Most of my photos look better enlarged - just click on the photo to do this

Monday, 10 March 2014

A walk in the park

Thank you so much for all your good wishes and kind comments on my last post - I had written it earlier and scheduled it for the end of the month as we were going away for a few days.  I did wonder if I would be able to summon up the energy for our little holiday which had been planned way back at the end of last year, when we got a very good deal on both hotel and train fares being so far in advance, but I am pleased to say that having had some good nights' sleep by the time Wednesday 26th arrived I was feeling a bit better and up for a change of scene - we went to London where we stayed in a hotel just off Kensington High Street. The following are some photos taken on our last day when we took the bus to Green Park and walked from there through to St James' Park.  How can I have reached my advanced age and never been there I wonder?  It was beautiful as you will see.

Fluttering and dancing in the sunshine were thousands of daffodils - you could quite forget you were in the middle of London.

 Across the lake we looked back towards Buckingham Palace which we had walked past from Green Park before reaching St James' Park.

 And in the other direction to what looked like fairyland but what was in fact Government offices!  Do click on any of my photos for a better view - this one in particular looks better enlarged.

Not only daffodils but plenty of crocuses too.

 At the end of the lake we came across this delightful little cottage - what a contrast to Buckingham Palace but I bet you can guess which I liked most and which one I'd rather live in?!  It was apparently built in 1841 as the home of the bird keeper for the park.  The design was intended to be a contrast to the architecture of the government buildings nearby - it certainly is!  It has been altered  several times and its use has also changed.  It was once a store for bicycles confiscated in the park but is now used as offices.

 What a lovely garden it had and I could just imagine it in the summer months - I want Mr M to make ours look like this - right now!!

We strolled on towards Horse Guards Parade past beds filled with polyanthus in all sorts of colours.

Eventually we ended up on Whitehall and Downing Street before making our way to Covent Garden where we had lunch in a little greasy spoon cafe since being a fine Saturday all the cafes and restaurants seemed very busy - the jacket potato I chose was good and Mr M wanted a full English breakfast also good and both washed down with a cup of builders' tea!  From there we retraced our steps back through St James Park and Green Park and got the bus back to the hotel to collect our cases and then made our way to Waterloo for the 6.20 train home.

I never tire of this view taken on our way to the station.  If you are interested in seeing other places we went and more of my photos I have put those on a separate page - see "London 2014" on the section headed Pages on my side bar.  Didn't want to bore you to death but wanted somewhere to put them for my own benefit to remind me of what we did and where we went!

I had really enjoyed our few days away in the city but I was happy to be going home as I always am after a holiday.  I am not a natural born traveler and even whilst enjoying being somewhere new I am usually counting the days till I will be home again!  Since my return I seem to have been fully occupied with this and that - why do the days all seem so much shorter now I am getting older? - and I haven't been round Blogland much so forgive me if I haven't visited you lately.  I hope to remedy that soon.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 - February

Having been down with a horrid virus the past couple of weeks I haven't given much thought to the various categories this month but here are some of the things I have achieved during February:


I made yoghurt early in the month using raw milk and some live yoghurt purchased from the farm shop  - I don't have a yoghurt maker I just heated the milk to180 degrees and allowed it to cool to 115 degrees then added the live starter and poured it into a vacuum flask (pre-warmed with some boiling water) and left it overnight.  It was delicious and will become a regular make in my kitchen now - it works out cheaper than buying the stuff too.


We bought some seed potatoes at the garden centre and here they are chitting in in the conservatory in readiness for planting when the time is right.


I try to cut back on plastic bags and always refuse bags when offered one preferring to use my own cotton bags.  I am waiting for the day when I am randomly selected to have my self scanned shopping rescanned at Waitrose as I have the price tags all stuck to my shopping list and the self weigh fruit and vegs in my own cotton bag rather than in separate plastic ones - I wonder what they will say!


We use public transport whenever possible rather than use the car - but this is not specific to February.  I spotted this bus in Salisbury last summer.


 I have planted some peas in an attempt to get some pea sprouts to add to winter salads - I am trying not to buy salad stuff which comes from warmer climes or has been grown in heated polytunnels and so am left with the odd dandelion leaf from the garden, various herbs, celery and hopefully pea shoots in due course.  To date there is nothing to see - not sure how long they take to germinate.
The sweet peas I planted are coming along well and I will soon have to thin out the mixed salad leaves.


I have to admit that I haven't felt like being creative this month what with feeling so under the weather - will try and produce something for next time!


Something I discovered - I think it was whilst reading Country Living magazine in the library - was that this lovely bowl given to my mother by her uncle back in the 1950s is something called Mocha ware.  Not of any great value but interesting to know - it sits on a shelf in the kitchen and I use it to hold bits of paper with notes for places we hear about that sound interesting so that when we find ourselves with a free day and wonder where we might go we have some ideas to choose from.  I believe it to be about 150 years old.


The flowers along the roadsides enhance a walk into town - or they will once I am feeling 100% again and doing more walks that way - I did the return from town on foot earlier this week and was absolutely exhausted when I got home - this virus has certainly knocked the stuffing out of me!


I haven't enjoyed much these past couple of weeks feeling whilst I have felt so miserable but the bright sunny day on Saturday when we went to Weymouth was enjoyable - see previous post.

If you want to see what others have been up to this month click on the link below. 

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up - Grab my button!