Monthly Archives: June 2008

Booze Busting in Blackheath

Booze Busters

Blackheath is not short of places to buy your favourite tipple.  There is the lovely Nicolas of course, pricey and slightly confusing if you know nothing about wine, but very nice nonetheless.  And they do a lovely sparkling dry cider (Duché de Longueville Brut) that is much more within the Bugle’s pocket.  There is another type of this cider made by the same people that is even better – less sparkling and even drier, but the nearest place to buy it is the greenwashed Sainsbury’s in Greenwich.

The Oddbins opposite Nicolas always looks a bit sad by comparison, but is actually much better for English Ales.   They hide them right at the back, near the floor (they obviously want to keep it all for themselves), and I recently found both Summer Lightning and GFB, both made by The Hop Back Brewery, and both delicious.  Their website doesn’t tell you what GFB stands for, but I have a fair idea.  Previously the only place I’ve found this beer has been at Borough Market, or on draught at a wonderful hidden-away pub in Colliers Wood of all places.  The other thing going for Oddbins, is the music.  Last time I went in there, they were playing Cesaria Evoria – always a pleasure.

Then there’s Booze Busters.  I’m sure I should call it McColls Newsagents or something, but it will always be known as Booze Busters in our house, because of the ugly banner above the shop.  This place is ideal for buying a copy of the Daily Mail, and filling your body with High Fructose Corn Syrup, both of which should be avoided at all costs.  They do sell cheapish lager though, which can be handy if you’re having people round who haven’t seen the light.

Then Shepherd Foods, which I’ve gone on about too much already (check out the fizzy australian ale though), Hand Made Foods who sell some alcohol, (I’m sure its lovely, but I’m always too scared to even look at the prices).  And the wonderfully 1970s CostCutter, whose name should be done for under the Trade Descriptions Act.  It’s a strange sort of place, but some of their £8 wines aren’t bad.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of right now.  The combination of a grim nightshift tonight, and an extra-special summer cold is making me think I might prepare a hot toddy to keep me going.  If you think of anywhere else worthy of a mention, please drop me a comment!

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School for Muggles

Blackheath Hospital

I overheard someone at the station a while back pointing up at the spooky Blackheath Hospital building and referring to it as “Hogwarts”…

It certainly does have a touch of the gothic about it…  According to the guru (amazon or abebooks), it was originally built as a boarding school, though not for trainee wizards sadly.  Instead it was a boys school for sons of missionaries.  And now it mends broken hearts, sort of…

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Hexagonal Hedonism

10 Blackheath Park (front steps)

The Bugle had some misdelivered post today. So rather than stick it back in the post box, I thought I’d walk it to its rightful letterbox. The road in question was Blackheath Park, a beautiful private road, originally part of the Cator Estate, and full of spectacular leafy Victorian and Georgian houses.

I delivered the letter, and was walking back down the road, when I saw the most extraordinary house. Number 10 Blackheath Park looks like it has dropped down from out of space in comparison with the properties next to it, but doesn’t offend them, and actually seems to blend in (or maybe the trees around it soften the blow).

10 Blackheath Park

The front has a most peculiar spiral shaped tower of steps leading up to a raised front door, combined with a strange little water feature. I did a bit of research, and it seems to have been built by an architect called Partick Gwynne, who died in 2003. According to this article in The Telegraph, it was built in the Sixties:

The best of Gwynne’s houses date from the hedonistic 1960s: Witley Park, where the staircase seems to float; 10 Blackheath Park, where the four principal rooms were designed as hexagons because the owner thought a series of small, inter-linked rooms ideal for parties.

Pevsner described 10 Blackheath Park, with its black slate facings and horizontal bronze-tinted glazing, as “designed to shock”. Though some of Gwynne’s houses have been demolished, most have lasted well, often in the hands of their original owners or of new owners keen to value them. Four of them have already been listed, a record that few of his contemporaries can rival.

Obiturary from The Independent

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Virtual Tour of Blackheath

Evening Blackheathens… I had a day off today, so thought I’d have a go at making a virtual tour of Blackheath.

Armed with the lousy mobile phone camera, I took a photo every few steps, and then put them all together into a little web thingy.

If you click on the photo below, you’ll start downloading the tour. It will take a couple of minutes, so you might want to put the kettle on. Once it is ready, you can choose where to begin from a list of options, then click around the screen to move forwards and backwards. Some of the routes are limited, and some are a bit confusing, as you have to effectively walk backwards to get to them… Anyway, you’ll see what I mean.

Blackheath Wanderer Flash Game click to open

Don’t forget to wait until it has finished loading before you click anywhere (I’ll put a proper loading screen in later!). If this one isn’t working properly, there is a copy here.

I hope to update it to make it more like a game (maybe like this brilliant game based around Soho), but my Flash skills will need to improve before then.

Let me know if any of it doesn’t make sense – I’ve already removed quite a few impossible loops etc.

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Like a virgin…

madonna

“So Blackheath is like Madonna?” As someone asked me the other day…

I wondered what on earth they meant, summoning up images of gold sequinned pyramid basques.

“I mean, it’s just ‘Blackheath’, not ‘Blackheath Common’, or ‘Blackheath Park’?”

I really didn’t know what to say to this… I suppose Blackheath Heath sounds a bit silly.

Photo from wikimedia under creative commons license

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Ferreting about…

Stoatally Different

Just saw the ferret man again. Mrs Bugle and I have seen him by the bus stop before. Maybe it is a stoat, or a weasel – I’ve looked it up on google, but the results are inconclusive. Hope he got a half fare for the little rascal.

Weaselly DistinguishableFerreting About

About 6 minutes 10 seconds in:

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Playground bullying

From kites to something less delightful. As I trawl the internet looking for bits of Blackheath, I came across two new clips added to Youtube. In this wonderful new high tech world that we live in, school children don’t just get into fights in the playground, they upload the fights onto youtube afterwards.

This really reminds me of the worst bits of being at school – the sense of being in a cross between a zoo and a prison, and feeling a bit queasy on a Sunday evening. Being an adult is great in comparison, I think.

If anyone knows Liam, Dimas, Kemnal, or whatever they’re called, maybe have a word with their teacher, and get them put in detention or something.

Anyway, here are the two videos in all their miserable glory. Lots of playground language if you know what I mean. Video 1 and Video 2

If you’re having trouble at school with bullying, then tell an adult that you trust.

More anti-bullying info

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