Monday, 24 July 2017

Faversham, Medieval Market town, Open Homes.

Looking along the verandah of the Almshouses.

The Faversham Society was celebrating it's 48th year when it was holding this event opening some of the historical buildings in the area this weekend. The current owners of some of these historical homes open their houses to raise funds for the Society. 

Almshouse Chapel looking towards the altar.

The almshouses, are one of the largest and finest groups of their kind in the United Kingdom. They were completed in 1863 after a generous bequest from a local solicitor. Linking the north and south wings is the Chapel which is built of Bath stone unlike the brick almshouses.
The stained glass windows were installed in 1895 representing New Testament scenes. The centre one depicting the Last Supper.

St Mary of Charity Church

Dedicated to St Mary of Charity it is believed to be the only church in England with such a dedication.  The Parish boundaries were established as far back as 636AD and we are assuming there has been a church on these grounds since then. Very hard to photograph now as the town has been built around it. The church as it stands now dates back to the 14th Century. Much older than New Zealand itself. The central tower fell   victim to the local Gunpowder works back in 1755. The crown spire is supposedly inspired by the tower of Christopher Wren's St Dunstan in the city of London.

The exterior of the church was resurfaced in flint and stone towards the end of the 19th century. At this time the five windows behind the altar were made to look gothic from the outside.
At least twice in its history the church has seen violence and damage and the town was ordered to restore the damage.

St Peter's Church, Oare

This is a 13th Century Church a little way out of town close to the banks of the Swale. Although this is a river it has just been known for centuries by the locals as "The Swale."

Allan Beckett Memorial window.

The interior has a beautiful stained window that was only installed in 2011 depicting a Mulberry Tree it commemorates Allan Beckett who designed and oversaw the installation of  the floating roadways at the Normandy invasion. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 

As you can see I have a real soft spot for churches. We also visited several other beautiful properties that I hadn't photographed. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Faversham in Kent.

Faversham Almshouses

On Friday I caught the train into Victoria Station before changing onto South East trains to Dover. I wasn't heading this far but to the old market town of Faversham. With a population of 20,000 it is almost the same size as my hometown of Levin, New Zealand.

The purpose of my visit was to visit our friends Derek and Carrie previous owners of Narrowboat Uccello. We had spent several months travelling together when we were living on Narrowboat Gypsy Rover prior to us returning to New Zealand in  2011.
The almshouses are directly across the road from their home in Faversham.

Looking under the verandahs from the Chapel
The Abbey has a lovely altar and window.
Faversham Market
Beautiful building dated 1887

Tomorrow Carrie and I intend to visit several open homes, but not anything like the open homes in New Zealand.

Monday, 10 July 2017

New Zealand Pavlova

Homemade Cowell's Pavlova.

Yesterday I was coerced into baking a Pavlova for a street party in Tracey's complex. No problem as I have all my recipes available online through Dropbox. With all the ingredients readily available, I must admit it looked and tasted pretty good. Certainly disappeared and Tracey had to rescue the last piece for Paul who arrived later.
Must admit I haven't made a pavlova for years, but it certainly was a success.
The dessert is supposedly named after the Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova during her visit to New Zealand in 1926.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Mighty Thames

Kingston Bridge over the River Thames.

Being so close to one of my favourite spots on the River Thames I just had to spend a day here. Maybe some of the friends we made while living on the narrow boat were around!

A bit of research was required to find which bus route was the best for me to remember. It's surprising what the brain can remember when it has to. An hour or so later and I recognised the bus stop in Kingston close to the river where I alighted.

I headed directly for the river and it was exactly as I remembered. The spot where we had moored whilst viewing Hampton Court Palace here nearly ten years ago now.

Mooring where we were years ago.

I stood and watched as a narrow boat came downstream and turning around and moored where we had previously. Just along the river bank through Bushey Park is Hampton Court Palace. Former home of Henry the VIII.

The swans are still here.
Going for a cruise on the Thames.
Unusual colouring here.

I wandered along the river bank towards Hampton Court Palace before retracing my steps towards Kingston.

It looks a long way when I look back.

I noticed a very interesting roof of a boat moored alongside the path. The roof was lined with artificial grass and a small diarama was placed on top, very well done.

Looks beautiful.
Brings back memories.

Walking underneath the bridge leading to the horse fair.

I assume this is some sort of boat.

I went looking through the town for the following telephone boxes. I knew I had seen them before but couldn't remember where. My memory  is not as bad as I thought it was.

A row of telephone boxes in Kingston.

Heading in search of my bus stop back to Carshalton I wandered through this alleyway.

You should stay dry in this alley.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Now that's Nifty.

Short of garden space?
Grow it on the wall

Whilst wandering through the town of Sutton just a short bus ride from Tracey's home in Carshalton Beeches, I spotted this above the shop. Adds a bit of greenery to the town centre.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Epsom Surrey.

Epsom clock tower.

Yesterday I decided  to get brave and head off alone towards Epsom in Surrey. Not the namesake Epsom in Auckland.
The reason was I wanted to visit Lakeland for a couple of items on my shopping list from home. Success with the tap adaptor I wanted, it was reduced because of damaged packaging. No problem as it would be coming out of the packaging to be packed in my suitcase anyway.

I also wanted to check out the New Zealand Easiyo sachets that I was aware they stocked. At home I always make my own yoghurt and planned on doing the same here.  Unfortunately they were all in boxes of 5 of the same flavour. So back to the drawing board at Holland and Barrett where I can buy individual sachets. The flavours are the same as at home and the price is similar (if I was earning GB£'s instead of NZ$' S). Something I haven't seen at home are the choice of making smaller containers in the same Easily maker.  Must look for those.

Wandering around this country village, I even shouted myself to a panini and coffee, before finding the place to catch my bus back to Tracey's.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Nonsuch Country Fair.

Believe it or not we're in London.

Sunday and Tracey and I decided to catch a couple of buses and visit the lovely village of Cheam. Our plan was to visit the local country fair. First we wandered through the lovely Nonsuch Park, where lots of the locals were picnicking in the grounds.


Nonsuch Mansion House has links to Henry VIII
Tracey at the entrance to the garden.

We made the most of the lovely afternoon and wandered through the park to the fair.


Every fair needs a Merry Go Round
Giant Zorb balls are fun in the pool.
What? Pink coloured from beetroot juice.

We spent some time wandering around and taking it all in. You do get to see some sights at these places. We decided to treat ourselves to lunch and I had my first pork pie in seven years. Don't fret Derek was not one of the best.


Not your usual colour for a UK postbox.

Heading back to Cheam we passed this gold coloured postbox painted to commemorate a gold medal won by a local athlete at the Olympic Games 2012.


The Harrow the local public house in Cheam.