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Diary 2014 October

 

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4 October

Pyracantha  Pyracantha
The sun coming through the trees just lit up all these berries in a small patch of light. I am really looking forward to when theses bushes grow up into a big hedge.

6 October

Weather map
This Met Office weather map looks really wet and miserable, with heavy rain all over Kent. It was definitely a day to stay indoors and read our books.

8 October

Shopping centre construction  Pillow packs
This is the middle part of our existing shopping centre, which used to be a boring bit of open space. They cleared it and it was empty for a while, but now it is all going up. I like these pillow packs, and I think with a new pillow it would be very easy to sleep in very calmly..

9 October

Rain day  Rainy pond
Another very wet day, with bursts of very heavy rain. The fish like it because it washes the flies into the water, and I think the frogs will be hopping around the garden now that everything is soaked.

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12 October

Morning sun
A sunny dry day, and we went to a boot fair nearby. It is in a big open field so the skies look very big as well. These clouds began to block out the sun, but it stayed warm for the morning.

Dewy grass patterns  Boot fair
In the boot fair field, the grass is very interesting, with car tyre patterns and ridges in the dewy grass. It was all quite crowded, as people think it might be the last warm day and their last chance to get some bargains.

Cox apples  Lord Lambourne apple
I picked the last of the Cox apples, which are very big and red. This dark red one is supposed to be a Lord Lambourne, but it looks very much like a Spartan. Eventually we ate it and the flesh was not white, so maybe the label was right after all.

13 October

Rainy park pond  Rainy park puddles
Yet another very wet day. We don't always stay in, though, and went through the park on the way to the warm and dry shops.

Red mittens  Green mittens
Back home to dry out. It is my job to count, photograph and pack all the knitted mittens that will be going to a charity to send out overseas, and there were 25 pairs. These two are my favourite design, which is some cables, and then a chain stitch put on afterwards along the spaces between the cables. They look very chunky and warm because of all the ridges.

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14 October

Green apples and pears
We picked the last of the fruit. I saw a squirrel going up the pear tree so I rushed out and scared him off. The pear tree has not done well this year and we had only three very tiny pears left, and we have all been looking forward to just a tiny bite each! We also got in all the green apples, which I think are probably Golden Delicious. It was labelled as a Russet but I am sure now that the label was the wrong one.

16 October

Dawn sun  View from Gravel Hill
I like a good sunrise like this, so I can make plans to go out and about. We went to Bexleyheath and then walked down the parkland on Gravel Hill. There is a good view over the countryside from the top.

Cotoneaster berries  Kite toy in tree
This cotoneaster bush will be feeding the blackbirds all winter. Further down the hill, someone had lost their kite in one of the tree branches.

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Crab apples  Pyracantha arch
We crossed the road at the bottom and went into Hall Place gardens. More lofely fruit, I think these are ornamental crab apples. The pyracantha arch is packed full of more berries.

Chinese Lantern plants  Robin
The cut flower garden was looking a bit untidy and empty, but these Chinese Lantern plants were the brightest plant there. Another red treasure was this Robin singing very loudly on the topmost twig of a nearby tree. I wonder if he is the one that sometimes goes into the big greenhouse.

Mossy crazy paving  Mossy brick paving
With all this rain the moss in the path cracks were a very bright green, my favourite version of green.

Upper path  Frisbee in tree
I like this top path, as it is raised up and you can look down on the gardens. On the grassy area near the river, someone has lost their frisbee in this tree. I wonder if the gardeners will get it down?

Sunken garden  Gardner's water tap
The sunken garden was filling with water after all the rain. I hope the gardeners are looking in their books for plants that like being soggy. I don't think they will be needing to use this water tap at the moment!

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Benches missing  Acer tree and cyclamen
Brown Teddy noticed that all the wooden seats were missing, obviously to stop them rotting in all the water that is collecting. At one end is a beautiful acer with orange autumn leaves with a big clump of cyclamen underneath.

Mossy seat  Gardener's truck collecting leaves
Further along in the park, we wanted to sit down for our snack but this seat was too damp and mossy. We saw the gardeners out in these little trucks, they drove in circles around the trees and all the leaves were swept into the back container.

Ladybirds  Stripy birch trunk
We thought it was little leaves or seeds floating all around us, but it turned out to be clouds of ladybirds. The only thing to do was to get away from that clump of trees where they were coming from. We made for another area, where I saw one of my favourite trees in this park - I think it is a birch, and it reminds me of the planet Jupiter with rings of colours.

Scone 1  Scone 2
We found a seat well away from the ladybirds, and had our snack. Brown Teddy and I like sultana scones, as they fill us up quickly.

Yellow autumn leaves  Rock garden
Suddenly the sun came out for a minute and lit up this beautiful tree. I like this rock garden, but I wish there were some more rocks just set into the grass where people could sit on them, as they get warmed in the sun. It is not allowed to sit on the ones in the flower beds.

River
This is the river just beyond the weir, where all the white splashing water has settled and it becomes a peaceful stream again.

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17 October

Picture on side of truck
We saw this truck in Dartford. The countryside scenery is made up of food items and I especially like the broccoli trees.

19 October

Grass cutting with shears  Flower bed
Time to cut the newly seeded grass, as it was getting quite long. It was a lot of work using shears for it all and I will be glad when it is strong enough to stand up to a lawnmower. At one end I have made a short box hedge (when it grows) and in the middle is a fuchsia and forgetmenots. Underneath are loads of tulip bulbs in all different colours and crocus along the grass edge.

Nasturtiums by pond
The nasturtiums have grown into the pond and the fish like to poke about underneath the sagging leaves for titbits. The reflections of the orange flowers often look like another goldfish.

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20 October

Mossy concrete 
We decided to visit Crystal Palace in Sydenham today. On the train station, this tiny piece of mossy concrete looks to me like a big cliff with a forest on top.

Railway bridge near Crystal Palace
I like to take pictures of old buildings and this railway bridge was very big and old. I am glad it has not been replaced with something modern and not so interesting.

Park Cafe mural
In Crystal Palace park we wanted to see the Victorian dinosaur models but before we got to that bit we saw this mural on the park cafe. I like the pterodactyl with his rainbow wings.

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Lake
The lake is quite large, with all the usual ducks and geese, and lots of hopeful pigeons wandering around. Well, it was quite close to the cafe!

Stag  Prehistoric animals
This prehistoric stag was the first one we saw, and further on there were some large piggy looking ones under the trees.

Geology  Waterfall
This is a pretending bit of geology, with artificial rock layers of different stones and coal, and a fountain at one end.

Big dinosaur  Iguanodon
Dino came with us today of course, and was delighted to see the big iguanadons. There were made in Victorian times when it was thought they walked on all fours. People then had only just found out about dinosaurs.

Big dinosasur closer up  Ducks under alligator
This one is about twice as tall as a person. The ducks were resting under one of the alligator dinosaurs.

Long necked dinosaur  More dinosaurs
This one seems about to slither about in the mud and I think he probably needs deeper water than this to swim in! There were more smaller ones towards the end of their pool, lying around and crouching on the concrete "mud".

Dinosaur mural near railway station
We left the dinosaurs behind and went up the hill to the railway station, where we found another dinosaur mural.

Crystal Palace station  Station steps
Crystal Palace railway station is very big and old, and obviously it does not get the crowds that it used to. There are a lot of stairs for a small person to climb up but I made it to the top. Look at the handrails, at two heights for adults and children!

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Parapet of former Crystal Palace  Big flight of steps
In the big open space at the top of the park are the remains of the Crystal Palace, with only the flights of steps and stone parapets still standing. The rest is all grass. It is going to be rebuilt but I think it will take some years to get through the planning department!

Transmitter mast  Crows in puddles
Here we got the best view of the transmitter mast. The crows were enjoying walking about through the puddles, I think they were hoping there would be some worms in the mud.

Pair of sphinxes  Dino sitting on the sphinx
At each end are these pairs of sphinxes. Dino felt quite small when he sat on the stone at the end, which is quite unusual for him!

Front view of sphinx  Sphinx hieroglyphics
Parrot wondered what the sphinx was looking at so carefully. Brown Teddy decided that it was not writing, but pictures of knives, forks and spoons like you see on road signs telling you that the motorway services are nearby! I am sure they are not real hieroglyphics because they are set out in a pattern, with the tennis racquet in the middle and the others in mirror image pairs facing it!

Dino on the train home  Blue Parrot on the train home
Dino really enjoyed his day out, especially the train journey back. When we got to Bickley station, Blue Parrot thought the announcer said Bicky, but unfortunately we did not have any biscuits to give him. He was quite happy, though, as we were not far from home by then. Dino is going to be talking about his day out for quite some time.

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21 October

Kelsey Park map
Today we went to Kelsey Park in Beckenham. It is a long thin park with a lake, between roads and houses. 

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
I love to see little streams and this part is just inside the gate. Further on it opened out with plenty of room to wander down to the stream.

Kelsey Park bat box  Kelsey Park
On several trees there are these boxes, which I think are for bats, as there is no bird hole, but instead a roughened piece of wood that the bats can climb up. The stream continued, with little weirs and waterfalls.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
Here is a duck house, but all the ducks seems to be out swimming. Here everything widens out into a lake. The ducks and geese swam along following us so we kept walking.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
This island is a good idea, and I think the twigs will probably grow if they are willow ones. The brick island is drier for their feet and it must get nice and warm when the sun is shining.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
Brown Teddy likes these giant gunnera leaves and said it would be good to stand under in the rain. The autumn colours were everywhere, but best when the sun came out to shine through the leaves.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
These trees by the lake will never dry out, with all these roots going down to the water.

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Kelsey Park
Further on there was a big crowd of pigeons, all sitting and sleeping. We walked past without stopping, as we did not want them all to wake up and mob us for bread!

Kelsey Park, Determined Pigeon  Kelsey Park
We walked quite a way past the pigeon crowd and when we looked back we saw this one very determined pigeon marching down the path on his own towards us, convinced we had something for him. We walked behind a seat and when the Determined Pigeon arrived, we dropped one small crumb at a time for him, behind the seat and out of sight, to repay his efforts and confidence in us. We made sure no other birds saw us or there would have been a big cloud of them all over the place. Further along we saw these beautiful unusual ducks.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
Brown Teddy liked this pampas grass but it is too big to have at home. This hollow tree stump has a new plant growing in it, sheltered from the wind and cold. I don't think it is another tree, it looks more like a bramble.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
When we got to the end of the park, the sun came out and lit up all the yellowy green trees. We turned round the end and came back on the other side. I like paths that have bends, as it is interesting finding out what is round the corner.

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
Back to the gunnera plants again. Further on was this wattle fence, and I think it would make a wonderful material to build a little house, and we could have gunnera leaves to tile the roof with. But I think it would still be a bit too breezy and damp!

Kelsey Park  Kelsey Park
This pigeon has a very nice place to sit and sleep, and if it gets too windy, he can go further inside. We got back to where we came in. The gardeners had finished raking the soil and here is proof of all their hard work, clearing up the autumn leaves, ready for spring to come in a few months' time.

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22 October

Danson Park
This is the park gate at Danson Park in Bexleyheath. The Kent horse with the motto "Invicta" is found in a lot of Kent places. It means unconquered.

Danson Park  Danson Park
We went straight to my favourite corner, the glade at the end of the secret pond. These steps lead up away from the pond to the woodland, where it is very quiet, apart from the crunchy leaves. There were thousands of sycamore seeds and I am glad they will not all grow at once.

Danson Park  Danson Park
We had some old bread for the crows, and once one comes down, all the others come flying in and sit and walk around, getting as close as they dare. While some are tossing their heads and making cawing sounds, others are eating the bread, a much better idea!

25 October

Sunrise
Sometimes I get up really early before everyone else to see what the sky is doing, and then go back to bed for a bit. Mornings like this sometimes get cloudy again by the time I have got up properly and opened the curtains.

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27 October

Crystal Palace poppy bus  Crystal Palace
We went back to Crystal Palace. At the far end, over the back where all the buses park for their break, I saw this bus covered in Remembrance Poppies. Back into the park, we found this circular sunken pond. It used to be a fountain pond when the Crystal Palace was here.

Crystal Palace transmitter mast  Crystal Palace
This is a much better picture of the transmitter mast. This piece of ironwork is all that is left of the huge Crystal Palace. I am glad they saved this piece, as it is much better to see a bit of it for real than looking at all the pictures of how it was before it burned down.

Crystal Palace  Crystal Palace
Over the other side of the park is this stage with sloping roof. In front is a big pond, and the grassy area is shaped in a large bowl so people can all sit round and see the show. The second picture is the back view and it has been labelled the "Rusty Laptop" which I think is a brilliant name! When it was built, laptops did not exist and the building would have been a very futuristic shape.

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Crystal Palace bat box
We went on into the woodland part. Here is a bat box with its number on. There is a small gap underneath at the back for the bats to climb up into. It is very high up, away from any disturbance.

Crystal Palace  Crystal Palace
This is the Memorial Bell, in honour of the merchant seamen who lost their lives in World War Two. The plaque is missing and I hope they put one back soon, so everyone can know what it is all about.

Crystal Palace  Crystal Palace
Here is the maze, which is made of beech hedge, with chicken wire between so people do not push through the stems. It is not easy to find a way through because you go a long way before each choice of ways comes up.

Crystal Palace
We retraced our steps out of the maze and then re-entered it through the Escape Gate, which leads directly to the centre.

Crystal Palace  Crystal Palace
Here is the centre, with a large circle of marble which is a map of the maze, with the path being the light coloured slabs. It would have been quite useful if there had not been a very large patch of muddy leaves on one side! Outside the maze there is a plaque showing the map again.

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Hay's Galleria  Hay's Galleria
It was only midday so we decided to get the train to London Bridge. Here is Hay's Galleria, which is by the riverfront, and this glass ceiling over the two buildings looks to me just like Crystal Palace!

Warship poppy  Warship
This Remembrance Poppy on the warship HMS Belfast is about the height of a person.

Tower of London poppies
Here is the Tower of London with all the ceramic poppies, which will soon be taken down and sent to all the people who have bought one of them.

Ceramic poppies Bus sculpture
It is going to be a lot of work taking them all down. Further along the riverfront this bus-shaped sculpture is a good souvenir photo for people who have come a long way, showing daytime and night-time London either side of Tower Bridge.

Invisible Man  Train
In the underpass near the Tower of London we saw the Invisible Man waving at passers-by. I admire it when someone has thought of something original to do. On the way home we always make for the far end of the train where we have all the seats to ourselves.

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29 October

Christmas ornament
I saw this on my shopping trip, but I think the answer to the question is probably No, you have to be properly good, and not a little bit good!

31 October

Shop window - runners
This sport shop window in Sevenoaks looked so real, I thought the lady was about to run across the road!

Shop window - chocolates  Shop window - red squirrel
They always have really good window displays in Sevenoaks and the chocolate shop is generally the best. I am glad this squirrel display is a native red one.

Shop window - open-out tree  Shop window - Nativity popup advent calendar
I really like this open-out tree with birds and I think I will make one for my Colouring Page. This Nativity popup is also an advent calendar, and the best calendars always have a chocolate in the boxes.

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