Monday, 3 September 2018


I think that you all know by now that I like a bit of rust in the garden ! My new acquisition is my rust crown and the plant of the moment is Muehlenbeckia.

Rusty old chair .....

Rusty arch and gates that we bought at Chelsea in 2012 at a very reasonable price which was a bit of a surprise !

Rusty old urn that we have had for ages .....

and a few rusty plant supports.

I did buy this bench, thinking it was distressed but painted and, when it arrived it was VERY rusty ..... I liked the look of it but, nobody wanted to sit on it and ruin their clothes so .....

..... we painted it ..... now it's stardust.

..... although it was a lovely sunny day today, the wind is blowing and Autumn is on it's way. 

image 1: via google, all other images via me


Thursday, 2 August 2018


Being the kind and generous friend that I am, I said that I would water my friend's garden while she was away in Yorkshire. Opposite her house is a large old house called The Old Barn in front of which is a very large public lay by. I parked there and was the only car. 
We had the key to the garage, opened it up, left it open, lay down our phones and car keys, unlocked the back door and got on with the job in hand. I went to the bottom of the garden with the hose while Mr Home started watering the pots with a watering can. After a while, he called out to me that he thought we had a problem !!!

The draft from the garage door being open had slammed the back door shut, the bolt at the bottom of the back door had slid down and we were now locked in her back garden ..... no phones as we had left them in the garage !!!

Luckily, it was a hot day and I could see that next doors patio door was open. I climbed on a bench and, after many ' halloo's ' that got louder and louder when nobody seemed to hear, a man came out. His English was limited but, he got the gist and came and released us. He did seem to take a very long time though ..... he only had to come from next door !!! ..... and, he said it was the wrong time to water the garden ..... bloody cheek !!!

A couple of days later, the same procedure occurred ..... I took the hose down to the end of the garden while Mr Home proceeded to dead head a very large bush rose at the top of the garden. When I arrived at the rose, Mr. Home was watering the pots out the front. I started to water the rose but must have pierced the hose with the thorns on the rose and started getting wet from three sprays of water where the hose was punctured !!!

So, my act of kindness not only got us locked out but it cost us £50 for a new hose .....


when we returned to the car, the b******ds who live in The Old Barn had blocked me in in the lay by. We were the only three cars in a lay by that's at least 500 metres !!!  With my wonderful driving skills, I got out ..... they obviously don't like anyone parking there !!!!

Remind me not to do anyone anymore favours !!!


image 1: via umla, image 2: via andreas waldschuetz. image 3: via bloglovin, image 4: via, image 5 & 6: via kero i am, image 7: via nibs blog 


Thursday, 12 July 2018

DINNER with GANDALF and GORMLEY ..........

On Tuesday, after the RAF centenary flypast, we met my sister and brother in law at .....

The Grapes in Narrow Street, Limehouse. Docklands is blessed with an abundance of historic pubs, not least amongst them is The Grapes, owned by no less a personage than Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen !!!

The Grapes, originally The Bunch of Grapes, has stood on the pebbled Limehouse Reach, for nearly 500 years. From directly below The Grapes, Sir Walter Raleigh set sail.

Charles Dickens knew the area well and The Grapes appears in his novel ' Our Mutual Friend ' ..... in the back parlour there is a complete set of Dickens and he was thought to have danced on the tables of The Grapes after a few glasses !!!

There are a few references to Gandalf and, his original staff from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, stands proud amongst the gin bottles and pork scratchings !!!

Through the tiny Dickensian bar that probably hasn't changed much for hundreds of years, and up a very narrow staircase, you find the teensiest of restaurants that has about four tables, and double doors open out onto a petite balcony, overlooking The Thames and, there, standing proud, is Antony Gormley's sculpture, Another Time and, depending on the tide, the figure in the river is either stranded high above the water or part submerged in it ! 

Back into the little restaurant to eat my starter of fresh anchovies in lemon oil which were wonderful. As usual, I forgot to photograph my main course as all thoughts of photography went out of my head when the rare roast beef with a horseradish cream and caramelised onions arrived !!!

The tide was now coming in and Gormley's ' Another Time ' was beginning to get his feet wet !

In the garden of the building next door was the above sculpture ..... we weren't sure if it was a Gormley as well ..... we forgot to ask.

Making our way back to Docklands Light Railway, we passed beautiful houses.

..... the back end of St. Katherine's Dock,

and Limehouse Gallery and foundry where my niece { my sister and brother in laws daughter } who is a sculptor, gets her pieces cast.

..... and over a fabulous bridge.

We left my sister and brother in law at Bank station, walked by The Bank of England and back on the train and home !

The Grapes is a wonderful pub ..... the little dining room, candlelit and adorned with white linen and crystal glasses overlooks one of the great views of London, is unpretentious and serves great pub grub. 

We are going back !!!!   

For Maria !!!


all photographs my own


Friday, 29 June 2018

THE BELLS ..... THE BELLS ..........

St Mary's church is just behind our house ..... the 15th century Parish church is in the centre of the conservation area and is surrounded by listed buildings but is the only grade 1 building in the area. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The present church was built between 1418 and 1448 and was probably rebuilt after it had fallen into neglect after the Black Death. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture and the beautiful, almost Dickensian location and the church's wonderful acoustics helped to make the choir { of which our son was a choir boy from the age of seven and who went on to a career in music } congregation, booming organ and brass ensemble the most atmospheric building for many an event. 

I took this video last evening ..... the peeling of the bells is a regular occurrence .... from bell practise to weddings ..... and it is lovely to hear when sitting in our garden.



Wednesday, 20 June 2018


Rosa ' Kiftsgate ' is an extremely vigorous rambling rose, bearing masses of small, single cream-white flowers with a strong musk fragrance, followed by red, oval shaped hips .....

It is ideal for growing through large trees  so we planted one about four years ago to ramble through the tree that we planted in 1987 just after the Great Storm when we were all asked, if we could, to plant a tree to replace the hundreds { thousands ? } that fell during that storm.
 I wouldn't recommend the Kiftsgate for a small garden ....

 ..... along with the Great White Shark and the Bengal Tiger, Rosa fillips ' Kiftsgate ' should be avoided by all sensible human beings !!!
Every 4 inches or so, it is embellished with the biggest and sharpest thorns you have ever encountered and you risk life and limb if you should need to prune it !!! We are lucky enough to be able to let it run away into the tree ..... it is vicious.

..... but, it smells divine , looks so pretty when bought into the house, and it's open, single flowers are attracted to bees . 

It looks like a cascading waterfall amongst the trees and is equally as beautiful when you bring some inside. 

It is so easy to take cuttings ..... most will take if you just stick cuttings into the ground ..... 
BUT .....
only give them away to people that you don't like !!!


Tuesday, 12 June 2018


We used to have a very large ivy with a massive trunk that had grown so large over our back door 
we chopped it down and I ordered a canopy from Garden Requisites

I am so pleased with it .... it looks as if it's been there forever!


Sunday, 10 June 2018

RUBBING DOWN and a RESCUE ..........

We were rubbing down the paintwork on the downstairs windows this morning ready for a fresh coat of ..... 

..... I know ..... I am probably guilty of succumbing to the power of advertising but I do like the chalkiness of their paint .....

I digress..... 
I looked across the road and saw, waddling down the grassy bank on the other side of the road, a mummy duck and her baby ducklings trying to cross the road. A lady in a 4 x 4 had stopped to let them cross and I shooed them onto the pavement. They then went under next doors car !!! Another lady with her daughter { both adore all animals great and small ! } stopped in her Fiat and was most concerned ..... I said it was no use calling the RSPCA as I had had dealings with them before with a Magpie that had fallen down our chimney that was dive bombing me, but, they never seem to want to help.... said Fiat lady agreed. 
I looked under the car but they had disappeared so I guessed they had gone down the alley ..... back to rubbing down.
Five minutes later there was a long traffic jam as the ducks had waddled back into the road !!! Everyone was really patient as the little family walked the three hundred yards back to the river { first having to navigate a really busy road ! }

Good deed done, back to rubbing down !!  

Photographs via Google as I didn't have time to get my phone !

images via google