1 January 2010
We remembered to get up at midnight for all the New Year fireworks.
I like to see them but I would rather save my 50ps for the boot
As it was sunny we took a long walk. Here is
Covet Wood which is on the edge of Poverest Recreation Ground. It is
always full of singing birds. You can hear woodpeckers and their
drilling noise echoes all around. We walked on to Orpington Priory
Park where I checked up on the blackbird dinners on the bushes –
still plenty there for them!
This is the flower garden part, but it is
looking rather empty now. I wonder what the gardeners do in the
winter. I think they must be planning the flower beds very carefully
and making little coloured drawings, because it is always full of
lovely things every summer. This is an interesting little window in
the very old Priory building, it is just my size!
I know it is going to be a good day when the
sun is streaming in my window, it makes me want to jump out of bed.
It was still cold and it has snowed again. We went down the road to put the
shredded paper into the big recycling bins. I have to have some help
because the flaps have very strong springs to make them close up
again. Fortunately it was not windy!
I always like snow, but sometimes I prefer to
stay indoors and admire it from my warm room! Look at these
blackbird marks on my lawn. The blackbird seems to have suddenly
turned round and gone back the other way.
A new rather large flat cushion has appeared
under the computer desk, and Dino and I have been trying it out for
snuggliness. Now I know what it's for – feet warming! – someone put a
hot water bottle inside the cover and a blanket on top. I checked at
the end of the day and the bottle was still quite warm! This would
be a very good idea for our giant Ted Bed beanbag.
Dino likes these new slippers but his claws are not helping matters.
He likes to keep them sharp so that he can climb around and never
slip. I like the knitted snowflakes pattern, it would look really
good on a winter snow hat. I have copied the pattern and put it on
my Knitting page.
Here are the birds in my garden. When it is
freezing weather, we always get
the ice out of the bird baths and put warm water in. This bike tyre
pattern shows that someone was brave enough to cycle through the
snow up my road, but I am not sure whether that was a safe thing to
We went to Covet Wood at Poverest Recreation Ground where the
snowy woods were very quiet. The only sound was the birds singing. I
heard a woodpecker drilling, a blackbird, some magpies cackling and
lots of little bird sounds.
What a wonderful giant snowball, it was
about as big as ten of our beanbags. I think someone made it by
rolling it along, because you can see the flat snow in the gap
underneath. Brown Teddy was really glad that he came.
We went on to Priory Park where we found more
giant snowballs, but not quite so big. The ducks made me feel cold
standing in the snow, but I don't think their feet need to be kept
quite as warm as mine. Lots of people give them bread, but sometimes
there is more than they can eat and the pigeons clear it all up.
This was really interesting. I watched the car
window being mended with a new electric switch. Now we can open the
window ourselves instead of waiting for the driver to do it from his
side. I like seeing things mended because you can keep all your
favourite things and sometimes make new ones.
This is the last of the snow and ice. The ice bits are from the
pond, which we have to break and scrape off every day so that
the water stays fresh with lots of oxygen for the fish. The fish all
stay down the bottom when its frosty because it is warmer and safer
We went on a shopping trip to Sevenoaks. I
always like to have a look at these stone balls when I am there. I
think they are there to stop cars parking on the edge of the
pavement. I wish I could
leapfrog over them but they are a bit too big for me. Dino thinks
they might be made of hard sugar with chocolate inside but I have to
tell him not to test them with his teeth! Just outside the town we
always go past this little glass tower on top of a gatehouse. I
think there might be a light inside, but it's difficult to see from
the car. Whenever I see something interesting like this, I start
thinking how useful it could be! I could look out at night and see all the
lights of the town and watch the sun coming up in the morning. What
a wonderful place to sit when it is snowing!
I wish I could have seen this trough when all
the cattle were drinking from it all those years ago, but I think I can
hear them mooing! I wonder if they all lined up and waited
patiently? Now the inn sign makes sense, because a Halfway House in
the past was where people rested and changed their horses. People
drank at the inn and horses drank from the trough.
They are digging up the roads where I live to put in new new water
pipes. Before they start digging, the man in charge goes round to
draw in where the old pipes are, using his coloured spray paints. I
wonder if he needs someone to help him paint the lines?
Dino had the brilliant idea of putting his winter cape under the
rainbow so that it could soak up all the colours. Blue Parrot came
to watch, because he thinks everyone should have colourful things to
wear. I couldn't really see any difference afterwards, but Dino said
that the colours are hiding inside the fluffy material and he knows
they are in there, because when a rainbow disappears it has to go
somewhere! Well, I am glad he is happy about it, and I am sure it is
now a lot warmer with the colours inside it.
Look at all this lovely moss on top of a wall. It always reminds of
me a tiny forest of trees. When you look at a good map, all the
trees follow the rivers because the ground is wet, and so I think
this must be four rivers all together. This round stone set in
concrete has a mossy top and bottom. I have drawn a Teddy face on
the picture, so he has a green hat and green lacey collar. The
original picture is still there for everyone else to have a go.
I saw this beautiful pattern wobbling on the wall in the bedroom. It
is a reflection from the top of a big plastic cake box. I am very glad
the camera was handy and that Brown Teddy knows how to use it!
Getting this smoothie maker was an extremely
good idea, and Dino and I were the first ones to use it. In our house it all
gets eaten straight away, so we do not need the lid on the
containers just yet. But we
do need a spoon because it is very thick. This one was mango, pear
and apple with a little bit of soya milk, but next time I am going
to put some yogurt in instead. When I asked Dino what it was, he
said, "All gone!"
I have never seen a hoof print in my
area before but here it is! Lots of rain had left the grass very
soft and muddy. It must be a very
calm horse because there is a lot of noisy traffic along this main
road. I think that it why they went on the grass verge, away from
the edge of the road.
There are a lot of pylons in Gravesend and lots
of riverside factories. The other side of town has lots of
smart new houses for the people who work there. It is very nice to
have the river to sit by during a lunch break from work. We always
see these swans whenever we go there, and they know that people have
sandwiches with them.
We have our snack in the car, but not too much
as it only takes half an hour to drive home. Bananas are very good
because they don't need sandwich boxes and you can recycle the
leftovers. Brown Teddy is drinking carrot juice with beetroot which
makes it even sweeter.
I thought Dino would like this sign because
he calls lots of his old dinosaur friends Dragons. We are not sure
what The George is, but Dino thinks it may be someone who fed the
dinosaurs, just like people feed the swans by the riverside, only
the chunks have to be a lot bigger!
We went to Chatham. At the end of the High
Street is a tall iron sculpture with lots of historical pictures on.
They are not flat pictures but they stand out in relief. Blue Parrot
was delighted with the one of the eagle at the top which is
obviously exercising its wings. It is dated 50 AD which is when the
Romans came to Britain and the eagle was their emblem. Further down
I found this helmet and the date is 1066 which is the Battle of
This Jolly Caulkers inn sign near the High
Street is very interesting. As Chatham is on the river Thames, I
think the inn is named after real people who worked there a very
long time ago. The two men are the caulkers and you can just see
their ropes of fibres that they hammer into the cracks between the
planks to make them watertight. They have stopped for a rest, and I
think it was probably very hard and thirsty work.
This is a statue of Thomas Waghorn in Railway
Street in Chatham. He was born in 1800. He found a much shorter
route for sending post between Great Britain and India so that
letters only took 40 days instead of 3 months! I know he deserves a
new hat for all his hard work, but putting the cone on is not a very
safe thing to do at all!
We went on to Rochester. Parrot normally likes
to peck at crumbs but the day was a bit cool so he had a whole bun
to himself to keep his flying muscles going. He says he needs lots of energy so he can flap his wings
very fast. We saw this water trough in Rochester High Street, it
reminded me of the one in Sevenoaks. There are no horses or cattle
now and these troughs always have flowers in nowadays.
I took these pictures for Dino, who stayed at
home today with his picture books. He likes statues and pictures of
animals. He says the lions try to be fierce but dinosaurs never get
frightened by them. He says if they growl, one look from a dinosaur
will send these lions running.
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This is my tour of inspection now that spring
has started. The goldfish swim a lot more when the sun is shining on
them, and you can see them all because the lilies have not started
The buds on my Royal Gala apple tree are
swelling up. The crocuses are out – the yellows are my favourite. I
would definitely say that spring has begun and I am very glad about
A cuddly furry rainbow on the bedroom carpet!
It's that mirror with the slanting edges again that is making it. It
is very hard work because I have to hurry upstairs for the camera,
come down again slowly, and get the picture before the rainbow
These beehives were in a field next to the boot
fair. It was a coldish day so I think the bees were probably all
huddled together to keep warm. Or maybe the queen is asleep and will
lay new eggs to make new bees in the spring. I wonder if they have
any honey left after all that cold weather?
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This is Scadbury Woodland near Chislehurst.
Some of the trees have marks on so that people can follow a route.
This fallen tree is resting on the others. I don't think I would
like to walk underneath it. Old tree trunks make good homes for lots
Here is the stump of our old apple tree. The
robins are building a nest inside. I don't go too close, because I
don't want to frighten them away, they might not come back. They
don't mind as long as you walk straight past without stopping.
Here I am helping to find some words for the
other Shorthand Website. I had to find a lot of words that all had
the same sound. When I find them I put bookmarks in the pages,
because I have not yet learned how to write the marks properly. I
chose all the coloured pencils and got them sharpened. I have been
allowed to keep the page of writing and I will put it in my special
folder. Mr Pitman must have worked very very hard to invent it all,
because there are thousands of shorthand words in the dictionary!
Here is the robin who owns the nest in the tree
stump. We were digging and he was helping to clear up the worms.
Every now and then he flew up to his perch to sing. It is a warbly
song with lots of little notes sung very quickly, and it tells any
other robins that this garden and all the worms belong to him.
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Thank you, Auntie Billy, for this wonderful Easter egg! It
is a rattly one, I think it must have sweets inside. Teddy read the back of
the box to see what it was made of. He said it's all right so long as you don't
eat a big lot of it all at once.
Dino loves eggs and we spent some time admiring the lovely
gold wrapping and the cardboard basket. Eventually we thought it was time to
inspect the chocolate underneath the gold. Parrot pecked a hole in it and we
found out what the rattles were – chocolate beans. What a treasure egg!
Dino got the biggest piece, but I am glad to
say he did not eat it all at once. He spent a long time smelling it
and nibbling at the sides. He says he can make it last all afternoon
if he really tries. Brown Teddy counted the beans. If we all had our
own colour of bean, then Blue Parrot would get the most because he
is green and blue! This is a very happy chocolatey Easter!
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On a sunny day we like to visit Priory Park. If
you stop walking, the young geese and squirrels think you have some
food for them. Lots of people bring bread and peanuts so they do not
need any more from us. These tree flowers look just like the
I like counting things but these stones in the
middle of the hedged garden are just a bit too much. No only can you
lose count, but going round in circles makes you dizzy. The best
thing to do is to stand in the middle, as if you were standing at
the centre of the world.
Now we know why the female ducks are brown, so
they can't been seen amongst the leaves and shadows. The drake is a
lot more colourful but in the shadows their dark head is invisible
This butterfly not only posed for his
photograph, but afterwards flew onto the hand holding the camera!
They like warm places to sit, and I don't think he was checking the
camera settings! Here's another butterfly, the plastic solar
butterfly that lights up every night, with our friend the nesting
robin waiting for crumbs. The crumbs have to be very small because
he only has a tiny little beak.
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I love rivers, especially the River Cray
because it is completely clean and clear, and there are lots of
paths and seats. This is the lower part that can take any extra
rainwater that comes through. There is another slower upper part
nearby and the two parts join together further downstream. These red
marks look like goldfish in a pond, but it is really a red triangle
road sign lying on the bottom.
There are lots of weirs, and this one
halfway along is very big and noisy. Further along there is a lovely
wooden bridge. Brown Teddy likes to stand in the middle and watch the
water go underneath. If you go over it, you get to some gardens and the
upper part of the river where the ducks live.
This is the upper part where the water flows
very slowly. The ducks like sit and sleep under the trees and
bushes. This white duck was not sure about us but we moved very
slowly so it didn't swim away.
The ducks have this wonderful island so they can be safe from cats
and dogs. It would be a wonderful place to take a boat to for a
picnic, except I think I can see a lot of nettles growing, so
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I thought today would be a good day to look at
different trees. This one is a bare tree full of mistletoe plants,
which grow in cracks in the tree and get their water from the tree.
The second one has been cut down but as long as there is a little
bit left, the tree will grow again from buds in the bark. I like
Never Give Up trees!
Here is another tree that is Never Giving Up.
The big branch is broken and lying on the ground, but just a tiny
bit of it is still attached to the main tree, and the flowers at the
other end are still coming out. I wonder if someone too heavy was
trying to climb it?
There are quite a lot of these paths between
houses and gardens where I live. This one is the very longest. The
first picture is looking downhill and the second is looking uphill.
I had a ride on the rucksack for this because it is far too long for
me to walk. This would have been very interesting when we had all
that snow a few months ago, but not very safe because it is on a
Time to think about this year's sunflowers,
which are going to be the biggest and best we have ever had. We went
to the store and got some bags of compost. We are saving the yogurt
pots for the seeds, and it is no problem eating all that yogurt
because there are lots of willing helpers who can always manage to
eat a second pot. Dino thinks he could eat all the yogurts in the
fridge – we believe
him but we don't let him!
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A mysterious pattern on the carpet
which Dino thought was a paint spill. It was the sun shining on a
plastic box. What a relief!
A day out to Maidstone and Mote Park. There was
a funfair being set up in the grassy field where the cars normally
park. The helter skelter looks too dizzying for me. The jumping
frame with the rubber ropes looks like fun, but not straight after
Once Dino saw this sign, we had to go and find
the museum. The outside has lots of lions, and inside we saw a model of a brontosaurus.
Dino bought this lovely pin badge of a
Tyrannosaurus Rex. It seems some of the dinosaurs were not so
friendly as our Dino, but then they did have to hunt for their
dinner. The archaeopteryx pendant is a present for Parrot, because
it was the first bird. I enjoyed seeing all the clothes from long ago. The
bustle hoops were unbelievable, but ladies really did wear the big
metal frames under their huge dresses. I am glad all that has gone
out of fashion.
Look at this amazing corner of a building. I
haven't worked out why it is that shape, but next time I am in
Maidstone I will have a closer look. This pine tree seed
looks just like a big brown moth.
This waterfall goes under all the cars and
buses on Mill Road and
when it comes out the other side it goes down a hole. The roaring of
the water is louder than the the traffic. It eventually
joins the River Medway.
Dino is generally first to get the lids off the
sandwich boxes, but salad is not quite what he is after. He likes
the chunky buns because they fill him up. Parrot gets a peck at them
before Dino finishes them off.
After lunch we walked round Mote Park. This
in the grass says water and I am wondering whether there is a raging
torrent underneath, or perhaps it's just a little pipe. Dino was
hoping to see a mole come out of the molehill, but they sleep during
the day, and if they were awake they would definitely hear our footsteps and stay down
their holes until we were gone.
I always check up on the Never Give Up tree
that lost its top and is growing again. It's doing really well. Here
is a stream that comes into the lake. There are lots of paw marks in
the dried mud where dogs have run around. This is at the top end of
the park, so it is very quiet here.
These plants are growing in the fallen log. One
day the log will be gone and the plants will still be there. At the
bridge parrot was looking for salmon leaping up the waterflow but he
didn't see any, it's not that sort of river!
Brown Teddy found where the River Len flows into the park lake. It's
only a small stream and waterfall but there are several others joining the lake,
so all together they can fill it up. I don't think this table and
seats are being flooded by the lake, I think someone moved it there without asking.
Maybe they had hot feet?
We had a guessing game as to what is in this
box in the car park. I think it is the electricity meter for the
café. Brown Teddy thinks it is the stop-cock for the water pipes.
Dino thinks it is a stash of chocolate bars for people who have made
the long walk all round the lake. Unfortunately we never did find
out. People in Maidstone have very lovely front gardens and these
ones are the best we have seen.
This is an old tree root stump in Scadbury Park
woodland. The moss is growing down and I think it would make a very
good place for a hedgehog to hibernate. I wonder if it was used last
winter when we had all that snow? A hedgehog would need to put a lot of leaves in the
doorway to stop the draughts getting in.
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