Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Splendid new planters

After spending £45 on wood in B & Q, and adding exactly five hours of labour, SWMBO has the planters that she wanted. Now, don't be silly, it's not really three feet deep - that's the two planters on top of one another. One of the problems was that having constructed them in the garage, I couldn't lift them and had to wait for SWMBO to come home and help - maybe it's the 80 screws in each planter which is making them so heavy? The labels say the wood is 'guaranteed' for 15 years, so we have had the thought that they could then be converted into coffins for our woodland burials. Anyway, I can't see us saving very much money by growing a few vegetables in them after taking the £45 spend into account. You can buy an awful lot of vegetables in Aldi for £45.

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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Easter tree

Apparently SWMBO has "always" wanted to have an Easter tree (has it got another name?), so finally after 55 years she has got one - see...dreams do come true. No, it doesn't usually sit obscuring the television screen!
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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Closer to home

Of course you don't have to go to Waterperry Gardens near Oxford to see snowdrops, you could just walk down to St.Mary's Church in Redbourn.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Forgot to mention...

When we got to St.Pancras International on our way up to La Dolce Vita SWMBO decided that she needed a drink as she had spent the morning painting walls in the ringing room down at St.Mary's church. We went to The Betjeman Arms at the station which serves very good beer and good food as well. I like the way they advertise themselves as "The Last Pub Before Paris".
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Sunday, 21 March 2010

Angel, Islington

This is a photo of an angel in Islington. It's at the entrance to a very good shopping centre with a Sainsburys, Waitrose and a very good street market opposite. I don't generally like shopping areas, but this one was particularly good. On the right you can see The Glass Works which is a Wetherspoons pub - but to make a change, quite a good one! It had a beer festival on with beers supplied by the Brentwood Brewing Company.
After sampling the beer we walked about 100 yards (O.K. metres) up the road to Di Monforte which is a marvellous Italian restaurant I had booked on t'internet.
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Friday, 19 March 2010

Dolce Vita Cookery Theatre

Octopus? - not for me, thanks!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

La Dolce Vita 2

The event was held in the Business Design Centre which is the old Agricultural Hall.

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Monday, 15 March 2010

La Dolce Vita

As SWMBO is learning Italian, on Saturday we went to Islington to La Dolce Vita 'The Italian Festival in London'. the entry price was £16 each but I got free tickets from The Times newspaper. Bargain.
From St.Pancras we walked east along the Regents Canal to Islington. Last time we walked along the canal we went west, to the canal cavalcade at Little Venice last year.
This is the lock just past the base of the St.Pancras Cruising Club.

This is Battlebridge Basin the location of the Canal Museum which we visited last year.
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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Poppy the Aquacat (or Purrmaid)

I thought cats didn't like water.
What's Poppy doing in the pond then?

By the way, the photo is not 'photoshopped' but is entirely genuine.
No cats were harmed during the writing of this blog.

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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Waterperry statues

This is a young girl holding the lamp of wisdom.
Sited in the Formal Garden.

This is a statue of Miranda from Shakespeare's Tempest.
Sited on/in The Canal containing water lilies - well dormant ones.

There now, aren't you glad you stopped by?
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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Waterperry history

A manor house has existed at Waterperry since before 1086.
In 1948 Beatrix Havergal bought the estate and established the famous Waterperry School of Horticulture and laid the foundation of the gardens you can see today.
She retired in 1971 and the Horticultural School was closed and the property acquired by the School of Economic Science who run residential courses for its students of philosophy and economics.
Very nice too!

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Monday, 8 March 2010

Waterperry Gardens

Yesterday we went to Waterperry Gardens near Oxford.
We have passed the sign to the garden many times but have never got round to visiting.
There wasn't very much to see at this time of year, but it looks like it will be well worth another visit in the Summer.
If you like shopping - you would like it here!

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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Curling Bridge

Not sure if you remember this bridge which we saw last May?
I was reminded of it as I saw that a Meccano model of it had been made for this year's modelling exhibition at Alexandra Palace.
So, I've found out a bit more about it...
It's in the Paddington Basin of the Grand Union Canal (we knew that), and was designed by Thomas Heatherwick as a prototype pedestrian bridge. Opened in 2004, it's made of wood and steel, in 8 triangular sections and is 12 meters long when extended. The manufacturers were the Littlehampton welding Factory and it is "rolled up" every Friday at noon.
In 2006 Thomas Heatherwick won the award "British Designer of the Year" for this bridge.
There you go.

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Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Added bonus

As an added bonus, we came home on one of the brand new Electrostar trains, which was certainly a marked improvement on the rattly old thing we travelled down on!
We can certainly recommend the Sevendials restaurant which is situated in the old Lloyds Bank building close to the station - very good service and well priced food, and a chef who is willing to change dishes to however you want them cooked. In my case, no mushrooms!

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Monday, 1 March 2010


Are these starlings? SWMBO doesn't think so, but starlings are the only birds I know that do this - any suggestions?