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. 

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.