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Diary 2015 July

 

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2 July

The Shard  Purley Station
This is the Shard building at London Bridge and as we passed the top disappeared in the low cloud. We then went to Croydon to pick up some shoes and after that on to Purley.  The Station at Purley is dated 1899. I like the big modern stations but the old ones are more interesting.

Purley rooftop griffin  Purley rooftop dragon  Crows
On top of the row of shops in Purley Parade are these griffins and dragons on the rooftop. They remind me of our new crows that sit on the roofs at home and make a lot of noise. They are new young ones that are staying together until they have learned a bit more about where the food is.

3 July

Feet off seats sign  St Pancras Station
Today we went to St Pancras, on our way to north London. The inside is modern while the Victorian main building has been kept. It is very echoey.

St Pancras Station statue of Betjeman  St Pancras Station
At the entrance end is a statue of the poet Sir John Betjeman who wrote a lot about rail travel and loved the old buildings. He helped to save this building. Here is where the Eurostar trains leave.

St Pancras Station frontage  St Pancras Station wind vane
The outside of St Pancras is very ornate Victorian brick with lots of arches and patterns. The wind vane has MR for Midland Railways.

Kings Cross Station roof structure  Dinosaur model in art shop window
Nearby is King's Cross Station, which has also kept the old building and has been covered over in with this wonderful mesh pattern roof. We took the underground to Highgate. I like this dinosaur in top hat in the art shop window. Dino will be delighted with this picture for his collection.

Blue Parrot's snack  Noticeboard by old tree
We went to Alexandra Park and had our snack. Brown Teddy is reading the notice board about a very old tree that has a fence around it.

View from Alexandra Palace  Pedal boat car
I really like the panoramic views from Alexandra Palace. This time we brought some binoculars and we could see as far as Shooters Hill in South London. We sat by the pond in the park round the back of the Palace. The paddle boat swans and dragons look OK but a floating car looks like someone is trying to get through a flood!

Flower garden  Pond with fountain
We found a small rose and flower garden with pond and fountain, which we missed last time we came.

Carter,s steam fair paintings of parrots  Carter's steam fair paintings of parrots
We walked on to Hornsey for another visit to Carter's Steam Fair. Blue Parrot especially wanted some photos of the parrot paintings on the Gallopers roundabout.

Cer's steam fair painting of eagle  Carter's steam fair painting of tiger
This eagle is on the Chair-O-Planes. The tiger and crocodile painting on the Gallopers is very lifelike.

4 July

Vintage car red  Vintage camper van
We went to the Big O Festival in the park where all the vintage car owners brought their vehicles for everyone to admire. Every car was spotless and shining, including the engines. My favourite is the blue camper and we could have lots of brilliant days out in one like that!

Vintage scooter pink  Vintage car wooden dashboard
This scooter was Blue Parrot's favourite, but a bit big for him. Inside the cars had leather seats and wooden dashboards, looking very comfortable.

Vintage music  Vintage clothing
There were lots of stalls selling music and clothing from past decades, especially the nineteen sixties and seventies.

Vintage model cars  Customised vintage scooters
I really liked these model cars as the doors and bonnets/hoods all open. I think they were more expensive than normal toys! Lots of bikers came with their wonderful customised and rare motorbikes.

Customised scooter with headlights and horns  Customised scooter with rear lights
This motorbike is definitely the very best of all, and this one comes a close second.

6 July

Parasol in greenhouse  Sparrow in bushes
At last we have got a parasol for inside the greenhouse, so we can have some shade inside. While I am sitting still waiting for the birds to arrive, the sparrows are sitting in the greenery opposite waiting for bits of bread to arrive.

Wood pigeon  Collared dove
As long as I don't move, the wood pigeon and collared dove often come down to see what's on offer or for a drink.

9 July

Country lane  Sevenoaks Theatre sign
We are on our way to Sevenoaks. I like the country roads, especially when it is sunny, it makes me feel I might see the seaside round the corner! These notices on the theatre at Sevenoaks have seven acorns drawn like floating balloons.

Flowers on bridge at Tonbridge  Town Lock
We went on to Tonbridge. The bridge has been repainted and the hanging baskets were full of brilliant petunias. We walked down to Town Lock, but could not go on it as there was engineering works in progress.

Riverside houses  Grey wagtail
We walked further along. These smart houses have a lovely view from their windows. We saw this grey wagtail flying after dragonflies. He can twist and turn in the air as fast as the insects can.

Blue Parrot on riverside walk  Brown Teddy and nettles
Blue Parrot always likes to see what is round the next corner. Brown Teddy is glad, just for once, about all these stinging nettles, as it keeps people away from the edge and steep drop.

Tonbridge Castle grouns, bridge over river  No Jumping river sign
Back in the town centre, we went into the Castle grounds. I really like all the little bridges over the streams. Blue Parrot said he never jumps because he can just fly around to see everything!

River at Tonbridge  Tonbridge model railway
Brown Teddy wishes he had a little boat or a dinghy. Next to the river is the Tonbridge Model Engineering Society's enclosure and railway track, which operates and gives train rides on summer weekend afternoons. http://micklow.wix.com/tmes

11 July

Bowl of cherries  Young starling with cherries
The lady next door gave us some lovely cherries from her tree. Here is a baby starling eating one that I had left over that had a brown middle. Usually the starlings and wood pigeons strip the tree but she managed to pick them before that happened.

Pebbles on tarpaulin  Goldfish
We spent the afternoon washing some muddy stones that we used to have on the soil and we laid them out on the tarpaulin to dry off. The fish kept seeing us walking past so we had to keep some bread handy so that they didn't get disappointed.

13 July

Liverpool Street Station  Flower stall
We went to Liverpool Street Station. It is very big, smart and interesting, but I think the best part was the colourful fresh flower stall!

Emblem  Kindertransport sculpture
This is the emblem of the Great Eastern Railway. Outside the station is this sculpture called "Children of the Kindertransport" showing Jewish children escaping from Germany during the war in 1938 and 1939. Ten thousand children were rescued from certain death. The girl at the front is holding her lovely Teddy!

Marble water feature  Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
Behind the station is this wonderful waterfall fountain, where the water goes down marble steps and past the scattered rocks. We took the tube train to Bethnal Green and the Museum of Childhood is just over the road.

Inside the museum  Teddies and toys
Inside it is one big space, with a cafe and shop in the middle and all the exhibits in cases along both sides and on two levels. Here is the first case we saw, full of teddies and real toys that belonged to someone.

Statue of Liberty bear  Thunderbirds outfit and toys
I like this bear, it is a "Libearty" bear looking like the Statue of Liberty in America. There were lots of more modern exhibits, like these Thunderbirds toys and outfit.

Wind up tin turkey  Model railway layout
This is a wind-up tin turkey toy. Some of them were actually made from recycled tins. We spent some time looking at this big glass case with a whole railway layout and scenery.

Praxinoscope  Zoetrope
I really enjoyed spinning this praxinoscope around, you can see the figures moving in each of the mirror facets. The zoetrope is similar, you spin the drum and look through one of the slits to see it like a moving film. There were lots of exhibits that people can play with.

Pick up fishes game  Large coach-built pram
This is a game of picking up the fishes with tiny wire hooks, but we remember it with magnets instead of hooks. Brown Teddy thought this pram would make a good boat if there was a flood!

Yellow Teddy with iron filings game  Iron filings game
I really liked this large glass topped table, with iron filings underneath and pictures of heads. You use the magnet wand to drag the filings onto the heads, to make hair and beards.

Dolls house  Dolls house
Upstairs were lots of huge dolls houses and it would have taken a long time to look at all the detail and contents in every room. Most of them were of big mansions full of wonderful antique furniture.

Miniature fantasy rooms  Aquarium bathroom
These boxes are filled by different artists as Dream House Fantasy Rooms. This underwater scene was my favourite called "I Always Dreamed of an Underwater Aquarium Bathroom". The label on the wall said, "In miniature impossible dreams can come true."

Wilfred's Party  Paper and card doughnuts
In the vestibule on the way out is a display called Wilfred's Party, made by children from two local schools. It is a long table full of party stuff, with balloons, streamers and loads of food made of coloured paper and card. I thought these iced doughnuts were very convincing, until I got up really close! They reminded me of my favourite wholemeal bagels. Dino would have loved to see it all and I think he would probably not believe the food was pretend.

17 July

Sun dial sculpture  Giant flower pot with palm  Log seats
Today we went to Sutton in south west London. This sundial sculpture was very interesting and when the sun came out, it told the correct time. I like these giant plant pots with huge palm plants in. The seat were interesting, made of logs but I think they might be uncomfortable after a while.

Flower bed seat  Train tracks
Back at Sutton Station we had our snack by these interesting seats made of slabs of wood and flower beds on where the arm rests would be. I also noticed a very small door under the stairs which looks like a magic entrance to a wonderful teddy world hidden away, or maybe it is just for station brooms and buckets! As we had to wait a while for our train, I watched the other trains and tried to guess which set of tracks it would move onto.

Tennis balls display on pub frontage  Tesco tennis ball display
We took the train to Wimbledon. At this time of year, everything is tennis themed, with tennis balls draped over the front of the Prince of Wales pub, and also on the Tesco sign.

New Wimbledon Theatre  Golden angel on top of theatre
This is the New Wimbledon Theatre. This angel on the top is holding out a laurel wreath, but to me it looks like a big magnet. Maybe she is there to magnetically attract shoppers so they spend all their money in Wimbledon! I can see a lightning conductor on top of both wings as well.

18 July

London Bridge, Shard  Bees Need You poster
Here we are again at London Bridge with a very sunny view of The Shard. On the train I keep seeing this advert to to help save the bees, and I am thinking of making up a bee hotel to help them out. I already have lots of plants in my garden that bees like.

Brown Teddy train view of buildings  Blue Parrot and green train seats
We took the train to Upminster in north east London. Brown Teddy likes to see all the differnt buildings and tries to guess what they are used for. He is always glad that we live in a more green area with lots of trees. Blue Parrot admired the smart green seats because he said it showed up his bright colours even more.

Old drinking fountain at Limehouse Station 
At Limehouse Station we saw this unusual old marble drinking fountain on the platform. I am guessing it does not work any more! Further on we saw one of the Limehouse canals, which we visited a few months ago.

Wheatfield at Upminster  Lakeside Shopping Centre lake
When we got to Upminster, we took a bus along the country roads to Lakeside Shopping Centre. It was a very pleasant journey through the countryside with lots of fields of ripe wheat, and interesting farms and villages. We found the lake and walked around part of it, but we didn't find any seats where we could have our sandwiches.

Sculptures  Topiary on roundabout
After looking around the shops in the Centre, we sat down outside on a low wall to have our sandwiches, and wonder about theses mysterious sculptures in the big circle. Only the creator of the display knows what it is all supposed to be! We took the bus back to Upminster and as we left Lakeside I got this photo of the roundabout because I like all the topiary and bushes cut into neat blobs and squares. I wish the bus had slowed down a bit!

21 July

Sunny countryside  Seagull on telephone box
Today we went on a trip to Hastings. I knew we had arrived when I saw this big seagull on the phone box in the town.

Blue Dolphon fish bar  Fish and chip dinner
We went into the Blue Dolphin and had a wonderful dinner of fish and chips. It was very soft and delicious, and my plate was completely empty at the end, apart from a tiny piece of backbone. Most people had cod and chips, but I had huss and chips, which is a type of small shark.

Boating pond  Sweets
We walked along and watched the swan paddle boats on the big pond. I really like seeing the sweets stalls, although I don't eat any of it, I just like all the colours and shapes. We all met up by the ice cream stalls and everyone had an ice cream cone with chocolate stick in, or a chocolate covered ice cream lolly. The sun was hot but the mild sea breeze kept us all from melting too much!

Hastings cliff railway  Hastings miniature train ride
We watched the cliff railway go up and down, and we watched the miniature railway coming and going.

Walkway to sea  Beach and sea
I walked along this walkway and got closer to the sea. There wasn't time to go down to the edge of the sea, as it would have meant a long slow journey over the big pebbles.

Seagulls on fish hut roof  Pebbles laid in wave pattern
All the seagulls were resting on the fish hut roofs, because they know that is where they will get dinners when the fishermen come in and start gutting their fish. These stones along the edge of the flowerbed have been laid in waves likes the sea. We had a lovely day and all the passengers fell asleep on the way back.

23 July

Water jets  Marrow flower
We had a quick visit to Hall Place. The water jets are coming via a long yellow hose from the river and there was a notice up saying the water is not safe to play in. This is a marrow flower, a big yellow trumpet hiding under the big leaves on the ground.

Redcurrants  Whitecurrants
Their fruit garden is very tidy and organised, with long rows of lovely redcurrants and another row of whitecurrants. I can image a lot of lovely currant pies coming from this, and currant jellies and currant everything. I think the garden tea shop must get first pickings of this fruit.

Ornamental crab apples  Sprouted grass seed in bucket
These are crab apples near the entrance, they will be a lovely yellowy orange when ripe, looking like little light bulbs. Back home, we had put some grass seed in a bucket with some damp soil to get it started, but it has all sprouted much more quickly than we expected. It was a solid ball of roots! I had to soak it all in a big tub to get it loose and scatter it over the thin patches of my grass. I then covered it with some soil from the compost heap. I think it will survive OK though.

24 July

Frog on grass
Lots of heavy rain, and Mr Frog went on a jumping journey from bush to bush. He got over the lawn really fast, as it is quite dangerous for him to be out in the open. He made it to the bushes near the pond. I haven't seen any frogs for ages because of the very hot dry weather, so I was very glad to see him still about.

31 July

 
This is the River Cray where it comes out of the tunnel after leaving Priory Pond. It looks very peaceful but behind us is a busy main road. These giant leaves are just over the tunnel outlet, and are obviously home to some very happy and well fed snails. There is lot of leaf missing and I hope they are not giant snails!

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