Skip to main content

Sunshine, Soldiers and Big Ben


As you'll know we spent a week or so staying with my friend Abigail who lives in South London. Inconvenient for friendship, but very convenient for a day trip into the city. I asked Bella and Angus what they most wanted to do in London. Bella said, without a moment's hesitation, go to Buckingham Palace. Angus wanted to go on an underground train. That was it, nothing else. Because there were adults coming too we booked tickets for the London Eye - we didn't just want to ride public transport all day. 

We went to the palace first when little legs had the most energy for walking around. You know you're getting near royalty because everything gets very gold and shiny.


The weather all day was bright and blustery with clouds scudding overhead. The light was constantly changing. 

So many tourists. Do you ever look at all those strangers in your holiday photos and wonder who they are and where they travelled from? I do. It fascinates me. All those random people captured on camera, and how many stranger's photos do I accidentally feature in around the world? I hope I remembered to suck in my tummy.


The changing of the guard was approaching and so we found a good spot along the side of a road. Bella and Angus were expectant, to put it mildly.


We weren't disappointed. A band came marching past full of pomp and ceremony and very colourful and noisy too.


Angus has talked of nothing but the soldiers ever since.


We were too far from the palace to see the actual changing of the guard, so we walked up the Mall, past St James's Park and the very tempting looking deckchairs...


...to Trafalgar Square. The kids trailed their fingers in the fountain and we hung around and took lots of touristy photos.


I have to admit that when someone said "Look at that big blue cock!" my first thought was not a bird, and I was slightly disappointed to discover that it is indeed just a very big blue cockerel. 


Lunch next, then a short bus journey to the London Eye. The last time I went there was in 2006 when I was pregnant with Bella. We went about 5pm and the sun was setting over the city. It was incredibly beautiful. Today, we had an alarming big black cloud hovering ominously above us.


It did look quite threatening when we were high up in our little pod.


Then the rain came. It was wonderful to watch it move over London towards us.


And it arrived...


...then just as quickly moved away and brightened up. All in the space of thirty minutes.


I love this shot of the pod above us.


And my boys looking out of the window. Angus needs a haircut.


We felt quite smug about timing our trip just to avoid the rain - especially since I'd recklessly decided that morning that there was absolutely NO need to take any raincoats with us. Last of all was a short tube journey, mainly to satisfy Angus and you never saw anyone ride escalators or sit on a train with such an expression of complete joy and wonder on their face. He just grinned and pointed at things the whole time. Brilliant, all of it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

52 Weeks of Happy...18/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdie, I am celebrating this week's simple happy moments, which are:

1. A beautiful scarf made for me by my friend Rachel. It was part of a craft swap we agreed to take part in months ago. I think I gave Rachel an embroidered tea towel and some jam. I can't help thinking I got the better end of the bargain there. The scarf is light as a feather and incredibly soft as it is crocheted with the most seductive silk blend yarn. Thank you Rachel!
2. Pancakes with Nutella. So good. I blame the children. 
3. The post office found my missing parcel! Too late for the blanket and the Valentine's cards but welcome all the same. I now have enough green cotton yarn to open a small shop.
4. A card from John. The design reminds me of old fashioned gypsy caravans and I like the way it looks next to the Russian dolls. Also, he gave me this and this. He knows…

Green Things and Holiday Souvenirs

Lou's challenge this week was to find something green. A green flower is actually quite tricky to find! I've gone for herbs (rosemary and chives) and some cow parsley; not herby, I know, but I do love it's frothy white flowers and it's everywhere at the moment. Staging these little arrangements is such fun and it gives me an excuse to go rummaging through cupboards for bottles, jugs, tea towels and all manner of things to make a little vignette that is nice to look at. After I'd photographed this one I realised that everything you see was brought back from a holiday. That Greengate tea towel under the bottle and book was bought from a lovely shop in Hereford called Berry Red, on holiday with my in-laws in 2010. And I found the Clover milk bottle in a little shop in Totnes for £2 when we were on holiday in Devon with my parents in 2011.  That book, Culinary and Salad Herbs (which is actually really interesting!), was purchased for about £1.50 from a charity shop in …

Carrot Cupcakes

I had planned some seasonal baking for March - Simnel cake and chocolate nests - but I find that I've made carrot cupcakes instead. Does carrot cake count as Easter baking? I suppose rabbits like carrots, don't they? Hmm. The flavours, spices and colours of carrot cake make me think of autumn but honestly, these cakes are welcome in our house all year round. I almost make these just so I can eat cream cheese icing. There is no better sort in my book - the tangy, creamy sweetness is very moreish. But the cake underneath is very good too - moist and chewy and it keeps well.
For the cakes you will need:
200 g or 7 oz sugar (caster sugar is fine but soft brown sugar adds more flavour) 200 ml or 7 fluid oz vegetable or sunflower oil 2 eggs 200 g or 7 oz  plain flour 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 level tsp baking powder 1 level tsp cinammon 200 g or 7 oz grated carrot 100 g or 3 oz sultanas* 
and for the icing/frosting:
250 g or 9 oz icing sugar, sifted 100 g or 3 oz cream cheese (nice and c…