Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 1 September 2014

The corner shop or is it?





The corner shop used to be a very common sight with its shelves filled with everyday items. Not a huge choice but convenient for the essentials. Nowadays they are rarely seen as they are unable to compete with the large supermarkets.


 I came across this one in the East End of London yesterday. It was its last day of trading and people were queuing to get inside.














But this was no ordinary corner shop, as everything on the shelves has been handmade from felt by the artist Lucy Sparrow, including the till, pricing gun and the contents of the freezer.







 The shop has not only been open for viewing everyday during August, but has also been used for sewing workshops for the community, especially those with special needs.








All the items in the shop were for sale but had to remain on the shelves until the end of the exhibition.


Sharing with


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Parish Lock up

Walking through the streets of Hampstead I came across this unusual doorway and windows.









I then had to find Holly Walk to have a look at the Watch House mentioned above and here it is:



Sharing with Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors!,

Friday, 29 August 2014

Reflections at Biddulph Grange gardens

On my way back from Manchester last weekend I stopped off at Biddulph Grange Garden, in Staffordshire, a large Victorian garden with plants from all around the world. Here are a few reflections I came across whilst wandering around.
On the woodland walk I found this old tree trunk where water had collected in its hollow trunk. 












Sharing with James @ Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

RLSB at Billingsgate Seafood school

As some of you may know I work as a volunteer sighted guide for the Royal London Society for the Blind.  For one or two days a week during August  I have been supporting young visually impaired adults improve their cooking skills at the Billingsgate seafood school. It has been lots of fun  with new skills acquired by everyone. This is R gutting a fish for the first time.










Monday, 25 August 2014

Bluebell Railway





The Bluebell railway is a heritage line running for 11 miles from Sheffield Park in Sussex to East Grinstead where it links up with British Rail. The trains are operated by steam.






If only the fares were that cheap now. This sign is in 'old money' (before decimalisation) and 1st class would have cost just over 40p. Today a first class ticket costs £22   I had arrived too late to go for a ride so I had a look around the station instead.






It is run totally by dedicated volunteers. Alongside the station is a large shed where trains are being repaired and brought back to life.











The signal box.






Although I wasn't able to go for a ride on a train I was in the station to see this one arrive.

















When it stopped at the platform I noticed this door hadn't been closed so I jumped inside to take a quick photo of the interior of the carriage.
Brought back memories of times gone by with the corridors running the length of the carriage and doors leading off to the seating compartments.




















Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Polesdon Lacey National Trust #18


My visit to a National Trust property a few weeks ago had a dual purpose. Firstly I had never visited Polesdon Lacey before and secondly trying out a sat nav which was a present from my children as they try and drag me into the 21st cent. Using a sat nav is not on my bucket list but maybe I should have included it as it has taken me a long time to agree to use one. Much prefer a traditional map although trying to drive and navigate when you are alone in the car is not easy.

I chose this property as it seemed a little out of the way and I would have to put my trust into technology. Well I got there. It did seem to take a long time and I only went wrong once but the well spoken lady from the sat nav put me back onto the correct road in no time.

Polesdon Lacey is an Edwaedian house in Surrey. It was redesigned in 1906 by Mrs Greville as her country estate. She used it to  entertain royalty and politicians.
The future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the present Queen's mother and father) spent part of their honeymoon here in 1923.








The house looks out over the rolling hills of the North Downs



The house has a wide collection of art and ceramics.
























As you would imagine there are extensive grounds and gardens surrounding the house.

















































The kitchen garden





Mrs Greville's final resting place.