Thursday, May 31, 2012

LYDC London And T K Maxx Not T J Maxx

While visiting Cambridge I thought let me stop off in the Cath Kidston Store, and although very eye catching I'm always disappointed when things are so expensive.

So after wandering around Cambridge all day and on making a slow amble back to the bus station I saw T K Maxx and I thought let me have a look.  Now if you know me you will know that I'm very partial to bags.  In fact in our last house we had a little cranny cupboard in the attic and my husband called it the bag graveyard.  And there in the store were two bags one in white as you see above and one in a deep pink.  I had seen a bag in Cath Kidston store very similar design in green with white polka dots and of course many of her other designs are the flower designs.  In any case the polka dot bag was sixty-nine pounds sterling, now I think that's a bit steep.

It was very hard to make a decision on the bag in T K Maxx I even asked someones opinion and she said the white one, but in the end I decided on the pink, but when I got it to the counter it was four pounds sterling more than the white one.  So I questioned this and was told that's the way it was, so on principle I did not buy it and walked out the shop.  Even though at twenty-four pounds it was a lot less than the Cath Kidston, but the white one was nineteen pounds.  After walking away I wondered whether I had made the right decision by leaving it behind, and maybe I was being a little too principled, but to late, I was so tired I was not walking back for it.

Fast forward to the end of my visit, where I spent a day in Ely and on the way there we passed through Newmarket and in Newmarket they have a T K Maxx, so I stopped off and there was the bag in white and I bought it.  I'm glad I did and at a third the price I love it and the tag, lining and London on the strap.

As I'm sure you worked out T K Maxx is the USA's T J Maxx.


A Walk In The Woods At Lunch Time

I have a couple of these ferns in my garden which Marianne gave me from her woods.

 I didn't even know if I captured a picture of the chipmunk.  After enlarging the photo I found him and cropped it to see the little feller.

 In the woods at Fort Washington State Park.

 And does anyone know what these are?

 Giant thistle what a wonderful shape.

 Now this I do know what I called in England a Dock Leaf.  Dock leaves are often found near Stinging Nettles, see below.  As a child I was familiar with both.  We would play at what we called the bottom of the garden.  Mum may we play at the bottom of the garden?  There was an old tin roofed shack, no walls, a stream, wild blackberries and tons of stinging nettles.  Needless to say we were always getting stung.  But the best thing to neutralize a sting is to take a dock leave and rub it on, that piece of information I have known since I was a little girl.

 As you can see from this photo Dock Leaves and Stinging Nettles very often grow in close proximity to each other, now isn't that a handy.

Lovely to get out of the office for my lunch hour.


The Meeting Place by Paul Day at St Pancras Station

This is the statue that Paul Day designed for St. Pancras Station called the Meeting Place.  As you can see in the top photo the statue originally stood on a plain plinth.  The direction was that the statue was to reflect the romance that train travel used to have.  But after being erected others felt it did not reflect the full scope of history that the station had seen.  So an additional freeze was added underneath as you can see in the photos below.

I will post more photos of the freeze.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Visiting Friends In The Amish Country & Emma's Gourmet Popcorn

 This is the driveway leading to my friends home.

 This is the woods around their home; which is less dense than it was as many trees were cut down.

 Delicious lunch.

 Good friends, good food and a lot of laughter.

 Checking out the plants.  Later we took home many plantings for our gardens.

The Amish country in Lancaster county is a very beautiful area, this was where we spent Memorial day.  We took a walk in the afternoon and also visited an Amish shop which is in their basement garage and is called Emma's Gourmet Popcorn  I actually bought raspberry chocolate coated pretzels, but I did like their Key Lime Popcorn.  The shop is very nice and their home and gardens are beautiful.

I wanted to take a photo of a little boy with his dog outside their barn, but resisted the urge as they do not like their photo taken.  In the shop all seven girls came out to look at us.  We're called the English, my friend calls them the Plain people.


Butterfly In The Garden


Monday, May 28, 2012

St Pancras Eurostar and Shops

St Pancras International

St Pancras International
High speed rail arrived at St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. All Eurostar services now operate to and from St Pancras International, our central London home. Explore the station, and read about the history of this iconic London landmark.

We said a fond farewell to Waterloo International on 13 November 2007, 13 years and 81,891,738 travellers since Eurostar’s maiden voyage in 1994.

The move to St Pancras International heralded a revolution in travel between the UK and Continental Europe. St Pancras International, in the heart of London, offers better connections throughout the UK and is home to the faster Eurostar. What’s more, all Eurostar journeys are carbon neutral– at no extra cost to you.

Reduced journey times:  Eurostar journeys are at least 20 minutes faster from St Pancras International, on the UK’s first high-speed line.

Shopping at St Pancras

There is much to do at the station and shopping is defiantly one of them, with a massive range of clothes shops, games shops and any other shops that you could think of. St Pancras International has great retail offer, with well known high street names and independent retailers. The station has well over 30 shops to choose from including brand names such as Marks and Spencer, WH Smith and Boots.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lulu's Shipping Container

Lulu is a single mum with her daughter who wanted to go back to school and could not afford and did not want to work long hours just to pay rent.  A free shipping container came her way and in one month she had moved into it.  See the link below:-

Lulu's shipping container from Tiny House Blog

To quote Lulu When you don't have much money you get creative.

I found this most interesting and the whole Tiny House Blog


St Pancras Station, John Betjeman Statue

Jean and I at St Pancras station, built 1868 in the neo-Gothic style and designed by George Gilbert.

We have been friends since I was single and Jean a young married woman.  We walked to the train station from her house in a squall, hence the rain coat and caught the train up to London, off peak time.  After getting off the train we took the Underground to St Pancras.  Jean should be a London tour guide because she had our whole day mapped out for us and what a lovely day it was.  And the weather was all over the map a true April.

More to come.


Betjeman's daughter unveils St Pancras tribute

 Charlotte Higgins,  The Guardian
A sense of wonder ... Martin Jennings' statue of John Betjeman. Photograph: Felix Clay
Hand clutched to his hat, coat-tails caught by a gust of wind, John Betjeman gazes up at the magnificent arch of St Pancras station's freshly restored train shed.

Or at least does his likeness, cast in bronze by sculptor Martin Jennings and unveiled yesterday by the poet's daughter, Candida Lycett Green. From tomorrow, when Eurostar's service begins, alighting passengers will pass this image of the writer, lost in wonder at the power of William Henry Barlow's feat of engineering.

Betjeman was one of the most energetic figures who, in the 1960s, fought the destruction of St Pancras - mercifully unthinkable today, now that public taste has softened towards George Gilbert Scott's marvellously elaborate neo-Gothic station buildings and old Midland Grand Hotel. "He didn't save it singlehandedly, but it certainly wouldn't have happened without him," said Andrew Motion, one of Betjeman's successors as poet laureate.

"Louis MacNeice once called Betjeman a triumphant misfit. But the things he was regarded as eccentric for admiring during his lifetime are the things that we have learned to hold dear," he added. "What he did as a saviour of 19th-century architecture is extraordinary."

Jennings said of his sculpture: "All my choices were led by the station. What Betjeman is doing in the statue is what we all do - we look up, with an intake of breath. I have shown him as if he has walked in for the first time since the station was saved." Jennings worked from photographs and film footage of Betjeman, and was "nudged" in the right direction by Betjeman's family, in particular Lycett Green. She said: "He has captured his sense of wonder on first walking into a great man-made space such as a cathedral ... He always looked up at the roof - and in St Pancras more than anywhere. It is, after all, the greatest station roof on earth, isn't it?"

Around the base of the statue are carved lines from Betjeman poems, chosen by Jennings, including: "Here where the cliffs alone prevail. I stand exultant, neutral, free,/ And from the cushion of the gale. Behold a huge consoling sea."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Busy, Busy

I have so many ideas running around in my mind.  But at the moment I have to be focused on getting together Rob's Graduation party which I am going to have at our house.  About 100 guests or a bit over to a buffet.  I made a little diagram of where I want to put all the food tables, desert table, beverage table and of course coffee and tea table.  Also how I'm going to set up the four circular tables which my friend is lending me, along with various seating areas.

Today I found two swivel rattan chairs in the trash, they just need bolting together, I already have a rattan sofa I found in the trash so will do them as a grouping. Hubby of course did not want to stop for them but I said for free if I only use them this season why not pick them up. Now all that stuffing of things in the garage comes into use.  Of course hubby has the job of getting it all down from the huge stack. Yes my boys have moaned about it. This is when all that collecting comes in handy when you're living on a tight budget, and it's fun to re-use and re-purpose things.  Plus it gets you're mind thinking what can I use this for or that.  Or how can I do this on a shoe string.  It's amazing what you can come up with.

Bought some lovely fabric this week.  Some I've been eyeing for a while, but when I went in the shop everything was 50% off and their prices are already very good. You never know when a sale will be on, even the employees. I can only call this store Jomar, eclectic, but I love it, great bargains.  I wish I had more time to sew.  I sewed a lot as a teenager, then it was cheaper to sew your clothes than buy them, but now it's cheaper to go to the Thrift, but if you fall in love with a fabric how lovely to think of how it can best be used.

Hubby is working on re-doing a patio that my son laid about four years ago, when I had a tent room, you can just see the pavers in this post  Unfortunately the tent frame eventually bent and became useless, but it was nice, I did enjoy it but they do have a limited life span.  So this will be nice for the Graduation Party.  We pulled up all the pavers and are re-setting them.  I may look to add more pavers so will have to look as to where I can buy them as K-Mart is now out of business and that's where I brought them.

So have a great weekend.  It's a holiday weekend in the USA so that's always nice.


Kitchen Rose Garden

These lilac coloured roses are an old fashioned rose and smell beautiful

The red and orange rose is a climber and called Jacob's coat

The trellis above was from Ikea years ago and then I had the idea of attaching it to some bamboo.  We collected the bamboo from someones yard they were cutting it all down.  It's great for staking the vegetables and has other uses too.

I transplanted two roses to the above garden and they are doing well because of all the rain.  I also transplanted two clematis to this garden that I previously had growing in giant galvanized pots from Ikea.

I put the trellis here to separate the flower garden from the vege garden and I like the look.

Every year these wild yellow flowers come up here, I leave them to flower and then pull them out.  I think they look nice.

Every year I try and add a couple of perennials, some take and some don't.  I love foxgloves, but never have had success with them.  I also like lupines have not had success with those either.  The columbine are easy to grow, keep spreading and come back every year.

Well that's my ever changing kitchen garden.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Update On What's Flowering In The Garden

Yellow iris both inside and outside of the pond

My climbing hydrangea



More peonies
I always think that this is one of the loveliest times of year in the garden, everything is still fresh and a lot of the perennials are flowering.  The fern is still lovely and green, the lawn isn't dried up from the scorching heat of the summer and my roses are blooming.  My vege garden is still growing in neat rows and hasn't run riot yet.

My climbing hydrangea lived for many years under the oak tree but it didn't flourish, a few years ago I moved it and yes it tells me it's very happy in it's new location climbing up the pergola.  There's something about the overall shape that reminds me of Japan, don't ask me why.

Thinking about shapes, I just love the shapes of trees against the sky.  When you think of Tuscany you think of Lombardi poplars on the skyline.  When I think of England there I see those wonderful squat English oaks, in Robin Hood style forests and in France are those avenues of trees, don't know what they are, Australia eucalyptus trees tinkling in the breeze, one could go on.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tales From My Sister's Sitting Room

This is a tale of a little cat called chops.  Chops lived with people in a flat above the butcher's shop.  He wasn't especially looked after, so the butcher would take pity on him and give him special tip bits.  This obviously endeared the butcher to chops.  Chops would be locked out on very cold nights and eventually the butcher could take it no longer and one day brought Chops home.

My brother-in-law Trevor is his savior and does he know it.  Trevor cannot come home from work without chops sitting on his lap.  He moans a little that he's never left alone, but I secretly think he enjoys it.  Chops is totally his cat.  You've got to understand that the other cats are my sister's cats but not Chops.

When I was getting ready for the wedding BB put these huge curlers in my hair to curl my side hair, I walked in the dining room where Trev was with Chops, Chops took one look at me and sprang in the air coming down on all fours hackles up and hissing.  He just couldn't take those curlers.  It was the funniest thing.

And a picture of my dear aunt Joan, who came to spend time with my mum and keep an eye on her while we were at the wedding.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Having Trouble With Blogger Posts

I am having such a problem scrolling to the end of a Post to add commentary.

Is anyone else having this problem I wonder?  It's so frustrating.  It seems I can only add comments to my photos.

Maybe it will rectify itself.


Cousin Esther's

Looking up the back garden from the kitchen door.

Hanging wash out, on those so English whirly gig wash lines.

Feeding the chickens.

Chicken run at the end of their garden.

Plot of land beyond their back garden which the counsel lets them use.

Cousin Esther standing in one of the longest back gardens I've ever seen in the UK.

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