Gallery: a May selection (2023)
May is an especially lovely month in England. At the start of the month spring is at its height, while by the end there are hints of the summer to come. With spring being late this year, the early part of May felt more like April, with chilly winds and frequent showers. But the trees were green at last after the winter bareness, and there were flowers everywhere!
Gallery: London from the top of the Shard
When the Shard opened in London in 2012 it did so to quite a fanfare, and to a rather damp squib (in my view) of a laser show. But despite the laser show disappointing, the tower never has. Although not to everyone’s taste (the fractured ‘shards’ at the top that give it its name divide opinion), I have always found it striking.
Gallery: finding peace in the park
Like many Londoners (and indeed town dwellers worldwide) I discovered the pleasures of our local park during the pandemic lockdowns. Whether on our permitted visits to the shops or on the also permitted daily walks close to home, Walpole Park was our refuge and our delight.
Gallery: an April selection (2023)
As well as being a successful novelist and poet, Vita Sackville-West is known for the beautiful gardens she created at Sissinghurst in Kent. She will have welcomed April as all gardeners do … but maybe not the April we have had this year.
Gallery: tulips from London, not Amsterdam
While many people head to Holland to see the tulips, we have London’s Holland Park. There the Dutch Gardens are planted with formal beds edged with low hedges and overflowing with tulips every spring.
Gallery: a March selection (2023)
With a slow start to the spring this year it’s felt at times as if March was coming in more like a polar bear than a lion! We had sharp winds, frosts and even some snow as far south as London, although nothing like what they had further north. And even when the weather started to warm up, sunshine was in short supply.
Gallery: a January selection (2023)
Thankfully this January didn’t bring snow to London, but it was certainly more than cold enough to make any feet and fingers glow! Personally I can’t wait for the warmer days of spring, although we’re not hanging around here for that but are headed elsewhere in a hunt for heat!
A city stroll in London
The oft-quoted line, ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ comes from a discussion between Johnson and James Boswell about whether or not Boswell's affection for London would wear thin should he be living there as Johnson did, rather than enjoying the city on occasional visits.
Gallery: blowing the cobwebs away at Druridge Bay
Just a few miles north of built-up post-industrial Tyneside lies the wide expanse of Druridge Bay. Its seven miles of sands are lined with sand dunes and are just perfect for a winter walk. The landscape is an interesting mix, with wind turbines visible in the distance but otherwise feeling rather remote.
Gallery: a December selection
December in London this year has delivered frost, a touch of snow, but also mild and damp weather; a little bit of everything. Of course it has also brought Christmas lights and decorations.