All aboard! Join me on one of the new Routemasters

As we headed to the London Design Centre we hit one of those transport hiccups that you do on Sundays; for an unknown reason none of the tubes from Westminster were going to Wimbledon even though that was supposed to be their destination.  So we changed our plans got on the first tube and then got off at Sloane Square.  Slightly random but I remembered that previously I'd seen shuttles advertised between there and Chelsea Harbour so logic told me it couldn't be that far.

Well once outside the station and checking the maps, we realised it was a little too far to walk so Plan B (or is it C by now?) was to get a bus.  We headed up past the Duke of York Square to the bus stop and waited for our bus to arrive.  When it did we were in for a bit of a surprise - it was one of the new Routemasters - and we were probably just a little bit too excited about this.

Imagine then when we got to the top deck and realised we had it all to ourselves. There was only one thing for it.

Yeap, time to get the camera out!

Top deck all to ourselves
Route 11 to Fulham Broadway

Goodness knows what the magic eye thought of me if it captured me taking pictures.

top deck front seats

The seats had one of those mesmerising patterns on, you know the sort that boggles your eyes. 

front view
pshycodelic seats

And there were two sets of stairs. The more modern ones behind the driver here: 


And the more traditional rear stairs from the platform below: 

rear stairs
new routemaster

And yes, someone was either enjoying the ride or pretending he wasn't with the loony taking pictures! 

seriously unimpressed

Well, I thought it was rude not to capture this, don't you agree? 

Inside the London Design Centre

On a blue-skied day in March we headed off to the London Design Centre as part of the Spring London Design Week.  I've some more to share from our visit but before that I wanted to share some shots of the building, because it was fab and it's not somewhere I'd been before.  

The main building is formed of three domes, and on the day we visited the sun was catching the decorations and they were glistening away.  

Take a look:

central dome
central staircase

The central dome was decorated with these blue pipes and hydrangea-type flowers, which gave it an almost-wedding-like feel.

decoration close up
looking up

And the central staircase was just the sort to glide down, but from a distance looked quite like a helter skelter!

helter skelter central staircase

With the sun's first showing of the year, it was quite warm under the glass but we weren't complaining. We did though take some time out at the Nespresso bar and while taking some refreshments admired our surroundings.

a place to sit
heather table decorations

The decorations in the outer domes were different and glistened beautifully in the sun, and yes they are fish hanging below the metallic spheres.

south dome
fish in the south dome

There were further places to rest, these ones a little more luxurious than before. I daren't rest here though as there was still much more to see and these looked oh so comfortable.

comfortable place to rest

Heading outside we saw a green enclosed with a white picket fence, and were able to look back at the glass domes.

from outside
a view of the dome

Back inside we headed to the temporary tented structure for what was billed as Gin O'Clock - well you would, wouldn't you?  While we sipped our G&T I was snapping away at the interiors here too, quite something for a temporary structure connecting the buildings.

tented roof
textured interiors
gin o'clock

And yes, the gin was most welcome. Well, it always is...

More soon on what else I saw, I just need to finish that G&T. Hic. 

Home Etc

A bargain Hyacinth

I've been seeing lots of hyacinth's around this year, and tulips too and I've been feeling as if I was missing out. I bought some tulips at the weekend - the rhubarb and custard sort, if you know what I mean. To start with one insisted on doing its own thing, but after an overnight banishment to the cooler conservatory I was pleased to see that it had righted itself.

And that was, I thought that. Tulip envy satiated.

Then on Monday, it was just too nice to sit at my desk at lunchtime so I wandered off to the local supermarket to pick up some milk. Just inside the door were trays of hyacinths, which I couldn't quite bring myself to walk past without taking a peek.

Needless to say it wasn't long before I was deciding which one I'd put in my basket. And at just £1.49 each I was wondering how many I should leave with...


And stumped for anything garden related to write about today I managed to grab a few photos of my bargain hyacinth in the morning light before heading off to work. Imagine what a treat it was then to get home from work and have around half an hour of daylight too, not that I did anything productive with it, but it was good to see.

Spring is definitely on its way.

hyacinth in a pot
hyacinth bulbs

And in case you're wondering I did leave with just one - hopefully a pink one. Although I did consider going back the next day and buying a few more, but I've resisted so far...

hyacinth in black and white