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!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Old Truman's Brewery

The Truman Brewery began in 1666 in the East End of London and grew to be one of the largest breweries in the UK.  In the 1980s the brewery and the pubs were sold/. However, the name can still be seen on many pubs in the area and the old Brewery has become part of the Brick Lane creative scene.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bluebell woods

My walk this week began in Emmetts Gardens, Kent. Before reaching the woodland where I wanted to start my walk  I needed to walk through the beautiful gardens of this National Trust property. I was quite surprised that the rhododendrons were already in flower.

Once through the more formal gardens I joined the path which would take me through the woods and then up a couple of hills giving me tremendous views over the Kent countryside.

Just look at the carpet of bluebells beneath my feet.

I couldn't stop taking photos. No wonder the walk took me so long.

Following my walk a couple of weeks ago when I got lost as I didn't have a map, I made sure that I bought the appropriate map for this part of Kent but where was it? At home of course!

Which colour shall I follow today?
I decided on the red markers as they looked newer and there was more chance they were still in place. It is always interesting to follow a new path and see if there are any surprises around the next corner and I wasn't disappointed.

Here I came across the site of an old Manor House. There was an information board nearby explaining that when the owner died in 1923, his widow decided to return to live in London and the property fell into disrepair. During the bombing in WW2 it suffered a direct hit. Very little of the original brickwork remains.

 However it made the  perfect place to stop for lunch. The view from here looks out over four counties; East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

Another enjoyable walk in the Spring sunshine.

Monday, 14 April 2014

O2 Arena

Built to celebrate the Millennium and known as the Dome it was built to house a huge exhibition. The exhibition lasted for one year and more than 6 million people visited during 2000.

There are twelve supporting struts,one for each month of the year, or hour on a clock face, or one of the twelve constellations. As the Dome is built on the Greenwich Peninsular the reference to time was very important. The 100m yellow supports are  to remind us of great arms  outstretched in celebration. The roof is made of white Teflon coated glass fibre. The Dome has become one of the UK's more modern landmarks.

 The structure is 365metres in diameter and 1km in circumference. After the exhibition closed on 31st Dec 2000 it became a bit of a white elephant with the press having a field day criticising the government for their lack of planning and overspending.  It wasn't until O2 bought it in 2005 and converted it into a music arena with restaurants, cinemas etc did it begin to be a success. It opened to the public in 2007 and has become one of the biggest concert arenas in the UK.

You can climb the Dome which seems quite a popular activity.

This is what the supports look like from the inside of the arena.

This photo gives you some idea of the size of the Dome

Security is always high on the agenda. This is a sniffer dog. Some are trained to sniff out explosives whilst others can detect drugs.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Sunday, 13 April 2014

2014 London Marathon

Today was the 34th London Marathon with over 30,000 people taking part. I always go to support the runners and as today was another beautiful Spring day I was there shouting them on until I was hoarse.

This was Mo Farah's ( the middle runner) first Marathon and he finished in 8th place.
There were a number of blind runners being guided around the course.

Also a number of disabled runners. There are 4 different timed starts so that the wheelchair racers will have a clear run before the able bodied runners start their race.

 Then the mass of runners go past. if you are not careful it is easy to feel dizzy as you watch so many runners going past.

 There seemed to be quite a few men in mankinis! Not a pretty picture if you running behind them!

If you think this gentleman looks bad you should have seen him frm behind.

 A fire fighter in full uniform.

Anyone need their house vacuumed?

The rhino costumes are a regular feature of the Marathon.

 Here's one man running with a fridge on his back. Why? I've no idea.

How demoralising to be beaten by a camel.

Charlie Chaplin gets in on the act.

 Two apples running side by side.

Oh and this is me. I took part in the 25th Marathon in 2005. I only did the one and that was enough for me.