Saturday, March 31

Seaside fayre

Thursday night saw myself and the geezer taking the train to Brighton for a spur of the moment trip to the seaside. He had been on his hols all week while I'd been caught up with unavoidable work stuff, but we both had Friday free so decided to make the most of the glorious weather at least for a short break.

The Grand Hotel, availed of on a last minute deal, was just that. Feather-soft beds, and smoked haddock and poached egg on the breakfast menu.

Friday was a simple matter of several hours on the beach, reading the paper and soaking up a few rays, and a ten minute swim for me; the best I could manage before I could feel hypothermia starting to set in! I'd been reluctant at first (although naturally I'd brought my cossie!) until I saw another swimmer, making me feel somewhat competitive. By the time we left the beach it was getting very busy.

At least the swim meant I had no qualms about tucking into these lovely doughnuts - the only type I like. I've never seen the appeal of the cold, stodgy, over-decorated (and badly spelled) Krispy Kreme 'donuts'.

As far as I'm concerned they should be hot out of the oil, lightly sprinkled with sugar and served in a paper bag.

Sunday, March 25

Bermondsey back streets

Last weekend I made the most of the sunshine with a leisurely bike ride from Deptford up to London Bridge and back. One of my favourite routes is going over Tower Bridge and back along the river on the north side, but with the contractors at the Greenwich foot tunnel still playing silly buggers it is not the best idea to cross the river at the moment.

So I followed the river up to London Bridge station and then cut south into the back streets of Bermondsey. This part of the city was once home to the capital's leather industry, which is easy to guess from street names such as Leathermarket Street and Tanner's Street, and from buildings such as the London Leather, Hide & Wool Exchange.

A little further eastwards, across the other side of Bermondsey High Street (now painfully hip) you can go back 20 years in as many yards. There are still pubs which have seafood stalls outside on Sundays, a tradition which is rapidly dying.

Near the leathermarket are interesting views of the city's new landmark, which I find quite attractive in its simplicity despite the fact that it is clearly nothing more than a soaring priapic shrine to capitalism ;-)

Seen next to Guy's Hospital tower, its true scale is apparent.

Elsewhere I enjoyed this building just off Bermondsey Street - look closely and you will see the horses heads at each side of the sign. I'm presuming it was once a farrier or stables or something. If we were in France it would probably mean that they sold horse meat, but I think that's unlikely in this case!

Meanwhile I spotted this fella hanging around in a big tree on Southwark Park Road, and wondered why he was up there.