Lol Johnson is a local professional photographer whose work mainly revolves around interiors and kids. When not busy artily draping a throw, or coaxing kids into throwing a pose, she can be found out and about with her husband and kids or jogging around the local parks.
How long have you lived in the area? What brought you here?
I’ve been a South Londoner ever since I made the move from my hometown of Newcastle in 1996, but made the move to Forest Hill just before the birth of my first child in 2006. It was the only place we could afford to buy a property! It’s not quite so affordable now.
What has changed most during that time? What do you most value about the area/street you live in? What one thing would you change?
Property prices! And transport links – the East London Line makes central London much more accessible, but the best thing about Forest Hill is one of it’s oldest institutions – The Horniman Museum and I’m lucky enough to live right on it’s doorstep. Unfortunately, that happens to be on the South Circular, if I could change anything – I’d build a bypass!
Do you know your neighbours?
Yes – I live on an estate of 60’s houses, which seem to attract like-minded people, so I have lots of lovely creative neighbours. It can actually be a bit of a hazard if you’re trying to leave the house in a hurry – I almost always end up bumping into someone the minute I leave the house! But I love that sense of community – it can be a rare thing in London.
Describe your perfect weekend
I think we’ve perfected the easily attainable perfect weekend in our house, and manage it on a regular basis. Jump on the train into Town for a sneaky lunch/shop with the other half whilst the kids are at clubs on a Saturday, followed by early evening G&T’s listening to Craig Charles on Radio 6. Then a lazy Sunday – a stroll through the woods or a trip to a gallery (for some inspiration), then back home for a family roast in front of the fire… I’m quite easily pleased!
Where is your favourite place to eat?
You can’t beat The Begging Bowl in Peckham – it’s a real local gem.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I grew up on the North east coast, so I’m always hankering after a stroll along the beach… failing that Dulwich/Sydenham woods are a pretty good alternative, although they can get a bit busy at weekends!
When I want to relax…
I run a nice hot bath, grab a book and lock the bathroom door – I can easily while away an hour.
Best bargain you’ve ever landed…
When we bought our house, the owner offered us our pick of the furniture, as it was her Mothers who had sadly passed away. We bagged ourselves a whole set of Ladderax shelving and a fantastic G Plan dining set – I reckon they’d been there since the house was built and they fit the style of the property perfectly.
The book I’m reading at the moment…
I’ve been re-reading a lot of books from my past recently for research purposes – The Cement garden, Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Virgin Suicides. They’re all such great portrayals of adolescence… albeit with a slightly sinister tilt.
My secret ambition…
To run a B&B on a rugged cliffside.