Tuesday, 24 April 2018



Thanks for popping in.

London was super boiling for two days this week- 29°C.  All at once the blossom blossomed, tulips opened up and the sky turned spectacularly Australian-blue.  As luck would have it our February-planned trip was the hottest April day since 1949. It could have snowed.

The Embankment Gardens looked unbelievable with its stripy mown grass and vibrant splashes of colour. 

The South Bank, trees beginning to leaf, sizzled.  Sand artists were busy on Ernie's Beach, named after activist John "Ernie" Hearn who worked tirelessly against the encroachment of development along the Thames.

With St Paul's coming ever closer, our walk will take us past The Globe with its convenient café.

Let's pop in.  It's thirsty work, got to keep hydrated. A pear and almond tart seems a good partner to the pear and ginger tea.

Crossing Tower Bridge, there's a great view to the Tower of London and the Gherkin on one side of the river . . .

. . . to London City Hall on the other.

So much to see and do.  So many bridges to cross, each with a slightly different view.  Here's the Festival Hall and the South Bank from one of the Golden Jubilee Bridges next to the railway carrying Hungerford Bridge as we head for the station and home.

What have we been doing, where have we been?  I'm going to keep you guessing. 😊


Monday, 23 April 2018

Around Eastbourne


Welcome to the blog!

Let's have a look around Victorian Eastbourne to get a flavour of the place.

The Parade stretches alongside the shingled beach with the sea gently rippling beside it, it probably doesn't ripple all the time.  With your back to the sea, you can see the huge, elegant hotels, you are spoilt for choice if you are staying overnight.

We stayed a little inland at The Ravilious, named after Eric Ravilious, the Artist who came from Eastbourne. Very nice it was, indeed.

With a mild climate, there are many tropical plants around, parks and stretches of grass leading to the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and beyond along the South Downs.

Eastbourne must get very busy in the Summer months but there are many, many seats all around the town, a place for everyone to sit and enjoy the area.  Like Brighton with it's pale green paintwork, Eastbourne's railings are painted a purply-blue, a brilliant colour contrasting well with the green vegetation, the orange shingle and the sea.

Even the streets inland are wide and spacious with palatial dwellings and independent schools either side, interspersed with more hotels and b&bs. The house below had used some of the local pebbles to great effect on its wall. 

As well as a good shopping centre with all the usual shops and a mall, the smaller independent businesses looked interesting with their bow-fronted shop windows.

Each road had a different character with all sorts of individual designs shown on the houses.

Back by the sea, a couple of unusual beach huts catch the eye.  What do you think of when you see this one?  I immediately thought pig but I was wrong, it's a Spy Glass by JaK, here's a link to some more photos which look wonderful.  Apparently the view from the large window can be rotated by 180 degrees.

Here's another one, What Unearthed? by Stephen Foley and Cutting Edge UK inspired by nearby Beachy Head.

The two beach huts were winners of a competition and there were three others as well but they haven't arrived on the beach yet.

This last photo shows a box of snails, currently on display in the Pavillion.

Eastbourne seems so well looked after, the paintwork was sparkly even in the cloud. I'm definitely going to back when the sun is out, it must look stunning.

Anyway, there are a few more Eastbourne posts to go.


Friday, 20 April 2018

Eastbourne Pier and Bandstand


Lovely to see you.

Even though the blue skies are somewhat elusive, we're off to Eastbourne on the South Coast for a breath of sea air and some jolly good walks. As a Victorian resort, along the promenade there are an abundance of many windowed hotels with elegant wrought iron balconies. The place wouldn't be complete without a pier and bandstand for the many musical acts performed throughout the Spring and Summer.

The 300m pier was completed in 1872.  It's stilts are held in cups on the seabed so it can move in rough weather.  Good job I didn't know about that!  It's wooden flooring panels are close together so you can't see the sea swishing about below, unlike in Cromer that we visited recently.  It's suffered from fires and a WW2 mine explosion overs the years but currently boasts a nightclub, Jazz lounge, wedding venue, Victorian tea room, fish and chip shop, gift shop and Glass Studio. . . or you can just walk around and admire the view

The Bandstand nearby seats 1,400 people and has 140 shows each year.  I can just imagine it on a lovely Summer's day, so relaxing.

Eastbourne seems particularly well catered for with four theatres as well as the venues above.

Lucky old them!


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Looking Up


Thanks for calling in.

It won't be long until visitors will be able to pay a visit to the Abbey Gateway in Reading, as the builders are just finishing off the work.  Amazingly, the Abbey Ruins have been closed for over 8 years while the works have been carried out.  They will be open from 16th June but some guided tours have already taken place in the Gateway itself.  There will be many tales told about those with connections to the Abbey and its Gateway, not forgetting that Jane Austen went to school there.  From September the Victorian Schoolroom will move there giving children these days a taste of lessons (and the cane) in Victorian times.

Forbury Gardens

The Abbey ruins still have scaffolding up at the moment.
A stroll along the Thames to Caversham Park Gardens  to look at the trees is always a treat.  Looking up through the branches is to be recommended as the leaves are bursting open.

A last stop at the Museum to see their exhibition Patrons and Donors: Reading's Art ....and How it Got There.  Reading does have a large collection of art, much of which has been gifted and the collection continues to grow through the Reading Foundation for Art.  It seems a shame to me that most of it is not on view, this particular exhibition will last until next January, so for me, there is no point visiting again until then.  I suppose it's all down to funding cuts and the expense of changing the artworks over each time.

This work is by Colin Reid - A Clear Glass  Sculpture with Shells and Textured Gold Disc 2007.

So onwards and upwards!