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 -


Saturday, 28 January 2012

HMS Liverpool in London

HMS Liverpool

HMS Liverpool recently returned from a seven-month deployment off Libya where she played a key role as part of NATO's task force during the conflict - she also became the first Royal Navy warship to be fired upon in 30 years and returned that fire in self-defence.

The Type 42 destroyer has reached the end of her natural life in the Royal Navy after 30 years' sterling service and will be visiting London as part of her farewell tour - she will be open to visitors on Sunday 29 January 2012, an opportunity which will never be repeated.  Visitors will have the chance not only to explore the ship, but also to chat to the brave men and women who served with distinction during the Libya hostilities.

HMS Liverpool will be alongside in West India Docks (South Quay) from 26 to 31 January 2012.  The public is invited to come on board this venerable warship when she opens to visitors on Sunday 29 January 2012 from 1000 to 1600hrs.
(source - MOD)

Further photos on flickr - HMS Liverpool in London

Tonbridge Castle

On Wednesday I went to Tonbridge, Kent.  I went there to meet my brother, Lance and to finally meet my half-brother Steve all of which is a post for another day.   But while in Tonbridge I thought I would do some sightseeing and I visited the Castle.
There is not much left of the Castle now, just the Gateway but it has been turned into an interesting exhibition and you have a audio handset to explain your journey around the Castle.  There is also an audio-visual section in the Guardroom and there are various models about the Castle.  

It is not a very large Castle to visit but it is worth the visit.

There are a few more photos on my flickr Tonbridge Castle

Monday, 23 January 2012

Chinese New Year

Today is the Chinese New Year and it is the Year of the Dragon 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sights around Sutton - No 2

There have been some new road signs painted around Sutton town centre.   They are painted quite high up on walls, so they cannot be vandalised and there are some pictures added to the signs which does make them a little more interesting. 

Friday, 13 January 2012

London Ice Sculpting Festival

I went up to Canary Wharf, with my niece Laura, today to see the London Ice Sculpting Festival.  It was very cold watching the sculptors at work as the weather had got very chilly today.    It was fascinating watching the sculptors wielding chainsaws and creating figures from blocks of ice.

There were 8 countries competing in this ice festival over 2 days.  The UK teams is made up of Piers Griffin and Jonathan Lloyd.  Below I have added a photograph of their design and also of them working on the ice. 

The French teams design and work in progress is below.


Below is one of the other teams efforts - looking good though.
We were not around to see the finished works of art so I will try to find some pictures of what they ended up looking like.  

Thursday, 12 January 2012

International Gymnastics

As part of the preparations for the 2012 London Olympics there are a number of Olympic Test Events and yesterday I went with my friend Rochelle to the North Greenwich Arena (The O2) to see International Gymnastics.

This is what the area looked liked
There were teams from Italy and Brazil taking part and quite a few individuals too.  They all took part in the various apparatus, Beam, Vault, Uneven Bars and Floor.  Here is a collage of photographs from the evening.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Around Tower Bridge with ..............

.....my niece.    Laura and I met at London Bridge Station and took a walk across London Bridge and stopped for a bit of lunch.  We then walked along Lower Thames Street so we could visit St Dunstans in the East.  This is a Wren church that was damaged in the Great Fire of London, rebuilt and then damaged in the Blitz. The tower still remains and the outer walls but inner part of the church is a garden and a pleasant quiet place.
We then walked towards the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and here we are.
We walked up and over the Bridge there we we saw men at work.
We then walked back to London Bridge Station, stopping off for a coffee on the way.

A very nice afternoon!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Bike rack!

I saw this bike rack in London, in the Victoria area, it is a little worn but colourful too.   It quite amused me as it was not far from one of Boris' Bike Racks.   

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Yuri Gagarin statue

I took this photograph a couple of months ago while I was in London for the day.
Yuri Gagarin (1934-68)

This statue is in the centre of the British Council Plaza and is a gift from the Russian Federation Space Agency to the British Council to mark the 50th anniversary of Manned Space Flight

The statue was unveiled by HRH Prince Michael of Kent and Elena Gagarina, daughter of the first cosmonaut, on 14 July 2011.  It will remain on the Mall for 12 months and it is part of the Westminster City Council’s “City of Sculpture”  

Friday, 6 January 2012

Morden Hall Park

This week I met up with one of my photography colleagues, Pearline, to take some photographs around Morden Hall Park.   Now I have been to the park and taken photographs there on many occasions but this was Pearline's first visit.  It was also a chilly day so we did our bit of photography and then headed for the cafe for coffee and cake to warm up.

Westerham, Kent

While I was staying with my friend Val we decided to go out for the day to Westerham, Kent.   I have not been there for a few years and Val had never visited the town at all.   We took a bus from Bromley and headed through Biggin Hill to Westerham.     Below is the Green with the church in the far corner and Churchill's reclining statue.   
Also near the Green is the statute of General Wolfe
Will we were wondering around the town we found a sign directing us to a Domesday Mosaic and this is what came across.  
It was a really nice day out and worth another visit on a warmer day. 

Lavender Fields - Stained Glass

During the period between Christmas and New Year I stayed with my friend Val.  While I was with her I took a photograph of one of her pieces of stained glass.  Val has been doing this hobby for about a year and this particular piece represents the lavender fields and she designed it herself.  I think it is a lovely piece of work.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lee Valley Park

While I was staying with Liz and Keith we went took a trip to Lee Valley Park.  I had never been there before and was surprised how large it was and also the amount of wildlife there was around.    First we went to Dobbs Weir.

And then we went further into the park and came across a number of ducks and swans. 
Later we went to Van Hages garden centre and saw the miniature railway and carousel.  They also have loads of smaller animals and winter ice rink, it was very popular place. 

Further photographs on my flickr photostream  - Lee Valley

Liz and Keith's garden

In early December 2011 I went to stay with my friends Liz and Keith.   They live at Oakwood which is the far end of the Piccadilly Line.   They have a beautiful garden and a huge number birds visit their garden and it is quite lovely and peaceful just to sit and watch them.   On the Saturday evening we also saw the hedgehogs that in the garden to feed too.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year - welcome to 2012

Happy New Year

The fireworks in London were spectacular and were set off from Big Ben as the clock struck 12.  I watched from the comfort of my sofa but they were pretty amazing on the TV.  Let's hope 2012 is a really good year for one and all.