The Bookshop on the Heath has interesting books about Turkey in its windows. Never read The Eunuch of Stamboul, but according to this blog post, looks like an entertaining read. Apparently it was also made into a film in 1936, which can be viewed for free at the BFI’s Mediatheque.
Speaking of Turkey, Blackheath’s dabbling with Turkish food has come to a close. Not a huge surprise given some of the competition nearby. It was never a great place, as many of the reviews here have mentioned. Will Cote be any better?
The vegetarian bugle was sent to Coquillage, the local fish shop last weekend. I’m told the fish was great, so if you’re looking for something to set fire to on the barbecue this weekend, here’s what we did. They also sell Samphire (green stuff at the rear left of the photo), which is really nice with a little lemon juice, as a green salad next to your fish. Very few places sell samphire, so this is quite a find!
Jade Boulangerie and Coquillage occasionally give out 10%-off vouchers, which can come in handy. Anyway, without going all Jamie Oliver on you, here’s what we did:
Whole sea bass, cleaned and de-scaled (they cleaned it reasonably well at the shop, but there was a little more to do).
2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)
Slices of lemon
Wash and de-scale the sea bass. It should be sliced open from the underbelly (do fish have bellies?)
Cut some lines diagonally across the fish
Stuff the garlic, lemon, and bay leaves into the cuts
Stick it on the BBQ turning occasionally until it’s brown. – one of these helps (Sainsbury’s sell them too).
Serve with samphire drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Anyway, it’s good to see them doing well, especially in a location that saw other businesses fail before.
Here’s a list of the various opening times in Blackheath.
All the info below is from me phoning the pubs today, so may not be perfect.
If you’re going to try and watch fireworks over London (where the Thai hot air balloon shown above lifted up from a couple of years back), try the junction of Cade Road and General Wolfe Road, shown below – nearest Blackheath pub is the Hare & Billet. (see map at the bottom of this post).
Hare & Billet
No tickets required – open from 11am until 1am on New Year’s Day.
Open from 8.30pm – with an extended license (guy on the phone wasn’t sure until when – possibly 3am or 4am?) Tickets are £12 in advance, or £15 on the door.
No ticket required
Open until 1am
No ticket required
Open until 2am
Tickets are £5 on the door,
Open until 1.30am
Prince of Wales
No ticket required
Open until 1am (he thinks but not sure)
As with last year, they’re not answering the phone – I’ve dropped them an email, and I’ll update the blog if they reply.
Good spot for watching fireworks over London:
If you would like us to collect your real Christmas tree you must remember to remove all decorations then leave it next to your green-top bin on your normal collection day. Make sure you leave your tree where it can be easily seen by the collection team.
Take it to one of these designated places, or pay £15 to have the council collect it from your door. Note that the pins on the map are VERY approximate – please correct them if they’re in the wrong places.
I sometimes think local councils should be unified into a single body. I can’t understand why the two adjacent councils differ so much in their provision of services.
UPDATE: The review in question has been removed, so it’s no longer possible to view it.
I’ve received an anonymous comment very similar to this one on my blog last week. I didn’t publish it as I don’t know anything about the school in question. I’m also not naming the school in this blog post, as I don’t think it’s fair when people go a-googling.
When Gregg’s the Bakers changes its signage, I feel qualified to harp on about that. I walk past Gregg’s. I even occasionally eat their veggie pasties, even though I know I shouldn’t.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have kids. The last time I set foot in a school was when John Major was prime minister. So please understand my total lack of expertise here.
We have looked in the past at the websites of the local schools, and I must admit that the admissions policies of “faith schools” do scare me slightly. If you want to send your children to this school, you must have been attending a local church for at least 2 years, and the vicar must know you. So what happens if you lose your faith whilst your child is at the school? If you decide that you can no longer bring your child up with one set of beliefs, should that child leave their friends?
On the other hand, the school in question stands out to me as a casual observer precisely because it looks so idyllic. Their most recent Ofsted reports marked them as “outstanding”. The setting and style of the building reminds me of my very happy time at a local non-faith comprehensive primary school in the 80s (nowhere near here).
Back then, my school still made you sing hymns, had groovy vicars tell you that Jesus was cool, and occasional teachers who would tell you that you’d go to hell because you weren’t christened. All of which was just part of going to school for me. On the other hand, if you were “different” from the majority of kids at the school, you didn’t have such an easy time of it.
If you have any thoughts or comments about this, please think very carefully before posting. I can’t afford to be sued, and I don’t want allegations about specific people on this post. Teaching isn’t an easy job.
Last night Sgt McClellan of the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team has sent out the circular below to all his local contacts, including the BVRG.
Tonight at 1750 hours a blue Volvo was chased by police that was involved in firearms, and failed to stop for police. It was chased around Lee High Road, and eventually crashed at 12 Blackheath Village SE3, at the butchers. The vehicle mounted the kerb and drove on the footway from the little roundabout, all the way down between the shops and the bus stops ON THE FOOTWAY, making people dive out the way quickly. A very dangerous driver. Two males have been arrested and are currently being processed at Lewisham Police Station.
I have sent out a witness appeal via the text message system, as the more people that come forward the better, this male needs to be sent to prison and the team are investigating him now.
Please can you canvas as many people as possible and get them to call 0300 123 1212 with the details of what they saw, this can then be collated in all one place.
Thanks in anticipation.
Sergeant Mark McLellan MInstLM | Blackheath and Lee Green SNT | Lewisham Borough
address 43 Lewisham High Street, SE13 5JZ
telephone 0208 284 8497 | mobile 0755 7676 271 |email mark.mclellan AT met.police.uk
airwave (108900) 475525
With the usual caveats about speaking to the police (link is US-centric, but you get the idea).
Spotted on a tree along Pond Road, a “farewell to Blackheath Library” poster:
Blackheath Village LIbrary Users’ Group
Farewell To Blackheath Library
Please join us for a meeting to mark the closure, on May 27th 2011, of our village library.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday 17 May from 7-8.30pm at the Bakehouse, Bennett Park, (behind Age Exchange).
We shall thank our supporters and librarians, and formally wind up the Users’ Group. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Wine and soft drinks will be available for a donation on the night.
Any queries to se3villagelibrary (at) yahoo.co.uk or 020 8852 4032.
I hope the councillors who agreed to close it have the balls to attend.
UPDATE: My Latin typo corrected (I blame comprehensive educayshun you know….)
I had a great idea for a website a while back. It was going to be called wherethefuckismypollingstation.com
. Catchy hey? You’d go to the website, enter your postcode, and the site would show you a map to the appropriate polling station. (The link on the URL above takes you to Greenwich council’s site. Good luck finding your polling station…)
I’ve managed to dig my polling card out from a pile of junk mail, and it seems to be in the same place as usual (St Michael’s Church Hall), but I can never find the details on Greenwich or Lewisham’s websites. Without the card, I’d have no idea what time it opened for business.
If you’re a Lewisham voter, you’re more likely to be voting at Blackheath village library. If it’s still there.
Anyway, whether you vote “yes”, “no”, or “will it make any difference” tomorrow, make sure you vote.
Neil Rhind spoke about the history of libraries in Blackheath, and then revealed that he had popped into the Blackheath Standard library recently, because he needed to check something in his book Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 2, but couldn’t find it on the shelf. A library assistant informed him that “it’s always out. It’s the most stolen book from our library, after the bible”. He seemed delighted by this!
Here’s an extract from the reading by Blake Morrison, from his book The Justification of Johann Gutenberg
One day in the forest, when he was feeding the birds, he says, “it was as if the dove that perched [on my hand] spreading its wings had become an open book. And the dove departing from me was like a book taking flight. And the grain the dove held in its beak was like a kernel of knowledge seeding itself through the world.”
A very pertinent passage, as the grain is about to be snatched from the beaks of future generations.
Both Blake Morrison and Nicholas Cranfield (the vicar from All Saints Church) emphasised the community aspects of the library. Blake Morrison described what he called “bibliotherapy” – the act of reading with others, as something of great value. He emphasised that when politicians define the needs for cuts across services, they often draw a choice between front-line healthcare services, or library services. He spoke very well about his experiences, and said that library services often actively reduce the need for healthcare, by nurturing people’s minds, reducing their reliance on other services. I guess this sort of symbiotic relationship is hard to prove on a balance sheet, but it certainly chimes with my gut feeling of how a library benefits society. Nicholas Cranfield spoke of libraries as a “civilising force”.
On the downside, there wasn’t enough space for the protest inside the library- they should have held it outside with a PA (maybe they could have borrowed the mic from the crazy morris minor sound-system, or moved the bookshelves to make space for the protestors – the shelves were on wheels, so why not make some space?!
All in all, it was an uplifting experience. I’m just not sure that Lewisham Council was paying attention.
(Photo credit: Mrs Bugle, deep undercover…)