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1 December

Goldfish pond  Goldfish with food
When the fish are all facing the same way, it means they are heading for the food! They are getting extra treats so the new fish realise it's a great pond to live in.

3 December

Apple tree box
My new apple tree arrived today. It is a Pink Lady apple which is one of our favourites. We bought it in September and in November, after the leaves have dropped, they start to dig them out of the nursery fields to send to everyone.

New apple tree  New apple tree in bucket
I am looking forward to the flowers next spring. I am giving it a good soak first to make sure nothing is dried out.

5 December

Lights at window  More lights at window
I like a good colourful dawn, if I am up in time to see it, but it will soon overtake my Christmas lights.

High Street Nativity people
This is a Nativity scene in the High Street, but we were zooming past in the car, so a bit blurred.

7 December

Natural History Museum skating  Natural History Museum skating
Today we went to the Natural History Museum in Central London. We spent some time watching the ice rink, which was not very crowded. The penguins are for the young children.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
At the far end was a gallopers carousel, but no riders as yet. This fossil tree is 330 million years old, about the time that reptiles started filling up the land.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
We decided to look around the geology wing. Opposite the entrance doors is this newly discovered stegasaurus, spotlit in a dark hall with diagrams of star fields all around. Behind him is an escalator going up into a molten core effect. It is very dramatic with sound effects and a fantastic start to an exciting adventure through the story of earth's rocks. I am glad someone has all these good ideas! The second picture was taken from the upstairs gallery a little later on.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This screen shows all the earthquake zones and you can press the control panel to get different views. This big model is about a metre and a half tall and reminds me of a cream egg with sugar cream inside.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This is a heat suit for scientists going near the lava flows. This case has models of giant tubeworms that live in the dark on the bottom of the ocean near the hot water vents.

Natural History Museum
We went into an earthquake simulator room, set up like a Japanese shop from a real earthquake that happened there. The floor starts to move and everyone has to hold on to the handrails. Everything on the shelves was moving and rattling.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This is a fulgarite, which is when lightning travels down through sand and melts it into the same shape as the lightning bolt. This big circular tray of sand has water pipes dripping onto it, so you can move the water flow about and make different patterns in the sand, just like real rivers do.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
I quite like this yellow rock. Brown Teddy likes the brown coloured rocks of course! We have some granite like this in the garden, holding up the edges of some of the beds.

Natural History Museum
This is a desert rose rock formation made of gypsum that has crystallised in the sand. This one is from the Sahara Desert in Algeria.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
You can read rocks like a book of history, and this rock has the pages coming apart! Tree rings are also a record and this one is a fossilised piece of trunk.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
There is a long gallery showing everything starting with the formation of the planet and through all the changes and different types of life, including dinosaurs and fossils. Back in the hall at the bottom of the stairs is this beautiful table made of coloured stone.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
This is an engraving from 1840 showing Great Sea Dragons as people imagined them from the dinosaur bones that they were finding. I like the cafe sign and I think it is an invitation to eat rather a lot of food in one go.

Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
Apart from all the displays, the building itself is very ornate, with the wall tiles covered in plant and animal life shapes, and stained glass windows up at the top.

Natural History Museum skating   Trafalgar Square Christmas tree
Once it got dark, we went back to watching the ice skating outside the Museum. All the bare trees were wrapped in white lights. We really enjoyed it because it was not cold and there were more people on the rink. Afterwards we had a look around Trafalgar Square. There were people singing carols on the other side of the tree. The building behind is the National Gallery.

Trafalgar Square Nativity case  Trafalgar Square Nativity case
At the foot of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square is a Nativity scene in a big glass case. We saw this last year and I am glad it is here again. All the characters are spotlighted and it is a very quiet and peaceful scene.

8 December

Assembling the tree  Lights on the tree
It's time to get the tree up. All the branches slot in and they are labelled A to E according to size. Blue Parrot is checking that the lights are spread around evenly, a most important job!

Decorations box  Shiny bows box
Brown Teddy has already started opening all the box files. Dino always likes to play with the ribbon bows, which we save every year from the presents to put on the tree.

Food hamper box
We received this lovely hamper box of Christmas food, with cakes, biscuits and chocolates.

Eco Flow filling chips  Box of filling chips
Dino played with the filling material and Blue Parrot thought it would make a good nest. These Eco Flow chips are made of starch. when everyone had finished playing around with them, I wetted them and they collapsed down to a small sticky lump, which can go in the food waste box - much better than polystyrene, well done Eco Flow people!

11 December

Waterloo Station 
We went up to London to see more skating. This is Waterloo Station and because I had the camera on the wrong setting it is all white and washed out - it looks like a skating rink!

South Bank Christmas stalls  Cannon Street Station Christmas tree
This is the South Bank with Christmas stalls under the railway bridge, with lots of food, sweets, decorations and clothing for sale. The Christmas tree at Cannon Street Station is inside the front glass foyer.

Somerset House skating
We went to Somerset House skating rink and had a good time watching everyone going round. The sky got very dark for a while. At the end of the afternoon the rain began and the rink cleared quickly.

Station departures board  Direction lines on station concourse
There are a lot of trains and platforms to choose from, and you have to keep your eye on the board as it changes quickly. Meanwhile I look around for interesting pictures while we are waiting. These lines on the station floor directing people to various platforms and places are a very good idea, as there is no need to remember instructions from a notice, you just follow the colour until you get there.

Station platform  Bourbon biscuit
We were on platform 5 and the ceiling lights make it look like a space station where people are waiting for their spaceship home. By now it was dark and rainy but the train is very warm and cosy, with heaters by our feet, and we started and finished off the packet of chocolate bourbon biscuits.


12 December

Dewy pond netting  Snowing Christmas tree
A very wet and misty morning. The pond netting looked like spider webs. This is a snowing tree, where the tiny polystyrene balls go up the middle and fall out of the top of the tree like a real snow storm, and collect in an upside down umbrella. It is wonderful!


16 December

Reindeer  Model reindeer
We went to see the live reindeer at the garden centre. Amongst all the decorations, we found this scene of Bambi and the magical reindeer.

Model Nativity scene  Model snowman and deer scene
In the model village glass case, I found this nativity scene, which I had not noticed before. This deer is eating the snowman's carrot nose!

17 December

Somerset House skating  Somerset House skating
Another visit to Somerset House to see the skating.

18 December

Nativity scene in trolley
This unusual wooden nativity scene was in the shopping centre at Bexleyheath, built on a trolley. It is just the right height for children to look into the sides.


19 December

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
We went to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. I really like this avenue of lighted arches. The bumper cars were very colourful with loud music.

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
The lights on the Big Wheel were changing colour and making chasing patterns.

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
This is a Christmas Tree Maze, what a wonderful way to get lost for a little while! The best part is the skating rink around the bandstand and we stayed and watched for quite a while.


20 December

Train journey  Old Battersea Power Station
Today we are going to Hampton Court Palace. It is a bit of a longer journey but I like to see everything. This is the old Battersea Power Station being turned into luxury apartments. I am glad it is staying there, because it is part of the history of Battersea.

Hampton Court Palace skating rink  Hampton Court Palace skating rink
We arrived at Hampton Court as it was getting dark. The ice rink had been rained on and the machine had to spend quite a time sucking up the puddles and getting rid of the extra water.

Hampton Court Palace skating rink
Lots of the people had rain capes on but it did not rain again and everyone had a good time.

Hampton Court Palace coloured floodlights
This is the front of Hampton Court Palace. The lights change colours about every 20 seconds.

22 December

Christmas food hamper  Checking food cupboards
Someone sent us this lovely hamper of cakes and sweets. Dino is delighted and has already memorised everything in it, mainly the iced cake and pudding! I did a last check of the Christmas Day ingredients, in case I needed to do more shopping.

Ice cream meringue Frosty Snowman  House-shaped Christmas card
In the afternoon we went to a Christmas Dinner in a restaurant. This is a lemon meringue ice cream called Frosty the Snowman. When we got home, we opened this lovely house shaped card. I am definitely going to make some like that for next year!


23 December

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
We went on another visit to the Winter Wonderland, it is so big it needs two visits to see everything and get photos and videos. This is the Hangover tower, where the people go up very slowly and then come down very fast. They must get a fantastic view over the Wonderland all lit up.

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
Everything is very brightly lit and big crowds everywhere. Everyone was happy and eating! I like these decorations, they would be good to fill a whole big window.

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
This is the scary house, and this man was jumping out at the people as their travelling seats came round the corner. He had a scary rubber mask on and they were not expecting one of the characters to actually get that close to them!

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
This is the gallopers carousel and the Bavarian tent.

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park  Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
There were sweets piled up everywhere. Again we watched the skating for about an hour before going home.


24 December

Norad Track Santa website  Presents under Christmas tree
This is Norad's Track Santa going over Finland. Brown Teddy says our friends have brought loads of presents already and there is no more room under the tree!

Blue Parrot under Christmas tree  Blue Parrot with mirror decorations
Blue Parrot insisted on climbing to the back to see all the parcels. His favourite decoration is the cotton wool robins on top of the living room mirror.

Cards and lights  Dino with Christmas snacks
This year I have hung all the cards on a long strip of paper, it is easier than sticking them onto the wallpaper one by one. Dino is making one last check of the nibbles containers to make sure they are as full as possible but he knows it is time for bed very soon.


25 December

Watching Santa Clause The Movie  Watching TV flying dinosaurs
We all got up a bit earlier than usual, to make sure everything was tidy and ready for the day. Blue Parrot watched Santa Claus The Movie, even though he can remember every scene! Dino had a good time watching Conquest Of The Skies showing prehistoric flying dinosaurs brought to life on the screen.

Watching flying dinosaur bird  Collared dove in garden
Blue Parrot's favourite part was where the fossil bones came out and feathers came on them and it turned into one of the first birds. Meanwhile, outside in our garden we put out some extra Christmas food for our friendly collared dove.

Cooking Christmas dinner  Christmas cracker box
I had lots to do in the kitchen. Blue Parrot helped lay the table and put out the Christmas Crackers.

Christmas pudding and ice cream  Christmas pudding
We had a lovely Christmas dinner and afterwards Christmas pudding with custard in tubs, stripy ice cream, and mint and chocolate ice cream. Dino had second helpings of the pudding to keep his strength up.

Presents  Torn wrapping paper
Blue Parrot was in charge of the presents, choosing which one came next. Afterwards there was paper everywhere and we all helped get it into a plastic sack, but it had to be trodden on to get it to fit.

Sweets in bowl  Sweet wrappers
This is Dino's favourite bowl in the house. It was not long before there were only wrappers left.

Watching dinosaur on TV  Dinsaur on TV eating leaves
Dino watched Alive At The Natural History Museum, with more dinosaurs brought to life on the screen. Here is David Attenborough feeding some leaves to Dippy the Diplodocus. Dino was cheering all the way!

LED illuminated picture
Someone bought us this lovely LED lighted picture of a snowy house and lane.


26 December

Goldfish in pond
The fish are still feeding well, because the weather is still very mild, even when it is rainy. I put a few bits in and if they eat that, then they get a bit more.

Cutty Sark ship and carousel
Went went up to London to see the Christmas lights. First we went to Greenwich. This is the Cutty Sark ship and I was delighted to see a big fairground carousel in front of it.

Oxford Street lights  Oxford Street lights
This is Oxford Street, it was very busy with thousands of shoppers going to the sales.

Oxford Street lights  Bond Street lights
Oxford Street, and big peacock feathers in Bond Street.

Cutty Sark masts lit up for Christmas  Foot tunnel glass dome roof lit up
When we got to back to Greenwich, we saw the Cutty Sark ship all lit up, with a Christmas tree shape at one end. What a wonderful surprise! This is the glass dome roof over the entrance to the foot tunnel under the river.


28 December

Covent Garden  Covent Garden
We went to Covent Garden in London to see more lights. The tree is very big and always has a big red bow at the base. On the other side of the market is this huge silver reindeer covered in white lights.

Covent Garden  Covent Garden
This train and carriages are made of Lego building blocks.

Covent Garden  Covent Garden
Inside the market building halls are huge lights made up like bunches of mistletoe. Someone in the crowd had these wonderful illuminated sneakers, red for left foot and green for right foot!

Electric car charging point  The Strand
As we left Covent Garden I saw this interesting pillar, it is a place into which people can plug their electric cars to charge up. These are the lights in the Strand.

Somerset House skating  Somerset House skating
We went to Somerset House to see more skating. We watched the machine smooth the ice and then everyone came on. The man in red was really good and spent all his time going round quite fast. I like it when the lights change colours, mainly purple and blue, with spots or snowflake shapes projected onto the ice.

Thames riverside at night  Thames riverside at night
On the way home we went along the Thames riverside. This is the red London Eye big wheel. The second picture is Blackfriars Bridge with the Shard in the background with a white top lit up.


29 December

Geffrye Museum  Geffrye Museum
Today we went to the Geffrye Museum Of The Home in Bethnal Green. They have lots of living rooms from all the different centuries. I really like this Victorian one, done up for Christmas with a tree,a bunch of mistletoe and lots of toys on the table.

Geffrye Museum  Geffrye Museum
This 1930's room has paper chains and paper lanterns for Christmas. We have some smaller paper lanterns like that up right now, by the side of the doors. This 1950's room brought back memories to someone who used to make paper chains just like that. The toys and paper are still on the carpet, just as if children had opened their presents and left the room.

Vintage fire engines
Afterwards we went to St Paul's Cathedral where they had a gathering of vintage fire engines to commemorate the people who lost their lives fighting fires in London. Everyone was taking lots of pictures from all angles.

Vintage fire engines  Vintage fire engines
The people were dressed in wartime clothing from about 1940.

Vintage fire engines  Vintage fire engines
The man operated this boom arm, which rotates and extends to carry the hose nozzle very high up.

St Paul's Cathedral and National Firefighters Memorial  National Firefighters Memorial
Between the Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge is the National Firefighters Memorial showing firemen during the Blitz of the Second World War. There are lots of names on all sides, including later peace time names.

Millennium Bridge
We walked down to see the Millennium Bridge. It was quite blowy and the water looked murky and cold. We were glad to get back to the train station and into the warm carriage with the heaters next to the seats.

31 December

Oatie toffee snacks  Christmas lights
People have left some hard toffees so I have had a go at melting them and making oatie toffee snacks. There were delicious but I think next time I will use less water in order to make them a bit firmer. I have taken lots of pictures of the decorations, as very soon they will be packed away.

Christmas lights  Christmas lights
We always leave the lights up during January and sometimes they stay up longer than that. I save the best cards and cut out the fronts to make a little picture gallery to brighten the winter days.




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