Happy Monday

I wish you all a good afternoon. Just a flying update, this:

As I tucked into a satisfying ‘almonds & apricots with yoghurt coating Eat Natural’ bar the other day, I took a look at the company information on the back and was surprised to see the legal address: 95 Camberwell Station Rd, London SE5 9JJ.

Yes, ‘the UK’s fastest-growing snack bar’ (doesn’t that make it sound like Frankenstein food?) is made right here in SE5. And not in a factory or a bakery; no, this snack is made in their — wait for it — Makery. We have a Makery here!

(Whilst I’m being snarky, is it really necessary to advise consumers of an ‘almonds & apricots with yoghurt coating’ bar that it contains nuts?)

A quick reminder that the AGM of the SE5Forum will take place next Wednesday at the Institute of Psychiatry (you don’t have to be mad, etc). This is a bit of a reboot of the Forum, so it’s a good time to go along. Chelsea fans will be unable to attend as that night sees them play Everton, but to be honest we’re better off without them anyway. Ooh! Football humour!

Went to the Peckham Farmer’s Market again yesterday. There’s a new goat’s dairy stall and a smaller vegetable stall with lots of different types of cabbage. Here’s wishing them success.

Author: Peter

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

126 thoughts on “Happy Monday”

  1. That’s great. Let’s all go. Fish, chips and cheap red wine, brill.

    Gail Porter on the Houses of Parliament, whilst poor Clare Short will not agree, was in the Lady Godiva and Emperor’s New Clothes tradition of stripping the balderdash from the bare truth.

  2. The main problem that this country faces is that the goverment refuses to accept that anything is wrong… and, as everyone knows, until you admit you have a problem, there’s not a damn chance that that problem will be rectified.

    Jacqui Smith, when replying to a question about the Garry Newlove murder, stated on last Thursday’s Question Time that she did not accept that the UK is a ‘broken country’.

    The bitter irony being that if the nature of the murder, and the murderers, of Garry Newlove does not clearly show a person that the UK is a broken country then that person will never admit that to be the case.

    I would dearly like to ask Jacqui Smith to outline how she thinks anything could be any worse than the entire Garry Newlove saga. I’m sure Swellings and Co. could have finished by raping the man’s 13 year old daughter over his dying body and the likes of Jacqui Smith would still claim everything’s just fine.

  3. Prostitute murders are not a new phenomenon attributable to the current government.

    Lots of broken records but no broken country.

  4. Maybe that nice Radio 4 programme “Open Country” should have an urban companion, “Broken Country”, along the lines of, “Today we’re in Camberwell, south London, and I’m talking to Margret Thatcher who has been grumblin’ and’ grizzlin’ round these parts for centuries…”

  5. You need to read more history, Margret; people have been complaining about casual violence and a broken society for hundreds of years, and yet somehow we all still manage to keep going.

    Here’s a short quotation from Mr Misson’s Memoirs and Observations, published 1719:

    “If two little boys squabble in the street, the passengers stop, make a ring around them in a moment, and set them against each other, that they may come to fisticuffs… and these bystanders are not only other boys, porters, and rabble, but all sorts of men of fashion, some thrusting by the mob that they may see plainly, others getting upon stalls, and all would hire places, if scaffolds could be built in a moment.”

    And from A Tour of London by J. P. Grosley, 1772:

    “As [my servant] was returning home through Oxford-road… he was attacked by two or three blackguards… They began to drag him about by the skirts of his coat, and by his shoulder-knot. Seven or eight campaigns, which he had served with an officer in the gens-d’armes… had not sufficiently inured him to bear this rough treatment.”

    I recommend Peter Ackroyd’s London: A Biography, which explains how we have seen and heard it all before down the ages.

  6. This is not a broken country.

    Zimbabwe is a broken country.

    WE have the luxury of being able to think things are broken because we’re able to imaging it being a lot better… Fact is humans haven’t learned how to run their societies properly yet. We’re still dragging ourselves out of the stone age.

    Liberty Equality Fraternity are still a long way away.

  7. I just followed the ‘the AGM of the SE5Forum will take place next Wednesday at the Institute of Psychiatry’ link at the head of the thread and got to the ‘Eat Natural’ website! I like that

  8. Talking of institutional psychiatry, Gordon Brown has “decided” that airport-style metal detectors can now be used in schools to scan the customers for knives.

    Dear, oh, dear. This is an initiative that will only encourage initiative. Hasn’t he heard of prisons or The Great Escape?

    Churchill talked of depression as the black dog. Maybe Gordon Brown is the elephant in the room, not that nitwit with the knife at Sacred Heart.

    Still, Muntari’s cracking, fabulous goal has ensured an excellent start to the African Nation’s Cup.

    Keegan is a 0–0 specialist. Keegan out.

    Mainly, though, I want to praise Sunshine House, the new children’s health centre on the Peckham Road near the Town Hall. The sunny colouring of the exterior plus the sky blue bit at the top that colours the real sky whatever’s happening up there all reinforce that sanest of sayings. “Always be happy.”

  9. The Grove was busy for lunch yesterday They ovbiously weren’t expecting that level of trade but the two girls on duty coped admirably.

  10. There are several elephants in the room these days, in herds just as in the wild. I hope we are on the ground floor, hold-yer-nose voters.

    One of them is Northern Rock.

  11. Sorry Dagmar, but I must take issue with the last point of your no. 62 — assuming, of course, I’m thinking about the same place.

    If it’s the blue-and-black behemoth on the corner of St Giles Road, it has but one thing in its favour: partially blocking the even uglier new office/residential block directly behind.

    I know cursing modern architecture is a practice as old as assuming we’re all going to hell in the proverbial, criminal-powered handcart, but I can foresee no possible turnaround in public taste which could render that Lego brutalist, mock health-Stalin carbuncle aesthetically pleasing.

    Does anyone know the architect responsible? Can they be soundly beaten with a stick?

    Since that place opened, the far edge of the St Giles health centre — where the fleet of mini NHS Vauxhalls used to sit — has been boarded up. Anyone know if there are plans for it, other than a slow decline into crumbling neglect?

  12. I’m with you PeteW. That building is awful. The only saving graces are:
    * The name “Sunshine House”; and
    * That it’s purpose is to help children — who can argue with that.

    A lot of the regeneration projects around kennington/camberwell/peckham are very, very badly designed and look very cheap. North peckham estate is a prime example.

  13. To be fair, many of the new buildings in London are ruff… all steel and glass. What once looked modern is now looks lazy and slack. Cliched even.

  14. Here’s what I saw Sunday, walking along Peckham Road at 9:30am ish with the kids…

    A guy camping in a phone box on his last can of stella (3 empties on the floor), looked like he’d pissed himself

    Two junkie skanks at the bus stop talking about how they’re out of methadone and how they’d try and get some more (no actual solution was specified)

    So I was thinking WTF?

    But as the day wore on, the normal people came out and everything seemed cool again.

  15. D‑MAN and PeteW, to paraphrase Churchill, “first we make the buildings, then they, er, we make a bundle out of putting people in them without a choice in where they go”.

  16. Has any one else come across lots of inert but alive ladybirds in their house recently? I keep finding them and can’t work out why they are here. I thought they would be dead in winter. Does anyone think they could be munching their way through my floor joists?.
    I have guessed they are the new introduced variety (harlequins) that are taking over and wiping out our own ladybirds they have voracious appetites and eat lots of other insects but why are they in my house?

  17. Mark… just looked at your photo of Sunshine House. Thanks for posting. Reading the comments a lot of people seem to like it. Fair ‘enuff.

    I just don’t see how slapping some yellow and blue plastic on really helps. Like polishing a turd.

    Council planners, architects, and decision makers, are a strange bunch. They should’ve let some art students, or people with a feel for the area and its history have a go at it.

    However, it’s got to be good that money is getting spent around here. The more the better.

    Anyone know what’s happening with that development at the end of Southampton Way on Peckham road? It looks like they may keep the original façade, which would be excellent. The face-lift of Oliver Goldsmith’s opposite is cool too.

    Talking of development, work seems to be started on that lot on Camberwell Grove… I’m in favor of some expensive, private development as that brings more money to the area and mixes the place up a bit. That’s good for us all.

  18. Re: D‑MAN and PeteW, to paraphrase Churchill, “first we make the buildings, then they, er, we make a bundle out of putting people in them without a choice in where they go”.

    Reg, you should see that place they built for student nurses down in Peckham opposite the bus station. Unbelievable.

  19. From the top of Shenley Road and you’ll see blue sky on a grey day. This is the big band of sky-blue finishing on the top of the recently completed Sunshine House. This is New Blair architecture — the sky is blue. It’s nice. This is choice.

    Now that the sky is increasingly shite brown, so to speak, this old New Labour pale Blue now looks quite good.

    It’s better work, too, than the dull, repetitive neoclassical architecture from the Shire Conservative days, the Eighties and most of the Nineties, the sort of pompous stuff that the romantic neo-fascist Prince Charles likes. Perhaps his son will be the next king and take up bicycling like Danish or Dutch royals — if they knows what’s good for ’em, this is what will happen.

    Vauxhall Cross flats, St George’s flagship, is an absolute abomination that boasts domination. Soon, as is ever the way with such things, a small gust of wind will blow it away like a crisp packet.

    The people who work in Sunshine House could tell us what it’s really like, to work in. As a place to visit as a parent or child, it looks good.

    The colour detailing on Sunshine House is actually quite witty — children’s seaside colours, sand yellow, sea blue and sky blue.

    It’s a good reminder that childhood is not just a good time — or should be — it is the only time.

  20. There was a stray “and” in me first sentence. I am so tired. The baby swim time today at Peckham Pulse at 1pm for an hour was brilliant, like the dawn of time and the same price as a pint of strong drink.

  21. On Peckham Library, it might be a little over-rated, but I still like it… and it is public access, with great views.

    It’s also very well used by all kinds of people.

    I was discussing Sunshine House with an architect friend involved in with lots of projects in Southwark… and she really likes it… a question of taste, I guess. I think you’re all blinded by its newness and shiny plastic bits 🙂

  22. Re: 75 Dagmar have you seen that St George are advertising studio flats in that development in Vauxhall for £399,000

  23. Well its the glamour of the place that draws people in — apparently John Major, Chelsea Clinton and a host of other famous people including err Lee from Blue live in the development.

  24. Really excited about Mary Datchelor development now.

    I reckon it will be £300k for 1 bed, £400k for two bed and the 4 bed town houses will be £950k.

    £50k might get you an underground parking space.

  25. Hannah, m’dear [post No.82], I put myself on the St Datchelor mailing list right away on a Sunday and their sales representative rang me two hours later, poor soul. I’d say she is programmed to hot-respond (I just coined that phrase) to every prospect right away instead of having a life.

    You’re right, though, Alan, it will bring in the free-spending folk we need to bring the area up. We should welcome them.

    Talking of hanging out in charity shops, the one on Denmark Hill by far plays the best music. Most charity shops play what I would coin as “charity shop rock” i.e. compilations from the 60s and early 70s, stuff the shop ladies like. Rod Stewart at its raciest.

    Funnily enough, the Somerfield has just started playing similar charity shop rock. I heard the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” today as I was queuing at the till with a pretty 16-year-old behind me with her baby in a buggy, neither looking as though they wanted to be there.

    I’d say they should all play the Cream Anthems 1997 compilation, then their customers would buy anything and everything.

    Like the warm baby pool at the Pulse. I was astonished! Everyone in it becomes slowly and helplessly loved up! I was not in the slightest surprised that all us mummies there had been knocked up! It really was the Original Sea of Love, but with highly developed, gorgeous, lovely mammals and their young instead of nervous, new-to-it, rhythmless single-celled creatures!


  26. I’d have thought it was obvious. It’s locally sourced organic chicken.

    I think the ‘hooked on grief’ accusation is less innappropriate in reference to mourning the death of a chicken foetus than in reference to the decapitation of Ken Bigley.

    Boris is pretty funny but his diplomacy skills certainly undermine is application for Mayoral duties.

  27. Peter -

    I also have a preference for buildings which use brick — I regarding the house brick as the most humane of all building materials…

    Although I don’t like the cheap looking bricks used on Sunshine House…Would it really have been that much more expensive to have used some old red stock bricks instead? It just looks wrong to me

    But again, some of the modern day,red and yellow stock bricks lok really cheap and nasty and will never age as magnificently as the old L.C.C social housing which surrounds Sunshine House for example…

  28. “Merseyside Police told the community on Monday to “stop grieving, it’s only a chicken”.

    *belly laugh* I love it. On the other hand it’s easy to make such a foetal mistake:


    The human genome is like an evolutionary Russian Doll containing clear evidence of all our antecedents that make us what we are — all the organisms that make us what we are are in there — they range from yeasts, bacteria, viruses so, of course, fish, chickens and chimps.

  29. Incidentally a Liverpool Chicken, according to the people who work at Wing Tai,is a VERY OLD chicken. “Don’t know why old chicken always been called Liverpool”.

  30. JohnnyM — a bit of reality — I think the average income in Britain in around £24,000 — and that would be by no means consider low income even in London.

    Without giving too much away as a graduate in my late 20’s doing quite a skilled job i do not earn enought to quailfy for the “low income” flats in Vauxhall

  31. Me neither Hannah.
    Although maybe a few more successes at the Bear’s quiz will up my income enough to qualify.

  32. Fair enough. Then I suspect you should buy in Camberwell. Or Norwood. But I reckon most people on this board have a household income of 30K or more.

    I don’t believe we should beat ourselves up because we believe everyone has a right to earn enough to buy a luxury flat by the river. My partner and I moved to Camberwell for a reason. We’ll move up the ladder as and when. Suggesting all of London should be equally affordable to everyone may be the political slant of this board, but it would end up killing the economy for all of us. Shame the City bonuses won’t be huge this year. They could’ve helped St George Camberwell spur on the SE5 economy and help with the devestating tax shortfall down at Southwark Town Hall. Now all hope for public spend on Camberwell is gone. They can’t even afford to start on Aylesbury due to a tax shortfall. You think they’ll magic up some funds for Camberwell??

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