Tag: Charlton

Local Food Heroes

Now we are in the ninth week of lockdown, and a lot of us are fairly used to our new lives, it’s possible that we might gloss over the early days of lockdown, and think it wasn’t actually that stressful, and that things aren’t so dramatically different from ‘LIFE BEFORE THE COVID’.

That assessment is probably incorrect… it is significantly different, and it will be a long time before things are back to how they were… presuming that day WILL come. ?

So, to things that have made my life and other people’s lives better… the local food heroes in my area.

The VeryGreen Grocer

Based in Shooters Hill, The VeryGreen Grocer has been delivering to homes in South East London since 2010. Run by Mike, Mike, Barbara and Simone, their vans deliver groceries, dairy and bread every week, Monday to Friday.

Luckily for us, the husband had registered as a new customer 3 weeks before lockdown, and we started getting a weekly delivery at the end of March. The company stopped accepting new customers for a while due to demand from far and wide, but we were very reassured by their tweets explaining their new ordering process.

Things seem to have settled down since March and customers can now order through their site as usual. And they are now accepting new customers, so do email them your address and postcode if you would like an account, and the team will respond.

Below is the box we had delivered at beginning of April – full of lovely tasty good things, and we’ve been reminding ourselves how to eat in order of freshness. I’ve also had a lot of fun looking up BBC Good Food recipes to work out what to cook with what we have, and I’ve become a big fan of cabbage – which I never expected! Blame Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We are still doing a big shop at Sainsbury’s every fortnight, but we are keeping up a weekly fruit and veg order, and are very happy to continue to support the VeryGreen family.

The Plumstead Pantry

Usually a cafe on Plumstead Common, The Plumstead Pantry has converted itself into a bakery cum grocer cum delivery service over the past two months. The owners Ash and Julia also used crowdfunding to help with the conversion, and were able to raise over £5,000 in just 14 days.

I wasn’t really aware of the business until April as I’ve only driven through Plumstead Common a few times, but I saw a tweet from a local friend about the cafe, and after a good nosey at their Twitter and Facebook, it turned out they were having regular deliveries of plain flour. At the time we had nearly run out, and as the flour shelves were/are usually empty at Sainsburys, the husband was very keen to get some!

After buying 2kg of plain flour, plus 1kg for our friends, we have since branched out into tin loaves and their very scrumptious cinnamon buns – they drip with sweetness and are just heavenly.

As well as their 1 in, 1 out policy at the cafe (with beautiful views across the Common), you can also pre-order goods for collection or delivery. Delivery is free within SE18 and surrounding areas, and there is a handy WhatsApp button on their Facebook page if you want to place an order (DMs on Twitter are also used).

And many thanks to Julia for not ringing the doorbell when delivering, Rafe nap time is sacred! ?

(Image: The Plumstead Pantry, Facebook)

Old Cottage Coffee Shop Cafe

We used to live in Charlton and one of my favourite haunts was the Old Cottage Coffee Shop Cafe in Charlton Park. I still visit before Monday music at Charlton House, and do I love having a jacket potato with bacon and cheese while Rafe wriggles about with his own lunch.

Every Christmas the cafe organises a Christmas Day lunch for the elderly, and since Coronavirus closed their doors, Michael and Mimi have been cooking and delivering food to those unable to leave their homes. Based on their tweets, they are delivering lunches to at least 20 people 3 times a week. Amazing! If you can help with the lunch deliveries, please contact Michael.

Hopefully we will all be back there soon!

(Image: Old Cottage Coffee Shop Cafe, Twitter)

The Red Lion

Since a new management team took over in 2019, The Red Lion has been aiming for a more family friendly vibe. A few months ago I went with my husband, son and in-laws for an early evening meal, we had a great time, and we all really enjoyed the food.

While the pub is closed, Danny Brooker and his team have been supporting a number of individuals, NHS hospitals, care homes and hospices in the local area.

Funds are being raised through crowdfunding, and hundreds of meals are being prepared at each cooking session. A separate team are then organising and delivering the food. Super super impressive, and a wonderful thing to read about.

Another local spot I want to visit again soon!

(Image: The Red Lion at Shootershill, Facebook)

A Walk by the River

We found a screw in our back tyre today, so down to the nearest Kwik-Fit we went. And luckily for us, it was a 5 minute walk from the river, so we had a lovely walk while we waited for the tyre change.

It felt like such a treat to see the Thames, and on such a sunny day as well. We used to live about 20 minutes walk from the river, and before Charlton, we lived in East Greenwich for 4 years – lots of riverside walking back then!

The stretch we walked is between the Anchor & Hope pub and the Thames Barrier, and we did a quick-ish loop back to the pub before we found ourselves a quiet spot on a patch of grass by the Sainsbury’s depot. Very salubrious.

We enjoyed listening to a man ranting on his phone about having to wait for his colleague by the depot exit gate. ?

However, the view was heavenly.

And we now have a fixed tyre and a new lovely memory to keep us positive and upbeat.

KittyCat Image Generator

After my first app strollCharlton, I published an app called KittyCat Image Generator, and as you might guess, it was all about kitties and cats. Miaow!

I wanted to continue working with API data and found Kitten Placeholder on Mashape, then used the two end points as buttons in my app to download images.

In addition, I integrated the Twitter (Fabric) and Facebook SDKs so users could share the images with a tweet or a post.

Lastly, I added a save button that calls the notification bar, allowing you to set the image as your wallpaper or share the image with compatible apps.

To learn more, please download or view on YouTube.




Android, Java and strollCharlton

The husband and I visited America for five weeks in September 2015, and before our trip I began studying Java, and started working through programming tutorials using IntelliJ IDEA.

On our return I moved onto app development for the Android platform and started learning the ins and outs of the application Android Studio.

My goal was to develop a suitably polished app that I could publish on the Google Play Store before applying for developer internship positions in central London. I have now done this (ta da!), and the app is called strollCharlton.

The idea of a local area guide for Charlton (where we now live) came from a three year old plan to do a London wide tourist guide app that wasn’t just full of marketing guff, but that actually contained useful and interesting information.

We got as far as deciding on a name related to walking that hadn’t been overly used, and I started writing a bit of content for some places in Greenwich (where we lived then), but that was it… cut to three years later and I did it at last. Hooray for me!

The app itself combines a number of my pre-Android interests – I’ve been writing blogs, essays, work instructions and client facing emails for many years, and I’ve always had an eye for design (plus a GCSE in Graphics and an A2-Level in Design Studies – those things are always integral to life!), so it was quite fun to develop, and it has obvious potential for repurposing to another location.

strollCharlton is free to download and I would appreciate any feedback and/or reviews.


Thanks to my husband’s mini programming library, plus the power of Google, I have a good number of ‘go to’ Java and Android resources. See below for my recommendations.

And for an excellent summation of how Java is applied when developing Android apps, the two part Java Basics for Android Development blog, by Ben Jakuben at Treehouse, is worth a thorough read.

Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, B Phillips, C Stewart, B Hardy and K Marsicano
Big Java, Cay S Horstmann
Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies, Barry Burd
The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Big Nerd Ranch
Java Code Geeks
Oracle Java Documentation
Stack Overflow
Tutorials Point

*cough cough* … Don’t forget to download strollCharlton


Horsie, Horsie Don’t You Stop

I’ve been meaning to document the horses that clip clop up my road for a few months now.

I finally managed to dash from kitchen to spare room with a phone and hit record just in time to see the tail end (ha!) of The King’s Troop doing their exercises.

Every time I’ve seen them it has been at least fifty horses clopping two by two up the hill, an amazing sight, an amazing sound – plus some poo.

The King’s Troop moved to Woolwich in 2012 after the lease on the original St John’s Wood Barracks wasn’t renewed. Not a bad thing for a part of south-east London that spends most of its time defending itself from accusations of being a bit shit and poor.

Personally, I feel there are some absolutely lovely spots in Woolwich – I did get married there after all, and a casual meander across Woolwich Common towards the barracks is a beautiful way to explore SE7 and SE18.

On another note, who remembers Horsie, Horsie Don’t You Stop? My Dad used sang it to me while he bounced me on his knee, and we used to change the last line to “Homebase bound” as we lived near the Catford Homebase at the times. Happy days eh! 😀


Up On The Roof

“When this old world starts getting me down” I can climb up to my roof. 🙂

It is an amazing sight, so much more amazing than these photos show… but at least it will give you a flavour, and you can listen to The Drifters at the same time.


Mr and Mrs Ruffle Coles

Got married. 😀



Football and Drag

Don’t believe complaining doesn’t get you anywhere, I got two free tickets to a football match when I complained. Get me!

So the Saturday just gone my boyfriend and I went to see the local team Charlton Athletic play Scunthorpe United at The Valley. We hopped on the 177 to the game in the pissing rain and had ourselves a lovely time courtesy of the club and Greenwich Council.

CAFC play in the third league, now known as League One aka the NPower Football League blah blah blah. Charlton are at the top of their league and were in the Premiership back in the 1990s, quite a big side as I understand.

The Valley in the constant pissing rain. England I love thee

Nice ground, very neat and tidy in the bar areas, friendly crowd – but we were in the West stand, mainly full of middle-aged men and the odd female. I think the more ‘boisterous’ fans were in the North stand.

This food stand was awesome. Best chips ever. Boyfriend was impressed by the sausage, I was satisfied with the fish

And we got to bring the food in! Ace. Well happy

And now to the football!

I was not impressed with the player that fell down (whatever!) after TEN seconds. Muppet. Footballers are right dodgy.

Score was 1-0 to Charlton after the first half…

Half time picture, I am so not cool

Sweet little boy watching the game on the television above

The rain stopped during the first half and we had beautiful weather for the rest of the day. Gorgeous. Made the ground look ace

Glad I didn’t have to climb those steps in the background to exit the ground…

Full-time score was 2-2 after Scunthorpe scored two goals in the later stages of the game. The West stand turned into a bunch of grumpy old men mumbling in a disatisfied manner. I just found it funny. Don’t think I will ever be a football fan, I can’t take it seriously. Did my best not to laugh when Scunthorpe scored though!

Too busy carrying my fish and chips to get a shot of the turnstiles when they were open. Oops

Fans exiting the ground under the railway arches

All in all a fun day, but I have to confess I got a bit bored around the 70th minute. However, it was lovely to go and see the local team and we both enjoyed the community aspect of the game, and most supporters seemed local and friendly.

Next up for Saturday was Metro Centre’s Drag Race through Greenwich! This was not a car race as many thought and instead was an LGBT fundraising event for the above Greenwich-based charity. The Metro Centre “provide[s] services to all people experiencing issues related to sexuality, identity, gender and diversity”. The Rose and Crown on Nevada Street host the Drag Race each year, and the strenuous race around the block starts and ends at the pub.

Approaching the crowd from Greenwich Park at 7pm, the race began at 8.30pm

One of the many gorgeous entrants

Sorry! Bad photographer, hideous sun flare, not so hideous ladies supporting the Metro Centre

Very nice tall man who told me he wasn’t allowed to wear heels as he was so tall already. ??? 😀

Metro Centre stall promoting safe sex, HIV AIDS and the centre’s support. Plus raffle tickets and stickers and fascinators

A barbeque was also in full swing

Anyone know who these guys were? There were a lot of photographers all the race too. If anyone has any links to photos or videos of the night please let me know. Also, amazing hair

This hair was even better though

Bit of karaoke too

These lovely gentlemen were selling cocktails from the pub. Sexy!

Balloon boobs

This lady has a ship on her head! Best costume I say. She also walked the course, finished last, and waltzed stylishly over the line

The police closed off the road for the race, nice

Two cool dudes

Metro Centre person with Janet and Jim Gillman (our mayor!) and Greenwich West councillor David Grant. Very impressed to see them here! Had a lovely chat with Jim too, he lived in the street next door to me for forty years!

Lining up for the race

Ruuuuuuun! (not very well in heels)

And here’s a video! :D.

The Drag Race was big fun and I enjoyed getting slightly pissed whilst raising some cash for a very popular local charity. So looking forward to the next one!

P.S. Thoroughly Good has a feature on the race on his site also.
P.P.S. The Metro Centre say thank you, no news on the total raised however. I asked at the Rose and Crown today and they hadn’t been told yet.


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