The end of summer came up us all too quickly, before I had even had time to tell of the wonderful times we had when the sun was shining and cotton frocks were de rigueur for staying cool. But there are stories still to be told, beginning with the wonderful windy, rainy weather today in Peckham with my old friend and local guide, Mr B.
All praise to the glorious Overground that takes us beyond Surrey Docks (as was, Quays as is) to Peckham Rye. And what riches Peckham offers over and above the now ñdefunct Higgins and Jones department store of my childhood. We started at Frank's Cafe at the top of a largely uninhabited car park, up the mildly pissy stairwells, then the ramps and ridged concrete floors housing installations, to the breezy top floor, exposed to the south westerly winds and rain, the slapping of ribbons, and spectacular views across London. At the rooftop cafe we ate corn and bacon chowder, creamy and sharp (creme fraiche, celeriac and whey the cook said), all this with the wind blowing fiercely and thwacking against the hefty plastic ribbons holding down the protective tarp. Mr B said it was like being on the deck of a ship, and he was right. Except there was a garden too.
Back on dry - well, dampish - land, we took the tour around the streets of Peckham. Green suburban roads; the South London Gallery; the London Wildlife Trust Centre for Wildlife gardening that was closed because of shortage of staff; the Peckham Library, choc a bloc with people, and a view down the line of the filled-in Surrey Canal reaching past the allotments; fish and boiling fowl, plantain and peppers; and an even more extensive choice of bargain-price nail bars than we have around here - a waste of money on me, but the idea of once, just once, having sparkly nails, albeit on crooked fingers, was tempting.
The richness of re-explored territory, a new perspective on a rainy day - totally exhilarating.
More tales to come.