Lily Allen, so does Amy Winehouse. So does Sporty, Scary, Ginger and Baby.

    As we approach the solstice, we should embrace all aspects of the goddess.

  27. Dagmar @96

    Indeed…agree about Cambridge University too — that’s where the REAL progressives learn their trade…

  28. Yes, I feel the same about Cowling & Wilcox and also Windsor & Newton and also additionally Tweed & Steer.

    Ah, old Tweed & Steer.

    I often pass their blue plaques by the river in Chelsea. “Tweed lived here. Steer lived theer.”

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