The Peninsula Shopping Centre


A word to the wise. Avoid the Peninsula shopping area at weekends. No really, I’m serious. I’ve never seen so many frayed tempers, grumpy gits, extraordinarily bad driving and screaming children. Much of the blame for this has to be laid at the feet of whoever designed the ridiculous thing.

Ok, I know that it’s a dirty topic – to say that you actually like cars in this day and age – but making people so angry they crash them is not a very clever way to get them off the road. There are two entrances to the Sainsburys/Comet/B&Q/Odeon bit, neither of them well-designed, both neatly arranged so that once you’re in you can’t get out. Sleeping policemen so vicious they scrape the bottom of your vehicle ensure that people take stupid short cuts and little dead ends that create the necessity for 35-point turns don’t add to the day’s shopping experience in a good way. All in all, by the time you get to B&Q and realise that once again there’s only TWO cash desks open, you’re ready for a punch up with anyone who’ll take you on. I have seen fisticuffs on more than one occasion.

I actually recently witnessed someone smashing up someone else’s car in a moment of road rage in the queue to get out of there whilst the poor devil sat terrified inside, desperate for the lights to change so they could get away from the maniac, and I noticed yesterday one of those police incident boards requesting witnesses to a family being robbed in broad daylight. Whatever is this world coming to? REDESIGN THAT BLOODY CAR PARK!!!!!!!

The “other” shopping centre; the one that is nominally in Charlton, with Asda, Smiths, Next, Argos etc, is even worse. They’ve got special little posts to stop people backing into parking spaces too far, cunningly designed so that they’re IMPOSSIBLE to see from your rear view mirror, which you back into BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE THEM.

I’ve just done £200-worth of damage to my bumper. And that’s another thing – why don’t bumpers bump any more???? They’re just brittle, flimsy bits of painted plastic. RUBBISH. But if they made the posts six foot tall and fluorescent we wouldn’t bump into those sodding posts in the first place. I know I’m not the first because they’re the colour of Joesph’s bloomin’ dreamcoat.

Take my advice – just don’t go there.

In between the two, in the little road that has the Royal Mail Sorting Office, there is a scruffy little parade of odd warehouse-type stores, called the Angerstein Business Park. Most of them are airline bucket shops and Chinese catering supplies, but there is a very good discount bathroom centre, called JEM, which has a wide variety of suites and knock-down prices and the intriguingly-named Greenwich Diving Centre.

If you’re into Chinese food, the See-Woo Chinese supermarket is also here. It’s always packed – don’t bother with the main car park, go straight through to the overflow one next door – and stocks a sublime mix of ingredients, fresh food and giant catering packs of rice. It’s nominally a cash and carry – but they serve me. My Mum loves visiting their cookware section, where they have a splendid array of party lanterns, dishes, toys, dragons and baffling paper clothes. I’ve found the people to be friendly too, whether fellow customers or assistants – happy to help when they’ve seen me wandering around clutching a shopping list looking lost. Oh – and at Christmas they give out cool calendars.

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