I like this view of our fishpond, I pretend I am creeping up on it
through a woodland and it is a surprise find! The water has to be topped
up in the summer and the fish like to swim through the bubbles from the
We decided to go to Richmond Park today. This is Waterloo Station in
London, with my favourite colourful trains. I like the Shard, it is not
so looming as some of the bigger buildings. It looks like a church
spire, but it is much taller.
In Richmond we found this wall covered in old objects. The hospital will
soon have new railings and they let the person decorate the temporary
fencing. It was very interesting.
Richmond Park is very big, which means it was not at all crowded. Brown
Teddy and I like to read the wildlife notices. Someone had a good time
making the drawing for it and they had to get every animal in somewhere.
There are lots of big open spaces and shady ones as well.
All the trees have an ID tag, so the foresters know which one they have
on their maintenance plan. Blue Parrot was delighted to find this huge
tree with a hole and a hollow middle.
We went to Isabella Plantation which is full of rhododendrons and
azaleas. We missed the display, which happens in May, but we found quite
a few bushes still flowering. The yellow was my favourite. The white one
has flowers bigger than my head. I could wear it as a hat!
This little stream runs through the middle, with lots of weirs and ferns
everywhere. We enjoyed the gurgling noise as we sat by the side and had
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Further on we found Peg's Pond and fed the ducks with a few bits we had
left over. Round the other side is an overflow part which you can stand
There were quite a few of these ornamental ducks, looking very shiny in
the sunlight. I think the duller one must be a female.
To one side is a grassy area where people were having their picnics.
This crow was wandering about looking for scraps and someone threw bits
over their shoulder for him. I think if they had left their plate
unattended, he would have helped himself!
We left the Plantation by this gate and I think it is meant to look like
a peacock feather. This is the gate that leads out to the roads and
traffic, which was quite noisy after all the quiet of the park. We got a
bus to Central London.
Waterloo Station was getting busy and we got our train home just before
the rush hour started.
I looked out of the kitchen window really early and found the storm
clouds had half eaten the sun! The sunbeam came through the hole in the
cloud a few minutes later.
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My first Oriental Poppy has come out today, the casing pops off suddenly
when the sun dries it out in the morning. My seeds are coming up in the
greenhouse and I have moved them from the shady area under the seat to
the sunny corner, so they don't grow too long and thin.
Today we went to Battersea Park in south west London. Here is the old
Battersea Power Station, being made into housing. It's the one that was
always described as looking like an upside down wooden table, with the
four legs up in the air! Victoria Station was decorated with Union Jack
The park is quite big and we went round the lake first. There are lots
of trees and little railings around the lake, so it was a bit
frustrating finding somewhere to get to the water's edge.
As we were standing by the fountain pools, the jets of water came on
suddenly without warning. They got high very quickly and we ran off to
keep the camera dry! We had to admire it all from the far end. You just
can't tell which way the wind will blow all the mist.
This big shrub planter I think must represent flames. I like the bench,
it looks quite comfortable for resting the back of the head, although a
bit hard to sit on for too long.
We left the park and walked along the Thames to the Albert bridge. The
water was at low tide and someone was walking around on the shore with a
This goldfinch has helped me identify a birdsong we keep hearing. He
landed on the telephone wire outside the window and sang the same song.
Later on we dug out the compost bins, the waste plants have turned into
lovely clean soil.
The sparrows having a bath. Soon the starlings arrived, with all their
fighting and shrieking. they left the water very muddy and half gone!
I had forgotten I had this rose, it is Handel and the edges are all
shocking pink with whitish middles. Here is the goldfinch again, showing
his colours better.
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Today we went to Greenwich. This enormous cruise ship is called "Albatros".
It is bigger than the road we live in! We sat in the warm sun and
watched the river traffic. It was mostly the Thames clippers which go
This chain is absolutely enormous, as shown by the size of the pigeon.
These wooden posts are rotting away, I don't think they will last much
We walked further along towards Deptford Creek. This Walk is named after
a ship. The gull had a good warm spot on top of the post.
This is the statue of Peter the Great of Russia who visited in 1698 to
learn shipbuilding. The statue is a bit strange with a big body and tiny
head, but I liked the fancy chair and all its decoration.
I always like to see the Cutty Sark sailing on its sea of glass in deep
blue and I wish I could see it in full sail, preferably a windy day so
they fill out.
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Today we went to see Carter's Steam Fair in Bel Air Park in Dulwich, in
south London. All these fairground rides have been rescued and renovated
and they are all powered by steam engines. I could not take my eyes off
all the lovely paintwork, especially the Gallopers horses. The organ is
steam powered as well.
This is the Chair-O-Planes, with seats on chains. The Jungle Thriller is
an up and down ride which is very noisy and rumbly.
We have never seen these before, the Steam Yachts, two giant boats that
swing up and down. Here is the steam engine in the middle.
This is the Dive Bomber, like airplane cockpits. The individual cockpits
rotate as well, so that the passengers don't end up upside down when
they are the top.
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This is my favourite, called The Octopus. The cars spin round
individually, and the arms go up and down as well as round. There was
also a children's Octopus ride.
Another children's ride. All the rides have portraits of famous people
and here is Queen Victoria on the Gallopers ride.
The Dodgems had lots of good 1950's music, very loud so it can be heard
over the noise of the bumper cars. I like to watch for sparks at the top
of the rods.
This is the smallest of the three Strikers, where you hit the button
with a mallet and try to ring the bell at the top. The Swing Boats are a
bit more peaceful, as they are controlled by the passengers pulling on
the ropes, so mostly they don't go very fast or too high.
All the trucks were vintage ones as well, and this big one has halves of
a galloper at the back and front ends.
We went back to the railway station and passed this New Leaf Educational
Garden. All the faces of people from natural history were painted on the
shop shed - including Charles Darwin and David Attenborough. I think it
needs a little weeding now, and the pond filling up again.
http://new-leaf.org.uk New Leaf
helps people learn nature and gardening skills.
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This is the River Cray passing through Crayford. The pigeons were
all bathing in the shallows at the side but they flew away by the time I
got the camera on that part. Cray means clear and the river is clear all
along its length.
This is Central Park in Dartford. The bedding changes all the time, and
after a while I realised the picture was of the library building which
is almost opposite.
I really like the rose garde, as they have lots of very big and tall
pillars. All the roses were out and this is my favourite, it looks like
a very hot coal fire!
We sat opposite the rose garden and had our snack. This dunnock sat in a
tree nearby and did a lot of singing before flying into the low bushes.
This is Dartford market. It has loads of stuff all very cheap and I like
to look around for garden plants here.
This is Dartford Railway Station, I like this building as it is all blue
and violet, and blends in with the sky.
Here we are at Erith, having our 2nd snack. The river is quite wide here
and so there is a lot of open sky and big spaces. On the right is Erith
Deep Wharf pier in the distance.
We watched the wind turbines in the distance, and the cormorants on the
We walked along to the pier. There is a lot of shallow mud at the edges
at Erith and so they have long slipways to get to boats. The mud is very
deep and dangerous. This plaque tells about the Pilgrim Ferry that was
here 900 years ago.
We walked out onto to Erith Deep Wharf pier and watched the ships go by. I like it
when there is a big ship as it is followed by the big waves coming to
shore. I like to know the names and we have to use the camera zoom as a
Brown Teddy and I shared our last piece of bread with a few pigeons. We
put some crumbs on the low wall and watched to see which ones would
notice it and jump up to get it.
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We took the train to Central London on our way to North London. These
are the lovely roses around St Paul's Cathedral. I am sure St Paul is
very pleased with them!
When we are on the bus, I like to look for unusual names. This is the
Salmon and Ball pub in Bethnal Green. At that time they could catch
salmon in the River Thames, and the ball of wool is a reference to the
cloth merchants who lived here.
We got to Stratford and went into the shopping centre. We were delighted
to find a dinosaurs exhibition with big models. All the children were
having a great time. Lots of peple were putting their head in the
dinosaur's mouth and having their picture taken.
There was a sandpit with a model dinosaur skeleton so the children can
play at finding it. We went on to Ilford. I like this wicker basket with
the flowers in a side street, I think they want everyone to shop as much
Back at Stratford, outside the railway station is an old steam engine
called Robert. I think it wants to be restored and in working order
somewhere with more rails, as it it not used to standing still all the
Once we were back home, there was heavy rain. The fish like it as they
dart around looking for flies that are washed into the pond.
This is the first young robin I have seen this year. He has decided my
garden is a good place to look for dinners, especially as there are lots
of shrubs and corners to investigate, all in quiet and safety.
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We sat in the greenhouse for a bit, although it was getting hotter all
the time. It is a good place to watch the birds walking up and down the
grass, as long as we don't move too quickly.
Just for once I was glad to have some clouds, to keep things a bit cool.
These are my Spartan apples growing. I was not pleased to see there were
lots of woolly aphids all over the tree. The best thing is to blast them
off with the jet setting on the hose. I must keep more of an eye on this
tree in future!
In the park the ducklings are now looking more like ducks and less cute.
The moorhens always nest in this place under the overhanging branches in
the lower pond. I think they build each time on the remains of the old
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We had a day's outing to Morden Hall Park in Surrey. We the train to
Beckenham and then two different trams. The green tram stops right
outside the park entrance at Phipps Bridge.
The park is full of grassy areas and big trees and lots of
criss-crossing paths. This one has obviously been struck by lightning. I
am glad I was not there at the time! This is the River Wandle, which
flows through the park in several different sized streams. It is very
This is just near the waterwheel, and I like this little building right
on the water's edge. The water was making a lot of sound, but the wheel
is not in use and the water goes under it without touching.
We went into the Stable Yard where there is a good second-hand bookshop.
It had lots of wooden box planters full of Californian Poppies. Back
past the mill and into the rose garden, I was really pleased to see a
whole bed full of deep red poppies. I will definitely be getting a seed
packet of them next year for my garden and put them all in one place in
a hot sunny place.
The rose gardens were in full bloom and people were sitting about having
This is an Iceberg rose which I also have at home. It has a good scent.
One of the streams runs through the middle of the rose garden.
Further up the river, Brown Teddy wanted a photo of the whole tall
nubbly tree. This is a picture taken on the panorama setting, with the
camera held sideways. Now the tree looks even taller!
This Mitcham Parish marker is under one of the big trees. Here is an
overflow part, with a stream going off to the right. At the moment the
water is gushing through a low down pipe, but it would be interesting in
winter when the water flows over the top.
Further long we spent some time watching a coot family on their nest,
and sharing our crumbs with some ducklings.
I like this part as it has lots of little streams and little bridges
over the ditches. Finally we came upon the park map, after we had seen
it all! Sometimes you see things on the map that you missed, and I just
don't like to miss anything on my days out. You can see the river splits
up and goes all over the park. The River Wandle gave its name to the
London area called Wandsworth.
Our tram arriving at Phipps Bridge to take us back to Croydon.
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We went to Clissold Park in North London to have another look at
Carter's Steam Fair. I could hardly wait to finish the snack! We wanted
to get more photos and found a new ride that wasn't at the other event,
the Hurricane Jets.
The riders can make the planes go up or down and the hydraulic canisters
hiss very loudly.
My favourite is still the Chair-O-Planes. You can't miss Carter's
vehicles, they are all very brightly painted. I think the painted horse
on top likes to travel around the country, instead of just going round
and round on the ride!
All their lorries are vintage ones, and very clean and smartly painted.
They look like new toys straight out of the box.
We got the train home at Cannon Street, and this is Tower Bridge as we
crossed the Thames.
A better picture of my goldfinch friend who sits on the wire outside the
window to sing.
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