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Diary 2017 March


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2 March

Today we went to Upminster on the edge of north east London. This is the park where we had our sandwiches, sitting under the trees on the right. It was a bit breezy, but the sun came out a few times briefly and lit up all the spring flowers.

We went past Upminster Windmill on the bus. It is being restored to working order and will be finished in 2018, but the Visitor Centre will be open some time this spring, so we will be going to see that. The cap was removed last year and is now in Holland being restored by a Dutch millwright. and they have some Youtubes of the cap and roof parts being taken off in May 2016.

4 March

We had a day out at Chiswick Gardens in West London.

This cascade is spectacularly noisy, and it goes under the path and out into the long lake.

Next to the lake is Chiswick House.

Next to the Italianate garden is this long glasshouse, where there are lots of camellias planted into the ground. There were also pots of daffodils and other spring flowers to provide some colours other than red and pink.

I think these camellias have been there a long time. Halfway down the glasshouse is this mosaic made of pebbles set into mortar and at the end is a shop where you can buy small camellias in pots.

These are all the colours of camellias, as well as the deep red.

Next to the glass house is a small topiary version of Sadi the Indian Elephant who lived here from 1807 to 1828. The bush is quite small, not elephant sized. He was shipped here from India as a gift but I find that very saddening, as elephants are social family animals.

There are lots of paths to walk around. This is the amphitheatre, with a pond in front to reflect the building.

This is the Classic Bridge.

The Egyptian Duck had some chicks running around nibbling the grass.

A "classic" seat, a good use for an old bit of masonry. I wonder if this is from when parts of the house were demolished. There are two sphinxes, one on each side of the gateway.

On the train journey home, I saw these wonderful daffodils on Barnes Station.

Back at Waterloo, this model hawk sits on top of one of the tea shops that is on the upper floor, to deter pigeons. I don't think it is working very well, but maybe there are fewer pigeons at least.

7 March

I have painted the bright yellow nest box with dark green fence paint and put it in this dense greenery that is against the fence. I hope it gets occupied and used this year by the bluetits.

II have made a straw pillow raft to keep the fish away from the frogspawn. The frogs don't seem very much impressed!

I managed to get some great close-up photos of inside the crocus flowers. Quite often the camera won't focus but it behaved this time.

9 March

Woody has had a brief soak and is wondering when lunch will be served. At last, we have some collared doves again, I hope they come nearer and onto the birdbath on the lawn.

10 March

This is a do-it-yourself garden obelisk. It was quite easy to put together but I had some help tightening the screws. Then I painted it with the green fence paint, so that it blends in.


11 March

We went to Victoria Coach Station for a Celebration Day with vintage coaches and buses. There is not much spare room at the station, as it is very busy all the time, so the old buses were squeezed into a corner.                                    

There were lots of enthusiasts ticking them off their list and taking photos, so we had to keep an eye open for people aiming cameras and not get in the way.

I like this double decker ice cream coloured bus, the seats are very comfortable and smart.

It has a net luggage rack and bell pushes on the ceiling.

At the back is an area for luggage, as it was a touring or longer distance bus. The stairs have a convex mirror so you can see if anyone is coming up.

This is a different coach, and even the driver's seat is red floral, with smart red steering wheel.

Art Deco clock and lights.

This is the mechanical indicator arm, and you can see an electric indicator light has been fitted later. It was interesting to see all the different patterns of the velour upholstery materials.

Then we went to St James's Park. These contraptions are to stop big vehicles from forcing their way into the historical area around Buckingham Palace. The park is full of daffodils and crocuses.

A wonderful sight.

This is Buckingham Palace with nothing at all happening, all was quiet.

Lots of people were taking photos of each other in front of the gates. Even the bollards have Elizabeth Regina II on them.

People have saved up their money and flown from all over the world for this special day to see the Palace, but we did not fly here, it was just another day trip for us!

We then went into Green Park. We worked out (from a zoomed in photo) that these really are gas mantle lights, which is quite an amazing survival of an old system.

Green Park is also full of daffodils. Lots of crowds again, but you can't expect anything else in Central London unless you come on cold rainy day.



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