We took a trip to South Quay which is near Canary Wharf. We all had our
picture taken against this mirrored place name plaque. We went to see the
Colombian flagship "Gloria" which was having an open day.
We went on board at the far end and were greeted by the very smart and
polite seamen and officers. In the middle of the deck is a plaque
showing the ship in full sail on the sea.
We were able to walk over the entire deck and see everything. There were
lots of ropes all tied in amazing neat patterns. Every rope hook had its
name in Spanish on a marker next to it.
There was lots of brasswork everywhere. The poem on the plaque was in
Spanish and in a handwriting style, so we could not read it. My
favourite was this lovely shiny bell with a colourful tassell on the
We then walked around South Quay. These pigeons have found the ropes are
a very convenient way of getting down to the water for a drink. I like
all the water landscape of the docks but I am not so sure about the big
We still had some time to spare so we went back to the Docklands Museum
for another look. All this equipment is for shipbuilding and making and
repairing things. I think the past owners would be amused to see it all
in a very quiet museum.
Brown Teddy really liked this model of Becton Gasworks. The water is the
best bit, as it has a tiny bobbly pattern on the surface, like real
waves. The artist has made this warehouse fire painting very lifelike,
very hot and smoky, and full of noise and action.
This is a machine for cutting metal, we spent some time looking around
it to work out how it operated. This painting of a rich merchant sitting
in his best drawing room had a wonderful carpet full of flowers and
roses, another very good artist has made it look very real.
Outside the museum, this is the Docklands Light Railway train going
towards the right and into Canary Wharf Station. We walked across the
floating bridge and between the big buildings. This restaurant and
eating area was full of clocks, so the workers would not be late back.
Maybe they can eat more relaxed when they know how much longer they have
left of their lunch hour!
There is a lovely green park between the buildings. These are Redwood
trees which I think the developers are hoping will grow as tall as the
buildings. They do a good job of blocking out the buildings when you are
sitting in the park and I think in the offices they have a good view
down onto them as well. In the park are lots of raised ponds with
This is a food kiosk that folds up like an origami umbrella. When it is
closed, I think people passing through would wonder whether it was a
sculpture. We took the train home and changed at Hither Green Station.
We had a few minutes before our next train, so we quickly found the foot
tunnel where there is a marker where the Meridian Line runs through.
TOP OF PAGE
Today we went to see Tower Beach which is just by the Tower of London.
The Beefeater was giving very animated talks to the crowds. I like to
get pictures of wind vanes and this one is the same as a royal flag or standard.
This is the notice board showing the beach in use in 1952. It was first
created in 1934 by bringing in loads of sand. There is still a little
bit of sand left all these years later.
The granite steps are steep and were still a bit slippery and wet. The
beach is now full of stones and broken brick. This picture shows old
animal bones, probably from farm animals.
Bits of pottery are the most noticeable because of the colours. We
decided to just take photos and not pick up bits to take home, because
they would only end up in a drawer and get forgotten in time.
The other side of Tower Bridge is this huge sundial. I like the circular
edging because it is full of pictures, and especially this part which
shows the Thames Barrier at Charlton. The wavy water lines are fun as
In the afternoon we went to Camberwell Bus Station for their Open Day.
Every type of red bus was there, from very old to very modern.
I like this London Transport badge on the radiator grille. Inside the
bus station shed were lots of tables selling models, badges, books and
other things that collectors like.
TOP OF PAGE
This morning we moved the compost bins and contents out of their corner,
which has always been a bit messy. We are not going to have them any
more, as it is a lot of working digging them out and putting back the
unfinished bits. In the afternoon we went up London by train and this
rack of flower boxes on the station was giving me some good ideas for my
This wonderful gold fish is on top of the Billingsgate fish market. On
top of the former fish maket building are lots of fishy creatures, that look more like
The top of the wrought iron gates over the doors and windows were full
of these fish patterns. On the riverside we found several old cranes
that have been left as a reminder of the river industries of the past.
We watched the Colombian flagship come in, which we had been on a few
days ago. There was loud music and 60 of the sailors were standing on
the beams waving white cloths. As the light faded, we saw they all had
lamps attached to their waists. We enjoyed about half an hour of lively
Colombian music coming from the ship.
We stayed until sunset. Here is another wind vane showing an old Thames
TOP OF PAGE
Another visit today to the Thames. This is St Katharine dock and we were
just in time to see the bridge opened. There were some visiting sailing
ships moored in the dock.
We walked back to Tower Bridge. This fountain and sculpture is called
Girl With Dolphin and they are both swimming underwater. Nearby is this
Next to the fountain I saw these two pigeons sitting around. The lying
down one is not injured, he was just lounging in the puddle and lifting
his wings one at a time to get a bath from the spray from the fountain.
There was not really enough water for a proper bath. These seats near
the bridge are very watery looking, just right for being by the river.
We had come to see the Queen's Salute, as today she became the longest
reigning monarch. Here is an orchestra getting ready on the Queen's ship
Havengore. Eventually the drawbridge rose to let the ships through.
This is the Queen's row barge Gloriana, full of the best oarsmen and
lots of dignitaries. Other boats followed on behind. This swan was even
more elegant than the row barge, gliding along without any effort that
we could see!
Well, I have moved the compost bins out and dug out the area where they
used to be. We now have loads of bags of soil to find a home for, but I
have some ideas for using it around the garden. The bin area is now
turning into a paved area where I can have some pots of geraniums. It's
a long way from the water tap to the end of the garden here, but
geraniums can survive being a bit dry between waterings.
A lovely bright sunny day, which always makes me feel hopeful. It turned
out well as my new garden waste wheelie bin arrived, so I can send off
the contents of my old compost bins to be recycled properly. The Council
compost is used on farms to improve the soil.
TOP OF PAGE
The new apples trees I planted this time last year are doing very well.
I have allowed them to have two apples each. The first one is Queen Cox,
and the other one is Royal Gala. The apples are a very good size
considering the small size of the trees. It's going to get better every
Today we decided to visit Hampton Court. At Victoria we caught my
favourite red trains. At Hampton Court Station they have a row of
wonderful wheelbarrows full of plants.
This is the River Thames at Hampton Court, it is a very green and
We watched the boats going into the lock and saw the lock gates opening
The water fills up or goes down very quickly and you can see the level
changing quite easily. After a while we walked back to Hampton Court
TOP OF PAGE
We had a good time walking around the gardens. This is the rose garden,
surrounded by a high brick wall.
All the roses are lovely old-fashioned ones, with full middles, there
are no modern ones.
There are lots of statues around, and I like this Royal Dragon by the
entrance. Even on the roof there are creatures everywhere you look.
I think the best bit of the building is these patterned chimney stacks.
The knitting pattern on the corner tower is quite good as well!
We still had some time so we walked back to the locks again. We went a
bit further and saw the weir, although the best view must be from the
other side of the river where there is no public path that we could see.
It was quite exciting watching the churning water coming from under the
lock gates, as the lock-keeper let the water out.
We went back to Waterloo Station and I like to be on the upper level and
watch all the people walking about. This is the glassy side of a
building we saw from London Bridge Station, with the cumulus clouds all
split up into different panes.
Back home, I remembered we had not finished off the chocolates, so that
made a very good end to the day. My favourite was the one done up like a
present with a ribbon round it.
TOP OF PAGE
This is the river at Greenwich with the paddle steamer Dixie Queen going past. We then
went on to New Cross.
This is Surrey Canal Road, there is no canal now only a low down road,
but right by this bridge there is still a big stone bollard where the
canal boats tied up in the past.
This is what we came to see, the Open House London Day at the SELCHP
energy recovery facility. We were shown a short safety film in a little
marquee, then given our hi-viz jackets, hard hats and safety glasses, as
well as a goody bag. We followed the arrows around our route.
It's all very interesting but a complete mystery to me what all these
pipes are doing. There were plenty of employees standing around the
route, to answer questions. They were all very informative and helpful.
I think they really enjoy their jobs.
After walking around up and down steps and seeing all the pipes, we
ended up in the control room with all the computer monitors. Through
this window we could see the giant grab picking up the waste to go on
the conveyor belt through to the boiler for incineration.
Down another corridor were two diagrams, one was a humorous one and the
other a real one, showing how it all works.
Along some more walkways and we could feel the warmth increasing a bit.
Then went down some steps and came to the bottom back end of the boiler,
with several tiny windows. You have to pull a lever to open the metal
hatch, and then you can see the fires through the glass. The flames
were very fierce, bright and roaring. The heat is used to make steam to
drive the turbine, which makes the electricity. The waste bits
are then jogged along some conveyors very slowly. All of it keeps going
day and night all the time.
The jogged along waste falls through a hole in the wall into some big
deep pits on the other side. There were big piles of different types and
sizes of ash and debris. Some of it is bits of metal that can be
recycled, and the ash is used for road construction. Brown Teddy was
surprised there were no clouds of ash dust to be seen, but it does fall
out very slowly in small amounts.
Finally we went through this alleyway and came to the Tour End notice
board and then we walked back to the start point and handed back our
gear. It was a relief to get out into the sunlight, blue sky and green
Here is the goody bag and contents - some literature, a mug, a pen and a
wheelie bin pencil sharpener (my favourite). I am going to use all these
to tidy up my stationery cupboard. Now I am at home in the quiet, I can
read properly how it all works and then look back at my photos to see it
in action. What an interesting day it has been, but I think my next
day out is more likely to be some beautiful gardens and not another ashpit!
I picked the apples off my new trees that I put in last year. In the
first year it is best to only let two apples grow, and I saw the
squirrel making towards one of my new ones! I rushed out and picked them
before he got his teeth in and spoiled them. I then laid them all out on
dinner plates with their name, and took photos.
The garden is doing really well for berries now and the pyracantha
bushes are getting to a good size. I think this might be called a weed,
but I really like these evening primrose plants. They seed everywhere so
I only have to pull out the ones that are in the wrong places and leave
The passion flowers have been good as well, and I have been putting
several of them around the garden to cover the fences. I just love these
passion flower fruits hanging down like giant Christmas lights. If the
fruits are left laying around, I will find new plants popping up in the
most unlikely places!
We took a trip to Erith Deep Wharf which is on the Thames. The floodgate
house roof was full of pigeons and I think there are a few too many! The
River Thames is very wide here and the day was sunny with lots of
cumulus clouds in rows. As long as the sun was out it was quite
pleasant. The pier is long and turns a corner when it gets out into the
river. The tide was up.
There were lots of cormorants sitting around on the buoys. They have to
dry out in between fishing dives.
The tide was on the way out and we saw lots of rafts of seaweed floating
back down river. This seaweed had obviously come in to collect some wood
and was taking it back home! I like this white pigeon, and I think just
a few of different colours would be quite nice here, rather than the big
crowd of them that are making a bit of a mess.
We went to the boot sale on the farm very early. It is always misty over
the fields and I can often get some really good pictures at this time of
Then we went up to London to see the sheep being driven across London
Bridge. It is a tradition carried on by the Worshipful Company of
Woolmen. All the members were wearing red or black robes and hats and
there were a lot of photo shoots going on.
The sheep were very well behaved and didn't mind the traffic passing by
at all. One nearly had a nibble of the camera case but we stepped back
We then walked towards the Guildhall area. This is the plaque in the
underpass and you can learn a lot of history if you read all the signs
in these hidden places. The security mirror is very good for getting a
selfie photo as well!
This lovely golden owl is above the clock on the House of Fraser store
building, near Monument Tube Station. I wonder what he is thinking?
"Better to fly about than get stuck in traffic!" This phoenix is above a
doorway in King William Street, looking rather fierce.
This statue is right behind the bus, but I think he has decided to get a
ride on the roof just for a change! We passed St Mary Woolnoth church
which reminded me of the sheep we had just seen on the bridge, but its
name comes from someone living in the 11th century.
We came to see the Pearly Kings and Queens event. While we were waiting
for everything to begin, we stood by the organ and heard lots of our
favourite tunes being played. The music is stored on long lengths of
punched card and we saw the man inside putting new cards through for
Every time a photographer took photos, we were at the back taking
pictures as well! The lady in black is being Queen Victoria and there
are two Chelsea Pensioners in their red coats. In the big square, all
the pearlies walked around and these two lovely ladies are my
favourites. Their coats have lots of other badges as well making them
This man is being Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the people around at the
Mayors and Mayoresses. More photo shoots with the dancers, mayoresses
The dancers called out the mayors and got them to go round the maypole
and do the dance, but it was a bit slow as they are mostly older people.
The Chingford Morris Men danced with their kerchiefs and later on with
their Morris sticks. I think they have a lot more energy!
After that came the Pandemonium Drummers and their drums are upturned
black plastic buckets. It was very loud and the vibrations came up
through our feet as well as our ears. They are dressed to represent the
poorer working people of the Victorian times. The building at the back
is the Guildhall Library and the structure over the entrance is meant to
be an open book.
Then came the marching bands and we all really enjoyed the music. They
must have spent many hours and weeks training and it was a really good
At the end all the bands and cadets marched out of the arena, then
donkey shays came through. All the people and vehicles then made their
way to the church for the service.
We went back down Princes Street past the Bank of England and noticed
this golden status on the domed roof. It is a reminder of all the gold
bars stored in the vaults underneath! This plaque is further down
Princes Street to remind people of the history.
I got up at about 3.30 in the morning to see the blood moon, or
supermoon. It was a tiny dot and it was rather difficult to keep the
camera still when it was zoomed in so much. But we got lots of pictures
of the red moon.
Here is the moon the next night for comparison, as it normally appears
when it is full.
TOP OF PAGE