This figure seemed to be a bit lost, but I found him later, on the London
Loop sign, walking purposefully to his destination!
We went to Thompsons Garden Centre in Sidcup. They always have
interesting displays. Here is an artist's palette with plants instead of
blobs of paint. I really like the hanging
pots in rainbow colours.
This armchair is called "Take A Little Thyme Out" so people can sit and
touch the thyme plants and be surrounded by the lovely herb smell. We
had a good time wandering round and bought a lavender plant and a packet
of Rootgrow granules so the new shrubs get growing really quickly.
Later on there was very heavy rain, and you would get soaked in a few
seconds if you were out in it. The fish were very happy with the heavy
drops as they find flies and insects washed into the pond.
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I found all this bindweed growing round the wire on the infra-red scarer.
I could not snip it so I had to break it and unwind by hand. I think
it's time to put the wires somewhere else.
This starling keeps coming back for bits of bread. Starlings always
march around in a hurry. The bluetit has got the idea that food is
available, and he is very good at holding down a lump of bread with his foot and tearing
it into smaller pieces.
This is the River Cray at Footscray. It goes down a small weir and passes
under the main road. This is the weir water dividing
up into the two tunnel holes. The water is ever so smooth until it hits
the pier bricks. It is very noisy.
There are lots of business buildings here and I really like this
evergreen planting with mounds of different colours all trimmed smooth. It is giving me
ideas for my garden!
This parade of shops in Foots Cray is done in a Tudor style, with wood
carving on the gable, but I
think it is not that old. The gutters are very interesting with heraldic
lions and Tudor roses all along its length. There are some genuine old
cottages further down the road, called Tudor Cottages but really much
older than that. Foots Cray is named after the Saxon Godwin Fot who
owned land here over 1,000 years ago.
Back in my garden, I spent some time sitting on the bench with a book.
There was a lot of buzzing going on behind me. Not all the
cotoneaster flowers were open so the bees had to work harder to find the ones
Here is the same bluetit with his bread which he will take back to the
nestbox further down the garden. It looks like it is time to cut the
grass, so the birds can find their crumbs easily.
We sat in the greenhouse with our books. It is very enjoyable when we
have our snack as well, and here I have grapes and apple juice. The
coloured duster is used to waft any bees or flies back out of the door. We
stayed warm inside even when the sun went behind the clouds, but I
prefer sun to be out at this time of year.
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We visited the Petts Wood May Fayre. The samba band led the procession,
followed by the Petts Wood May Queen and her subjects, and also further
back were the May
Queens for Orpington and Pratts Bottom groups. They went on a circular route,
down one main road and back up another main road, ending up at the
The new Queen and her Maids assembled in the Hall for the ceremony.
Firstly there was a prize giving for the winner of the Fayre poster
competition. Then last year's May Queen made her speech, the Mayor of
Bromley crowned the new May Queen, and she made her speech as well,
welcoming everyone to the celebrations. Here is the sparkling tiara
crown on its special cushion.
After a time for photos, the Queen and her Maids danced round the
maypole. They did it all very well and made all the steps in the right
places. They must have done a lot of practising.
A little while later the Bloco Fogo Samba Band gave a performance of
drumming. It was very loud and you could feel it through the ground as
well! Afterwards, they let children have a go on the drums, and I think
some of the children will want their own drum set after that!
The first stall I saw was a healthy eating one, with fresh veggies and
lots of health leaflets. I don't think these strawberries and
raspberries are going to
be unsold for very long!
These chocolate cupcakes looked delicious, but my favourite was the
carrot cake, because it had lots of little carrots on top made of orange
I was really glad to see my friends from Reptile Events, and here is
Bruce the Bearded Dragon holding on to handler Jane. Slinky the Skink is
having a look around and enjoying being on show. Have a look at my
Dino's Reptiles page for more
photos and some colouring pages of them for you to download.
I think this python is either guarding the donations bucket or saying
"Thank you for my dinner money"!
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I just love this ornament on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's
stand, showing a harbour with boat shed and the lifeboat bobbing about on
the choppy seas. It was a bit beyond my pocket money but I can see
everything in detail from the photo quite well. I can almost smell the
seaweed and taste the salty breezes!
This is Mad Mick the balloon modelling man. Lots of children were
crowding round to watch them being made. This is the Test Your Strength
stall. I don't think it is too hard to hit it and ring the bell, because all the prizes are
for children and not grown-ups.
This Win A Mini car was very interesting, but I don't think I could
drive such a big car. These go-karts are much more interesting, but
probably still too big for me!
The fairground rides were very noisy. I like all the colours. The cup
and saucer one is my favourite. We went home with lots of photos and
movie clips of all the events.
We have been playing with the new pressure washer. It was too fierce for
me to have a go, but I was delighted to see it clean up the paving
stones, which went from almost black to light grey and creamy colours.
It also blew the mud out of the cracks, so now I have the job of filling
them in before any more weed seeds get down them.
The top sparrow is taking bread back to its young, and the bottom one is
a new young sparrow who is learning where to find food. He follows the
older ones around and copies everything they do.
The hawthorn tree leans over the pond and here are all the fallen petals
collecting around the lily leaves. I don't know what the fish think of
this, but as long as it does not stop them getting their food, they
probably don't mind.
Today I am filling in the cracks in the paving. I put the ready-mix
mortar powder into the bottom of a milk carton, to make it easy to pour.
It went down the cracks very easily, even the small ones. After that we
sprayed everything with the hose on the mist setting, to make it start
to set hard. We covered the mended areas in newspaper so that it stayed
wet, and also so that any overnight rain would not wash it out. It is
going to look really neat and tidy with no weedy bits.
Here is the very bold blackbird that has been around for a couple of
months now, collecting up food for his nestlings. He does not mind if we
walk up the garden path while he is on the lawn. He knows that there
will always be a bit of bread being thrown around.
Today I got up really early, as I don't like to be in bed when it is
daylight. It was time to fill up the pond, as the water level was going
down. We had to prune a few of the top branches on the cherry tree, and I watched as
someone cut up the prunings with the big loppers to make them fit in the
I was really glad to get this picture of a sparrow feeding the young
one. The young sparrows soon get the idea of eating the crumbs for
themselves, and I have seen a lot of them swallowing as much as possible
as quickly as possible. No point in leaving any lying around going to
We went on a bus trip to Woolwich which is next to the River Thames.
This is the old Royal Arsenal, which used to be a huge place for making
weapons, but now it is all new housing. This poster shows the area now
it is all refurbished.
All the historical stuff has been kept. This is a very old Roman statue,
so it must be about 2,000 years old. There are lots of cannons of
different ages, and this old one has an eagle on the top, holding a
sword. We had to hold the camera up over it before we could see it
We walked along the river front. This yellow rail on the steps is for
wheeling bicycles down. Brown Teddy said that it is very close to the
railings so that people don't ride their bikes down. We wondered what
these pigeons were finding to eat on the foreshore, as there are no
plants there. They are very well camouflaged and they seemed to keep
These iron steps lead down to the foot tunnel under the river. They make
a very clangy and echoing sound and there is a lot of spiralling down to
get to the bottom. Brown Teddy was glad to see an Emergency Help Point.
The foot tunnel is exactly the same as the one at Greenwich, except that
there is nobody about. We only passed one person on our way through. The
other side is called North Woolwich. I really like these screens on the
balconies, with punched holes to look like lace.
There is a very long mural in one of the roads, and at the end is this
big trout. All the other pictures show the history of the place. On the
Docklands Light Railway platform is this lovely poster of puffins on a
flowery cliffside, advertising the seaside.
We got off at Pontoon Dock station, in order to visit the Thames Barrier
Park. There is a long deep cutting full of wavy hedges, so I am sure it
must have been a dock at some time. You can walk through and see all
hedges close up. It was very quiet and pleasant.
Here are the wavy hedges. There are two bridges over to get a good view.
Most of them are yew, with tall flat lonicera hedges all along both
sides. It would be interesting to be here on a day when they are being
trimmed. There are flat grassy parks both sides for people to sit around
The park is right by the river. This derelict pier had sheets of paper
stuck up on the walls, asking what should be done with it. Some wanted a
bar and one wanted to see it removed as an eyesore. I like to see things
restored and I think the shore end bit should be saved and made into a
big sitting area for people who want to sit over the river instead of in
the park! At the end I would put in a telescope like they do at seasides,
so people can see up and down the river in detail. We found a gate with
steps leading down to the foreshore. It was low tide and we had a good
time looking around. We did not find any Roman coins though, just old
bits of rotting wood.
We came back on the Woolwich Ferry. All the passenger seats are below
decks, but we stood at the side railings to see everything more closely.
It was quite interesting when it turned a corner to get into the jetty
area because of all the foam and waves that came up. There were not many
people and it is mainly cars that use it.
We went on an outing to Stockwood Park in Luton. Here is Blue Parrot
about to hand over two one-pound coins at the Dartford Toll Gates. He
has been practising all week letting go of the coins. It was very
difficult but he managed it! Dino likes tunnels, but everyone is glad
when we come out into the sunshine.
In the park we took a walk around the woodland. It was Blue Parrot's
turn to choose which path to take and we went straight on. Dino likes
old trees because the tangled roots look like dinosaur claws.
In the Discovery Centre part, we went straight to the fishpond to see
how the fish are doing. There are more of them than last year and they
have a big clump of plants in the middle to hide in. Then we went to see
the chickens in the Dig For Victory Garden. Blue Parrot seems to know
exactly what they are saying.
This long greenhouse is against a high wall, and is full of desert and
cactus plants. Today it was closed to visitors, but I think it would
have been to hot in there anyway. There are more big greenhouses full of
flowering plants. It looks like a very good place to sit and read books,
but all the space is taken up with benches and pots of flowers, so no
room for lounger chairs!
This is my favourite part, the Victorian gardens with the box hedging.
It is all very neat and tidy. Here is Brown Teddy looking through the
white door in the far corner, with a view back to the greenhouses in the
This is the sensory garden with sounds and smells. The rods make musical
sounds but it is more fun to just run the rod along the whole lot at
once! Round a corner is this very old cast iron mangle, with wooden
rollers. I think this needs restoration and putting indoors before it
I love a garden with interesting paths where you can find surprises.
Blue Parrot found this very old tree held up by a thick pole. The tree
is very gnarly and bobbly and the pole is very smooth.
Dino said that this looks like a dinosaur forest and we might see one at
any moment coming round the corner. He was delighted with this twisted
fir tree that looks like another big claw. Somehow an upright branch has
become drooping and twisted, and has stayed like that while it grew big
and thick and back upwards over the years.
Back in the open park, these chickens near the horse stables were
roaming free in the grass. They have their huts in the stables, where
there are more chickens and a rooster.
We went in the Mossman Carriage Museum. I like this plaque from a Fire
Brigade office. I think people had to pay for their services then and
put a notice on their house before they could get help if they needed
it. Blue Parrot said this feather fan would be alright as long as the
feathers were donated willingly by the ostrich.
This is a knife grinder's cart, from the days before we had stainless
steel when knives got rusty and blunt. It is covered in detailed
carvings. My favourite carriage is this Royal Mail cart and I wonder how
many interesting letters and parcels it has carried over the years and
what the streets were like that it went through.
We went into the exhibition of astronomy photographs. Some were prints
but most were shown on flat screens, so they were very bright,
especially as the area was kept a bit dark. This is my favourite one,
because of all the colours. It is the Orion Nebula and is made up of 520
images made up into one big one, and shows 3,000 stars being formed. We
came home over the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which we call the Dartford
Bridge as it is easier to say!
My fruits are coming along nicely. This is my first Williams Pear and I
hope it does not drop off! The apples are doing very well too.
I got up really early, just in time to get a picture of this oriental
poppy bursting out of the bud. A little while later it dried off and
opened out. On my walk I found these field poppies on a wayside heap of
soil that the council has not got round to planting up with shrubs. It
looks like countryside but it is surrounded by houses and traffic!
More planter ideas at the garden centre, with a basketweave cup and
saucer. This painting in the roses section on the side of an
office hut looks like a tropical jungle.
We visited the chicken pens out the back, and in the pet section we saw
these beautiful fish called Sterlets.
A very warm sunny day and although the pond has now got a lot of blanket
weed in it, the fish don't mind as they use it to lounge around in the
sun. The blanket weed uses up the nutrients in the pond, which keeps the
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