More heavy showers with sun between, just right to make a really bright
rainbow over my back garden.
We went to Crayford. The riverside gardens will be much nicer in the
summer when it is warmer and the trees are green.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
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
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!
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.
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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
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.
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.
Here we are redoing the partitions on the hard drive. It is a good idea
to learn from someone who has done it before!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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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!
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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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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This waymarker says "This milepost stands on the Greenwich Meridian" but
I think it was a few feet off the exact place.
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
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.
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
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.
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Cutty Sark things are everywhere, this is a restaurant sign, and the
little mini motor is actually parked next to the ship.
Here is the Cutty Sark herself, with the rain clouds gathering behind.
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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