Sunday, 29 July 2007

Openings and Closures

Normally, if I write about closures it would be in relation to what stopper you'll find on a bottle of wine (check out my wine blog here if that kind of thing interests you) but in relation to Forest Hill it mainly concerns shops.

Forest Hill has yet to become a destination for trendy shoppers although we do already have several very cool places to shop for clothes in particular - check our Bunka, Mayo Maker and Oliver London). However, these are the few gems in a pretty rough shopping desert.

The most regular occurence is that a shop closes - such as our (in)famous condom and tattoo shop (no demand) or, most recently, Mercury Electrical (old fashioned).

I was quite excited, therefore, when I noticed two shops being refitted as I walked around different parts of Forest Hill recently. Both are quite small and in very different shopping areas of town, but I had high hopes for them.

The first to open was a Polish Delicatessen. Excellent! I do not profess to be knowledgeable about Polish delicacies, but that is the point - here is something new and exciting to try. The couple who have opened Jagiello's have big plans for offering coffee and meats (Polish sausages coming soon) as well as the packaged foods they already have from a distant corner of our expanded European Union. I don't think they have a website yet, but you can find them on the short stretch of the South Circular labelled Sunderland Road. More on Polish influences in Forest Hill soon.

The second, yet to open but with a sign up already, was a whole lot less exciting. Peering through the window I saw chiller cabinets and shelves and I had a silent prayer (to a non-existent deity) it might turn out to be a butcher. It is on Perry Vale just before the back entrance to the station. All hopes were dashed though when the sign went up announcing "Indian Take Away" (no name). How could we possibly need another take away in Forest Hill? I'd love to know how many of these businesses actually survive longer than a year, and quite how much money is wasted setting them up. Surely someone must consider the existing market and demand before setting up a business? We are regularly inundated with menus through the letter box and they all go in the bin (we already have our favourites, thanks).

There are plenty more shop premises in Forest Hill, and a quite affluent, and motivated potential customer base. If you are looking for a place to establish a new business, check us out, but if you are planning an Indian take-away or Fried Chicken joint PLEASE try somewhere else.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Summer distractions & floods

"Apologies for the lack of posts!"

I have read this around the place at the moment and it definitely applies here too. I guess the combination of summer holiday plans and the extra work you do to prepare for the break means that blogging time is more limited.

So, back to the streets of Forest Hill.

Well, they've been rather wet of late; wet rather than submerged which I guess we should be thankful for. I need to check out the flood risk maps again (I did this before we moved in and I believe we are fine) but I think we should be OK over here. On the other hand, despite Forest Hill being one of the highest points around London, we live at the bottom of that hill - and boy can you tell when it pours. The main road runs like a river looking for white-water rafters to dare to navigate it, but at least it has stuck to the road so far.

I trust all you have been OK so far. I believe there are small pockets of Forest Hill that have underground water courses (hidden rivers, such as one behind Sunderland Road I believe) so I hope you weren't badly affected.

[On the topic of floods, check out Flood London which seems to be about to come out based on a book by Richard Doyle. I am sure it is over-dramatising the risk, but at least it could help prepare us. Nice to see Forest Hill at least seems to get spared in his predictions. Nice photo on the BBC site today as well]

Here's hoping for a few weeks of sun to dry out the smell of damp that seems to be coming from everywhere.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

What an Honor

Thanks for a great night!

The 3rd Lewisham Bloggers Meet-Up last night (Friday the 13th) was a great evening out.

Lots of wine and beer (and a burger or two) were consumed and the more I drank the more (blurry) pictures I took. I apologise for getting carried away, however of the 270 (!) photos I took there were one or two good portraits. I hope you like them.

Before I publish them in all their glory for everyone those who came along have a chance to review them. Nothing untoward to report, but I realise one or two would like to keep a low profile. Check out the facebook event Wall for the link, or email me at: (replacing the relevant characters!) and I'll send you the guest pass.

[UPDATE: Check out some of the photos here]

Thanks a lot to those who came along, even if it was for a short time. It is great to see how committed this group is, walking several miles (Wulf) or popping in before dinner duty (Max) just to say hello. I really appreciate the support and I think it says a lot about our community spirit.

Great to see all those who turned up, including:
Mr "Last Bus Home"
(have I missed someone?)

It was great to see a some new faces as well as those I met last time, and I am sorry that a few couldn't make it in the end - maybe next time! Kate, I still owe you a drink.

Thanks to everyone for helping to put this together and thanks to The Honor Oak as a great venue (even with the rowdy teachers!). Don't forget we must put together a definitive Lewisham Bloggers list that we all include on our sites to raise the profile of these great areas.

See you all again soon I hope

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Brown bins

Posted on with no response so far:

"A whole street in neighbouring Brockley, where my friends live, sprouted Brown Bins (to go next to the Black and Green ones) yesterday. No announcement. No letter. No details on the bin as to why.

Has anyone else seen these and know what they are for? Is Lewisham starting a composting collection service? There is nothing on their website that I can find."

Surely something Andrew or Sue can answer

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

'coz every little bit helps

Something I came across today that is relevant to Forest Hill, and other local areas too

Kudos to Friends of the Earth

Friday, 6 July 2007

Lewisham Bloggers Gathering Now on Friday 13th

The auspicious date should have been the key all along.

After checking with as many as I could, and after discovering that the Thursday did not suit so many of you, I have unilaterally and FINALLY decided that we will do this on Friday the 13th come what may.

So, be at the Honor Oak (see a week today, Friday 13th, from 18:00

First round on me.

All Lewisham (and surrounds) Bloggers welcome

for more information click here

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Lewisham Blogger Influence

This will be interesting!

Hazel Blears is to announce the right of residents in 10 key areas of the country to directly influence council spending through ballots according to the Guardian

"Voters will be given powers to decide how ten of millions of pounds should be spent in their neighbourhood under radical plans being unveiled today."

... and guess what. In at number 3 on the list is our very own Lewisham.

It also says:

"She said she may introduce new powers that will give people the right to petition councils. They would then be under an obligation to consider it. She hinted strongly that even these measures were not radical enough."

Now who on Earth (or at least Lewisham) might be at all interested in helping to tell the council where to spend more money? I believe I can easily think of a few.

Time for Lewisham bloggers to "unite" for influence?!

(interesting that as I write this my radio is playing "Anarchy in the UK"!!)

UPDATE: Andrew has already posted more detail on the same subject in a much more eloquent fashion!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Is 75% good or bad?

75%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

This is Kate's fault - no I don't hang out on dating sites!