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 -


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Kingston upon Thames

Today I took the X26 bus down to Kingston and had a stroll along the river.   It was sunny but chilly and a very nice relaxing walk.  

There were quite a few people about and they were feeding the swans, geese, ducks and birds.

I have added the rest of photos onto the flickr photostream

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The King's Speech

Rochelle and I went to Wimbledon yesterday evening to see The King's Speech.   All I can say is what a fantastic movie definitely worth seeing.

I won a Day Floatation Experience

I received a congratulations letter from Nirvana Spa today together with 2 vouchers for a Day Floatation Experience.  Now I assume this is a competition prize but I am not sure what competition it was but that really doesn't matter I shall just look forward to my spa day.   The day includes a floatation treatment, lunch, drinks and robe hire.  As the voucher is for 12 months I think I will save this to later in the year and think about who should come with me.   :-) 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Spring Term - Digital Photography course - week 2

Week 2 of the photography course - This week we discussed the issues we had using the Aperture and Shutter speeds.   We then looked at all the detailed information on the screen of the camera and went through each item so we have an overview and will look at each item in more detail as the weeks go on. 

This weeks homework is to continue to take more photos using the aperture and shutter speeds.   I also need to find myself a tripod for next weeks class.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Morden Hall Park

Despite the fact it was grey, wet and miserable today I decided to take a walk around Morden Hall Park.  I did stop off in the National Trust Cafe first for a quick drink and a piece of cake and then off around the park.

I tried to take pictures that were a little bit different.

The rest of photos can be found on my flickr photostream

Burger King has closed down

I don't mean all Burger King's have closed down and we still have one in the St Nicholas Centre, but the first drive thru Burger King in the UK was opened in Sutton on 14 October 1986 but I passed the other day to find out it closed down on 31 December 2010.  Not sure what is going up on the site probably a block of flats we will have wait and see.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Kew Gardens in the winter

I went to Kew Gardens today, it was a bit chilly but lovely and sunny and I thought it was a good opportunity to play with the new camera.  

I started with a visit to the Palm House and once the mist had cleared from the camera (and my glasses) I went up the spiral staircase to the top and took a few photos.

Then I took a stroll down the end of the gardens to the Pagoda


And then I went up to the Treetop Walkway, the lift was not working to I had to walk to the top, but the view was lovely.

Finally I walked back to the Palm House and the cafe and enjoyed a scrummy chocolate cake and a cup of tea.

View from the Palm House 

Check out the flickr photostream for the rest of the photos.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Spring Term - Digital Photography course - week 1

Today was week one of the spring term of the Photography Course at the Smitham Centre.  This term we are looking at more technical DSLR cameras and getting to grips with all the knobs, buttons and whizzy bits that are a bit of a mystery.    There are some modes that we dealt with last term; portrait, landscape, macro, sport, night shots plus the white balance and ISO, so we were looking at more manual modes like Av and Tv.  

The Av is Aperture value are the 'F' numbers and the lower the number = the larger the aperture which lets in more light and focus is on subjects that are near.   So the higher the number = the smaller the aperture which lets in less light and focus is on subjects further away.  (Hope I have got that right!)

The Tv is the Shutter speed and the higher the number the faster the speed.

If I set the aperture then the camera will work out the shutter speed and if I set the shutter speed then the camera selects the aperture.

The homework is to practice using the Av and Tv.   Watch this space for the photos to come. 

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Met a friend from Down Under

I met up with my friend, Marg, who is from Australia.  She is over visiting her family and going lots of touristy things around Europe.   We met up in Wimbledon and took the tram to Waddon Marsh to visit the HobbyCraft shop.   Marg is a card maker and wanted to see if she could find some different kind of craft bits to take back to Australia.   We had a good look around and I ended up buy quite a few bits in the hope to kick-start my card making. 

Once we finished buying all out crafty bits we went back to Wimbledon and had a lunch in All Bar One and took the opportunity to catch up on all the news.

Christmas present

I thought I deserved a Christmas present so I bought myself an e-reader.   This will mean that I should have more room in my backpack as it is much thinner than most of the books I have been reading lately.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Merton Abbey Mills

Met up with Debbie today and we went off to take a look around Merton Abbey Mills.  It was a bit of a quick look at there was not much open.   It is a long time since I have been there and I know it is a buzzing place at the weekends but today on a a bit of grey, wet day there were only a couple of places open.    I think I may have to come back one weekend and see the place in full swing. 

Instead we went off to Wimbledon Village for a stroll, stopped off for lunch and a catch-up.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Suffragette monument

I went up to London today to meet a friend for lunch and whilst I was waiting for her I popped into Christchurch Gardens in Victoria.  These gardens are basically a small patch of grass and bushes on the corner of Victoria Street and Broadway near to New Scotland Yard.  

In the gardens there is a monument to the Suffragettes.   The monument is in the form of a scroll and the inscription reads:-  "This tribute is erected by the Suffragette Fellowship to commemorate the courage and perseverance of all those men and women who in the long struggle for votes for women selflessly braved derision, opposition and ostracism, many enduring physical violence and suffering".

If you are in the area check it out, after all it is an important piece of history. 

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Kensington Antique Fair

It was a lovely sunny day and today I met up with my friends Val and Colin at High Street, Kensington to go to the Kensington Antique Fair.    The fair run by Penman Fairs was held at Kensington Town Hall and will be the last one held there as they say the cost now outstrips demand!   

There were about 40 stands and a good variety of items, some of which were completely out of our price range but other smaller items were a good price.   We did not buy anything but instead went off to Strada for a very nice risotto lunch.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

When in doubt make Chocolate cakes

It has been wet, grey and miserable day and my plans did not go as they should today.   So I thought I would do a little bit of baking.   The recipe was for Chocolate Muffins, but they didn't look like the muffins you can get in the shop so I added a little bit of chocolate icing to make them into cup cakes.   They are by no means perfect but they taste very scrummy.

Early evening sky

Despite the day being grey and miserable all day the early evening sky has turned out to be quite pleasant. 

The start of 2011

I have not been particularly good at keeping my diary up to date so far in 2011.  Today I was intending to meet a friend and go out and have a lovely lunch all of which would have been photographed a posted on the blog.   Unfortunately, I was let down by a friend so the day out and lunch did not happen.  I would have gone out and taken some photos but the weather was completely against me as it has poured with rain all day.

The only pictures I managed to taken was one of the rain against the tree around the back of the property and one of the puddles.    Lets hope for some better weather soon!