Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Favourite Photos - what memories, or thoughts, do they provoke?

I am writing this having been prompted to do so by one of my favourite Scrapbookers, Shimelle Laine. She is a wonderfully creative lady who runs on-line classes to help those of us who aspire to do better things get a little closer to doing so. I commend her website to you all. Oh, and she is a great fan of Cupcakes too!! Check out her recipe.

So, her challenge was to choose a photo that you already have, but that you either have not scrapped at all, or not enough. Mine is a photo that my father took of my brother and I with some friends many, many years ago (too many to even think about) while we were holidaying at Daymer Bay, North Cornwall. Looking at it now brings back many found memories, it never seemed to matter what the weather was like, we would be on the beach digging our sand castles and trying, and occasionally succeeding, to fly kites. The others in the picture now live in Germany and Australia, how times change.

Daymer Bay and the surrounding area was, and still is, a favourite holiday destination. My father spent may happy times there during the war, we holidayed there as children and teenagers and now my brother is taking the third generation there. It is an idyllic spot and all these years later is still remarkably unchanged.

Oh, the picture, I almost forgot:

Monday, 28 June 2010

So was it hot enough for you?

So, slightly later than planned, here is the report of our trip on the Jubilee Greenway.

Once we had finished applying copious quantities of sun cream to ourselves and the concourse at Waterloo Station, we set off on our trip at 11.30. 

Out of Waterloo Station, down to Westminster Bridge and these are the views that awaited us.

We then headed to Buckingham Palace, just in time for Changing of the Guard, so one or two people around, but not the Queen who would appear to have been away from town getting ready for her trip to Canada.

Up through, and I do mean through, Wellington Arch, half of which used to house the second smallest police station in London, but that has now been replaced with an English Heritage Exhibition. The other half is hollow and is actually a ventilation shaft for the London underground, good disguise!!

On to Hyde Park and then Kensington Gardens, Paddington, Little Venice and the canal. Where we stopped for lunch; the restaurant straddles the canal and this is the view from our table.

More canal tow path, strewn with bodies dangling legs over the edge and oblivious to everything going on around, it made for VERY slow cycling, but what great views. Eventually we joined the Jubilee Greenway proper, much of which has been relaid in readiness for the Olympics. 


We got to see the building site that will soon be the 2012 centre, all very exciting, it even seems to be ahead of schedule, which is a worry of its own.

Then on to the views of London City Airport and the O2.

We crossed the river on the Woolwich Ferry, did you know that it is free? So, we were back on the South of the River and on to the Thames Barrier, what a feat of engineering and slightly out of this world, and more views of the O2.

We cycled round the O2 and saw a very strange piece of modern 'Art' that seemed to be made of used windscreen wipers. I now know that this is 'Quantum Cloud, 1999' by Antony Gormley, one of a series, which is itself a little worrying.

It was all a little intense and hot from there on as we tried to pick our way along the Thames Path, which seemed to spend more time away from the Thames than on it, so eventually we just headed for Waterloo and home. A great day, if a little warm and dirty, and significantly longer/slower than we had all thought so once we eventually got home at something after 8pm, a cool shower and a curry were very welcome.

Oh, and the temperature in the shade in London was recorded at 31 degrees Celsius, so quite hot!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Jubilee Greenway

Today we are planning to cycle the Jubilee Greenway. This is a walking and cycle route around London and is about 35 miles long. Why wouldn't we chose a really hot day for it!! Happily it is mostly flat, and with the Football on this afternoon, it should be quite, with not too many people around. Come back later for photos of the day.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

What a wonderful day for sitting in the garden and studying!

If you have to study, which I do at the moment, what better day for doing it whilst sitting in the garden with a large umbrella for shade and the sound of parakeets chirruping away in the background. All this and I am in the UK! Amazing. 


All distractions have been put to one side, it is just me, the sun, the umbrella, a long cooling drink, factor 30 and the parakeets!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Elephants on the Move!!

So, there I am walking to the office this morning and what do I see, but an elephant on the move. Not sure why she is on the move or where it is going, but she is very pretty. Out came the camera phone and this is what I got.

So, have you seen any others around London?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Such a Perfect Day

Is it just me, or did today turn into the most perfect day?

When I got up it was really quite dull and chilly, but by the time I got to work, it was already a lot brighter.

By the time I went out for a late lunch, it was the most glorious day; there was quite a breeze, but even so it was one of those perfect English summer days. 

There is something really special about the quality of the light in the early summer, and for some reason it is better when there is a strong breeze. Is it because the wind blows away all the dirty and pollution, or is it something else? I really don't know, but it is just wonderful.

When I got home from work I suggested to my Man that we take the bikes and find a pub by the river for a swift pre-dinner drink, it was so peaceful. Possibly helped by the fact that we found the only pub that was out of the sun, but the views were pretty and we enjoyed watching the birdlife on the river.

All in all, for a 'school' day, it could not have been much better.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Strange what you see around the corner!

So there I was walking around London yesterday morning, and what do I find round the corner?

Not one, but two baby elephants! I mean full size baby elephants. 

OK, so they are part of Elephant Parade London 2010, but even so, it is still such fun and so cheery, you can't help but smile,

So let me introduce:

'Map Elephant' by Anna Simmons

'Map Elephant' by Lily Marneffe

So what is this all about? This is taken from the Elephant Parade London 2010 website:

Elephant Parade London celebrates the beauty of the magnificent Asian elephant. And this year – with 258 painted elephants in locations across central London – it is the biggest and most beautiful outdoor art event the city has ever seen.

The elephants are on the streets of London from May until July, and are attracting an estimated audience of 25 million, raising a projected £2 million and benefiting 17 conservation charities in the UK alone. Download the official route map from the Elephant Parade London website and please sign our petition to call on governments for securing a viable future for the endangered Asian elephant.

"All those who grew up with Colonel Hathi in the Jungle Book film, or those even older (like me) who remember him from the book of Mowgli by Kipling, must be shaken to know that without our help the magnificent Asian elephant may die out altogether. How dreadful to think that we may cause the extinction of this giant in our lives: and how fabulous to know that by supporting Elephant Parade and Elephant Family we can turn the tide and ensure their survival. Don't leave it until it is too late: join me and a thousand thousand others, and give now. Remember: elephants never forget. Let's make sure they will still be there to remember that we didn't turn our backs on them." Joanna Lumley, May 2010
For more information go to the website Elephant Parade London 2010
I just love coming across surprises like this, it just puts a smile on my face and makes the day so much better, I hope you all agree. Let me know what you think.

Have a good time until we meet again. Liz xx

Sunday, 13 June 2010

What we have been doing recently

A week ago we returned from our wonderful holiday in Germany. This had been planned for many months and had been talked about for a few years. Some good friends of ours grew up in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse just over the German border, near Alsace, and they were always telling us that we should join them there for a holiday. Finally late last year, we managed to get a date in the diary when the four of us would all be available to take a week off and travel over.

We decided that, as the cycling was reported as being so good there, we would drive and take our bikes with us, planning to cycle to most of the destinations that we intended to go to. There was the added advantage that we would not have to worry about drinking (or not!) and driving if we took our bikes.

And so the day finally came and we all drove down to Dover, The Man and I only just making it in time for the ferry, thanks to the dreadful service at the Service station on the M2, and the appalling traffic once we got to Dover, but we made it which was all that mattered. And so the holiday began.

Once we docked in France, The Man handed the driving over to me, he is not a great one for driving on the Continent, and even less good at driving at speed, which was going to happen. So, we followed our friends through France and Belgium (stopping for a meal early in the afternoon - I had not even realised that we had crossed into Belgium at this stage!). We then changed drivers and drove to Luxembourg where we filled up with petrol (very cheap) and changed drivers again for the end of our journey into Germany. If I had thought that they drove fast thus far, Germany was something else. We were driving at about 85 miles an hour most of the way and although a few cars overtook us, they did not do so at any great speed, Germany was a different matter; cars overtook us as if they were on a race track. Truly scary!

At about 9pm, twelve hours after we left home, we arrived at our destination, Gimmeldingen, a village just outside Neustadt.

Our landlord for the week, a friend of our holiday companions, kindly laid on supper for us, with some of the local wine to help wash it down. Now, when I say local, I mean local, this was the view from our flat, and where the wine came from:

If the wine did not travel well, that would have been fine bearing in mind that it only had to travel a few yards from the Weingut, or Vineyard. We did visit the vineyard on our final day to buy some Sekt, which was very pleasant and very cheap at €7.60 a bottle, more of that later. 

So, after a long day, we finally got to bed.

So here we go again

Yet again, I am going to see if I can keep a blog going. I think this is the third time I have tried, and they do say that third time is lucky, so here we go again!