Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mind blowing drugs, big bronzes and gorgeous colours anyone?

Just a normal visit to Kew then... They have a short autumn season entitled Intoxication Season - it finishes on 12th October - with all kinds of exhibits and features about toxic and mind-altering plants, which is more interesting than it sounds...

There wasn't much sun, but it was mild. Stand by - or better still, sit down and enjoy - as usual, this is a photo heavy post!
 the beds along the Broad Walk are still full of colour..
 even the flowers whose blooms have gone over, are gorgeous! very shabby chic!
 and the trees are starting to turn , though they are mostly still very green.
 inside the Princess of Wales Glasshouse, this lotus flower (seed, I guess) is stunning.
 and the air plants are still looking good.
loved the soft almost grey colour of this bloom!
 I promised you mind altering drugs ... I wasn't especially interested in the cannabis (the signs said it is a variety that has limited "strength" if you like,) I was more taken with the cage - they'd used these for their main exhibits - I love it!!
 and back outside in the flower beds, there are loads of gorgeous seed pods everywhere

Don't think I've every really looked at this statue before, it's rather gorgeous!
 "my" fountain is looking as if it's had a spruce up, it was glistening, and I don't think it was from the limited sun, or the water, I think it's been polished!

 the Ash trees were the most colourful already. I took loads of photos of this one tree, it would have been better if the sun was shining so I've only included this one!
 and the brg bronzes I also promised you - well one anyhow - they have this Henry Moore "Reclining Mother and Child" on loan - not sure how long for - it looks stunning in amongst the trees, the colour the bronze has gone, is just beautiful....

 from all angles!

 loved it!
 and even when I was walking away, couldn't resist taking some more!
There was lots of colour in this part of the garden

more ash trees (think it's another of the same tree actually)
 and berries
 and back by the Palm House, the rose garden is still looking colourful and some of them were highly scented too.
 the summer bedding in the bed at the front of the Palm House is also still looking gorgeous, love the colour combinations they used this year.

 and there was some sunshine, loved this reflection
 more seed heads

 my favourite of the day!
I need to print this one!!

Hope you have enjoyed Kew again, let's go again soon yes??

Saturday, September 6, 2014

a Charles Dickens guided walk and inside the Tower of London

Hi, welcome back!  Just got home a while ago from a fabulous day in "that there London town" with my mate Lin - first we did a Charles Dickens guided walk round Borough/London Bridge and then we went to the Tower - sit back, take a seat, you may need a cup of tea (or something stronger) there are lots of photos...

 The tour met at Borough tube station (deep underground, needs a lift to get out of, so that's 2 well dones to Lin who hates both the tube and lifts!)
First stop is St George's, Borough - or Little Dorrit's church as it's know. The window on the left, is Little Dorrit's window, as she is depicted in the extreme bottom right of that window.

 the ceiling was fabulous!
 the tour guide was very good. Apparently 4 neighbouring boroughs all paid towards the cost of the church, except Bermondsey, so they have a black, unlit clock face in retribution!
 This wall is the only remaining wall of the Marshalsea prison where Dickens' father was imprisoned for debt, and where Charles also lived.

 these wall plaques feature art work from local schoolchildren in 2004 starring themselves as characters from Little Dorrit

 next stop was a pretty garden called the Red Cross garden, formed by Olivia Hill who was a contemporary philanthropist friend of Dickens, it's tucked away and a big secret!

She founded some early 'social housing' projects (and was a founder of the National Trust) some of which are still here in the garden
then we walked round the corner to The George - the final remaining galleried former coaching inn, left in London.

 quite a raucous audience on the balcony listening to the talk!
 a quick walk past Southwark Cathedral before the final stop at the river, where we saw
a couple more of the Book Benches - this depicts Great Expectations, quite appropriately

 and this Paddington Bear one!

on route to the only remaining arch of the original London Bridge (the rest of which was shipped to America - legend has it they thought they were buying Tower Bridge) These steps feature in Oliver Twist, and are known as Nancy's Steps as it was here she was betrayed to Bill Sykes.

This is where the tour finished, it was a fun couple of hours, despite the initial drizzle, which didn't last long luckily.  From here, Lin and I crossed the river and headed for the Tower...
past this blue glassed office block - wish there had been more sun for some better reflections..
 once we got inside the Tower entrance, you are much closer to the Poppy display - this is what, my 4th? visit, but Lin's first...
 so wonderful to be much closer
 we waited for our Yeoman Warder guide just by the poppies.

 He was absolutely superb - very very funny. Neither Lin or I can remember his name, sadly.  There are 37 Yeoman Warders (and their families) living in the Tower and they spend a lot of their time escorting visitors round the Tower.
We both recommend it, if you visit the Tower - it doesn't cost any more, and is a fun hour!!
 the famous Traitors Gate
 and a "prettified" cannon!
the White Tower -  the original, oldest part of the Tower, built by William I (the Conqueror)
great views from inside.
 Stunning walls inside the White Tower

Lin and I both wanted this ledger for journalling!!
 some brilliant displays!
 Lin up on the Tower Wall

 These Tudor buildings were started by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn, sadly, she was beheaded before they were finished and only got to live in one small part of them.
 inside the medieval part of the Tower, from Edward I time, (late 1290's) love this wall and staircase!
 here we both are in the King's Bedchamber.....
 Don't you love the Tudor style wall decor?
 and Edward I private chapel - where he was murdered... bloodthirsty lot, these ancient Kings of England!!

 but just love all the stained glass!
 another view of Tower Bridge (mainly for Sam!)
 Lin again, with the White Tower behind
 along the Wall Walk, you keep meeting this fighting men!!
 spot the elephant...
 looking down to the Yeomen's homes, in the outer Tower wall.
 Trying on a fighting helmet for size!
better look at the Yeomen's homes

 on the way out now, chucking out time, lol at 5.30!!
 got back to the Moat to catch The Last Post being sounded.
 there's one of those fighting men up on the Tower Wall! Never spotted him before
 and a walk round the moat back towards Tower Hill, boy have those poppies spread, lol!
love this one with the Bridge behind.

Thanks for staying with me and I hope you've enjoyed your day in London as much as Lin and I did...