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!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum is in Kensington, West London. The home of Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), a Victorian artist

Leighton House Museum, London, UNITED KINGDOM | 2012 EU PRIZ ...Photography is not allowed so I have taken these from the internet to give you an idea of the opulent interior. This is the Arab Hall, designed to to display Leighton's collection of Islamic tiles. There is a golden frieze surrounding the domed ceiling. In the centre of the room is a fountain.

Photos courtesy of Flickr share

Another room has marble pillars and brilliant blue tiles.

Upstairs you can see his studio with its large window which encouraged other artists to move into the road to live in similar houses. They must have been wealthy artists to live in this area.

Monday, 25 July 2016


When I travelled to the coast last week, I drove to the small town of Hythe and then went on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, a small gauge light railway which runs the 13.5 miles from Hythe to Dungeness on the South-East coast. It opened in 1927 as a 15inch gauge ( one third full size) fully working steam railway.

I bought a Rover ticket so I could on and off at the different stations on the line. It was my first trip on this railway so I was like an excited child.

It's quite compact inside the carriages but it was early in the day plus school holidays hadn't started so I had lots of space to myself.

I travelled to the end of the line at Dungeness. It is an unusual landcape and has been designated as a National Nature Reserve, Pecial Protection Area and Area of Conservation..Dungeness is one of the best single beaches in the world and is home to 600 species of plants which is a third of all plants found in the UK.


There are two lighthouses in Dungeness, the old one(shown above) which is now privately owned and is open to the public. You can also see the roundhouse base of the oldest lighthouse on the right.  Below is the new lighthouse.

You can't visit Dungeness without seeing the Nuclear power Station dominating the landscape.

On the way back to Hythe I stopped off at New Rowney to see the model railway

Also got out at Dymchurch, a typical small sea side town.

With its small funfair

and sandy beach

Then back on the train to Hythe

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 22 July 2016

Weekend Reflection

To escape the heat in London this week I took a journey to the coast

Sharing with James at weekend reflection

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Hive at Kew

The Hive is an installation and experience created by Wolfgang Buttress.It was commissioned by the UK Government to form the centrepiece of the UK pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Wolfgang was inspired by the work of Dr Martin Bencsik on bee vibration and communication patterns

The structure highlights the importance of bees as pollinators.

Illuminated by 1000 LED lights, the Hive represents a vast honey bee hive. It's linked to one of Kew's hives and the lights flicker in time to vibrations caused when the bees communicate with one another.

The Hive is surrounded by a wild meadow.

At Kew Gardens the scientists and horticulturists are exploring the worrying decline of bee populations and investigating the relationship between plants and their pollinators. 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Old Curiosity Shop

Built in 1567 this is the oldest shop in Central London. Some people think this was the inspiration for Charles Dickens's novel of the same name but there is no evidence to support that claim other than Dickens living nearby. This timber framed building managed to escape not only the Great Fire of London but also the bombing of WW2.
The shop is tucked away surrounded by the London School of Economics yet it is so close to The Strand and Fleet Street that I can't believe I have never walked past it until this week. Constructed from ship salvaged wood it is no longer full of curiosities but handmade shoes. After 500 years it is still a shop. Quite an achievement.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Stowe House

This long straight drive approaches Stowe House and gardens from Buckingham, passing through this 60 foot Corinthian Arch

You still use the driveway to approach the house but it no longer takes you through the arch. The Stowe estate began as the home to the Temple family from 1590.

The house was completely rebuilt in the early 1700s and has been redesigned over the years. The frontage is 916 feet long.

In 1922 Stowe School saved the building from demolition. The school is an Independent boys and girls boarding school with over 700 pupils.

The school is open to visitors  especially during the school holidays so I was fortunate to have a look around. This is the main library.

State Music Room

The domed ceiling in the Great Hall.


The dining room.

One of the most interesting things on display were these items found during building works which mainly consisted of a stash of biscuit and sweet wrappers.

Walking back through the gardens here are some of the many temples and monuments.This is the Gothic Temple  

Temple of Concord and Victory
                            The Queen's temple

                                                      Temple of Ancient Virtue

Captain Grenville's Column

Bald looking sheep.

It is such a beautiful place, no wonder it is one of the National Trust's most popular estates to visit.