Being at one with the stones

On the way home from granny and grandad’s on Wednesday we stopped at the ancient henge at Avebury. It’s a glorious monument set in beautiful wiltshire countryside. We only had a brief stop, but will deffo be back for longer next time.

Here I am being at one with the stones.

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One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure

On Tuesday (the day I was starving ) I went to see my best friend at her house and she told me all about this amazing place called the scrap store. This is a local initiative where businesses donate all the stuff they don’t want for arts and crafts. There is one in Lacock in Wiltshire, one in Dorchester for Dorset and one in Yeovil for Somerset (we went to the Yeovil one). I don’t know if they’re nationwide or just peculiar to this part of the world. But they are AMAZING. There is everything you could ever possibly want for a project – empty jars, empty washing up liquid bottles, scraps of paper, bits of sticky back plastic, cotton, fabric. You name it, it was there! And you could fill an entire basket for £5.60 or a trolley for £16. A hoarders paradise! The big M filled her basket with damask fabric samples she’s planning on making a patchwork dress, patchwork curtains, patchwork draught excluders, patchwork pin dogs and erm lots more patchwork things

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To the manor born

Yesterday we made great use of both the fine weather and our National Trust membership by visiting a local property called Barrington Court.

I liked the higgledy piggledyness of the house and had über fun sliding around the highly polished floors.

It has an interesting recent history having been the NT’s first major acquisition around the turn of the century (that’s a really long time ago!). However, it was fraught with money issues so the trust leased it to the Lyle family of the sugar fame and they renovated it completely. They also installed a very cool ‘thunder box’ in the bathroom. That was my other favourite bit.

In other news it’s my birthday in a week. I’m very excited as I saw my present (wrapped up) and it’s big….

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Remembrance Hill

I’m up on Ham Hill near our house to see the war memorial and pay our respects.

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It’s certainly a commemoration with a view.

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We also passed the stone circle and quarry. Incidentally this is where the stone for our fireplaces came from.

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Am looking forward to exploring all the paths. In the meantime, though, having a swift half before heading home to see if the water is working….

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Bonkers for conkers

They (not sure who) say it’s good luck if a bird poos on you (although a seagull once did it’s business above my gran-gran and broke her nose… I don’t think she felt particularly lucky that day!). They also say it’s lucky to catch a falling leaf.

Today a conker fell on the hood of my buggy. Now this might not be an unusual occurrence in the depth of Devon, but I think it’s got to be a fairly uncommon thing to happen in central London! But low and behold there is a horse chestnut tree slap bang on the Pentonville Road.

I reckon that’s got to count for a bit of luck.

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Sherlock’s Home

In a quiet corner of Smithfield, just by St Bart’s, Benedict Cumberbatch fans have converted a red London phone box into a shrine, marking the place where Sherlock allegedly died by throwing himself off the roof, in the hit BBC drama.

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It looks like people have come on the pilgrimage from far and wide (both home and abroad) with their messages of praise. I’m too young to watch stuff like that as it’s past my bedtime, but if there was a shrine to my hero Peter Rabbit (I love both the books and the TV cartoon) I’d probably visit it!

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Out for a ball of chalk

Yesterday I was out for a ball of chalk (walk) with the Big M & D before our Jim Skinner (dinner). It wasn’t taters in the mould (cold) so there was no need for a tit for tat (hat).

On our way we bumped into a Fullers Brewery old fashioned pig’s ear (beer) cart pulled by donkeys.
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A few feet further on we found a St. Bernard dog pulling a cart of flowers.

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Intrigued we followed it. The dog led us to the Guild Hall, whereupon we discovered a whole troop of Pearly Kings and Queens (hence the rhyming slang).

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We discovered it was their annual harvest festival which raises money for various charities! For more info on the pearly kings and queens go to http://www.pearlysociety.co.uk

It looked like they were going to have a right old ding dong (sing song) – the city was ringing with the dulcet notes of maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…

Walking in Henry VIII’s footsteps

This morning I went to church. I love St Etheldreda’s as the windows are really pretty. I like looking at them and all the different colours. I also like the echoiness. When I sing it sounds beautiful! Although when it gets too loud the Big M&D tell me to sssshh or take me outside, which I think is a bit unfair!

St Eheldreda’s in Holborn has a really long history having been founded in 1250. It’s seen a lot and was in fact the place where Henry VIII held his 5 day wedding and feast to Katherine of Aragon. It’s also where I was christened six months ago, and where the Big M&D got married. Let’s hope the Big M doesn’t go the way of many of Henry’s wives !!!

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The Lion, The Witch and The Wilfred

I was really sad to discover that the Narnia Books About Town bench in St George’s Gardens WC1 has gone. I presume that it’s been removed by the organisers, ready to be auctioned, rather than half-inched by unscrupulous bench thieves. Or I hope so anyway.

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I’ve loved the installation which has adorned three areas in London – Bloomsbury, Greenwich and The City – over the course summer.

In all there are 50 benches, each one depicting a famous book. It is in aid of the National Literacy Trust. My favourite was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but I also quite liked 1984, James Bond and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

The benches are to be sold off on 7th October to raise money for the Trust. Sadly I don’t think my pocket money will stretch that far, but I’m open to donations… It’s almost my birthday after all.

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A Knight’s Tale

We ducked into the Museum of the order of St John in Farringdon for a quick browse on the way to collect our Russian visas.

It tells the story of the Venerable Order of St John (unsure if this is pronounced sinjin or not), who started out as a band of knights in Jerusalem during the crusades. They started a hospital dedicated to St John the Baptist which catered to sick or injured pilgrims making their way to the Holy Land. Today they are more widely known as St John Ambulance.

It’s a small but interesting little place tucked away under the arch on St John street and comprises an eclectic mix of paintings, archaeological artefacts, crusader coins, weights and measures, first aid equipment. I think it looks like it should be in a Harry Potter movie!

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The best bit, however, was the arts and crafts table where kids can make their own knight gear. Here I am with my sword.

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The big M helped me decorate it with sticky gems and crayons.

A great little find and well worth a visit.