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3 July

We went to Alexandra Palace in North London. My favourite part is the Palm House and I never get bored looking at all the tall palms. Maybe it's because it is so much bigger than my greenhouse at home! We went down the slope to look at the flowers and got a good view of the transmitter tower and mast.

There were long strips of wild flowers at the bottom of the slope, with mainly poppies and Californian poppy, and lots of other flowers mixed in. It is much more flowery when you are there, as a photo shows mainly green.

This is the view over London from the middle of the building. There is a very quiet little garden just beyond the transmitter end of the building, with a round pond with fountain and water lilies.

We then took a short bus journey to Priory Park in Hornsey to see Carter's Steam Fair, which we have seen several times before. It was full of people, which is the best way to enjoy it, as all the rides are in full swing, literally. One girl on the Chair-O-Planes is pretending to fly with her arms out.

This black horse on the Gallopers Carousel is called Joby after the man who does all the artwork and lettering on the rides. My favourite of course is the horse called Teddy, and he looks like a fast wild one.

I really like this new ride, with sail boats going gently up and down as they circle round. The children's Octopus is quite gentle as well.

We spent quite a while watching the Dodgems. All the children looking on from the side are waiting for their turn. Another new game, Hook A Fish, picking up fish shapes with a stick.

This planes ride was very fast with loud noises from the pistons that make them go up and down. Yet another new ride, three sets of three cars that circle around each other, as well as circling around the ride. Some people were a bit wobbly as they got off!

6 July

Today we went to the RAF Museum in Colindale for the second time, to continue our exploration of the hangars. This is the Spitfire on the front green area.

We continued where we left off last time, with the helicopters.

There was a display of aerial photographs from long ago, this one was taken on 30 May 1928 of the Crystal Palace in Sydenham, which burnt down 8 years later. I cloud shapes in this stained glass window look quite soft, even though they are hard glass.

Blue Parrot enjoyed all these paintings of airplanes above the landscape. Through this window is a model of what it looks like from the airplane over the sea, with a model sea below with waves and explosions happening.

You can see into this airplane as they have put perspex panels along the sides. Here you can go up some steps and see right inside the cockpit. It is very cramped, with lots of controls, you would have to know where everything was without looking.

This is a model of three airmen who have bailed out into the sea, in their tiny inflatable. Their faces are quite strained looking but the middle man is sending out a carrier pigeon with a message. Here are some of the medals with information on those who earned them. It was very kind of the families to lend them to the museum.

This is high up some steps, to enable a view of everything at once. Brown Teddy said he felt he might be flying low over the other airplanes!

This is a cart that carries the starter handle for an airplane. I am sure it got the job done more quickly and kept people at a distance from the propeller when it started to go round. This shark painted plane is meant to scare, but I think sometimes it might make people more determined to bring it down, if it is attacking them!

We went outside to the next building and passed the first hangar again, looking brilliant silver in the sunlight.

The is the building showing First World War In The Air, with some early biplanes. It used to be the factory where the components were made, as shown in the photo, lots of ladies creating the wood and canvas parts.

This model in the Bomber Hall is covering in knitting. More about this project that encourages people to learn knitting and the pattern for knitting the airplane:

This is a floor display with moving images displayed on it, showing a map and planes circling over the countryside. It is crinkly to resemble a folded map that has just been opened. I could watch this for hours. I wish I could make one and have my own videos on it!

Morse code system letters RAF Museum  Morse code machine RAF Museum
Here is a Morse code sending machine. I love the alphabet idea, which is made up so people can memorise the Morse code that goes with each letter of the alphabet, using thick straight and thin curved lines on the letter to match the dashes and dots of the Morse.

Many of the planes have wooden parts, this propeller is really beautiful in layers of different colour woods.

The Royal Air Force badges all have eagles on, and as we left the museum we passed Eagle Drive. It is next to Harrier Road and near Aerodrome Road. We still have one more hangar to visit next time.

9 July

This is a side of a building in Balham High Street, South London, the artwork looks like a mixture of architecture and circuit board. This pub name is intriguing, but it actually comes from a fictional one in a book, describing the author's idea of a perfect pub. I think it must have started somewhere as a description of the moon seen in a pond.

We went on to Tooting Bec Common to see Carter's Steam Fair.

I just love watching the mechanisms, this one is the Octopus ride. A really simple solution to measuring ride length - an hourglass!

Everything at the fair is covered in interesting paintings, mostly of historical transport, steam trains, canal boats and ships.

Walking around the outside we saw all the trucks and their red and gold paintwork.

At the side of the common, we found this old drinking fountain. We took the bus to Streatham Station and watched these two lost balloons floating along the track. When our train came, I think they were whooshed along at high speed and then floated away somewhere else.

11 July

Very heavy rain, this is my garden path and flower bed drowning under a little river!

12 July

I looked out of the kitchen window and saw this little robin sitting in an old unused flower basked that is hanging on the fence. He is sunning himself. I had to go all the way upstairs for the camera and he was still there when I got back. He is very fluffy.

18 July

This is the part of the garden where we took out the weedy thin grass. It now has flowers and seat. Next year the edges will be lined with wallflowers and sweet williams. The wood pigeon likes to sit and soak in the birdbath with his wing feathers spread out a bit.

This is our favourite flower of the moment, an evening primrose, but unfortunately it seeds absolutely everywhere so we are having to be quite strict about picking off the dead flowers every day. Down the end of the garden where it is quite shady I was very pleased to find the Golden Showers rose in flower and lit up by the sun at an angle.

19 July

We went on a day trip to Hastings. It was a very hot and sunny day. In the car park the front row of cars mostly had gulls sitting on the roofs. This notice is helping to stop them being such a nuisance, but they still find bits of food that people have dropped.

We had a lovely fish and chip dinner in The Mermaid, and then walked down the seafront. Dino was delighted with this photo of cuddly dinosaurs in the amusement arcade.

We sat by the small fairground and had our ice creams.

This is a painting on the end of the recycling container and it is the view you get from the top of East Cliff, with the pier in the distance. Seaside people have to know all about the weather and this board lets visitors know what to expect if they are planning to take a boat out.

I like this map of the things to find around Hastings Old Town, it is hand drawn pictures and paintings of the items. These benches are a good idea because you can face either way and there are holes for flower plantings.

This is the beach under East Cliff. The day was very hot but as we were high up over the beach, we felt the breeze blowing quite strongly, although I think it was not so blowy down below.

21 July

Today our new rose bushes arrived in these rose-covered boxes. They are very healthy and already flowering.

I can't wait to get them all in!

22 July

Today we tried out the new ice cream maker. Dino got the heavy bowl part out of the freezer. We filled it with blended mango pulp and plain yogurt. After about 40 minutes we had ice cream and there was enough for everyone and still some left to put back in the freezer. We ate it with plain scones crumbled on top.

24 July

Another very hot day. This butterfly sat still for his picture but he didn't open his wings. The fish don't mind the hot weather, they enjoy being at the warm sides and lounging about in the blanket weed. We have the air machine going all the time making a big column of rising bubbles, so even when the water is warm, it still has enough oxygen for the fish.

25 July

This pigeon is a regular, although we don't feed him because they tend to multiply. He has white wings and always looks very hopeful and focussed as he marches around looking for anything that the sparrows and blackbirds have missed.

28 July

The flowers on the station are looking good this year. A previous year the trolley was looking tired but someone had made a new box to go on the wheels. As we came up to Whyteleafe South station, I made some video recordings to get the loud diddly-dum sounds of the track, which is quite noticeable just on this stretch.

We like the seats with special table, just right for our snacks. It is usually a sandwich and then a banana.

30 July

We went to Woolwich and watched the ferry for a while. This is the foot tunnel building.

We took the lift down and I am glad it is still the old polished wood and not something modern. We were the only ones in the tunnel until we passed someone about half way.

This is the north side foot tunnel. We went on the DLR railway to Pontoon Dock station which is near the Thames Barrier. I really like the garden there, it is a long trench full of hedges cut in big waves.

The railway signs are very colourful and very clear to read as well.




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