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Diary 2017 October


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2 October

Today we are by the river at Kew. Through this key-shaped hole in the stone you can see another stone that fits in it and on top of that is carved the explanation - the name Kew means key shaped spur of land.

We are walking from Kew to Chiswick. A river island is called an ait or eyot, there are quite a few of them that we have passed on our previous river walks.

This is the railway bridge. The girders underneath are curved, making it look like it is sagging!

Brown Teddy is glad he had an early night, with all these long paths to walk along. We came to a open area with wide steps down to the river, for the row boats to be launched from.

This is a very nice area to live in but there are planes coming in to land at Heathrow all the time. At last we reached Chiswick Bridge.

Then we went on to Chiswick House and Gardens. In the playground are these sphinxes you can ride on. We went on to the Italian garden.

We sat by the long glasshouse. This is the view we had while we ate our sandwiches.

I really like this greenhouse, very long and bright with heating pipes going along. It is full of ancient camellia plants. Brown Teddy usually thinks of grass in pots as weeds, but these blue ones are very decorative against the other greens.

There are lots of statues around the garden, and several sphinxes. By this sphinx we lost a crews from the sunglasses. This lion is saying, "O no, it's too small to find in the grass" and he was right. It will be there in the mud forever now. Don't worry, lion, our optician is good at mending them.

With the bend in the river, we were still quite near Richmond so we took a bus back to there and walked by the river.

Some of the pigeons were walking around in the riverside mud, and we wondered what they were finding to eat. This snoozing pigeon is full of crumbs from the visitors sandwiches, and lots of other pigeons were lazing around like this, on the warm paving stones. We wondered how close we could creep up to him, it was about 4 foot before he shifted himself!


3 October

Woody is enjoying the early morning wet grass and warm sunshine. We went shopping and the autumn leaves have decided to only stick to the black stripes on this new crossing, they must be made of different stuff or they are rougher.

4 October

We are still on the lookout for autumn colour. This is Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham. Last time I seem to remember the shield was a dull green, but now painted. The gardeners were tidying up the rose beds.

Brown Teddy found this brilliant red leaved bush. The crab apples were a sunny yellow in the old orchard area, which is now a rose and fruit tree area with seats.

From a distance these looked like daffodils, but no, something else I don't know the name of. The sun dial says just gone 10 o'clock.

4 October

Today we have been clearing up the garden. There are still some apples on the Spartan tree.


6 October

We went to Morden Hall Park which has the river Wandle flowing through it, I think that must be why there is a fish on the wind vane.

This bike stand is a great idea, a heavy plant pot with large handles that you can tie a bike to. This stream going through the rose garden is my favourite part and there are two crossings like this, if you don't mind wet toes.

In the steam we saw lots of shoals of tiddlers, and they went diving after the tiny crumbs we threw in.

This is part of the river before it gets to the mill and weir. This grey wagtail is right at home with so much river and muddy banks around.

8 October

I like to sweep all the leaves at the end of the garden onto the soil, so the birds have somewhere to poke around in when the ground is frozen. A kind friend gave us a load of pansies and I have put them in two big pots with lots of crocus bulbs underneath.

The apples are thinning out now, and I have a tray of the ones we have to eat next. There are Spartan apples, Conference pear, and the four big ones are Bon Chretien pears. One of them has already gone yellowish and getting soft.


9 October

We walked through the park and the geese decided to march towards us in the hopes of some food. The lawns are looking smart with stripes and no leaves.

12 October

Promising to be a fine day - we hope.

The sun came out as expected and I found three wood pigeons all trying to share the bird bath, as well as two others walking about on the lawn looking for crumbs. The blackbird has his own private shallower bath by the fence. The water gets fluffy and dusty after all that.

14 October

We went to Purley for some shopping. We saw these lovely paintings by local school children in the subway in the railway station, showing all the main landmarks of the town.

On the way home we went to Caterham Station. This window seems to be a load of lost property and lost toys.


15 October

Today we are walking from Chiswick to Hammersmith. Here we are leaving Waterloo Station once again. There are lots of workmen about, as there is a lot of engineering working going on, and these ones seem to be having an early morning tea break and getting their orders for the day.

This is Chiswick Bridge. This piece of tree has grown completely around the wire fencing.

Lots of people were out in their canoes, having a great time on a Sunday morning.

The riverside path is quiet and green, with no traffic. Another tree growing around the metal parts of the fence.

At intervals are little sets of steep steps, so anyone can get off the river. Brown Teddy said they were interesting but not really safe for us to go down.

This is a launchign area for the boats. I like the little boot wiping arrangement with bits of broom heads. Barnes Bridge is in the distance.

This is Barnes Bridge, with several lines of railway track and a walkway. The river here is quite wide.

Blue Parrot found more of the little steep steps. Brown Teddy noticed the bracket fungus at the base of this tree, we thought it probably meant the tree is not going to last much longer.

Wow, this ginormous humongous tree next to the riverside path has come down, it is at least two metres across the base. What a noise it must have made, and the torn wood looks quite fresh. It must have come down during this spring or summer, as the branches were full of dead brown leaves.

Finally we came to Hammersmith. This is Hammersmith Bridge which we will go over to get to our station.

It is covered in ornament.

The bolts are the biggest I have ever seen. What must the spanner have looked like!

There were pigeons in one of the towers, what a safe and cosy place for them at night. On the station this lovely white one was strutting around.

This is the entrance to Hammersmith Station, it shows the bridge as a reflection in the water.

This is Charing Cross Station, from where we travel home. Blue Parrot and all of us like our oat biscuits on the train home, to keep us going until tea time. You definitely need to bring a bottle of water with dry oat biscuits.


16 October

This is Waterloo Station, not cannons but the buffers at the end of the track. We went to Kingston and the bus station. We had the bus to ourselves until we came to the next stop in the high street where it was very busy and crowded. It was an hour's bus ride to Box Hill just before the town of Dorking.

Here we are at Box Hill again. This time we decided to take the steps up the hill. Dino likes being up high, and he is looking to see if there are any dinosaurs roaming the countryside and eating the trees.

The remains of storm Ophelia meant it was quite windy and the sky orange coloured from the dust. Blue Parrot was very impatient to get over the stile and see what was down that path.

We eventually got to the picnic area. Dino likes his soft cheese sandwiches and he needs a bit more than us as he is quite big. As the weather was windy, there was no-one at the viewing platform, so we all got our photos taken in front of the panorama.

Brown Teddy is looking towards Leith Hill in the distance and Blue Parrot is looking towards the town of Dorking nearby.

Back in the picnic area, this tree trunk is marked up with the events in its history, it was planted in 1813. Dino says this tree might be even older but this one will fade away and disappear. He is sure it was probably eaten and then trodden on by a passing dinosaur which is why there is not much left.

Blue Parrot just loves the wind and here he is trying his wings. But he sensibly kept his feet clenched and stayed with us and not up in the sky! We went back down the hill, it is very steep towards the bottom, you have to look at your feet rather than the views.

The sky got darker with the storm clouds and dust, and on the bus home we went under trees and it looked like night, although later we came out into daylight again.

17 October

The weather is cooling now but the fish are still eating. When it is really cold they will not each much at all, and nothing when it freezes, as they can't digest when it is cold.

I nearly missed this lovely rose, as the garden is closing down for winter. These are the last apples on the last tree, and we will eat them all, even the very tiny ones.

The winter jasmine is out but I was hoping it would wait until January to brighten up that month, and here is aubrietia and primrose, a little early as well.

We went to Hall Place Gardens, and found some winter colour in the bushes and this crab apple tree.

The cut flower garden still has some clumps and areas of flower. This is helichrysum (everlasting flower), dahlia and zinnia.

21 October

A reasonable rainbow, and out the front it was a half circle over the house tops.

22 October

Today we went to the October Plenty celebration in Borough Market underneath the old arches near London Bridge Station. The "Corn Queene" is made of wheat stalks, carrots and other vegetables. There was an apple display and I spy some lovely brown Russets in there which are our favourites.

Borough Market is all about speciality foods. This cheese stall has a notice "No such thing as too much cheese". People were walking about eating the food and snacks. We went up to the riverside, where the procession started with a Morris dancing display.

Here is the procession arriving at the Market. At the front is the local Mayor in red, and the green Berry Man. We watched some Cautionary Tales on the little stage, with people dressed as animals.

This is a not very likeable Red Riding Hood, and the actor is wearing a grotesque mask to show her mean character. Later on by the riverside we saw these two chaps with typewriters, producing short poems on demand from passersby.

This is a side view of the Millennium Bridge, which leads over to St Paul's Cathedral. This face on one of the ornamental lamp posts look a bit like the Berry Man, but I think he may be Old Father Thames.

23 October

An unusual visitor in the garden, a jay who was bathing in the bird bath.

24 October

I like going to to the garden centre to see the aquarium fishes, I just wish they had more weed to hide and play in though, but some of them do have log and coral type things to swim through and behind.

25 October

We went up London and just as the train approached London Bridge I saw this old air raid siren on top of one of the pillars. Later on, on the bus, we went past the park railings full of paintings for sale.

Here we are at Hammersmith, continuing our Thames Walk. The river is quite wide here and it was low tide. I prefer high tide as it makes the river bigger.

This is a straw bale hanging from the bridge and there was another one at the other side. It is a very old custom that a bale must be hung from the bridge when there are repair works going on, to let rivers users know. The riverside path is similar all the way along, trees on both sides with open bits where there is a wider view of the river.

The path goes round the outside of the Wetlands Centre. These metal swans let you know what birds live on the other side! We also saw metal birds passing overhead on their way to land at Heathrow Airport.

Finally we arrived at Putney Bridge and had our sandwiches on a riverside seat. I like the name of this shop, Putney Pies, I am sure they do a good trade when the wind is blowing off the river and everyone is getting cold and hungry.

30 October

Jacket potatoes tonight and it was my job to wrap them up. I let someone else unwrap them, as it has to be done quickly. We like to have bits of cheese on top which melt straight away.




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