Sunday, 21 March 2021

So I Had to Write a Post Today!

My old friend Adullamite gave me a prod the other day to write something, anything. And I agree he is right, though to be honest,  I have always thought of this as a travel-related blog, and, of course, going anywhere or mixing with new people is exactly what we're now constantly being told to avoid at all costs. Still, we had an exciting event in our communal garden last week. Or at least it was exciting to me. Do you remember that story about the woman in New York who found another apartment behind her bathroom mirror?   Well, we found a secret building in our garden!  

We live in a flat in a large Victorian house which is built around a 3 acre garden square, (or, in fact, a rectangle.)  It is behind the houses, and it is quite invisible from the street, and it slopes down the hill from top to bottom. 


At the top of the hill is what used to be a gardener's compound, with a shed and glasshouses. The glasshouses have long gone, and the shed is full of garden equipment. Next to this compound, for as long as I can remember, has been an ivy clad brick wall in poor condition, accessed by a locked door. It appeared to belong to a nearby mansion block. 

But actually, it doesn't. Someone in the block took it over without permission years ago and gained what I believe are known as "squatter's rights".      Now, our garden chairman is working with the local Lord of the Manor (I kid you not) to reclaim it, and, last week, I was able to walk through this door, and have a look. 

There was a brick building dating from about 1910, with a little courtyard and a passageway leading round the corner and onto a neighbouring street. The whole area had been neglected and choked with rubbish for years, and definitely needs total renovation, but now the main building has been cleared to reveal a fairly spacious room with a blocked up window, and a smaller room off it.  The legal situation is still unclear, but various possibilities are opening up. Conservatory, storage, residents' meeting place?  Who knows?  We can't do much until the legal situation's fully resolved, but it's something to think about, and strangely exciting.

 

T and I have been busy.  After we received our first vaccinations, we home-schooled the twins till schools returned on 8 March.  They'd been quarantining since early January, with online Zoom classes and work to be done at home. We had to supervise this, and found that Zoom is a terrible way to teach.  Pupils of all ages seem to struggle, mainly because there's none of the give and take of normal school life. As the twins held their wobbly pencilled work up to the screen in bright sunlight, it was clear that teacher wasn't going to be able to read much they'd done, let alone give useful feedback.  

After they'd finished their schoolwork each day, we taught them things we thought they'd like to know, practised reading and tables, took them out and played with them... and we also made a movie.  It was supposed to be three minutes long but somehow turned into an exciting adventure to which they contributed lots of dialogue and ideas, and ended up at eighteen minutes.   

It was all fun and we generated far more noise than usual - not just shooting the film, but playing, dancing, shouting, racing around - with me editing the sound track of the film into the night, and we did worry a bit about what the Persian couple living downstairs might be thinking, since the place is not that soundproof.  

But they said they liked the sound of children bringing some life into lockdown, and were, in fact, very nice about it. So I thought I might buy them a card for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is this weekend.  And that meant a trip to the nearby area of Kilburn, where I'd heard a Persian shop or two had opened up. 

It's about a mile walk to Kilburn High Road from here, and in all these years I've never found it to change much - a busy, slightly shabby place with heavy traffic and many immigrants. It's okay, with some nice shops and cafes, a good cinema and theatre intermixed with pound-stores, bookies, slot arcades and pawnshops, lots of dust and grime. 

There are always plenty of bits of Kilburn that seem to have seen better days  - like the Red Lion pub (above) here, once a glittering Victorian gin palace, now a sad sight with steel security doors and broken windows.

You can see by the huge mosaic plaque built into the space between its chimneys that this pub was once really proud of itself, announcing it was established in the year 1444...

...and rebuilt from this - below in 1890.   The pre-1890 Red Lion looks charming to me, but no denying that the rebuild was on a much grander scale and this little Regency building no doubt seemed pathetically small and outdated, specially if the owners were were planning to compete with the Black Lion down the road, which supposedly dates originally from the sixth century, and what's more has a magnificent Victorian interior - read more here about the Black Lion.  


For centuries, both Lions, and all the other pubs of Kilburn High Road have done well.  That noisy dirty thoroughfare around which the place is built is in fact part of Watling Street, the incredibly ancient road which leads from the Southeast of Britain, all the way to Wales in the North-West. Most of it is still in use today, suitably modernised.  I find that amazing, considering the Romans paved it around the time of the birth of Christ.   You'll find more about Watling Street here.   

Kilburn must have had so many inns because travellers on the road would have been seeking a place to eat, drink and stay for centuries.     Just across the road from the Red Lion is the Juniper, known for most of its life (since the 15th century) as the Cock Tavern, possibly because it provided entertainment in the shape of fighting cocks.  Nice.  It has only recently changed its name, when it was refurbished, only to find that lockdown hit. Its website isn't functioning, and I don't know if the business has survived. (I think those are plastic flowers hanging outside, so they don't signify much).  We should find out before long. 


I am not alone in in wondering how our towns and cities will change after more than a year of being closed down most of the time.  In particular, it's hard not to wonder what will become of London (not just the pubs but the property prices) after this pandemic.  But if 2020 taught me one thing, it was that I can't foretell the future, so I don't bother worrying too much. Strangely liberating, that. 

Anyway, when T and I arrived at the southern end of Kilburn High Road, we found that it had come up in the world so much that it almost didn't even look like Kilburn any more.   There are some fine new buildings, including a library, lots of apartments for sale, a brightly-coloured bit of architecture that's a new school, and, in the middle of it all, a section taken over by some Persian shops and cafes - a bakers, a supermarket, restaurants and a beautiful lounge selling all varieties of cakes, including big red rose meringues decorated with gold leaf. I am afraid I had to take photos on the phone, which is not really up to the job, so my picture doesn't show these cakes in their true splendour, glowing in their lighted cabinet in a dimly lit lounge.   



The supermarket and its adjoining shops were all so busy with people shopping for New Year that I didn't take many photos, nor did I buy anything.  (Instead, I asked my daughter V. to pick up something at her local Persian shop in Southeast London, "Persepolis,"  which has a more covid-compatible layout. Here's Persepolis's website, and when things get back to "normal," (whatever that is) I recommend a trip to their nice shop and cafe when in Southeast London.     

Back in Kilburn, I snapped these bowls of sprouting grass, "Sabzeh" for sale outside the supermarket. This signifies renewal, and I am told that sabzeh is one of seven items, all of which start with "S" in  Farsi, which are used in celebrating the new year.  

Another indication that this bit of Kilburn is going up in the world is a piece of street art I'd never seen before - a sundial where you yourself point to the time.  The months of the year are incised around a north pointing line on the coloured square shown below, (take a this picture on Flickr shows it much better). This was the exact moment when the sun obligingly came out (for about a minute) in the whole day!

  Public artwork like this suggests that someone is taking an interest in the area, so it was good to see. 



On the way back, we passed an early magnolia in full bloom, shining out under the dull, dark sky. (I have lightened the picture considerably to show the magnolias better)


On arriving home, I decided to treat myself to a Japanese sweet, the last one left in a box that was sent to me by a friend last Autumn.  I think they are made of bean curd and most of them contained tiny jelly models of autumn leaves, but this one contained a fish. It didn't taste of fish at all, but the pale blue-grey jelly is clear and perfect, and when you start to eat it, the reflections of where the jelly has been broken, make it look as if the fish is swimming in water.  


I thought it was almost too nice to eat. 

V did get a card and small gift of chickpea cookies at "Persepolis" so I cycled into central London to collect them and to have a little stroll around with her.   We couldn't believe we had missed this memorial to Agatha Christie, the detective writer, (shown below) specially since we'd spent about half an hour standing around exactly that spot, in Great Newport Street, just a few weeks ago.  Despite its large size, it must be one of the most unobtrusive monument in London!  I assume that is a lifelike bust of her. 


It was put up in 2012 and contains biographical information and lots of little images, plus a list of her books, which continues on the other side of this double-sided monument.  Several have their titles in Braille - a nice idea.   


We bought a takeaway coffee at Orée, just off Bow Street, and I couldn't resist buying a charcoal baguette too.  It is totally black inside, and looks intriguing.  It tastes good, too. I've had charcoal biscuits before but never charcoal bread, though apparently it is good for the digestion.  


And, as always in Spring, Nature is its usual eyecatching self. 


Early spring is one of my favourite times of year, and the willows, heavily pollarded last year, are now exploding with new leaves. 
 

 
Well, Adullamite, will that do?  I hope so!    I am glad that you encouraged me to write a post. There was quite a lot to say, after all. 

61 comments:

  1. Good local travel!
    Hopefully the brick building can be a residents' meeting place for wet days...so you can be out but not too wet.

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    1. I like that idea. I hope it happens. I think it should be a decision for everyone who uses the communal garden.

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  2. Local travel can be fascinating, like Steve Reed at Shadows and Light blog

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    1. Ah yes I have been meaning to follow his blog for a while and finally did it. I know pretty well everywhere he posts about!

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  3. Quite a lot to say, indeed! And show as well!
    Thank you for the outing. You find the most interesting things in your travels, whether they are far afield or close to home.

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    1. Thank you. I know I don't have your gift of posting interesting stuff about where I live though. Part of it is my relations don't like to be featured on the blog, so of course I have to respect that but it gets to seem a bit introspective if I don't go many places. Having had my second vaccination I can be looking further afield now though.

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  4. Interesting blog on parts of London I have never visited. We have been in the same position as you since January even though I'm retired it still sends me loco and very often I go with to get photos with my camera or Phone, (get an iPhone if yours is no good. In Wallingford I noticed some shops have closed and I doubt will reopen. My kids (more adults now) who live with us ave been stuck at home though at least one does work from home. The other left work when I retired and went to art collage and had been on line learning. I noticed he was getting depressed from time to time but is now much happier he has gone back. So what has Agatha go to do with Great Newport Street in London. She only live a couple of miles away from me and is buried even nearer.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I believe the statue is in Great Newport St because Agatha's play "The Mousetrap" is running nearby. It's the longest running play in British history, and she did quite a few books which have been made into plays. It's sad about shops not reopening in Wallingford, we were just in the west end on Wednesday and it was eerie, like Christmas day with no traffic on the roads and nobody to be seen. It must be specially hard to do art online. I did a course and it was so frustrating that the teacher could not come and really look at your work and perhaps show you where you were going wrong.

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  5. Well it's always good to see an update on a Blog. I was intrigued by your new find in the garden. Kilburn is an area of London I don't know and, if I am honest, probably never will know. That will not, however, prevent me from enjoying your posts about it.

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    1. I don't think that seeing Kilburn is one of the essential things of life, to be sure! Like most other English settlements, though, it has some history that is interesting to dig out.

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  6. Oh how I have missed you. This post is so loaded with delight that i feel satiated, satisfied, and will come back to it often. Delicious all of it. Fancy finding an abandoned building right at your door! I have dreams like that, where the rooms keep opening and opening. Pollarded trees always disturbed me, like damaged angry little fists raising to the sky in protest. I see the point, but still...

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    1. Thank you! I also used to have dreams about buildings, came to the conclusion the buildings represented me. This one is pretty small but it is just so strange to realise that it was always there behind an uninteresting looking high wall!

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  7. I remember Kilburn generally as fairly grubby, going there to buy irish white
    pudding. Leo's memories go much further back, when as a young man, he collected rents for his father there. Both of us delighted that it is coming up in the world, for when Kensal Rise does so, Kilburn cannot be left behind!

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    1. Not so sure about that...Kilburn has been getting a bit like Brixton or Peckham, grungy but lively, and its ethnic liveliness is probably its biggest asset. Hope they can keep it up. Not so many Irish there now. Kensal Green always used to be my idea of the most depressing place to live in London, but that crown has now been taken by Harlesden. Mind you I haven't been there for years so who knows what even that is like now.

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  8. I must see that Agatha Christie Monument the next time I am in London! I looked on the map and we always stay near Russell Square and it is not very far from there!
    I am very happy to see your post, Jenny Woolf! I love to read about anything you want to write about. xx

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    1. Thanks, Kay! Yes, the nice thing about the monument is that there is a lot to see on it, so you can spend some time examining it.

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  9. Jenny, you can rest assured that the Travel Blog remains true to itself!
    We have just travelled into another world!
    For a start we go through that magic door in the wall and find ourselves in a strange, unknown building packed with mystery.
    We leave the legal minds to argue over the ownership mind.
    What a find! A scrub up and a bit of paint and who knows what can be done with that house.
    I bet the story makers have several weird and wonderful tales for the kids already.

    For all the inadequacies of zoom I think I would have learned more, and possibly better, if I had been forced to learn this way.
    Just not being locked up daily would have been great. I would miss the football kick around mind.
    The making of a video must have been fun, the kids would love that.

    Then a mile long walk, I would get a bus, and a trip into another world and back into time.
    How I remember Kilburn High Road in the late 70's.
    Crowded with shops, people, buses, narrow roads, and congestion.
    I lived in Willesden Lane for a while and often walked by the pubs. No chance I would enter in those days.
    All played very loud Irish Country and Western music, and with an active IRA Provo bomb squad about I remained at a distance.
    I looked up the road on google maps recently while discusing Irish booze with Max (https://withinthekstreets.com/).
    The road looked the same but cleaner though I wondered how many shops would survive. It is a great shopping centre with everything available.
    Funny how little interested was I in buildings then. I never noticed the old ones like the 'Lions.' Possibly I just noticed the men entering and ran!
    Only on the map pictures did I realise how old some buildings were.
    I note the two doors of the 'Red Lion.' Possibly to seperate the Public Bar, where the men gathered in a long line at the bar, foot on rail, spitoon on floor surrounded by sawdust, from the main lounge, costing more, with entertainment perhaps.
    This is the A1 and is always busy. No wonder so many hostelries arose here. I might use one now the bombers have gone.
    I suspect the type of man has changed also. No bedsits full of single Irishmen, no small cheap cafe's for cheap meals.
    Here and up the road in Cricklewood many were found. Vegan cafes now I expect.
    Flats grossly overpriced. And both sides of the street called West Hampstead even though to the left it is Brent!
    Estate agents lies.

    A radio programme a while ago told me that Agatha Christie now outsells the Bible!
    She is translated into almost all languages somewhere and sells millions of books. That tells us something.
    Spring is indeed here, I can tell that by the cold north wind coming through the cracks in the window!

    This is another great read, well worth the effort!
    We have travelled again. We have got out of our cells, we have seen the free world and not spent any money!
    Gardens, adventure, travel, cake and Spring blossums, what a great day out.
    I must get to bed early, I am worn out!

    er, isn't 'lobg time friend' better than 'Old friend?' Just asking, for a friend...









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    1. Thanks for the long interesting comment, I should have posted it as a guest blog methinks. Yes, you're right about the Irishmen, it's a while since I have heard an Irish voice there although last year, when card shops were open, it was the only place in London I could get a Paddy's day card. It doesn't have a threatening vibe anymore, during the IRA troubles there were a couple of bombs within earshot of our flat. Rest assured the small cheap cafes are there, not only the usual kebabs etc. but also some really nice ethnic restaurants not at high prices at all, mind you surroundings a bit basic but cheerful at least. I think Kilburn has the potential to become like Brixton or Peckham which are lively, interesting and full of creative people. However all this kind of thing requires it to be relatively cheap and developers are doing their best to push up prices with new flats, etc. which in my view will become almost impossible to sell soon and a drag on the market. But what do I know! Yes, one nice thing about virtual travelling is not spending any money! As for "old friend" I really can't imagine why you might feel this is a sensitive issue, but indeed "long time" is a little kinder but less grammatical IMO. Still, what is grammar between long time friends? Thanks for the link to Max, very amusing! just read his post on googly eyes.

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  10. This is a delightful post – very newsy and informative. London has so many lovely old pubs, I hope they will survive hard times. The Kilburn area would be one to visit for sure with its intriguing cuisine. Lucky you in London to have access to such great areas.

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    1. Even in lockdown London can deliver some surprises and interesting things to see. Just not so many as usual!

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  11. I have no idea who Adullamite is, but he did well to get you writing so much of interest.
    You have been great grandparents to homeschool the twins - this special time that you have all spent together will have a lasting effect on them forever. I love the idea of having a bit of Persia in Kilburn, and how attractive those small baskets of grasses are signifying renewal.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. They have seven items on display, all of them beginning with the letter S in Farsi, and these represent various blessings for visitors to the home during the following year. It was quite interesting finding out about it all.

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  12. Fascinating,as always. You did have a lot to talk about and show us. Glad you posted and glad you got the vaccine. :)

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    1. Thanks, Rita! I hope by now you have had the payments issues sorted out and will be able to relax and enjoy Easter, by now you're goanna be fully vaccinated!

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  13. You did cover a lot of ground in this post!

    The magnolia tree looks like what we call Japanese magnolias, or tulip trees. The flowers come first, and look almost like pink tulips, then the leaves. Ours are mostly done blooming and the azaleas are out instead.

    It's always great to hear from you, i learn so much when i read your posts.

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    1. Thanks Jackie! I always get puzzled by what people call "tulip trees" Some are going to be planted by the council near us and I looked them up and saw all kinds of trees I did not recognise. I'll be delighted if they're magnolias!

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  14. It's great to have you back. My thanks to Adullamite for giving you a nudge, Jenny! :)

    This is a travel-related post in its own way and right. You even travelled out the door to have a look at the communal garden...and look what you discovered! :)

    The rain has been pelting down here for the past couple of days and more...so I shan't be venturing outside any time soon.

    Take good care. :)

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    1. I bet that in your area it really rains when it rains! I wished you a happy easter already but no harm in repeating it and hope you and Clint revel in it! guess he won't be joining you in the sun if it comes out... :D

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  15. The pollarded willow is a new sight for me. I've never seen it done, but it looks a great idea. The sight certainly is startling.

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    1. I think it helps the trees to live longer but I don't much like the look of them. However, in a city it's at least a way of enabling there to be lots of trees and the small branches do keep regrowing again and again.

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  16. Dear Jenny, what an enjoyable post. The little secret room is very exciting, and made me think of The Secret Garden. Do let us know how it ends up being used. A meeting room sounds fun. I have just checked Google maps and found Kilburn (always good to know where places are). The age of British pubs never ceases to astonish me - 1440, so long ago. We went with our daughter to a very old pub in Essex and I wanted to hug the big oak beams which had seen the Elizabethan age come and go. The Agatha Christie memorial is very clever, and thoughtfully made. I love the books and the touch of braille. Beautiful photos all round, and happy claps for the Spring flowers and the gorgeous willow tree.

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    1. Thank you Patricia! And it sounds as if you are enjoying your autumn weather too. I love old buildings and am really looking forward to being able to go on cycling trips in the country and drop in to old pubs for lunch en route. I hope it will be possible this summer.

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  17. I didn't know there was such a large Persian community in London now. That wasn't the case when I left in 2000. I also didn't know that Kilburn High Road has gone up in the world. It was pretty scruffy the last time I was there. I see the Tricycle Theatre is still there - now renamed the Kiln Theatre. The secret building is intriguing - amazing that it was so well hidden you've only just discovered it!

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    1. You'll probably find quite a lot of changes in London since 2000. However, the pandemic will no doubt bring out a whole raft of new changes - I am not making any predictions about anywhere these days!

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  18. Thank you for such an interesting post Jenny, even though the rose cakes, the Japanese sweet and the charcoal baguette are equally frightening. I hope you're all right?
    That is a lovely bit of Secret Garden that you have uncovered, and I'm sure you will find many uses for it.....such as a theatre/film studio for the twins?
    Your final comment about writing is so true. I never know what will happen when I start to write. I surprise myself all the time.

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    1. Oh, I like gimmicky food, although in many ways I am rather picky (according to my daughter). I'm even toying with the idea of buying some charcoal so I can make my own charcoal bread, and startle visitors - when we start to have visitors again, of course.

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  19. This was a lovely varied and interesting read - thank you!
    Magnolia trees will take a while yet to bloom in my area, I believe. The Agatha Christie memorial is great!
    While I was teading your post, I was thinking of so much to comment on, but now my mind seems to have gone largely blank, so I better end my comment here :-)

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    1. Thanks for your comment, and I'm glad it filled your mind with thoughts, they have probably gone somewhere and will pop up later :)

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  20. Beautiful and informative post. Walking down your streets is a history lesson for the mind and heart.

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  21. Actually, the pre-1890 Red Lion looks fantastic! If it ain't broke, don't rebuild.

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  22. A lovely and varied post. Happy Spring!

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    1. Thanks, and I hope your spring is going well.

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  23. The story of the secret building is fascinating, but it's a shame that "squatter's rights" have to be involved. The blossoms in your area are beautiful. There are no blossoms yet here in TN - only rain and wind. My two cats would really enjoy devouring those lovely bowls of sprouting grass (sabzeh).

    I love the Agatha Christie monument. Ironically, I'm presently "binge"-watching all of the Poirot episodes with David Suchet - which are available on YouTube.

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    1. The building was just taken over by a crook who owned and still owns a nearby block. I guess it was our garden's fault for not noticing. It's all hidden away behind a high and locked gate and looks like it could be part of his building. Passed Poirot's "home" in London yesterday - a block of flats in Charterhouse square, which I'm thinking of posting about soon.

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  24. I am always so late for everyones blog. Loved your wonderful post today.
    When I used to visit family in Japan for many years, we would always be sure to get a Bamboo Charcoal Cake. Much like a Swiss Roll with a fabulous cream filling. I miss this all so much.
    cheers

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    1. I'm so late I almost disappear! Wow, never heard of Bamboo Charcoal cake, and so I will look it up. I have been doing a bit more ambitious baking lately.

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  25. I enjoyed traveling with you Jenny. The area of Kilburn High road is unknown to me. I do understand your home-schooled hard work. This is not really what Zoom is for. Here the parents are happy that schools have been opened all the winter and now as well. I got my first Sputnik V vaccine, I will have my second soon. It makes me more confident when I go somewhere.
    I always love you reading, dear. Do not stop blogging.

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    1. I am really glad that you've been vaccinated and will get the second dose too. I'm so pleased about it. And thank you for your encouraging comment, it makes me feel more like settling down to blog when I sometimes feel that I should be doing other things.

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  26. Hello, Jenny. Your life looks to be eventful and the finding secret building sounds most exciting. I love early spring, the lovely transformation from the pale winter to colors. I was born in mid-March. The magnolias on the header and in the 10th image are glorious. I think you’ve been giving nice impact on the twins’ learning. In Japan, schools have been open continuously since last June. F and two Ys have enjoyed school life. Regular face-to-face lessons are much better than online lessons. Successive Zoom meetings have drained energy of some adults, I hear. Sakura is full bloom now much earlier than usual. Many people are out with preventive measures including me with utmost caution, as people has gotten used to the new lifestyle. Since the effect of State of Emergency has faded out, it was lifted up though infections have been creeping up due to the new variant. Enjoy your spring and take care. Best regards to T.

    Yoko

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    1. Yes, Yoko, my favourite times are in Spring too - early Spring when we see hope for the coming year, and May, which is the most beautiful month in England, when everything seems new and bright and colourful. I always hope for a sunny May but often of course there is rain to help all that greenness along! I do feel that Zoom meetings are very tiring. I hope that the pandemic in Japan is soon under control. My Japanese friends seem to have lived a more "normal" life than we have in the last few months, becuase our lockdown has been very strict. It is still so hard to get used to the empty streets in London. We hope that will change by mid April.

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  27. Such a lovely post, Jenny. I'm sorry I'm so late, but it's been a busy time for me with all the online teaching. I grew up around Kilburn, so it was lovely to see your photos about it and your impressions. When I was young there was a very large Irish community in Kilburn. I wonder if there is still? I love the idea that you cycle into central London. It sounds very brave to me, and your communal garden looks delightful. You'll have to update us about the developments as and when. Lovely to see you posting again, Jenny!

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    1. Thanks Val. No, almost no Irish these days in Kilburn. I mean I am sure many Irish people live around (and as I said in another comment, it's the only place last year that I managed to get a St Patricks Day card) and a few years ago I peeped into St Augustines Kilburn and it was packed with people, who I assume were Irish. But in general it's black & Middle eastern, and is getting some good ethnic food shops.

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  28. Well my thanks to Adullamite for encouraging you to write a post, and huge thanks to you for doing it.
    So interesting, I did enjoy it.
    Thank you.

    Happy Spring, it is so nice to see blossom on trees.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Happy Spring Jan. It's nice to feel some optimism in the air, which I do right now.

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  29. Hi Jenny -- I started and read through this about a week ago and thought "I want to read again before I come back and comment." Sorry for the late visit but I'm glad Aduliamite encouraged you to write because I love everything you shared. The secret house is really pretty exciting -- so many options! I liked hearing about the Persian couple below you liking the sounds of the children and your visit to Kilburn. This is an area I'm not familiar with and it looks really interesting. The architecture was quite lovely and I liked seeing the older photos too. That sundial installation is fun. I hope it will continue to do well after Covid.

    It's nice seeing spring burst out with that magnolia! We're seeing a bit here, too -- slow but sure. And I'd love to see the Agatha Christie statue. I've loved every one of her books (and I think I still have them all.)

    This was definitely a post worth waiting for! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Jeanie! I have an email half written to you which was about some of this stuff.... I may need to rewrite it or even start again but I'll get it done in the end.

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    2. Don't start it over! Just keep "on" it -- I never mind re-reading your writing!

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  30. What an interesting post! I really like how the garden looks like. I miss going out more and travelling too. Let's hope it will all slowly return to the ordinary state, with the vaccines becoming more available and people obeying the safety rules...
    I see you have links to your posts about travels to various countries, maybe one day you'll be interested in visiting a few places in Poland to which Lewis Carroll has been. On my blog I have posts discussing the house in which he stayed for a while in Danzig/Gdańsk with Liddon and the things they had seen - they're in Polish however:
    https://w-krainie-czarow-i-slow.blogspot.com/2020/07/co-robi-lewis-carroll-w-gdansku.html

    https://w-krainie-czarow-i-slow.blogspot.com/2020/07/carroll-i-gdansk-ciag-dalszy.html

    I might also edit them some day or add something in a new post, because these were written before I found access to the original, English version of Dodgson's travel journal.

    Your blog is really great :) I also read your very interesting biography of my favorite writer that is Carroll.

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  31. Cool about the abandoned building and the possibilities for it. But Lord of the Manor? That sounds made up!

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