I like to know to the exact second when New Year has arrived, and this
world time website was the best way. At midnight lots of fireworks and
rockets went off but none near enough to get any good pictures. By 20
past 12 we were all back in bed.
We saw this wonderful food delivery truck in Welling shopping area, with
all the things in the landscape made up of pieces of food, a lemon for
the sun and waffles and biscuits for the buildings. I like the broccoli
In Bexleyheath Santa's Grotto had no customers, but all the decorations
were still there. Christmas seems like absolutely ages ago! I really
like this birthday cake hat in felt and furry fabric, this one is for
someone who is 40 years old on their birthday.
A very wet and drippy day. The pond netting goes white with all the
water drops. Everything was cold and soggy and we spent the day indoors
with our books.
Another cold day starting with thick fog, but it soon cleared, which
The lovely fieldfare visited our garden again. I think it is the same
one as before, who has taken a liking to our deep birdbath, where he
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Today we went to New Malden which is West of London. Trains come in all
colour schemes nowadays but this red one is really warming on a cold
day. Brown Teddy was spoilt for choice of seats.
We looked round all the shops and before we left we saw these two
starlings eating the leftovers just after the people had left the table.
I hope the next customers don't put their sandwiches down on the table!
This public display is called "Out Of Order" and all the phone boxes are
welded together and filled with sand.
On the way back I admired the railway station names. Teddington is my
favourite, and Strawberry Hill is Brown Teddy's favourite.
Back at Waterloo Station we saw the beautiful stained glass window with
the London and South Western Railway crest, lit up from behind. We
walked over the bridge and saw the Oxo Tower with its coloured windows.
This sunset was taken from the train carriage, and I had to get it
quickly before any more trees and buildings whizzed past and blocked the
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Today we went to Upminster which is in North London. I think this pub
name the Crumpled Horn is one that no-one ever forgets. There must be a
story behind it.
Upminster has a big park in the middle which is wide and roomy, just how
I like it, but not too warm today.
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Further along we saw the town sign. Even further along up the hill we
saw the Upminster Windmill. It is a Smock Mill which was built in 1803
and kept working until 1934.
I think it really does look like a smock, which was a farmers costume of
the same shape, wide at the bottom and narrower at the top. We walked
all the way round taking pictures and we are definitely going to come
back on one of their open days to see the workings inside. Here is their
Next to the windmill Brown Teddy was interested in the remains of the
house that went with it. It would be wonderful to see it rebuilt as it
used to be. The bricks are piled up all around, so what are they waiting
The ground was so soft, we left footprints just like in snow! We took
the bus to Romford where we saw these flower containers with seats on
one side. I think it would be good in summer, but the stone is too cold
This is on the side of the railway bridge in Romford and is based
paintings done by Upminster school children. We went round all the shops
and before going home, I noticed this copper side to the building
reflecting the setting sun. It was a pale sunset but looked fiery red on
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This is Liverpool Street Station in London with a wonderful glass roof
and arched beams filled in with ironwork scroll patterns.
This is the River Thames as the train was leaving Waterloo East station,
with the daylight fading.
This is an interesting pub sign in Eltham. The first word is The and
people often think it is Ye with a capital Y. It is really supposed to
be the old Thorn letter which is a bit like a P. I think all the extra
lines and loops have made them all much too confusing!
Instead of taking the bus we decided to walk along the river. The low
sunlight makes more interesting photos. This patch in the tree bark
looks just like a leaf, it even has a vein down the middle. Well what
else would it be!
The catkins should have made us think it was spring, but it was still
quite chilly. In the park someone had a big bag of bread for the ducks,
but the seagulls seemed to be getting most of it, and making the most
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We went to Stratford in North London to visit a bookshop. These steel
trees are outside the big shopping mall. The flowers in the hanging
baskets are nylon. I prefer the real thing but in winter this is much
better than looking at bare real branches and empty baskets!
Between the railway station and the shopping mall is a brass Meridian
Line marker. Unlike Greenwich, people were not queuing up to have their
photos taken standing on it.
This is definitely a very sensible wagtail walking along the street,
keeping to the path and off the yellow lines in the roadway!
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About midday we arrived back at the River Thames. We sat in the seating
area on one of the stone piers on Blackfriars
Bridge and had our snacks. The stone was cold! Brown Teddy was on the
lookout for all the decorative parts and when he finds something he asks
for some extra zoomed-in photos of it.
The main bridge is pink and white. Here is the opposite pier, the same
as the one we sat in. The seating area is a semicircle inside the
At the south end of the bridge is this sign for the old London Chatham
and Dover Railway dated 1864. The big V stands for Queen Victoria.
We walked along the riverside. A man was digging out his sand sculpture
and there was a bucket nearby on a sheet for people to throw coins in. I
wonder if he found any ancient coins while digging. This part is called
Gabriel's Wharf and I like this mosaic of a dolphin. It looks very
Roman, except Roman mosaics did not include website details!
We like to see the old Routemaster buses still being kept going. They are all used for tourists
We went along to the Natural History Museum. I really like this
magnificent entrance, which gives a good idea of what the inside is like.
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This is the central hall that leads off to all the other halls. The
whole building is covered in decoration with monkeys climbing up all the
columns, and the stonework in stripes of sand colour and grey.
First of all we went upstairs to get a good view of everything. The
dinosaur is a diplodocus, and I am glad we saw it, as it is going to be
replaced at some time. Brown Teddy is looking down from even higher up.
Blue Parrot said it was better than flying around, as it took less
energy, but with the same view! The entire ceiling is covered in these
squares with plants and names.
This is a glass case full of slices of marble type rocks, all with beautiful
patterns. I would like a lot of tiles like this and make a big marble
floor, but it might be a bit expensive. At the bottom of the main
staircase are carvings of birds.
We are only looking at dinosaurs today. The dinosaur hall was filled
with a steel structure and walkway, so that everything can be seen from
above. The floor level had all the display stands and cabinets, and the
dinosaurs are on perspex shelves so they can be seen from every angle. The lighting was a bit dark but the spotlights
made it look quite dramatic.
On top of two of the cabinets were animatronic dinosaurs waving their
arms and head and making growling noises. At the end of the hall was a
big display with a floor level walkway, with this huge dinosaur waving
about and roaring quite loudly. The spotlights keep changing colour.
On the right is the walkway and fortunately the dino does not walk about
This big model head of a tyrannosaurus was very lifelike and I am glad
it was not moving about. The displays had videos of dinosaur scenery.
This one is about climate.
This looks just like an ostrich foot, but a lot bigger. Blue Parrot
didn't mind being so close to this dinosaur as it was inside a glass
case. It has snake eyes
and I am sure it could snap its jaws very quickly.
Another big cabinet had small versions of the various dinosaurs, which
gives a better idea than just skeletons.
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This nest on a mound of sand is full of eggs that have just hatched, and I think the
little dinos would have been squeaking like chickens.
Brown Teddy was delighted to find this giant iron meteorite, because he
has a small one at home. This big fossilised tree trunk was very
beautiful, the top was polished and shiny and the rings were all
Lastly we went into the shop. These cuddly dinos still look as if they
might like bite something, but I am sure they will be happy just to
share dinner with their new owners. The daylight had
gone and the central hall was looking more dramatic.
Outside the building was entirely spot-lit in pink and mauve. It looked
more interesting than in daylight, because the lighted windows make you
wonder what is inside. We will find out another day.
It was dark by the time we got to the river. Here is a contrast with an
earlier photo. It is more colourful at night.
This is the Oxo Tower with the word made up of lighted windows. This is
The Shard and the cheapest way to see the fantastic view over the entire
city of London is on their
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We went to Dartford and after shopping we went into Central Park. The
bandstands has a unicorn figure on the shield.
We walked along the riverside and had brought a few bits of bread for
the ducks. This drake has a very colourful head in the bright sunshine,
but the female duck is almost invisible amongst the leaves, apart from the blue
bit on the wing.
We decided to take the train to London. While waiting I got a good look
at the driver's cab on the train next to ours, it is full of control
buttons. Brown Teddy was trying to
work out how the coaches stay joined together, but he was glad the
fixings looked very strong.
Just by Westminster Palace is this statue of Queen Boudica, queen of the
British Iceni tribe 2,000 years ago. She fought against the Roman
occupation and everyone remembers that she had blades on her chariot
Over the bridge, these street performers had everyone taking pictures.
Charlie Chaplin looked very friendly and smiling. The person being a cat
in a wicker basket had lots of people laughing. We were wondering how
the person travelled up to their pitch, being made up with a cat face,
but I think they must have got someone to bring them up by car nearby
with all the gear.
These street performers were putting on a really good show of
drumming, dancing and acrobatics. They had a big crowd. They finished
with this limbo dance and the man did not fall over. The sun was now
very low in the sky and lit up the waves on the river. With all the
shadows it looked like we were in an airplane and looking down on the
I decided to bring spring in early and have some daffodils as my desktop
background. I feel better already!
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We popped into Hall Place after some shopping. This is a banana plant
wrapped against the cold outside the big greenhouse. The ducks have
obviously seen someone with an interesting bag or some equally
I like the sunken garden full of water, it looks as if one could take a
dinghy out on it, but you can't go in. Brown Teddy and I have decided
the best thing to do would be to make lots of big wide raised pathways
with little gaps between, like stepping stones have, for the water to
spread out. Then we could all walk round safely and enjoy seeing the
water and mosses and dragonflies, and the rest could be planted as a bog
garden. Brown Teddy says there would have to be a deeper bit in the
middle so any tadpoles did not get stranded in the drier weather. He is
going to draw a coloured-in map and wait until someone asks him what to
do with a sunken garden that floods!
The crocuses are coming through the turf maze and I am going to make
sure I get a photo when they are all out. The gardeners were throwing
branches onto a huge bonfire. As it was cold we thought they could get
warm, but it was so windy they could not get near and had to stay on the
upwind side for safety. The flames were leaping up quite high and
We went into the big greenhouse where it is very warm and pleasant. I
just love seeing al the fish, with the noise of the waterfall at one
end. Brown Teddy's favourites are the big banana trees.
These are Bird Of Paradise flowers and there were several pots of them
around the greenhouse. This amaryllis is definitely going to blow a
trumpet blast on the first day of spring - I hope!
The cactuses in pots don't it's winter, and standing by the long table
we could feel the warm air rising from the heating pipes below the
decking. This cactus looks like snow, and the close-up is very
interesting - easier in a photo than in real life!
We were glad to get back home. Some sleet fell and I thought maybe this
is the start of snow, but it turned to cold rain.
Another job for a cold day - sorting out the books and cleaning the
shelves. I kept stopping to read some of them, but then decided to put
the interesting ones aside for later, so that I could finish the job. It's not much
fun reading books standing on a chair!
At last some snow. If it's going to be cold, we like to have just a bit
of snow to make it interesting. This did not last long, but it's better
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