Thursday, 13 May 2021

Catching Up.


Yes, time I caught up on this blog, of course, so here goes.  I can't believe it is several weeks since I baked those Hot Cross Buns, but anyway we had a good Easter.   The weather was fantastic in London and we even had a picnic out in the garden, one of those lazy sunny days that you wish would never end.   The fact that it was so exceptional almost made up for the freezing weather that took its place and has stayed, on and off, ever since.  

It was freezing when we went on a bike ride a week or so after Easter with our daughter K. She wanted to go to Holland Park to see the Kyoto Japanese Garden.  It's so long since T and I have been to Holland Park that we'd never even heard of the Kyoto Garden, let alone seen it. So off we went, gloved, scarved and booted..

Holland Park's in Kensington, in Southwest London, not too far from Harrods and Kensington Gardens. It's what used to be the grounds of a mansion called Holland House, which was bombed in the war and reduced from the upper black-and-white picture below to the much depleted one of the remains of the East Wing.



It actually makes quite a reasonable building in its own right, so long as you don't realise what it used to be.  Behind it is another arcade, a charming garden and a really good cafe.  A life sized set of mural scenes can also be seen, and I wish I could show you them in real life, because part of their charm is that they seem so real you could almost walk into them. 

They've been painted under shelter of the arcading to protect them from the weather - and it has protected them - but of course they are always in the shade. So I've brightened my photos up to show the colours more clearly. If  you were standing there, your eyes would be on a level with those elegantly dressed people, and it wouldn't seem impossible that you could join that path and stroll up to join them. Or at least give the peacock some crumbs from your cucumber sandwiches.   


We found the Kyoto Garden a little distance away, and it was lovely, even though it seemed subtly unlike a  real Japanese garden to me. I can't put my finger on why, so perhaps my Japanese friends would be able to explain, but I think it might be because there was no moss to be seen, and moss seemed to play a definite part in the gardens I saw in Japan.  But I don't really know. And, as you see from the picture, it was charming, with the sound of the water very soothing after a ride through London's noisy streets.   


I don't remember seeing coins in Japanese koi carp ponds. I believe it is a European tradition, derived from the custom of offering valuables to the pagan river gods. So, since koi carp are lucky in Japan, this pond must be lucky twice over with all that money in it. I threw a coin in, to make sure I shared in some of the luck.  


Long ago we used to live quite near Holland Park, and in those days it was a bit dull, so we were impressed at how much it has improved, with much of the space given over to wild or naturalised flowers growing amidst the grass and under the trees.  But the peacocks are still there - I suspect they have been there for centuries, stalking across the grounds and making their strange, plaintive cry.

I've never seen one displaying its tail in a high wind before, but this time I was lucky and it was a remarkable sight to see it battling the gusts, sometimes swaying about so much that I really thought it would blow away. Its magnificent array of "eyes" quivered violently, and looked almost like real eyes trying to communicate.  A very odd and beautiful sight, and one I won't forget. 


We need to cross from NW to SW London to get to Holland Park, and one of the highlights of the ride for me  was coming across an early Victorian white stucco street with a house on the corner that was  decorated with flowers and animals all over its gateposts and up its front steps.  Here you see a badger, a polar bear and a turtle. 


And here are the front steps with a life sized sheep and a life sized dog guarding the door. 


I was told that the house belongs to Richard Curtis, who directed many of my favourite comedy programmes and also some world-famous films, including the appropriately named "Notting Hill." I hope my photos convey how charming and friendly the place seemed to be - a bit magical too, as if Mary Poppins might suddenly walk out with her umbrella in her hand.

A few days after our trip to Holland Park,  we took a walk with V, our other daughter, just to catch up really, as she is incredibly busy with her storytelling business which now keeps her busy at all kinds of odd hours.  T and I put our scarves and gloves and hats on and braved an even more freezing day than before to cycle to Waterloo which is halfway between V's house and ours. There, we all parked our bikes and took a walk. 

We happened to wander down Roupell Street, (mentioned in my last post) and this time I realised there were a strangely large number of vintage Citroen cars parked there, which I hadn't noticed on my earlier visit.  Apparently Roupell St. is also known for its Citroens, and has (or had till recently) a Citroen repair shop of its own.  
 

We drove over to see V and her family a bit later in the month, but as not all of us had been vaccinated at that time, we sat outside in the garden and also went for a little walk, passing the church where one of the boys has started to attend C of E services. Before lockdown, he'd been going to Westminster Abbey every Sunday (on the principle that if he's going to get up and go to church he might as well go to one he likes the look of) but he says the local one is very nice too.   It's obviously not your typical Church of England building.   Next time we walk past I'll try to go inside, but a storm was brewing and we decided to head back to the house.    


A bit later we accompanied V and G to Highgate Cemetery, which is so full of extraordinary stuff, stories and inhabitants, that it needs a post all to itself.   I did think I would do one after our visit, but then I didn't get round to blogging again.  It was one of several cemeteries owned by the London Cemetery Company in the 19th century, and fell into disrepair for a while. It now belongs to a cemetery trust which tries to preserve the uniquely Gothic atmosphere while also stopping the place from falling down.  Usually visitors can only take a guided tour, but during lockdown, self guided tours became available, and we thought it a great chance to linger in the place and choose where to go and what to see for ourselves.  

This is the entrance to Egyptian Avenue, which is lined with Grecian style tombs. There are huge laurel bushes - now huge laurel trees - growing above it, not to mention lots of ivy, blocking out the sun.  





There are far too many stories, memorials and Gothic curiosities at Highgate for me to describe in a short blog post, but if you want to know a bit more about the Cemetery and its background, there is information here or elsewhere on the internet.  I have to just mention to you George Wombwell, the menagerist, whose lion monument caught my eye.  A character (to say the least,) he was once offered a reward by Prince Albert, whose dogs he had successfully advised the prince about.   Wombwell reportedly replied, "What can you offer to a man who has everything?" but when Albert insisted, he chose wood salvaged from the Royal George, which had been the biggest warship in the world, with which to make his own coffin.   So I guess that very coffin is now reposing beneath the lion.... 


It is absolutely impossible to do Highgate Cemetery in brief, though. If you want to know all about it,  you will either need to do a lot of research, or take the guided tour. To be honest, though, we didn't think that much about the dead on this occasion, illustrious and quirky though so many of them were. The weather was bright and sunny, the wild flowers were so cheerfully flourishing and the sky so obligingly presented a striking patterned background to the Gothic tombs climbing steeply up the hillside. 


 And many of the trees, curiously tall and thin, were still in blossom.     We spent several hours there and did not get tired of it. And it wasn't even that cold!


My next venture out was when T and I went to Hungerford to do a few errands, calling in at the lovely Gerald Palmer woods on the way.  I've written about both before - I know the area well because my parents lived there for many years.  The little folly in its woodland clearing, with washing drying in the wind and sun, looked springlike, though the Spring was far less advanced there than 70 miles east, in London. In fact, there were hardly any leaves on the trees!  


Once in Hungerford, I admired this model of the town hall and notable local buildings (below) in the oldfashioned window of the Tutti Pole Restaurant  - someone had obviously spent their lockdown time well.  It appears to be snowy in the model, with an Easter egg sledging down the bridge at the right, which about matches the way the weather has been lately.    At the time, only food and essential shops were allowed to be open, so things seemed a bit quiet, but most of the businesses had apparently survived so I hope they will return.  And, in case you did not read my post in which I talked about the Tutti ceremony, here it is.   I sure hope the Tutti Pole will survive the effects of lockdown, I'd be so sorry if it went. 


Out on the Marsh nature reserve, there was oceans of blackthorn blossom and the long pale reeds were almost dazzling in the sunlight.


I thought the snow leopard in the haberdashery window was very fetching, too. 
 

During out time in London, we went, as ever, on the Heath, and saw birds all building their nests, including ducks (I think this is a moorhen) nesting on the ponds. 


The gardeners house at Kenwood has now opened again - it contains a little second hand bookshop and also sells English Heritage goods and plants. Although still freezing, the weather was dazzlingly bright again in this picture.. 


And April was also the month in which we finally rediscovered the Heath's chalybeate spring, which we had come across before but seemed awfully hard to find again. In fact, in the end, T. took a ride up to the heath by himself, and explored everywhere he thought this spring could be. And he found it, so was able to show it to me next time we went up together! 

 Chalybeate springs are full of iron, and there is no doubt that the water tastes... hm... a little strange, although it is drinkable and we found it quite welcome, and thought it was probably even healthy.  Well, at least I hope it was healthy since we drank quite a bit.  We even filled a bottle and took it home and over the next day the iron separated out of the water and the water became pink.  Certainly it was the supposed health benefits that turned Hampstead into a spa in the 18th century, and all those people can't have been wrong, can they?  So, fingers crossed.

I love the fountainhead, which was created in the 1920s in memory of one of the people who worked to preserve the heath. 


We also took 2 separate trips with K to see how the gardens at Fenton House were getting along, followed by lunch at Burgh House, which is, among other things, the local museum for Hampstead. 

  Fenton House dates from the 17th century and belongs to the National Trust. If you click the link you'll go to a site with a little film of the garden, but one of its charms is that it looks different at every season. The first time we went, in April, there seemed to be a lot of green and white around.



 The second time, those flower pots in the formal garden were much more colourful with brightly coloured tulips, some late daffodils, and forget-me-nots




The  orchard, which is to the right of the of the topiary, showed more signs of life on the second visit, but there still wasn't as much blossom as you'd expect, except for one tree which was covered in magnificent pompom clusters of white blossoms. It may be a variety of very late flowering cherry,  but to be honest, I don't really know what it is since I don't think I've seen anything like it before.  


It remained perishing cold, so when we left the garden we were pleased we could walk around the corner and find a sunny courtyard in Burgh House,  which served us some of the best soup and definitely the best herb scones I have had all year. plus what seemed like half a pound of cheese.  I'll write about Burgh House in a later post - it's a great place and  I can't wait for it to be fully open again. 
 

Well, that only brings me up to the beginning of May but I have to go and do some cooking now. We're having friends over for the first time since lockdown, all the way from Edinburgh.  It is tempting to feel we're on the way back to normality but we've been almost at that point before,  and I'm not entirely confident it will last.  

I've been reading a lot, and also watching a few movies. Many of them are kids movies which I've watched with Boy and Girl Twin - I adored "Nanny McPhee" and am in awe of Emma Thompson, who not only acted the title role but wrote the screenplay.    I was also quite taken by a Japanese film that I found on DVD in the local charity shop.  It's called "After the Storm" and was directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda.  I had enjoyed his "Shoplifters" and this film also won various accolades. 

 Apart from the brilliant Kiki Kirin stealing the show as a philosophical, unpredictable granny, I liked the film's message, which is that even though you can't do much to change life, or human nature, (including your own) you can make the best of it all and have some good times.   A good general attitude to have to life's everyday ups and downs, I think. 


I'll end now, and will be catching up on everyone else's blogs in the next week or two, as well as my own - again.   I hope your own last few weeks have been good.  



 











48 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, what a delicious loaded post! I think that you are very brave to ride bicycles in London! I have marveled at the bicyclists there and do believe that some have a death wish.
    I stayed in Holland park for a spell and loved it so much, A calm little park- I agree about the Japanese garden- it is rather a Disney version. sort of. Beautiful none the less. I was unaware of needing to "tour" highgate cemetery- that would put me off- glad you could go there without having to queue up with a bunch of rowdy tourists! You , out and about, in my favorite city - such a lovely post!

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    1. It is not fun to ride bikes in heavy traffic but we use all the cycle routes (which have improved greatly now) stay as segregated as possible, use back streets. And of course we've been cycling in London for years. I was delighted to be able to self guide around Highgate Cemetery but in fact I missed a lot - it must contain some of the most interesting inhabitants in London, so if the guides are good and enthusiastic, it would probably be worth a tour. Our daughter V is a bit of an expert so gave us a mini tour herself, so we were okay :)

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  2. It's good to "see" you back in Blogland, Jenny! :)

    Holland Park is also a name of a Brisbane suburb...Brisbane, of course, being Queensland's capital.

    As usual, an interesting post, filled with wonderful photos.

    Take care. :)

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  3. That lunch would be a fine example of good times.

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    1. We appreciated it so much, but I have to say we'd have loved it even more if it had been a bit warmer! Hard to eat soup with gloves on :)

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  4. That's more than a list and a half!! I must come back again for another read later.
    Wasn't Holland House the hq if an organisation at one time..was it the YHA?

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    1. There was definitely a youth hostel there. It closed in 2014 I think, which was sad, but the YHA has had to consolidate its London hostels. We are lifetime members but don't stay much at hostels these days, they have standardised catering style food now and not so many members kitchens. I used to like to take a gamble on what the warden would cook up! :)

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  5. These are such lovely sights. Isn’t it wonderful be out and about again.

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  6. Jenny, there is (again) so much in this post I hardly know where to begin with my comment! But one word sticks out first and foremost in my mind, and that is "magic". The mural paintins, the house with the plaster animals and flowers, the garden of Fenton House, Highgate Cemetery, the spring - there is so much magic in London, if only one keeps eyes and mind wide open!
    Now I really want to visit London again; my last visit is definitely too long ago (14 years!). Maybe next year, my sister and I plan our Yorkshire Holiday in a way that we start off by spending a few days in London before heading further north.

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    1. Thank you Meike, that is a really nice observation about magic. I think that is what I look for, although I never thought of it in quite that way. I hope you will visit London again. Let me know when you and your sister will be coming. My daughter is up in Yorkshire at the moment, and sent me a couple of photos. Such a lovely place and one I'd like to return to if possible.

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  7. Well, that spring watermust be O.K. as you certainly have not rusted.
    I wonder if i shall ever be able to visit London again....

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    1. Aha, I haven't visibly rusted yet but you know what rust is like... :) I hope you do visit London again, although your life in CR sounds really pleasant, despite the ups and downs.

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  8. Your lunch at Burgh House on a chilly and sunny day makes me want to have soup outdoors to celebrate reading your great blog post. The Citroen photo is dreamy.

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    1. If you had been there I would have bought you a bowl of soup!!!

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  9. OMGosh! So much--so many places that looks just wonderful! I feel like I traveled with you and it was so much fun. I didn't wear a mask to take my trash out this afternoon but it felt beyond strange to walk the hallways without one. Not sure how I feel about the new CDC mandate, but it is so wonderful for things to be opening up. :)

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    1. Yes, mixed feelings for me too Rita. I kind of feel that since we are mostly used to masks, we might as well continue with them till we are sure Covid has been put to rout. Latest news is that people who have been vaccinated can be totally asymptomatic carriers of the virus, so might still spread it. That would suggest mask wearing should continue if we have the larger aim of stopping the infection from spreading.

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  10. Hi Jenny - I haven't visited for awhile (sorry), but this was your customary full and wonderful post, which I thoroughly enjoyed. You mention Holland Park and Highgate -despite living and working in and around London for so many years in the 80s and 90s, both places I have yet to visit. Hopefully, Team ABAB will make a trip to the Smoke before too long. Take care!

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    1. Thanks Mike. Yes, I can believe you didn't get to Holland Park and Highgate even though you worked not far away. London is really a huge collection of villages and there are some even I haven't been to after decades of living here. Like Perivale. It's near one of the biggest nature reserves in London at Horsenden Hill. Never been there either ;) Always somewhere new to go.

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  11. Good to "see" you back, still exploring so many interesting places. It kind of made me cold to read of your adventures but glad you Brits can take the chill. Loved all the photos of course. We are slowly rejoining the world here, too.

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    1. Glad to hear Teresa. I guess we can take the chill but that is not to say we wouldn't rather be a bit warmer with summer approaching! :D

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  12. Hello Jenny, The area around Cleveland, Ohio has many springs that are charged with iron and sulphur. The water is potable, although it doesn't taste very good. At my last house there this was a problem, because I only had the same type of well water, and it wasn't pleasant to bathe in, and drinking it on a daily basis was impossible. I had to use bottled water, and refilled the jugs at work or at my mother's place.
    --Jim

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    1. Oh, I never knew that about Cleveland Ohio! And hm, not sure I'd like to have itcoming out of the taps. In fact I KNOW I wouldn't. When i lived in Malta the water was very brackish, not quite sea water but tasted something like it. \It made foul tasting tea and coffee but at least it didn't stain the clothes. I genuinely felt the Hampstead water would have turned everything pink if I'd had to use it it in the washing machine!

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  13. I'm always thrilled when one of your posts pops up in my feed -- and this most certainly didn't disappoint with all the wonderful field trips you have enjoyed recently. Seeing the garden house at Kenwood reminded me of our time there (I did a watercolor of that spot with its ivy turning for autumn)and next time, Fenton House! What a lovely garden and all the better if the trip involved a visit to the Burgh House, with a lunch that looks to die for. I love the Curtis house -- I'm not surprised that it looks so friendly and happy as his films are, too. The cemetery would interest me and I think I'd love the town of Hungerford. And oh, the peacock! Big smiles from Michigan across the pond to you!

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    1. Thank you Jeanie! I never saw your watercolour of Kenwood, but i am sure it captured the feel of the place, you have such a gift for doing that. The peacock certainly was a sight, so glad I had the chance to see such a wonderful display, I was genuinely awestruck!

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  14. I always read your blog posts more than once, because they contain such a wealth of information (not to mention such intriguing photos). The Holland House was magnificent before the bombing, but the remaining structure still looks very decent. Those murals are really spectacular!
    I've never heard of a Citroen car but it looks classy and unique (and I'm assuming expensive....)

    What beautiful spring blossoms. All of the blossoms quickly perished here in TN due to unseasonable cold weather. It's slowly warming up but the nights are still chilly.

    I hope things will get back to normal soon and Covid will be a thing of the past.

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    1. Thanks, I am glad to hear it, Jon. Yes, the Citroen is a vintage and their design is uniquely recognisable. Way back in the 1950s the company started making very distinctive and I thought very beautiful cars. They continued with that tradition until about 1990. I think that's a Citroen CX, rare now and I would think expensive. They had a reputation for rusting though even though I am sure they sorted that problem out long ago. So many places seem to have had unseasonably cold weather recently - it's strange.

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  15. Every time i read about all of your adventures around London and other areas, i am reminded yet again that i could spend several lifetimes and still not see everything there is to see.

    Thank you so much for sharing these places with us!

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    1. Thanks for the kind comment. I always think that there is so much to see in life, we can never see it all. The good thing is that sometimes what's close at hand, at home, is just as interesting as the most amazing sights in the world.

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  16. When I read about your hot cross buns I had to think when on earth Easter had happened. It has never been a big part of my life apart from when I went to Church and even then it was religious rather than material. Then I remembered that I had actually bought my Grandson an Easter Egg - I hope that I gave it to him. I've only seen him a few times this year given isolating and so on.

    The Citroen CX Coupé really is a rarity. I'm not sure that I've ever seen one in the flesh so to speak.

    I haven't watched a film of any sort since well before the first lockdown which is something I find hard to comprehend because I've not watched a lot of television either.

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    1. I hope you did manage to give your grandson his Easter Egg but if not, I am sure he will not object to getting it now! I have also found that my viewing habits have changed during lockdown, ditto my reading habits. They were all over the place for some reason and still haven't settled down. At the moment I feel incredibly short of time, which is very strange, considering how restrictive lockdown has been. Perhaps more has been going on in my mind. It has changed me one way or another, for sure. Do you feel that it has changed you?

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    2. Yes. I have changed. One way is that I have never been a lover of large or even medium social occasions like parties. Now I would have no hesitation in declining invitations.

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  17. Thank you for another fascinating post, Jenny. I have warm memories of Holland Park, especially of sitting in sunshine there while a rehearsal for the outdoor opera was taking place. I think the Japanese garden was a gift to London from the people of Kyoto some thirty years ago, so perhaps it has had to adapt to a change in climate. It is a joy to walk around the little streets surrounding the park.
    For many years I have wanted to see Highgate Cemetery and not yet managed it - but I will try.

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    1. Ah, the outdoor opera! It is still going but I am not sure they haven't improved the space where it is. Yes, the Japanese garden was a gift for people of Kyoto, and it did say so. I would guess that the lack of moss might be because English gardeners rarely seem to make much of moss, whereas I believe that in Japan it can be quite an important component. None of my Japanese friends have commented yet though so I am still a bit in the dark about it! Highgate cemetery is worth a visit as there are so many interesting stories there. I find cemeteries and churchyards rather inspiring generally, too.

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  18. Several years ago I walked in Holland Park, Jenny and everything I saw there I liked the Japanese garden with a waterfall, koi fish, stones, paths. I also looked at the roses, and the peacock surprised me by walking around the parking lot and opening its tail.
    Your trip to the cemetery - there are probably many interesting monuments there, but somehow I don't like to be there if there is no reason for this.
    You had a wonderful lunch with hot soup, such a dish immediately warms you up.

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    1. I only realised when I went to Holland Park how many years it is since I visited. I used to come to Kensington High St. and liked the building which is now the Design Museum but for some reason I did not venture further into the park. I like English churchyards because they are part of the church, English churches are really very interesting and inspiring in so many ways. Cemeteries I don't always like, it very much depends on the memorials and the things written on the stones. But in some, like Highgate, you do get a feeling of remembering the dead as simply a group of people who did really live interesting lives. What I don't like is the idea of visiting cemeteries only to be creepy or ghoulish.

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  19. Holland Park was allowed to go wild when I was there. The wildlife flourished, and I forgot the Jap gardem, though I was not keen on it, rather empty I thought. The Pheasants are not uncommon around here. Often see them in shopping centres and various streets.
    The Curtis house looks grand. The sheep at the door is great.
    I wonder what the CoE building was originally.
    Cemeteries are strange places to enjoy, Kensal Rise is full of interesting tombs, all trying to impose themselves on the others.
    Either self importance or a desire to stay alive.
    Love the cheese with the soup! They did not skimp there!
    Another great photographic tour!


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    1. I think you must have visited the Japanese garden quite early on, when it hadn't had the chance to grow much.It's very attractive now, although there are signs telling you to go one way round because of social distancing, which destroys the atmosphere a bit. I was sorry we hadn't seen it during cherry blossom time, just missed it. The CoE building was built as a church and actually I was startled to see it all painted up like that. I'd like to know who the figure is supposed to be, but I suppose it may be intended to represent Jesus. I discovered a cemetery in East London recently that had some eye catching graves, indeed. A bit too much so for my taste. As for the cheese, 3 of us had the soup and had about a pound of cheese left over at the end!

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  20. I read somewhere once that during the Blitz the Germans concentrated on poor and working-class neighborhoods in the hopes of provoking class warfare, but that Holland House is certainly not poor or working-class. Even with half of it blown off, it's still pretty majestic.

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    1. It is really very pleasant to be in, and a bit more is left than you would think from the photo. I wish I had seen it in its heyday though!

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  21. Yes, I agree it doesn't look like a Japanese garden to me (and I've seen a few), more like a typical English waterfall! The sheep and dog look very realistic, I would have been fooled if I hadn't seen them close up. The very elaborate lion is impressive too. And I agree, the murals look so real you could walk straight into them. But you'd get a nasty injury if you tried!

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    1. It made me a bit nostalgic for the beautiful waterfalls in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, not huge but very similar. The murals are quite strange because they seem so realistic when you are close up to them. I'm glad they have sheltered them from the weather anyway

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  22. Dear Jenny, What a joy it is to read this piece. I have been missing London and your descriptions and photographs reminded me again how much I enjoy exploring the parks and side streets. I do hope I can do so again before too long, I would love to see the mural you described.

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  23. Such a wonderful post.
    So good to read and look at.
    You've certainly kept busy, isn't it nice to be out and about again.

    Enjoy the remaining days of May.

    All the best Jan

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  24. What a wonderful catch up post, Jenny. I love seeing all the places and corners you've found on your trails through London and environs. I've never been to Hungerford, but it sounds a lovely place. Thank you for filling us in on what you've been doing in recent months!

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  25. Hello, Jenny. Excuse me of my late visit. Britain seems to be opening up to more freedom soon, though I wonder if you’re completely satisfied or a little concerned for the increased infections which gives viruses more chances to become new variants. You’ll do your best with precautionary behavior. The clouds in the sky over Gothic tombs and tall blooming trees are typical of spring; I saw gigantic columns of clouds, typical of summer, today here. Rainy season will be over soon in Kansai area. Moss is the most beautiful during the rainy season. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of the moss garden on my latest post. The works of Koreeda focus on a local community of a particular culture, so I’m glad you enjoyed it. His films have depth to make people empathize the plot and people in it. Enjoy yourself as time is fleeting.

    Yoko

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  26. I saw this post in another blog, roughterrain193. I used to live in England when I was in the US Air Force, my 1st duty station late 1970, for 2 years. I wound up meeting a man who became my husband 9 months after I met him on Christmas eve. He was in AF as well. We have been to London and decided to walk on the Tower bridge over the Thames river. We've been to Westminster Abbey and Tower of London, and been other places in England as well. We were based at RAF Benwaters/Woodbridge, which is out of Woodbridge. After we got married, we rented a flat in Felixstowe. I like all your photos and glad you had a good time out with family as well. We had some cold weather in winter and an ice storm that messed up trees that so many had to be cut away due to damage, including our heritage birch tree. So thankful that our insurance took care of all the tree cutting and roof on garage that was damaged. I watched to trailer of the movie that you shared. Looks interesting. May see if it's on youtube. Take care and have a good week!

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