I am on holiday

Back on September 21st. Anyone who posts a comment which gets held in moderation will have to wait until then to have it approved. Sorry.

Hasta luego.

Author: Peter

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

98 thoughts on “I am on holiday”

  1. For all the mixed summer weather, just cropped a carrier bag of

    grapes from the vine that comes over the garden wall.

    And the French beans & toms were OK

    Long live little London gardens & the slugs that patrol them !!!

    Regards Bob

  2. Have a good trip, Peter, don’t even think of Camberwell when you’re… oh, he’s gone. Did anyone go to the Sun & Doves tonight for Marks Dodd’s do? As ever, the demands of very small children left the Dagmar elders slumped in front of the telly watching the Top 100 Most Annoying Songs on BBC3 slurping Netto, winebox, credit-crunch South African red.

  3. You missed ONE hell of an evening, Dagmar.

    I actually thought it was brave to the point of foolhardy to publish an invitation to ones party on the Internet and had visions of half of South London descending on the S&D with much ensuing mayhem. But it turned out to be a really memorable night in all ways good. Met a load of new and interesting Camberwellians.

    Sorry, we couldn’t all have managed a more in-tune rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ Mark, but this might have something to do with your outstanding generosity in providing limitless free booze. Nice one and roll on your 60th!

  4. Just many thanks to everyone who came and made it such a great night. I had a marvellous time once I’d got over my appalling nerves and hot flushes. Two glasses of Fiano did that; the white wine of the night. The red was Hacienda Zorita, a Sicilian gem. The bottled beer was Lidl’s Perlenbacher. £5.25 for six 50cl bottles of very fine quality pilsner, rich, deep flavour rounded with a refreshing bitter edge. I was simply not prepared to give away poorer beer I have to buy through the tie — such as Beck’s which costs me something like £1.10 a 275ml bottle.

    A special thanks to Harriet Harman and Norman Jay for finding the time to come!

  5. A note from last week:

    Needed lunch today on the spur of the moment on the way to ‘cash and carry’ stopped off at JJ Caterers 137 Southampton Way SE5 — only because I’d read about it here some months ago- ‘Coffee Brasserie serving Indian and continental cuisine’ — ‘Eat in or take away — delivery or to cater for your special event’.

    It is a MUST. GO THERE! And be delighted. The food is wonderful, Indian, perfectly judged and produced. And unbelievably good value.

    A GEM of rare proportions and a great asset to Camberwell.

  6. Couldn’t make the party on Saturday. Very disappointed. Thoroughly enjoyed the come down late nighter in the Canning on Sunday though. Looking well Mark..

  7. A man who is visited — visitated, has a visitation from — Harriet Harman at his 50th birthday do is bound to look well. She is a cool lady. Tony Benn was good on the radio at the weekend. He said what about the issues, like why are we in Iraq, rather than the “beauty parade” of politics, the panto, the personalities. Harriet has Camberwell in her blood, she is related to Joseph Chamberlain, that complex radical. At times like this, when the only hope for mankind lies with the hedge funds, with spread betting and CFDs, with binary betting and fixed or floating odds, with loopy derivatives fashioned by prestigitation using smoke and mirrors, string and vinegar and brown paper, it is good to know that Harriet Harman, our MP and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, a contrasting character to her predecessor John Prescott, can coolly walk into a Camberwell alehouse on a Saturday night like the rest of us.

  8. I heard Benn on Any Qs too. As ever, he took that tack (the ishoos) to avoid answering the simple question put to him. It was a good panel though. Doesn’t Harriet Harman live in Herne Hill?

  9. Yes Harriet Harman does live in Herne Hill — Stradella Road, SE24 I believe (if you recall the Fathers for Justice protested on her roof earlier this year)

  10. That’s right. Very nice. Wrong side of the hill though. The journey over the hill changes everything. Question was should the Labour party dump Brown. Benn’s greatest moment was to celebrate Labour’s 1983 election result because 8.5m people had voted for socialism. So perhaps his view on the matter should remain private.

  11. That’s right. Very nice. Wrong side of the hill though. The journey over the hill changes everything. Question was should the Labour party dump Brown. Benn’s greatest moment was to celebrate Labour’s 1983 election result because 8.5m people had voted for socialism. So perhaps his view on the matter should remain privat

  12. Two fire engines and lots of hoses across Coldharbour Lane. Fire is on Cutcombe Road just up from the Corner Surgery.

  13. There were lots of Police in Paulet Road yesterday to my alarm until I went out to have a look in my curtain twitching way and found that they were filming an episode of the Bill

  14. yes that makes sense, we had a letter through our door a few weeks ago asking if we were interested in letting them use the house for filming.

  15. They film the Bill a lot in Burgess. Florian, old Benn was good about pointing out that Labour never dump their leader unlike the Tories who are always stabbing ’em in the back, he was very funny about that. What was the question he should have answered, though, you haven’t said.

  16. I used to live on Telegraph Hill and the Bill were there en mass almost weekly. Gritty Camberwell’s come a long way if they’re doing it here now. Or maybe they just need ever more run down, ever more ‘real’ backdrops to ever more violent and sensational story lines about ever more desperate people to keep ever more desensitised viewers glued to the box.

  17. Reply got stuck in moderation. The question was about whether Brown should go; an ishoo if ever there was one. My favourite Bennism is when he welcomed the result of the 83 election because 8.5m people had voted for socialism.

  18. having trouble getting through moderation. benn was asked whether brown should go; an ishoo if ever there is one. my favourite bennism is his celebration of the 83 election because 8.5m people had vote for socialism.

  19. Types of fruit I’ve seen growing ‘wild’ in Camberwell & its environs this week…
    Grapes – just ripening now. Nice
    Figs – going purple, but they never get edible
    Olives – lots of these around (ornamental)

    1. The house up for sale on ( I may now be out of date, 2 weeks or so ago ) corner of Denman Rd & Lyndhurst Grove, had a small crop of hops coming over the wall last year, have not looked this year.


  20. Moving back to less profound things…

    We went to the (relatively) new Indian restaurant The Spice of Life on Church St (opposite Safa) on Saturday. Here is my review: meal reasonable, cost high, dont think we will be returning.

    The meal was fairly standard Indian fare; tasty but the restaurant doesnt have the range of Safa and the service wasnt as good. Whatsmore our standard dinner (popodoms, curries, rice nan, side dish, bottle of wine) cost around £10 more (closer to £50–55 including ‘voluntary’ service charge (grr) rather than the £35–40 in Safa) and there were no red roses for the women at the end of the meal (always a highlight of Safa!).

    Worringly for the restaurant in the hour or so that we were there no other customers came in and it doesnt seem to offer take aways. At the same time Safa seemed to be busy with a constant stream of customers and take aways.

    Spice of Life in Camberwell is run by the same company as the Spice of Life on St Johns Hill, SW11 — I dont know why they thought it was a good idea to open up in this particular spot in Cambewell, opposite an existing popular Indian restaurant.

  21. Shame about Spice of Life Mumu because Safa’s one of the worst Indian restaurants I’ve ever been in. Yet to visit Spice of Life, though I will as I appreciate them investing in the area.

    Thank heavens for JJ’s.

  22. Ive always found Safa to be good — in terms of range, quality and service. Some of the sauces can be a bit heavy but on the whole we found it to be the best of the three Indians (Safa, Indiahh, New Dewanaian) we tried when we first moved to the area and on a par if not better than the places in Kennington we used to go to

  23. To my non-professional eye, Spice of Life looks about as doomed a newly-opened restaurant as I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t help that the logo makes it seem, on first glance, like a Thai place. They might also want to re-think the apparent policy of lighting the entire room with interrogation-strength 150w bulbs.

  24. We had a fab JJ dinner delivered last night for four adults for 20 quid including tip to the chap for his prompt and cheerful arrival.

  25. Mark — sorry I couldn’t make it, although I did raise a glass of slightly acidic Côte de Rhone, grape unknown, from home.

    Congratulations to JJ, which rightly enjoys protection from the pavement parking parasites that plague local business in So’ton Way, in the form of iron fencing as illustrated by Mark@5 — great picture, too.

    Exactly the kind of small characterful quality-service independent which is obviously attracting money into the area and helping to regenerate it, which a Tesco Metro would never do.

    More dedicated short stay parking in side streets near small businesses in that area would do nicely, benefit JJ Catering, and assure it and similar ventures of longevity. Mention it to your councillors, and ask them to use their planning powers to help small business keep the UK economy afloat in a time when consultants and hedge fund boys have added so much value to high finance stalwarts that they have become “too large to fail”.

  26. The Spar Cotes du Rhone is acidic and only 13% abv. The Somerfield Cotes is 14% abv and rich and satisfying for just £3.19, stupendous paired with dishes ordered by phone from JJ Catering. Cotes du Rhone is made from a blend of grapes, usually Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, the stonkingly strong grape varieties of the sun-lashed, shower-splashed, sultry and sensuous south.

  27. Reg…Your macro-micro economic solutions are astonishing.

    In one foul swoop you suggest that “consultant and hedge fund boys” have doomed the economy yet to keep UK Plc afloat we need more short-stay parking in side streets

    I’m not sure I’ll be mentioning it to my councillor just yet

  28. Alan Dale you MUST introduce yourself sometime. Were you standing at the bar at George Canning on your own near the coffee machine? Listening IN? To the crap we were pumping out?

  29. In these days of credit crunch could anyone advise me on the budget supermarkets to go to in the local area? I feel I must get in on the act: could anyone give me informed opinions on which of Aldi, Netto or Lidl is best?

  30. What and where is JJ?
    Safa is average at best.
    Spice of Life — yet to try, but if it’s £££ then why bother.

  31. http://www.jjcaterers.co.uk are at the corner of Southhampton Way and Rainbow Street. You can eat in or take away — they deliver. Their food is way above average and way below average prices.

    Netto is good on Rye Lane — expect to queue at the tills. This Danish outfit is cheaper than Lidl, though Lidl have regular excellent offers e.g. their super-strength South African wines currently selling for £2.79. People take away whole packs of basics like tinned tomatoes and condensed mill perhaps for resale, from Netto. Netto really is tills at one end and trucks at the other. Aldi is OK but way over on the Old Kent Road. Lidl and Netto are walkable.

  32. The Joiners Arms has had a sympathetic repaint job done on it — very nice it looks too…the interior has been left well alone — good job too only a complete philistine would rip out that beautiful old carpentry and wood panelling and of course my favorite — The Socialist wall tiles mural!

    Mark will be figuring out his next move shortly 🙂

  33. Not me. That fella was easy sixty.

    I was in the back with my cousin. He would have thought it odd if I mingled…

    Maybe one day.. but really why spoil a beautiful friendship?

  34. @Mumu — Comment 30
    After such an excellent round-up from The Dags, further comments could seem superfluous, but here goes. I’m a recent convert to Lidl (Peckham). Their chocolate, biscuits & cold meats (particularly sliced sausage, perhaps betraying their Germanic heritage) are all great. And they do a great melon-flavoured vodka (classily branded “Rachmaninov” @ £6.99). The queues are ever-present, but they do move. You do need to build a familiarity with the stock layout, because it can be a bit confusing at first. Give it a try and see what you think.

  35. Aldi all day. As cheap as Lidl but the packaging is far superior. Makes me feel like I’m consuming quality. The shop is cleaner and the queues are fewer. However, a trip to Lidl is always fun for a sense of being on holiday — a lot of the stock is quite alien.

  36. I really thought that could not possibly be you but it was looking at us and listening in.

    Netto I’ve only been to once — somewhere else — like Canterbury — and I didn’t realise there is one locally. It was very yellow. I shop at Lidl in Peckham at least once a week because of its proximity and because it is very good value and quality. Organic eggs £1.79 for six. Fresh meat is good and their Emmental and cured meats and coleslaw too. Kitchen and toilet rolls are great quality and very cheap… Fruit juices and bread, butter, tinned toms, tomato paste, olive oil… it goes on and on. All seems unbelievably cheap if you shop regularly at Sainsburys or Tesco and actually check prices. I think Aldi has an edge on presentation, style and quality over Lidl (I know of one high quality food supplier who provides to Selfridges and Aldi — identical products — different packaging) but as Dagmar says — it’s out in the burbs. Shop early to mid morning — any day of the week — if you can, to avoid queues. You’ll save a small fortune. The wines as Dagmar says — are great value too. They did a delicious Prosecco Veneziana over the summer at £3.79 easily worth a sixer. Sold off the last stock at £3.49 utter bargain.

  37. I hope a few of you managed to drop into the Brunswick Park fete yesterday.

    It was a brilliantly successful event and a credit to the organisers (the Brunswick Park Tenants and Residents Association).

    Speaking of which, we have our AGM tomorrow night at the town hall, if anyone is interested in dropping in.

    (Open to all residents of the streets surrounding the park).

  38. Yes, the steel band was very popular.

    Shame they only played a few tunes but hopefully we will be able to get them back again next time.

    And next time = hopefully something around easter especially for the kids.

  39. Yeah, went today and the lady said it was Open just yesterday. This year’s Open House has been a fiasco. They are now web-based but their site crashes or crashes your computer. It seems like English Heritage, sort of soft and daft, but hard and nasty.

  40. They were distributing Open House information booklets with a full listing in the libraries around here (or certainly the Lambeth libraries)

    The main draws in SE5 were the Salvation Army tower, the ‘reto eco house’ on Coleman Road. Sunshine House on Peckham Road and nearby new block of flats on Dog Kennel Hill — sadly laziness, sunshine, drinking Pimms in the garden and London Freewheel meant that I failed to get to any Open House events

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