Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Father's Day - a trip to Swanage

I had a wonderful Father's Day this year, which involved a day trip to Swanage with the family. For those readers from outside the UK, Swanage is a seaside town on the Dorset coast. It's just that bit further and requires just a little more effort to get to than the larger places like Bournemouth, Weymouth and Poole, and as such always seems less busy. We arrived so early that there were even some free car parking spaces left. The weather on arrival wasn't great, overcast but at least not raining. Having left so early we had not had time for breakfast at home so, allowing just a few minutes for the kids to say hello to the sea, we found a cafe and tucked into some rather excellent breakfast rolls and coffee.

Swanage beach - overcast and deserted

Swanage beach, sunny but still deserted

Fortunately as the day went on, the weather became better and better, and lunch on the hoof, we climbed up the hill overlooking Swanage and around the coastal path to Durlston Lighthouse.

Durlston Lighthouse

The walk around the cliffs and back must have taken a couple of hours. We were in no hurry and had plenty of time to watch the sea and the birds. On returning to the town we had sufficiently built up our appetites again, and of course had to have the obligatory fish and chip supper before heading home. To avoid repeating our inbound journey, we took the ferry across from Studland Bay on the way home.

Waiting for the ferry from Studland to Sandbanks


Saturday, 11 June 2011

More London mews

Following on from the blog post that I did earlier in the week which featured one of London's fantastic mews, Kynance Mews, it's now time to document a bit of my return journey from the restaurant. Turning off the Fulham Road and heading back north, I came across Redbridge Mews, which looked even more enticing that the earlier ones I'd seen. What struck me most about these was the elaborate entrance. As I walked through it to the corner I expected it to perhaps finish in a short cul-de-sac, but on turning the corner was taken aback to see how far the mews stretched on.

Entrance to Redcliffe Mews

I wonder what's round the corner ...

Wow !!

and wow again !!

I did stop by at yet another mews on the way back, Cranley Mews, but by this time it was getting dark and my pictures do not do it justice so I'll have to return another day.


Friday, 10 June 2011

London is not infinite but ...

I guess London is no different than any other big city in that, although huge, it's not infinite, but to me it may as well be. Every time I go for a walk at lunchtime or, after work if I'm staying over, I can almost always find somewhere I've never been before. Leaving my office tonight, my destination was the Fulham Road where I'd planned to go for dinner. This evening's walk took me across Hyde Park, along a path I'd never used before, past the Albert Memorial and Albert Hall, and into Kensington and Chelsea. I have walked around the pretty little streets here before but this evening I found some gorgeous mews I'd never seen before ... Kynance Mews.

I'm not a big celebrity fan but I did wonder if anyone interesting, as opposed to 'famous', either lived here now or had done in the past.

I eventually arrived at the Fulham Road after meandering through a series of side streets. On arriving at the restaurant I realised that, not only had I forgotten my glasses but I had also forgotten my book. So as not to appear all sad and alone in the restaurant (although I confess to liking that sometimes) I decided to spend the time before my meal arrived by listing my top 10 meal locations. In a bizarre 'Mr and Mrs' like scenario I even emailed them to my wife back home in the sticks to see (i) if she remembered them, and (ii) what her top 10 were.

Here's a link to some pictures and musings from the return journey, during which I found some even more impressive mews of London


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

An evening stroll

Just about managed an evening stroll tonight before Springwatch. Lots of wildlife around but the majority was out of sight or moving too fast to identify. We did see a couple of deer though, grazing in the evening sun. No deer in this shot however, this is instead one of the magnificent footpaths we are fortunate enough to have within walking distance of our house.

Other wildlife news from my study window was that today saw the return of the greenfinches to the bird feeders in the front garden. Inspired by a neighbour who has managed to attract goldfinches I swapped over the nyger seed from the back garden to the front garden, but no luck yet. The greenfinches and sparrows both seem to be very messy eaters, and for each seed they eat seem to drop ten on the ground, which unfortunately encourages the pigeons. I'm sure the neighbours think I'm a bit strange when I rush outside and shout at them.


Monday, 6 June 2011

It's Been a Good Year for the Roses

Whilst the rain on Sunday made me a bit miserable, it did wonders for the garden ...

Single clematis flower

A good year for the roses

Geranium flowers

First courgette flower of the year - hopefully lots more to come

We did also manage to get out to a local garden show where we bought loads more plants but because of the weather these are still in pots by the back door. These include lupins which although a favourite, we've never had much luck with so far. Fingers crossed this time.


Friday, 3 June 2011

A great day for gardening

Once again I find that I have neglected this particular blog for way too long, so I hope to make up for it today with a few shots from the garden. I'd like to say it was because I have actually been gardening but alas I've been suffering a bit with a bad back, so much so that today I went to a Chiropractor for the first time ever. Bizarrely I feel taller after just one session and the root cause of my lower back pain seems to start much higher up in my neck where I am very tight. After some light prodding, cracking and massage I do feel better. I may even try and get the grow bags planted this weekend as the tomatoes and courgettes are beginning to get a bit leggy.

Poppies and Geraniums

Potatoes continue to do well

Broad Beans in full swing

Artichokes getting squeezed out and deprived of light

Apart from enjoying the garden, my musical tastes have once again been inspired by a book. This time it's Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk, where I have been introduced to bands and artists such as The Holy Modal Rounders, Bonnie Dobson and Pat Kilroy, to name but a few.


Literary entertainment this week has been provided by Crash by J.G.Ballard


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