Monday, 23 September 2013

a half-birthday

Sometime ago while blog reading I came across the idea of half birthdays. I can't remember where now, but the writer realised that she had probably more birthdays behind her than in the future so to redress the balance slightly decided to celebrate half-birthdays as well.

Today is my half-birthday and as a celebration just for me, I took myself off to London. I decided that a half birthday celebration should be different from a birthday so no cards or presents and not necessarily any family gathering just doing something completely different to mark the day.

I have wanted to visit the Garden Museum and see the Dan Pearson exhibition and since no-one else in the family is interested in gardening, it seemed the perfect destination for a solo day out.

It was a dull day in London this morning, some of the street lights were still on under the trees and the sky and the river were the same murky grey as I walked to the museum.

This is the outside of the museum and this border was designed by Dan Pearson. The border was planted up early this year for the exhibition and was very typical of his work. I liked the white Japanese anemones, perhaps I will plant one next year.

The museum itself is small and it would not take long to see the permanent exhibition but if there is an interesting temporary exhibition on as well then it is well worth a visit.

Outside the museum is a small knot garden. In the middle of the photograph you can see tables and chairs - there is a vegetarian cafe.

I treated myself to lunch - beetroot, fennel and celeriac gratin with salad. Sitting in the garden, it seemed very removed from central London although there was the constant sound of traffic.

Walking back along the Thames towards the station, I spotted this sign.

I don't think I did anything stupid but I did buy a coffee and sat by the river watching the world go by. There were boat trips on the river but it is also a working river and there was a heavy load being transported by this boat.

It was lovely for a change to be able to wander at my own pace, looking at the flaking bark on the London Plane trees

and thinking about the similarity with the worn London paving stones.

Then it was back past the London Eye and on to the station.

People were enjoying the mild weather but there were signs of autumn too.

So that was my first half-birthday celebration. It wasn't long, just a few hours and I was home to cook dinner but it was an opportunity to do something I wanted to do which wouldn't have interested others in the family and I really enjoyed my day. I am looking forward to more half-birthdays in the future.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

a day in my life.

Friday 13th September

Sometimes ordinary days are just that, very ordinary. Yesterday was like that. It rained, I got up, drove my husband to the station and son to work, came back, ate breakfast, drove to work, worked, drove home, read and knitted a bit, picked up husband and son, cooked dinner and then more knitting while watching Gardener's World. Thats it. Not many photographs because the light was poor.

The trees at the edge of the garden are beginning to look autumnal, the oaks are still green but the silver birch is beginning to turn.

From the garden, tiny apples, herbs for my packed lunch and mint for my tea.

No pictures of my lunch this month but one of this lettuce that looked almost too perfect to eat.

I am still knitting the Icelandic top-down cardigan, not much progress from last month as I had several attempts at dividing for the sleeves as the armholes came out very tight following the pattern. I think/hope I have it right now. I'm also adding some shaping to the body which wasn't in the pattern so I keep stopping and trying it on. Overall, I'm still pleased with it.

So that was my day, a very ordinary boring day. My "day in my life" post seem to have been particularly boring lately and I was going to stop doing them but perhaps in a few years time I might like to look back at how I spent my days. Alternatively, it might prompt me to do something a bit more exciting with my time!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

red sky in the morning

A series of photographs taken from my bedroom window as the sun was rising a few days ago. The sky changed from dark orange to a pale peach colour over the space of about ten minutes.

It was lovely to watch the sunrise but less lovely to realise that for the next six or seven months we will be getting up in the dark. It is so much easier to get up when it is light, already I want to snuggle back under the duvet when the alarm goes off and it is only September!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Iceland, waterfalls and geysirs

More photographs from Iceland. This post is particularly picture heavy because there are just so many waterfalls in Iceland and we managed to pack quite a few into five days.

These photographs are in the order I took them and show the change in weather from a cloudy misty start to glorious summer sunshine at the end of our stay.

Our guide told us that this was a particularly good year for waterfalls as the spring had been cold and wet and the rivers were running higher than usual for the summer months. All the waterfalls were spectacular.

The one below is Seljalandsfoss.

There is a path behind the waterfall

so you can look through the gushing water as you walk next to the cliff

and emerge slightly damp on the other side.

At Skogafoss, the river runs out from the interior

and disappears over an edge

falling like a curtain to the rocks below and continuing to the coast.

This is Svartifoss, the black waterfall. The photograph also shows just how green Iceland is.

Later in the week we saw the geysirs. The steaming pool below is the original Geysir which gave its name to this feature. It hasn't erupted for some time

but the reliable Stokkur erupted every five minutes or so while we were watching.

There were hot sulphury smelling pools

and tiny little bubbling ponds as the hot water made its way to the surface.

The final waterfall is Gullfoss,

the power and noise of the water here is incredible.

We were so lucky to be able to explore the area around this waterfall on such a beautiful warm summer day.