We all stayed up for midnight to see the New Year in. There was not
quite so much noise from the fireworks, as it began to rain at about 5
minutes past. After 20 minutes of trying to get some video, we went to
bed. I think my videos will just be sound effects of bangs. The morning
was wet and grey, and the garden looked exactly the same as last year,
This is the underpass at Crittalls Corner roundabout, with tiles in
patterns of cars, trucks and motorbikes. I especially like the car
towing a caravan. I am going to get some more good photos of all of
these for my Knitting Page charts.
Today we packed away all the Christmas decorations. I saved this peanut
butter jar to put all the hanging hooks in, so that they don't move
about too much and I hope they will be less tangled when I tip them out
next Christmas. Dino was delighted that I discovered one more chocolate
gold coin when I dismantled the tree.
This is where the natural part of the River Cray falls down into the
manmade overflow channel. I was interested to see a pile of rotten
leaves on the top of the wall, exactly opposite the waterfall and
nowhere else. I think I may have missed some dramatic floodwaters here,
but maybe it might have been a bit dangerous for Teds to be standing so
near to it all! The bit of channel just before the waterfall has a line
of swept flattened grass with mud and leaves, so more dramatic water
overflowing has obviously happened here as well.
At the big weir further back up the river, I was glad someone could hold
the camera over the railings and get a photo of the mosses, which I
always like to see. The noisy waters were churning down below with quite
large broken branches swirling around and getting stuck in the corners.
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Another wet day, and Blue Parrot decided to sort out the mitten buttons.
He put them in three containers - too big, just right, and too small. If
you put a button on one cuff and a loop on the other, the mittens or
gloves stay together in the drawer. Brown Teddy sorted the problem of
the broken sheathing on the Ipod connector cable. He didn't want the
actual wires inside to start getting broken, so he strengthened each end
with short bits of split plastic straws and sticky tape. I think it will
last for some time. Well done, Brown Ted!
Lots of rain and high winds again. The park gates were all shut and I
think the parks people wanted to check for fallen branches before
In the afternoon we made another visit to Ruxley Christmas Ice Rink.
Here is the Penguin character joining all the people skating round and
round. We stayed until it was dark, when all the lights made it much
more interesting than in the daytime. The ice was very smooth and
fast, because of the rain that had fallen on it and frozen into a much
The Christmas Department was being packed away and the notice said that
there were 30,000 lights the ceiling. I really like these LED doves.
Out the back they have some chickens to amuse the children. They were
very relaxed and quite, and were doing a lot of preening, as they do not
have to spend much time looking for food or water. They are under cover
and have a little house of their own so they are well cared for.
I quite like this driftwood seat, but I think we Teds would probably
fall through the hole at the side! I would have to put a big cushion on
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As it was a sunny day, we went to Well Hall Pleasaunce. There were no
flowers but the long winter shadows made it look quite interesting. Long
winter shadows are much better on white snow, though!
It was still quite windy, and I was wondering if these tall trees would
straighten up when the wind stopped. I hope they are not leaning
permanently because of the gales we have had. This tree was cordoned off
because of a big broken branch hanging down.
This is the root buttress of a huge plane tree, and the middle photo is
4 photos stitched together as I looked up the tree. They have kept the
tree strong and safe against the gales, just like the buttresses on the
old brick walls.
This is what we came to see, the little drainage channel like a
miniature river and I was delighted to find it full of water. In summer
it is absolutely dry. Everywhere we went the squirrels were coming up to
us hoping for a snack. They really should be in their dreys hibernating.
We got a much better picture of the Tudor Barn with no people about. It
is now a restaurant. I was very pleased with one of the photos of
pigeons on the roof, showing one of them in flight.
I just love mossy walls, as they look like small forests, and this is
the top of one of the very old brick walls with the sun shining on it.
Here is the back of the same wall, with more moss and lichen as it is
north facing and is in shade most of the time.
More lovely mosses on some big rocks in one of the flower beds. There
are even more bright green rocks in the grotto garden, which is very
shady and has little pools draining into each other, with the lowest one
much bigger and covered in duckweed. But there was still not enough
water for me to see the pools actually overflowing, and I think I would
need to be here in a big downpour to see that, which is quite unlikely.
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Another chilly and windy day and I just got this action shot in time, of
the clouds scudding in front of the early morning sun.
This big tree was obviously cut down a long time ago with the little
straight cut marks for the stump killing stuff to be put in. But the
tree just won't give up and has started to grow again. With all those
branches growing together, I think it will just turn into a big bush
rather than one trunk and the council may decide to let it stay after
Today is a day of sun and heavy showers, and I just caught these
sunrays, a few seconds later they were gone.
The birds in the park are very happy with all the rain and I wonder if
they can remember when the pond was dried out. If the bread is a bit
hard or unusual flavour, the gulls will always clear it up, and make a
lot of noise at the same time.
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This is one of the small bridges that takes the footpath over the River
Cray and with the shade from the overhanging trees the moss has grown
really thick. The tiny heads look like daffodils.
There are lots of very big clumps of bamboo in the riverside gardens,
which make rustling sounds in the breeze. This dip in the path is now
full of squidgy mud and everyone has had to make a detour path round the
tree on the left, which is also getting quite muddy, but at least you
can walk on all the sticks and leaves which helps a bit.
Another branch that broke in one of the gales. I think the squirrels
like these as it makes paths between the trees which saves them jumping
We are on Brown Teddy's favourite arched bridge, first looking upriver
and then downriver. This is the lower channel that takes the extra
water, separate from the more natural top bit where the ducks live.
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We went shopping in Bexleyheath. This fat bird on a cushion looks like
my birds when they have had a bit too much bread, and sit around waiting
for it to go down. Here are the Council men disposing of the town centre
Christmas tree in the big shredder. All the shreds will be used in the
This is Bexley's coat of arms "Boldly and Rightly" and I am glad someone
chose that motto. When we got off the bus at Footscray, I found a bit of
river that I have not visited before. It is rushing over a small weir
into two tunnels that go under the main roadway.
We visited Dartford today. This huge mural is in the town centre showing
the history of all the activities and industries of Dartford in the
past. If you click the thumbnail below, you can get a high resolution
version so that you can see all the detail.
I like to see all the pub signs as they usually tell a story. The
clipper ships would have sailed up the Thames past Dartford bringing
cargoes from around the world. The Royal Oak shows King Charles II
hiding from the Roundheads in 1651.
This is the front top window of Holy Trinity Church and I am glad the
stonework is looking clean and white. The outside is made of knapped
flints (cut in half) with odd white stones between.
There must be a story about this filled in window, as it looks very old.
We walked to the river behind the church, and a cloud of pigeons flew
down to us. Feeding is not allowed, and there are far too many of them.
When there was nothing offered, they all went back up on the church roof
to keep up their lookout.
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I like to see decorative wrought iron, especially if the paintwork is
kept smart and not allowed to rust. The River Darenth water level was
These ducks are swimming past the seats half under water on the
riverside pathway. This duck doesn't mind the broken wood, he is using
it as an island to rest on.
We followed the pathway signs a short way and found another piece of
river, overflowing onto the lower footpath. The valley name is spelled
differently from the river.
More lovely moss and lichen. On the way home I am glad we got a seat on
top of the bus at the front. The journey took about half an hour so we
enjoyed our snack of wholemeal bagels.
Another rainy day, and even the garden birds are sheltering somewhere
and not sitting on the fence waiting for food.
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