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Diary 2017 September


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3 September

This is Northfield Station, I like the old fashioned clock and style of the station. We went to Blondin Park in Ealing for their community festival.

There were classic cars and motorbikes and other bikes.

Best of all were the vintage Routemaster buses. There are now used for hiring out for events, but they are the same inside as they were when in bus use. They are very friendly looking, because when one of these arrived, it meant you were getting out of the cold and rain, and into a warm dry bus that got you home - at least, that is what I have been told!

There were lots of stalls, a small petting enclosure and music tents.


6 September

Today we are continuing our Thames walk, starting from Richmond. We crossed the main road on this wonderful spiralling footbridge, walked through the Old Deer Park and got to Richmond Lock. The Lock was closed for low tide, this keeps the water upriver from getting too low down and enables people to continue using their boats.

Downriver the low tide was obvious and the river was half of its normal width. On the other side of the path Blue Parrot noticed some ponds covered in duckweed. He wanted to fly over it but we said no, you might fall and disappear forever! So he agreed to just make do with a photo.

This is a marker for an old meridian line, if you look through the opening it lines up with the old Observatory. Further on we passed the back end of Kew Gardens and this is a little foot drawbridge over the water channel.

At last we arrived at Kew Bridge, which we crossed over on our way to the station.

Before leaving, we went into the little secret garden at the Museum of Water and Steam. This rocking beam is now part of the educational garden. the rust actually looks quite good against the colourful plants.


9 September

As it was sunny, we went to Hall Place gardens. The sunflowers are still in reasonable shape. This is a gourd in the vegetable and fruit garden.

This mauve and yellow are my favourite colour combination for flowers. This yew was severely cut back and is continuing to sprout new branches. I am very pleased that it is doing so well.

The recent high winds and heavy rain has broken a huge branch off this conifer and it has been fenced off. Brown Teddy always likes to go inside this weeping tree with a hidey hole middle, whenever we are here.

10 September

We went to Sydenham Wells Park. I can't work out if this rock was meant to be reflected in clear water and then had to have a safety grille on it, or something else. I like these tree seats, as you can face the sun at any time of day.

This was a nice surprise to find in a small park, huge dahlias and other flowers in a long display.

I think Blue Parrot was working out whether he could fly to the top of this huge sequoia tree. In the middle of the park is a small lake.

We then went on to Crystal Park just over the road. The crows were having a grand old time with this rubbish from an upturned wheelie bin, probably blown over in the recent high winds.

The sphinxes have all been painted. They are a popular seat with visitors of all ages!

We went into the Crystal Palace Museum which gives a complete history of it all, with loads of pictures and some of the Exhibition souvenirs.


16 September

Today we went to Hampton Court Palace. We wanted to join the tour of the Palace gardens, so we spent some time in the rose garden until it started.

This is the coat of arms over the doorway. As it was raining, our guide showed us some things inside until the rain stopped. These are the very old paintings The Triumphs of Caesar.

At last the rain stopped and we had our tour. Afterwards we went round again to get photographs.

These are two of the three fishpond gardens. They used to be ponds for the breeding of fish for the King's table.

We went to see the Great Vine, which was planted in 1768 by Capability Brown, and is still producing Black Hamburg grapes today. It is the largest grapevine in the world. In the photo I am looking at the tangled base stems. The branches are in the glasshouse and the roots have a very large bed outside.

Brown Teddy is admiring the vine painting on the wall. These are the black grapes.

Next we went into the Privy Garden. It is very neat and must be a lot of work to maintain. Visitors have to keep to the gravel paths.

The fountain in the middle has koi carp in it, mostly black but we saw one orange and one white as well.

In the Great Fountain Gardens there is a very long herbaceous border. Visitors can take a cart ride round the gardens.

Another even larger circular fountain and beyond that a long canal going off into the distance.

To one side is the North Canal which we crossed into some wooden gardens, where we found seats to have our sandwiches. Then back to the house past the line of clipped yews.

Back in the Privy Garden, we went down this tunnel with tree branches trained over it. In the middle is a window for a view over the gardens. The Queen could stroll down the tunnel in the shade.

In the main courtyard is this replica of the wine fountain, which spouted real wine for the King's guests. There are two wooden statues, one with a jug of wine and another one lying down drunk. A third statue is leaning against the wall nearby, after having drunk too much. Someone thought he was getting his money out of the cash point in the wall!


17 September

Today is an Open Day for various buildings in London. We went up the Seager Distillery Tower in Deptford, which is a residential building. The viewing area is on the 27th floor.

We went to Severndroog Castle on the top of Shooters Hill. It was going to be a long wait to get up the tower for another view, so we gave up. This is the view from the garden. We decided to go to Charlton instead.

As we passed St Luke's Church, a lady invited us in to look around, as it was also part of the Open Day event. It is 1,000 years old and full of history.

The church members have made this tapestry for the Millennium showing two thousand years of the history of Charlton. We we given a fascinating "tour" of the tapestry narrative.

When the tapestry was completed, the members decided to redo all the kneelers. This is the winged ox as the symbol of St Luke. The brass eagle looks quite fierce.

We were invited to go up the church tower to see the view. The church is already on high ground and this view is looking towards The Shard in Central London.

Back through the little door and down the narrow steps with only a vertical rope to hold on to.

We then went on to Charlton House just across the road.

This is on the side of one of the seats.

We joined the tour and afterwards were free to wander round to get photos. I really like this ceiling, it reminds me of snowflakes on knitted winter jumpers.

Panelled halls and rooms with great views from the windows.

There were ornamental marble fireplaces, all different. I am not so keen on this green man nature figure but I quite like the angel face.

The stairs are old and creaky. The walls are covered in leafy plasterwork.

We sat in the gardens to one side to have our sandwiches. We looked around and found a small secret garden.

One last goodbye to the fierce lion on the front of the building. The old clock said it was time to go home.


18 September

Very heavy rain today, with rivers all down the road and all over my garden. But my fish like it. To make up for the cold weather, we opened the box of chocolates in the evening after dinner.

22 September

This is Waterloo Station. Even the little storage huts are red like the trains. We went to Surbiton and this is the clock tower.

We took a 50-minute bus ride to Box Hill near Dorking. We got off at the Zig Zag Road stop. The road for cars really is a ridiculously squashed zigzag in order to get up the hill. We climbed up the hill footpath and then over the grass. Every time we stopped and looked behind us, the views were getting better and better.

Then we followed the hilltop path. This gate is to stop the grazing cows from going any further. Yet more wonderful views through the trees.

I felt like an eagle this high up and looking out over the fields and towns.

You have to look where your feet are going, there are lots of tree roots in some places. This tree has fallen over and is almost entirely green with moss. It must be home to lots of insects.

Eventually we got to the official viewing place which is near the car park. I had to take three photos to get this panorama.

Just below the viewing platform is the trigonometry point pillar. I think the OS stands for Ordnance Survey. The bit on top where instruments would have stood is now filled in.

We had our sandwiches and then walked further on through the path under the trees. Then we came upon another wonderful view.

On our way back we checked out the Old Fort, which was built in the late eighteen hundreds to store army supplies to defend London.

Everything is closed up with grilles and iron shutters

The view kept changing as the sun and shadows lit up different areas. We are definitely coming back to Box Hill when the trees have turned into autumn colours.


23 September

This is the Bromley Sci Fi Day with characters walking around the high street and Sci Fi items for sale.

Here is the Dr Who stuff in the mall. I can't work out the story for the man with his RAF wings on his back though! Maybe that is a rocket on his back to help him get lift-off.

Nearby is Church House gardens, where there is still have a little bit of summer colour.

26 September

We went to Danson Park to feed the crows and get some photos. This is the pond in the English Garden with a ladder for hedgehogs to get out. I think ducks could fly out. This is the gate to the hidden away rock and pond garden at the back of the park where we usually see lots of crows.

There were not many crows about, but when you throw bread, there are always some that come down. They will not come close but rush in to get the crumbs when we step back. There are usually loads of them, but not today.


30 September

We went to Sydenham Hill Wood to see if the trees were getting their autumn colours. We heard lots of thudding noises like large hailstones all around, but it was hundreds of acorns falling down with every breeze, hitting the leaves and the ground. Someone got an acorn on the head and had to put his cap on as protection!

These old trees have not quite disappeared. Soon they will be just a mound of soil, leaves and mud.

The fallen branches get gathered up out of the way of the paths and piled up into these shelters that kids can play in. The fallen and sawn trunks start to get bracket funguses after a while. There will be lots of insects inside and underneath.

We went on to Dulwich Park nearby. There was still a bit of colour left and berries for the birds in winter.

it seems to be Christmas Day for pigeons here! I hope the next people to sit here do not hold on to the table with bare hands before they pick up their food. But better pigeons on the table than rats on the ground.

We walked round the boating lake and some of the ducks came swimming to us, expecting bread, but we did not have any. There are notices saying it is bad for them, they should have grain and peas. Further on I got a wonderful close-up photo of the mallard's feathers.




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