Walking in Woolwich

I was with Team William & Zoë at the weekend.  A walk in Woolwich seemed a fine Sunday outing.

Woolwich is firmly a part of London now. But it wasn’t when it was omitted from the Domesday book in 1086, on the grounds that it was part of Saint Peter’s Abbey in Ghent.

It wasn’t when Henry VIII founded a dockyard here in 1513 to build his royal ship Henri Grace à Dieu. It remained a royal dockyard till 1869. Then a Royal Laboratory, producing explosives, then a Royal Arsenal. By 1741, it had a Royal Military Academy too. Woolwich was a fine industrialised garrison town.

Royal Arsenal

Until it wasn’t. The dockyard closed first. The Academy moved to Sandhurst in 1945. The Arsenal closed in 1967, though during WWI it had employed over 70,000 workers Woolwich fell on hard times. Even though, or perhaps because it became home, in 1975, to Britain’s very first McDonald’s.

It’s beginning to recover. Those fine military buildings are finding new uses as housing. With improved transport links, Woolwich is being touted as south London’s ‘next big thing’.

We did explore. That military architecture really is pretty fine. It forms the backdrop here to Peter Burke’s Assembly, 18 cast iron figures which speak of Woolwich’s busy industrial past.

And I love a gritty urban riverscape too. We planned to walk on, to the Thames Barrier.

But it was cold. It was raw. We wanted to enjoy our exploration. So we will come back another day, when the sun is shining. And we’ll return to Vib too. The bao at this wonderful Vietnamese café are certainly worth exploring.

Walked on Sunday, published on Tuesday, this is a candidate for https://restlessjo.me/jos-monday-walk/


Yesterday, I published a post about My Old Notebook.  It got plenty of readers, so I was a bit puzzled not to get any comments from the usual suspects, or indeed from anybody at all.   Dan Drews of Life as I See it with One Eye Closed – thanks Dan – told me that somehow, comments have been disabled.  I’ve been battling with WordPress Help to get to the bottom of this, and …. I’m stuck.  Are any WP users able to help?  Comments are still open on my previous posts, which is how Dan made it through, as I assume they’ll be closed on this one too.  Grrr.

The Car Park of Destiny.

It’s a long time since I’ve updated you about my daughter Ellie. Here, in her own words, is the latest instalment.

Fanny the Champion of the World

I haven’t written an update for a while, and to be honest, I’ve been enjoying getting back to normality (and trying to learn how to parent teenagers), with limited success. I think that writing Fanny through my grief and treatment was my way of releasing stress when I had nobody else to tell. Now, I do have someone to tell, who loves me deeply, but with that happiness and contentment has come a bit of Writers’ Block. Our stories don’t end as long as we’re alive, but perhaps I wanted Fanny to have her happy ending, and I wasn’t sure if there really was any such thing.

In fact, I suppose I thought a new beginning had come instead – in July last year, when my husband’s ashes were interred in the graveyard of the church where he and I had married 15 years before, almost to the day. I’d…

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Crepuscule Mark Two

My last post showed a sunrise over Corrèze. This is the sunset from our friends’ house in Laroque d’Olmes. You can’t see the Pyrenees from here, but the foothills, the Plantaurel.

Here’s the view from town.

Lovely as it is to see our friends (five hour lunch, eating, drinking, talking and laughing on a shaded terrace anyone?), Laroque has been a horrible disappointment.


Since we left, quelques petits commerces have closed. InterMarché has come to town. And McDonald’s. They’re building a Lidl, so I took a picture of the town through the webbing and netting of the building site. It’s not a small town any more. It’s one of those out-of-town roads lined with out-of-town stores. I’m just glad we no longer live here.

Snapshot Sunday: the Rhine and the Mosel

I promised you a rest from my eternal blogging from Germany. But this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ‘Liquid’, and today, on our way home to England, we have journeyed a short way along the Rhine, watching barges and cruise ships ploughing their way from points between Basel in Switzerland, via the Lichtenstein, Austrian and French borders, through Germany and the Netherlands to the North Sea.

We looked for castles, craggy rock formations, vertiginous vineyards, and generally enjoyed the rich and varied life of this vast and lengthy waterway.

Tonight, our bedroom overlooks the hardly less interesting Mosel. I thought a couple of snapshots from each of these liquid thoroughfares was the least I could offer.