Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Oh yes how could I forget?

Bikes in bus lanes

Soon (like really, really soon), motorbikes will be allowed to use bus lanes.

Transport for London will be starting an 18month trial on 5th January 2009 and it seems to open up a lot of bus lanes to us. About time too. The vast majority of my commute into London Village, I will see bus lane after bus lane empty and irate drivers stuck in single file. From experience, irate drivers = irate stupid driving and that can end up with drivers swerving to peer down the road or sudden U-turns. Hmmmm. Not good for a two wheeler filtering through traffic.

So let's use those bus lanes, but let's not abuse the privilege. This is a trial period and we must show that this is a correct, safe strategy.

Oh, and let's not let our guard down as we know many car drivers don't use their left wing mirrors and definitely won't be aware of this change.

Safe riding all.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Mary Dullea

This evening I had a spare 5 minutes so thought I'd browse around on t'internet.

I like to try and keep abreast of things so thought I'd find out the latest on Mary Dullea, the lady who made national news having been mauled by dogs [I still don't understand why dangerous dogs are the acceptable face of carry a dangerous weapon], on Plumstead Common. I used a popular search engine but couldn't find out anymore on this news item.

Happily though, I discovered that Ms Dullea has a website which gives some insight into her art. Seems very impressive indeed. I know a bit more about contemporary classical music than your average Joe, but I'm no connoisseur. I hope Ms Dullea is well on the way to a full recovery and I'll be interested if she ever plays The Devil's Staircase or Century Rolls. I'll be there.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Modern architecture

I've been eager to see the architect plans for the Plumstead Manor School tuck shop for a while and have been pointed in the direction of the school's own website. In place of the pub is a modern glass construction with contemporary topiary. Looks very generic suburban architecture [at this point, I'd like to invent a new word - genurbantecture] in the style of the sports centres in Beckenham and Crook Log, Bexleyheath.

This is modern architecture without being offensive, although some would protest that this glass proposal would be a carbuncle on the face of Plumstead Common. As an example of contemporary genurbantecture, I like it. Of course, it's not aping the classicism of the existing school building, but that's good. It's not sympathetic to the Victorian terraces, but I think it's sympathetic to the Common. Time moves on and design moves on.

I'd be interested to see how the building will eventually look.

Friday, 12 December 2008

new links

I've added a couple of links to blogs I visit in the right hand column.

They are Charlton Average and Arthur Pewtys Maggot Sandwich. I haven't a faintest idea who they are but they're a jolly good read.

I had actually completely forgotten about Project X, codenamed Blackbriar; the design of a full Plumsteadshire website. This blog (codenamed Richard Briers), is OK, but has many limitations. I think I should run both side by side.

I'm am (slowly), collating useful local info but so far it mainly revolves around children's facilities. Note to Greenwich Council - the swing parks in Bexley Borough are far superior to all but the one in Greenwich Park. Shame on you.

I'm slightly dubious about including a section for 'recommended trades people'. It's definitely useful but I'll then be receiving emails from people who recommend themselves but signing 'anon'. Something which is certain is that I won't have adverts on my site. Banners and pop-up ads are such a turn off which is why I don't include them here. The focus must be on the Shire, to be an asset to the community and a vehicle for me to celebrate trivia, useless knowledge and custard tarts.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Comedy On The Common

As a special offer, print this leaflet off, bring it along to this Saturday's comedy night and you can claim a bucketful of laughs.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Comedy Saturday

I hardly have time to catch my breath from last Friday's brilliant jazz night that I have to prepare for this Saturday's Comedy on the Common extravaganza.

This time ladies and gentlemen, it's a bigger, bolder, bulging pre-Christmas night of comedy. My spies tell me that disco fever will be keeping us on our toes after the comedy, so I'll have to dig out the white flares and cuban heels for the occasion.

I've been to four Comedy on the Common nights and have been very impressed; really funny comedians apart from one who was SO risqué that I laughed but knew I really shouldn't.

Let's get together and support these live events. We are at the very beginning of a cultural life that Battersea, Clapham, Bow and Camden take for granted. The organisers work really hard to get great professional acts to perform on our doorsteps and if they feel you're not interested, then you can wave bye bye to these events.

Comedy. Saturday 13th December. Doors open 7pm

email for more info.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Board game

I'm working on a little project. It's for Christmas. It's for the good citizens of Plumsteadshire.

I'll keep you posted.

Warm your cockles with Friday night jaaaaaazzzzzzzz

Tomorrow night is jazz night on Plumstead Common. Ornette Coleman has had to pull out at the last moment as he is unable to remove bubble gum from his sax. Even better though, we have shampooed the red carpet for the great Enrico Pinna Jazz Trio - please ladies, don't throw your knickers on stage.

They say tall oaks from little acorns grow. Well, NYJO haven't a patch on the talented musicians coming from Plumstead Manor School. Stand aside Jamie Cullum, let's support the future of British jazz. Let's tap our feet to Chynna Maxius and Yolanta Boti!!!!

Friday 5th December. Doors open at 7.00pm

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

One Day Café

I'm sure the more 'with it' members of Plumsteadshire are aware of a movement to get a café community space realised. A great thing when (not if), it happens.

You know you want that Orange Mocha Frappuccino after a tough Adho Mukha Vrksasana.

Do take a look and get involved.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Comedy on Saturday

The word on the street is that there is a special Saturday night comedy offering. I don't know if this is a trial for future Saturday night events, if so then I welcome it. I really enjoy the Sunday night comedy, but the late finish takes its' toll the following day at work.

So Saturday 15th November is the date. Doors open at 7pm etcetera......

Bring this flyer along and redeem it for a couple of hours of laughter.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Art Deco Co Op

I've just stumbled across a website which has documented the fabulous Co Op Building in Woolwich. I love this building. It's strong, iconic and should be kept. I'm all for architecture and town planning to move forward, but this gem will probably be replaced with a diluted building of the utmost blandness.

Here are one of the photos from the site. Apologies to the webmaster for duplicating it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Clocks go back

Leafing through the Tytherington Village e-magazine, I discover that we need to reverse our clocks on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Hmmmm, that would make a good film title.

So don't forget it or else you'll miss Countryfile. where was I?

Phew. Life's been really busy. Despite talk of recession and job losses and all that, I've been very busy indeed. And I'm not even a repo man. Touch wood we'll be spared from this current turbulent chapter.

I heard on the wireless that West End theatre has been hit by the recession yet on obverse side of the coin, audiences for live comedy is on the increase. Well, as luck would have it, this coming Sunday is the next Comedy On The Common event. Seven English pounds is all it costs for an evening of gut busting laughter. Man alive, that's cheaper than a ticket to Charlton Athletic.

This Sunday's comedians are Reginald D Hunter, Matt Welcome, Helen Army and Rich Wilson.

In all honesty, I haven't a faintest idea who they are, but I'd not heard of previous comedians either, but they were all brilliant. You can look them up on

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

creative juices

The Sultan's Elephant

Cirque du Soleil

Newport Jazz

Plumstead Common

What connects the dots? Cultural events of course. Well, this Saturday sees talent from all over the World (or Upper Wickham Lane, whichever is the greater), gathered in Plumstead Common for a veritable feast of creative juiciness. An all day event which could dwarf Live Aid. We're talking jaaaaaazzzzzzzz, we're talking drums, we're talking arty farty stuff like wot dey 'as in da Nashnal Galleree innit?

These events don't come round too often, but with our support we might encourage the show organisers to put on more. Remember. Tall oaks from little acorns grow.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Who's right?

Being a nice afternoon, I went to Greenwich Park. I took Toddler Pangloss to play in the swing park there.

Whilst TP was walking up a ramp, a group of 3 older (maybe 8 or 9 years old), children came running around on the ramp. TP stopped at the top of the ramp to watch them/keep out of their way. They then thought it was great fun to climb onto the roof of the activity with their skateboards.

Uh oh........

Fortunately, my friend asked them to keep off of the roof and calm down as there were small children around. They didn't take much notice and my friend asked again.

Before you could say "Lorks a lordy I told you so", one of these boys ran into Toddler Pangloss and TP fell backwards and off the activity. A fall of about 2 feet - might not look that high to you & I but it's significant to a toddler.

I shouted at the top of my voice at the child whilst checking that TP hadn't fallen awkwardly and broken anything. I was pretty annoyed. I knew I'd broken the Summer atmosphere of the play park, but I just didn't care; it was instinctive. The boys had already been warned that they were being dangerous.

I spoke to the boy's father about this and he seemed unrepentant about what had happened, stating that it was an accident and that this is what happens in play parks. I accepted this, but then mentioned that we warned they were being dangerous and they chose to carry on being so. The father then put the blame in my court saying that if I want to avoid accidents then don't bring TP to play parks. I thought this was a little below the belt and said that I know children will get over-excited, but the parents need to monitor their little darlings, which he had not.

He clearly thought I was wrong and I clearly thought he was wrong.

What an unfortunate way to end Sunday.

Water Works

Just a couple of months ago, signs were put up along Plumstead Common Road to give advance warning of road works during July & August.

Oh well, at least it'll happen during the school summer holiday when the road will be quieter.

As we head towards the end of August, we've only had a stretch of road from Macoma Terrace to the Co Op dug up and filled in. Hmmmm, so I guess Thames Water will be putting in temporary traffic lights and diggers when the school run is back and can annoy lots of people. Either that or they've decided that our pipes are in tip top condition and have cancelled these works.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

More rubbish

Quick rant.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen piles of rubbish left on Plumstead Common. I'd imagine the selfish fools who left this mess think it'll magically disappear. I'd imagine the good folk of the Plumstead Common Environment Group have had to clean up after them.

I've a good mind to phone Greenwich Council about this. Fortunately, it's the same bunch of people and fortunately, I know where they live. I don't hold out much hope that anything can/will be done about it though.

coffee time

I popped into Woolwich yesterday. Not my choice shopping experience, but I'm really interested in the development of the town centre. The Royal Arsenal is nice, but bores me; it's all very predictable and unashamedly cuts itself off from the rest of the neighbourhood.

What did catch me by surprise was the sight of Starbucks. The appearance of high street coffee shops mark an upturn in an area's fortunes. The appearance of a real big hitter like Starbucks is a big boost to the Woolwich retail map.

The redevelopment of General Gordon Square will be interesting to follow and the DLR will be a great asset to the local infra-structure. Oh, of course there's a huge glass building going up opposite the town hall.

Whilst we're in Woolwich, I must mention one gem of a shop. Harry Perry Cycles. It's a proper bicycle shop and they know what they're talking about. Once I've saved up my pocket money, I'd like to go and buy a custom made bike from them.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Plumstead café

My spies tell me that Plumstead Common is getting a new café, but don't rush out with your order of Orange Mocha Frappuccino just yet.

Abalone hasn't turned into zabaglione; it's turning into an internet café. The internal fit-out looks very standard low-cost, pack 'em in, sell 'em cheap internet café, but at least someone is utilising the shop space.

What a toilet

I like this sign, but I'd wonder if it indicates a unisex facility.

Monday, 28 July 2008

what a sucker

Last night, I saw the Romanian bunch having a picnic out on the Common. Sitting, chatting, children playing, it was a nice scene ever so slightly reminiscent of La Grande Jatte. Then I saw one of their chums bringing an old vacuum cleaner across the grass. I know they raid the recycling bins [I'm resigned to the fact they do this as at least they are recycling, even though they have in the past left the cast-offs strewn all around on the ground], opposite the Co Op, so I guess this is their latest acquisition.

Today, I see that the vacuum cleaner has been left in bits on the Common, just where they were sitting. That's really thoughtless and selfish of them. I'll leave it at that.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

comedy on the common

Gadzooks, it's comedy time again. Tomorrow night at the rugby club tea house. That's Sunday 27th July at 7pm.

The comedians are :-

Ian Cognito
Lloyd Langford
Danny Davies
Caroline Maberly

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Messing about on the computer, I've added a swish little add-on to my Firefox browser. It's called PicLens and it's a 3D interface for image searching. So far, I really like it. Given that it's free, I don't know if there's actually something sinister behind it, marketing companies tracking every image search I perform for example.

Cynical? Moi?

Anyways, it looks non too shabby.

Much that I love Apple Macs, I'm still not going to commit to the 3G iPhone. I want my address book, my email, my digital life with me, but the big selling point is the breakthrough internet communicator. Well, if it doesn't read flash files then that's a pitfall for me. Having a glossy piece of tech in your pocket is one thing, but I don't want to treat my phone like a piece of Lalique, I want to chuck it in my pocket, chuck it in my bag and not worry about it looking like it's had a scuffle with a Brillo Pad.

One piece of tech that really annoys me are those mobile phone bluetooth headsets. Are people's lives SO busy now that holding a phone to your head is a hardship? To wear a lump of plastic around your ear in the hope that your partner phones you to ask whether you want baked beans or mushy peas for tea is simply bizarre.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Cafe in the community

This isn't a typing error. Given that the letters F and R sit next to each other on the keyboard, this could've been about a care in the community.

Hundreds of thousands of you Plumsteadshireans have expressed interest in a need for a good café or gastro pub in Plumstead Common. Here are a couple from the postbag:-

'Whilst out walking my dog, I like nothing more than a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake. Plumstead Common would benefit greatly from a Betty's Tea Shop'
Sylvia Plaff, Tuam Road

'It's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a dog, but it would be great to have a few choice beers with my friends in a really nice bar overlooking the common.'
J Lemmon, Macoma Terr.

'At the end of the day, when all's said and done, Plumstead Common would be great with a nice café which would form the heart of this great community.'
Richard Head

And it goes on.

At all times, the Common seems well used. There are certainly many, many parents and child minders at home during the daytime. They visit toddler groups in the mornings then have to endure the abysmal excuse for a play park at The Slade.

Plumstead Common needs a central meeting place. The Ship could easily have been that centre, but I feel it has missed an enormous opportunity.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

latest post in Plumsteadshire

At long last, the broken posts on the common have been replaced. I actually quite like the red primer colour.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

festival season kicks off

The festival season has started. There are the usual suspects - Glastonbury, Notting Hill, Womad & Womad, The Palio and of course to kick it all off, The Plumstead Make Merry.

I know what you're thinking. Why the hell is The Palio nestling in amongst such giants of musical celebration and cultural awareness? Point taken. I'll have to don my Alan Sugar cap and approach my researcher; pointing my finger I'll speak the words, "YOU'RE FIRED."

The Make Merry seemed rather good. I'd imagine that the organisers have to keep it relatively small scale so as not to steal the thunder from Notting Hill later in the year. It's a noble gesture and works well. The new logo has grown on me. I always quite liked it, but now I really like it. The quirkyness of the imagery is quite fun and sinister at the same time, although sinister in an Aubrey Beardsley kind of way, rather than an Austrian cellar kind of way.

Aligned with this quirky Victorian tone of voice is my favourite attraction from today's event, that of a Victorian-styled sideshow. I don't know who they were, but they wore scary prosthetic noses and juggled etcetera.

I was annoyed that I missed Westcott & Rodway. I saw them at last night's jazz night and thought they were utterly brilliant. The Pavilion (or Plumstead Common rugby hut), seems to be carving a very interesting and much needed cultural niche for itself. I'm very excited at how this is all going to develop in the next year.

The Comedy On The Common has brought really good comedians to The Shire and we must spread the word. Sunday 29th June. 7pm (Treadstone are working on a poster). Last night's jazz event was a real triumph. The music was superb and ambience was loose and informal. The ale went down quite well too. This could've been a one-off gig, but I sincerely hope not.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Car crash television

I'm suffering from an addiction to The Apprentice.

Of all the hateful, back-stabbing idiots, Michael Sophocles really really annoys me.... to the point of being ill.

Friday, 23 May 2008

this weekend

One lovely listener, GMVP of the Shire has put out a request for helping hands. Come on!! You appreciate the loveliness of this green and pleasant land and now you can give something back. Come on!!!! Splosh some paint around, make new friends. Goddamn it, if you're single, you never know what might happen.

We urgently need volunteers for another (hopefully final) push to get the Slade Ponds fence painting project finished. We are holding an additional fence painting session tomorrow - Saturday, 24 May - at 11am. Please bring family, friends, and even strangers who fancy helping! You need only come for as long as you can stay...1/2 hour...1 hour...2 hours.. A little over half the fence panels have been completed, with the hard work of several volunteers, including 3 or 4 committed volunteers who have come every Sunday for the past several weeks. If you've walked by the area you'll see how smart the painted sections look (and how shabby the unfinished sections are!). If you can't make it tomorrow (Saturday) we will also arrange for paint and supplies to be available on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. Come along, spread the word, and help make our shire more beautiful.


My Treadstone ops have worked through the night on this ad.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


My sources at GCHQ have intercepted a communiqué detailing a live music event STOP Venue is the rugby club pavilion on Plumstead Common STOP Date of event is to be Friday 6th June 2008 STOP From 1930hrs to 2300hrs STOP Doors open at 1900hrs STOP Entrance fee is seven pounds UK sterling STOP Genre is flamenco, jazz and pop/rock/soul STOP

I am REALLY looking forward to this. I'd prefer some Sonny Rollins and Bobby Hutcherson but hey, I'm sure Val Kelly & Enrico Pinna Duo and Westcott & Rodway know their stuff. I'd never heard of Ronnie Golden, but had an excellent evening of comedy last weekend.

I'll get my Treadstone operatives onto the job.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Quick ones

Just to pick up on a couple of topics which may get lost in the comments from the lovely listeners.

Good dentists.
I use the Slade Dental Practice on Garland Road. Surinder is a really nice fellow. Always has a smile on his face whilst drilling & filling.

Good evening.
The next comedy night is on Sunday 18th May. That is this coming Sunday. The comedy is hot and the beer is cool, so what better way to cheer yourself up after burning yourself to a crisp whilst falling asleep on the sun lounger?
Either email at
phone after midday on 07860 609796

Monday, 5 May 2008

Singing weatherman

I watched the electronic television set this evening and waiting for Michael Fish to appear after the news reports, I was facing a man called Jay Wynne.

Weather reports used to be subdued and homely; Ovaltine for the ears, if you get my meaning.

Mr Wynne rattled through his report like a gatling gun on the frontline. He's incredible. He was kind of singing it at us too. I've never known anything like it. If I couldn't understand the language, I'd have much enjoyment just hearing his singing style.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Finding God in the Co Op

The refurbished Links Co Op is a pleasant improvement over the old one. Well I should hope so, otherwise what's the point in a refurb? Removing the product shot window vinyls has improved visibility into the shop and thus makes it look more inviting. Moving BWS (beers, wines & spirits), and having a mid-floor wine display in the window adds to this enticement.

The F&V (fruit & veg), offer seems to have expanded, or maybe I'm imagining it? Walking straight from the Links boulevard into the 'fresh zone' is always a good thing. A really nice touch is adding two product categories - Wholefoods and Free From on the shelf ends. This may be lost on most shoppers, but I'm really pleased to see that these are here. They tip the balance from Co Op lurking in the Londis/Costcutter bracket and moving into being a proper supermarket. Love it.

The lowered ceiling makes a huge difference to the feel of the store. It's cosier (well, cosy in supermarket terms), and the lighting seems better on the eye. They could have mixed lighting accents through the categories, but hey ho. Looks like exterior signage has yet to be installed, or is the exposed cabling a feature?

Having shopped, I was just disappointed by the state of the checkouts. I'd walked around a refurbished store with new fixtures, layout, graphic treatments, lighting, then at the final hurdle was tripped up by old tills. The belts still had graffiti on them for God sake. This is a pretty big deal and simple to address too. Just change the belts or clean the graffiti off maybe? Detail, detail, detail. Come on people!!!!

My final point is not of disappointment, but I feel a loss from this store. The old store had a prayer box by the notice boards. I never understood why this was there. In my past, I'd seen lots of collection boxes in supermarkets, like the 1950's looking blind boy with a dog - a guide dog I guess. This was a nice looking object, then there are those hideous UFO dishes with the swirling red & white pattern - pop a coin in the slot and it will swirl around the shallow cone (like the water swirling into a plug-hole - Hitchcock did a great homage to this in Psycho - ed.), eventually dropping in the hole in the centre. These have featured in supermarkets, but a prayer box? Do people kneel and say a few words next to the fire extinguisher?

I like it though.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Comedy Sunday

It's the comedy night this coming Sunday in Plumstead Common!!!! Yes me dearios, you heard it right, live stand-up comedy in The Shire.

I've been meaning to post the flyer up on this blog but it's a Word document and I guess you need Microsoft Orifice to open it. With this in mind, I have produced a jpeg version of it and here it is. Before the law-suit comes flying at me from the event organisers, I will now say that I have taken the liberty to 'jazz it up a bit' without asking their permission. So just for the record, this version of the leaflet is produced by my design team (let us refer to this crack team as TREADSTONE), purely as a frivolity and does not superceed the existing Comedy On The Common brand identity. I thank you.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

new blog discovery

I like stuff like this. I've just come across a blog called Photoshop Disasters. It's a tad geeky, but what the hey. If I find a blog raving about custard tarts du monde then I will have to bring to your attention - hmmmm.... custard tart geek..... I scare myself sometimes.

Brockley restaurant

At the weekend, I met up with some friends and went to a Thai restaurant in Brockley. It's a place called Just Thai Thai on Brockley Road. The interior is shabby chic, the food quite nice, but God almighty, what a wait for it to arrive. We must've waited over half an hour for our first course and that's pretty lame considering there were just eight other diners in the restaurant. The main course was spectacular though. Over an hour and a half waiting time; I'm sure my hair had grown a few centimetres in the duration.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Co Op refit

The Links Co-Operative supermarket is going to close for about a week. This is to allow for an interior refit.

Black is the new white. Black has dominated the world of supermarket design and epitomises 'high-end'. We'll be able to enjoy a plush new shopping experience with new fixtures, lighting, checkouts and the longest champagne bar in Plumstead.

Here are some spy shots.

Not of Co Op, but the iconic Dean & Deluca. Oh well. Dream on.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

utter rubbish

A lovely listener has sent in some photos of the recycling centre opposite the Links Co Op. What a mess. In fact, you can almost hear the passing chap shaking his head and tutting as he looks on disapprovingly.

If people want to help themselves to a backless Balenciaga, then do it with some respect. Want a free transistor radio? Well, close the door after you've browsed, I mean were you born in a barn?

I guess this all falls on deaf ears as I doubt the self absorbed knuckle dragging numb skulls who create this mess only read (that's if they can read), blogs like So who (quite literally), picks up the pieces? The council. And who's going to pay for this? Us.

There is something quite satisfying about bring back the stocks.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Kids running amok

I went to a soft play centre. For those not in the know, a soft play centre is a CENTRE where kids PLAY and everything is SOFT so they can fall and not crack their little skulls open.

This particular soft play is in a distant land called Becken Ham. It's OK. Nothing special. It's a large warehouse space filled with a great big modular soft play framework. There's a small merry-go-round and a very small kart track. No frills and only general ambient lighting. These places should be fantastical and theatrical.

The café. Appalling food!! The sandwiches were dire. Flavourless and bland to look at. I had, what I thought was, a BLT. The bacon was about 97% fat - I expect fat, but really. The tuna ciabatta was just that. The Italian bread was limp and the tuna was straight out of the tin. A little mayonnaise or butter might have been a basic requirement. And this is food which would be served to children. Shame.

It's not a cheap place to visit yet it was very busy, which is not at all surprising as there's very little choice for comparative activities. Shame. Standards have been kept low and this grates me because the visitor experience should be of paramount importance.

I have been to another one though, it's called Kidspace and this is how it should be done.

The Links recycling centre

A quick one.

We know there's been some ransacking from the recycling bins opposite the Co Op on Plumstead Common Road, but has anyone seen it happen? If so, when has this unofficial recyclefest happened? Is it a regular occurrence? Why not cut to the chase and tell me who's taking this stuff and leaving a pile of mess around the bins.

Do tell. This information (believe it or not), is going to be useful.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

where on earth?

The internet is a queer old thing. I write this quaint little blog about a quaint little corner of Londonshire, not knowing where my lovely listeners are.

Having just checked the ridiculously complex hit counter, the only section I understand is the map of the World - it's a pretty picture, okay. This tells me that I have a lovely listener in Poland, one in Egypt, one in Pakistan, one in Mexico, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands (where the hell is that?). Of course, there are a few more in the UK and US of A, but I'm still wondering why someone in the Virgin Islands would be reading about daily murder and bloodshed on the streets of downtown Plumsteadshire? They must think The Common is like a township of Brazilian favelas.

Dear Sir or Madam of the Virgin Islands,
Plumstead Common is NOTHING like the hit film City Of God. Here, the men doff their bowler hats and lay down their capes as genteel ladies promenade around the Common. [This can either be interpreted as either an early 20th Century idyll or a scene from The Prisoner].

Be seeing you
No. 2

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Plumstead Stories

I've just been flicking through the Plumstead Stories website. It's a really good site paying homage to the Plumstead of yesteryear.

Anyway, I love this photo. Confectionery. Drapery & Hosiery. Grocery & Provisions.
Oh yeh baby. Proper shops.

And doesn't the building look great? I also love the flags strung between the building and the neighbouring house (where the car park entrance is now located). Or is that Aunt Hilda's washing?

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Comedy On The Common

This evening, I went to the second Comedy On The Common event and can say that it was utterly brilliant.

The rugby pavilion lacks Puginesque charm, but accommodates around 100 and I thought this is a really nice size for stand-up. Actually, I can envisage this venue for jazz gigs and other similar intimate entertainments - note to venue manager.

The M.C. was hilarious, as were the three acts. There wasn't any low point in terms of the comedy and for seven English pounds, it was fantastic value for money.

The bar keeps a limited choice of refreshment, but that's not a problem. This is my only criticism and I really am struggling to look for a negative as I know that I've come for comedy, not a wine tasting session.

The Comedy On The Common will be a monthly event and the organisers have really got it right. The only danger I see is if/when the event gets too popular and I'm unable to get a ticket. This is a great local evening out and the good folk of The Shire should be proud of it.

For more information, email

Friday, 28 March 2008

New Brand Identity

My research and development team and marketing strategists having been working through the night on statistics, qualitative data and time and motion studies about our LOVELY LISTENERS. This has lead to a £15 million pound rebranding exercise of Plumsteadshire.

It has been noted that Plumstead Common and its' environs, are the most crime ridden, dangerous and down-right bilious of places to live. Murderers leap out of sewers at every street corner and shops are looted so often that the Brixton Riots seem like a typical Sunday afternoon in Frinton on Sea. This is according to one or maybe two 'anonymous' contributor(s).

So, to fulfill equalities requirements and serve these minorities, I have to trial a new tagline for Plumsteadshire. Changing from 'It's All For The Best In This Best Of All Possible Worlds' to 'It's All Crap'. Fortunately, I won't need to redesign the logo to look like a horrible Tiswas rip-off.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


I took a photo of witch's knickers in The Shire.

I'll post a pic when I get time to.


Recycling is very much down to personal responsibility, as is everything else if we're going to be a part of society. We'll do our bit and Greenwich Council will do their bit.

I can't fault the council's recycling and refuse services. I find washing and drying tin cans, yogurt pots, cartons etc a bit of a chore, but hey, there are 24 hours in the day. I just tell myself that it's all for the greater good.

The recycling centre opposite the PCR Co Op has been (quite literally), a tip. Like other LOVELY LISTENERS, I too have seen people rummaging for clothes and electrical goods, but for the anti-Plumstead brigade, I'll have to burst your bubble of melancholic woe and say that this happens in other boroughs too. Gadzooks!!!!! I know it's hard to believe that other places are as tawdry and bilious as Plumstead, but hey, I take personal responsibility and do my bit to improve things.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

petition against cars

Not petitioning against cars in general. I think I may have mentioned this online petition before. If so, then here goes again.

Sign here to rid the Common of illegally sold cars.

Don't know how it works, but I'm sure it's a bit more involved than signing and all will be jolly and gay. Well, we gotta start somewhere don't we?

Thursday, 20 March 2008

A couple of quickies

1) The next comedy night at the Plumstead Common rugby pavilion (Plumsteadshire's entry for next year's Stirling architecture prize), is at 7:00pm on Sunday 30th March 2008AD. I don't know who's on the line up, but it's an entertaining local night out which doesn't involve a bag and a bottle of Tippex, so that can't be bad eh?

Email for more info.

2) Speaking of Tippex and bag, as one lovely listener pointed out, we can look forward to more tasteless tat from the man who brought us The Ship. You may have seen the no expense spared poster in the window of The Ship proclaiming 'Ship II Opening Soon'. I can barely hold myself back. Where oh where can I go for more glaring blue neon, bouncers on doors as if Busta is expecting Brad and Angelina to pop in for a swift half, and an environment so out of touch with the conservation area that is Plumstead Common?

3) My man in Havana informs me that a reporter from a local newspaper could be writing a little piece on the continuing sale of cars on The Common. This could also involve a photoshoot. If any lovely listeners are interested in being in the shoot, then speak up now. Click on 'comments' and say if you're in. Remember, many hands make light work, or something like that.

4) Every time I visit the shops at The Slade, I look at the Wittgenstein's Grocers signage and think of how beautiful that parade of shops could be. The butcher's signage is also a commendably classy number. Wouldn't it be great if Greenwich Council would fund a scheme for these shops to improve and unify their facades? Gorgeous painted signs for all.

5) And wouldn't it be great if Greenwich Council would fund a scheme to improve the children's play area adjacent to the Slade shops? The fencing and rides do look like they've been stolen from a Kazakh municipal park.

6) The general public seem to be very quiet and well behaved considering the cost of petrol & diesel is rising by the week. It wasn't long ago when I remember paying 75p per litre of unleaded. How high does it need to be before the motorist is going to take action? £1.50 per litre? £2.00?

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Nice signage

In refurbishing the shop which used to be the Slade video shop, they've uncovered a splendid piece of shop signage. It's something like Winkelmann's Grøcers. Actually, it's nothing like that, but I'm trying to embroider a colourful past for Plumsteadshire.

I hope they decide to keep it on show, even if it could be very confusing to passing trade. Given that the shop looks like it's going to be an opticians, having a grocer's sign could be interesting. People walking round in circles, peering up, rubbing their eyes and squinting. Looking around, shaking their heads and asking the kids drinking Diamond White where's Four Eyes?

It's a recipe for disaster.

Monday, 18 February 2008


I had a flyer put through my letterbox yesterday. It advertises Comedy On The Common at The Pavilion.

I really like the idea of a comedy night. It goes on to state 'alternative comedy with top acts from the comedy circuit'. I don't expect to see Harry Hill or Alan Carr, but hey, someone's taken the initiative to put on some entertainment for the good folk o' the Shire.

The venue is The Pavilion. Does that mean that scruffy bomb shelter outside The Old Mill? I thought that was a changing room for the rugby club. If so, then I'm not too sure about watching stand-up with the aroma de jock-strap wafting around.

Anyway, it's Sunday 24th (February I suppose), at 7pm. £7 entry.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Listen up

Many many thanks to those of you who have redressed the balance in TOILETGATE. Nobody has ever laid claim that Plumstead is a picture of urban utopia, but some have better experiences than others.

One lovely listener has commented with such positive energy that I'm going to vote for her in the next local elections (whether she stand or not).

Planetplumstead says:-
Sorry Dr Pangloss but I’m going to lead off alarming, please humour me…

Plumstead undoubtedly has it's share of woes and sadly certain areas do experience more problems than others. I sympathise with those who believe Plumstead has become “a toilet”. If I’m honest there are a few areas for which this is a good description. In contrast, there are some very beautiful and well-cared-for spots. Perhaps those of us who are involved with caring for the local environment should take this on board and organise some “familiarisation visits”, rather like Nick did as part of the Green Chain celebrations. This way, old/sick/isolated/frightened folk like Anonymous can share the delights of Plumstead’s natural environment in safety and get to meet others who do too.

To my mind, and as previously pointed out on this blog, numbers do make the difference. To give an example, there are some Glyndon estate residents who endure continuous ASB problems with drug dealers and related crimes. To help counter this they formed themselves into a residents’ association and now have the attention of GBC councillors and the Met’s safer neighbourhood team. It would be naïve to think that this solves all their problems, it doesn’t, it simply helps keep up the fight. It also gives them a voice, helps them feel less isolated, and gives them some level of control. We should be glad of these efforts because problems quickly spread out into neighbouring areas and ultimately gives us all issues with crime and safety.

Wearing my Girl Guides hat, I’d like to say that if you feel strongly about our problems then think about getting involved with a local group like the PCEG or one of the residents’ associations. If Plumstead doesn’t have a collective voice then it’s difficult as individuals to demand action from the authorities. Before I joined the PCEG, I used to just sit at home and moan about everything. Now, although I still moan about everything, I at least get involved with doing something practical about our problems. I’ve also met a great bunch of other locals and it has made me realise that lots of people do care about what happens to Plumstead.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Slade Green

Messing about on the interweb, somehow I've managed to come across a website for Slade Green. I don't really know where it is, but do know it's along the Plumstead railway line.

Best of all, the photo page is quite spectacular. Featured photos include Londis, a post box and a toliet [sic]. It did make me wonder though if a fully blown Plumsteadshire website would prove equally mundane. Having said that, the person who runs the site seems to have a light-hearted tone of voice for the site. Nice.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

back to business

The new estate agent, Beaumont Gibbs, is looking rather snazzy. We don't really need another shop to stare at unaffordable property, but it's better than staring at piles of plasterboard which used to adorn the space.

Just to redress the balance of impartiality, there are other splendid estate agents to browse.

David Evans
Robinson Jackson
Your Move
Goodwin Ellis

The new opticians over at the Slade seems to have slowed its' fit-out. Maybe they've taken off their rose-tinted lorgnettes and seen the Mad Max reality.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

unhappy person

There's a nasty spat emerging from A.N.Onymous.

Anonymous says :-
In essence, after all, when all is said and done and at the end of the day.....PLUMSTEAD IS JUST A TOILET!

I don't mind people saying what they think. You hate the place, well fair enough, but why moan on a blog? Have you been pro-active in bettering your own part of Plumstead? I guess not. If you are so bitter and twisted and have so much hatred of this area, then move. What part of London do you want to go that is crime-free? Hackney? Plaistow? Barking? Tottenham? Stratford? OK, not East London then. Let's try South. Brixton? Streatham? West Norwood? Oh no, they call that the Wild West Norwood now don't they? Catford? Camberwell? New Cross? Peckham? Rotherhithe? Oh dear, we've kinda ruled out half of London by now. I could carry on, but will spare you the insult.

Nobody has ever pretended that Plumstead is all roses. You're absolutely right though, it certainly does have its' fair share of horrible areas, but I for one prefer to make the most of what we have and do my tiny little bit to help improve matters.

As for your shallow insight into the local newspaper stories, well I hate to burst your bubble there, but everybody knows that good news doesn't sell.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Stay safe!!!!

Good people of the Shire, please take care. This evening, I have had two very similar incidents.

1) A complete stranger knocked on my door and told me that they saw a man taking too much interest in my motor. I thanked them and have now booby-trapped my ride.

2) I walked out of my house and saw a man lingering by my neighbour's car. It was parked on the Common side of Plumstead Common Road. As I am now quite fired-up about the possibility of my property being stolen, I started walking towards him, not thinking about the potential danger. He looked suspicious and I asked if he was alright (not in a caring way, you understand), and he said he dropped his phone. Reality kicked in and I backed off, thinking he could be carrying a blade, then I knocked on my neighbour's door and we checked the car out. Smashed rear quarter window, but nothing stolen. I felt so bad, as I was inches from stopping him. Here's a description for what it's worth. He was around 5' 9" medium build. Dare I say it - East European looking. Shortish dark hair back combed. Spoke with a usual South East London accent.

Don't ever leave anything in your car, even if it's worthless. These might be unconnected incidents, but I'll see tomorrow morning if I've had my motor stolen.

Be vigilant and stay safe!!!!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

more Nellie

Well it would seem that elephants are like buses, you don't get one for years and then two turn up at once. Not strictly true as I'm just being frivolous; I saw the same pink elephant again yesterday and it brought a smile to my face. Simple pleasures eh? I don't know what the elephant means though.

Moving onto a less cheery subject, I only have to say the tragic words 'KITCHEN CADDY'.

I guess like most people, I'm all for recycling. My recycling bin has always filled up much more quickly than the refuse bin, but my kitchen is now bin heaven. One for dry recycling, one for refuse, one for milk & juice cartons and then the KITCHEN CRAPPY. Oh yes, how can I forget the small pile of newspapers to line the bottom of my new addition?

This must also affect the changing use/aesthetic of the English garden. Oh, once were pretty hedged and bordered with pansies (no sniggering at the back), see roads around Shrewsbury House - dey is well nice innit? Then the horrible curse of driveways came along. Concrete all over the front garden and more recently, impressed concrete, see Welling. And once were one black bin, we now have two plus black refuse bags flanking our front doors. Such a horrible view of our homes. What must Betjeman think of this?

Monday, 28 January 2008


This evening, I saw an odd thing in The Shire. It was a pink elephant on top of a little van. I hadn't taken any non prescription substances and I even have a photo to prove it. I sent my man from Magnum to capture the beast.

Elephant sightings in Plumsteadshire are rare, but I do think I have seen another one around Herbert Road.

Is it the same one?

This is most peculiar.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Apple keynote

I was hoping there would be a significant update to the iPhone, but alas no. I was particularly interested in more memory, 3G or above and higher megapixels. Not this time round Bucko (I've only just remembered this term. Remembered it from when I used to watch 'Happy Days' in the late 70's / early 80's. I think Richie Cunningham used to say it when riled).

Still, I'll have to thank Steve Jobs for not meeting my wish list as it's a really expensive marriage to enter into. As my folks used to tell me all the time, 'Don't buy it if you can't afford it'.

Mac Book Air

Oh mama, I want one.

So one of Apple's gems released in San Francisco today is the Mac Book Air. It's thin, it's superb eye-candy and it's thin. My only thought at the moment is with the limited about of ports. I've got so many peripherals which all require USB ports that I'd have to plug a USB extension lead thing in to spoil the sleek aerospatialesque lines of the Air. Well, I guess it's not aimed at people like me. I'll obviously need a Mac Book Pro Air.

Hello again

Boy oh boy, do I have a packed show for you lovely listeners this week. Well, I would if I had time to write; life's just too hectic nowadays. My new year's resolution is 1440 x 900 dpi - no, stop messing about, my resolution (which I'll definitely break), is to try and write Plumsteadshire more regularly.

Subjects I have on the boil are:-
1) Steve Jobs' Apple keynote speech in 9 hours time
2) finding religion in the Co Op
3) the boomtown that is Plumstead
4) UFO sightings over Thamesmead New Town
5) allegedly unseemly carryings-on at the Slade public lavvys
6) local stores we have loved

I've still got a Plumsteadshire website on the drawing board, but time is not on my side, so Blogger will have to do for the moment.