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Diary 2015 January

 

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2017 Jan
2017 Feb

2017 Mar
2017 Apr
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2016 Feb
2016 Mar
2016 Apr
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2016 June
2016 July
2016 Aug
2016 Sep
2016 Oct
2016 Nov

2016 Dec

2015 Jan
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2015 March
2015 April
2015 May
2015 June
2015 Jul
2015 Aug
2015 Sep
2015 Oct
2015 Nov
2015 Dec

2014 Jan
2014 Feb
2014 March
2014 April
2014 May
2014 June
2014 July
2014 August
2014 September
2014 October
2014 November
2014 December

2013 Jan
2013 Feb
2013 March

2013 April
2013 May
2013 June
2013 July
2013 August
2013 September
2013 October
2013 November
2013 December

2012 Jan-Apr
2012 May-Jun
2012 Jul

2012 Aug
2012 Sep
2012 Oct
2012 Nov
2012 Dec

2011 Jan-Apr
2011 May-Aug
2011 Sep-Dec

2010 Jan-Apr
2010 May-Aug
2010 Sep-Dec

2009 Jan-Apr
2009 May-Aug
2009 Sep-Dec

 

 

 

1 January

 
I like to know to the exact second when New Year has arrived, and this world time website was the best way. At midnight lots of fireworks and rockets went off but none near enough to get any good pictures. By 20 past 12 we were all back in bed.

2 January


We saw this wonderful food delivery truck in Welling shopping area, with all the things in the landscape made up of pieces of food, a lemon for the sun and waffles and biscuits for the buildings. I like the broccoli trees.

 
In Bexleyheath Santa's Grotto had no customers, but all the decorations were still there. Christmas seems like absolutely ages ago! I really like this birthday cake hat in felt and furry fabric, this one is for someone who is 40 years old on their birthday.

3 January


A very wet and drippy day. The pond netting goes white with all the water drops. Everything was cold and soggy and we spent the day indoors with our books.

4 January


Another cold day starting with thick fog, but it soon cleared, which surprised everyone.

5 January


The lovely fieldfare visited our garden again. I think it is the same one as before, who has taken a liking to our deep birdbath, where he feels safe.

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6 January

 
Today we went to New Malden which is West of London. Trains come in all colour schemes nowadays but this red one is really warming on a cold day. Brown Teddy was spoilt for choice of seats.


We looked round all the shops and before we left we saw these two starlings eating the leftovers just after the people had left the table. I hope the next customers don't put their sandwiches down on the table!


This public display is called "Out Of Order" and all the phone boxes are welded together and filled with sand.

 
On the way back I admired the railway station names. Teddington is my favourite, and Strawberry Hill is Brown Teddy's favourite.

 
Back at Waterloo Station we saw the beautiful stained glass window with the London and South Western Railway crest, lit up from behind. We walked over the bridge and saw the Oxo Tower with its coloured windows.


This sunset was taken from the train carriage, and I had to get it quickly before any more trees and buildings whizzed past and blocked the view!

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7 January

 
Today we went to Upminster which is in North London. I think this pub name the Crumpled Horn is one that no-one ever forgets. There must be a story behind it.


Upminster has a big park in the middle which is wide and roomy, just how I like it, but not too warm today.

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Further along we saw the town sign. Even further along up the hill we saw the Upminster Windmill. It is a Smock Mill which was built in 1803 and kept working until 1934.

 
I think it really does look like a smock, which was a farmers costume of the same shape, wide at the bottom and narrower at the top. We walked all the way round taking pictures and we are definitely going to come back on one of their open days to see the workings inside. Here is their website: www.upminsterwindmill.co.uk

 
Next to the windmill Brown Teddy was interested in the remains of the house that went with it. It would be wonderful to see it rebuilt as it used to be. The bricks are piled up all around, so what are they waiting for!

 
The ground was so soft, we left footprints just like in snow! We took the bus to Romford where we saw these flower containers with seats on one side. I think it would be good in summer, but the stone is too cold in winter.

 
This is on the side of the railway bridge in Romford and is based paintings done by Upminster school children. We went round all the shops and before going home, I noticed this copper side to the building reflecting the setting sun. It was a pale sunset but looked fiery red on the copper.

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This is Liverpool Street Station in London with a wonderful glass roof and arched beams filled in with ironwork scroll patterns.

Thames from the train
This is the River Thames as the train was leaving Waterloo East station, with the daylight fading.

12 January

Pub sign  Thorn letter on pub sign
This is an interesting pub sign in Eltham. The first word is The and people often think it is Ye with a capital Y. It is really supposed to be the old Thorn letter which is a bit like a P. I think all the extra lines and loops have made them all much too confusing!

13 January

Riverside walk  Tree bark with leaf shape
Instead of taking the bus we decided to walk along the river. The low sunlight makes more interesting photos. This patch in the tree bark looks just like a leaf, it even has a vein down the middle. Well what else would it be!

Catkins  Park pond
The catkins should have made us think it was spring, but it was still quite chilly. In the park someone had a big bag of bread for the ducks, but the seagulls seemed to be getting most of it, and making the most noise.

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14 January

Steel trees  Hanging baskets
We went to Stratford in North London to visit a bookshop. These steel trees are outside the big shopping mall. The flowers in the hanging baskets are nylon. I prefer the real thing but in winter this is much better than looking at bare real branches and empty baskets!

Stratford Meridian Line 1  Stratford Meridian Line 2
Between the railway station and the shopping mall is a brass Meridian Line marker. Unlike Greenwich, people were not queuing up to have their photos taken standing on it.

Wagtail
This is definitely a very sensible wagtail walking along the street, keeping to the path and off the yellow lines in the roadway!

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Thames from Blackfriars Bridge  Blackfriars Bridge
About midday we arrived back at the River Thames. We sat in the seating area on one of the stone piers on Blackfriars Bridge and had our snacks. The stone was cold! Brown Teddy was on the lookout for all the decorative parts and when he finds something he asks for some extra zoomed-in photos of it.

Blackfriars Bridge balustrade  Blackfriars Bridge pier
The main bridge is pink and white. Here is the opposite pier, the same as the one we sat in. The seating area is a semicircle inside the rounded part.

Shield of London Chatham and Dover Railway 1864
At the south end of the bridge is this sign for the old London Chatham and Dover Railway dated 1864. The big V stands for Queen Victoria.

Sand sculpture  Gabriel's Wharf mosaic sign
We walked along the riverside. A man was digging out his sand sculpture and there was a bucket nearby on a sheet for people to throw coins in. I wonder if he found any ancient coins while digging. This part is called Gabriel's Wharf and I like this mosaic of a dolphin. It looks very Roman, except Roman mosaics did not include website details!

Routemaster bus
We like to see the old Routemaster buses still being kept going. They are all used for tourists now.

Natural History Museum entrance
We went along to the Natural History Museum. I really like this magnificent entrance, which gives a good idea of what the inside is like.

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Natural History Museum central hall
This is the central hall that leads off to all the other halls. The whole building is covered in decoration with monkeys climbing up all the columns, and the stonework in stripes of sand colour and grey.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum

First of all we went upstairs to get a good view of everything. The dinosaur is a diplodocus, and I am glad we saw it, as it is going to be replaced at some time. Brown Teddy is looking down from even higher up.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
Blue Parrot said it was better than flying around, as it took less energy, but with the same view! The entire ceiling is covered in these squares with plants and names.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This is a glass case full of slices of marble type rocks, all with beautiful patterns. I would like a lot of tiles like this and make a big marble floor, but it might be a bit expensive. At the bottom of the main staircase are carvings of birds.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
We are only looking at dinosaurs today. The dinosaur hall was filled with a steel structure and walkway, so that everything can be seen from above. The floor level had all the display stands and cabinets, and the dinosaurs are on perspex shelves so they can be seen from every angle. The lighting was a bit dark but the spotlights made it look quite dramatic.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
On top of two of the cabinets were animatronic dinosaurs waving their arms and head and making growling noises. At the end of the hall was a big display with a floor level walkway, with this huge dinosaur waving about and roaring quite loudly. The spotlights keep changing colour. On the right is the walkway and fortunately the dino does not walk about at all!

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This big model head of a tyrannosaurus was very lifelike and I am glad it was not moving about. The displays had videos of dinosaur scenery. This one is about climate.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This looks just like an ostrich foot, but a lot bigger. Blue Parrot didn't mind being so close to this dinosaur as it was inside a glass case. It has snake eyes and I am sure it could snap its jaws very quickly.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
Another big cabinet had small versions of the various dinosaurs, which gives a better idea than just skeletons.

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Natural History Museum
This nest on a mound of sand is full of eggs that have just hatched, and I think the little dinos would have been squeaking like chickens.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
Brown Teddy was delighted to find this giant iron meteorite, because he has a small one at home. This big fossilised tree trunk was very beautiful, the top was polished and shiny and the rings were all different colours.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
Lastly we went into the shop. These cuddly dinos still look as if they might like bite something, but I am sure they will be happy just to share dinner with their new owners. The daylight had gone and the central hall was looking more dramatic.

Natural History Museum
Outside the building was entirely spot-lit in pink and mauve. It looked more interesting than in daylight, because the lighted windows make you wonder what is inside. We will find out another day.

River Thames  River Thames
It was dark by the time we got to the river. Here is a contrast with an earlier photo. It is more colourful at night.

Oxo Tower  The Shard
This is the Oxo Tower with the word made up of lighted windows. This is The Shard and the cheapest way to see the fantastic view over the entire city of London is on their website gallery

www.theviewfromtheshard.com/en/gallery

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24 January

Dartford Central Park bandstand  Bandstand plaque
We went to Dartford and after shopping we went into Central Park. The bandstands has a unicorn figure on the shield.

River ducks  Ducks
We walked along the riverside and had brought a few bits of bread for the ducks. This drake has a very colourful head in the bright sunshine, but the female duck is almost invisible amongst the leaves, apart from the blue bit on the wing.

Train  Train
We decided to take the train to London. While waiting I got a good look at the driver's cab on the train next to ours, it is full of control buttons. Brown Teddy was trying to work out how the coaches stay joined together, but he was glad the fixings looked very strong.

Boudica Westminster Bridge
Just by Westminster Palace is this statue of Queen Boudica, queen of the British Iceni tribe 2,000 years ago. She fought against the Roman occupation and everyone remembers that she had blades on her chariot wheels.

Street performer Charlie Chaplin  Street performer cat in a basket
Over the bridge, these street performers had everyone taking pictures. Charlie Chaplin looked very friendly and smiling. The person being a cat in a wicker basket had lots of people laughing. We were wondering how the person travelled up to their pitch, being made up with a cat face, but I think they must have got someone to bring them up by car nearby with all the gear.

Street performers limbo dancing  Shadows on waves
These street performers were putting on a really good show of drumming, dancing and acrobatics. They had a big crowd. They finished with this limbo dance and the man did not fall over. The sun was now very low in the sky and lit up the waves on the river. With all the shadows it looked like we were in an airplane and looking down on the clouds.

28 January

Daffodil desktop background
I decided to bring spring in early and have some daffodils as my desktop background. I feel better already!

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29 January

Hall Place  Hall Place
We popped into Hall Place after some shopping. This is a banana plant wrapped against the cold outside the big greenhouse. The ducks have obviously seen someone with an interesting bag or some equally interesting sandwiches!

Hall Place  Hall Place
I like the sunken garden full of water, it looks as if one could take a dinghy out on it, but you can't go in. Brown Teddy and I have decided the best thing to do would be to make lots of big wide raised pathways with little gaps between, like stepping stones have, for the water to spread out. Then we could all walk round safely and enjoy seeing the water and mosses and dragonflies, and the rest could be planted as a bog garden. Brown Teddy says there would have to be a deeper bit in the middle so any tadpoles did not get stranded in the drier weather. He is going to draw a coloured-in map and wait until someone asks him what to do with a sunken garden that floods!

Hall Place  Hall Place
The crocuses are coming through the turf maze and I am going to make sure I get a photo when they are all out. The gardeners were throwing branches onto a huge bonfire. As it was cold we thought they could get warm, but it was so windy they could not get near and had to stay on the upwind side for safety. The flames were leaping up quite high and blowing everywhere.

Hall Place  Hall Place
We went into the big greenhouse where it is very warm and pleasant. I just love seeing al the fish, with the noise of the waterfall at one end. Brown Teddy's favourites are the big banana trees.

Hall Place  Hall Place
These are Bird Of Paradise flowers and there were several pots of them around the greenhouse. This amaryllis is definitely going to blow a trumpet blast on the first day of spring - I hope!

Hall Place  Hall Place
The cactuses in pots don't it's winter, and standing by the long table we could feel the warm air rising from the heating pipes below the decking. This cactus looks like snow, and the close-up is very interesting - easier in a photo than in real life!

Sleet  Sleet
We were glad to get back home. Some sleet fell and I thought maybe this is the start of snow, but it turned to cold rain.

Books
Another job for a cold day - sorting out the books and cleaning the shelves. I kept stopping to read some of them, but then decided to put the interesting ones aside for later, so that I could finish the job. It's not much fun reading books standing on a chair!

31 January

 
At last some snow. If it's going to be cold, we like to have just a bit of snow to make it interesting. This did not last long, but it's better than nothing!

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  Charlie's Fight - save this baby's life - https://www.facebook.com/Charliegardsfight Online petition to continue his life support: https://www.change.org/p/parliament-to-keep-charlie-gard-alive-and-allow-him-to-receive-treatment-from-the-usa

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