Monday, May 25, 2015

Dear Blog: it's been over a week since my last post

Well it's been a very busy week and I haven't had a chance to sit down and do any writing.  Time is flying by and only ten more sleeps until I leave London...sob!  I must say part of me is happy to be going home but the other part is yelling Noooooooooo!!!     Watch this space for me bitching about wanting to be on the road in another six weeks or so.....I know I will be back here in London again before too long but I've gotten used to hanging around in this wonderful city.  Having months and months of new discovery every day has been wonderful and I know once I get settled at home I will be a bit depressed...which is why I still intend to blog and yak in detail about some of the fantastic places I have seen to keep this beautiful trip alive for a while longer.

So what have I been up to?  I saw Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday May 20th.  Fantastic!  I am so happy I wenjt. 

The next day...May 21st I visited Hever Castle with Janette (a friend of a friend) and we had a wonderful time together.   What a lovely place to visit....pretty pretty, pretty! More details to come later. 




May 22nd I moved to Stratford to share a room with my friend Pat.  We are still here for a couple more days.  It is nice to be a hotel I must admit.  While I love staying in people's homes (future post on that) it is a treat to be able to slob around in a hotel room and take a shower twice a day if I feel like it. 

After Pat arrived we headed off to Greenwich and walked a bit along the river as she wanted to see the statue of Peter the Great in Deptford and the general area...having a traditional pie and mash with liquer sauce (parsley sauce, not booze!) was on "the list"so we stopped at this cafe and had this....




The next day I did a walk from Bermondsey to Victoria station...some of it in the rain...I am trying to do a few Volkssport walks before I leave London.....the first part was good but the last part walking through the Lambeth area was pretty grim...I have done this walk before but not for years.  Now I remember why...I'll be blogging more about that as well...(and yes I managed to see one Shaun the Sheep that was eluding me...)




 
The trail went by Borough market so I had to visit of course....picked up some tea and got a pound of these lovely babies.
 

And then in the evening I did this....




Let's just say I got into my happy place. 

Repeat the above last night....:).

Today I did the other half of the walk I did two days ago...Canada Water to Bermondsey...I got a bit misplaced at first but that's okay...



Stopped here and had a cold drink and a bag of crisps and a lovely chat with a nice young man from Australia - this pub is the approximate location where the pilgrims left for America on the Mayflower. 

This is on the way from the tube station to our hotel
So this is a summary of the last week...it's been a good one!!! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Parkland walk

Well today I did something else on "the list".  A few months ago while still at home I read about the Parkland Walk which is a rails to trails path in North London. I thought it sounded like something I would enjoy walking. It was a logical day to do the walk - a warm day and the start point was a few stops on the same tube line as my airbnb place.

I had taken along a copy of a club walk that started in the same area...so on a last minute whim I jumped off the train at an earlier tube stop.  I walked to Alexandra Palace.....not a royal palace but a "people's palace".  It was built in 1873 as an education, recreation and entertainment centre and nicknamed "Ally Pally".  In 1936 the BBC broadcast its first high definition signal from here.  The palace is still used for exhibitions, music concerts and conferences. 



Alexandra Palace sits on one of the highest spots in London...



I then got onto the South part of the Parkland walk...I may or may not have stopped at this cafe....I've gone there other years and love it. 



Then into Highgate wood...


 
I got a bit misplaced in between sections of the Parkland walk....we'll just leave it at that okay?



Note the platforms on each side of the path...a former station...

Lots of graffiti but this was my favourite


Finsbury park


I walked as far as Finsbury Park - probably about five miles or so.  Such an enjoyable walk and what a beautiful day.  There were lots of people out on the trail enjoying the day which is why I chose the weekend - always like to have people around when I do a walk a bit off the beaten path.

I then took a tube to Wood Green and saw the Spooks (MI-5) film - very enjoyable.  Then back here to enjoy one of my last Marks and Spencers ready meals....at the end of the week I move to a hotel and then a bed and breakfast so no kitchen to do my own cooking...er...or I should say nuking...:)

Lots of plans for this week!! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ticking things off my London bucket list

I've been keeping busy working away on my "list".  I  have a written list of things I must do before I leave London...I made this list before I left home but with less than three weeks less in London (eek!) the pressure is on!  Windsor was on "the list" so that's crossed off.  I have waited for the "good weather" for most of it. 

The other day I visited Holland Park...as you might recall I visited it in the winter...but wanted to see it in the Spring.check it out now....



 



 
These photos were taken in the Kyoto garden which is so very beautiful.  Holland Park Mews in the photo above...how the other half lives! 
 
Another thing on the bucket list?  Walk along more of the Regents Canal...so that I did....from Lime End where I was staying to Haggerston...
 
 



I stopped at Victoria Park for a much needed coffee

A coot and her babies - was fun watching them. 

Pagoda in Victoria Park

Back on the towpath - loved this Irish wolfhound who obviously lived in a barge with its owner and would not move for anyone including the aggressive cyclists on the path - way to go!  This is MY path!  :).

 
After this walk I took the overground to Wapping where I walked a bit of the Thames path and had lunch at the oldest riverside pub in London, the Prospect of Whitby...
 
 


My view while I was having lunch (just a sandwich..)


As the tide was out I walked down the steps and onto the "beach" of the Thames...after all we are pretty good friends by now! 
I carried on walking to Canary Wharf....then I got the DLR to Mudchute farm - something else on the list.  I had my heart set on a cuppa and a cake in their cafe but it was closed...ah well I had a raspberry magnum bar instead.  Oh yeah..I did see some animals too!!!  It's a lovely oasis in the docklands...



Yes I indulged my sheep obsession

The lamb in the foreground with the black legs was a real character and a  bit naughty. 

Today I went to tour Bletchley Park which is where encrypted German messages were decoded during the second world war.  So very interesting. Being able to decode these messages reduced the length of the war by approximately two years.  I didn't realize what an important part carrier pigeons played in the war. MI14!!  I spent four hours there.
 
I am now living in the north of London in an area called Southgate...in a two bedroom cottage.  I do like this area more than the Limehouse area I was in previously.  Ann, the host is great fun.  Speaking of airbnb hosts my Paul ticket arrived at Claudia's so I went over on Wednesday and we had Chinese take out in the back garden as it was such a lovely day.  Yesterday was pouring so once I arrived here I stayed in for the rest of the day (except for an afternoon cooked breakfast that was delicious in the cafe opposite)and called it a rest day.  Ann generously said I could use her washing machine so now I have clean clothes again .  Yay!   
 
So I wonder what tomorrow will bring - how many things will I tick off my list?  Stay tuned!!