23 May 2018

I always enjoy my time in London and if I can, I try to explore new districts. This time I stayed in a flat just around the corner from the Columbia Road Flower Markets in Bethnal Green and chose to explore Hampstead.

I arrived just before closing time and as most shops along Columbia Road are only open Friday to Sunday, I raced down there.

I spied this gorgeous shop, Mason and Painter and quickly took a few photos.

I've been looking to add some more green accents to my own flat. The shop gave me some inspiration though I've already got the succulents in terracotta vibe happening.

It was so quiet when I visited the same area just a few days later.

I took an early morning walk to the Geffrye Museum, currently closed for renovation.

Then I sauntered through Shoreditch and Spitalfields.

More doorway love.

I had to revisit Labour and Wait.

I love all their goods and came home with a little something for my kitchen but I particularly love those green tiles.

Then I headed over to Covent Garden.

The obligatory Australian street performer.

The beautiful St Paul's Church garden tended by a mature gardener.

It was a splendid spring day.

The next day was going to be the best weather of my stay so I headed over to Hampstead to ramble the heath and to visit Kenwood House.

The house is surrounded by the most marvellous garden, overlooking a lake.

There is also a garden shop and cafe in the grounds.

There were also splashes of colour amongst the green.

Some more pastoral scenes.

I walked across the heath towards Hampstead but actually I was headed to Highgate. Eventually I turned around and headed in the correct direction.

The obligatory flower shop.

Hampstead village is lovely but those prices!

The next day was bit dreary so I galleried and window shopped.

I was particularly taken with Skandium's garden area.

My last stop was Exmouth Market for a spot of lunch.

That's all from my short visit to London. Next time I'll share some photos from Genoa.

See you all again soon.

Bye for now,




21 May 2018

Last week I attended a conference in Glasgow. As I flew into Glasgow I was struck by how green the countryside was, a sure sign of recent rain, and the abundance of trees in bloom. Spring had sprung in Glasgow. Coming from Brisbane where spring doesn't really exist, I really noticed the change in season.

The conference was held at the Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, about a 15 minute walk from Glasgow University. 

During one of the breaks I walked through the suburb of Finnieston in search of blossoms.

I found pretty doorways.

And I found tulips. I think a little garden gnome might be lurking in there as well.

I crossed the bridge to Kelvingrove Park.

It was a bit chilly that day.

I walked through Kelvingrove Park in search of blossoms.

I didn't see any in the park, instead I found banks of azaleas and rhododendrons.

I made it up the hill to Glasgow University and this is what I found.

I walked through the stately campus and then back to the conference.

I found these blossoms in my friend Kay's garden. I think they're apple blossoms, plum blossoms and of course, rhododendrons.

That's all from my few days in Glasgow. My next post will be from London.

See you all again soon.

Bye for now,



16 May 2018

It took me many years and many failed attempts before I finally saw Monet's The Water Lilies, at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. On this trip to Paris, I thought it would be nice to visit Monet's house and garden in Giverny, where he painted the water lilies.

Giverny is less than an hour's train journey from Paris, when the trains are running. SCNF, France's national rail carrier, is on strike at the moment and the trains were only running one day of my 4 day stay.

I booked a ticket for the first train of the day to Vernon-Giverny. I didn't pre-book my ticket to the garden because I figured I'd arrive sufficiently early to beat the crowds. Well that was a rookie error.

I arrived at the station with plenty of time to spare. I couldn't see the train to Vernon-Giverny on the indicator board so I asked for directions to the correct platform. I waited and waited but unfortunately the train failed to arrive. The next train arrived 40 minutes later and it was packed. 

The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach only grew larger when we boarded the scenic train with commentary for our journey from Vernon to Giverny. I walked up from the parking lot only to discover a massive queue snaking it's way to the ticket office.

I waited 45 minutes until I had inched my way to the front of the queue, then walked in single file through the garden, down to the water lilies and back through the house.

It must take an army of gardeners to maintain the property.

The tulips were in bloom and planted in colour-ways.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a photo of the Japanese bridge. It was full to bursting with fellow travellers taking selfies. Below is my favourite view of the lily ponds.

Another scene of the water lilies.

I returned to the queue leading into the house.

I had plenty of time to take photos of the flowers whilst in the queue.

Another view of the tulips, my favourite flower.

Once I'd made my way through the house I walked through the picture postcard village of Giverny.

I walked from one end of the village to the other.

The wisteria was in bloom.

Monet's final resting place.

Giverny is an utterly charming village, but would I return? Unlikely.

I'll be back again soon with some images from my trip to Glasgow.

See you all again soon,


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