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!

Sunday, 21 September 2014


This weekend was Open House which gives the public an opportunity to look inside private buildings and those of architectural interest. This is an annual event and over the years I have been inside some incredible buildings. This year I decided to queue to  have a  closer  look at the  inside the gherkin..

There was already a  long queue when I arrived on a wet and misty Saturday morning.
The queue moved slowly.

After 2 hours the entrance was in sight.

We were taken to the top of the building in two different super fast lifts.
This is the view looking up at the  top of the Gherkin

It was a very dull day outside but I still enjoyed the different views of London.

The new cheese grater building is just across the road from the Gherkin.

A new view for me of  the walkie talkie

The top of the Shard is shrouded in cloud.

A reflection of the top of the Gherkin reflected onto the floor.

As I walked away from the Gherkin the queue was now twice as long as when I joined it earlier in the day which meant  a four hour wait for some people!

 Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 19 September 2014

Tea, tiles and banking

Opposite the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand you will find this magnificent entrance to believe it or not -a bank.

You might easily walk past the glass doors thinking it was just an ordinary bank but once inside it is a feast for the eyes. Needless to say, this building did not start life as a bank but as a hotel -The Palsgrave. Built in 1883 it was decorated with Doulton tiles (see previous post here).

Above this flying fish you can see the flamboyantly styled letter P, a reminder of its previous life as The Palsgrave Hotel. All around the entrance there are tiles depicting animals, plants and figures.

The tiles were decorated by John McLennan who had worked for the Doulton Pottery factory for 33 years starting in 1877 at the age of 17.

In 1825 Twinings (the famous tea company) diversified into finance. needing more space The Twinings shop,which is next door to the bank eventually took over the Hotel next door and converted it into a bank. It was in 1892 that the bank merged with Lloyds but there was still a Mr Twining as manager until 1917 when he retired.

Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Windsurfing at Whitstable Bay.

This is Whitstable Bay off the Kent coast which is just an hour's drive from London. So when I knew C, a fellow blogger from Minnesota wanted to see a fishing village, not too far from London, this was the obvious choice. The sun was shining as we strolled along the coastal path listening to the screeching of the seagulls.

The tide was out and being a pebble beach there were not that many children playing although these two had braved the cold waters and been in for a paddle.

There was lots of activity out on the water with the sailing dinghies and the windsurfers.
I loved watching this surfer skimming across the water. But it was also fun watching the beginner.




Whitstable is also famous for its oysters

Did we or didn't we?

Well, I couldn't let a visitor not try the local delicacy now could I?

Followed, of course by fish and chips!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Doulton Pottery Head Office

This is Southbank House built in 1876 on the corner of Lambeth High Street and Black Prince Road. The building was the Pottery's s Museum and Art school.for Doulton Pottery in Lambeth, London. The pottery was founded in 1815  in Lambeth but the factory had to close in 1956 due to the Clean Air Act and production was moved to The Potteries in Staffordshire.

The building is unusual as it is decorated with terracota tiles showing off the variety of styles that Doulton produced. It appears to be a very effective way of  advertising its wares.

This is part of the decoration around the window.

Above the door is a scene showing potters at work.

Above the windows towards the top of the building you can just make out the name Doulton in the tiling.

Nowadays the building is used as an office block for a variety of companies.

Sharing with      Our World Tuesday