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Diary 2014 February


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1 February

More heavy showers with sun between, just right to make a really bright rainbow over my back garden.

3 February

Riverside gardens, Crayford  Riverside Gardens, Crayford
We went to Crayford. The riverside gardens will be much nicer in the summer when it is warmer and the trees are green.

Riverside Gardens, Crayford, brick-making bench  Riverside Gardens, Crayford, seats
There is a wall display about Crayford's brick-making past and this barrow is really a seat, with the bricks made of wood bolted on. I like the wavy marble seats looking just like the river. They look quite comfortable with the dip shapes but too cold to try today.

Owl ornament  Bunny Village in pet shop
I really liked this owl outside a florist's shop but a photo is cheaper! This is Bunny Village inside the big pet shop, where the rabbits have lots of toys, log sleeping houses and green  plastic tunnels.

Neon fish  Spotted fish
We spent a lot of time looking at all the aquariums upstairs. The tiny neons are all shining under the lights but you would have to have a lot of them together as they are so small. This spotted fish is the most beautiful one and is very small, about 2cm long.

Bearded dragon  Plastic anemones
The bearded dragons were sitting very still in their warm vivariums. These anemones are looking really colourful and healthy and that is because they are all made of plastic! Real ones might be difficult to look after but anyone can have these in their normal aquarium without any trouble. It is much better when the fish have things to swim through and hide in.


6 February

Plants waiting to be put in  River Cray weir
It keeps raining and the garden is cold and muddy. These plants are for a friend but they have to stay in their buckets until next month. I went out for a walk along the River Cray, where everything is flowing quite fast.

Catkins  Riverside catkins
Some of the catkins have come out, the first one by the roadside in the rain and the second one along the riverside when it was brighter later on.

10 Feb

Shenstone Park, Crayford - cow ornaments 1  Shenstone Park, Crayford - cow ornaments 2
This is Shenstone Park near Crayford, with some metal cows running through the grass. I just hope the motorists don't take their eyes off the road when they see them for the first time!

Chocolate cake  Editing sound files on computer
Later on we went to Auntie's for some chocolate birthday cake. The little balls were crunchy inside and the cake soon disappeared. There were no crumbs left on our plates! Later on I spent some time editing some sound files to get all the noises out that should not be there, like rustling and cars going past.


16 Feb

Pale lilac crocuses  Broken trellis
Spring has come really early in my garden and my favourite pale lilac crocuses are all out. The gales blew down part of the trellis but the honeysuckle is holding it together. We have to get it back on the posts without taking the honeysuckle off, so we will need lots of pairs of hands to hold it up while someone puts some really big screws in.

The fish are a lot more active, so they are getting some little bits of bread now and then, but not too much, as the water is not really warmed up yet.

17 Feb

Priory Park pond  Priory Park weir
The pond in the park has overflowed and the wooden edge has disappeared. This is usually the waterfall, but the lower water in the foreground is now almost as high as the upper pond.

22 Feb

Motherboard  Instlalling hard drive
We had to put a new motherboard and new hard drive in the computer, and this old one was very dusty. It is my job to look after all the screws so they don't get lost or fall inside.

Disk partitioning  Helping on the computer
Here we are redoing the partitions on the hard drive. It is a good idea to learn from someone who has done it before!


24 Feb

Tree trunk in weir  Crocus in turf maze
We went to Hall Place in Bexley to see if spring has started there. This huge trunk was wedged over the waterfall weir and the water was roaring with the extra water. I went to see the turf maze and was very surprised to see all the rings full of crocuses. They are on the ridges where the grass is left longer.

Old brick wall
I love all these old walls, where you can see all the changes and repairs that have happened in the past. Once the plants start growing, a lot of it will disappear behind the leaves.

Fallen tree  Sunken garden waterlogged
I went to the herb garden and found that a very big eucalyptus tree had blown down. I think being an evergreen made it more likely to catch the wind in all the gales. These are the steps down to the sunken garden, taped off because it is full of water. It is always a very damp green mossy place, but now it is a lake.   

Crocus in grass  Wisteria stems round railings
In the shadows all the white crocuses showed up, and in the sunny patches all the purples ones showed up. It's a good job they planted a mix bag at the time!  The yellow ones were planted separately a few yards away in a much sunnier part. Further along, this is the wisteria bridge over the river. The stems are winding around the railings, and they will definitely never blow down in a gale.

Big glasshouse  Robin
I really like the big glasshouse with the palms and banana trees and long fishpond. We heard some very loud birdsong and thought it might be a recording, but it was a real robin flying around and singing from all his favourite perches inside. His singing echoed all round which made it a lot louder. I am sure he will be nesting in here, where it is safe and warm.

Strelitzia plant  Orange leaved plant
This is a Strelitzia plant, called Bird of Paradise as the flower looks like a bird in flight. Brown Teddy's favourite was this colourful plant with red veins, as it looks so warm when the weather outside is chilly.

Painted barrow  Plants for sale
Near the big glasshouse is an area with plants for sale, with a lovely painted barrow outside. There are lots to choose from, but I don't think I have any more room in my garden at the moment.

Stone egg seat in big best  Empty flower beds
In the far corner there is a wildlife area, and the big stone egg-shaped seat has been moved to the side and a nest built around it. I think someone must have been talking about birds sitting on eggs and then the person had the idea for this seat. All the beds are empty and dug over, ready for this year's plants. This will be full of flowers in the summer.


26 Feb

We went to Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham, London. This is the biggest patch of crocus I have seen so far, and I am glad I got this picture before they all go over.

Moat  Duckweed boggy pond
The moat is very clear and reflecting the blue sky. Last year it was full of duckweed. This little boggy pond is full of duckweed where it looks flat enough to walk on.

Secret path  Bridge over bog garden
I like the little back paths that lead to interesting secret corners. This one led to this bridge over another duckweed covered pond and bog garden.

Uprooted tree  Little water channel
Brown Teddy was surprised to see this tree still here, as it fell last year in some gales. I think they leave the old wood for the wildlife. These little channels have some water in them at the moment, but I would like to see them when they are full and looking like a real river.

Very old wisteria strangling bricks  Wisteria on pergola roof
This wisteria has completely strangled the brick pier of the pergola and broken the top off. It is holding so tightly that I don't think any of the broken bricks can escape and fall on anyone. Brown Teddy was wondering how long it took to grow so big. We are looking forward to seeing it again when all the purple flowers are hanging down, and by then we won't be able to see many branches at all.

These trees were all blowing sideways in the recent gales, but I am sorry to say that they have not straightened up all that much. I hope the gardeners can tie in the sagging branches a bit so they don't break off. But the avenue is still lovely, with the clipped box balls and the long formal pond with fountain, and lots of spring bedding about to flower.

Daffodils  Urn with primular and pansies
I am glad the sun stayed out for the afternoon and lit up the flowers. We had to look really hard for all the small plants in flower, but that will soon change when the growing season starts in a couple of months.


27 February

All the ponds are brimfull at Priory Park. This robin was singing very loudly and beautifully.

The water is coming up out of the chalk and forming these big puddles on the grass, and then flowing down to the ponds. The crows are walking about poking the mud for worms.

When I got home, I couldn't decide if it was spring with the daffodils or still winter with the coloured lights!


28 February

Greenwich fir trees tied up
We went to Greenwich which was quite a long bus ride from our home. The first thing I noticed was these tall fir trees, all tied up against the recent storms, and I immediately thought of the same trees in Well Hall Pleasaunce (two pictures up the page) whose branches got bent in the storm.

Sweet shop  Union Jack souvenirs
Greenwich has a lot of traditional type shops especially for the tourists and this old-fashioned sweet shop looks like the best. The souvenir shop had everything covered in Union Jacks. I like the Mini car and if I had a real one I could look down on the flag from my bedroom window.

Seagulls lined up
There were a lot of birds sitting around everywhere. These gulls were all facing into the wind. They did not move at all as we walked past.

Cormorants  Pigeons resting
The cormorants were sitting out in the river on this old piece of jetty, drying their feathers. Even the pigeons were doing nothing, with most of them settled down for naps. Obviously that know it is not worth bothering on a breezy day with not many people about.

O2 Millennium Dome  Poster of view from top of Dome
We took a bus to the Millennium Dome on the North Greenwich Peninsula, and to our surprise there were people walking around on the roof. The second picture is a poster on the wall showing the view from the top. Everyone has to wear an overall suit and have a tether to keep them attached to the rail. The Dome and area are now called the O2.

Lights display inside Dome  Palms and restaurants inside Dome
This display had the lights coming on and off in patterns but I was not able to guess if it was supposed to be anything in particular. The music venues are in the middle of the Dome, and we walked round the edge which is full of different types of restaurants, bars and cafes. These palms are not real, but they are made of real bits of palm bark stuck onto the trunk part.


Harley Davidson motorbike  Yellow Teddy with Harley Davidson motorbike
This Harley Davidson motorbike was really beautiful and gleaming, and it had colour-changing lights shining up onto it, to show off all the lovely chrome work. I was able to get a close up view of it all. It would be a shame to take it out and ride it in the dust and mud!

Penny Press machine  Tiled building
This Penny Press machine crushes a penny, but it costs 50 pennies to do it! Outside the Dome is a large building covered in these mosaic tiles. It is very striking but you could not look at it for very long without going cross-eyed. I think it probably looks better in the dark, when the white tiles all stand out.

Cable cars  Cable car towers
We walked along to the cable car place. The cars go over the Thames. The tall spiralling towers look as if they might bend over, but I don't think they actually will!

Reed bed  Metal tree sculpture
Brown Teddy really liked this artificial reed bed along the riverside. On a disused jetty is a very large sculpture that looks like a big bare tree, made up of pieces of angled metal. I wonder if the birds build nests in it, because if they did I think they would be very safe.

New foreshore with gabions  Grassed areas on old jetty
All along the river are new foreshores, made up of gabions which are steel mesh baskets full of rocks, and some of it with new reed beds in. This is to encourage wildlife and also to prevent erosion of the banks, so that the walls do not need repairing so often. A lot of the old jetties and piers have these coverings of stony soil and grasses, as a safe place for the birds.

Current Meridian Line  Previous Meridian Lines
As we were walking back towards Greenwich again, we saw some Meridian Lines marked by steel strips on the path. This one is the current Meridian Line and it has been extended past the edge and over the water, with a glass window in front for better viewing. Further on there were three more lines of the old Meridians.


Yellow Teddy with silepost  Brown Teddy with milepost
This waymarker says "This milepost stands on the Greenwich Meridian" but I think it was a few feet off the exact place.

Pigeons on foreshore
These ordinary pigeons caught my notice because they were walking down by the water's edge on the moss, and pecking about. I could not think what it was they were finding to eat, and I am guessing it must have been little insects or shrimpy things. It's a mystery and I forgot to ask them!

Rusty iron piles  Rusting hulks
At this point there was a heap of old iron piles, with pointed ends like a sharp pencil, as well as bits of old rusting ships and other rusty metal. Further on there were halves of old ships, obviously waiting to be broken up even more.

Enderby's Wharf gate  Enderby's Wharf old cable winding gear
We went past Enderby's Wharf which was built by Samuel Enderby 150 years ago and the area has a long history of making submarine telegraph cables. We saw the old cable winding gear still there, left over from when the cables were loaded on ships, to be taken out and laid across the Atlantic.

Demolition  Yellow Teddy looking at the foreshore beach
There were big machines everywhere tearing down the buildings and a lot of dust. I am sure next time we come they will have started building some houses here. The beach looks full of interesting things washed up but too dangerous with the water so close.


Cutty Sark restaurant sign  Cutty Sark mini motor
Cutty Sark things are everywhere, this is a restaurant sign, and the little mini motor is actually parked next to the ship.

Cutty Sark against gathering rain clouds
Here is the Cutty Sark herself, with the rain clouds gathering behind.

Train, tracks and lots of points
We went home by train, so we did not have to wait for a bus in the rain after all. I am not sure if the tracks on the left are rising, or the tracks on the right are going downhill. I was glad all the points were working perfectly! This is our train coming along, and we had a warm and dry journey home.



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