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 -
http://lynnes-crafting.blogspot.com/





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Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas everyone

I would like to wish all my blog followers and those that just stumble across 
my blog a very Merry Christmas.

Olympic Games - I am going to them!

I had a call from my Bank yesterday evening to tell me that I had won tickets to an event at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, London 2012.  I walked down to the Bank this morning and they provided me with a letter and a copy of the Q&A.   I will not know which event I am going to until March 2012 but I am really excited to know that I can go to the Games.   

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Chocolate Truffles

I have made some chocolate truffles, these are for the friends I am seeing over the Christmas break.  I started them yesterday and then left them overnight in the fridge.  There are 2 kinds; some rum truffles and I have added some white chocolates to a few of them.  The other kind are nutty as I added peanut butter to the chocolate mix and coated them in chopped nuts too.   They are now all in the freezer and will not be taken out until Christmas Eve, when I shall put them in some papers and get them boxed up.













Sunday, 11 December 2011

Photography exhibition

Today there was an exhibition of photographs at the South Norwood college that I am attending for my photography course.  I went along to see the work of the photography students, my own was was included.   This is the print I submitted for the exhibition, it is the Duck House at St James' Park in London
I also submitted a photograph for the projected images, this is Hampton Court with ice skaters.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Card Competition

Last Wednesday I entered the Christmas Card Competition at the local camera club.   It was all a bit of fun and we had a really great evening viewing all the entries whilst enjoying glasses of mulled wine, sausages, sausage rolls and mince pies.  The winner was a lovely photograph of a robin.  My entry was more for fun. It was a lego snowman, that I had photographed in Berlin in December 2010, and I added the words; Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Lego Snow!  I may not have won but I did get an honourable mention.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Will Young at the BBC



My friend Sally contacted my recently to say that she had obtained tickets for the Will Young concert to be recorded at the BBC for Radio 2.  


Sally came down to London and we queued outside the BBC building Portland Place.  Eventually we were let it to the studio and we had the pleasure of listening to Will Young for about an hour and 20 minutes.   


It was a really great performance.









Pen pal visits London

My pen pal, Cindy and her husband Jim visited London last weekend.  Cindy and I have been pen friends for over 40 years, we have sort have sort of grown up together and until December 2010 had never met.  But last December I took a trip to Berlin and met Cindy and her husband, we met again, briefly, in May this year at Heathrow airport and then again last weekend when they did a flying visit to London.

We met at the Cabinet War Rooms so we could visit it together, then we took a walk up to the National Portrait Gallery for dinner and good long chat.  

I gave Cindy and Jim a small gift that I had made them, which I included in my crafting blog.
http://lynnes-crafting.blogspot.com/2011/11/cross-stitch-us-army.html

Thursday, 24 November 2011

At the Guildhall for the BRC

On Friday 18 November I attended the Guildhall in the City of London for a first aid event for the British Red Cross.  The Guildhall were hosting a luncheon for City of London pensioners and fortunately there were no casualties.   We were also able to enjoy the lunch - which I must say was delicious. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembrance Service

There are Remembrance Services all around the country today.  I took part in the parade and service in Croydon as a member of the British Red Cross.   We walked from West Croydon through to the Fairfield Halls, Croydon where the service was held.    We then walked to the Cenotaph in Katharine Street for the wreath laying ceremony. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Lord Mayor's Show

On the second Sunday of November every year the new Lord Mayor is sworn in and his carriage and parade leaves from the Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice.  Once he has been sworn in he leaves again and parade continues.  


I have added a few more photographs on to the flickr photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordmayorsshow

Friday, 11 November 2011

Armistice Day - 2011

Today is Armistice Day also known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day.  The day is to recall the official end of World War I in 1918.  The hostilities formally ended " at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.  


At 11.00 am there was a two-minute silence were millions across the UK remember those brave heroes that fought and died for their country.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 
We will remember them.


---ooOoo---

And today is also 11/11/11 - 11th November 2011

Spa Day

In January I won a Floatation Day at the Nirvana Spa in Berkshire for 2. 
http://lynnes-diary.blogspot.com/Floatation Day


Well on Wednesday my friend Val and I went to the Spa for this experience.   First, I noticed about the place is that it is huge!  We were welcomed and given all the information, robes and towels and timings we needed.   So off we went to get changed into our swimwear and into the hydro pool first which was lovely and warm and where you get pummelled by jets of water.   


We then went to check in for the floatation part of the experience.  We told all about the minerals and salts that the pool contained.  Then we went into a training pool to make sure we were happy about entering the water and laying on our backs, we also taught how to stand up which is something we had to practice.   Once we were ready we were taken into the floatation room.   One at a time we walked into the pool (there were 4 people at a time) and then we laid back and the let the water gently take us off in an anti-clockwise direction around the pool.   It was so relaxing and felt wonderful.  The lights were lowered and we just relaxed for 40 minutes, you could sleep if you wanted to or just gaze at the star light ceiling.  When the time was up the lights came on and we made our way out of the pool.  While we showed to get wash off all the salts we had the opportunity to try some different products which all felt lovely.


After this experience we changed into some dry swimming costumes and went of our buffet salad lunch.  We then spent some time on the heated stone loungers and also say by the pool making the most of the free drinks available.  Then at about 3.30 we went back to the cafe to indulge in a glass of sparkling wine before we changed back into our normal clothes and made our way home.   


It is an amazing spa and the experience was so lovely I would definitely do it again.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween - 2011

Those people that know me or were reading my blog this time last year will know that I am not a Halloween fan.  But this year Nestle have made it a little bit special with lovely little pumpkins filled with Smarties.    So perhaps Halloween is not so bad this year.   Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sights around Sutton - No. 1

I have been thinking of taking some photographs around Sutton for some time, so this is the first of the posts and when I get around to taking more photographs I will put them into the blog.  


This picture is painted on a wall near to where I live, I don't know how long it has been there or who did but I think it is pretty amazing. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Christchurch



On Thursday I went to Christchurch with Val, this was a trip to have a good look around as Val and her husband are thinking of moving to the area in a couple of years.







   


Some interesting pictures on the station platform.






The town has a Priory and ruins of a castle.
There are a few other interesting signs around the town too.




A few more photographs on flickr  Christchurch photos

Monday, 17 October 2011

Laura and Matthew's Wedding

At the weekend I attended the wedding reception for my friend Laura to her fiancĂ© Matthew.   I have known Laura for a quite a few years as we used to work together but more recently we both became bloggers at about the same time as I started a diary and Laura had gone to live in Singapore.   We follow each others blogs, Laura's blog is Expat Adventures in Singapore http://www.expatadventuresinsingapore.com/


Laura also gave me the opportunity to make the invites to her wedding and I added a picture on my crafting blog. 
http://lynnes-crafting.blogspot.com/wedding-invites


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Westminster Abbey with the BRC

I went to Westminster Abbey yesterday for my second first aid event for the British Red Cross.  The event was a service celebrating 200 years of Church Schools.   There were quite a few schools represented and some of the had made some really interesting banners.    As far as the first aid was concerned there were no casualties, phew! 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

V&A Museum of Childhood - Bethnal Green

Yesterday my friend Debbie and I went to the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green.   I have been to the museum before but it is a very very long time ago and I don't remember much about it.   
The museum is housed in what appears to be one large room although there are a couple of levels on each side of the main room.   The artefacts are housed in glass cabinets but there are also quite a few items for children to play with and try out.  


There were quite a few dolls houses and some of them were quite amazing 

It was quite noisy as there were a couple of school groups and the noise echoes around the hall.


More photographs on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/V&A Museum of Childhood

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Weekend away with school friends - 2011

Last weekend my school friends, Kate, Jane, Sally and myself went to Sinah Warren on Hayling Island.   This was our annual weekend get together.  We travelled down on Friday, in the lovely sunshine.  
On the Saturday we went Portsmouth, via the ferry and bus to visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where we visited HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and we did a tour of the harbour.  We did not manage to see everything in the dockyard but fortunately the ticket (which is expensive at £21.50) does mean you can return during the year.  
More photographs on flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/Portsmouth


Following our visit to the dockyard we went to Gunwharf Quay shopping centre, where I found a number of American Police cars on display.
I have downloaded my photographs on to flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/Gunwharf Quay


In the evening at Sinah Warren we had a Hot Chocolate Tribute Band who were very good.










On the Sunday we took a trip to Chichester for a look around the city and the Cathedral.
Then after lunch we went down to Bosham we enjoyed a stroll around and an ice cream.  
Further photographs on flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/Chichester and Bosham

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Photography

On Tuesday I started my City and Guilds in Photography, Level 1.   There are about a dozen of us in the class and our tutor is Andrew Gilpin.  This first weeks homework is to photograph a plastic white cup, in 3 different ways.   Have to think about that one.

Then on Wednesday I went to the Photocraft Camera Club as I had entered the first competition for this 2011/12 year.  I entered 3 photographs at level 1 and I am delighted to say that I got 10 marks and first place for one of my photographs.  

This is the photograph that gave me the 10 points and the first place.

I did get 8 1/2 marks for this photograph and the judge commented on how I could have cropped it more and perhaps lightened the face of the bee a little more.

And finally I got 8 marks on this one, which again received comments from the judge about further cropping.

So not a bad week on the photography front.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Valencia - flickr

I have added more photographs of Valencia on to flickr and here is the link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/Valencia

Valencia - Old Town

Walking around the old town of Valencia was great we came across some amazing buildings like the Bank of Valencia and the Rail station.  The Bank of Valencia and the station are very ornate.  The booking hall at the station have mosaics stating “bon voyage” in various languages.







One of the most ornate buildings in the town is the ceramic museum.
We also visited the cathedral and did a tour around it.  
The Food Market was pretty impressive and there was plenty of jamon
Down at the Port was a really nice building which is the custom house
And of course I had to take some photographs of some lovely looking lamps and a row of bikes which seem very popular in this city.  









Valencia - Oceanografic

The Oceanografic has an aquarium and various outside areas including a wetlands dome, it is all beautifully landscaped, the only thing that seemed to be missing were the animals, birds, fish!  There were plenty in the aquarium, with lots of people too, but outside it was a little lacking.  One of things we wanted to see was the Dolphin (and Killer Whale) Show and this was the opportunity.  Not quite sure what happened the Killer Whale as he was a no show!  The Dolphin show was really good and we watched twice.

The Aquarium



Wetlands birds


Dolphin show




Saturday, 24 September 2011

Valencia - Modern Architecture

This harp shaped bridge, Darth Vader’s helmet, giant unblinking eye, a whale skeleton, these are the images of the Arts and Science, the IMAX cinema at the Hemisferic and further downstream is the Oceanografic.   All of which have been built in the city’s dried river bed. 

The buildings are amazing to look at but we did not have time to do them justice.  We did go to the Oceanografic which is covered in a separate post.