Archive for the ‘London’ Category

1 May 2014

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Tulips (1 May 2014)

Window box (1 May 2014)

Wall feature (1 May 2014)

The grey-est wettest day we’ve had in a long time.

Amidst the misery, splashes of colours giving us hope.


London Transport 1977

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Tube map (April 2014)

Northern Line 1977 (April 2014)

Starting on 10 January 1977, Northern Line (April 2014)

British Rail timetable, 1977 (April 2014)

Training, revisions and exams kept me away from here this week.

Instead, I found myself at Old Street station early one morning.

And look, look what I came across.

Old timetables from 1977 revealed by improvements to the station and, I guess, the redevelopment of the Silicon Roundabout.

Most people hurried past on the way to work, caught up in their commute.

I stopped and reflected on travel on the Northern line in 1977. Would our commute be cheaper, less crowded, more punk?


Glorious March

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

"It was one of those March days..." (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

What a lovely day! Well, the whole weekend has been lovely actually.

This morning, I despatched the Other Half to the Natural History Museum (he was keen to see the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2013 exhibition) and spent a couple of hours in the garden. There isn’t much more for me to do now. The next step is to get a professional gardener in to help me shape things. I’m keen to use the space this summer. The backdoor remained open for most of the day.

This in sharp contrast to last month. I’m keen to do a review of February today and looking through my photos, I can hardly believe that these were taken only a few weeks ago. Chalk and cheese.

Anyway, February wasn’t all bad. We had some great days out.

  • Nordicana. The event was a bit of a disappointment. But we got to see MartinSaga and the iconic car! I mean… how cool
  • We went on a guided street art walking tour of East London. That was great. A couple of hours around Brick Lane and Shoreditch looking at the most influential works and understanding a bit more about the culture and the messages
  • Carthy, Hardy, Farrell and Young at the Albany. Probably four of the most talented young British female folk musicians about. Fiddles, traditional songs and shanties
  • A late (freezing) afternoon cruise on the Thames with an architect looking at London’s buildings through the ages. London is  a building site. Constantly morphing. Juxtaposition of the old and the new. Some interesting facts: all the new Jubilee line stations were designed by different architects; Battersea Park was made possible with earth from the docks in the east; the bridges are varied and genuinely stunning (please pay attention to them next time you’re in their vicinity); architecture is more curvy and freeform nowadays thanks to computer software and the American Embassy is moving south of the river

Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia (Nordicana 2014)

Saga Norén's car (Nordicana 2014)

Please wait here until you are useful (February 2014)

Street artist Stik (February 2014)

Yellow line art (February 2014)

Street art guided walk (February 2014)

Giant black and white animal street art (February 2014)

Charing Cross bridge (February 2014)

Building sites (February 2014)

The old and the new (February 2014)

February was great.

But I’m glad we’re in March now.


A walk in the park – January 2014

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Squirrel in the tree (January 2014)

Squirrel looking for food (January 2014)

Tree bark pattern (January 2014)

Tree bark texture (January 2014)

The pond (January 2014)

Pochards (January 2014)

Bandstand (January 2014)

Bandstand detail (January 2014)

View through the bandstand (January 2014)

Detail, bandstand (January 2014)

Rain approaching (January 2014)

January is drifting by.

My ‘getting organised’ year is leading us to have scrummy food for dinner twice a week. We are going through our recipe cuttings, two recipes a week.  The recipes we like are getting filed and indexed. At week 4, only one recipe hasn’t made it through.  This is working extremely well for us. We were getting stuck in the rut of same old, same old every week. Dinners are exciting again.

I spend my spare time swimming, going to my favourite local cafe for breakfast and for long walks in the walk.

A sunny morning took me to the park.

There were squirrels everywhere. And near the pond, pochards and moorhens. Never seen those before.

The light was bright. A storm was on its way.

The bandstand glowed.

There was colour and texture everywhere.

Squirrel eating a nut (January 2014)

I stopped to look at a squirrel eating a nut, unperturbed by my presence. So much so, that I was able to get a tad closer and shoot a video.

Autumn colours

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Flower shop, Greenwich (October 2013)

Orange chillies, Greenwich (October 2013)

Yellow chillies, Greenwich (October 2013)

The Creeky Shed, Greenwich (October 2013)

Pumpkins, Wood Street indoor market (October 2013)

I love Autumn.

The colours are stunning.

The leaves turn. They fall. Bringing colours to boring pavements.

And awesome shop displays. Autumnal pumpkins and cheeky chillies. Natural and colourful.

All across London. From Greenwich to Wood Street indoor market.

Our thoughts now turn to Christmas (and sadly, shop displays turn cynical).

It is much colder so far than I remember November to be.

Snow in December? Well, wouldn’t that be something?

Keeping warm. And drinking gallons of tea.


Wood Street indoor market – Walthamstow, October 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Wood Street indoor market (October 2013)

Alleyway, Wood Street indoor market (October 2013)

HMV sleeve, Wood Street indoor market (October 2013)

Records for sale, Wood Street indoor market (October 2013)

We may have spent only a few hours in E17… but my we made the most of it.

A visit to Wood Street indoor market. We came across little alleyways revealing second-hand and vintage shops, cafes, and much more. Sadly, most places were not yet opened for the day. We were there early. A detour on our way to our destination, Gods Own Junkyard.

I love the idea of places like this. Rummaging around, you never know what to expect and the possibility of finding an amazing and individual something is high. The Other Half almost found a souvenir from his youth. Almost.


Gods Own Junkyard – Walthamstow, October 2013

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

WOW, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Coffee & Doughnuts, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Cake, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Yeehaa, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Lenin, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Stage Door, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Harley, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)

Hand Crafted With Pride In London, Gods Own Junkyard (October 2013)
(All works @ Gods Own Junkyard)

One grey Saturday morning in October, we trotted off to unknown territory.

Our destination? Gods Own Junkyard.

I love the fact that after so many years, there is still so much of London to discover. And Gods Own Junkyard is one of our most exciting discoveries in a long time.

I defy anyone who visits Gods Own Junkyard not to be wowed or smile. It’s that kind of place.

Neons. Colours. Fun. Intense. Signs you want to own.

Sadly, the yard had already been cleared out but there were still many neons and signs to check out.

This place should definitely be on everyone’s to do list, but make sure to check the website for location and opening hours.

So much beauty…

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Shadwell station art (October 2013)

Reflections, Shadwell station art (October 2013)

Shadwell station.

On our way to the Scandinavia show, we stopped and gazed in awe.

The reflections. The colours. The patterns.

What a show.

Beauty is all around us… we just need to take a moment to appreciate it.

The Shard, 2 October 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

View towards the Docklands (October 2013)

View towards the City (October 2013)

Tower Bridge (October 2013)

Cloudy view towards Battersea Power station (October 2013)

View towards Battersea Power station (October 2013)

Details of the Shard (October 2013)

I love the Shard.

I had been waiting for an opportunity to go up… and on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, it happened.

We were very lucky with the weather. Heavy rain was on the agenda. But as we neared the building, we decided to take our chance.

And it was amazing.

The sun worked hard at peaking through the heavy clouds, making for some phenomenal sights.

There was no queue for the tickets (I believe it is a tad cheaper if you book in advance, but I can’t see that we’ll ever do that. Surely you need to know the weather conditions before you go up. This is London after all). The ride up took no time. There’s a good vibe to the place; the crew’s very friendly. We went up with a few other people, but remarkably, most people don’t hang around for long… so at one point, we had the place almost to ourselves. Incredible.

I love the way the river curves.

One of the best things about being up there… (apart from the view of course) is that you feel like giants.

Once we’d spotted the obvious landmarks, we had fun finding some more personal ones and even made a few new discoveries.

Trains looked like worms. Battersea Power station’s chimneys looked eerie. There are cranes… everywhere.

My. Such a tremendous city.

The Scandinavia Show – Tobacco Dock, 12 October 2013

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Big Elf (October 2013)

Nordic Noir goodies (October 2013)

Cinnamon rolls (October 2013)

Scandi chic (October 2013)

Reindeer bells (October 2013)

Reindeer eye (October 2013)

A good thing about being at home and having a bit of time to breathe is that I can catch up with a few posts. And drink heaps of tea.

Right now, I’m staying in the warm. And as I wait for the storm to pass, I’ll tell you about the Scandinavia Show we went to a few weeks ago.

The Other Half found out about it, thought of me and bought tickets. Aw.

There were a number of travel companies and tourist boards promoting the wonderfulness of Scandinavia. We came home with a bagful of brochures… and some great trip ideas. Hint: we’d been looking for a non self-drive trip to the West Fjords of Iceland… and we may just have found what we were looking for.

And, as if that wasn’t enough… I got to mingle with stars.

We were checking out the many DVDs and Blurays from Nordic Noir when we spotted Magnus Samelsson (who plays Gunnar Nyberg in Arne Dahl). I’d noticed on the programme that he would be giving interviews on the Sunday so that was a nice surprise. He gave a couple of interviews (don’t be fooled by all these TV crime shows, he assured us, Scandinavia is safe).

I had a chat with Kimberley from The Great British Bake Off. And I’m delighted to say that she is as lovely in real life as she appears on the show. I love the way she bakes and how she explores flavours and combinations. (At the time, I didn’t even know she’d made the quarter final).

No, no. I didn’t let it get to my head. But the food did.

Scrummy sticky cinnamon buns from the Swedish stall and really yummy Karelian pies with egg butter from the Finnish stall.

We did a spot of shopping and this is how come Big Elf came to live with us (from Roots Living). Which has had the effect of setting the Other Half loose on elf jokes… such as ‘we must make sure to take Big Elf to the National Elf Service should he find himself unwell’. Aha.

The show also had some sled dogs (who must have been far too hot) and a couple of reindeers.

That all made for a nice day out.