A year going left: Almshouses and the Power Station

Well this month, I have actually walked left as I've left the office. Not as much as I'd like, but one sunny but chilly lunchtime that's exactly what I did. It wasn't far because as I headed towards the Power Station I realised, that despite it being one of Greenwich's icon I'd not been close to it before. And it's quite big!

Greenwich power station and blue skies

And the skies were quite blue. Mostly.

But just before the power station was the pretty almshouses of Trinity Hospital, the wording around the sundial caught my eye. It's a long time since I learnt Latin at school, and so was none the wiser until I checked with Google later.  A time for everything, more apt that I"m sure it realises.



Walking towards the chimneys of the power station I spotted something else - I'm not even sure what to call this one, and stood even less chance with the Latin. This one translates to "and a time to every purpose under the heaven" so I'm guessing this is related to something more astronomical.



But look at those chimneys, I was fascinated by the black, presumably iron, outline, and by the brick repairs in the photo below. 

Look at the brickwork on the power station

It just goes to show that many buildings have stories to tell. I made another discovery too on that short walk, and that was a pub I've never seen before - I know, unreal - and I didn't even go in. It looks like a traditional local doesn't it, I am wondering though if it's got potential for a quiet(ish) after work drink when the pubs in the town centre start getting even busier as Christmas approaches. Maybe some research is needed...

And I discovered a pub I'd never seen before too

And one last picture - and yes, it's more brickwork - there was a row of terraced houses which had the glazed bricks below the rope feature and more usual bricks above, not every row of terraces have that, do they?

brickwork - how pretty is this

The weather right now is seriously testing my resolve to get out there at lunchtimes. I keep saying I prefer the bright and chilly winter days to the wet and damp ones, and I do, but deep down I'd much prefer it was a little warmer!

I'm interested to see what next month's update on my year going left will bring, as l've no firm plans, other than to go left of course!

A year going left, or technically right...

By that I mean, while it is left of my office, this month I've mostly encountered this area of Greenwich on my way to work rather than escaping at lunchtimes to explore.  So as I've been wandering through it, I've technically been going right. It's been a busy time at work and I've been a bit slack at taking proper lunches, which is something I need to get better at. 

But whether I've been walking left or right is no matter, I've got some photos of the area close to Maze Hill station to share this month. I couldn't help but notice that now with plenty of leaves down, I seem to be matching my wardrobe to the autumnal colours too. I suspect I'm not alone in that.

Autumnal colours - clothes and leaves

Now this building doesn't look much from the outside, but it is the Maze Hill Pottery and a fascinating place - I've been inside before, but not for a while, and of course there's no chance to repeat that visit on my way to work, one day maybe...



Just along from the pottery is what you'd be forgiven is an ordinary looking row of terraced houses; their offset nature gives them an interesting outline, but it isn't that which has me fascinated. At first glance they look ordinary don't they?

a traditional row of terraced houses in Greenwich, or are they

But in many of the basements there's work going on. And a lot of work, from glances around the back (from the street, nothing more!) it's clear there's a building site in operation.  Clearly I know little more about these buildings, and I've seen very little change in quite a while, but I'm keen to watch how this develops.

builders in the basement
meanwhile net curtains and window boxes on the ground floor

And above the dusty and empty basements, life it seems goes on - complete with pretty window boxes - on the upper levels.  Definitely a case of watch this space!

Around the corner there's a great example of how a street has been blocked off to traffic with concrete blocks, but somehow they've become a feature and what looks to be a communal space rather than a concrete rat run.

Making the most of concrete blocks that have pedestrianised a road

In the distance you can just make out the almshouses. These are known as The Hatcliffe and belong to the Hatcliffe Charity, which I've learnt has a fascinating history.  These date back to 1857, but for 250 years prior to that the charity founded by William Hatcliffe, who was thought to be a courtier from East Anglia or Lincolnshire had distributed money to the poor in Greenwich 250 years before these almshouses were built.

almshouses with sunflowers and a red front door in greenwich

They look to be well cared for with the gardens proudly sporting fantastic sunflowers and roses peeking through the railings. 

roses in bloom peeking through the railings in greenwich

So a little bit of Greenwich's history - I told you it didn't matter if I was walking left or right didn't I? And in the process I got to learn a little bit more about where I live too.  I've no idea what next month's post will bring, but I'm pretty sure there'll be another gem to share.



A year "going left"

Since my year observing Greenwich Park and getting to know my walk to work in more detail (see: This was was my year in Greenwich Park) I've been looking for what could be my next "observation project." I thought something would present itself and it kind of has, but there were a few contenders along the way. I contemplated switching the whole park for just the Flower Garden, or maybe a spot on the river.

But somehow, neither felt right. And then last week, one lunchtime, suddenly I knew. I could spend the year "going left."

I know that doesn't make sense, but let me explain. Where I work in Greenwich almost every time I leave my office I turn right to head into the centre of Greenwich, but there is so much more in the area. And especially going left out of the office instead. 

And so, for the next year I'm going to share my year "going left." 

I'm not quite sure what it'll bring, and it may be something different each month, but I think it could be fun. It may not work, but I hope it does.  So at the start of every month I'll share my going left adventures, starting with a great new cafe that's recently reopened.

Breakfasts at the Trafalgar Cafe

I popped in for lunch one day and had eggs florentine, I learnt as they've only recently reopened they're just serving breakfasts, but with an extensive breakfast menu that's not a problem. In fact, it felt like a bit of a win.  And there was green stuff too.

Eggs florentine at the Trafalgar Cafe in Greenwich

While I waited for it to arrive I couldn't help check out the decor. And it was then that my idea started to form.

Greys, metals, mesh and wood decor in the Trafalgar cafe in Greenwich

I love the decor, these lights are throughout the cafe which give it a homely feel.

The classic lights with copper interiors looked great too

Tea arrives in a mug, with milk on a board and with somewhere to put your tea bag, so that's good. The mix of materials and colours work and are carried through into the serving ware, all give it a modern feel I think.

A mug of tea served on a board at the Trafalgar Cafe in Greenwich

Flowers too - and you can't go wrong with sunflowers - i've also spotted a large vase of lilies too. 



Sunflowers cheering up the newly reopened Trafalgar cafe in Greenwich

To test out my theory and if it was a good spot for lunch, I tried it out the next day too.  This time opting for avocado and poached eggs on toast with some bacon on the side. Again it was good, but I think I preferred the eggs florentine.  Realising I couldn't make this cafe my observation project, because it was likely to morph into "how many eggs could I eat in a year" I used my time there to contemplate if there was enough of interest to spend the year going left.

avocado on toast with poached eggs at the Trafalgar Cafe

I think there is - and I'm sure the cafe will feature again - and it's a good project for me too, as it's right on my office doorstep and over the next few months I plan to share you just how varied and vibrant - and in places undiscovered - this part of Greenwich is.

And I won't be keeping an egg tally...