Today's trip to visit Daughter in London is based around a trip to Stoke Newington, where we used to live. We haven't been back there since we left in 1994. But the other week, Daughter was driving through Hackney with her friends and happened to mention that this was where she grew up. Apparently her friends were somewhat sceptical of this, so Daughter had decided she shopld visit the area of her initial childhood. No doubt lots will have changed!
We parked in Kyverdale Road, where we lived from 1988 to 1994. Our old house looked rather tatty, having not been painted since we had it done. But someone was definitely living there. We resisted the temptation to knock and the door and see if we could have a look around.
From there we walked round to the bottom of Stanford Hill to see if Phoenix House, Daughter's first school, was still there, and we were delighted to find that it was. It is still a Montessori school as well. Daughter started there when she was two in 1991 and was their first pupil on the first day it opened. We thought she really thrived there.
Daughter's first school - now called Phoenix School - on Stamford Hill
From there we walked to Church Street, even in our time the upmarket part of Stokey. It now has a Wholefoods store - ultra trendy organic stuff. Our old Indian restaurant, the Karnaphuli, is still there too. But our favourite cafe - Pumpkin - has probably long gone, as has Mullholland Drive, the American restaurant near the park. And my favourite secondhand bookstore looked long gone too. But that said, the cafe in Clissold Park had been completely renovated and was really nice. We stopped for cake after walking round the animal enclosure in the park. And St Mary's School was still there - after Phoenix House, Daughter hated this school, and only went there for one term - this was the main factor in our decision to leave Stoke Newington