Tag Archives: Kent

Botany 3.0

O WERE my Love yon lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the spring,
And I a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing;
How I wad mourn when it was torn
By autumn wild and winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d.

O gin my Love were yon red rose
That grows upon the castle wa’,
And I mysel a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonnie breast to fa’;
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa’ by Phoebus’ light.
– Robert Burns

IMG_0894Dreamy Pond (New Orleans, 2012)

IMG_33421Standing to Attention (Kent, 2010)

IMG_48601Keeping Busy (Olympic Park, 2012)

IMG_45241Stamen Envy (Montreux, 2013)

IMG_33263Gently Does It (Canterbury, 2010)

IMG_06282Seemingly Perfect (Basel, 2013)

IMG_42582I like Lilies, So Sue Me (Lake Maggiore, 2013)

IMG_5373Folk Woodland (Yorkshire, 2014)

IMG_0782Pushing Through (Greenwich, 2014)

IMG_0673Painting With Orchids II (Kew, 2013)

Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

A selection of photos to illustrate why Paul and I seriously considered moving to Whitstable recently (see my I Heart LDN post for an explanation of why we stayed…). There’s still a good chance we might move to the north Kent coast one day though, so I hope you’ll all come to visit if we do!

IMG_6189Gay Little Huts

IMG_6190Breaking Waves

IMG_6153Bringing Home the Fish

IMG_6155Shucking

IMG_6193More Colourful Retreats

IMG_6205Boutique Shops and Antiques

IMG_4131Protecting the Tourists (Credit: Paul Adnitt)

IMG_4180Vintage Wares

IMG_6184Pebbles and Shells

IMG_0357Proper Fish and Chips

IMG_5815Gulls Feeding

IMG_4179And Another…

IMG_4163Sun Setting Over The Beach

IMG_4176A Little Bit Special

Portals and Passageways

I’ve seen some great doors this year, so thought it was about time for another post.  Here’s a selection of the best from my 2013 collection

IMG_06382Basel, Switzerland

IMG_45731Lisbon, Portugal

IMG_43951Lake Maggiore, Italy

IMG_45961Belém, Portugal

IMG_0979Kent, England

IMG_35101Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

greenwichGreenwich, England

jen ny doorNew York, USA (Credit: Jennifer Robson)

IMG_31131Rhodes, Greece

Strangers and Friends

Some more pictures on the theme of people.  This time some folks you may recognise amongst the complete strangers

TensionTension (Millennium Bridge: 2010)

Vix002BFF (Forest Hill: 2011)

IMG_9344Making a Splash (Budapest: 2012)

IMG_4789Lone Wolf (Glasgow: 2012)

Mind010Last Orders (Southbank: 2011)

Vix Sepia

Me, Myself and I (St James’ Park: 2011) (Credit: Kareena Uttamchandani)

swimmersFlippin’ Out (Bondi Beach: 2011)

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Misty Eyed (Camber Sands: 2013)

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Horse and Carriage (Luton: 2012)

IMG_2998Selfie (Hastings: 2013)

A Rye for All Seasons

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A pleasant hour-and-a-half drive from London, through the picturesque fields and oast houses of Kent, brings you to Rye on the East Sussex coast. Until a few years ago, I’d never explored the countryside and shorelines within easy reach of London; now I’m completely besotted. And Rye is one of my favourite spots in this newly discovered haven. The Parish Church of St Mary, perched high on a hill above the old town, welcomes you from afar as you make your approach, and the grade II listed white smock windmill – now a pricey B&B – is one of the first things you see as you enter. Everything is quaint and gentle, from the cobbled streets and tea shops to the 15th century pubs with their inglenook fireplaces. Strolling around the town (“hand holding”, as our friend Mark would say), or out past the harbour and nature reserve to the beach at Camber Sands, is a very pleasant way to spend a day.

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The first time Paul and I visited was on a very hot day in August 2010. After battling through the traffic of day-trippers, who had clearly stolen our idea, we fell under the town’s spell. Paul later returned with his brother and dad in May 2011 for a few days of walking, ale drinking and other manly pursuits. In February 2012, he surprised me with a romantic getaway for my birthday, booking a suite in the very posh George hotel, where we had a claw-foot bath in the middle of the bedroom and I was treated to a delicious meal at the hotel’s celebrated restaurant. On that occasion, we spent a lot of time trudging through the snow, helping locals dig their cars out of drifts, or hiding from the cold in The Ship, Ypres Castle and Mermaid Inn. You won’t be shocked to learn, I’m sure, that Rye is as beautiful in the winter as it is the rest of the year. More recently, we visited for a weekend in spring with our friends Alys and Simon, staying in Alys’ mum’s gorgeous house on the edge of the town centre. Whatever the season, Rye is enchanting.

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One of the other great things about the town is its location; close enough to explore some of the best of the Kent and Sussex countryside. On our various trips, we’ve visited the Chapel Down vineyard at Tenterden, Pashley Manor Gardens, Winchelsea, Tunbridge Wells and the solitary Dungeness. We’ve also come to love the charms of Hastings, with its sweet old town of boutiques, antique shops and cafés and its seafront of fishing huts and chippies. The 600 acre Country Park Nature Reserve in Hastings also offers great coastal and woodland walks. And the pièce de résistance: Rye is a mere half hour taxi ride from the best restaurant in the country. I cannot recommend The Curlew in Bodiam enough. Now Michelin-starred, the restaurant offers just the right balance of casual elegance and the food is simply incredible. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re back!

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Doorways of the World

People who know me well, know that I love a good door. Big, small, flat, knobbly, wood, metal, brightly coloured, old and peeling, leading to interesting places or leading nowhere at allI love them all! It’s a bit weird, to be honest. But I’m going to bore you with some of my favourites of recent years anyway

dublin door 2Dublin: 2012

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Otford, Kent: 2013

IMG_0860New Orleans: 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOia, Santorini: 2008

IMG_1803Oxford: 2011

IMG_2363Wapping: 2013

14 - Door knockerDurham: 2003

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeville: 2006

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Nuremberg c.1400, V&A: 2013

Havava (300)Havana: 2009

green doorGhent: 2013 (Credit: Alison Groombridge)