High Summer on the tideway
I woke to the swish of the wash as the first commuter Clipper sped past to serve the Putney run into town. Also at 6am I spied the trans-Atlantic incoming flights swing round the Dome on their descent to Heathrow; likewise early morning flights out of City to the continent climb sharply to clear the Dome. As London awakes the ebbing tide reveals our small beach soon taken up by a family of Canada geese which are swiftly joined by a trio of swans, just in time to share their breakfast of freshly exposed green weed.
Our local pigeons based at the ageing Trident Hall launch out into crazy circuits around our house, soon to be joined by our pair of roofers inbound in their half truck. It will be soon time for a tea break between laying the brand new slates high above Crane Street, with its morning runners and cyclists heading for their work places. By the way, Tony Othen completed an enforced 77 out of the 100 miles race a few weekends ago with ease, just one of 26,000 competitors taking part in this great charity event.
While Judy was away in deepest Wiltshire I explored the new night spots gathering around the O2 – a light supper at the Greenwich Kitchen (1), then up to the third floor cocktail bar with its fantastic views. There I spotted a pair of lofty cranes with a 600-yard cable stretched between them – alas, an increasing wind prevented a brave tightrope walker performing his lofty act from happening. I grasped my lemonade balanced on a lofty bar stool. While there I grabbed a menu headed CRAFT London which is on the second floor, very West End – exclusive dining Quail, Crab, Raw Beef, Clay-baked Duck; two floors below, a bakery, snack bar et al – then back home for a cheese sarnie.
Last weekend, just by the Intercontinental Hotel, I spied a sun burst at a pop-up venue ‘Corona Sun Sets’ (2) which echoed around Greenwich Reach – an ancient tradition of sun worship: an audio-visual presentation for party goers. By Monday it had gone! Never mind. The Clipper Bar and Eighteen Sky Bar at the Intercontinental (3), which is bang next to the O2, boasts a spectacular overview from its lofty 18-storey high elegance with commanding views over the prime meridian, Canary Wharf, the O2 and Excel, beyond to the Barrier towards the sea and back south to dear old Greenwich. Get there by cab or a ten-minute stroll from the North Greenwich Interchange – wowee!! The Thames Walk’s latest attraction for the energetic!
To get a taste of Greenwich Peninsula, on Saturday 10th September ‘Feelings Summer Fete’ will present a dance music festival on ‘the spectacular tip of Greenwich Peninsula’. Visit http://www.musicfestivalnews.net/feelings-summer-fete-2016.
The Peninsula also boasts an upgraded jetty (4). Once a coaling pier for a long gone power station, now Farmopolis is blossoming into a verdant riverside garden. Don’t forget to wander down to the now well-established ecology nature reserve close to Greenwich Yacht Club. Be surprised or shocked by the dense housing developments hereabouts (5) built adjacent to a busy aggregate handling plant.
Other Greenwich summer events include the opening of a new community garden on the site of a deceased steam railway cutting in Royal Hill. See if you can spot where the track once ran. Unofficially opened by our MP Matt Pennycook who was much impressed by the generosity and enterprise of neighbouring gardeners.
Down on the new Greenwich waterfront at New Capital Quay, a community fete will be held next to Costa Coffee this Saturday when old and new residents will get together. I once had the privilege of explaining to members the unique geographical and historical location of their new homes when once a cruise ship terminal was proposed. (I wonder if the Enderby House project will ever get off the ground?) I sense a decrease of cruises overnighting at Greenwich Tier just by the smart new residential developments and their key location with the grand promenade leading directly to the Cutty Sark.