Tuesday 8 August 2017

The River Thames in London.

20170730_171323St Pauls Cathedral sitting in the sunshine.

Our plan had been to spend my last day in London going down to Greenwich to see the Emirates Air Line (Cable car) across the Thames. The weather was willing but an unscheduled visit by ambulance to hospital at 10.30pm the previous evening put paid to that. Fortunately I was discharged around 4am in the morning, catching a cab home Tracey and I were soon asleep.  Due to us getting to bed so late neither of us rose until around 11am.  A quick skype call to Derek put him in the picture and we headed to Wimbledon for lunch.  Paul was working up until 1pm so we managed to all catch lunch together before heading into London Waterloo on the train.

20170730_150204“Geoffs” all day breakfast for me.

20170730_150221Roast of the day for Paul.

20170730_150233(1)And a half empty plate for Tracey.

Never mind she ate half of mine anyway.  On our arrival London was still very busy from the RideLondon Charity Bicycle ride which had been held earlier in the day. A lot of cyclists were still waking around with their bikes and tell tale red framed sunglasses with the event printed on the frames.

We headed down the Thames along the Thames Path towards Tower Bridge but gave up at London Bridge where the latest terror attack had been.  My legs don't carry me so far these days although I had done a lot of walking whilst in the country.

20170730_163843Tell tale statue commemorating Nelson Mandela close to Waterloo Station.

20170730_193042The cranes of London. Building never ceases.

20170730_164608The Millenium Bridge.

20170730_172223Smurf Tower on the Thames Beach.  Wont last long the tides coming in.

20170730_171542Looking down the River Thames.

20170730_174153Blackfriars Bridge Train Station.

20170730_175444The Globe – Shakespeare Theatre.


20170730_180634Clink Prison Museum at London Bridge,

20170730_181154Remains of Winchester Palace at London Bridge.


As it was now getting late and we still had a train and two buses to catch we headed home.  It is still late until well after 9pm at the moment in mid summer.

Sunday 30 July 2017

The Naked Kiwi!

Naked kiwi burger and L & P

We had planned to visit Greenwich to visit the new Emirates Airline Cable Car over the Thames. The weather had other ideas so we decided to visit Gourmet Burger Kitchen for a piece of very real kiwiana.

A couple of buses later and we arrived in a very wet Wimbledon. After looking through the menu, I chose a kiwi burger with all the trimmings, beetroot and pineapple included together with a can of my favourite L & P. Lemon and Paeroa to the unitiated (World Famous in New Zealand) is on the can.  Tracey tried to educate me, "you will want a naked burger won't you?" she said. How was I to know that naked meant without the bun. Yes it was delicious.

Grade 11 New Wimbledon Theatre

The New Wimbledon Theatre still stands on the corner opposite the restaurant. Bit of a misnomer as it is actually an old grade 11 listed Georgian theatre.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Mayfield Lavender Fields

Across the fields to Mayfield

I never realised how close to the country was Tracey's home. Carshalton in Surrey is very close to the Mayfield Lavender fields says Tracey. Well I know I used to walk a lot further but my knees complain a lot now. Boy have I done a lot of walking in the last few weeks, seen some wonderful places but I will need to go home for a rest.  The Lavender fields were a walk across some lovely countryside, up and down hills. Eventually we arrived there.

Tracey amongst the lavendar
Tractor and trailer giving rides around Lavender.

The place was very busy and we wandered through the Lavender for an hour or so before having quick luncheon.

Luncheon with Lavender lemonade.

We had to try out the Lavender lemonade which was served with a scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream.
After our long walk we decided to catch a bus or buses around the villages on our way back.

Sutton Buggy Transport

Sutton buggy in Sutton High Street.

Something that has amused me when in the main street of Sutton. I have seen this buggy several times when in town but by the time I have got my phone out it has been too late. There is a gentle climb from the bottom to the top of Sutton High Street. Consequently there is this buggy that seats seven  persons continually driving from top to bottom.

It has been operating for the last four years and has carried around 76,000 people in this time. Operating Monday to Saturday it is sponsored by the local council. 

Not in New Zealand!

Car parking outside Tracey's. Front to front.

I have been flabbergasted at the parking here in the United Kingdom. This photo taken with Tracey's home in the background shows how the cars park whichever which way they feel like it.

Just along the road back to back.

Now don't get me wrong I have seen some amazing driving in the narrow roads, despite cars parked on corners as well.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that this is illegal in New Zealand and you would be ticketed from parking like this. Obviously not a problem here.

Thursday 27 July 2017

A Canterbury night out

The huge mask is called the Bulkhead.

A night out in Canterbury was organised by Carrie to an outdoor show organised by Marlowe Theatre. The theatre was named after Christopher Marlowe a playright who was a contemporary of William's Shakespeare and he attended school in Canterbury. The face mask was the work of a Sculptor Rick Kirkby which was bought by the council. It was originally in the old theatre then replaced in the outside seating area when the theatre was rebuilt.
After a lovely evening meal at a local restaurant in the city we made our way to the theatre. 

Assembling for the production.
Ready for the show.
All the actors all robed up.

I must admit I was not exactly sure of the storyline as we followed the cast around the centre of Canterbury. Each scene was in a different part of the city and we had to hurry up not to miss the next scene. We received a few strange looks from members of the public as we all streamed through the city.

A watch tower where one of the scenes were acted.
Quick photo on the way past.
Canterbury Cathedral in the distance.
River Stour wanders through the town.

Although Derek and I had visited Canterbury before I was unaware that the River Stour runs right through the city centre. This provides some wonderful photo opportunities, to an ex boatie anyway.

River Stour just before nightfall.

Wandering through the city after nightfall was a little disconcerting to someone like me. It was very hard to see the difference in the surface of the terrain in the dark.
A great evening was had by all as we drove back to Fabersham.

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.