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Diary 2016 November


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1 November

We went through the park on the way to the shops. Some residents are hiding food in the leaves and some are finding food under the leaves, but one is nuts and the other is worms, so they are not in competition!

We can't resist doorways, even though we know exactly what is through them!

2 November

We took a walk along the riverside. This is the man-made channel. The ducks are on the more natural part which joins the channel further down.

It was all very quiet with no-one about. The long shadows made it more interesting.


5 November

We went to the vintage motor show in Regents Street. This is a racing car simulator and the cab was lunging about all over the place. This is an electric car to encourage people to take an interest.

This is a railway charabanc, fine for summer, but chilly in winter, plus if you are zooming along there is even more cold wind in your face. In fact, all the cars are draughty, they come from before a time when the cab was enclosed and with windows.

This is an old rusty vintage car frame, looking too far gone to restore. All the other cars though were in perfect order with smooth paint and shiny brass-work.

Every car was polished to perfection, and you can't miss those enormous headlights and side lamps.

Most of the cars had baskets for luggage and food. I like this basket-weave umbrella holder, although I can't see how you can have an umbrella up whilst on the move. You would probably hold it more in front of you to keep the rain off. This old coach looks a bit more comfortable to travel in, especially with the roof windows, but it might be a rather bumpy suspension compared to what we have now.

This is a vintage truck from a removals firm. The band was playing music that suited the era of the motor cars.

Ted is ready for the journey, well wrapped up against the windy journey. These police motorbikes were very popular with the children who were allowed to sit on them.

I like electric buses, as they run almost silently and very smoothly. I am glad that there are going to be more of them around. On the way home we stopped off at Tottenham Court Road Tube Station to see the newly refurbished vintage mosaics, which we had seen on a television programme a few weeks ago.

It is all very colourful and makes the commute more pleasant for everyone.

In the evening we went to the fireworks display on Blackheath Common in south east London. This is the church and village area where there was some light to see by.

It was very dark walking across the heath and we headed for the bright funfair.

No lack of light here and plenty of noise and music.

The crowd joined in the countdown to the start and then there was about 12 minutes of wonderful fireworks.

Not seagulls flying away, just a slight shake during the slow exposure in the dark!

Patterns and colours warming up the sky

We really enjoyed it all and I am glad we have it all on camera as well to see again. We put some money in the collection buckets to pay for next year's show. Here is our Youtube of it


7 November

We went to the Museum of London today. Outside is this mural commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666.

There are lots of prehistoric exhibits. I was interested in this case of tools such as stone knits and hammers and loom weights. The wooden handles are all modern replica parts. This little knife and a replica woven sheath look very useful to carry around in a prehistoric world when you are gathering food from the countryside.

These are costumes for a Pearly King and a Pearly Princess, which is a costermonger tradition in the East End of London, to raise money for charity.

I think these gold shoes have been to some interesting parties! This room is covered in maps, which is one way to stop a map being just flat, as you can walk right inside it.

This is a photo of a poor child working as a crossing sweeper, they cleared the ground of mud and horse mess so that the wealthy pedestrians could cross over and were paid for it. The second picture is a tactile version of the painting, so that a blind person can enjoy the picture as well.

I like this painting of the River Thames looking towards St Paul's Cathedral, the gulls look just like this when there is something happening on the river. The second painting is wonderfully light and clean looking, the lady has obviously done her laundry on a lovely spring day, put it out on the line and is now finishing of the washing up, before putting her feet up and admiring her beautiful modern kitchen and house. The blue spots are the museum lights, not bits of the paintings.

Outside the museum but within its walls is this small round garden, for special visitors only. Further down the road we saw this old police call box for the use of the public, not now working and only left there for tourists' interest. It was from before people had phones of their own, either in the home or mobiles like we have.

On our way home we went to Piccadilly Circus Station to see the new artwork to commemorate Frank Pick, who designed every aspect of the underground network in the early part of the 20th century, including the roundel that the station names are written on. I am sure he would like it, all smart and clean with a beautiful marble wall behind.

Round the other side, a gift shop company has this wonderful display of giant knitting, something to do with filling up Christmas stockings.

Our tube train came quite soon and we had the whole last section to ourselves, quite unusual but obviously before the rush hour started.


11 November

Today we went to Bexley Village. This is the River Cray coming under the old mill, that went from being a mill to being a pub and it looks now like flats. The Mill Row sign is still there and obviously the Miller's Arms pub continues to keep the milling history alive. The pub sign shows a windmill but we don't have them here and I think it is more likely the water mill ground the flour.

The River Cray continues under the road and away between the houses. Watery signs everywhere, Weir Road and Bourne Road.

We made our way to Hall Place nearby. the bright sunny day meant that there were lots of very beautiful autumn leaves to get photos of.

Everywhere we looked were more photos waiting to be taken.

Here is a repeat picture of the new daffodil bed that I saw last month and how it looks now, all planted and holes filled in. I could just see tufts of grass underneath the netting but it might be the original grass or it might be seeded, or both.

The River Cray runs through the park and this is the overflow channel which has filled up with some shallow water. The Canada geese were drinking it, paddling through it and nibbling the grassy banks.

We wandered around the trees. These fir trees reminded us of Christmas, mine was a bright green and Brown Teddy's one was more bluey.

There must be lots of worms under the leaves as there was a lot of pecking and poking about going on.

I like this new picnic table, someone has taken their inspiration from a spider web. Here is the River Cray about to leave the park and continue its journey to join the River Darent.

At this time of year there always seems to be a branch stuck on the weir. Sometimes it is a big tree trunk, but they always get removed eventually by the gardeners. We left Hall Place and walked up the parkland on Gravel Hill, immediately opposite. This is looking down from the top of the hill along the beech avenue. I think all this will be bare branches next time I go there.


12 November

Today we went up to London. The fog is coming down again. This is the South Bank with all the Christmas stalls.

This building off in the distance has a Remembrance Poppy projected onto the side of it. We are standing just by Blackfriars Bridge on the River Thames waiting for the Lord Mayor's Fireworks display to begin. The fireworks are all contained on a barge on the river.

We arrived early and waited by the railings for quite a time, to make sure we had a good view. The display was about ten minutes long and all the bangs and booms echoed off the tall buildings and the river, which made quite a strange atmosphere. You can see our Youtube video of it

This is Blackfriars Bridge. The illuminations keep changing colour. I am glad we were well wrapped against the cold!


14 November

We went to the garden centre to look at the Christmas decorations. I really like these black cards with firework displays in LED lights, but it looks like you  have to buy at least three to get all the colours! These dragonfly decorations are very sparkly and beautiful. In summer we get big dragonflies around the pond and we have to check the netting to make sure they can get out.

I like this Selfie with an Elfie frame, and they have various props you can use as well. I thought these were owls but with their red fronts they must be robins. The eyes would really upset my garden robins and other birds, so they are definitely an indoor decoration.

The garden centre always has some reindeer at Christmas, and I think they rotate them, so there are different ones at different times, which is better for the reindeer. Here are some straw ones to buy and take home.

16 November

I was trying out the camera on my new phone. The blackbirds will just love these hedgerows around the that line the paths around the motorway underpasses, where they have lots to eat and not many people around to disturb them.

21 November

We went to Hamleys Toy Store in Regents Street in Central London. The whole of the ground floor is full of soft toys, too many to list!

Cuddly vultures waiting for dinner and a battery operated flying cow. We had this flying cow very many years ago and now they have returned to the toy shops.

As the lower ground floor is under ground, the shop has decided to make their own Underground. Just like the one we arrived in!

We were amazed to see Her Majesty The Queen all made of Lego, and her corgi dog. She is wearing a small tiara whilst her crown is in a separate glass case.

More life-size Lego royalty, Catherine, William, Charles and Harry, and a Lego phone box.

I was able to drive Thomas The Tank Engine on the screen and it goes quite slowly. These little drones were being demonstrated around the store. They are about the size of a big dragonfly and have a high-pitched buzz sound.

I like this T Rex Projector and Room Guard, but even better are these Heel Skates that light up with LED lights spinning round. The young man was whizzing around the store on them. I think they would be a bit big on Teddy sized feet though.


After Hamleys, we went on to Natural History Museum. These are the tiles in Kensington Station of a pterosaur and we noticed the fire extinguisher sign was also a dinosaur!

This huge animated dinosaur was swaying and roaring, but I am glad his feet stayed in one place! These two little furry dinosaurs on a podium were doing the same, and I am sure they were on the lookout for lunch. They look quite real when their eyes blink!

The whole building is covered in animal designs, they look like sand sculptures as that is the colour of the stone. These dinosaurs eggs are hatching, soon they will be running around the museum and growing from chicks into monsters!

This is the marine section with whale and dolphin models swimming through the air.

I liked this teeshirt in the shop. This horned backpack would not go down too well in a crowded train!

Next we went to the Sky Garden for another visit, this time at night. This is the main hall and the open air viewing terrace.

This is looking east with the river to the left. The Shard is directly in the middle looking south and immediately below it is London Bridge railway station.


26 November

We went to the Christmas Festival at Petts Wood, lots of noisy rides and crowds.

More rides and people walking about eating sweets and hamburgers.

We watched the firework display from the railway bridge.


28 November

Another visit to the Sky Garden. We have made one summer daytime visit and one night-time visit. This was going to be a sunset visit. By the time we had queued and gone through security and up the lift, the sun had gone down, but it was still different enough from the others, with a multicoloured sky. We got a range of photos, from fading daylight to full night-time.

The palm fronds are lit up under the night sky. In the distance we could see rows of lights rising up, which are the airplanes taking off from Heathrow Airport to the west. In the foreground are two rides at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where we will be going next. It is a long way off, as this is a zoomed in photo.

After that we caught a No.15 bus to go Hyde Park. We were very happy when we saw it was one of the old Routemasters again, which is kept going for the tourists, but we had to change to another bus at Charing Cross to finish the journey.

Here is Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This is one of the streets of stalls selling food, sweets and souvenirs.

This stall had lots of wonderful snow globes. The chocolate hearts looked very tempting but we had brought our own chocolate biscuits with us, so we were not starving!

This is the Bavarian village selling food and drink, with lots of wooden seating areas. I like this hut with a pan containing a log fire. People sit around and get the warmth from the flames, depending on which way the air is wafting.

The shape of these illuminated arches reminds me of the Crystal Palace. It is a lot brighter in real life than in the photograph.

The ferris wheel keeps changing colours with flashing patterns going from the middle outwards. This stall was demonstrating smoke filled bubbles, which showed up really well against the night sky. Lots of children were jumping around trying to catch and burst them.

The rollercoaster was very noisy, as the train looped the loop four times on the different coloured ones. There was a long queue for the ride.

Lat of all we watched the skating which is round the bandstand. It is the biggest skating rink in London, and is ideal being a circle, as that is how skaters go anyway.



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