Fog in the park

This year has been a bit of a one for weather, hasn’t it? And it keeps on coming.  The latest instalment was a bit of a pea-souper, or fog if you’ve no idea what I mean, and it made yesterday’s walk to work through Greenwich Park just a little bit more tranquil, and mysterious, than normal.  So much so that I couldn’t help but pause, just for a moment and capture it with my trusty iPhone. 

A view across a tranquil Greenwich Park in Fog
a closer look at the same tree

Somehow the fog makes the trees look more delicate, and more beautiful than they would against the usual morning sky, don’t you think?

Fog in the dip in Greenwich Park

As my route took me through the park I was curious to see how the fog had enveloped it, hugging it’s contours and softening the distant views. 

Trees in the distance and the maritime museum on the right

But, even so, it’s still not what I’d call cold, and that’s something I’ll happily take, but just so you know weather, colder isn’t needed, and nor is any more of your extremes, if that’s ok... 

Reflecting on my week #59

I finally started my Christmas shopping this week - there were some actual shopping trips, but they only served to remind me how much I don’t enjoy shopping. Not much was bought on the shopping trips as I enjoy actually carrying purchases even less, and so are most likely to go home and buy what I’ve seen online. And while you might think there’s still lots of time left, I don’t have quite as much as you think as this year we’re having a family ‘fake’ Christmas get together in a couple of weeks, so I’ve less time than I usually would.

I’m sure I’ll get there - we always do, don’t we?

Last week saw a few nights out, in what seems to be the start of a busy social Christmas calendar with some drinks after work and then a surprise family weekend in Birmingham as an early celebration for my mum’s birthday next month. It wasn’t a surprise to me, obviously, and we all did well to avoid spilling the beans.

But why Birmingham? And the answer to that is really, well why not?

It’s a place that is easy to get to from Aberystwyth, Peterborough and London and so that’s what we did. The challenges, as always, with surprises is making sure those being surprised have what they need with them, and so some truth was stretched a little to make sure this happened.

So mum knew she was going for a night away and needed a frock to go out in. She just didn’t know where and I don’t think the trains to Nottingham and Norwich which arrived at the station helped much to start with.

There was much family messaging on the day so that my niece and I could be ‘bumped into’ at New Street station - and that worked out ok. Our plan was to go head off to see The Wizard of Oz at the Birmingham Rep, but ninety minutes before the show was due to start I got a call from the theatre to say it was cancelled due to technical difficulties.

Eek!

Yes, exactly. We’d been out for a large lunch in preparation too, so it wasn’t as if going out for a meal was an option. Cue, a scramble to find something that was in Birmingham that had a block of ten tickets available, and started at a similar time, as by now time was short.

And that’s how we ended up at the ballet, seeing the Nutcracker. It was a good evening, even though it wasn’t quite what we had planned, and much to the male contingents’ expectations, and after the first act there was a hasty recap of the story and what everyone thought had taken place. Reassuringly it was closely related to the story too.

And then Sunday called for more food, a family breakfast and then a spot of shopping - or in my case looking - before heading back home again, and a walk along the canal. That’s a part of Birmingham I’d not been to before, and it’s somewhere I’d be happy to visit again, here’s a few photos that show why:

 ALONG THE CANAL

ALONG THE CANAL

 A WINE BARGE, WITH THE BEST NAME

A WINE BARGE, WITH THE BEST NAME

 A BUILDING OF PLUS SIGNS

A BUILDING OF PLUS SIGNS

On my wander around the shops, which wasn’t entirely fruitless, there was some time to spot some trends in Christmas decorations - and my tip for this year, is stars. There were small beaded stars and stars bigger than my arm span, or near enough anyway, to wire star forms decorated with greenery, and stars wrapped tightly in string.

beaded star christmas decorations
wire stars and greenery christmas decorations

I’d have had at least one of all of them, although the largest ones would have been tricky to get home on the train. Maybe, I should add some stars to my Christmas craft list, which I’ve not really written yet, but with that (online) shopping to do, we’ll see how I go…

The Wellness kitchen at Grand Designs

I saw this kitchen by FincH at Grand Designs earlier in the year, and it was clear from those also looking at the room set that it divided opinions. I was impressed by it, and while I might not go for this colour, the idea of a single colour throughout appealed, whereas for MOH and others close by us, they were less wowed. For MOH it was one element of the design that he thought impractical, but strangely it was one that I liked, even if on the whole I agreed with his impractical assessment.

But we’ll come onto that.

Dusky pink throughout with a touch of real greenery

The units and walls were all dusky pink, the worktops provided contrast with a soft white finish. The units are made from Jesmonite, a gypsum-based material in an acrylic resin, which makes it a versatile material. The cork flooring, was one of my least favourite elements, but I know that’s down to my inbuilt dislike of the material on floors and walls - yes, I’ve seen it on walls and that just makes me shiver.

A single colour throughout - does that make the cupboards camouflaged?

I liked the unfussy lines and clean spaces, although in reality my kitchen is unlikely to ever look this clear - but a girl can dream, hey? As well as liking the clean spaces, I’m also a fan of stuff and I’m learning that these two things aren’t compatible. What tends to happen is it’ll start off relatively clear like this, and over time stuff accumulates and I get used to seeing it, and so it becomes part of the “furniture” - until I remember my plan was to keep the worktops clear, and so a tidy up follows. Only for the whole process to repeat, I do think that’s a good thing, or otherwise I’m not sure I’d have enough room to use the worktops to actually prepare food…

Herbs at hand in this roomset at Grand Designs Live

Ah yes, the living herb wall. I liked it, MOH thought it impractical. I agreed, but I still wanted one. Even though our kitchen has very little, if any, natural light. I knew it wouldn’t work in our space, but I liked the idea of walking to the end of the work bench to add herbs to my cooking. Often, gathering herbs is one of the tasks that I give MOH when he regrets asking if there’s anything he can do. And that’s usually followed by a description of the herb and its location, how much simpler would it be if the herbs were at the end of the kitchen?

I know, I’m living in a dream world…

A peek into the cupboards at this roomset at Grand Designs

The other thing I admired in this kitchen was the tidy concealed cupboards. Mine would never be this empty, but they’d also never likely to be shut, or if they were it’d be because I’d crammed stuff in and wanted to keep that illusion of a clean, clear kitchen.

How would you cope with cupboards like these, or a one colour kitchen?