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Diary 2017 December


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1 December

This Nativity scene is outside a church in Upminster, it looks perfectly weatherproof but I would like to paint it some colours!

2 December

I like this little forest at Cannon Street Station in Central London. There are deer and animals walking through the forest. We went on to Clapham Common. The old cattle drinking troughs that remain are often used for plants.

We went to Winterville on Clapham Common. I think it needed a bit of snowfall to make it more wintery!

This is the station at Clapham, a very very narrow platform with tracks both sides, a bit of a fright in rush hour. We stood at the top of the stairs until our train was coming. These pyramid-shaped trees (plastic) are outside the pyramid-shaped Shard building.

3 December

We went to see the first Santa Dash in Priory Park. They did lots of warm-up exercises to music and then a group photo with a Mexican wave

They ran all round the park, then off down the High Street and ended up in the market square. There was a lot of mizzle towards the end but it did not put anyone off.


6 December

This is Cleopatra's Needle on Embankment in London, it is 3,500 years old. It is guarded by two Victorian sphinxes.

Here is Big Ben covered in scaffolding. It's real name is Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben is the largest bell of the set. We saw the Christmas lights in The Strand and will come back another day to see all the Christmas street lights in London.

We went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We spent ages going round as it is so big.

I liked this new ride, a giant lit Christmas tree with bauble seats on the bottom branches. This tower has Nativity figures on each floor, going round slowly, quite a contrast to the noisy rides.

My favourite is the double-decker carousel, with wonderful animals to ride on, dragon, tiger, killer whale and this huge eagle, and more upstairs. These animal legs are seats outside one of the snack bar tents, I wish there had been people sitting on them!

A very fast and noisy switchback, rather them than me though. There were mountains of sweets. The best are the fried egg shaped ones, but none of us were keen on the wiggly worm ones.

The Ferris wheel has lights that chase and change colour.

Lastly we watched the skating for a while. It is the biggest ice rink in London at Christmas, and the only circular one.


10 December

Proper snow at last and it makes the robin even more obvious outside the kitchen window. He always gets some bird pellets when we see him. This is the net over the pond, it is usually invisible.

It was a cold wait on the station platform but the carriages do have heaters down by the feet. In Greenwich Park people had brought their sledges.

We came to see the Pantomime Horse Race. They have a series of short races between the local pubs. Here they are arriving at the start line. The real police horses were much more well-behaved.

It started to snow but they just kept on. Here are the musicians walking on behind the horses.


14 December

We went to the Bluewater Shopping Centre. The theme for the decorations was the Twelve Days of Christmas. All these look like card cut-outs, but I think it must be something stronger than just card. Fortunately the shopping mall is a giant triangle, so you end up at the start again, without having to walk all the way back!

The trees in the shop window are made of bottles and the globes are made of corks. I like this 24-hour world clock, but I did feel I wanted to colour it all in!

This clothes shop had a window full of old sewing machines. If it makes people think about sewing, they might make their own clothes and not buy them in the shop. We saw the ice skating rink, but it was not crowded at that time of day.


15 December

Today we went to the Christmas Tree Festival in Erith. The big fir tree outside was decorated, so we knew it would be a taste of things to come.

It was just as beautiful as last year, and soft carol music was playing all the time.

Here are some of my favourites. This tree reminded me to make some paper chain decorations this year. The next one was full of white butterflies and other white decorations.

These two were the most glowing ones, and the second one looks like a fireworks display, with trails going up into the sky and a starburst at the top end.


16 December

The sunlight is bouncing off the bevelled edge of the wardrobe mirrors in the nearby bedroom, a much better display than the lights during the day but it will soon disappear.

18 December

We made another visit to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park in Central London. All the hired boots are blue, so when we see white skate boots, we know they belong to the person and start to expect some more expert skating! One person had LED lights on his skates. It would have been wonderful if everyone had illuminated skates.

This popcorn booth is shaped as a giant popcorn bag with the contents piled up. I wonder if anyone posted anything in the Santa Postbox. I hope it was not just litter that went in! Santa will know who did it!

Afterwards we came back through Trafalgar Square. There were carol singers under the big tree, and near Nelson's column was the giant glass case with the spotlit wooden Nativity figures.

The sheep is very thoughtful, and the donkey seems to be contemplating something else as well, maybe he is just glad to have a rest after carrying Mary from her home to Bethlehem.


19 December

A glowing sunset, and when it had gone, my lights at the window took over until bedtime.

22 December

We went to the Croydon Winter Festival funfair at Ashburton Park. Here families are queuing to see Santa.

The whole grassy area is covered in this thick tough mesh material, but watery mud was seeping up in places. No rain is forecast so I think it will hold up quite well for the remainder of the Christmas season.

Lots of loud Christmas music, bumps and happy screams going on.

This is the Runaway Train roller coaster, a lot more screams here, and being a fairly short ride, the train goes round twice. I prefer these swans and other characters, which can be made to fly upwards.


23 December

I made a Christmas card for friends with a photo of my Christmas tree, a holly border and a handwritten greeting. I also used this photo of my robin sitting outside my kitchen window when we had some snow a few weeks back.

I stick our Christmas cards on the wall around the mirror, and this is my favourite, birds at a snowy bird table, and another with a selection of traditional special occasion biscuits that we wish we could eat today.

My favourite decorations on the tree are the plastic icicles, as they reflect everything and seem to glow, and the robins on top of the mirror, which is surrounded by green tinsel. There are about ten robins sitting amongst the holly and mistletoe sprigs, and one white dove in the middle.

24 December

Every year we watch the Norad Track Santa page, here he is somewhere near Latvia.




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