Lara Ruffle Coles

Tag: Charlton

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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