Wednesday, 30 November 2011

London alight with Christmas Lights

Yesterday I had a wonderful day in London. I walked 15700 steps which is a 3 year record for me. In the evening the Saint joined me and we walked along Oxford Street, Regents Street and Piccadilly Circus with the rest of London bustling around.

I had my small camera with me and while these are not the best photos I have taken, they do depict the fun of the festive season.

The lights along Oxford Street are beautiful with umbrellas and wrapped parcels. Don't miss the rickshaw pedalling down the street.

The tree in in the window has an umbrella of 'snow' underneath it that is sucked up the stem and pores out the top to look like it is snowing.

Would you believe me if I told you it was not as busy here on the streets as it was in West Quay in Southampton on Monday.

There are large spider's webs along Regent Street which light up towards the centre and also have lights running randomly along the connecting 'web' bits.

The crowds are queuing outside the Palladium for a visit to the theatre later

and Liberty is all a-glitter. It is such a beautiful building.

Carnaby Street must be different....

Regent Street is the advertising ground for the new Christmas movie. This is the first time I have seen brightly coloured lights up in London at Christmas time.

The lights are all reflected in the buses as they pass. Look, the bus driver has a big grin.

I love the way this building curves around the road.

St John's church reflecting the lights and all beautifully subtlety aglow in the distance.

A side street where Londoners gather to dine, with very delicate lights.

The front of Fortum and Masons was a disappointment until I was able to see the windows up close.

They are resplendent in a mock-up of theatre and are such fun. 

The crown festoons a book store.

An expensive shopping arcade tastefully decked out.

I loved the filled Christmas stocking decorations around the food tables at the back of this restaurant.

I could not leave this delightful fellow out.

Finally we reached our destination and the Christmas Lights walk was over.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Walking along the Itchen....

I love to go out walking in the middle of the day when people have walked their dogs and wild life  reappears. Today was one of those days. 

I set off down the Itchen River along the Navigation path. On this path one walks between two river streams.

I disturbed a pair of egrets feeding and was only able to capture this blurred image as the birds took off. I love the splashes of water from the feet.

There were two swans making their way up the left side of the river and they eyed me curiously, probably hoping I had brought some bread along to feed them.

The moorhens had left the safety of the water to browse about on the river banks.

Autumn brings out fungus with little mushrooms everywhere.

The light on the trees was beautiful.  It highlighted the ominous skies behind them.

I did not get rained on.

A little herd of horses lifted their heads to greet me as I walked passed and then went on grazing happily.

I would not like to be sweeping these up. In next two photos, the autumn winds are blowing the leaves along the path so they are blurred with movement.

 It was raining leaves here where I came across a deer walking down the path. Its little white butt disappeared very quickly once it saw me.

The homeward path to food and a hot drink beckons after a wonderful eventful walk.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Happy Weekend

With the mist burning off the land yesterday morning, the Saint and I got caught in a huge traffic jam outside Salisbury where we were hoping to photograph the cathedral and Stonehenge through the mist. 

We turned off the main road and headed for an unplanned adventure. It presented itself in the next town we drove through where the Saint saw a black swan on the river as we crossed the bridge. He knows how much I love swans so we stopped and walked to take a look. There it was on its own looking just gorgeous but it perked up its head 

and got all excited as its mate called from down the river. Here we were blessed to experience the meeting of these two beautiful birds as they came together and greeted each other

with a beautiful mating dance which looked like they were kissing.

Then they settled down peacefully together and continued grooming themselves. It was an awesome display and something I will remember for the rest of my life.

We drove off across the country to avoid traffic,  heading for Abbotsbury and the mist had cleared beautifully by the time we stopped in Cerne Abbas at this delightful tea room for a late lunch.

We could not leave without a picture of the rude giant. The Saint refused to partake. This giant is a symbol of fertility and couples who cannot conceive have visited him over aeons. I will not explain the rest of the ritual. You can look for it elsewhere.

We drove across the gorgeous Dorset county side

and finally one of my favourite views was before us

That tiny little walkway that you can see dividing the sea and the lagoon is called Chesil Beach and stretches from Weymouth towards Bridport for 18 miles. It is part of the Jurassic coast and fossils are often found on the beach. The ruin is St Catherine's Chapel. This whole area is fantastic to walk around.

As you can see the mists are rolling back in so walking was not an option. After enjoying this view down to Bridport with all the headlands shrouded in the mist, we turned around and headed for home.

This morning we headed into the forest for breakfast and then to Hengistbury Head to walk.  

It was gorgeous and for the first time in 3 years, I walked comfortably on the shifting beach sands and pebbles. It was a great day for photography so here is what I did today.

We walked along the shore photographing the waves and whatever took our fancy. It was wonderful out.

This is the view to Bournemouth.

This is the opposite direction towards Hengisbury.

We left the beach to climb to the top of the headland. Where the houses are in the distance is where the car is parked. Can you see how far I walked ALONG THE BEACH!!!! Don't miss the yellow gorse which is in bloom.

Across the harbour on the opposite side of the headland, Christchurch is emerging from gentle mists.

An action shot of the Saint walking in front of me toward the point. He says that it looks like he is about to fall over.

A late butterfly sunning itself on the gorse bushes

and a holly bush in berry.

The final view is across the beach huts towards Mudeford and Barton-on-sea. It was a great walk. I walked up a sweat on the way back. It is great to be able to walk again.