Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

15 May, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - Day 134 Love

Clearly, in love (or are they having a lovely time?)

Lady Beetles01

Hoo roo for now...


29 April, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - Day 118 Circle

London, 2010... it may not be in 'full frame', but I had a very limited opportunity to get this shot! So I worked with what I had at the time, and I am pretty happy with the result! The idea of getting a 'silhouette' style photography appeals to me...

Sun Eye

Hoo roo for now...


17 April, 2011

London calling...

I arrived back, late, into London (Hotel at Heathrow) at around 11.30pm and after a very quick shower and freshen up, I headed down to the restaurant for some dinner...

The following day I was to be meeting up with KW, as it was to be a 'spotters day' here and there and a visit also to Kensington gardens thrown in. After meeting up with him at Victoria Coach Station, we headed back to the hotel to drop off his things before heading back into central London, and its City Airport, London City (LCY).

We caught the Tube to Tower Hill, and then a very short walk over to Tower gateway to get the DLR down to the airport. I just love the London Underground! Once at the airport, it was suggested we might like to go for a walk down to the end of the carpark, and thankfully, it was a great suggestion! There was an older chap there listening to Tower Frequency on his radio, so we introduced ourselves as spotters from Sydney and we had a lovely afternoon!




Approach into LCY


We dodged some light sprinkle showers here and there, but a great afternoon was had. We then headed to the Thames Barrier (world's second largest movable flood barrier) and is downstream of Central London. Its purpose is to prevent London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the sea. It was my first visit here, and the adjacent parkland's were great as well with the old canal's pruning of shrubs looking like waves!

Thames Barrier

Thames Barrier Park

After the Thames Barrier, into Chinatown, near Leicester Square/So Ho, where I knew of a great little (cheap) restaurant. After dinner we then headed down to the Tube and headed back to the hotel... Another great day!

Hoo roo for now...


11 April, 2011

London to Ghent, via Brussels!

It was an early day today, only because I woke RATHER early (to early to own up too) but suffice to say, I am now very tired... I washed and made myself respectable before heading down for breakfast. After breakfast, I put my bag into the baggage holding room, and then headed over to London Heathrow for some spotting.

This mornings runway operations were 09L for arrivals and 09R for the occasional arrival but mainly for departures. I caught the bus, and when I arrived, although it was rather fresh and crisp, I found more than a few 'Bobbies' patrolling. Not wanting to get on the wrong side of anyone, I asked it would be OK if I was to spot for a little while, and explained where I was from, and it was accepted that if HE was to get a call, he would explain. So cool, it was all good to go! I was located on the departures entrance ramp on Terminal 5. Here are a couple of shots of the morning.




I then headed back to the hotel to collect my bag, then a bus to Hounslow Central to catch the Tube to St Pancras to get the train to Brussels Midi to catch the train to Ghent to catch a cab and here I am in my hotel... As I said, I am tired, so I will close off here, have a shower and get some rest! After all, tomorrow IS the conference!

Good night all!!!

Hoo roo for now...


10 April, 2011

A day in London... A Garden, a Park and a Palace

This morning, I woke sort of early, 6.30am, which sort of blew me away a little as I was tired, especially after a couple of beers with H&P last night!

So I got ready for the day, had breakfast and headed out... I was planning to head up to Stamford, but the plan changed a little so I headed for London instead. First stop was to get phone sorted a little so as I can do International calls/SMS. I headed down into Bayswater, which is where L & I stayed with R when we came over in 2004. It is a fantastic, vibrant, colourful, dynamic little strip with lots of restaurants (cheap) along the way. It is on the District/Circle line, and about 50m up the road is Queensway which is on the Central line! So its easily accessable.

After getting the phone fixed, I headed across into Hyde Park, Kensington, which is next door to Kensington Palace, home of Diana Princess of Wales before she was tragically killed in Paris. I walked around the Park a little, around the Round Lake which had some Swans and ducks swimming, before heading past some deck chairs and over to the Palace Gates. Unfortunately, the was some major renovations underway... I then headed around to the rear entrance, which is to get access into the Palace itself, and there was the most amazing little garden which was full of colour.

Hyde Park (Kensington Gardens)

Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Walk

Round Lake

Chairs in Hyde Park

Kensington Palace Gates


Tulips Lobelia and Marigolds

Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens Pond

And yes, it is SPRING here and within 24 hours of arriving, I had to visit a local Boots (Bayswater) for some Hayfever relief!

I caught the Tube back up to Marble Arch, and went into a highly recomended department store ?? and it was SO chaotic, I think there was a sale going on! However, it was SO bad, I could not get to where I wanted, shorts, due to the sheer number pf people there, so I headed out to get some lunch and head back to the hotel for a recharge (phone batt nearly dead)....

So that was my day!

Hoo roo for now...


06 April, 2011

Sydney to London - via Bangkok and Dubai

Ok, it goes without saying that YES, I am an Emirates fan... It doesn't seem THAT obvious... Does it?

Thursday was an early start, as BF was leaving for Auckland, I took them out to the airport. So it was 3.30am when I woke up... I arrived at L&R's place and we soon headed over to the airport. Getting TO the airport was no hassle, and we parked our cars and headed for the check-in counters. They were checked-in, in no time at all and given the time, were through security and on their way. L&R and I, on the other hand, had a coffee and then we went our separate ways... I went to the Dentist!

The Dentist was an uneventful visit, all was good, so it was then off to have a morning tea with A, and Miss 4 E. Although we normally have lunch at work as Miss 4 is enrolled in a program at work, we met mid-way between my dentist and her place, Forsyth's Coffee & Tea.

After lunch, it was home to pack, via Woolies, where M came over to collect me and take me to the airport. It was a quieter than normal drive to the airport, I think someone was going to miss me going, but it is only for a short time! We arrived, I said my good-byes (not wanting to line Macquarie Banks pockets anymore as parking is expensive here, and I went and checked in; all the way to London.

After sitting in the Emirates Lounge for a while, I soon heard my boarding call and headed up to the aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER. I normally take the A380 flight direct, but this flight has a stop in Bangkok! This flight, being a night flight of 8hrs and 26mins was uneventful once we got airborne! There was a little bit of taxi traffic, and whilst sitting on the taxiway, I did see my mate J sitting on one of the tugs, flashing his lights! See ya J!

Transiting through Bangkok was also uneventful, this time at least the immigration people were lighter in nature than last time I was here! I headed for the Lounge to relax for the 90 min we were here before heading back to re-board. Again, this flight (being a night flight) was all good and the crew again, were fantastic!

However, due to our late departure from Sydney and Bangkok, sitting in a holding pattern near Muscat and then over Dubai itself for around 40mins, it became a tight transit in Dubai. So much so, I was in a long line for the transit security, and a 'Granny Buggy' was calling for flights for an emergency access through security. I eventually got into the holding bay area for my flight just as they were about to close the flight, and when scanning my boarding pass (issued in Sydney), an alarm went off. I was re-ticketed and I boarded the aircraft. Only to find though, a Kiwi lad sitting in what should have been my seat! We exchanged "Can I have my seat please" statements before I spoke to a Hostess... She took both boarding passes to the Purser, and then then Purser came to me and invited my upstairs... UPGRADE!!!

Now, in the end, I sat, got comfy and set up a total of 3 Business Class seats! Long story, but the last one was a curl one! I was asked b the hostess that would I mind moving as an Arabic lady has made a request to sit alone (Arabic custom not to sit next to a man) and could I swap... I was like sure, expecting to see a lady in a Burqu/Burka or something, but NO, here she was in a singlet top and tight jeans so if she was an extremist in Arabic Cultures, where is the coverings? Anyways, I moved and got set up and we were soon underway...

Here are some pics from the flight...

Drink Service commencing
Somewhere, over the desert...
Lunch Appetiser - TUNA TARTARE

I got some sleep on the flight, now I am not sure if it was a result of the lie-flat bed or the Jack Daniels I had drunk, but we eventually landed in London. Clearing Immigration was a breeze thanks to being a British Citizen, and I was soon at my hotel opposite the airport. A quick shower and I was on my way into London's Oxford St, as I know of a phone shop where I got a new SIM for my phone so as I can still have data access. I then got a call from H&P, B's sister, and headed up to Mayfair for a beer, or three, and dinner. I was beginning to get a bit sleepy,so I said my good-byes and headed for the Tube and homeward bound...

Hoo roo for now...


27 August, 2009

Jack - the whippet who learned how to be a dog at last...

I found this story when I was last in London, and I bought the paper, London Evening Standard, home with me so as I could scan it and share it with you all...

It is a piece originally written by Brian Sewell about his little puppy, a Whippet, named Jack who had been so horridly ill-treated as a pup. Whilst this is a sad story, a very sad story, I also found it to be a lovely story where this puppy became a dog...

Jack - the whippet who learned how to be a dog at last

Brian Sewell 07.08.09

Jack, my little whippet bitch, is dead — words that embody an overwhelming weight of grief.

She was with me only for a short quinquennium, yet the gap she leaves is as large as any left by Mop and Nusch, Hecate and Schubert, Titian and a dozen others. She was a foundling: taken to the Mayhew Animal Home in a state of starvation so close to death that they thought she'd not survive, more than a month passed before she was released, still skeletal, still transparent, into my care.

An unresponsive fearful little creature into whose mind I could not penetrate, I named her Jack, thinking its short sharp clarity useful as a command for what should be a running dog. In affectionate fondling moments (of which there were many) I whispered “little one”, and to that too she eventually responded.

She was, I think, so damaged by experience that she had forgotten how to be a dog and did not run. Lord knows what cruelties she had endured in her first five years or so, and I am certain that she had never been part of any domestic society, human or canine. She did not respond to my other dogs. She was not house-trained. She could not master the mechanics of climbing stairs. She slept where she stood and would not spring onto my bed. She would not play with man or beast or toy. She did nothing that makes a companion of a dog.

Slowly, over the whole of the first year, she responded to the normalities of man-and-dog relationship — the hint of interest in my returning home, an increasing willingness to be touched and stroked, joining in the anticipation of a walk, dinner or a treat — and then, one day, I found her curled up on my bed, resting her head on the comfortable rump of Winck, who had always been motherly towards her.

It was the beginning of great change. She found her voice, a funny little smoker's bark, and joined the clamour at the door last thing at night when I let them into the garden to empty their bladders and see off marauding foxes. She responded to the bell and visitors. She discovered the delights of chocolate and nuts (neither of them good for dogs), of cheese and yoghurt, her demand for bananas quite insatiable. To my great pleasure she learned to break all the rules of etiquette, and nothing pleased me more than her standing with trembling forepaws on the table, shaking it, insistently demanding some titbit from my plate.

With those same paws she learned to pull the duvet from my shoulders in the middle of a winter's night, and it was then for me to learn that in bed no dog is more selfish than a whippet stretched full length with all four legs rigid in their push against my chest or back. When my bed was made she took to rolling on it, mad as a maenad, an ecstatic, stretching, wriggling wildness informing spine and limb, the back arching, head and neck thrashing from side to side, and then she'd haul the cover back and make a bird's nest of my pillows.

But still she did not run. Her chosen place was close at heel, and if occasionally she followed Nusch to the edge of the undergrowth, she was never out of sight and, overcome by caution, she'd suddenly scamper back. When Nusch and Winck raced for sticks or balls, Jack just stood still.

And then, one day in her third summer with me, she joined in, not racing them but asking for a stick of her own. I threw it and she ran — and ran, and ran — in ever-lengthening bounds and widening circles until out of breath. It was as though in discovering her ancient heritage and purpose as a running dog, some instinctive joy had been released and the game became our ritual.

But I feared for her fragility: when she stood against the light I could see the intricate structure of her frail and slender bones as clearly as in one of Leonardo's engineering studies, and I constantly imagined the calamity of collision with another dog. And then, last autumn, I had to fear no longer, for she simply would not run.

I became disconcertingly aware that Jack was slowing down, sleeping much more and needing to empty her bladder in the night. Her vet diagnosed problems with her heart and kidneys and opined that she had only months to go. In spite of pills administered in scrambled egg, her slow decline accelerated and evidence of cancer too became apparent.

I knew that soon the cancer would cause pain, knew what would have to be done to end it, but, remembering Nusch's scream as the needle went into her vein, I wanted to put Jack down myself and asked for lethal tablets. These do not exist, and if they do, they are not to be had by ordinary mortals.

I cannot understand why no lethal sedative is available to the loving master of a dying dog. I can think of no greater gesture of affection for any animal than to see that it has a comfortable death at the hands of those in whom it placed its trust.

I loved Jack, my little one. I wanted her to live with her small pleasures to the last moment free of pain, and then to let sleep in my arms gently turn to death. I wanted her death to be serene, without the alarm and commotion of strangers in the room, but it was not quite to be. Death came to her on my lap and in my arms, and free of pain I'm sure, but Jack was aware of strangers and disturbance, and our parting was not just for us, alone.

So the next time you see your puppy, your cat or your pets, look after them and treat them well... After all, they are Mans Best Friend!

Source: London Evening Standard Pg 12 7th August 2009 ------

12 August, 2009

To tired to talk...

Sorry, but after a day PACKED FULL of stuff, I am way to tired to do much... But, I am packed and ready to go tomorrow!

I have heard though, the flight left Sydney 4 hours late, so I will have plenty of time to fix some pics, post them and tell you all about it.

Looking forward to getting home and seeing Macc & Jasmine!


11 August, 2009

English Royality!

Today, was a Royal Day! After collecting Maggie from Heathrow, we ended up (very much as a last minute) heading west to Windsor, Windsor Castle! It was a cool day, now overcast and getting cooler, but I was so excited about going as I had not been there before. I know that 'L' would have loved to have gone, as in St Georges Chapel there was the most magnificent embroideries!

It did not take us all that long to get there, it looked much further on the map! I quickly went to the ATM to get some cash for the parking meter, and we then headed towards the Castle. When we got to the grounds, we turned left and headed for a Tea House for some lunch first. When we got into the grounds, it was magnificent, wonderful exciting to be in such a place, where the history was so prevalent... Most recently, Charles & Camilla's wedding!

The grounds were superbly manicured (of course) and the Mot Garden had some lovely roses which are within the Mosaic below. There was also some ancient graffiti as well AND some ECO lights (Compact Fluorescent) which I was very impressed with!


10 August, 2009

New found friends, and family at a London pub!

After an absolutely horrid night of sleep, or lack there of, today I again caught up with Rod & Barb... This time, at the Tate Modern (sort of)! At least, we were outside of it at the pub!

But, going back a couple of hours thanks to my Hotel... Over the last couple of days, when getting back to my room, there was this odour, gradually getting stronger, of damp... Kind of like, wet smelly socks, but much stronger. This morning though, I was able to get to the bottom of it! After every shower, the floor was wet, not a little wet, but very wet. And every shower I took, I made sure that the curtain was in such a position, where it would not let the water out. Or so I thought. So this morning, I took a bath instead and on the floor, was the water heading out along the grout lines towards the carpet! SO, with a close look, water was coming out of the panel covering the bath wall! I packed ready for the day, and I am now coming up to 9.30am and I was meeting everyone at 10.30am (it is a 40 min tube trip) so time will be tight, I asked if I can change rooms later today when I get back. I was told that I would have to do it now, as she could not guarantee availability! Ummm.... well ok then!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went back to my room, repacked shoved EVERYTHING into my bags, dumped into new room to sort later, and headed into London. I got to Embankment, and started walking along the Southbank of the Thames, and I sent an SMS saying I am about 10mins off, all whilst listening to "The War of the Worlds" on my iPod, and not thinking to too much...Walking past a pub, I got a reply saying we are at the Young's Pub... Luckily I checked, I was right there!!!

Here I met with Hannah, an exchange student many years ago to Rod & Barb, and her husband, Miles! Of course, Rod & Barb were there, and we had a beer (or 3) before ordering some lunch. Time had gone by so quickly in general chit chat, I was so surprised! It was such a pleasure to meet both Miles & Hannah, I am now (hopefully when they get home from their afternoon party) connected through FB!

Miles Rod Barb & Hannah, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Miles Rod Barb & Bernie, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After saying goodbyes, we finished our lunch and then headed across the Millennium Bridge and a cabride up to Covent Garden Markets... I am still unable to get the gifts for the birthday babies, so I might have to resort to plan B (IF I had one), but I will go back through the week before I leave to try and get them anyway!

Rod & Barb London Cab, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.


08 August, 2009

Salida Madrid, and G'day London!

Madrid Airport Check-in Hall, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Here we have the Check-in area of the Madrid Terminal 4... I found it to be very impressive, bright and easy to get around! Below is the airside and at the Gate area

Madrid Airport Airside, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Madrid Airport Gate, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

When I arrived in Heathrow, we parked at a remote gate, and I was worried as the Captain had said there is rain about. Luckily, there wasn't when I got off the plane, but when waiting for the 'Hotel Hoppa' bus, it started! When I left the hotel, it had all but finished, so I headed for Central London for dinner with 'L's' uncle & aunt in Bayswater. They are at the end of their trip as well, heading home a couple of days prior to me! I got to Bayswater easy enough, and by the time I got out of the Tube, it was pouring! I later learnt that London got a months worth of rain, in just TWO hours!

Rod & Barb London, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I am heading off again into Central London today, as I saw a couple of gifts for the birthdays of Rosie & Riley back home, they are very cute!


27 May, 2009

A little lost and ready for home...

Over the last couple of days, I have been feeling somewhat 'lost'... Not knowing what to do, where to go and generally, feeling as though ALL I want to do is stay in my hotel room and do NOTHING! Kind of lonely I suppose.

However, even though I have spent a lot of time in here, I have still been getting out and about and seeing the greater part of Central London. I went to the Portobello Rd Markets (what a mistake this was); too many GOOD things that I could not take home, AND simply WAY to many people! I think I have come to not like being in crowds...

I also got a couple of shots of both Westminster and the London Eye, but my shots of the Tower Bridge did not turn out like I had hoped, so they will not be posted! In case you're wondering about the '4', it is for Ch 4 here in the UK, and it is made from Umbrellas!

I am starting my trip home in just under 24 hours, so this will be my last London post until I get home. Then there will be some major 'redecorating' and so on, so stay tuned...