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Diary 2015 September


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4 September

Mirrored placename plaque at South Quay  Colombian ship "Gloria" in South Quay
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.

Colombian ship "Gloria"  Colombian ship "Gloria"
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.

Colombian ship "Gloria"  Colombian ship "Gloria"
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.

Colombian ship "Gloria"  Colombian ship "Gloria"
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 ringer.

Pigeons on rope drinking from the docks water  South Quay docks
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 buildings!

Ship building equipment  Blacksmithing equipment
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.

Model of Becton Gasworks  Painting of a fire in warehouses
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.

Metal cutting machine  Painting of carpet pattern
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.

West India Quay  Canary Wharf
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!

Canary Wharf redwood trees park  Canary Wharf park ponds and fountains
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 fountains.

Folding origami kiosk  Hither Green Station Meridian Line
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.


5 September

Tower of London  Tower of London wind vane
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.

Tower Beach noticeboard showing 1952  Tower Beach
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.

Tower Beach granite steps  Beach stones
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.

Piece of pottery  Piece of brick and pottery
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.

Giant sundial  Edge of sundial showing Thames Barrier
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 well.

Very old bus  Routemaster buses
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.

London Transport badge  Model buses
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.


6 September

Compost bin  Flower boxes on railway station
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 garden.

Billingsgate wind vane  Old Billingsgate fish market building
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 dolphin faces.

Old Billingsgate fish market building  Crane
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.

Colombian flagship Gloria  Men standing on beams of sailing ship
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.

Sailing vessel wind vane  Sunset over the Thames
We stayed until sunset. Here is another wind vane showing an old Thames sailing vessel.


9 September

St Katharine Dock bridge rising  Sailing ship in St Katharine Dock
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.

Girl With Dolphine sculpture  Giant sundial
We walked back to Tower Bridge. This fountain and sculpture is called Girl With Dolphin and they are both swimming underwater. Nearby is this huge sundial.

Pigeons bathing  Riverside seats with blue watery pattern
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.

Orchestra on the ship Havengore  Tower Bridge opening
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.

Queen's row barge Gloriana  Swan
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!

11 September

Bags of soil  New paving
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.

14 September

Sunny sky  New garden waste wheelie bin
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.


18 September

Queen Cox apples  Royal Gala apple
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 year!

19 September

Red train  Wheelbarrow of flowers
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.

Thames view at Hampton Court
This is the River Thames at Hampton Court, it is a very green and pleasant area.

Lock  Lock gates
We watched the boats going into the lock and saw the lock gates opening and closing.

Lock  Hampton Court Palace
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 Palace.


Walled rose garden
We had a good time walking around the gardens. This is the rose garden, surrounded by a high brick wall.

Yellow rose  Deep pink roses  Pale pink rose
All the roses are lovely old-fashioned ones, with full middles, there are no modern ones.

royal Dragon statue  Creature statues on roof line
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.

Decorative brickwork chimney stacks  Decorative brickwork pattern on corner tower
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!

Big weir  Swirling water as lock gate opens
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.

Waterloo Station  Glass building reflecting sky and clouds
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.

Box of chocolates
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.


20 September

Paddle steamer Dixie Queen at Greenwich  Docklands Light Railway at New Cross
This is the river at Greenwich with the paddle steamer Dixie Queen going past. We then went on to New Cross.

Surrey Canal Road  Bollard on Surrey Canal Road for tying up canal boats
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.

Chimney  Open House notice
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.

Inside the facility
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.

Control room  Big grab moving the waste
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.

Humorous diagram  Real diagram
Down another corridor were two diagrams, one was a humorous one and the other a real one, showing how it all works.

Boiler  Waste conveyors
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.

First ashpit  Second ashpit
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.

Alleyway  Hat and hi-vis jacket
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 trees!

Goody bag items  Literature on the facility
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!

22 September

Apples on tray  Egremont Russet apples
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.

25 September

Pyracantha  Evening primrose
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 others.

Passion flower  Passion flower fruits
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!

26 September

Erith Deep Wharf  Thames at Erith Deep Wharf
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.

Cormorants  Cormorants
There were lots of cormorants sitting around on the buoys. They have to dry out in between fishing dives.

Raft of seaweed  White pigeon
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.

27 September

Misty fields
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 year.

London Bridge sheep drive  London Bridge sheep drive
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.

London Bridge sheep drive  London Bridge sheep drive
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 in time!

Subway plaque  Subway mirror
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!

Golden owl  Golden phoenix
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.

Statue and London bus  St Mary Woolnoth church notice board
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.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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 each tune.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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 very colourful.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
This man is being Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the people around at the Mayors and Mayoresses. More photo shoots with the dancers, mayoresses and cadets.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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!

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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 show.

Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall  Pearly Kings and Queens event, Guildhall
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.

Bank of England statue  Notice on Bank of England building
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.

28 September

Blood moon 28 September - 1  Blood moon 28 September - 2
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.

29 September

Full moon
Here is the moon the next night for comparison, as it normally appears when it is full.




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