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 April 2012

Greys Court

Yesterday I met up with my school friends, Kate, Jane and Sally for our annual get together day, which usually happens early in the year so we can decide where to go for a weekend away later in the year.   As we have already planned our weekend away we still chose to meet up for a day out.   

As a couple of my friends and now 3 of my friends are National Trust members we decided to visit a  NT property and we went to Greys Court, which is not too far from Henley on Thames.  
Before we went into the house we took the "Felix's Gentle Path at Greys Court" walk.    The walk took us through some bluebell woods and also gave as a lovely view of the house from a vista.

The walk brings you back to the house over the Moon Bridge which takes you over the ha ha. 
We also managed a walk in the garden with the sun-shining on us.  
The house itself is a lovely Tudor Mansion and so welcoming, you felt like you could happily live there.   

We had a lovely day, dodging the heavy showers, made full use of the catering facilities and spent some time in shop too.   

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Book - Agent Zigzag

This is a fascinating book by Ben Macintyre about Edward Chapman, who became Agent Zigzag.   He was a bit of crook before the WWII broke out and he was on the run from the British police so he suggested to the Germans that he worked for them as a spy and saboteur.  Once the Germans were convinced he was genuine he was sent over to Britain to sabotage the British war effort.  Once he arrived in Britain he went straight to the British police and from there became a double-agent.  

Book - Tick Tock

Recently I finished reading another James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge book.   This is another crime thriller with Detective Michael Bennett.  I must have enjoyed it as I read it in a day!

April showers

April is turning out to be quite a wet and windy month.   We all know the expression "April Showers" but yesterday it absolutely poured with rain all day.   The photograph are some of clouds that passed over during the day.    Today continues to be wet and windy although we have had a couple of dry moments with a little sunshine.  

Friday, 20 April 2012

London Wetlands Trust with BRC

Photograph taken on my phone
I spent today at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Barnes doing a first aid duty for the BRC.   It was a really pleasant day with sunshine and heavy showers.   Worked with a good team and only one minor casualty.  We had time to walk around the Wetlands area and also look at the stands set up especially for the London Wild Bird Watch.  Lots of interesting stuff including some amazing camera equipment. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Flat Bread

Today, a very wet, windy day in April is definitely one for staying in.   So I made myself lunch of flat breads, cream cheese and olives.   
The flat bread recipe came from the internet and originated from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but I found it on a Mean Mother Cooker blog

250g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
150ml warm water

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Add the oil and water and form into a dough with your hands.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Cover the ball with an upturned mixing bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to cook and eat the flatbreads, roll the dough into a sausage shape and divide into 8 balls. Flour the work surface and roll out the dough to around 2-3mm thick, using plenty of flour. I find that the dough needs to rest once rolled out for at least 3-5 minutes.

Place a heavy-based non-stick frying pan - or a cast iron griddle - over a high heat and when it's good and hot, turn the heat down a bit. Have a plate lined with a clean tea towel so you can put your cooked flatbreads on it to keep them warm and soft.

Shake off any excess flour and carefully lay a flatbread in the hot pan. Let it sit for a minute or two, until the dough looks 'set' on top and has started to lift away from the pan. Flip over and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Wrap the cooked flatbreads in the tea towel to keep warm while the rest are cooking.

Serve the flatbreads while they are still soft and warm. Once cold, they won't be quite the same. But they can be recycled by tearing them into pieces, brushing with a little oil, then crisping them up in a hot oven to make dipping chips, or flat croutons for soups or salad

Monday, 16 April 2012

Alton and the Watercress Line

On Thursday I went back to the Watercress Line, this time it was to take some slow shutter speed photographs.  It was also an opportunity to visit Alton.   I went with my friend Val as she wanted to visit the Alton Model Centre to add some new items to her model railway.    
First we went to the Watercress Line and got the steam train to Ropley, but our steam train had a few problems and was replaced with a diesel engine.   While we were at Ropley we had walk around some of the old engines but we got caught in a hail storm so sheltered in the sheds.  I took this black and white photograph of one of the engines while I was sheltering.
As it was the Easter holiday Thomas and his friends featured on the engines, but never mind!                                   
We also got caught in another
shower at Alton.

We then took a walk around Alton which has some interesting buildings like the Normandy Building.
And there were some interesting signs like this one over this Dentist and the Railway Arms near to the Station. 

London - reflections

Last Tuesday I went out with Karen from college to take some photographs around London to capture some reflections.   Reflections is part of Karen's theme but I thought I would take a few photos too. 

There are a few more photos on flickr as well  as more London photos.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A wooden hand

I have a wooden hand!  I know that seems a strange statement but it is true.   This hand was part of a glove window display many years ago.  My friend Val has owned this hand for years but I have always liked it, so one day I asked her if she would leave it to me and she decided to give to me today. It is very tactile and I love it.  

English Garden by the Lake - Stained Glass

My friend Val has made some lovely pieces of stained glass since she started her stained glass course last year.   I included a previous piece in this blog in January 2012.   She has now finished another piece which she has called English Garden by the Lake.  I think it is a beautiful.