A few weeks ago I wrote about not being sure whether to spend my summer swimming at Brockwell Lido or the Endell Street baths. Within a week of that the weather had changed and I found that I had no inclination to swim in the unheated lido when the temperature outside was below 25°. So it was already pretty much moot by the time we packed our bags last weekend and upped sticks to leafy SE26.
I love Herne Hill, but it turns out that almost everywhere else in South London is cheaper to live in, so for the first time we have a nice big flat with an ACTUAL BATH and a SEPARATE KITCHEN and even a SPARE BEDROOM. It’s very exciting.
And Sydenham has cool stuff too! Aside from the unheard-of convenience of a choice of several cash machines, none of which want £1.95 of my money in order to let me at the rest of it, Sydenham has a High Street with proper shops in it (as well as a useful sprinkling of pound shops and takeaways); a corner of Crystal Palace Park as well as at least two more parks of its own; a Christopher Wren steeple in a private back garden; a beast, and direct rail access to almost everywhere you could hope for – London Bridge, Charing Cross, Victoria, Norwood Junction (got to get to those home games), Shoreditch, Hoxton, Highbury and Islington, West Croydon (home of the nation’s last remaining Allders) and Crystal Palace (should we be feeling very lazy indeed), as well as Brixton and Herne Hill. We’ve gone from zone 2 to zone 3, but my commute is suddenly the easiest and pleasantest I’ve ever had.
So I am delighted to have landed in this friendly corner of south London, two minutes’ walk from one station, ten minutes from two others and less than five minutes from my god-daughter and her family and their dog (they don’t know it yet, but we plan to spend the whole summer having barbeques in their garden, even when they’re not there).
I don’t know as many people here yet as I do in SE24, but I have already joined the Sydenham Town forum, and one day I might even say hello to someone in real life.