Friday 30 April 2010

Kew Gardens Part 2

Part 2 of Kew Gardens

There was so much information to take in yesterday that I need to post more/ photos and sights- yesterday I only touched on this remarkable Victorian woman Marianne North who dedicated her life to botanical drawing and toured the new world- below is a link to more information.

I paraphrase a little bit of wisdom she said- 'A joke was often my best travelling companion- better that man or money."


One of the glass houses- Temperate house-1898 we went in the south entrance and of course were attracted to the Australian species!
Then there was the badger's keep for children to crawl through- amazing.  Our grand son would rush through it with glee.

And the beautiful woodlands with blue bells.

and in the woodlands...
A picnic cottage for Queen Charlotte- just open once a year to the public...

Then Kew Palace( alas a separate entrance fee so we enjoyed the nosegay garden)

And to finish - the Orangery- what a building- designed by Chambers also.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Kew Gardens

 Fragrance- that's what we needed, fresh delicous, earthy, creamy perfume-Kew gardens are extensive!!  What a walk we had today.  Kew Gardens

Of particualr interest was the architecture of a Chambers- well this is my maiden name- so maybe in the family tree somewhere??  Sir William Chambers 1723- 1796 built several architectual gems in the Kew gardens all for Princess Augusta.

 He designed this ruined arch- such a feature of artistocratic gardens in that era.
And this spectualar Pagoda designed with a Chinese influence- unfortunately not open to the public and in need of restoration.

Then there was the Japanese temple- Chokushi- Mon, with a wonderful haiku engraved nearby:

Even Sparrows
freed from all fear of man
England in Spring
Kyoshi Takahama (1874- 1959)

The tree top walk- was scary- but not as good as the one in Western Australia- but Kel took some good photos- as the gardens were in the direct flight path- he wanted to constantly take photos of planes in the sky line.

We looked through the display of art work by Marianne North - 'who actually sketched the red hot poker in South Africa in 1883 and after seeing the painting botantists realised that the plant was new to science'  Kniphofianorthiae after Marianne North.

More to come...

But just one photo with a plane-

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Tower of London

What a place, or really what a palace. The White tower built by William the Conqueror in 1080 was the showpiece.  Once we entered through the gateway we were in an ancient city full of ritual, pomp, pain with royal and public history on display.

To see the lawn area where Lady Jane Grey was executed, see the tower where Sir Walter Ralegh was imprisoned was very special.  All those steps, cobble stones.  And the church where the bones of the executed wives of henry VIII now rest was a bit unreal.  How can so much history be channelled here?

The traitors' gate- the link to the Thames.

The armour of Kings and nobles.

Inside the medieval Palace

And the Ravens are a feature of the mystery and grandeur of the Tower.

I think of my long ago English/Irish/Scottish ancestry and am thankful for the passing down of the Christian faith.

Sunday 25 April 2010

Outside the window and inside

Views from the four windows- this is what we see- although today we saw our first mizzle of English rain- but patches of blue showing through.

And now the inside treasure-
Madeleine!!! Five days old

British Library

I wanted to see the Magna Carta, but became enthralled in the National treasures of other manuscripts, especially the original manuscripts of writers such as Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Lewis Carroll, Beatles, Handel's Messiah...

Here are some fascinating aspects of the original maunscripts especially for me the writer:

  • the original page of Sylvia Plath's poem 'Insomniac' was handwritten in ink and lines were crossed out again and again
  • Beatles- Lennon 'A hard's day's night' 'was composed and lyrics written on the back of a card to his son Julian who had recently had his first birthday'- and there was the card...
  • Thomas Hardy- Tess of the D'urbevilles was a thick book, handwritten in ink and pen- beautifully written, the title 'A daughter of the D'urbevilles ' was crossed out to read 'Tess of the D'urbevilles.'
  • ' Dodgson created his pen-name by translating his first two names, Charles Lutwidge into Latin and back into English.'
  • Ada Lovelace (1815-52) daughter of Lord Byron was educated to be a mathematician because her mother feared she might turn out to be a poet like her father.'
Even a cup of tea had a character to chuckle at:

Master Punch

I had a good look in the Library's shop- unfortunately that was the closest I got to books-  to look in the collections one had to register to become a reader...

But great re-enforcement to write and cross out and change... Jane Austen was writing stories to amuse her family since the age of 12- all good practice for the wonderful classics written later..

Saturday 24 April 2010

St George's day

We went shopping to Tesco's and look what we found!  At 50p a bargain.

 Yes today is St George's day.

  Here's a link:  St. George's Day History

Friday 23 April 2010

Science Museum London

We revisited the dinosaur exhibition in the Natural history museum first.  Last time it was school holidays and the line ups were longer than the longest dinosaur exhibit.

The nest of dinosaur eggs was especially photographicable( is there such a word?)
Then across to the science museum which Kel has been wanting to view.

I found this information above fascinating.
I rested while Kel explored the agriculture through history section.  I wrote a poem- a dinosaur poem!

Now back to the flat to cook very expensive lamb (ah Australia) for the arrival home of our daughter, son inlaw and new granddaughter.Yah!

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Richmond Park

Richmond Park
Rochelle was told to go for a walk- Simon drove us to Richmond Park- wonderful wilderness with people walking, jogging, kids climbing trees, bike riders, mums with prams.
We breathed fresh air and walked to get Rochelle's labour going.

Of course there were deer in the royal park.  And a house called Pembroke Lodge- where there were fantastic views across the London landscape- over the Thames valley to Windsor.(and a cafe for a relaxing cuppa)

In this photo, viewers should be able to see right through the landscape to St. Paul's Cathedral from the vantage point of King Henry VIII's mound where he watched hunting.  This mound was once a bronze age burial ground.

The walk was peaceful, inspiring and certainly helped Rochelle on with the labour.