Monday, August 29, 2011

Morden Summer Fete

We spent an hour or two at a local fete today - just a small one, with car boot sale, local stalls, a few rides and games, a little live music - and some vintage cars to admire...

And of course, the pre-requistite ferrets to take for a walk. We left before the ferret races began. Shame, really!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Black Cap

Headed out to the South Downs this afternoon, to meet a friend, for a little climb up Black Cap...

...followed by a lovely meal at the Half Moon, Ditchling. Gotta love the South Downs.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spiced Apple & Sultana Cake

Less Spiced Apple & Sultana Cake...

I am down to 5 small apples and 7 pears from the Big Bag of Fruit. I missed photographing the Pear Tarte Tatin we had yesterday - it was gone before I thought of it...

Roman Villa

Finished at last.

Don't seem to have a photo of Alex, who did much of the work. Though we all pitched in at the end to finish off the figures and trees...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

365 Project - again

Well, it's no good. I have tried going without it for two months, and although it's nice not to have the pressure of putting up a photo daily, to be honest, I miss it. And it's not working so well to simply post them on my blog. So, I've decided I'm going to go back to doing the 365... And if I have to fill in occasionally, well, so be it. I am also, however, thinking about getting a better camera, so if that happens, I might have more variety of stuff to post! I'll still put some random stuff up here, of course, but as most of the people I know who read this blog see it networked to Facebook, they'll see 365 stuff as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rainy day in London

Despite the weather, we've been up to town to sightsee today - this is because we were due to spend a day with my brother-in-law, John, who lives up in Leicester, and his train ticket was already booked. Of course yesterday and the day before were gorgeous, and today - well, at least it kept the crowds down a bit...

But being good Brits (most of us, at any rate), we didn't let the weather stop us from hopping on a boat down the Thames to Greenwich, where the kids made faces while standing on the Prime Meridian (notice the complete lack of hordes of tourists waiting to have their photos taken on the PM? Bad weather isn't all bad...)

and we wandered around the Observatory looking at various things about time and space.

It was also, as you can tell, extremely foggy at times - barely any view at all from the top of the Observatory hill in Greenwich Park. On a clear day, you can see, if not forever, at least well across to the other side of the river!

All that said, it was actually a highly enjoyable day out with the family, including a nice Italian lunch and a walk around the maritime museum as well...

Monday, August 22, 2011

New playground

We went to Morden Hall Park today as it was another lovely day and we wanted to get out - had a stroll through the grounds rather than our usual, through the wetland area to Deen City Farm (which is closed on Mondays) - glad we did, as we found this new playground - as far as I can determine, it appears to have just been finished off in the last month or so.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Juniper Top

Autumn Ladies Tresses - a wild orchid I've not seen before on Juniper Top (though Geoff has once before) - this may be mainly because we don't usually go this late in the year, but rather tend to go in April, May and June during Bluebell season and the earlier orchids... When we first spotted them, we saw only a few, but later, quite high up on the hill, there was a patch with at least a dozen - maybe closer to 20. I'd guess they will be even nicer in a few weeks' time, when they are fully out, but they are really lovely and delicate - also much smaller than many of the other wild ones we tend to see.

Here's Alex taking his turn at flying the kite - the photos of the girls were terrible when I looked at them at home on the computer - the sun was so bright I couldn't see whether they were any good while actually outdoors!

the way up the hill...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Olivia has a required school bag next year - black messenger bag (they have a choice of messenger bag or backpack). They are, however, encouraged to personalise them with charms and whatnot, so yesterday and today we've been making some dangles...

There will probably be more...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ham House

(located in Ham, near Richmond, thus the name). Taking advantage of the kids being at tennis camp, my mother and I went off to have a look at Ham House, a 17th century estate which I've never visited, despite it being no distance at all from where I live - 20 minutes drive or so.

It was lovely - no photos from inside the house as there was no flash photography allowed and not many from the garden as it was quite rainy - and we really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to go for ages - besides it being local, I've heard good things from a friend's mum, who volunteers there. We didn't bump into her today, but funny enough I did bump into a friend and former colleague from my New Scientist days - I knew she lived in Kingston, so it's not totally surprising, but it was rather unexpected to walk into Ham House and have her be the person I had to show my ticket to!

While we were walking through the house, there was a group of 3 kids, similarly spaced in age to mine (though younger overall) who were wandering around the house playing games and exploring - I couldn't help thinking how nice it was to be able to stroll through a place of historical interest without having to worry about kids touching things or being too loud or whining about being bored...

...and of course tea and cake in the cafe was much cheaper for two than it would have been for five people!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apple pie

I think I peeled about 15 apples (they were fairly small) but I still have a huge bowl of apples and pears (mostly pears) to use... Crumble perhaps?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Apples and Pears

a whole bag full, courtesy of some friends with fruit trees. I see fruity desserts in our future...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

St Fagans

Another place we visited while in Wales is the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans, which is a fantastic open air (mostly) museum with loads of old buildings from various eras of Welsh history. It's huge, and we didn't see nearly everything there, but had a nice time anyway. I didn't take many pictures, apparently, though I did like this one of the lavender in front of the cottage window...

...and a hollyhock.

Here, Alex (and the other kids) had a go at weaving the wattle part of a wattle-and-daub panel in one of the buildings.

And here's Olivia with my friend's youngest (she'll be 4 in the autumn) - I haven't spent much time with 3 year olds lately; I had forgotten how determined they are to do things their own way - and I mean that in the best possible way - she's lovely, but knows just what she wants and how things are going to be!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Just realised I didn't post any pictures from our trip down to Wales to visit our friends who moved there (from around here) last year. These are from Southerndown, outside Brigend. We walked a little along the cliffs and had a look at the old walled gardens from when there was a castle there. It was high tide, so we couldn't go down to the beach, which is a shame, as I understand the cliffs are full of fossils.

Thursday, August 11, 2011