London Still

Back in London, we had just over a week of house sitting sweet Poppy in Peckham. We traveled from Brussels that harrowing day and were looking forward to Poppy’s welcoming embrace. Not to be. Poppy glared at us from the top of the stairs as if to say who are you and why are you here in my house.

We all got over that pretty quickly, with first impressions making way for getting to know you better. I’ve not been a fan of making assessments based on an first meeting because you never know what’s been going on at the other end.

It was clear that Poppy is a very much adored pet. She has her own padded basket complete with a warming blanket. Most days we’d take a photo of Poppy and send to the owners, together with an update on Poppy’s activities and general condition. If it was me being away I’d want to be reassured that everything was going ok.

We loved Poppy, she was a real pleasure to spend time with and we all got along very well after the initial standoff. How cute is she! I just love that random off-center white bit.

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The home had a great kitchen, and a handsome wiper upper.

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Yes, we too love Billy Bragg. Great tea towel wall art.

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Something we discovered early on was a neighbour’s wonderful daily messages. On Twitter @peckhambird, lots of great words.

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Each day we’d walk past to see the current offering.

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As usual we walked and walked and walked. Peckham residents are very fortunate to have a wonderful Common where people can run their dogs, or cycle or walk around and meet people. It was bit too cold for us just to sit and watch so we kept moving.

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We wanted to walk around Hampstead Heath so one day we boarded the train to head across London. But we became distracted by a news article posted by a friend on Facebook through the week about a giant statue of the Monty Python ex-parrot, installed in London.  When we arrived at London Bridge station to change trains we realised we were just across the Thames from the Parrot installation. We made a characteristic change of plans and wandered across London Bridge to go looking for this marvel.

Walk walk walk, no dead parrot. Crossed Tower Bridge back over the other side. Walk walk walk, no dead parrot. Hmm, lets look at the phone and check that article to find out where this thing is. Where it was – was 2 years ago! Now feeling a bit silly we retired to the nearest pub to laugh it off, so hilarious.  Next time we’ll actually read a story properly and maybe do some research. Was a great day out and we still haven’t been to Hampstead Heath.

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Image from www.aglimpseoflondon.com

Another time we walked all the way to Greenwich, around an hour & a half. Greenwich is a fabulous area, great vibe, fascinating shops and cafes. And of course there is the Cutty Sark. She was badly fire damaged a few years ago and now she’s back, looking all sleek and shiny.

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Happy Greenwich bonus – a market! As soon as we walked through the doors into the market space we were taken over by the aromas from the various food stalls. After we’d wandered around checking out all the things we couldn’t buy (given our strict packing regimen), we chose Chinese for lunch as we’d craved fresh spicy flavours for some time. Happy happy.

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We didn’t know much about Peckham, other than it might be a similar demographic to its neighbour Brixton where we stayed in an airbnb in October. A bit edgy, colourful, interesting streetscapes.

Just 2 train stops from London Bridge station, Peckham was a great place to spend the week. Sure, it is a bit rough in parts, but we always felt safe day and night, and it was really fascinating to walk around the High Street within the cultural hype. Peckham has a lot going for it.

It was so good to be back in London. The house sit with Poppy was fantastic, with the added delight of being able to catch up with Adam & Jacque once again. We’ll spend time with them again over Christmas when they join us in Morpeth.

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Parting gesture from Greenwich Markets

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