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Diary 2016 February


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1 February

Seagulls on pond  Ducks on pond
A chilly start to the month. In the park pond these seagulls were all on one side and the ducks all together on the other side. If their legs don't feel the cold, it must be like a warm bath to them.

Daffodils under trees  Daffodil clumps
Nearby the daffodils were nearly all open. They think it's the end of March and they don't know it could get snowy for months yet.

Crow in puddle  Crow on muddy path
In the park the crows were having a good time getting worms from the mud and puddles.

4 February

Dartford coat of arms
We went to Dartford. This is the town coat of arms, Floreat Dartford means May Dartford Flourish. Thursday is market day which is a good day to go and see everything flourishing! We got a big bag of mangos, but they were very soft so we had to cut some up and freeze them.  My favourite part is the lightning zigzags on the top, looking like a Christmas tree, which signifies the Littlebrook Power Station. Very modern! You can read about all the meanings here:

The Paper Moon pub sign  Stone marker
This is a pub at the end of the High Street called the Paper Moon. It has now closed but I  hope the next business is the Paper Moon Cafe or the Paper Moon Restaurant - just so that we can keep the unusual name and the lovely painting, especially as Dartford has had a paper making industry for centuries. In the side alleyway there are two very old marker stones, and I am really glad that they have been left there, as part of the history.


7 February

Crocuses  Hellebores
A chilly day but very sunny, which means all the crocuses open right up. These pink flowers are Christmas Rose, also called Hellebore. They seed round about and grow down the end where not much else grows because it is so dry under the trees.

Goldfish  Pelting rain
The goldfish enjoy the sun which passes over their pond for a few hours. At night we had heavy gale force winds and pelting freezing rain. This is the rain falling past the lamppost, and I had to shut the window really quickly after taking the picture.

10 February

Bracket fungus  Water play area
Today we went shopping in Welling and afterwards took a quick walk through Danson Park. The logs lying alongside the park roadway now have bracket fungus. It reminds me of an owl's feathers. It looks soft but it is quite hard. At last I can get a photo of the playground, and in the summer there are fountains of water on this feature and it gets very crowded.

Daffodil clump with buds  Ha-ha fence at Danson House, Bexleyheath
The woodland part has the daffs coming out as well. I like to check up so I know how soon to come back for the full show. This is Danson House and the ha-ha fence in front of it, with a wall along one side of the trench. The idea is that it can't be seen from the house so the grass looks continuous down to the big lake, but no-one can actually get over it.

Flat trained trees front view  Flat trained trees side view
We went on to Bexleyheath and then on the way home decided to get off at Hall Place Gardens to check out the flower progress. It is interesting to see the train tree branches on their frames in winter. The next picture shows the whole very long row from the side - completely flat!

Hedged enclosure with wallflowers
This enclosed hedged area is full of wallflowers, it will be a real treat when they are all out, because the hedges will mean the perfume doesn't get blown away.

Turf maze  Yellow crocus
This is the turf maze, and the ring walls are full of crocuses. Down the far end of the gardens the patches of crocus were all out as well.

Geese and ducks  Barrow with plants for sale
The ducks and geese like to stay around the cafe area near the weir. The barrow is outside the plant sale area and it looks like summer has also arrived early. It makes you want to buy them all, but we resisted and just took home a photo instead.

11 February

Another day out on the trains and I just love to see all the scenery and buildings. We had the carriage all to ourselves so there was lots of room. Here we are at Waterloo waiting to go.

Surbiton Station is quite smart, in the Art Deco style. In the high street is an interesting pub sign of the Surbiton Flyer steam locomotive.

This is a big mosaic on the side of a building, showing all the history of the area. I like this pub and road sign, it just says "The" and leaves you to know what the second word is by the picture.

12 February

Dino and I had the job of spreading out all these coins, as someone needed a photo of it for something else. Dino likes to see gold and silver treasure glinting in the light!

15 February

This is our regular friendly collared dove  sitting on our greenhouse waiting for a few bits for breakfast. He is wondering whether to brave flying down onto the lawn.

16 February

The collared doves like to sit in a nearby tree at dawn, before coming down to see if there is any food available. It was a frosty morning and the blackbird has found it a good place to look as well.

Today we went to Well Hall Pleasaunce to get out in the sunshine. The moat was all clear, but sometimes it is completely covered in duckweed.

The crocuses were all out, and the sun was shining through these lovely Pampas grass heads.

The crow was finding something in the mud. The wood pigeon was eating some bits of bread some people were throwing to him. The pigeon was walking along very purposefully without stopping, but I couldn't see what he was aiming at. Maybe it was his morning exercise walk!

18 February

On our way to London Bridge, I have been watching the progress of building work. They have removed the old railway arches and track, and are building it all completely new. There are lots of huge piles of rubble and soil, and diggers everywhere. It is next to the waste recovery plant in South Bermondsey.

This is Purley Station and Caterham Station. I think Caterham wins the prize here, as it has more ornate brackets and a hanging basket, although Purley has a more interesting old building. They are both good!

Plenty of time to watch all the countryside. Brown Teddy likes it when the carriage is empty and quiet.

Two different views from the same train window. One is the side of a goods train, with the misshapen metal side of a wagon, as if the rocks inside are bulging out, and the other is much more what I like to see!

Back at London Bridge. We always get on the train at the farther end of the platform, as it is less crowded there.

24 February

Today is another day out. These train station steps with their non-slip pattern always remind me of a piano keyboard. We sat in the quiet zone.

This is the Regents Canal at Jamuna Close. I would like one day to visit this sandy looking labyrinth which on the south side of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

This is an early Easter display in a shop in Upminster, with cute chicks in bonnets and carrots for the Easter Bunny. Outside a real bird was walking around on the pavement, a pied wagtail. They soon fly away if anyone gets near.

27 February

This is Waterloo Station and we are on our way to Hampton Court. When we arrived at Hampton Court, I saw this tree covered in mistletoe.

I like the town of Hampton with its old buildings. This wonderful building is an antiques emporium with all the windows full of interesting things. Here is the war memorial with flowers in the front trough.

We walked up to Molesey Lock, although being a chilly winter day, nothing was happening. This canal boat is very smart looking. It went off somewhere after we had got some pictures.

This is the bridge over the Thames, and I got some good zoomed in pictures of the weir next to the lock, from standing in the centre of the bridge. The weirs look very dangerous.

29 February

A chance to admire my crocuses in the bright sun before we go off to the station. These historic pictures are in Charing Cross underground station.

This is Alexandra Palace in north east London. Everyone calls it Ally Pally. We went into the Palm Court entrance. It was cosy warm inside and very big with huge palms on both sides. There is a small cafe on the right hand side.

The palms just love it in here. I don't think it ever gets cold. It is very Egyptian, as people liked exotic designs when it was built in about 1873. Brown Teddy thought the sphinx looked a strange mixture of person and lion. He said it reminded him of milk chocolate figures!

We got a peek through a door of what used to be the Open Court Area. Through another door window we saw the Great Hall, and the old organ and orchestra area at the far end.

Behind the Palace is a park and a small lake and boats. This pigeon was soaking himself while standing on the ledge. No-one was on the pedal boats.

There are wonderful views from this high hill, although it never really looks much in a photograph. While waiting for the bus, we admired the big window on the centre front of the building.

Here is the magpie that sat behind us while we had our snack on Ally Pally terrace. Back at Victoria tube station, I was pleased to find these tiles showing Queen Victoria as a young lady.




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