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, 30 December 2013

Goodbye to 2013

As 2013 nears its end, it is time for me to look back over the year. My driving force is my bucket list which motivates me to find ways to achieve my goals. This year I have tackled some challenging tasks such as swimming 1 km of front crawl and walking the 184 miles of the Thames path.Other highlights include cheering Andy Murray on at Queen's and seeing him play in the semi-finals at Wimbledon; sailing across Windemere, the largest lake in England; fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast; seeing inside Lloyds of London. Visiting places such as Holy Island and the Farne Islands, Berlin and New York were wonderful highlights. The continued exploration of Kent villages and National Trust properties filled many sunny days this year. Having started voluntary work during the Olympics I was keen to continue and now spend time helping the blind and partially sighted to take an active role in different sports. I also joined a new group in the U3A playing table tennis which I love.









Half of the challenges on my list have now been achieved since retiring in 2011. As time goes on it will become more difficult if not impossible to achieve some of them, but then what's the point of setting targets if they are all easy to achieve.



Bring on 2014 for the next new chapter in my life.


                 Happy New Year bloggers



Friday, 27 December 2013

Nelson's Column

Spotted this reflection in the bookshop near Trafalgar Square:


Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas to bloggers everywhere from London

St Paul's Cathedral









Tower Bridge









The skating rink at Somerset House












The London Eye and Big Ben


And finally Trafalgar Square with its Norwegian Christmas tree (an annual present from Oslo) taking centre stage.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Butlers

Here is something I haven't come across before - The 'Sloane Street Butlers'. They are employed by shops on Sloane Street to carry customers bags for them. I saw about 10 of them as I walked down the street.

These two 'Butlers' were happy to pose for me. As I could never afford anything from a Sloane Street shop, I thought this was very kind of them.


A typical shop on Sloane Street




Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas shop windows

Continuing with my theme of Christmas in London, here are some shots of the more unusual window displays I spotted this week around New Bond Street.


This was 'Victoria's Secrets'. All the windows had been decorated on the outside to frame the goods on display. I liked this one because the reflection framed the windows of the building opposite just perfectly.


Ralph Lauren's very classy window displays again reflected the lights of Cartier's display across the road.

 Cartier's windows. I liked the big white lion lounging along the balustrade.


This building with its garish shop window stuck out like a beacon amongst these other exclusive shops. Quite a bold move away from the other designer stores. This shop is Stella McCartney's  





Linking up with James at Weekend Reflections





Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Ritz

The main entrance to The Ritz hotel in London





































Can you see the policeman on the white horse waiting for the traffic lights to change?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas on the South Bank

Along the South Bank of the Thames in front of the Festival Hall, there are numerous Christmas stalls selling food and drink and other Christmas goodies. It is ablaze with Christmas lights.











Sunday, 15 December 2013

Under the pier

These were taken underneath the pier outside the old Billingsgate fish market.




Sharing the post with everyone at
Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Piccadilly Circus

The bright lights of Piccadilly Circus in London with the statue of Eros enclosed in a snow globe.



The main reason for its enclosure is to protect the statue during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Linking with
Maria at Orange you glad its Friday

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Poinsettia Day

Just happened to be walking past a famous florist shop in Belgravia and was asked to be part of International Poinsettia Day - no I've never heard of it either. But it was a beautiful way to display them.



Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The British library

Outside the British Library is this sculpture of Newton by Paolozzi.



Below the sculpture was this plaque which I didn't understand.




The plaque reads NEWTON after William Blake by Eduardo Paolozzi.

Why the reference to Wiiliam Blake? Then last week I visited the Tate Britain art gallery and the mystery was solved. There I saw this watercolour and ink print by William Blake














Sunday, 8 December 2013

Noses

As I'm sure you all know by now, I love London and its  many unusual sights. A couple of weeks ago I went on a walk in search of 'noses'.

In 1997 the artist Rick Buckley attached  approximately 35 reproductions of his nose to various buildings. It was said at the time that he did it as a silent protest about the number of CCTV cameras there are in London. No one seems to know how many of the original noses still remain in place, although 7 or 8 appears to be the number people declare they have found. The first one (which aroused my curiosity) I came across by accident whilst waiting to cross the road beneath Admiralty Arch.

 Can you see it in this picture? I am not convinced that this was put there by the artist as it looks to be made of bronze and is just the right height for soldiers on horseback to be able to reach as they ride through the arch.










Some of the noses were very high up on the walls and others were much easier to reach. The rest of my finds were in and around Soho but I will not reveal the streets as it might spoil the fun for other nose hunters.




Number 2




Behind the Bay tree on the right you will find number 3



To the right of this restaurant's door was nose number 4





Here I found number 5


I hope to find the rest of them one day but for now this has sated my quest for the noses of Soho!

Linking with 'Our World Tuesday'
Our World Tuesday Graphic