Flooding in South London – All the chaos without the actual water.

Did I mention we live in a ditch? No? Well we do. It’s a big ditch, but, as far as we are concerned, it’s a ditch none the less.

Okay we live in a valley. Right at the bottom. The valley is about five miles long and cuts into the North Downs, which is a range of hills which run along the bottom of London.

A road runs along the bottom of the valley. Its called the A22. Not very inspiring, but bits of it hark back to Roman times, when they needed a route from the south coast to Londinium.

Apart from some sheep the valley remained fairly unpopulated for thousands of years. Then came the railways. Two railways were built through the valley in the nineteenth century, and with them came commuters.

Many hundreds of Victorian ‘two-up, two-down’ terraced homes were built for working-class, white-collar City workers and suddenly thousands of people flooded the valley. And it went on into the 1930s.

What’s all this got to do with floods? Well all the while, down through the millenia, a little river, called the Caterham Bourne, has been winding its way down the valley, joining the River Wandle and onto olde mother (father?) Thames. The Thames, the life blood of London itself.

What’s a Bourne? Basically it’s a stream that only flows when there is a lot rain. So you tend to forget it’s even there…

IMG_1611

Doesn’t look much…but this thing is shifting 5000 gallons a minute….or is that litres…whatever, it’s enough to get this lot pumping….

Fireman

Fireman attacked by giant Costa Skinny Caramel Latte. No really.

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Why I love France – Beef Kebabs and Chocolate Coconut Mousse

So this week has been eventful – a few days off in Provence, southern France, enjoying sun, heat and food, courtesy of the in-laws, (A major food discovery in Aix was melon served up by my sister-in-law at their house in Rians, more on that later) and we had two birthdays (me, now 43, and my oldest turning into a teenager).

Rians and Dam 238

Aix in early summer – v Nice!

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I Went Christmas Shopping Today….

…and I found this:

tea

I needed it when I got home. However I am done. I’ve got everything I need. Until I remember all the stuff I’ve forgotten – but what the hell there’s plenty of time…

Another BBC Good Food Show

The BBC, that bastion of investigative journalism (if you’ve been following the news recently you’ll know I’m being sarcastic oh deeeeaaaar) also does a nice line in all things food related. A couple of times a year it takes over big exhibition centres and fills them with foodies. We went to the summer event and liked it that much we took the kids to the winter version in London. Getting the train into London is a drab affair though, so I filmed it and shoved the Bellamy Brothers on…

(I’m not sure why I would want to share a drab miserable train trip to London, with no views and grey skies, but I guess I just like playing with the movie maker)

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