We went to Maidstone. This looks like just a
lot of grass, but underneath there are thousands of daffodil bulbs,
and right now they are hard at work making the little flower buds
ready for next spring. I am definitely coming back to see them next
year. This sculpture was near the river and Dino says it is a hard
boiled egg wrapped in elastic bands to stop the yolk falling out.
Well spotted, Dino, but you must not try to eat it!
These pigeons are all in a row, they seem to be
doing line dancing! Take your partners, pidgies!! Left foot in, left
foot out – oops, no, I think that's the Okey Cokey!
Brown Teddy was delighted with this tree trunk,
in all his favourite shades of brown. You really have to see it to
believe it is real! Look at this ancient tree, propped up with a
piece of wood. I wonder how old it is? It is in the Archbishop's
Palace gardens and I am glad someone is taking care of the trees.
Today we dug out the compost bins. They were
full of new soil, which we put around the garden. I am going to let
the rain wash the soil down and then I will collect up the sticks
and twigs and put them back in the bins. Our friend the robin was
watching us the whole time, and singing quietly to himself. He found
a lot of things to eat, so he will put on some weight to see him
through the winter.
When we find snails eating our favourite
plants, we put them in the bins where they can eat the waste. The
insects and worms in the bins chew up the plant bits, so everyone
gets a feed. And last of all, our plants get a feed from the new
soil. Nothing gets wasted. And after all that – definitely
I am very glad to report that the birds in
Orpington will be well fed this winter. I have been on some quite
long walks and there are loads of berry bushes everywhere. The birds
only eat what they need and so their berries last all the winter.
There seems to be more acorns around than the squirrels can eat and
they will probably bury some. Sometimes I find little oak trees
growing in my garden, from acorns that the squirrels have buried. I
think acorns should be called oak-corns!
I think the biggest pear has gained several
centimetres in length (compare with
We can all share this one, if we get hold of it before it falls on
its own. The tree is not very big yet, so – well done, tree!
Day out to Folkestone. Blue Parrot is handing
over the petrol money and I am glad to say that he eventually let go
of it! Folkestone has a stony beach and a big harbour, and here is
the sandy beach on the east side of the harbour. This is good sand
for writing your name very big.
All the shops are at the top of the cliff
front. Steps are good for getting fit as long as you don't run.
Sometimes I ride on the backpack because I don't want to waste any
We walked down the steps onto the harbour sand.
You can see where the water has been swirling around the shells. The
seagull must have flown down and then stood still, because the
footprints are not a walking pattern. Dino loved this old rope on a
boat, it looks just like a plaited bread stick – but the smell was
Down these steps looked very interesting. I got
right face to face with the sea, and I am glad it was a nice calm
day. If it was stormy I would never have gone down the steps! It
smelled of salt and seaweed.
Dino looking for fossils again, but he did not
find any this time. Someone has painted this big container with sea
animal pictures. What a good idea! I hope the person gets lots of
invitations to do more.
Just outside Folkestone we visited the Battle
Of Britain memorial site and I really liked this statue of B.O.B.
the Squadron Dog. Brown Teddy was the first to work out why the name
has dots in it! The dog looks very well-behaved and friendly. Parrot
asked for a picture of this emblem because of the flying eagle who
is doing what the Latin words are saying "Per ardua ad astra"
"Through hard work to the stars". Parrot says walking is harder work
than flying – well it is for him!
Here is the view from the cliffs (well away
from the edge!) and down below you can just see the railway line.
We went to visit Greenwich Park in London. Here
are the Greenwich Clock, and the Measurements Plaque which shows how
long an inch, foot and yard are. I just love measuring things!
Here is the time ball on top of Greenwich
Observatory. At five to one, it goes to the top, and at one o'clock
it slides down again. Hundreds of years ago everyone in London set
their watches by it, because it is on top of a hill and can be seen
from a long way away. Dino likes trees that have sitting places, but
I think he really wanted to climb it!
Blue Parrot and Brown Teddy played hiding in
the creeper plant on the park wall. Because it is autumn the leaves
were going all sorts of bright colours, so it was very difficult to
spot Parrot until he let out a squawk. We only found Brown Teddy
when he made a rustling noise with the leaves.
We went to Tonbridge. This is Town Lock and the orange floats are
there to stop boats going over the weir. If the river floods, the
big gate comes down to make sure the water comes through more
slowly. You can see a movie of this lock in flood on our YouTube.
Brown Teddy likes signs that have pictures. If
the words are too hard, the picture tells you what to do – or what
not to do! We had some spare biscuits for the swans. They swam right
up to us because they know that people throw food for them. I stood
back a bit because they are bigger than me!
We drove to Chatham and Rochester. Brown Teddy liked this road sign
because the pictures tell the story. A picture is quicker than
reading lots of words. The ships look like little presents, with
interesting things inside. I wonder who draws the road sign
We walked over Rochester Bridge to Strood and,
yes, there are lions on the other side as well! We also found a ram,
and a column with a lion on top.
The bridge is all held together with huge iron
rivets. Dino thought they were gobstoppers (big sweets) and he also
found a lot of other carvings of food - chocolate mint leaves with
lollipops, and two lots of fruit. Dino has very good eyes and he
always notices things like that!
I could hear a lot of wind and rain when I woke
up. Look at all that rain on the Met Office weather chart! A lot of
it is falling on my garden! The rain water butts are going to be
full. The blue bit in the second picture is not a lake! It is the
lid of the bike box, all dry inside. I had to shut the window
quickly as the rain was blowing in my face. This is a good day to
read books sitting by the window and I will really enjoy watching
These seagulls in Mote Park in Maidstone are
all trying to eat the same piece of bread! What a noise! This is not
good manners at all. The Mote blackbirds have got lots of berries to
eat through the winter, and I hope they don't try to have them all
at once. I think they fly around until they see a tree with red dots
on it. I am glad I saw this tree because now I shall not worry about
them when it snows.
Brown Teddy wanted this picture of an
almost-last-leaf in the park about to blow away. I like fresh air
but I was glad to get home where it is a lot warmer. People are
having their fireworks on different days and it is mostly rockets. I
like the ones that make singing sounds. I always find a lot of
rocket sticks on the ground the next day.
Misty days means you can see what the spiders
have been doing. This one has been working very hard, but how did he
know which way to go next?
I have been getting up really early to see what
I was missing and here it is – lights from the sun, the moon and
street lamps. You can tell a good dawn sky coming because the
bedroom curtains all glow round the edges. The second moon is 23
minutes after the first one. This is all very well if I go to bed
earlier, otherwise I might fall asleep in the day and miss some good
things there as well!
We had some sunshine but the rain has settled
in this afternoon, so I am helping people with their computer work.
I volunteered to find some words that begin with ST. The dictionary
is bigger than me! I have my notepad at the ready because I do not
want to find something and then lose it again! Brown Teddy says
STRAWBERRY is a good ST word for a rainy day.
The mention of food woke up Dino from his nap, and he has gone
downstairs to see if there are still some blackberries in the
freezer. Frozen blackberries are very good to put in our porridge.
The microwave cooks the porridge and melts the blackberries all at
the same time, and it all goes pink. Dino did not need any help in
finishing the bowl, but I think he may need some help cleaning the
little seeds out of his teeth!
Well, whatever next! Even though it was
raining, someone let off some of those singing rocket fireworks that
I said I liked in my 8 November diary entry. We grabbed the camera
quickly and were just in time. I think they look like
sparkling fiery goldfish swimming in a black pond, as they are
exactly the same shape as my real goldfish. There are
goldfish called Comets that have long tails, maybe these are fiery
I really like this moss on top of a brick wall.
It is near one of the River Cray waterfalls. It looks like a lot of
big oak trees on a red landscape, and I can imagine seeing little
horses and sheep walking around on the ground!
Dino found this Christmas Star on a drain
cover. The dots round it look like rays of light and I am going to
copy it when I do my Christmas paintings. Look at this water in the
roots of a tree, I think the birds are glad when the find little
ponds like this. I wonder if there are any more little ponds up in
the branches? Only the birds know!
The heavy rain woke me up this morning. My
clock said getting up time, and it was still very gloomy outside.
Eventually the sun came out and we went to Priory Park in Orpington.
The geese and ducks thought our camera was a bag of bread! Sorry,
We went on to Poverest Recreation Ground. There
were some tree trunks that had been cut down and left lying around,
and this one is hollow all the way through. Look at this lovely
painting of a football crowd on the side of the sports hut. I like
colourful paintings, and this one is big enough for everyone to
enjoy all at the same time. The goalie is flying through the air to
catch the ball and I think the ball is going very fast!
I really like big open spaces and all the fresh
air. There were lots of rainclouds but the sun kept shining through.
It started raining again as we walked home. I got out the box of
Christmas lights and put some up to brighten up the evening. I
always feel happy when I see coloured lights and it doesn't matter
how much it rains or gets cold.
I found this secret boggy pond in Poverest
Recreation Ground. I think it is only there in the winter. Brown
Teddy came with me so I could show him the hollow tree trunks. The
ivy-covered one is quite good because the leaves make a little door
for the creatures inside, and the rain can't get in.
Blue Parrot saw some tiddlers in the River
Cray, but I think he was hoping to find some of them leaping up the
waterfall like salmon! Back home Mr Webmaster repaired the
computer with new parts. I am allowed to watch but not to touch.
There was a lot of fluff and dust.
We enjoyed getting the Christmas decorations
out. Look at these glass teddy decorations that I found, I am
holding one very, very carefully! They have a sort of sandy coating
to look like teddy fur and they have shiny green waistcoats and red
bow ties. It was my job to put in the little hooks in the woodwork
so that the lights can be draped around the doors.
Brown Teddy's job is to arrange all the
decorations in the best places. He likes to make sure the different
colours are spread around. His favourite is this box full of bells.
Blue Parrot flew up to check the arrangement of greenery and
cotton-wool robins on top of the mirror.
Dino likes a rummage and he's quite safe with
his box of ribbon bows. He saves them every year and they go on the
big tree to make it more sparkly. I let him put them into all the
spaces in the middle of the branches and if there are still some big
spaces he pushes some tinsel in as well. When he has finished, then
we put on the other things. Last of all Blue Parrot put the angel on
The first snow of the winter is coming down,
which is very unusual as normally we don't get any until January.
Someone is making extra warm fleecy hats and the leftover material
is being made into scarf-hoods for us Teddies. When you make your
own hats, you can make them bigger so that they do not squash your
ears. I hope they are finished soon!
I had to move some plant pots out of the
frost and it was a bit muddy covering up all the little worms that
were underneath. I put some leaves over them and then a flower pot
over the leaves, so they will not get too cold.
I had a peek out very early to see how much
snow had come but I soon got back into bed. It was a bit difficult
getting back to sleep. What a nice surprise! My garden is looking
very tidy now. The netting round the pond looks like a white wall.
There are a few little puddles so the birds will be able to get a
Another very cold day. No new snow but
yesterday's snow melted a bit then froze a bit. We decided to stay
in and help finish sewing the winter hats. We especially asked for
some pictures of Priory Park in Orpington. Here are the footprints
of the Canada geese, I don't think their feet feel very much cold.
Dino was delighted with the photo of the rocks, or as he prefers to
describe it "pieces of Christmas cake with icing all round." I
don't fancy eating icing that people have walked all over!
Someone had some sliding fun in the park, I
hope they didn't crash at the bottom. Did they go home to warm
toasted sandwiches and a hot drink? Even in this weather birds
sometimes have a bath! They only get the outside feathers wet and
then they find a warm chimney to dry out. It keeps their feathers
fluffy which keeps them extra warm.
This is what happens when we forget to empty
the birdbaths on a frosty night. The ice has to be chiselled out in
the morning. I normally watch from the warm kitchen window. Quite
often the birds come down as soon as the fresh water is in. Here is
our robin who always comes to see what is going on when people are
doing things in the garden, even in the snow. He likes it when
someone moves a pot because he finds dinners underneath them.
Aren't these capes wonderful! They keep the
snowflakes off our necks and backs as well, especially when it
suddenly falls off the trees. The fish were lurking at the bottom of
the pond, where the underground soil keeps the water ever so
slightly warmer. Brown Teddy was delighted that the pots at the end
of the garden all had hats as well, but they are very cold hats.
A last check under the Christmas tree before
bedtime. We leave the lights on as long as possible on Christmas
Eve, but they have to go off eventually because they shine through
the curtains and make it look like daylight. The first one up in the
morning will put them back on again.
I just love Christmas Day! Brown Teddy chose
which present to open next, I read the labels, and Dino helped tear
the paper, even when it didn't need any help! This little pedometer
from Auntie Freda is a very good idea, because it counts the
footsteps and I really love counting things. Here we are putting the
battery in the back.
Wow, this is a good one, an Ipod for all my
pictures and music, and I can use the back to check my face is clean
and practise my smile! Dino checked the pile of wrapping paper
several times in case anything got missed in the excitement. He made
a lot of rustling noise, it sounded like a snow avalanche!
This helping of Christmas pudding is bigger
than me, I think just a couple of bites of each bit will be enough,
well maybe three bites of the custard. Dino can eat on his own but
it goes down faster with some help, so he was happy (and cleaner)
with that! If people can't finish their plateful, Dino is always
ready to help them eat it, he's such a kind dinosaur.
Brown Teddy and I took turns reading the new
Rupert Bear Annual. My favourite is the story of the goldfish-shaped
kite, because it looks just like our goldfish, especially the ones
with the long wavy tails. Brown Teddy's favourite is Tiger Lily
because she is always so friendly and there are lots of interesting
things in her Chinese house.
Dino was not really eating the Marzipan Stollen
cake, he was just measuring it with his jaws – at least that was his
story, which I think is true because the wrapping is still on! Blue
Parrot spent a lot of time guarding these fish-shaped nibbles and
every time I looked the pile had gone down a bit. I am not surprised
as they were very tasty.
The snow is all gone now, but as it was cold
and windy today, we stayed indoors. We always pull the beanbag a bit
nearer the radiator when the wind is whistling through the telephone
lines outside. I have worked out how to get my pictures onto the
Ipod and I have been going over some of our outings when the weather
was warm and sunny. This is a picture of Dino admiring the scenery
from the top of Blue Bell Hill near Rochester. I am lying on my
favourite winter blanket.
Here is Brown Teddy with the Singing Christmas
Ball from Auntie Freda. We all really enjoyed the music so we will be keeping this toy out for quite a while, even
when the other decorations are put away. It will cheer us up on the
cold January days.
The freezing nights made that last lot of snow
very slippery. Someone slipped twice in their cheap boots with not
enough tread pattern underneath. We put them in the dustbin and then
went to the Garden Centre for some really good quality wellington
boots. I am measuring the tread which is about 1 centimetre. That's
about 10 times what the cheap boots had! These blue ankle wellies
are 10cm deep inside so they will be good for muddy boot fairs.
There has been a lot of very cold rain but when the snow returns, we
are all ready for it now.