Broca's Pendulum


The owners of the Broca's new sister shop in west Brockley are remaining hush-hush about what their new place will offer. Recently however, runes have begun to appear on the outside of the shutters: robots, snowflakes and wheelbarrows but no coffee cups.

So what do these arcane symbols tell us about The Plan? And what role do Brockley's Knights Templar play in all of this?

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is that? Not a part of Brockley I'm familiar with...

Monkeyboy said...

The unholy alliance of media luvies, property developers and the Bilderburg group is alive and well I see. An organic veg store is frankly a poor front.

lb said...

The fact that the coffeestar website describes the Broca as "the original coffeestar cafe" leads me to believe that coffee will probably be served.

Fashion lover said...

Hmmm, well it's bright.

Brockley Jon said...

This new grocers-come-cafe (?) looks like it's going to encompass everything that's cool & kooky about Brockers!

Headhunter said...

I notice that Matchbox Coffee or whatever it's called has moved to the London inbound platform of the station (sorry this may have happened weeks ago but I cycle everywhere so hardly ever go to the station). Very good idea - can't believe they were ever on the other side! That move must've doubled their revenue!

Hugh said...

Hi. Have you missed me?

Headhunter said...

You haven't been away that long....

Paddyom said...

Great to see somewhere new - its only a little bit of a shame that its not on that nice parade of shops on Coulgate street which would compliment the street nicely and be another sign of confidence in that new 'villagy' area of brockley. The existing retail in Brockley is too broken up so if new establishements could be concentrated on one area they may achieve a critical mass as well as improve the area. Anyone worked out what its selling yet? Come on Erin, spill the coffee beans? I notice that the last remaining vacant unit on the parade of shops where Cafe Neu used to be (now House of Serenity...yawn) has had a new shop front fitted. Either some thing new is on the horizon or the landlord is feeling the pinch of empty rates and finally wants to let the thing. Just pray its not a coffin shop of some sort. And despite the opposition from myself and others, Portmans bookmakers is looking quite nice.

13:24 said...

Shop at the Junction of Death has been painted black. My guess - it's going to be a coffin shop.

coffin' and splutterin' said...

will it be selling meat?

lb said...

"a little bit of a shame its not on that nice parade of shops on Coulgate street"

Why would we need two competing delis next to each other, not to mention two branches of the same coffee shop? I mean, really?

"The existing retail in Brockley is too broken up"

Well, quite, but this is part of the problem (or advantage, depending on how you want to see the area develop) of the place. Even by suburban high-street standards, Brockley has an incredibly diffuse and grotty centre. Indeed, there's no central 'area' as such at all - no green, no square, no war memorial, no large accessible row of shops. Even Crofton Park has more of a 'centre' to it. There's not actually a great deal that can be done about this without major redevelopment, but it does provide one clue as to why the place has developed the way it has.

Headhunter said...

Where's the Juntion of Death? Are we talking Brockley X?

Headhunter said...

Brockley may not have a defined centre point (it perhaps has 2 - one on each side of the station), but that is no reason it has to have a "grotty centre" and I certainly don't believe that nothing can be done without major investment. We just need to accept that Brockley has more than 1 centre, why should this be a hindrance?

If the council merely stepped up and actually enforced its own conservation area rules, the shop fronts on that side of the station could be improved at no expense to council tax payers. Of course this would actually be a major undertaking because the council has lazily just let rules slide for so long now.

Also, as has been discussed on the other thread, removal of the railings and installation of raised flower/plant beds would help. We already have trees outside the post office which, when they have grown a bit larger will soften the environment there.

There is plenty that can be done without major expense

Hugh said...

Brockely must be coming up. All these people with access to the internet spending years (literally) talking about what should happen and how they hope it might.

Headhunter said...

You really aren't the same Hugh that started posting here back in 2007 are you? Come on, admit it...

13:24 said...

HeadHunter - Down by the cemetery (Moonbows and what was Cafe Neu). There's already a couple of Funeral-based businesses there.

The Cat Man said...

I'm really excited by the new shop - all that I know is Erin told me it is supposed to be opening 'soon'.

I'm guessing to be ready for the xmas market.

In terms of regeneration, this just continues the noted trend. It was mentioned previously, that it has been the side streets witnessing regeneration first. Well, this is now true of both sides of the station.

What we should expect to see is 'mainstream' branded shops opening on Brockley Road, sainsburies metro etc.... so the lack of a 'centre' of regeneration is not surprising as it will be the larger chains, who can pay larger rents and shoulder larger risks that will open on central locations.

However, they will not open up until side streets have been re-generated. So this is all good news and is another step in the deveopment of Brockley.

PS: Erin also mentioned that there will be a 'coffee facility' in the shop. Not sure exactly what this means, but I think it could imply a 'small' area to serve hot drinks to remain compliance with the planning permissions.

Paddyom said...

"Why would we need two competing delis next to each other, not to mention two branches of the same coffee shop? I mean, really?
"

Sorry LB, I didnt think it had been confirmed what the new business was, or at least I certainly wasn't aware. So please remain calm. If it is indeed a new coffee shop or deli then i agree with you, there would be no point opening in Coulgate St. area. However if it is a different business type then I personally speaking would prefer it to stay around the existing area of rejuvenation opp the station so that nice parade grows adn maybe rubs off on the high street which is horrific. Either way its great its happening.

Anonymous said...

There are coffee cups on the outside. Have you not looked at your picture?

...and coffee beans.

Anonymous said...

Blue coffee cup, bottom right of picture.

Anonymous said...

HA HA, Bring on the Westside coffee revolution...

Anonymous said...

Does the name of the post refer to the 'centre' of Brockley shifting west?

westsider said...

Nobbly Brick.

Please can you post the original, publicly stated completion date, the new publicly stated completion date and your source which confirms all this.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Wha???

The Cat Man said...

Oh, I wondered what that was.

I personally think some of those 'stencils' are abit odd. I was half expecting a dog poo one on the street outside to match.

Armpit Vale said...

If the coffee cup is to be taken as a clue, in the same way I'll look forward to stepping up to the counter for my order of Crispy Duck.

Anonymous said...

Duck eggs.

Anonymous said...

I like tea

Anonymous said...

Then you shall have tea.

The Cat Man said...

At least there is no Cat stencil

nobbly brick said...

westsider: wrong thread, and regretably, for me, the Lewisham homepage seems to be taking an unaccountably long time to load, but there was a link on their front page

Brockley Nick said...

Anon 1957, I wish I'd thought of that.

Headhunter said...

Cat Man - I doubt the stencils will matter. Give it a few weeks and it'll be covered in grafitti anyway. It's west side style innit?

Anonymous said...

this shop is larger and will (hopefully) have more seating than the current one. the other one will just be a quick stop. If people sit it they generally tend to spend more on food etc. the coffeestar (group) have realised that there is a market and business opportunity (brockley, telegraph hill mums particularly) and are embracing it before any large chain wakes up. This is the pefect "keep it local" business and good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

coffeestar group?

Anonymous said...

Fine with keeping it local, but let's not forget to keep it reasonably priced.

Tressilliana said...

I suppose I'm just a middle-aged Scrooge, but I'm at a loss as to why so many people spend so much money going out for coffee a stone's throw from home. I have very rarely found anywhere in London, and certainly not in Brockley, that makes decent coffee. The coffee I make at home is at least as good as what I could buy anywhere else in Brockley, and my home is more comfortable than any of the coffee shops. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

http://www.coffeestarltd.co.uk/

It's even got a picture of the wreck outside :)

nobbly brick said...

Its like eastenders - doesn't anybody own a washing machine? And they're forever having breakfast in the cafe!

Anonymous said...

Tressiliana - I'm not sure you're a scrooge but surely going out for a coffee is more than just drinking coffee? For some people, particularly mums, it's entirely possible to stay at home all day, so just getting out of the house to meet a friend in a neutral venue - perhaps midway between both their homes, is a nice way to spend the afternoon.
Sorry but I think you may have missed the point.

Anonymous said...

Because it's hip and cool and organic and fairtrade and green and carbon neutral and trendy and vegetarian

Brockley Jon said...

Nah, Tressilliana, I'm with you. When I go down to any of the assorted Brockley coffee establishments I tend to let the missus get a mocha and steal hers, as I can't bring myself to spend that much on a hot bevvy! I'm more of a tea man, and that's even less economical. If I do get one, it's usually along the 'support local business' line of thinking, and it will also involve a nice muffin - now there's something I don't have at home!

But I do see the point with the whole 'getting out the house' thing :)

Tamsin said...

For really cheap (subsidised) tea and coffee there is Cafe Orange (but only to the end of this month when the funding runs out, only if it is within their very limited hours and only if you are doing something in the Telegraph Hill Centre anyway). I think Tresiliana is right and why it has been so hard to make anything of Cafe Orange in a commercial sense - that close to home you don't waste money (even at 50p a cup). The places around the centre of Brockley survive because they are on the way somewhere and by a transport hub.

Tressilliana said...

When I was a mother with two children under the age of three, I hardly ever went to cafes (a) because money was tight and (b) because it's impossible to relax in a strange place with ambulant children if it's not childproof. We used to go to each other's houses, to the library, to the park and to the numerous groups in the area as a means of getting out of the house. Different, I suppose, with a tiny baby.

But I stand by my assessment of the quality of the coffee. My gold standard is Italian - why can nobody in the UK make coffee like that?

13:24 said...

Tressilliana and Brockley John. I'm with you too. I'm nonplussed at the last decade's obsession with coffee and coffee-houses. Emporer's new clothes if you ask me.

When I go out, I want to eat or drink something that I'm unable to make at home. Can't see the point otherwise. I am a tight old scrote though!

fabhat said...

I have meetings in cafes including broca/toads mouth sometimes if I don't want to do them in the office, or if I've just got off the train after traipsing all over town and want to just sit down for a bit before going home...then Broca is a welcome sight.

The Cat Man said...

I think nowadays alot of people live alone, increasing the need to go out and meet people. Not just to chat/socialise, but often being in an environment where there is other people sitting down and chilling out can equally be pleasant.

the quality of the coffee is somewhat a second rate issue nowadays, as the prime reason to go out is to socialise.

when there are a number of cafes only then will the quality of the coffee be a deciding factor to visit a particular cafe over another.

The coffee in Chicago is shi*te by the way, If i see another Subway i'm going to scream..

Headhunter said...

I'm in 2 minds about all this, I prefer my own damn strong, damn fine home made coffee that leaves me so caffeined up I can't stop shaking (organic of course so it's not bad for me), but I can also see the attraction of hanging out in a cafe, watching the world go by, listening to the gush of the espresso machine over some light jazz muzak.

Also coffee shops make a nice back drop to a small centre like Brockley, however I find that coffee in the UK especially at the major chains is rubbish coz they drown out the espresso shot base with half a gallon of milk so all you end up with is warm, brown, frothy milk. I've realised the technique in the UK is to ask for a machiato which in the UK has the same amount of milk as an Italian cappuccino.

As for an obsession over the last decade, I don't think it's that recent, in the 17th century most business in the City was carried out in coffee shops, in fact I think Lloyds of London insurance started in a coffee shop run my Edward Lloyd in the 1680s. And how about the London cafes of the 1950s set up by Italian immigrants following WW2?

MB said...

Tea was actually the trendy new drink, Samuel Peyps writes about stumbling across this new fangled 'China Tea'

The Cat Man said...

Lloyds of London (actually now called the 'Society of Lloyds') was indeed founded in a coffee shop on Lime Street.

It was basically a meeting place for ship owners who gathered together to insurance their fleet collectively (its unlikely to lose a number of ships at the same time given the geographical spread of voyages). Interestingly enough, originally the Society was not run for profit purely to act like a mutual.

The Cat Man said...

It illustrates the link between Shipping and Insurance - both historcial industries in the UK, which we still dominate today.

Headhunter said...

Tea was certainly becoming popular, but coffee was just as popular back in the 17th and early 18th century. Coffee shops sprung up all over London back then but later disappeared and tea became our "national drink"

Headhunter said...

Quick scan of the net also show that the Stock Exchange began life as a coffee Shop called Jonathan's Coffee Shop where commodity and stock prices were listed on a board in 1698.

And this from Wikipedia:

Though Charles II later tried to suppress the London coffeehouses as "places where the disaffected met, and spread scandalous reports concerning the conduct of His Majesty and his Ministers", the public flocked to them. They were great social levellers, open to all men and indifferent to social status, and as a result associated with equality and republicanism. More generally, coffee houses became meeting places where business could be carried on, news exchanged and the London Gazette (government announcements) read. Lloyd's of London had its origins in a coffeehouse run by Edward Lloyd, where underwriters of ship insurance met to do business. By 1739 there were 551 coffeehouses in London; each attracted a particular clientele divided by occupation or attitude, such as Tories and Whigs, wits and stockjobbers, merchants and lawyers, booksellers and authors, men of fashion or the "cits" of the old city center. According to one French visitor, the Abbé Prévost, coffeehouses, "where you have the right to read all the papers for and against the government," were the "seats of English liberty."

So hardly a new occurence...

drakefell debaser said...

I thought the coffee aspect was playing second fiddle to the grocery side? I for one am more interested in what vegetation will be on sale rather than the strength and consistency of the latte.

If you are into making your own coffee at home though then try adding cacao nibs to the ground coffee and you get a subtle chocolate flavour which is rather nice.

Anonymous said...

Tresilliana - you won't take your ambulant kids to a cafe but will a library? Surely out of the frying pan and into a furnace.

Askhat said...

Children are less likely to run into the road while in a library...

The Cat Man said...

Interestingly enough, the Baltic exchange was also originally a coffee house on threadneedle street.

Who said you shouldn't mix pleasure with business :oP

Anonymous said...

Askhat. And this is based on your extensive research into the connection between Road Traffic Accidents and cafes? You truly are a credit to yourself and the university you didn't attend.

Anonymous said...

Children are less likely to drown while in a library.

Anonymous said...

Children are less likely to eat figs while in library.

fabhat said...

blimey anon 17.13. I based my reply on my experience of friends with two years old children - who won't go to cafes like broca because the children want to be out of the buggy and therefore the cafe is not a treat as they spend all their time trying to stop the child running into the road - or wailing their head off in a pram. Libraries on the other hand, especially children's libraries, are often well equipped to amuse small children in a safe environment.

Apologies for having an opinion and being university educated, despite your assumption otherwise.

The Cat Man said...

Where has my stalker Anon gone?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the apology. You know they won't catch malaria in a library either?

The Cat Man said...

I've had all sorts of merchant bankers...

fabhat said...

Thanks goodness, because I was worried - what about you? Will you catch a good temper?

Anonymous said...

What you get up to is your business.

Anonymous said...

Catch a good temper? Well according to some friends and based an their experiences, I'm less likely to if I'm in a library.

drakefell debaser said...

Catman whats the news on the election? Are the old gun toting hillbillies leaving the White House?

The Cat Man said...

Too early to tell.

Some of my clients e'ees in Chicago were complaining about long queues at polling booths this morning and there is certainly a positive atmosphere here in Chicago (the home state of Obama) but I havn't heard anything more.

Anonymous said...

broca make a nice chai tea latte

Grassy Knoll said...

Apparently there is a tall book depositary overlooking the Obama rally - expect you've already scoped that.

Tressilliana said...

My ambulant kids are both taller than me now and are safe in cafes and libraries alike. Crofton Park library played a useful part in keeping us all sane when they were toddlers, and we managed to avoid malaria, figs and drowning. At the risk of coming across as health and safety mad, what about the scalding risk to babies and toddlers from hot drinks?

Anonymous said...

You ran the risk. It didn't work out. Take it on the chin and move on.

armpit vale said...

Understand the point about mothers being harrassed by keeping their youngsters under control in public. Still remember a perfectly nice morning in Toad's Mouth being ruined by someone's Tarquin throwing stones from the garen into the room and running around screaming, whilst parents were enjoying their coffees and conversation. Shame no one else could. Why do other people think we want to enjoy their kids when they themselves have obviously learnt the art of tuning the little horrors out.

Armpit Vale said...

Oi, someone's stolen MY nick now!

Bea said...

armpit vale - well you could of course take your custom elsewhere if you don't like kids - try a pub for example. The garden at TM2 is perfect for little ‘uns as it is enclosed and the gravel provides hours of amusement. Don't like the noise they make - TOUGH! The parents probably don’t like your tututing either…

Headhunter said...

Ooh fierce Bea! Reminds of the militant attitude of some cyclists in central London! Gotta admit though, much as I have come to love kids - everyone I know seems to be popping sprogs out at the moment - I wish that some parents would keep 'em on a slightly tighter leash at times. Don't mind a little unruliness, you can't keep them strapped down all day long but when it comes to the little darlings running round a small cafe screaming, chucking stuff etc, I'm not a fan... Out in a park perhaps, yes.

not the armpit vale said...

I don't get your point Bea:

1.Those who want a quiet coffee should be able to have a quiet coffee as a paying customer with the expectation that most kids will be well behaved.
2.Why should they go to a no-kids zone pub? They want a coffee and a read of a paper or a chat to a friend.
3.It could be said that the kids and their mums and dads should go to a playgrouind center or their own back gardens if they want to run around.
4.This is just pure selfishness on the part of the parents, who feel that the communcal cafe gets them out of parental responsibility.
5.I've seen waiters nearly tripped by little kids running around. And it makes you wonder that the parents aren't worried about hot drinks and water being spilt on the headlong charging little ones.
6.Throwing gravel and running around screaming isn't acceptable behaviour for kids in a cafe. Kids aren't operating in a cocoon and need to learn how to repect other customers and modify behaviour as it is not your home. Some parents just like to think it is because it makes life easier for them.

fred vest said...

perhaps children shouldn't be let out until they are 18 at which time they can be injected with something which provides them with all the lived experience they need to continue their journey through life

Anonymous said...

Total recall?

fred vest said...

yep a complete total product recall is required for all children, lest they upset adults with their cunning dialectical ways of thinking & behaving

Anonymous said...

having trouble with your parenting skills, Fred?

Headhunter said...

Or just inject them all with Ritalin regularly...

fred vest said...

"having trouble with your parenting skills, Fred?"

your not american by any chance?

Bea said...

Wow - what a Victorian attitude you have - obviously of the “kids should be seen but not heard” school of thought! Surely we have moved on from those repressive days.

The kids that run around and are difficult to control are invariably toddlers who, because they have only been on this world for the last 12 to 36 months (and therefore only have limited mental capacity) find it tough to control their behaviour let alone grasp social niceties.

The parents are probably just happy to get out of the house, enjoy an adult conversation with friends and have probably told Tarquinii to stop about 10 times anyway. Of course there is the other option of a full blown tantrum.

Having others look down their nose at them makes parents either want to egg on their kids on to even greater heights of bad behaviour – just to irritate the hell out of whoever has been bad mouthing them or think sod it see if I care anyway.

I’m pretty sure that there are very few parents of under-5s that cannot relate.

Victrorian Dad said...

Return to Victorian values

Long overdue......

Anonymous said...

Just because they, small children, are difficult to control, doesn't mean that the adult negates their responsibility and let's the child run riot and disturbing others. Parenting is a hard job, others with have sympathy but up to a point. Anti-social behaviour is annoying no matter who it comes from, and why. This should be a matter of reason.

The Cat Man said...

I agree with the Anon,

the current political climate is full swing pro-parential hood which means its ok to lets kids do whatever the hell they want. Politicians do not want to nag at the adults as its 'not their responsibility'.

Kids need to learn manners, but often the parents need to learn them too.

Kids should most certainly be seen and not heard in adult restaurants. I do not see anything wrong with that.

The Cat Man said...

Or to put it a different way, why should all restaurants be made to appeal to everyone at a child level?

Talk about dumbing down or what!

Bea said...

Great to have Catman representing the opposition.

If he's on that side of the argument, I rest my case as there'll be no logic involved.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with Bea, just like yesterday. Once she has a bee in her bonnet, sense and being reasonable flies out of the window.

Bea said...

Do introduce me to the "reasonable flies" ... a rare breed?

13:24 said...

This is hardly an extensive study, but on trips around mainland Europe, I've noticed that the local toddlers are very well behaved in public. More so than their British counterparts (in general).

Brockley Nick said...

I'm with Bea.

As a parent, if your child is misbehaving in a public place, you usually feel far more embarrassed / stressed by it than anyone else around. Very few parents are content to just let their kids loose to do whatever, but sometimes they decide that to allow their child to continue doing what they're doing will be less disruptive to others than disciplining them. It's very rarely a question of laziness or a lack of the discipline that clearly instilled such respectfulness in the likes of catman.

Be tolerant. Relax. Smile at the kids. You might even find it makes you happy to watch them play around.

fred vest said...

"why should all restaurants be made to appeal to everyone at a child level?"

exactly, and furthermore what about all those wheelchair ramps and the like encouraging disableds into places where we're trying to relax and enjoy ourselves in.

and to be perfectly honest pubs have went downhill since they've put womens' toilets in them as well

and don't even get me started on old people

Brockley Nick said...

Vest, your newfound playful side is much more appealing than Angry Fred.

Anonymous said...

Nick sadly Bea isn't embarassed by the kids behaviour, in what can only be described as militant parenting, her attitude paraphrased from her remarks above is "sod anyone else who is trying to have a quiet drink and is fed up with the disturbance" because Bea is going to "egg on the(ir) kids". A stunning example of reason .


"...makes parents either want to egg on their kids on to even greater heights of bad behaviour – just to irritate the hell out of whoever has been bad mouthing them or think sod it see if I care anyway."

Anonymous said...

"the current political climate is full swing pro-parential hood"

Is it just me who feels much more stupid after reading one of Cat's posts? It's like he some how manages to suck the brains out of you. Remarkable, I mean what does that phrase even mean? we should be ANTI parent? I blame the blacks personally.

Monkeyboy said...

Looks like Cat's been struck off another Christmas card list.

Bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fabhat said...

Perhaps there's a Cat comment generator somewhere on the internet made up of buzz words - we should all have a go...

Bea said...

You're quite right it's not reasoned reaction.

However, stressed parents who are angry because others are judging their parenting skills (without having had to go through the same sleepless night followed by a hard day at work and then child a naughty toddler who is going through a defiant developmental stage) creates an emotive reaction to censorship rather than a reasoned one.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh please someone build that cat comment generator!

or perhaps they already have

Monkeyboy said...

Nick can I please join the "Brockley Political Elite" is there a form I need to fill in? a uniform? perhaps a hat? yes a hat would be nice.

fabhat said...

I think I've found an early version...

http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com/the-twat-o-tron/

Anonymous said...

"The coffee in Chicago is shi*te by the way, If i see another Subway i'm going to scream.."

so you did miss one of the best espresso blends in the world then?

www.intelligentsiacoffee.com

The Cat Man said...

Please, stop talking about me - im truely flattered, but you're making me splutter my bourbon-laced kentucky espresso!

The Cat Man said...

And why are there so many gyms here but yet everyone is so fat?

Tressillian James said...

What crap Catman - falling into stereotypes- I recently was in DC and the people seemed a lot trimmer and fitter than here in SE4.

Anonymous said...

One could ask how come you have so many degrees but are so stupid?

fred vest said...

level of education is no great indicator of intelligence

The Cat Man said...

Well in downtown Kentucky - the capital of which is about the size of a very small town (Frankfort) there are many gym centres yet nearly everyone is obese.

Walking around its easy to see, what do you want me to do, take photos of everyone to prove it?

Element of reality pls.

It wasn't as bad in Chicago I might add, but I was in the posh part where you would expect better looking trim professional types.

Tressillian James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tressillian James said...

So working class people are fat..........all this proves is that a life of reading the Daily Mail is a form of population brainwashing that most dictators would give their right hand propogandist for..

The Cat Man said...

eh? I read the independant.

And yes, if you are poorer financially you will have a poorer diet - which means you are more likely to be obese.

Richard said...

Bea, Nick, I have to disagree here - most cafés & even pubs welcome little ones now and most are well-behaved. But the few who run riot can ruin someone's meal/drink/coffee & endanger themselves.

Yes, the parents might want to relax and yes, the kids should be able to enjoy themselves, but there comes a point when the needs of other paying customers must be considered. That's not to say children should be seen and not heard, nor should they be expected to understand social rules at a young age - but once they disturb other people I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the parents to stop them doing so.

The majority of kids that come to Jam Circus in the day are little diamonds, but very occassionally I have to ask the parents if they could calm a child down. I've never had an angry reaction - they usually understand.

The other thing of course is safety - the number of times I've skipped a beat when a small child has run out by my legs while carrying hot food, or they have been allowed to wander and ended up in peril by the kitchen door.

PS This of course comes from the pub nick-named Buggy Circus by some Goldsmith Students; we're very child-friendly. I remember a bar I worked for in York having a policy at the bottom of their menu: "We are child-tolerant, but not child-friendly. Please keep your children under control" Harsh words indeed!

Bea said...

Richard - I sympathise what you have written and no parent wants their kid covered in hot drinks or food (or trip someone up). Yes, an adults needs to step in if the kid starts to become a danger to themselves and others.

However, in defence of the parents I would like to say that it is difficult to judge what one person finds annoying and another doesn’t and is usually in direct relation to how much contact that person has had with children in recent years (they probably have no memories of behaving in a similar manner). It is very difficult to keep a toddler still unless they are asleep.

Also most parents DO try to stop their kids from disturbing other paying customers but there comes a stage when the alternative is a full blown tantrum (which is far worse than some kiddy noise). Result - the whole family has to leave in the middle of a meal (or one parent with obstructive child).

And although most people do not react rudely to your requests to ask them control their kids – deep down they are probably very embarrassed and may well choose to take their custom elsewhere as they no longer feel welcome. They end up avoiding cafes and go to Crofton Park Library instead!

I guess in essence what gets me all riled up is when certain members of the public feel they can react towards children in a manner they would never use towards someone with a disability because they would understand that this person has limitations. They often fail to understand that very young children have those limitations, to a certain extent, too.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this and thinking of that baby P. Children are all our responsibility, obviously primarily the parent's, BUT if the parent is not doing something/or not doing something that could harm the child. I as a responsible and caring member of society reserve the right to say something to the parent and /or child.

Too often we look away and ignore and we shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Poor little Tarquins.

Anonymous said...

There is middle class neglect just as much as there is working class. The difference is the ill disciplined middle class kids end up in therapy and on proszac, whereas the working class ones end up in prison and on heroine.

Anonymous said...

A bit of navel gazing in therapy classes never hurt anyone - people in prison are there usually because they've inflicted their problems on someone else.

Don't try and say the two things are equivalent

Anonymous said...

Broca's Perenium?

Anonymous said...

Poor parenting damages children, it prevents them from realising their full potential, this applies across the classes, whether it's parents who leave their children in a holiday room unattended whilst they go out and have tapas or one who presides over the systemic torture of their child by a partner.

Brockley Nick said...

That is the most disgusting bit of moral equivalence I've heard in a while. You can't possibly compare the McCann case with Child P.

Foolish carelessness is not the same as systematic torture of your own child.

Anonymous said...

Get off the high horse and wake up, neglect is neglect.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing the McCann's did that was wrong - plenty of parents do similar, its only the terrible circumstances that happened afterwards that make the wolves of hindsight come out. Nothing LIKE the circumstances surrounding Baby P, or Child A.

Of course the McCann's could have stayed in and watched TV next door to their sleeping daughter or they could've brought her with them. But then they would've had a spoilt little Henriettah...

Brockley Nick said...

Neglect is - as you say - neglect

Torture and murder is torture and murder.

To try and say they are the same thing is as stupid as it is vicious.

(although if you're trying to suggest that you shouldn't differentiate between degrees of neglect then that's also an extraordinarily stupid claim).

Tressilliana said...

'There was nothing the McCann's did that was wrong - plenty of parents do similar, its only the terrible circumstances that happened afterwards that make the wolves of hindsight come out. Nothing LIKE the circumstances surrounding Baby P, or Child A.

Of course the McCann's could have stayed in and watched TV next door to their sleeping daughter or they could've brought her with them. But then they would've had a spoilt little Henriettah...'

I can't agree with this. It isn't spoiling your child to take her to eat with you when you're on holiday. It also isn't spoiling your child if you adapt your way of life, e.g. by not going out or by eating earlier than you otherwise might not, because you recognise that very small children are extremely vulnerable and shouldn't be left unattended while the parents go out. I think it was neglect just as much as it would have been if they'd left her alone at home while they went out to the pub.

The Baby P case involves far more than neglect, to state the blindingly obvious.

lb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lb said...

Simon Jenkins has written a perceptive piece in the 'Guardian' on the Haringey case.

I think we can all agree that:

a) One should try and keep one's child under control in a cafe

b) It's not acceptable to leave young children alone in the house

c) The Haringey case is not equivalent to b)

d) We should probably leave it at that.

The Cat Man said...

Nick, why did you delete me last comment?

lb said...

Because it's bad enough having David Cameron trying to make political capital out of this without having some prating fool on a website doing it as well. Can we get back to talking about coffee, please?

The Cat Man said...

Well its odd, there was nothing even controversial in what i said.

Random deletion of my comments happen alot on here, so I shouldn't be too surprised really.

It allows readers to look at other peoples comments and paint a picture of me being some sort of villian.

I wouldn't mind if it was true! But its quite pathetic.

fabhat said...

Cat man - sometimes, just sometimes, you should leave a subject alone. And this is one of them. The spurious linking to your normal "hobby horse"on this subject was crass to say the least...

Anonymous said...

Gonna take a punt here - was there a racial element to Catman's post?

What was said?

The Cat Man said...

No there was nothing like that at all.

I was comparing america to the UK in terms of family values and how our different cultures have generated different expectations at what people deem to be acceptable behaviour for parents looking after kids.

apparently that means i meant some sort of link to a racial issue.

Anonymous said...

The sign is up. Broca Food Market.

Brockley Central Label Cloud