Evening walks on the Heath

And a lament for the Greek shop of Dartmouth Park

I said to Kevin this time I wanted to walk on the Heath every day – and not just get so used to it being on my doorstep and I would simply forget, or be too lazy as I was in the past. So yesterday evening when I was in bed reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Kevin hauled me out, we all wrapped up warmly and off we set over the Heath, to Swain’s Lane, down to Dartmouth Park and back.


We discovered my favourite shop and main reason for wanting to move, one day, to Dartmouth Park is gone. The lovely rustic wooden exterior, darkened by years of wear and weather. Gone. Replaced by shiny white tiles and bleak steel joinery. The inside once a clutter of dusty wooden shelves, dark wood floors – a hive of local bustle – a deli counter harbouring bottles of hand-pressed olive oil, hand-made cheeses, salamis and hams. Gone.


Where vegetables, full of life were once displayed in wooden boxes, now the usual manufactured produce lies in green plastic bins. The light so bright. The floor so shiny. The shelves grinning sarcastic metallic smiles. You are gone.


Oh the Greek shop of Dartmouth Park you have gone. The fresh loaves that used to grace the front window. An empty shelf of flour late in the day. An interior at least twenty five years old, all wooden and showing your age we loved you so. You’ve now been swept over by progress. Your soul cemented over and covered in shiny grey lino. You have gone you have gone.


A new shop has sprung up in Swain’s Lane, full of organic produce and hope. So all is not lost. Not lost at all. Perhaps the soul of the Greek shop has moved there. Maybe it has.


Yesterday we were blessed with one of my favourite lights for photography – when the sun’s going down shining against dark dark clouds.

And I also wanted to say thanks so much everyone for your lovely comments and welcomes to London – it’s really really lovely to arrive with such greeting and well wishes! Many of you have asked why we moved to London – well it’s a long story so I shall post about that once my CV is out in circulation and I’ve built my new portfolio site.







12 responses to “Evening walks on the Heath”

  1. Alice avatar

    Happy homecoming!

    I am also lucky enough to live near the Heath – on the Kentish Town side so possibly quite close to where you have recently moved. The houses are all beautiful around this area and I am looking forward to seeing more of your lovely photographs!

  2. Anna avatar

    The big move seems to have gone so quickly, although I’m sure thats now how it felt for you. Hope it all goes well, it looks like you’re settling in well.

  3. Creature of Habit avatar

    Oh, that is so sad when the old shops full of heart and character get plowed over for ‘progress’. I’m a major advocate for preservation of old structures. Let new be new and let old be old.

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is what I am reading now too! I actually read it last winter and never finished so I’ve started over (I’m reading it in tandem with “how to help your shy dog”….lol….good stuff!

  4. tommy avatar

    I see you have started to settle down… but sorry about the Greek shop!

  5. Clare avatar

    Welcome home, I’ve loved reading your blog over the last few months. I love love love the heath but havent been since before christmas because we have a puppy who thinks shes Tigers bouncer cousin!
    We love the childrens zoo there. Take care.

  6. Ravenhill avatar

    Charlotte, so happy that you are back home in London safe and sound!!! The shots since your return show your absolute love for the place and pure joy at being there. Nothing like coming home. I hope you will enjoy the settling in.
    ~Emily xx

  7. alison avatar

    Well, it looks as though you’re all settling in quite nicely. Am really enjoying the photos of life in England. Can’t wait to return next year. Am feeling the need to touch base.
    Wishing you all much happiness – Alison

  8. Christy avatar

    I do miss those Brit skies. Glad you’re settling in well. Things do change and not always for the better. But as I’m always told at work, one must embrace change, it’s inevitable.

  9. kimberlee avatar

    oh what a pity about the greek shop, why do certain things have to change?

    nice photos and nice kevin for pulling you up from bed and out to see the natural world.

  10. Jeska avatar

    Have really enjoyed reading about your adventure and seeing your lovely pictures.

    Hope you are enjoying London ; )

  11. Irene avatar

    That’s just lovely! I think I shall be visiting you even more often to take in the lovely London air!
    All the best.

  12. sandii avatar

    you are such a good writer even i was sad about the greek shop and ive never even been there, we miss you but i can see why youve moved back xxxxxx mercedes and her parents

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *