Monday, 11 June 2012

Water Water Everywhere, etc..


So this is what it looks like in London right now. It's raining and raining and raining, and the rain is drumming on the roof, and I'm obviously going down with some bug because I feel nauseous and tired.

I expect I'll feel better soon, and no doubt the rain will stop, but meanwhile I've been looking through my photos to find different aspects of water, to take my mind off the downpour outside.


One Spring evening in Paris, we watched the boats chugging up the Seine. The light was peach coloured, almost as if the whole scene had been tinted.

And this takes me back to an afternoon in Italy, drinking grenadine and looking across the lake. Italian lakes can have a silvery, almost turquoise colour, and the leaves of the trees around the statue swayed in a warm breeze. And Italians always do statues well.

There is a different beauty in this ornamental canal, carefully situated so that it reflects a gothic orangery in Gloucestershire, and swinging round cleverly to divide the field of sheep from the house.

These cygnets almost looked as though they'd been specially arranged in formation, too. But they weren't. They came sailing past when I was sitting by the river at the bottom of my mum's garden. It is a shallow trout river, patrolled on the other side by a vigilant water bailiff. I love the light and shade of the waterweeds, and the water's glassy clarity.

This too, struck me as very decorative. Yes, I know these leaves need to be cleared out of the pool, but I love the shadows they make. I also remember how much I appreciated that pool one blazing day.

And by contrast with the hot, sunny pool, I was intrigued by how these flowers, thrown into a winter river, were frozen in as though encased in textured glass...


Of course, water offers endless opportunities for fun, .specially if you have water guns like these teenagers in a French theme park. They were leaping from boat to boat, and causing mayhem.

The woman running the ride was yelling at them through her megaphone, but they didn't take the slightest notice. Passers by were watching them from the bridge where I was also standing, cheering them on.

I specially treasure spots where you can experience the water outdoors. England doesn't have many places like this (unless you count being outdoors in the rain, I mean) But there are a few. Do you know of any?

These kids were loving the fast little stream that feeds this pool.

Some of them had small inflatable boats and body boards, others were just splashing around.


I often think of this French house belonging to a friend, where the pool was overshadowed by a tree that produced beautiful plums ... a dream on a hot late summer day Sigh, I wish I could go back there but it's been sold now. Anyone know of a house with a pool in Southern France to swop for a London apartment for a week or two?



Water is a good place to be alone and think your own thoughts ...

Or simply mess about in boats, as the Water Rat recommended in "Wind in the Willows." (The photo above was taken very near the stretch of the Thames on which the book was based)

You can also do all kinds of daft things on and in water. These kids are in inflatable bubbles. The bubbles are blown up using a huge wind blower, and then the kids are zipped up inside and rolled into the lake. They have all kinds of fun trying to stay upright in the water - before the air runs out. Didn't look that safe to me, but none of them asphyxiated or drowned so I suppose it's okay.....

Wish I had some surfing or sailing pictures, but I easily get seasick and I hate water going over my head. But I like to go on larger boats that don't roll as much as small ones, and this view evoked a tinge of nostalgia.

It's the White Cliffs of Dover, traditionally the first and last sight of England.

Not so much nostalgia below, although during a heavy downpour at this 12th century Islamic fortress, the water flooded all the way down through the building and out into the street....


...which cleaned the place out quite effectively, as it was trickling down quite fast. I don't suppose 12th century standards of hygiene were that good!

Sometimes a watery scene is the image of perfect peace. Above, everything was silent except for the many birds, and really rather magical.

And in a different way, this small boat on the Nile was also peaceful, heading into a desert-red sunset.....

despite the calls to prayer coming from numerous mosques on the banks on either side as I took this photo.

Such peace is a contrast to this rough sea in the Canary Islands, where the breakers were thirty feet high and the roaring of the sea filled the little village where I was staying.

And the roar of this cascade in Wales' Elan Valley was also a constant background noise as we walked through the woodland nearby.

Here's a creepy, almost Dickensian scene in the London sewers, with soupy brown water lying very still at the bottom. I was fairly anxious about my camera, since I was wearing clumsy protective gloves and didn't really want to drop anything into the water as I waded through....


But water has always had a practical use, either to clean or to carry trading vessels - these are some of the few trading narrow boats that still ply the English canals.

I like water. I like deserts too, but I wouldn't like to live somewhere with no water


So I'll just have to put up with London...


But I wish the rain would end.

I've never been a great one for hot tropical beaches, but this year, believe me, I am TEMPTED. Yes, very tempted.

79 comments:

  1. Hello Jenny:
    These are wonderful images relating to your theme of water most of which, certainly, concentrate on the rather happier, more fun aspects of your subject. We can so very easily understand how depressing it must be to watch the summer disappearing under yet another cloud burst. All of the reports we receive are of endless rain.

    We do so hope that your not feeling well is short lived.

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  2. Your pictures and descriptions were wonderful.

    I have to agree, that bubble ride looks dangerous, but what a unique idea.

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  3. Oh Jenny! This is a wonderful post. I so enjoyed seeing the different waters from around the world and your description of each one was terrific!

    I do hope you feel better very soon and that the rain gives way to some sun.

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  4. Your post just made me yearn to go somewhere cool, quiet and with lots of water.

    I wish we can have rain more often here. *sigh*

    It's too hot! I'm melting just sitting down!

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  5. The water and flooding is scary. But it's nice to see some beauty and happiness in all the mess! Lovely pictures, I very much enjoyed them!

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  6. This is a great collection of water-related photographs. Your travels have taken you to some interesting places and what great opportunities to see the beauty in singular everyday scenes. As much as I love the country, I also love cities in the rain, so your top photo, although I know how tiresome steady, constant rain can be, is very appealing to me.

    I love your understatement, "Italians always do statues well." And the image of sheep next to the canal is also especially appealing to me.

    I hope the rain lets up soon and lets the sun come out to play.

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  7. Water can be fun but too much can cause a lot of misery. Hope the sun comes out soon.

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  8. This past week-end there were many shows about the Diamond Jubilee on the tv. Noticed that with the exception of the outdoor concert, it was always raining. Which sadly, reminded me of a period of England history when due to the rain, there was a period of fathom. Wish I could remember which period it was but considering I learned this info on 'Supersizers do ______' it's all a blur....

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  9. If it makes you rake out such photos as these I believe the rain should stay for some time Jenny! A really good post!

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  10. Those bubbles look like lots of fun. Your pictures are a lot nicer than our window views. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. We have had boats in the streets here in West Sussex. I am sick of it. When I retire I'm going to chase the sun. Until I get sick of that too. But I have enjoyed your water logged blog today. Sorry water themed!

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  12. What a great themed blog! Lovely pictures and difficult to decide which one I like most. Possibly the one with the orangery and the sheep.
    We have broken off our holiday in Riva del Garda four days early because (among other things) the weather; when there is rain every day and very low clouds with no chance of them leaving (this is the Dolomites, after all), I know I'll enjoy some time off work better at home.

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  13. Beautiful aspects of water! The beach is where i am most relaxed, but it's not for everyone.

    Hope the rain stops soon.

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  14. Your post made me remember that quote by Kenneth Grahame: "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." That, in turn, made me remember Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat".

    So, between looking at your beautiful photos, thinking of good English books and listening to Japan's own rainy season outside ... I really enjoyed this post! (Our rainy season is hot, humid and very very very wet. It lasts from mid June till mid July, and then it's just awful unbearably insufferably hot with high humidity but without rain. Ugh.)

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  15. Oh, thank goodness for that mini-break. I have so had it with rain! Here's hoping we get some kind of summer soon!

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  16. Looks like we're in for a rainy summer too, we've had nearly 6 inches in the last month. Love water, have to live near it. Enjoy visiting the desert, but after living there for 13 years (in southern California, not by the coast) I don't want to do that again. Right now we live in a southern swamp and love it.

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  17. Beautiful water theme. Too bad it was precipitated (haha) by the London weather. Hope you recover, too.

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  18. We're all the same! while it's raining, you're dreaming about heat and sunny places; And here, we (at least , I)dream of raindrops, of cold,of freshness..Good times to admire pics collections from the past trips! :o)

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  19. Thanks for your paean to water. Lovely words and pictures, even if they did make me need to pee.

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  20. Grand bunch of photos. I would dearly love to try that thing with the inflatable bubbles!

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  21. Love love love the fourth photo with the ornamental canal that is very beautiful and so clever and funny, divides the home from a field of sheep.
    The desert has water but sometimes only in certain months that you can see. There are hidden springs in protected places.
    I must admit that living in a desert area I adore the lush green of the photos you posted and of course the rain.

    cheers, parsnip

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  22. You know, sometimes I miss grey skies and rain, Jenny. Thanks for including a picture from Wales in this lovely collection.

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  23. It did seem that it was pretty good fun, Suldog. The queue stretched for miles and the kids were very patient. Yep, Malylss, in very hot weather I yearn for rain,coolness and greenness. (hey, you don't want to do a home swap do you? Only kidding - I think) It's the endlessness of the rain and greyness that is getting everyone down here.
    Mieke, sorry your trip to Italy has been a bit of a washout, so hope you didn't lose any money on the hotel. Relatives came back from Italy a couple of weeks ago and said that they were dodging the showers and storms all the time.
    Stephen, just don't pee here, okay? :)
    Rurousha and Lina, I find hot and humid weather pretty intolerable these days although I used to be fine as a teenager when we lived in Malta. Summers there are usually with humidity in the nineties, and temperatures too. Think it's about getting older or something!
    More responses to comments later!

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  24. this is a photographic love letter to water!!
    so beautiful
    every time I thought a photo was my favorite the next one would make me say wow again
    I like rainy days, less pressure to be perky
    it's raining here right now

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  25. What wonderful consoling photos - you have cheered us all up! Thanks, Jenny.

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  26. Only you could have such a variety of water pictures from all over the world! I hope you are feeling better. Loved the journey you took me on, despite feeling crummy. Bless you! ;)

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  27. What an extensive and glorious post about water! I enjoyed the drip dripping of so many different moods that reveal your interesting travels. Many thoughts came to mind but I will settle on the uniqueness of a flower frozen in ice and the kids in the bouncing bubbles. I liked the commentary, too. Creativity can sure bloom when forced to stay indoors with one’s own imagination. :)

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  28. Your water series has kept me thinking . . . Wish we had some of your rain! The bubble thing seems a bit scarry . . . . how does someone breathe inside that bubble?

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  29. I love all of the pictures. I love water just being around it makes me feel better. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with me. I appreciate it ver much.

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  30. Well, our tropical beaches have been rained off for the last week....so your photographs were a great cheer up!

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  31. Luckily in Shropshire it remains sunny

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  32. I love water. Actually I am drawn to water. I enjoy a rain storm, however, after several days I am always ready for some sunshine. I hope the sun shines down on you soon. Bonnie

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  33. Thank you for our very own ‘Water Ride’. I hope you feel a litte more cheerful after re-visting some of these lovely scenes. I have to say it’s a bit choppy on the ocean in the Canaries at the moment too. Although warm, we are experiencing some very high winds....still no rain to speak of yet though. It’s been our driest in about twenty years I think.

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  34. Hi Yenny, unfortunately nuestar water is also partner in the north of Spain, spectacular water spouts have ensured that I've had to change clothes three times a day.Ah! that longing for those days when the sun Granada with so typical of southern Spain. Summer comes and you know, we have not had spring. Who has robbed us?. I'm in the paradise of the beach, sun, sand and heat .....

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  35. Hi Jenny, I enjoyed your water-tour, wow you have a fantastic selection of photos!
    I would go mad to see my kids in those water bubbles, I'd be terrified!
    I love the Wales photo, the sound of cascading water reminds me of how powerful it is, in spite of how peaceful it can also be.
    And I love your barge photos, so very colourful. I think it's a pity we in Ireland don't use our inland waterways more for transport, it would unclog our roads!

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  36. Thaanks for this. First off, we're in a drought here. But mostly I was transported to antoher world--his has been a beastly day and your photo essay the perfect end. It's been a relaxing experience to browse thorugh your wonderful collection of watery images, most of them so peaceful! The tour was wonderful.

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  37. I couldn't live too far from water. However, I could swap the constant drizzle here for a little heat in the desrt right now. I hear you Jenny

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  38. Thank you for a beautiful array of water-related sights. The tropical beach reminds me of the ones in Phuket in Thailand or Cebu in Philippine. Several years ago, when my husband asked me if I was interested in going there, I myself wondered if it was worth visiting without any water-related activities, because marine sports was not my idea of fun.
    And then I realized how fascinating it was just to see the seas, especially at dawn and at dusk. Of course the seafood served there while overlooking mild and endless seas put the icing on the cake.

    I hope you are feeling much better by now.

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  39. Great water way, plays and zones. (I vote no the the big bubbles.) Your collection is lovely.

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  40. Those inflateable bubbles remind me of the old series 'The Prisoner', filmed in Portmeirion, Wales. Have you been to Portmeirion, Jenni? If not, you're in for a treat. It's a great (if slightly weird) place. Love the cygnets, so cute and a generally great collection of piccies.

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  41. Dear Jenny,
    I think we were very lucky to miss all this rain in England! It rained but nothing like the day that we left England and since that time too! The sun will be out soon and just think of all the English people rushing out into the sunshine when it comes out! I remember that very well from living in England...

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  42. Hello,Jenny.
    Wow!! You have provided a wonderful collection of interesting photos! All of them made me smile, and I felt as if I travelEngland and France with you. I wish I got in those bubbles! Looks fun!! Eleventh photo is my favorite. Rainy season is coming soon here in Japan too! Have a great day,Janny.
    Tomoko

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  43. Woderful post, thank you!

    The boats were my favorite ride as a child. I haven't seen them that large though.

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  44. It's not raining here today!! Yeah! Mind you it's not sunbathing weather either. Still they've lifted the hose pipe ban in some areas. That should bring a smile to your face. :D

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  45. Great catching up with you, Jenny - been too busy with projects but easing my way back into my regular Blogland posting and visits. And, YES - I knew it was raining in England today as two young friends of mine just arrived after 17 hours of travel - in Canterbury - to visit with another young friend finishing up his masters in medieval history. They are keeping a travel log blog of the trip so I can vicariously be there. Arrived in the rain, they say.

    Fun Jubilee shots - love the history of such an old family. And, isn't there something very comforting in such patriotic traditions. We have similar things here in the US, but often lacking in the pomp. Still - love how the guy with the Union Jack hat was wearing a NY shirt - I can only think New York Giants football fan . . .

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  46. I love the water cascade in the Elan Valley - so beautiful. Unfortunately the White Cliffs of Dover always remind me of a particularly rough and nauseous Channel ferry I experienced as a child and how grateful I was to get back on dry land.

    Strangely, Northern Ireland hasn't been getting any more rain than usual, so we've had very few flooding problems.

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  47. Is this a second posting, Jenny? It showed in my blog roll as recently posted, as in 2 hours ago. Oh well, it was nice looking at your pictures again.

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  48. That last photo tempts me too! Like you I've had enough of grey days and rain. Hope you are feeling better now and that you didn't come down with anything nasty.

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  49. I very much enjoyed this post. I especially liked the Islamic fortress. It has a very dreamy, otherworldly quality.

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  50. Interesting post, I loved the photo of Gothic orangery in Gloucestershire!

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  51. I want to do the inflatable bubbles! Boy that sure looks like fun. I can't believe it's nearly summer and you are getting that much rain. When you don't feel well it makes you feel even worse. I love all your cheery water pictures. Looking through them must have given you a burst of feel good :)
    Ashley

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  52. Jenny, all those shoots are beautiful :o) Love the canal with sheeps and the window. It was joyful reading for me, thanks for good emotions :o) Love how you show all contrasting sides of water.
    Have a suuny day
    love
    Natasha

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  53. Wow, what lovely and fond memories of warm days from around the world! I think I would have enjoyed that theme park boat ride without the boat-jumping teens. My favorite photo is of the 2 people on a red canoe which looks like somewhere in Asia? Anyways, I hope you feel better soon and it stops raining.

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  54. And they tell us we are going to have a months worth of additional rain in the next 36 hours. It is unbelievable, even more so that some councils are still claiming we are in a drought.

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  55. I really like being by (or in) the water. I don't like rain after a couple of days of it tho. Great photo's. Hope it has dried up a bit for you by now.

    Darla

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  56. Rainy season has set in here. I like this relatively cool season before summer hits us with its full force. Rain is always beneficial but sometimes could be destructive. I remember splashing water in my friend’s pool in summer in my childhood. I thought the next best thing to have a nice swimming pool is to have a friend who has it. I enjoyed this post – both your photos and your writing is so eloquent. Wish you sunny skies.

    Yoko

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  57. Those are some lovely pictures... get well soon, and I hope the weather will change for the better too :-)

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  58. Wow - what a journey! I enjoyed flitting around the world with your watery photos Jenny. The rainy weather certainly inspired you :D)

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  59. oh I savored every picture! loved seeing those places and pictures..what stories there must be.
    I am not an overprotective mom..but I did not like those bubbles one bit!!

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  60. What a brilliant post, Jenny. I'm not sure I'd like to be down the sewers when the rain came!

    If you find the person prepared to swap will you take Jo with you, please. She's pining for some warmth too and her doctor has recommended sunshine. How is that for an excuse for getting away!.

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  61. Well, I love how you took the water theme from doldrums in the downpour to other interesting aspects of H2O! So many delightful and beautiful images -- from the sheep wondering how to cross over to the other side, to those plastic bubbles reminiscent of Glinda the Good Witch's fairy bubble in Oz! I hope your rainy weather stops in London. Perhaps the rain gods can send some our way? The land here is getting really dry (the hills go from green to straw colored in the summers) and we get our fair share of forest fires and droughts every season.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Jenny

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  62. So many beautiful pics you have with water here! Love the geese formation- They are a pretty colour! I found all of the images n the descriptions very interesting. having not been to the UK or Europe before.
    Thanks for your recent visit to ExitStageRight based on Cape Cod, USA.

    I hope you feel better very soon-

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  63. Jenny I love your way to show beautiful sceneries related to water.
    Your blog reminds me of one episode written in “Wind, Sand and Stars” by Saint Exupery.
    A French guide leads the Moors to a tremendous waterfall. … Water! How many days were they wont to march in the desert to reach the nearest well … “Give me a little water, give!” …Water! A thing worth its weight in gold!
    Japan is a country which has plenty of water everywhere. When I read this episode, I realized the meaning of water or the sentiment toward water is quite different from nation to nation. Now Japan is in the middle of one-month long rainy season. After the rainy season, we will have scorching summer. Both of them are essential for good harvest of rice in autumn. I will find something enjoyable related to water to survive these fierce seasons.
    Have a great weekend!
    keiko

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  64. I hope you're feeling better now? Lovely watery images - I do love water scenes.

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  65. I think this is the first time I have actually speed-read the comments instead of reading every word of every one. You just have too many! Your posts are always interesting but, for me, this subject and the way you have portrayed it excels even by your standards. It gave me the opportunity to get lost in thought on the various ways you portrayed water for much longer than it actually took to read it.

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  66. Thanks for turning on the waterworks for us. I hope the one over London has let up, or will let up soon, and that you're feeling back up to snuff by now.

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  67. I love this watery immersion! Beautiful. xx

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  68. Thanks for ALL the comments, every single one was greatly appreciated. The rain held off mostly in London today and we had some SUN now and then. Oh, sunshine, how I love you! Managed to cycle most of the way to attend a friend's birthday party but suddenly felt pretty tired so took a train the last couple of miles. That's the bug to blame - but it's wearing itself out now. So things look good.

    GB, I am always thrilled by the comments. So many of them say such interesting and thought provoking things. so many of them are just plain nice. Your own comment was a lovely one, thank you.

    What an interesting comment, Keiko and of course yes, water suggests different things in different countries. Life must feel very different from here in a country where seasons are clearly defined.

    Jenny, I love the analogy with Glinda's bubbles! :) One thing you can certainly say about the UK at present is that it is wonderfully green, and actually it is some consolation for the weather.

    John, I entirely agree with you about not wanting to be stuck down the sewers - not only in the rain, actually :) I will make a note to take Jo if I get the chance of a trip away. So far the three trips planned include 2 in the UK and one in Switzerland, none of which suggest tropical beaches ...

    AVCr8teur, the boat ride was a lot of fun (without the teens) although better on a hot day because they had fountains in the water which would erupt unpredictably. And they had huge dryers by the side of the ride, which actually were fun too.

    @Mamma has SPoken, you observed well that it has been raining throughout the Jubilee events and honestly I'm starting to feel they were quite dry compared with how it was when I wrote the post. Blimey!!!

    Ashley, AnneMarie,Suldog, Mimi,Lynne and Tomoko, I was oncerned at the bubbles but the staff got the bubbles back to sure strictly to time, so they'd worked out how long it was before the air ran out. I'm told they were AMAZING fun, an entirely unique experience, and the whole business of being sealed inside one seemed to enthral the kids too.

    Rurousha, I feel I could stand a rainy season as long as I knew what it was. It's when it's supposed to be the sunny season that it gets me down :)

    Annie, the fortress was quite remarkable, almost like a film set. Except, of course, real!

    Yoko, I always wanted a pool. I do actully still fantasise about the pool I showed on the blog, the one seen through the window. It was heavenly to have exclusive use of it

    Glad to see you again, Kathy!

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  69. omg...what beauty and fun to take in....i really want to try one of those bubbles on the water...and a pole board...bet they both would be fun...

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  70. I blame YOU for all this rain we are having here! ;)

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  71. The rain really has been something! I love your take on it with water scenes conveying different moods. I'm curious about your sewer photo - did you go on a tour? That looks fun & different

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  72. Great blog, liked it so much.
    Cheers from Argentina!
    HD

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  73. what a great collection of images Jenny

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  74. Gorgeous variety of images, that bubble looks fun or dangerous, I'm not sure which!!

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  75. I love, love, love this post! I am a great fan of water too yet I too feel oppressed and uninspired when the rain won't stop and the Thames is a ribbon of grey. But yes, water can be peaceful and inspiring and calm and beautiful too, as well as exhilarating and exciting. Gorgeous post!

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  76. Sometimes that's all we Londoners can do when the rain falls; get cosy inside and reminisce and dream of warmer, sunnier places. And lucky you to have such wonderful photos to help you do just that!

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  77. Catching up with some of your lovely posts! We had two weeks straight of rain here when I was lucky enough to be traveling elsewhere in the US. Your photos are beautiful and always leave me with pleasant memories of vacations we have taken!

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  78. Lovely pictures by the water! It must be nice to be so close to Italy and France! Thank you for your visit to my blog. If you want to catch the Empire State Building lit up, check out their website for a schedule of tthe different colors. Hope the sunshine is back in London :)

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