The Gap Year: December adventure

(oops- a bit late.  Trying to catch up with myself.  Gradually….)

Another ‘adventure’ that isn’t so very adventurous.  But we enjoyed it a lot, confirming my view that ‘adventurous’ isn’t a pre-requisite for an adventure.

Oldest son and daughter-out-law were away on an adventure of their own over Christmas and New Year, so we borrowed their flat in South London for a few days.

Oh how I love you, South East London! (words my mother-in-law would have been thrilled to hear from me, but it’s taken so long for it to grow on me that to my regret she never did hear me say it).

They live less than two miles from where Malcolm grew up and his parents lived for years after he left home.  We spent one of our days revisiting old haunts – the home where he grew up, his primary school, favourite pub, favourite walks.  We also took the opportunity to visit some places new to both of us, and some further afield we haven’t been to together for a while.  Needless to say, most of the time we were walking, and you do see so much more that way.

We were only away for three nights, and we spent longer than intended travelling in both directions (by car, as trains severely depleted over the holiday period), due to traffic and difficult weather (fog, ice).  Even so, we managed to pack a lot in:

  • Nunhead Cemetery – one of the famous Victorian London cemeteries – includes great views over London (at least, so we were told – too foggy to see when we were there).
  • Exploring Crofton Park, Brockley, and Nunhead (including poking our noses into the Brockley Brewery – brewers of excellent IPA)
  • The Ivy House , Nunhead – London’s first co-operatively owned pub – well worth a visit
  • Walk along Thames Path – Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf (N Bank)
  • Walk from Forest Hill to Tate Britain, Millbank via Peckham, East Dulwich, Camberwell, Vauxhall
  • Visit with friends to Tate Britain (Henry Moore; William Blake; )
  • Dulwich Picture Gallery

Below is a flavour of what we saw.


Front gate, entrance to the ‘House of Dreams


Detail, outside the ‘House of Dreams’


Small bakery, shop window (closed that day)


Former school building, beautifully designed and built


A ram in Camberwell


Beautiful decorative brickwork


See how long this independent butcher shop has been going – against all the odds (my m-in-l shopped here in the 1960s and 1970s)


Proud to be South London


Community-owned pub – outside


Community-owned pub – inside (midweek mid afternoon – I’m sure it’s normally busier than this!)



Live-work accommodation, Brockley


M’s teenage drinking haunt, now updated – still a really nice local to socialise, drink, eat, and play board games if that’s your thing


Named for that strange-shaped thing on the top of the front – apparently a piece of whale bone. (I’m none the wiser….)


Renowned and revived. Crofton Park’s finest.

About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
This entry was posted in Community, Family, Gap year, Retirement, Seeing differently, Travels, Uncategorized, Walking and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Gap Year: December adventure

  1. Great pics (as always!). What a great thing to do and how funny that your son only lives a few miles away from where his dad grew up.My husband grew up in North London and we really should take the kids back to see his old primary school and house, but when everyone else has moved away from the area it seems harder to maintain those links with the past.


    • Yes I’m a N London girl, and in my family S London was regarded as ‘beyond the pale’. They used to speak of it as going ‘over the water’ – why would you want to do such a thing? (my dad and two uncles were black cab drivers).
      We’re lucky to have plenty of family members to stay with when we want to visit.


  2. Marian says:

    Love seeing your photos and hearing about your adventures 🙂 . The “North London versus South London” and “beyond the pale” gave me a chuckle. My husband and I grew up in the same large city, but I’m a “north-sider” and my husband is a “south-sider” — a fact that my FIL has mentioned (somewhat disparagingly, it must be said) on numerous occasions over the years!


  3. Lucille says:

    I’ve never noticed that whale bone before. When my parents first visited us travelling all the way from North London to the deep South they were most struck by the width of the tree lined roads.


    • No, I’d not spotted it before either. We popped inside to find out more, and there was a whole display about it.

      The difference between N London and S is so funny, as a child for a couple of years we used to go south every Sunday to visit my grandparents in a care home in Clapham, and it felt like a whole other world.


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