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Archive for September, 2011

Sunset at St George Wharf

28 Sep

Gulls at sunset

Gulls at sunset


Aqua Brasserie at St George Wharf

Aqua Brasserie at St George Wharf

I never realised that you can see a half decent sunset from St George Wharf.  Ok the sunsetting over Pimlico is not as alluring as watching one over the Indian Ocean from Zanzibar but it is  local.  I don’t know whether gulls actually check out the sunset but soon after this picture was taken they flew off from St George Wharf Pier

When St George Wharf first opened it was fairly quiet by the riverside. These days, at least when the weather is good, it has a thriving social scene. Aqua Brasserie cafe/restaurant/bar is certainly worth trying out.  It was certainly busy tonight and no doubt will get busier once the river services stat operating from St George Wharf Pier on the 3rd October.

 
 

Flying pig spotted over Battersea Power Station

26 Sep
Pink Floyd flying pig

Pink Floyd flying pig

Ok I admit it. When I first saw the pig flying over Battersea Power Station the first thought that came to mind was that developers had listened to the local community and weren’t going to build any more tall towers. After all, if pigs can fly perhaps local opinion does matter.

As it happens the 30ft long pig was there to recreate the Pink Floyd ‘Animals’ album cover from 1976. The latest stunt was to help launch the Pink Floyd back catalogue starting with 14 studio albums which have been digitally remastered and will be available on CD.  Anyway, I must stop sounding like an advert but would like to offer some suggestions to the band on how one of their classic songs “Another brick in the wall” could be reworded to fit in with the area. How about changing

“We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.” with
“We don’t need no consultation. We don’t need more than 20 floors.”

 
 

Fly-tipping on Claylands Green

25 Sep

 

Fly-tipping on Claylands Green

Fly-tipping on Claylands Green

Shopping trolley appears

Shopping trolley appears

Fly-tipping may be defined as illegally dumping waste somewhere else than in an authorised landfill site. I’m not sure whether this scene counts as fly-tipping but it is certainly inconsiderate and becoming a bit of a bad habit on Claylands Green.

You may recall a well known expression: “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. I think there should be an extension to that… “If you misuse it, you lose it”. Perhaps Lambeth should remove the bin, preventing an eyesore and saving some money in the process.

26/09/2011

One day later, a shopping trolley arrives.  Perhaps those loitering pigeons were trying to clear up.  [Don’t tell me I’m going to start a daily diary on this bin.  Surely not.  That would be too sad.]

 

Brunswick Cafe

23 Sep


I’ve been to Brunswick House many times but have never managed to have a meal in their cafe before. I don’t claim to be a food critic but I know excellent food when I taste it. ‘Mackerel with English Mustard and Blackberries’ was one just item on the menu indicating that this is not standard fayre. A minor thing perhaps but they do manage to serve decent freshly squeezed orange juice. Simple? Well how come most restaurants can’t seem to manage it.

If you haven’t visited Brunswick House before, it is choc-a-bloc with architectural salvage for sale. The cafe is set amongst this. How many places could you visit where you can actually buy the seat you are sitting on or the light fittings over your head! The interior shot may seem like a stage setting but diners do actually sit up there for a meal (I’m not trendy enough to be put on display).

It is nice to see two apprently seperate businesses combined in such a way. Although dominated by St George Wharf behind, and tower blocks planned all around I suspect this 18th Century building will thrive and may even out last them all!

 

Another accident at Vauxhall

20 Sep
Accident investigation underway

Accident investigation underway

Accident at Vauxhall

Accident at Vauxhall

I dread seeing traffic jams in some roads as they are usually a sign that there has been an accident somewhere.  Fentiman road was choc-a-bloc this morning as were most roads around the neighbourhood.  Hopefully this lorry-cyclist accident at Vauxhall was not fatal but it was certainly a serious one.  The lorry, shown below near the SIS (aka MI6) building, apparently hit a cyclist and dragged the victim for some distance before the driver realised.

If you are a regular cyclist, you won’t need to be reminded that cycling in London can be very dangerous. There are a number of local danger spots which are worth finding out about. I do urge all cyclists to check out the London cycling casualty and fatality map from City Beast.  Surprise, surprise, we find the site of today’s accident is already a known danger spot.  Incidentally, a cycling colleague  suffered a suspected broken heel while dodging a lorry  just outside Tescos at St George Wharf -very near the scene of today’s accident.  Another colleague summed up many cyclists’ view of the Vauxhall gyratory  “I tried cycling around Vauxhall once.  Never again.”

 

 

 

Our nearest 50m swimming pool

18 Sep
Brockwell Park Lido

Brockwell Park Lido

I haven’t been to Brockwell Park Lido  (also see BPL user group website) for some years but as it is the nearest public 50 metre pool to the neighbourhood I thought I’d give it another try.  The Grade II listed Art Deco pool is still there but now there are adjacent gym facilities, a health suite and hyrdrotherapy pool.  The cafe wasn’t open for early birds like me but it looked good from the outside.

The pool seemed fairly quiet with less than 10 swimmers but at least it had lane ropes (Perhaps they don’t make ropes long enough for the 100 yard Tooting Bec Lido).  Brockwell Park Lido is due to close in October for the winter.  No doubt some hardy souls would want the pool to stay open all year round.  Tooting Bec Lido managed the feat so it is possible.   Perhaps Lambeth (or Wandsworth) will use some of that money from the VNEB OA developments to provide a decent local swimming pool.

PS I don’t normally offer management advice but will make an exception here

(1) It is not a good idea for staff to be told off in front of members of the public. 
(2) Both websites advertised opening time on Sundays as 7:30 but the pool staff didn’t let anyone in until 8:00.  Someone has  got it wrong.

 

 

Reuleux Ensemble debut concert at St Marks Church

17 Sep
Free concert at St Marks Kennington

Free concert at St Marks Kennington

More than 40 local residents were treated to a free concert today at St Marks Church Kennington.  This was a debut concert by the Reuleux Ensemble.  Today they were performing works of Britten (Serenade for tenor, horn and strings) Holst (St Pauls Suite for Strings), Warlock (Capriol Suite) and Jeffreys (Poem for End).  A French Horn solo caught me by surprise when I couldn’t spot the soloist-he had disappeared into the back of the church.  If this was a debut performance they are certain to go and do great things.

 
 

South Lambeth Market

17 Sep

Local residents were spoiled for choice with local events today.  The new once-per-month South Lambeth Market opened for business at Cavendish Arms, Hartington Street.  For those interested in music there was free debut concert of Reuleux Ensemble going on in St Marks Church-handy for those using the Oval Farmers Market. Meanwhile Stockwell Festival was being held over at Larkhall Park.  And, if that wasn’t enough for you, perhaps you had time to visit the Market Towers exhibition at, not surprisingly, Market Towers.

As I can’t resist new things, a visit to the first day of the new South Lambeth Market was always on the cards.  The flower stall were offering seasonal bunches of flowers – a pleasant change from the standard fayre.  The tea stall offered a wide range of high quality teas – I opted for the Gunpowder Mint (Morrocan) tea.  There was plenty of freshly prepared food on offer.  Inside the Cavendish Arms there were a range of arts and crafts stalls.  Congratulations to the market organisers and stall holders for putting on a good show.  If the first day is anything to go this market will surely be a success.

 
 

Our nearest cinema

16 Sep
Brixton Ritzy

Brixton Ritzy

Brixton is our nearest local cinema unless developers get around to building the proposed one at Vauxhall (don’t hold your breath though- it might go the way of the linear walkway) . Tonight I went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy at the Brixton Ritzy.  It makes a change seeing the fictional variety of spies -most days I pass the real thing -the SIS (aka MI6) building near Vauxhall Bridge.  I was pleasantly surprised to see one of our more famous local residents, Toby Jones, at the cinema -not in the seats but on the screen in a strong supporting role.

[If you happen to read this, congratulations -excellent performance]

Every time I visit Brixton reminds of the similarities and stark differences between there and the Oval.  Both have an underground station.  Both have one of the four Waterloo churches.  They even share the same A road.  One however has a thriving  commercial area with a busy night life the other does not.  My pet theory for this is that the commercail areas are too spread out between Brixton and Clapham Roads and are only one side of the road.

 

Challenge – Bus versus running

13 Sep

Having demonstrated that cycling is as fast, if not faster, than the proposed Northern Line Extension at getting you from Battersea (Cats and Dogs Home) to the City (just over London Bridge)  I thought I’d take on the buses.  Cycle versus bus isn’t a fair match -for the bus -but what about running versus the bus?

The challenge was whether I could beat a bus, no 36 as it happens, from Victoria to the Oval.  Not being a particularly fast runner I had my work cut out on this challenge.  The bus thrashed me on the first part of the journey quickly getting more than one bus stop ahead.  By the time I reached Vauxhall Bridge the bus had disappeared into the distance.  Having convinced myself that I had already lost I settled down to a jog.  Little did I know that the bus station/vauxhall gyratory would come to my assistance.  I overtook the bus near the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.  The bus caught up with me by the Oval but lost the race.

Running beats bus …at least on this occasion.