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!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Classic ships

As part of the Thames Festival this month Classic boats were moored in St Katherine's Dock this weekend.

As you can see it was very colourful with all the flags  flying.


Not quite sure where they are going but in the background you can see the Queen's Rowboat - The Gloriana.

This is the Portwey Steam Tug- the last coal fired twin screw steam tug in the UK

Some of the Dunkirk Little Ships were also there.

 This is a Motor Torpedo Boat and was involved in 'Operation Dynamo', the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force and Allies from Dunkirk in 1940. She crossed the Channel 8 times. The following year she carried Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower to review the ships assembled on the South Coast for the D Day landings. It is believed that this is the only surviving warship that was present at Dunkirk and  D DAY

This is Wanda another of the Dunkirk Little Ships.She was used to ferry troops off the beaches of Dunkirk on the 1st June 1940 for 'Operation Dynamo' in WW2.

The Elvin
This very small boat also helped to evacuate troops off the Dunkirk beaches. On 31st May 1940 she  was sent back as she was too small. She returned and was advised once again not to go but she went anyway and was one of the last of the small boats to leave Dunkirk on 3rd June 1940.

The Dickens Inn overlooking St Katherine's Dock.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Weekend reflection in Hampstead

 This is Whitestone pond in Hampstead, North London. It is one of the highest spots in London and was the site of  an Armada Beacon. In 1588 when the Spanish Armada was first sited off the coast, beacons were lit across the country to warn the Navy. There is now a flagpole marking the spot of the beacon.
 A short walk from the pond leads you onto Hampstead Heath but here was a surprise for me as I had never visited this section of the Heath before with its Pergola and Hill Garden.
 It is beautiful with all the trailing plants and vines. It was built by Lord Leverhulme in the early 1900s.

 He also bought this huge house known as 'The Hill' but it has now been converted into luxury apartments.

The spiral staircase leading down from the Pergola and into the gardens.

Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Biddulph Grange Garden National Trust #19

In 1840 Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, UK was bought by James Bateman. He and his wife were passionate about plants  and were rich enough to be able to travel and bring back plants from around the world. He and his wife with the help of an artist friend enlarged and planted out the gardens into different themed areas . Due to the design you cannot see into one area from another so I was constantly surprised by what I found by going through tunnels , walkways or between hedges.

Here are some of the photos I took in no particular order. I do not know the names of the plants and they were deliberately not labelled in keeping with the original garden layout.