Welcome to my blog

This is my diary blog which I started when I retired from the Civil Service in April 2010. I like to include some of the things that I see and do with as many photographs as possible. Thank you for visiting my blog I hope you enjoyed it and will return to see what I have been doing. Or you could always join and be one of my followers.

If you would like to use one of my photographs then please ask me first, as they are all subject to copyright.

If you are interested in my crafts then I have added these to my crafting blog -


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Drawing on Location

I joined a group of ladies to draw on location.  We met at the Victoria and Albert Museum and walked around the ground floor and chose our location to draw.  
My first picture was one of the statues.
I then decided to draw a part of the building. 
When I got home I drew a picture taken from a photograph and using a white pencil on black paper. 

Westminster meetup

Last Saturday I joined the Hampshire Photography meetup group for a walk around Westminster.  We started at Waterloo and as I was there quite early I started with a few photos. 

We then walked towards the London Eye and over Westminster Bridge

Down Whitehall.

Then towards St James Park towards Buckingham Palace
Then back towards Westminster

I had some fun with some of my photos.

There are some photos on flickr.

National Memorial Arboretum

This week Val and I did a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.  We did the visit in a day trip.   Having booked our train tickets in advance they were fairly reasonably priced.   I also arranged for a cab to collect us from Lichfield Trent Valley Station to take us to the Arboretum.    

We were welcomed into the Arboretum and we bought a guidebook that includes a map. Our first visit was to the Naval Service Memorial which is a recent addition and it really is lovely. 
We then saw the Royal Air Force memorial 
before we went up to the Armed Forces Memorial

Following lunch we went off to find the Railway and RNLI memorial passing by many others on the way. 

We found that the whole place is peaceful, calming a very special place and I would love to go back one day.  

Plenty more photos on flickr.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Popular posts - 4 years on.

It is just over 4 years since I started my blog and I know I have not been so good at updating but I will try harder in the future. I thought I would check out the most popular posts.

The most popular posts are shown down the right hand side of the blog.   

The Walk around Richmond (part 1) had the most hits and as at today 1736 hits.   I must get around to finishing this walk and publish part 2.  Next comes the Fish Pedicure - 1693 hits, then Street Furniture - 1106 hits, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with 1,027 hits, and Berlin Checkpoint Charlie with 868 hits.  

The Audience numbers has certainly gone up too and the hits from within the UK was 21,869, the USA 13,173, Germany - 1272, Russia - 1256.  The list continues with India, Canada, France, Singapore, Australia and Italy. 

I look forward to seeing how the posts are going in 2015.

Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace meetup

Last Sunday I joined the Hampshire Photography Meetup group for a long walk from Finsbury Park  to Alexandra Palace.   We met at Finsbury Park Station and started our walk, we were walked along a disused railway line.

It was quite a leafy walk but there was also some interesting graffiti and some interesting steps up to different places.

We then walked through Queens Wood.

Eventually we arrived at Alexandra Palace.
Where there are some amazing views.
Lots more photos on flickr.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

River Cottage

In June I won a competition, with Abel and Cole, for a 4-day cookery course at River Cottage.   I, like many others, have seen the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage programmes and having the opportunity to visit the farm and also to learn to cook was fantastic.   The prize also included 4 nights accommodation in a hotel plus I was allowed to take a guest that was also allowed to take part in the course. 

The dates were fixed for July but I had to think about who to take with me.   I chose my friend, Sally, who is an avid Hugh F-W fan so she was an obvious choice.   When I told of the prize and asked if she was free on the dates she was delighted. 

We went down on a Wednesday and met up in Axminster and did a little bit of sightseeing before heading off to the Hotel.  The Dower House Hotel was lovely and the hosts Rosemarie and Neil were very welcoming. 
On the Thursday we set off to River Cottage to start our course.
We then spent the next 4 days cooking and learning new skills.   We cooked our own lunch and dinner and there was plenty of food to take home too.   Here are some of the dishes but there are plenty more photos on flickr.

We had the most amazing time, cooked some great food, learnt new skills and came away with lots of food and a Hugh F-W book.   It was a brilliant prize and I can only thank Abel and Cole for the opportunity. 

Tour de France - comes to London

The Tour de France came to London on the 7 July 2014.   I went up to town with my friend Melanie and we stood near to Blackfriars Station.  We had to stand for quite a time through all weathers, sun, wind, rain etc. and eventually all the cars and sponsor vans came through. 
We had to wait awhile longer and then the bikes came through really fast.   Lots more photos on flickr.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nunhead Cemetery

Joined a photography meetup on Sunday to visit Nunhead Cemetery.  The weather was a little chilly and there was a shower or two, but we still had a good time looking around this amazingly overgrown cemetery.  

More photos on flickr

Also did a little scribble picture after the event.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Wimbledon Tennis 2014

Yesterday I had my first experience of Centre Court Wimbledon.   I had managed to get seats in the ballot for the 3rd day of the tournament and I was very much looking forward to the day.   My friend, Rochelle, and I saw 3 matches, first up was ladies singles Casey Dellacqua v A. Radwanska,  then we went on to the mens Grigor Dimitrov v Luke Saville and finally a really exciting game with Novak Djokavic v Radek Stepanek.

 During the day I also spotted Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in the Royal Box.

A few more photos on flickr.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Drawing course continues...........

During the second and third week of my drawing course we drew and finished pictures of a lion and cub and Grace Kelly.   

The lion cub does look a little cuddly and and I am not sure Grace Kelly looks like her, but they are not too bad for a beginner.