Saturday, December 7, 2013

I've gone digital...

I have been thinking about upgrading to a digital SLR camera for a while and came across a good deal so today I went up to Oxford Street (3 weeks before Christmas, too!) and bought this ...

 Now I just have to understand the manual and get playing with it....
 I couldn't bear to go to London without a camera, but knew it wasn't sensible or necessary to carry my film SLR, so took my little digital one I use for my craft stuff.  This is Carnaby Street from one of the exits of Liberty...
 I had to go to Liberty after seeing the first part of a Channel 4 TV series about the store - I love it, though can't afford to shop there!
 Then I walked back along Oxford Street to look at Selfridges Christmas windows - this always used to be something we did with Mum and Dad as kids, it's been years since I went... don't you love those cute little trees (wouldn't they be useful to a crafter...)
 all the windows were decorated with festive greenery and sparkly lights..
 the windows all had different themes - love these penguins - and were promoting different merchandise available inside.
This cute train piled high with presents going round and round was a big hit with all the kids!
and the corner window - biscuits and cake!
I couldn't face going up to their Christmas shop on the 4th floor as by now my head was pounding so I came home... now to read the camera manual and see if I can make it work!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Two days in York

A few weeks ago, a few of my craft mates, Lin, Sam and Emma decided it would be nice to experience the York Christmas Market - Emma lives there and I had my honeymoon there (long time and a defunct marriage ago!) - Sam was visiting with her netball team for the Saturday but Emma very kindly offered Lin and I a bed for the night on Friday... so plans were hatched and trains booked..
Friday saw me getting up at 5 a.m.  wow is that early! - to catch the train to London to meet Lin for our journey north.
Emma picked us up from the station and after a restorative cup of tea and meeting her gorgeous dog, Misty, it was time to head back to town to see some of the sights... these photos are not in any order of what we saw when, and some are from Saturday - but you get the idea!

 York castle, up on the hill - Emma says in Spring the grass is a sea of daffodils, bet it looks amazing!
 Beautiful old churches everywhere you look...
ancient old buildings, crooked walls and stunning architecture.
 the Minster can be seen from various vantage points round the city..

Really need to fix my printer, this would be so fabulous as a journal background!
 old courtyards and interesting buildings...

 city gateways... we didn't walk round the city walls like I did on my honeymoon, but you can still get most of the way round by doing so.
the Minster again, just beautiful!

We did go inside, but decided the entrance fee was a bit steep - it was voluntary donations when I went before, but I did grab this one on my digital camera which I also had with me!

 More sights outside (with Emma, lol!)  It was so lovely to have our own tour guide with us, makes it so meaningful, knowing the history of the buildings!

one of the oldest buildings in the city, Emma says.

We got the bus back to Emma's and after a fabulous meal out at a carvery (our treat for Emma and her husband, for their wonderful hospitality) and a sound night's sleep and bacon butties for breakfast, it was time to go back for the Christmas market and meeting Sam... round two!

Lin, Sam, Emma - all wrapped up against the cold. Although, Saturday was nicer than Friday, less wind.
 As you can see, the market was heaving, so I don't have many of the stalls, you could barely move and I'm sure we didn't see lots of what was on offer..
 It was every woman for herself, lol! But we managed to stay together...
 Here they are again!


 another great background in the making!

 we also met up with Tracey, on the left, one of Sam's netball chums - who is as mad as Sam... sorry Sam! We had a great day together...
 and a glorious sunset, which my camera didn't really capture (I so need a digital one to cope with low light levels!)
but it was so pretty!

The trees through the market looked so lovely all lit up but again, my camera didn't like it! (check Sam's blog here 
All too soon it was time to head back to Emma's to pick up our cases and head for the station to come home - I finally got in just after 10 -  two wonderful days with great friends - thanks to Sam, Lin and most of all Emma (and John) for acting as tour guide and host.
Lin at York station (which is also a lovely building) waiting for the train...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Not quite such a sunny day at Kew...

The trees are still quite green, at Kew. Some of them are on the turn, so will be going back soon!

the willow sculptures are looking good still!
Pumpkin soup anyone?!
All summer Kew have been featuring edible plants, and growing beds of squash and pumpkins along the Broad they have harvested a bed..
and in the Waterlily house they have an amazing display... I got a bit carried away, so if vegetable displays aren't your thing, you'd better skip to the end!
I waited ages to try and capture this without people, going and coming back, in the end the blooming sun (not that there had been much to start with, had gone completely!) I had to settle for this shot.

 inside, instead of waterlilies, this pumpkin tower!

they've been running pumpkin carving demos or lessons too (I wasn't there at the right time to see what they did)

ok so this is the last one! I think the school party were quite surprised to see me down at ground level taking this one...
But it wasn't all pumpkin!  These are the sunflowers outside the closed-for-restoration Temperate House. Good job I had my long lens with me!
It looks strange without the plants inside, but structurally beautiful. You can see how cloudy it was, I really thought it was going to pour with rain at this point!

as you see, some of the trees are starting to turn.

Thanks for all your comments about London yesterday, hope you like these too!