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Diary 2014 August


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2 August

Fuchsias  Rose
The fuchsias are doing well and I think this is the best way to get some flowers every year without a lot of work. I bought this rose as Golden Showers but it is a different one, so I found a spare place for it. I like the frilly middles, just like a party dress.

Concrete edging  Granite wall 
We had to clear out a narrow bed by the fence. I made a low concrete edging bit so the water does not go through to next door. I had some help putting the granite stones back, and I had lots of spare good soil to fill it in. The old soil was hard and worn out so we scattered it down the end of the garden.

Golden showers rose
Here is a real Golden Showers, and the flowers start off a deep yellow, although they do not last long. It is a climbing rose and I hope it will grow all over the fence.

4 August

Rose Rugosa hips  Rose Rugosa flower
I found these rosehips growing by the side of the footpath, they are as big as tomatoes, and there were a few of the roses still in flower. I have never seen rosehips so big and it is called Rosa Rugosa. I wonder if I could find a space to plant one somewhere in my garden?

Nursery flowers 1  Nursery flowers 2
This is Thompsons Nursery, and we spent ages wandering around amongst the flowers. We eventually bought some evergreen shrubs. I wish I could buy everything so I could look at it all day!

Asphalt with map of Africa shape
On the way back, I found this map of Africa in the asphalt paving. I am not sure what the other islands are doing there though!

7 August

Blackbird with cherry  Spartan apples
This blackbird's cherry was glowing brightly in the sunlight, it looked like a light bulb was on. These are my Spartan apples, it is the only cluster growing on the tree, but at least the tree is putting all its energy into growing long branches upwards, which is just what we wanted, then we can cut off the lower ones that hang over the pond. Maybe next year there will be more apples.

Fuchsia red  Fuchsia white
The new fuchsias are doing well, and they are much better than the pots we used to have here, no daily watering is needed!


9 August

Nasturtiums  Passion flower fruit
I put some nasturtiums around the pond and they are the same bright orange as the fish. We have one passion flower fruit. The plant popped up on its own from a stray seed, and I am going to let it grow really big over the arch by the side of the pond. The yellow fruit is much brighter than in the photo and it will turn a brilliant orange later on.

11 August

Cox apples
These are my Cox apples. It is a very small tree with thin branches, and this only cluster was pulling the branch straight down. It is now tied up, because if the branch breaks I will lose the applies. I hope the other branches get a lot thicker for future apple crops.


12 August

Banana plants and flowers  Cut flower garden
A lovely sunny warm day, just right for a visit to Hall Place to see the summer flowers. These banana plants were very brilliant in the sunlight. Here is one of the cut flower beds, with gladiolus and strawflowers (helichrysum) which can be dried and kept all winter.

Fruit cordons  Grapes on pergola
These are the new fruit tree cordons in the fruit growing area. I hope they will be full of apples this time next year. The grapes were growing very well over several pergolas but the ones in the shade underneath were still all green.

Smiley sunflower  Millstone amongst paving
Someone has picked the seeds out of this sunflower in one of the cut flower gardens, to make a big smile. Brown Teddy found this old millstone and said it needed to be yellow like the sunflower!

Blackberry bushes  Blueberry bushes
When we left, we went up the hill through the open parkland towards the shops. There are plenty of blackberries for the birds, and Brown Teddy also discovered these blueberries. I am sure the blackbirds will be here helping themselves every day in winter.


13 August

Colourful bedding display  Colourful wild flower display
More sunny weather. Blue Parrot just loves this colourful garden at Well Hall, it has the same colours as him. My favourite was this wild flower part and I think I would like a carpet just like that, so I could see it all year long.

Teddy's scone  Fountain on long pond
We couldn't resist getting some scones from the shops nearby, and we sat by the long pond to eat them, and listen to the fountain.

Ducks swimming through duckweed
The moat was covered in duckweed, and this is bad news for the few fish in there, as it shuts out the oxygen. I hope they have somehow survived until the duckweed dies off.

14 August

Park and trees
This is a park in Bromley near to the High Street. This part is up high and you can sit and look down to the rest of the park.

Old yew tree  Pigeons lazing around
This yew tree must be very old. Yew trees always have reddish wood. Down the bottom near the lake the pigeons are all very well fed and lazing around preening. They don't bother moving when people walk past.


15 August

Dartford coat of arms  Kent coat of arms Invicta
Another day's outing, to visit the museum at Dartford. The coat of arms says "May Dartford flourish". The Kent coat of arms Invicta means "unconquered".

Ancient stone necklaces  Old shop till
The museum is very small but full of interesting items. These ancient polished stone necklaces were found locally. This is a very old shop till with manual controls. It is part of a display showing what old department store shops used to look like.

Municipal bedding as Remembrance Poppy  Poppies growing
In the gardens is this huge poppy for Remembrance Year, 100 years since the Great War started. Right over the back of the park, where hardly anyone goes, someone has thought to sow an area with wild flower seeds, with mainly poppies and cosmos. They were a lot more brilliant than in the photo.

River and footpath tunnels  Footpath over lakes
Last time we came this part was overflowing and shut off. We went through the tunnel and it is much better than climbing up the path and trying to cross the busy main road. On the other side is a huge lake, and this path goes right across the lake, dividing it into two.

Lakes  Teddy fishing with stick
It is very quiet and there were people dotted around in their fishing spots. Here I am pretending to fish with a stick I found.

Looks like a milestone  Looks like a boot mud scraper
this looks like a milestone but it can't be as the path is in the middle of the lake. Brown Teddy thought this was a boot mud wiper, but it looks more like a little piece of something bigger, maybe to moor a boat to, with the cable going through the middle. We really don't know.

Bridge at end of lakes
At the end of the long path is a bridge, so the two lakes are really one lake, because they meet here under the bridge.


19 August

Studs on steps of St Paul's Cathedral  Golden statue of St Paul on top of monument
We went on a trip up to London. These are the steps of St Paul's Cathedral and I think the brass dots are so people can see the edges of the steps. White lines would look too awful. Round the back is a big monument with a golden St Paul on top.

Lord Raglan pub sign  Model of prehistoric people crossing Thames marsh
On our way to the Museum of London, we saw this restaurant sign, it is supposed to be the Lord Raglan, but we think it looks more like Elvis Presley! In the Museum, I really liked this little model of a piece of Thames marshland from thousands of year ago, with people crossing it by laying down tree trunks on the marshy bits to make a pathway.

Spear heads  Coins hoard
There were lots of spear tips, and this wonderful hoard of coins, although it is not much use to anyone now, as it does not count as money nowadays, and the owners are long gone.

Coloured glass beads  Gold coins
These are bits of coloured glass, some of which are counting beads. More coins, this time gold ones, looking as good as the day they were made. Again, no use for buying anything, as the museum is not letting them out of their sight!


Gold ornament  Roman room and mosaic
Brown Teddy found even more gold in this strange looking ornament. My favourite part of the museum is this Roman room, with a real Roman mosaic floor and reproduction furniture. How cosy it would have been, with its under floor heating, keeping everyone warm through the cold and wet British winter.

Knitted chlid's mitten  Lord Mayor's coach and horses
This very old knitted child's mitten is quite small, and the knitted stitches are very tiny, it looks like it was long and hard work to knit it. Last of all we saw the Lord Mayor's coach in a room all on its own.

Coach  Horse model
It has pictures and emblems all over, and everything is red and gold. Brown Teddy liked the model horses, which were made with a velvety skin. I am sure lots of children seeing these want a horse like that.

Millennium Measure glass obelisk  The Shard bulding
This obelisk is underneath the Millennium Bridge, and is the Scientific Instrument Makers Millennium Measure. On the opposite side of the river, further downstream, is the Shard, looking like another obelisk. The angle of the sides means it reflects all the colours of the sky.


20 August

Blue Parrot at train window
Another outing and Blue Parrot likes to guess when it is time to get off the train. He likes seeing the scenery but prefers to be out and about, and not sitting by the train window.

Dyes garden  Big conservatory
We went to Horniman's Museum. The ornamental gardens are also educational and this one is all about plant dyes. Behind the main museum is a large conservatory, completely empty but I think it is probably hired out for events.

Natural History hall  Musical instruments room
The Museum is mainly about natural history and there is a large collection of taxidermy from the Victorian age, all in glass cases. Downstairs is a large collection of musical instruments in long rows of glass cases. There was someone playing one of the spinets, which is like a small piano.

Egyptian stone tablet  African sewing and embroidery
In the African room, there is some Egyptian stuff, and on this tablet the people are sitting and smelling lotus flowers. Blue Parrot liked this bright piece of African sewing and embroidery.


South Eastern Railway Offices frontage  Water rill in pavement
We left the museum and as we went past the South Eastern Railway Offices, we had to get some photos of the buildings, as they are going to pull it all down. I hope they save some of the good stuff, like this decorative frontage. Further on we found this lovely rill between the tall glass buildings.

Post with river scene fish and whales  Blue glass building and Union Jack flag
Back by the River Thames, we saw some interesting river-themed posters done by school children. This is my favourite, as the fish and whales are all done with folded paper. There are a lot of new glass buildings, and I really like this blue one with the sun shining on it, and with the brilliant flag waving in the breeze.

Tower Bridge gargoyle  Tower Bridge girders
Often Dino stays at home and we get pictures for him of various creatures. He was pleased with this dragon gargoyle. He also insisted we put in this picture of a section of Tower Bridge, which he says is just like a big pterodactyl with a red eye and long beak.

Ceramic poppies at the Tower of London
We had a look at the Tower of London and all the ceramic poppies. They are on thin metal sticks and are stuck into the turf. There is one for every person who died in the Great War, which began a hundred years ago.

St Katharine's Dock, Gloriana row barge  Tiles with fishy patterns
Next we went to St Katharine's Dock. Here is the Queen's row barge Gloriana. I think when all the river events are over the Queen will have this put away safely in a boat shed somewhere, out of the rain and weather. On the way out of the docks, there were lots of tiles printed in various patterns. This is my favourite, with all the blue fishes swimming around.


24 August

Coat of arms on war memorial Greenwich  Cutty Sark at Greenwich
We took a trip to Greenwich. This coat of arms is on the war memorial on the corner of the park facing the heath. In the middle is a little hourglass and "Tempore utimur" means "We use time" and I think this means we use the time that we have, instead of wasting it. We went on to the Cutty Sark area. The glass sea around the ship is reflecting the sky, which itself looks like waves and foam on the sea.

River waves on steps at Greenwich
Before going home, we spent some time watching the muddy waves crashing up and down the steps. It was getting breezy and we soon decided we would prefer to be at home, making a snack in the kitchen!

25 August

Teddy watching Edinburgh Tattoo on television  Edinburgh Tattoo fireworks
I enjoyed watching the Edinburgh Tattoo programme on television, with lots of bands and marching, and displays, plus the fireworks at the end. Just right for a lazy evening lounging in the big armchair.


28 August

Teddy seeing Shard at London Bridge  Blue Parrot looking into bag
An outing to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here is the Shard again, at London Bridge, and you have to crane your neck to see it all from the train window. Blue Parrot was more interested in checking the snacks in the bag, to make sure nothing had been forgotten.

V&A Museum entrance doorway
The V&A doorway is very big, you can't miss it!

V&A Museum marble main hall  Mosaic of Young Jesus
Inside it is all columns, arches and marble everywhere. We went to the antiquities part first. This is a mosaic of a young Jesus from about 1,500 years ago. It is quite unusual, as he is usually shown with a beard.

Stained glass windows  Choir book
This is my favourite exhibit, lots of stained glass panels on a huge lightbox. I was surprised that the photo came out so well. Here is a song book, with everything handwritten, painted and gilded on vellum.

Spiral bookshelf  Green glass chair
Then we went to the more modern displays.  This bookcase is just right if you have books of different sizes, but it might be difficult getting them out once the bookcase is full. I liked this green glass chair, although it would be cold and slippery to sit on. It definitely needs a green velvet cushion tied onto it.

Teapot collection  Chequered butter dish
There was a huge collection of crockery and teapots, and Brown Teddy couldn't decide which was his favourite. I liked this chequered pattern hen, I think it must be a butter dish.

Hyde Park, the Serpentine Lake  Hyde Park pigeons
Afterwards we walked through Hyde Park and this is the Serpentine Lake. It looks very peaceful and quiet, but it is not, as there are roads and cars running through it, and lots of people and bikes everywhere. At the other end is a cafe and it looks like there are more pigeons than people here. I think this park would be more peaceful on a cold day, but not so interesting.



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