I have done something I always said I’d never do and bought a house. Well when I say ‘house’ I do actually mean ‘55 square meters of space up in the sky above London travelzone 2’. ‘Only a Londoner would be bragging about 55 square meters’, a Canadian friend commented. Too right.
I have not had a home as such since 1999, preferring to live like a nomad, settling for a few months here and a few months there. It’s ok, it suited me. Just because I now have a permanent address, this doesn’t mean I’m settling down. It just means I’ll always have somewhere to come back to, and meanwhile there is always rental possibilities whilst I’m off ‘jet setting’ (ha) around the world.
The flat is in uber-trendy Peckham. They say that Peckham is the new Shoreditch (who says this? Well estate agents mainly). Most British people know it as the setting for the popular sitcom ‘only fools and horses’, although the show wasn’t filmed there and even the outside scenes, supposedly of ‘Peckham Market’ were not filmed here.
In the 1980s/90s Peckham had a bad reputation for crime and gangs, once boasting the highest gun crime rate in the UK, and it is this reputation that has kept the prices a little lower, meaning that people like me can just about afford it.
It does still have an edginess that I like, although that may not appeal to everyone. It is ethnically diverse, leading to a more interesting display of shops and restaurants, and most importantly, there’s a very easy 12 minute commute into the city of London.
What’s so great about Peckham then?
- There is a thriving café/bar scene.
- Bussey Building, all sorts of stuff goes on there from music to plays and in summer it shows movies up on the roof, with great views of London. Blankets supplied. I’ve been really unlucky with the weather this year, but if you pick a clear night there’s a great atmosphere. Peckham ‘plex nearby shows a mix of new and old favourites at a bargain price, and this is indoors so the weather can’t spoil it.
- Rye Lane, the bustling high street, with its abundance of pound shops (like a dollar store but a third more expensive) and a cheap market. This is a proper market selling cheap stuff, not a ‘farmer’s market’ where bread is five quid a loaf because ‘it’s all homemade organic yeah’.
- Just 12 minutes on the train to London Bridge station
- Rye common, big green space in the centre. The river Peck runs through it.