Sunday, March 28, 2010

Belated Mother's Day Tea and Champagne!x

I was quite ill with flu on Mother's Day, a week or so ago and so my gorgeous daughter arranged to take me out for an amazing Afternoon Tea session at a hotel called The Montague,  a Boutique Hotel..very posh up market place, l tell you!!

We were to have our tea on the terrace and very cosy it was too. Below is an image of the sort of chairs we sat on. Not that they were comfortable but they were in line with the decor and so somehow we didn't mind. The staff were very sweet, attentive and extremly smart! The food and the champagne came all together which was a shame. It was the only "wrong" thing in the whole performance. It would have been better if the champagne and biscuits had been delivered first, then tea and sandwiches and cakes. But it was a minor thing and it didn't upset the occassion at all.

The one thing that did fasinate me and l have never seen anything like it before, was this Twinings tea timer. Each tea was a different colour tea and this "egg timer" told you when your particular tea was stewed enough. Very kinky!

The next image is what our table looked like after we had finished!
The image of the 3 cakes and an almond and chicken sandwich, is what we couldn't eat, so asked and got a doggy bag to take home for Tony!Ha..we were not proud!

In Russell Square Park, which is a few seconds away from the Hotel, l discovered this amazing sculpture. Iit is titled "Eco Thunder" and is made up of recycleable materials, such as plastic bottle tops, metal bottle tops, rubber tubing and strips of plastic. I think he is absolutly wonderful and something that surprises me, is that it has not be vandalised or destroyed. My daughter walks/runs this way to her work every morning and it has been here for weeks. So well done the people of Russell Square Park!

Also in this small green park area is a fountain, which l think is very peaceful to look at and listen to. While we were looking at the fountain, a little boy of about 2, accidently kicked his small ball towards the fountain. He got ever so worried when it started rolling towards to the water. He was jumping up and down and going"Oh..oh!" but his mum got it out for him and he was smiling again. Very funny watching the expressions on his face.

After being such a lovely day, if a little chilly, as l started my way home, the heavens opened and it poured down. Luckily l managed to get to the bus before l got too wet. Different story when l had to get off the bus at The Green Man pub and walk up Wildcroft Road....l was not dry when l got home.

I had an amazing afternoon having tea and a gossip with my gorgeous daughter and just want the world to know how proud l am she is my daughter. I am one very lucky mum.

Bits and pieces!

Today was a strange day! I won't go into the reasons, as they are private and more than likely boring to people other than my family. Anyway, l didn't go out during day light hours today, so l decided l would just talk about things that have interested me lately. Hope it doesn't bore you all to bits!

This first image is one that caused me quite a bit of panic last week! We were on the Motorway and suddenly surrounded by large trucks. The orange truck, you see in my rear view mirror, was bullying us and kept hooting its horn and flashing its lights at us. We were not sure why, as were were going faster than the limit and there was no where else for us to go..we were blocked in!!Stupid man!

This above image just makes me smile. I love wind turbines. Yes l know..people say they are noisy and a blot on the landscape! not the way l see it at all. I think they are beautiful, serene, and quite magnificent and on top of that, they work for their living!
The next image, is one l spotted the other day going through East Sheen. I think they are quite new as l haven't noticed them before and l go past this area quite often, as my daughter until recently lived in this area. It is funny because l normally think things like this, are a bit tacky but somehow this works for me! 

The above image is of my back garden(!) Richmond Park! I love the fact that the weather is getting better and we can go out more often for walks to the park. I love deer and could sit and watch them for ever. They are very curious creatures and will often stand and stare at you while you take your photographs of them! I have managed to get quite close to them in the past, as long as you remember which way the wind is blowing!
For awhile, l thought this heron was real and then suddenly l realised it was a sculpture in someone's garden! Very life like isn't it? It is in the garden behind my sister flat in Cirensester and apparently fools a lot of people! But the question is......does it confuse the "attacking" birds that go after the goldfish in the ponds around the area?
This next image was taken in Brick Lane in London. I am quite surprised about the amount of stencils and grafitti there is in this particular area of London. Not only are they numerous but of quite a high standard and not as many Tags as l usually see on walls ect. Tagging makes me laugh because it just seems to me like animals "peeing" to mark their territory! I doubt that the gangs see it that way but it just seems so childish! I can see that that is also a form of identifition and the tagger will try to be as artist and as perfect as can be. Pride in their work! They pratice and pratice so people will know which tag belongs to which person. 
The image below is of stencils more than free hand! Stencils are just as difficult as free hand, as they are drawn and cut before being sprayed onto their intended surface.

Then of course, there is a tag that just identifies a gangs area such as you will see below. I maybe wrong but l think this is an area tag! 

The below image is so very outrageously bright and joyful! Enjoy!

The last image of today's blog, is one l took yesterday(friday) when we went for a visit to Kingston hospital for another doctor's visit for Tony. While l was parking the car, l saw this cage that covers some sort of hole,  it was so scruffy and unkept, that l had to take a photograph of it! It really is an amazing "textured" peice of work!

Good night folksx

Friday, March 26, 2010

Buildings and Bugger up!!

In living and travels all over the world, one of the many thing l have noticed, is how there are very few new building styles any more. By that l mean, all styles, like fashion, come and go and we think it is all new again!  When we lived in Dubai, in the early 80's, we were amazed at the buildings we saw, then in a few years, those designes appeared elsewhere. All this has happened because of people travelling more and invention of the internet l reckon. Nothing stays "new" for long these days. New words become part of one's language in a few days of hearing it. When we were living and travelling around the world, we were often told by people, how strange that we had picked up and mixed foreign words, amongst our own language. no one comments on these " added" words any more!
On that subject, just a quick detour on this subject of buildings! I remember getting a letter from my son's headmaster, when he was about 10, saying they were concerned about Andrew's use of swear words. Anyway, after a discussion with the school, we were able to explain that Andrew had not realised the word was "naughty". Let me explain...we were living in Papua New Guinea, the word for "something that was not working" is "bugger up"! Anyway in a test, Andrew had put his hand up and said, " Please sir, my pen has gone bugger up and l need a new one". Once we had explain, Andrew was forgiven ( actually this earned him so cluedoss with his friends!) and actually because of the mix up, the school introduced a new lesson "Mistakes in other languages".  So something good came out of a mistake!
Anyway, back to "building". I decided to put up some of the buildings that have found interested in my tours round the UK this year.

One of the reasons l really like this image is because of all the different styles that are so intertwined, in a very small area of ground! This was taken in Plymouth and was situated on a hill on the outskirts of the town or is it a city?

Another image taken in Plymouth. I was taken by surprised at how many modern structures had been constructed in this city and how they were all over the place, not just in one place, as the city grew. This particular modern building, the one with the large tiles, was l think from memory, a departmental store and the glass building was an office complex. If you stood at the far end of the ruins of the church, the new building is framed beautifully in its empty windows.

The above image of decorative oblongs, is l kid you not,  a multi story carpark !! l think l would be cheered up each day if l parked my car here ..very arty and modern! .....and still in Plymouth, quite a "hip place" as l used to say in my youth!!
The red door image above, is made like this because of risk of flooding. I don't suppose it stops much water but l expect that it gives its owner enough time to move stuff from the ground floor and so on! It was in a small seaside village in Cornwall.
This building makes me smile! I wonder if the designer had grand visions of being a Lord of the Manor! Seems out of place in Cornwall and in a built up area!!....not even a view of the sea or country side!! can't see prince charles living here..can you?
Believe it or not this is a real house and it is lived in! This and many other houses are on a cliff side leading down to a beach in cornwall. Some are holiday lets others are lived in all year round. This one reminds me of the gingerbread house in a fairy story!
This black and white building is in Dartmouth and to me looks out of place but then all the houses seem to be a mixture of styles and ages. I really like the fact that the buildings are so different, makes looking at the town very interesting... to me anyway.
This thatched cottage, is in the village my son and his wife live in. lt is a very small county called Rutland and is a very well kept secret! lt is one of those places that almost every other house is thatched..very chocolate box ! This is what tourists from all over the world come to see...quaint old fashion English countryside.
The colours, shapes and patterns of the next image is mock Egypian and always makes me smile. Don't know what it is used for but it makes me think of a cinema or theatre or maybe is being used as a church meeting place for some strange church cult or something!Ha!
Can you guess what the next image is used for? Most people think it is a chinese resturant but infact it is a supermarket for Chinese Goods. Very over the top isn't it but great fun!
London is full of unusual and dramatic building that l could fill hundreds of blogs with, if l wanted to show them all! I am not sure what this building is called but my family call it the Flat building.
 l wonder what it looks like inside and what they see when looking out? By that l mean, are the windows as big as we see from the outside or are they small! Also the glass looks blue, does that mean they are looking through blue glass or is it like my glasses? By that l mean, when l look through my glasses, to me everything looks normal but other people see my glasses as brown glass..if the sun has been shining! All very confusing for my little grey cells!

The image below is a normal sight in london, balcony above balcony! I do miss the balconies l had when living over seas. One balcony was so big, we could have lived on it!Hax Oh those were the days!


The strange thing l find about these buildings, is the fact the balconies have views over....nothing. Some of the flats in this are, over look the local rubbish tip. I hear you say, the flat owners must be so mad for the rubbish to be placed next to their homes...........
But no you would be wrong. The flats were built NEXT to the well estsblished rubbish tip!!!!! Some times l wonder what builders and architects are thinking about, when they decide where these flats will be built!!! and what do the people who buy these flats next to a rubbish tip? Mad!

This last image is of what my parents call The Rusty Bucket!ha. They hate it and think it is an eye sore! I have arguements with them about it because l really like it and they can't understand why. It is a seaside resturant on Littlehampton beach that has won all sorts of awards.  l think the outside is amazing but l have to agree with my parents, the inside is not good and lets the whole building down! My last word on this subject of buildings is, isn't it wonderful that we live in a coutry where we can still express our likes and dislike and we have artists that stretch everyone's imagination!?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

trains and tubes!

I travel on the trains and tubes all the time here in London, so l thought l would show you around but not he usual sights!
If you go to Waterloo Train Station and then go up the esculator to Waterloo East, going across that walk way, you will see a few doors. One of them has a round window in it and everytime l see it l am reminded of a Children's Programme on BBC1. Can't remember what it was called, oh yes l do.."Playsckool" but each day the viewers would be asked to guess, "which shape window they would be looking through today?". Because the area around the door is dark and the window is lit from outside, all you see is what you have framed in the circle.Quite dramatic actually.

All along the walkway, are windows which are very dirty but the way the light falls, the shadows are often quite dramatic! One of these days l am going to draw or paint the shadows. The other day while walking across this walkway, l over heard a conversation between two men. 
Man 1."Had a hard day?"
Man 2." Yes but not much"
Man 1." yes, l had a day like that too"
Man 1. "Tomorrow is as rough you know"
Man 2." yes and l thought the same about Tuesday"
Man 1." um always"
Then they shook hands and each went their own way! Is it me or is this total nonsense? Ha
I love the way the shadows from the ladders, buildings and bars on the outside of the walkway,  change everyday. Really interesting ones today.

The following image of an esculator on the Underground, is very is empty! Not something you normally see in an afternoon.

The windows really need cleaning in the train station but l can't see how they get out there, to clean them. Also l am surprised that this grafitti, which has been here since 2008, has not been washed of. It is on the inside of the building!

Part of a project l was involved in a few years ago, had to have some part of a train in the completed image. This is not the end image but it did catch my eye. The fact it has Jesus spay-painted on the train, didn't spoil the image but detracted your eyes from the train itself. But a little later on, it became a big part of a religious project l got involved in, which was  titled, "God or no God..discuss!"

This image of Waterloo Tube Station, shows what is happening a lot, because dustbins are not allowed down on the platform!! If it has a shelf, a seat or just a shelf, it becomes a bin!
Last image, says it all.....Mind the Gap!  I had to let 4 trains go by before l good get an empty platform!

My parents first visit to a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! will the excitment ever end?!

Today, my parents arrived to stay the night before we go to Cirencester to see my sister's family. We are going to celebrate Dad's 80 birthday with a Birthday Party. My mum will not enjoy it as she doesn't like children..her words and tomorrow will be hell for her.....7 great-children and 3 but only 2 will be there grandchildren plus my sister! not only that but she has to be up and ready to go for 10am in the morning!Ha
Anyway, to cheer my mum up and help dad!!!..we took them to see..wait for it....A Krispy Kreme doughnut Factory near us!hax they loved it and are now Fans!
Then mum saw the doughnuts, there was no stopping her!ha. Unfortunetly, would you believe they were washing the machinary and trays, so mum and dad could not see the doughnuts being made! well the good news is, they will have an excuse to come back again and see if it is working then!
If you look behind my parents, you will see the glass window, which is where the doughnuts are USUALLY made!This image was also taken for my parents to show Kay and Harry...brownie points l think. well they couldn't bring any back with them because they would be stale by Thursday afternoon..honest Harry!! Can you see the green carrier bags which are behind my mother's right shoulder? Well, once my mother saw them..she had to have one. She collects handbags and shopping bags, the more the merrier! All for £1.45..l think!! BARGAIN!!


One thing that really annoys me, is when people use grass, the road or the pavement, as a bin for their full car ash-trays . These were emptied out on the grass, just opposite my flat entrance! More than likely someone who lives in my flats! Forgoodness sake, this is like using your front garden as a dustbin!So angry!!!!!!
On our usual route to sainsburies today, while once again, stopped in a traffic jar, l saw this tree. The building it is infront of, until a year ago, was a large pub. It has now been turned into quite interesting and modern looking flats. All the times l have been past this pub/flats, l never noticed this tree before. I think that maybe, it has never been cropped like this before and so now is quite prominent and therefore more noticeable. In any case, l find it really chunky and an interesting feature, almost alien looking and aggresive! 
This next image is nothing special except l love red doors and l think the shelf with the candle on it, is quite an interesting feature!
The last image is of a derelict house in the Roehampton village area, that fasinates me. It seems such a shame that is has been empty for years and is just decaying by the day! I love the fact that the blue fence around the house blends in well with the blue of today's sky! Beautiful!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy 80th Dad and my hidden London!

To-day 22nd of March is my father's 80 Birthday! Happy birthday William Ernest James Kelley MBE. Also known as Sir....Bill, Spike, Dad and Grampy!!
  Today's blog is going to be a bit different, it is places that most other people either just take for granted after a while or never really seem to notice. Some are beautiful. some are quirky and other's just caught my eye. The one thing they all have in common, is they are all in my beloved London!
This first image is of sunset just before Putney bridge, beside the boat sheds and near The Sailing Club. One of my favorite places to walk to and just watch the sailing boats and the rowers go past. This is also the start of The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge that takes place each year.
The next image is for the tourists in all of us. I had to put him in because of a conversation l over heard the other day!Two gentlemen and an elderly lady were walking in front of me, just before we got to this guardsman.
Man 1: "Do you know Edith, l worked this way to work everyday for the last 15 years and today because you are here, l am seeing it all in a new light".
Man 2: " How so John"?
Man 1: "Well, l never noticed until Edith asked the question of the man in uniform, next to the horse, when they changed guard, that the men on the horses change all the time"
Edith: "Well did you think they just sat there everyday, the same men and never changed?"
Man 1: " Yes l suppose so because they all look the same, don't they? Why are you laughing, its not funny?"
Man 2 and Edith were killing themselves laughing but Man 1 just didn't get the joke!  So you see, some people see the world but never really see it!

The next image in my "places round my London" is to be found, if you go along the river from Putney to Barnes.  One of the reasons l love this particular image, is because the path it is often deserted or only has a few people on the walk, depending on the time of year and the weather. I have to admit, at the height of Summer, it can be packed with people and bikes, then it is not such a peaceful walk! The boys in this image, appear to be like ghosts, there one minute and yet not quite the next. Just the right feel for the area around this overground archway! Yet you are actually only a few minutes away from a busy road.
This next image is of an amazing looking shop, fantastically painted with a fiece orange, dragon like creature on the front and across the shop doorway. I never found out for sure, if the guy who was smoking, was part of the shop or not. If he wasn't, wearing those clothes and orange top, he should have been. This shop was in Tottenham Court rd, l say was, because very soon after it opened, it closed again!shame.
Another peaceful image of one of the many bridges along the River Thames. Can you see the rope swing?
As many of you know, who follow this blog, l love grafitti. The next image is of a boarded-up shop window, near Angel Tube Station. Each of the white-washed and paper (?) covered panes have been drawn on. From what l can judge, it has all been done with a black biro. Amazing piece of work and very time consuming l would have thought. l often wonder if it was done pane by pane or were several worked on at the same time? Has it been done by one person or several and was it done for fun or for a reason? Was it done in broad day light or at night by torch?
The following image is again of grafitti but so completly differnt in every way possible. I spotted this in Tottenham Court Road by Fowles Book Shop. It behind a locked gate, in an alley way and stretched the whole length of one wall. Some one has quite an imagination.  It is not easy to see, as the alley-way is very dark and narrow. The only reason l was lick enough to spot it was because l stopped to tie up my boot lace and just happened to catch the colour yellow, out of the corner of my eye.
Ha..if you don't like spiders, skip the next image! l am fasinated by spiders webs, not especially spiders. When we lived in Papua New Guinea, we went up into the Highlands for a picnic or a just to see the trees and amazing flowers. One time, when we were vsiting the `national park, we came across a massive cobweb, stretched across the main pathway. It had been made by about 100 spiders and was about 6ft across and abour 8ft high! The spider's web below, is much more sedate and is in my garage! What's so special about my garage you ask. has the most amazing spiders webs and lots of different kinds of spiders. l am always trying to find better ways to photograph them !
The last image is one of my favorite places to take images of grafitti and people. lt is South Bbank, under the Arches and by The London Eye. I love people watching and taking images of people when they are being natural. As the grafitti is changing almost every few days , it is always interesting to look at! Normally my images of the Arches is full of people, skate boarders or bike riders doing stunts. I rather like this image because it is JUST the Arches and its Art...a rare sight in deed!
I hope you have enjoyed the short tour of a few of my secret places round my London!