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, 30 November 2014

Getting ready

I was out and about early on Saturday morning and arrived at Covent Garden Market before the stalls and shops were open. There was a feeling of anticipation in the air. The clamour for Xmas bargains had started and shoppers were hovering in the hope of finding the perfect Christmas presents.








Covent Garden market is probably not the place to find a bargain but in previous years I have found some out of the ordinary presents here. But I wasn't here to shop today, I was just out for a walk.











Christmas decorations are in evidence everywhere. Here they have hung huge maroon and silver baubles from the roof. They are the same ones they used last year which pleases me to know they don't just discard them and buy new ones each year.
 






The sign outside this shop is in the shape of a snuff box so it is no surprise to learn that this is the Segar and Snuff Parlour in Covent Garden. This is one of London's last remaining tobacco specialists selling pipes, cigars and loose tobacco which can be blended to order, It also sells snuff which is a finely ground flavoured tobacco taken by a simple sniff into the nostrils.









Outside the shop is the figure of a highlander holding a flask of snuff. The explanation as to why this is figure is here is written on the board below.




Friday, 28 November 2014

Reflections at Salford Quays

Reflections on the canal at Salford Quays,Manchester  this week



It was late afternoon and there was a golden glow reflected from some of the buildings.














Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Recycling bin?

At first I thought this was another type of recycling bin but then I had a second look. It is a sad world we live in when there is a need for something like this in your neighbourhood.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Royal College of Organists





Walking past the Royal Albert Hall  your eyes are usually fixed on the architecture and its many exits reflecting the surroundings. However if you take your eyes away from the iconic building, you may notice this building on the other side of the road.
 This is the Royal College of Organists.
It was part of a number of educational and artistic buildings which arose in this area following the Great Exhibition of 1851. The area which is referred to as 'Albertoplis' stretches from the Natural History Museum to the Albert Hall. Albert, of course, was the husband of Queen Victoria and the instigator of The Great Exhibition.


Once the Albert Hall was completed this building was built to as a National Training school for Music.

When the Royal College of Music opened on Marylebone Road  it was no longer needed by that organisation and became the College of Organists in 1904 until it closed in 1990.







It is currently privately owned but, as with many of our large heritage buildings, not by a British resident. There is some debate about whether it was bought as a home, an investment or just to have the bragging rights!
                                 




This is the current Royal College of Music, Marylebone Road.


Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 22 November 2014

York House Gardens Twickenham



York House gardens in Twickenham, West London houses these wonderful statues carved in Italian white marble from Carrara. They were brought to England by the financier Whitaker Wright but were dispersed in 1904 when he was found guilty of fraud and suddenly died.
The figures are sea nymphs from Greek Mythology and were brought to Twickenham in 1909. They were bought for £600 by the last person to own York House. When he died in 1918 and his wife returned to India the property was given to the council and was used as council offices.


It wasn't until the 1980s that the York House Society and the Twickenham Society got together and restored the statues which had been neglected and vandalised. Further restoration work took place in 2007.


The beautiful gardens go down to the River Thames and are open to the public.




Since 1965 York House has been the council offices for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Parts of the building date back to 1630 and at present the building is undergoing major restoration work.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Kensington










This Chandelier is in a shop window just round the corner from High Street Kensington, London. Someone told me it has been in the window for at least two years. There was no price tag!






Another building of interest is the Nat West Bank on Kensington High Street with its magnificent facade.


The mosaics on the building are quite high up and difficult to see but zooming in with the camera gives you an idea of the intricate designs.




Unfortunately I could find no information about the building other than it is currently a bank. Maybe someone else knows more and would like to share their knowledge.
Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Monday, 17 November 2014

Ickworth








This is the Rotunda at Ickworth House in Suffolk. It was built by Frederick Hervey, the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his treasures collected whilst touring Europe in the 18th C.




Hervey already owned several houses but this was designed and built as his own private museum. When he died only the rotunda was complete which his wife referred to as 'a moment of folly'. His son went on to complete the two wings of the house adjoining  the rotunda.








In the basement is the restored 1930s servants' quarters.



This is where the servants would eat.

These are the family rooms above stairs. The house is full of paintings by well known artists, porcelain and Regency furniture as well as an exceptional collection of silver.











A silver fish collection






Sharing with Our World Tuesday