Monday, 31 December 2018

Most Popular Posts of 2018


Happy New Year's Eve!

Just before we launch into the New Year, I've been looking back over my  2018 blog posts to see which was the most popular post for each month.  Doing this each year is great fun and it's always surprising to see what comes up.

In January it was  Luxuries

February    Aerobility

March         Letterbox Flowers

April            Birmingham's Shopping Centres

May              Post box

June              RMA Sandhurst Open Day

July               Cliveden

August          St Martha's Hill

September   Camberley

October         Retrospective on National Trust

November    Retrospective on Knitting, Sewing and Crochet

December     Shopping Australian Style

Top of the charts from the start of this blog though, is my post on the Huguenots.

Thanks very much for all your visits.


Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Happy Christmas!


Thanks for popping in.

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and to thank you for visiting my blog this year. 

It's been such a busy time but I have thought about you as I've dashed from one place to the next and hope you've enjoyed some of the places we've visited together.  Thank you for hanging on while I was in Australia!  I've still got a few posts to share with you about that but we'll get there slowly through the cold, dark days of Winter with a little injection of sun and warmth from time to time.

What a year it's been politically with still no sight of settlement on the horizon.

Have a wonderful rest over the Christmas break and I'll see you again in the New Year.

Isn't this a beautiful wooly nativity, spotted in a retirement village!

Karen x

Monday, 24 December 2018

Christmas Eve


Thanks for visiting.

How about a couple of Christmas mosaics to get us going!

Not long now!


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Blowing away the Cobwebs


Thanks for popping in.

Not far from home, there's been quite a kerfuffle for a number of years when the Transport and Road Research Laboratory, which had been there since the 1960s, downsized and sold off a great deal of land - 250 acres.  Plans, proposals and objections have been going backwards and forwards for a while until last year when everything was approved, the land cleared and house building commenced.  There will eventually be 1,000 new houses built plus a school, care home, community hub and retail units.  That's quite a change for the present infrastructure to cope with.

As part of the development, some of the land is being turned into a SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) and recently this has been completed and opened to the public.  Of course, it's going to take a long while to settle down and mature but it will be interesting to watch this gradually happen.

Let's have a look.  There are some information boards to help along the way.

There are trees, not quite as many as there used to be but a lot of young trees have been planted; a number of ponds; seats and picnic areas; a lookout tower; plus remnants of its days as a vehicle testing track.

The curved track is still there which was used to test the Sinclair C5 amongst other things.

They've converted the old junction boxes into insect hotels.

More works is needed on this part of the site but a local restaurant can just be seen beyond the trees and maybe there will be a path for future residents to use.

One of the old roads is still there complete with old road sign.

The old established trees are so beautiful.

A few of the new already occupied houses can be seen in the distance.

It was good to see a number of people enjoying a walk on a chilly day with the car park packed.  All we needed was a cafe but you never know, there might be one there one day.


Friday, 21 December 2018

Yagan Square


Thanks for visiting.

Within the City of Perth, Australia is the CBD or Central Business District where you can find free CAT or Central Area Transit buses to take you effortlessly around the City.  Outside the area you can catch buses and trains paying for the trip with a Smartrider, a bit like the London Oyster cards where you 'beep' on and off for each journey.  Easy!  Right in the heart of the CBD next to the railway station and bus port is the Yagan Centre, only opened in March 2018.

There is a strong Aboriginal feeling to the design  which includes stories from the Whadjuk people, part of the Noongar Indigenous Australians, who were living in the South Western corner of Australia and were the traditional owners of the land.  Yagan was the name of the Noongar leader.  

Looking at the design, the columns within the 45 m digital tower represent the reeds of the area and the 14 Noongar languages, the canopies symbolise the lakes that used to be there and the Square is full of native plants.

Let's have a look.

There's a community feel in the area with all the restaurants, shops, meeting areas and children's play areas, plus there's all that shade created, a must in the hot weather.

This van was laden with native flowers for sale.

Above is the 9 m high statue Wirin designed by Noongar artist Tjyllyungoo which represents the "sacred force of creative power that connects all life of boodja (mother earth)".

My photos don't do it justice as it's quite tricky to get a good picture.  Here's a photo from ArchitectureAU to give you an idea from above a model.

The colours of the materials used blend so well with the station.

There are so many places to sit or views to see, it's a beautiful place and such a great place to meet people who are passing through the area by bus or train.


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Changi Airport Singapore


Thanks for visiting.

We're taking a detour to Singapore to look at Changi Airport which is a great place to change planes.  There's so much to look at so any delays become pleasurable jaunts hunting out the numerous gardens in all the terminals.  Throw in a bit of Christmas and it's even more fun to look around.

There are fabulous orchids ...

. . . a wonderful rooftop sunflower garden at sunrise.  The humidity of Singapore hits you as soon as you go through the door to the outside, the heat too even at sunrise.  The sunflowers are grown in their own nursery with 2000 produced every month.  They take 90 days to flower and reach a height of 1.5m.

Back inside, the Enchanted Garden shimmers with lights.

There are Christmas trees all around.

The water lily garden had some great ideas for small ponds but the water lilies were on the verge on flowering and not quite out.

We've got the hang of whizzing about the terminals and use the Skytrain to scoot there quickly giving us a glimpse of the area near the airport.

The Butterfly Garden has over 1,000 butterflies from 40 different species spread over the year with butterfly friendly plants like the Red Powderpuff plant and cut fruit and flowers.

Of course there are myriad shops and restaurants and the Louis Vuitton store with its changing scenes by the Crystal garden with its Crystal dandelion heads was fascinating.

We didn't visit the cacti garden this time but that's great too.

So much to see!