Thursday, 21 January 2016

Frozen Beauty

I love all the seasons and I'm grateful to live in a part of the world where each season is very different.  The past few days have dawned clear and bright and very, very frosty.
I wrapped up, grabbed my camera and set off on a favourite walk.
The seed heads look especially beautiful when frosted and the sunlight twinkles on the ice crystals.
Last year's tall grasses now lay on the ground, flatten by the weather.


Some seeds still cling to the plants.
I walked over the meadow





to the fields beyond the village.

The hedgerow I walked beside had thawed out in the warmth of the sun
and catkins and leaf buds were starting to open.





I love this view over the fields.


Heading back through the neighbouring village I noticed that some trees were already in blossom.
A nest was visible in the bare branches of another tree, probably leftover from last spring.
Lots of squirrels were foraging on the ground.
Even a few primroses were making an early appearance.
Time to head back home for a warming mug of coffee and some knitting.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Day Trip to London

Saturday was the start of the cold snap that we are having here in the South of England.  As we drove to tai chi it was -1'C, but as the day promised to be dry we planned to go to London after our class.
We arrived in London late morning and headed to the city centre through the Blackwall Tunnel, which goes under The Thames.
The main reason for our trip was to see Lumiere London, but first we headed to Islington as I wanted to visit Loop.
I left my husband to look around the antique stalls and shops

whilst I went into Loop.
I already knew that I wanted to buy their new book, but was delighted to see Kirsten Kapur's shawl book there too.  Of course I couldn't leave without a skein of yarn!
 
This shop is such an Aladdin's cave of yarny goodness!

 I eventually managed to drag myself away and remarked to S that The Hummingbird Bakery was only a short distance away.
He didn't take much persuading! :)
We both choose coffee and a red velvet cupcake, which was delicious.
We left the bakery and headed to King's Cross Station.
This is the location of Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame.
There was a floral tribute to Alan Rickman who sadly died last week.
 

 
The inside of the shop was beautifully decorated, but very crowded!

M loves Hedwig so we couldn't leave without a little gift for her.
Once it was dark it was time for the main reason for our visit to London, to see Lumiere, a series of light art installations around the capital.
King's Cross


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 St James's
 These floating whales were my favourite installation.

We only got to see the rear of the elephant! :)


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  Carnaby Street
 Liberty
 Oxford Circus

Westminster

 The abbey was by far the prettiest installation

 and the detail was amazing!









 By now it was rather late and we were rather hungry, so we headed to Tower Hill and into Wagamama's with a view of The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
 It had been a rather chilly day, so copious amounts of green tea were needed to warm us up!
As we admired the view a few snowflakes began to fall, but they didn't last. :(


We wandered around looking at The Tower



and walked down to the river to see Tower Bridge.

 
And then it was time to go home.
 
 We saw a few flurries of snowflakes on our way home, but they didn't settle either.  I was hoping to wake up to snow the next morning, but it totally missed us.