Thursday, 17 November 2016

LONDON, OH LONDON ..........

I LOVE London ....... I've lived on the outskirts all of my life ... we now live in the Hertfordshire countryside, but we are still only twenty minutes from the City of London.

Apart from all of the iconic London landmarks, there is a multitude of wonderful spots to visit and, I have seen a lot of it in my 65 years but I have only touched the surface and will never see everything it has to offer. Here are a few places that you might like to visit if you find yourself in Londinium !!

Sir Christopher Wren's Temple Bar is the only surviving gateway to the City of London and stood at the junction where The Strand meets Fleet Street for 200 years. But, because the road needed widening, it had to be removed.
On January 2nd 1878 it was dismantled. 
Ten years later, it caught the eye of Lady Meux, a banjo playing barmaid who had married into a very wealthy family of London brewers. Forever trying to convince Victorian high society of her respectability, she decided to rebuild the impressive Temple Bar to grace her Hertfordshire Estate at Theobalds Park. My Dad remembered it well as it was only a cycle ride away and he remembered climbing up and looking inside the upper chamber and seeing a dining table, candlesticks and paintings. Lady Meux regularly entertained the likes of Edward v11, the Prince of Wales and Winston Churchill 
Temple Bar then started to fall into disrepair ..... I also remember it well as my husband and I used to park up there for a bit of ' how's your Father !! '  

Temple Bar has now been restored and rebuilt at Paternoster Square and is back in it's rightful place.

One of my favourite places to visit is Dennis Severs House ..... The house is both a breathtaking and an intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th century. We are going again in December when they dress the house for Christmas.

Wilton's Music Hall is one of very few surviving music halls and retains many original features. 

Sir John Soane's museum, housing his unusual collection, preserved exactly as it would have been at the time of his death in 1837

Neal's Yard in Covent Garden.

St Dunstan-in-the-East ... originally built in 1100, severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, damaged again in the Blitz in 1941 after which it was decided not to rebuild. In 1970 it was opened as a public garden ... a beautiful secluded gem.

Dinner at Les Trois Garcon's ..... an unusual dining experience !!

Strolling along the Thames at dusk, you might just catch the end of Sand Art on the Thames. 

You can even have a Cockney experience when taking money out of the hole in the wall !!

Just a few more experiences of London ... it is never-ending.


images 1, 10 & 12: via me, image 2: via architecture, image 3: via open buildings, image 4: via wordpress, images 5 & 7: via buzzfeed, image 6: via hidden london, image 8: via album of random, image 9: via time out, image 11: via hand luggage 


Friday, 11 November 2016

REMEMBER ..........

image 1: via daily mail, video via youtube


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A MOTLEY COLLECTION !!! ..........

There's not much happening in my neck of the woods at the moment .....

For the past six weeks, I've been going to the chiropractor as I've got a trapped nerve in my neck ..... getting old is not fun !!!

Apart from manipulating, cracking my bones and generally attacking me from all sides, he uses the above instrument of torture .... it's like having someone attack your neck with a hammer and chisel !!! ..... and, I pay for the privilege !!!

The leaves are finally fluttering off of the trees ..... look at the state of the front of our house ..... and that's just the beginning. I am no Hyacinth Bouquet { for overseas readers, she was a snobby character in a sitcom who was obsessed with everything being ' just so ' !! } but we do end up with tons and tons of leaves in the garden, but then I guess everyone does !

We had a frost this morning BUT .....

....look at my St Swithun rose ..... it starts flowering in early May when it is covered in hundreds of beautiful, fragrant, old English blooms but goes on and on ..... I took this photograph this morning and there are still many buds to open.

My thoughts are now turning to Christmas .....

I always by at least one new Christmas ornament every year ...... the above is this years.

I just saw the above on Pinterest ..... fig, apricot and pistachio Christmas cake ..... I've left it too late for this Christmas ... it needs to be made at least 3 months ahead !! Maybe next year !!!

Have you started to think about Christmas yet ?


image 1: via facebook, image 2: via waistcoats kinesiology, image 3: via winchell chiropractice, images 4,5,6 & 7: via me, image 8: via crush cul de sac, image 9: via the flower studio shop, image 10: via sainsbury, image 11: via home, image 12: via present and correct


Monday, 17 October 2016

NUPTIALS in NORFOLK ..........

Last weekend we went to a wedding in Norfolk ..... it was held at the beautiful venue of Langley Abbey ..... Langley Abbey was founded as a house of Premonstratensian canons in 1195 by Sir Robert FitzRoger. It's origins were principally religious and it was a monastery of sorts but canons were not monks and typically fulfilled the role of parish priest for many of the churches and parishes.

Considering Langley Abbey was probably one of the largest Premonstratensian houses in England, very little of the church remains. Excavations were undertaken in the 1920's and give us a general idea of it's shape and size but very little detail of the church itself. 

The Abbey boasts many features that one would expect of a monastery ..... cloisters, Almonry, infirmary and barns..

Very little is reported of life at the Abbey until 1475 ..... sadly, Langley Abbey had a poor reputation for being disorderly !!!

The 1500's were obviously a seminal period for the Abbey and Langley Abbey's dissolution took place in 1536, which meant that it's assets were seized. Twelve years later, the site was primarily seen as a quarry for stone and a reclamation yard for other materials and reports from the time suggest that the destruction of the church was very thorough.

OK ..... end of history lesson ..... 

 ..... the wedding was wonderful from the stunning venue, the food { prawns, medallions of beef and an assiette of desserts , lemon posset, chocolate torte and raspberry sorbet .... or, you could have sticky toffee pudding !!! }

to the dancing in the cloisters .....

I danced for around five hours in the above shoes ..... my feet are still recovering !!

Each wedding that I go to seems to take it's toll just a little bit more !! ..... after jumping around to Nelly the Elephant at midnight, I was done for, but, I held my own !!!


image 1: via langley abbey, images 2 & 3: via wedding venues, images 4 & 5: via me, image 6: via wikiwand, image 7: via, image 8: via scorpian shoes


Friday, 30 September 2016

THAT'S TO BLOGGER !!!! ..........

Thanks Blogger ..... I've lost all of my blog links on my sidebar .... apparently they are experiencing a problem !!! ..... I don't want you to think that I've removed you all.
So, if I miss any of your posts, it's not my fault ! 
I've had a look at some of your blogs and you all seem to have yours ..... it must be me. 

Here's hoping I'll get them back !

image 1: via kittenskinkyblackandwhite, image 2: via envers du decor


Friday, 23 September 2016

WHEN I WAS 17 .... it was a very good year ..........

When I was 17 { 1968 } , I went to Mallorca with my Mum and Dad .....

Very short skirts, showing my knickers {and more probably}, smoking and drinking purple Parfait d'Amour cocktails ...... what a hussy !!! { mind you, it was the 1960's and everyone wore mini skirts }

I just came across this photograph of me and my Dad at the hotel bar ..... what did you wear in your mid-teen's that makes you cringe ?!!!  

Update :   Ooooops ..... just lost a follower ......maybe they think that I'm a wanton woman !!



Thursday, 8 September 2016

LET'S HAVE A CHAT !!! ..........

What have you all been up to today ? 

I've been to the dentist !! Half an hour of ' fun ' with the hygienist and a check up with the dentist, who would like me to fund his next three holidays in the South of France !!! My dentist is about 5 miles away from our house and is situated just behind the river in Ware { no Ware jokes please .... I've heard them all before !!! }  
The gazebos along the river date from the 18th century and are a unique feature of Ware. Whilst there may be individual gazebos elsewhere in Britain, nowhere else do they survive as a group as they do on the River Lee in Ware. These riverside " summerhouses " stand in the former gardens of the High Street coaching inns that used to run down to the river. 

Scott's Grotto in Scott's Road is an enchanting place for a visit if you find yourself in Ware ..... with it's captivating underground passages and chambers, Scott's Grotto is a Grade 1 listed building and is the largest grotto in the United Kingdom. The grotto, which is said to have taken about 30 years to complete, was formerly in the garden of Amwell House and was completed by John Scott, an 18th century Quaker poet, who inherited Amwell House from his father in 1768.  The grotto is set into the northeast face of a hill with air shafts, light wells and connecting passages, decorated with shells, stones, flint, fossils and coloured glass. There is a " Council Chamber ", two " Committee Rooms ", a ' Refreshments Room ", a " Consulting Room " and a " Robing Room ".  Scott also had other romantic features built in his garden, including an octagonal gazebo on the hillside above. Scott kept a book which lists 3,000 visitors from 1779 to 1787. Samuel Johnson visited several times and pronounced the Grotto a ' Fairy Hall ', adding that ' none but a poet could have made such a garden'.

Are you bored yet ? ...... keep with me as I have one more historical fact about Ware and it's a good one !!! 
It's all about ' The Great Bed of Ware .....

The Great Bed of Ware is an extremely large oak four poster bed, carved with marquetry, that was originally housed in the White Hart Inn in Ware. Built by Hertfordshire carpenter Jonas Fosbrooke in 1580, the bed measures ten by eleven feet and can ' reputedly ' accommodate at least twelve people. Allegedly, Jonas Fosbrooke did not approve of riff - raff in his luxury bed so, his ghost pinches and scratches all who dare sleep in it !!! Many of those who have used the bed have carved their names into it's posts and the graffiti is as interesting as the bed itself. Travellers broke their journey at Ware just to spend a night in the bed. Reported guests include a party of butchers and their wives and a Bavarian Prince. 
.The fantastical creatures and the male and female figures at the back suggest the potential for sexual pleasure . This bed is so famous  that Shakespeare has Sir Toby Belch describe a sheet as " big enough for the bed of Ware "in Twelfth Night. The bed moved from the White Hart to the Saracen's Head, another Ware Inn. In 1870, William Henry Teale, acquired the bed and put it to use in a pleasure garden. It's now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 ..... and, following on nicely from the Great Bed of Ware .....

I polished my knobs and knockers this afternoon !!!

Here endeth the history lesson of Ware, Hertfordshire.


image 1: via google, image 2: via the best, image 3: via 40cg, image 4: via me.