Goodbye to Peckham

Tomorrow sees the consolidation of my stuff and the beloved’s into a single location. I love my egg, and I’m delighted that we will be able to stop having the “Where are we going tonight? Is there any food at your place? I’m not sure I’ve got clean socks there” conversation, but I will miss being a part-time courtesy Peckham resident. Here, as a goodbye, are my favourite things about Peckham:

  • Peckham Library is a beautiful thing, and really the heart of the town centre in a way that the architects must have hoped for but couldn’t have predicted. Peckham is slowly, stealthily, undergoing a gentrification of the subtlest kind, and the library is the best and biggest symbol of it. It is also the site, approximately, of the Sunday farmer’s market, source of excellent meat and veg.

  • The all-night off licence on Asylum Road: the source not merely of late-night emergency wine, but of really nice late-night emergency wine, because the owner is a wine enthusiast and specialises in buying the last few bottles in discontinued lines, so that he gets them at a knockdown price which he then passes on to his customers.
  • Morrison’s supermarket. I am not a Morrison’s connoisseur so perhaps they’re all like this, but Peckham Morrison’s is so big and glossy and colourful that it’s more like a proper American supermarket than the inferior English version. They sell everything you could think of, and plenty that you couldn’t. I think I could live for a year in Peckham Morrison’s and eat something I’ve never tried before every day.
  • The neighbours on the road we will shortly be departing are almost uniformly friendly and charming. This is unique in London, in my experience. At least, I had very nice neighbours in Dulwich once, but Dulwich is different. Plus, they were ladies of a certain age who were more or less guaranteed to give no trouble, whereas there’s much more of a mix here. But people say “hello” as you walk past them, and put Christmas cards through the door, and yesterday one said “let me know if you need any help moving; I’m really good at packing boxes!”. What nice people they are. What a shame to leave them behind.

Our neighbours in Herne Hill, on the other hand, do at least provide excellent anecdote material.

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