Sunday, October 28, 2012

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market is just what it says - a market that takes up the entire length of Portobello Road in Notting Hill, London.  It's a great place to visit with such an eclectic mix of stalls including antiques, food, clothing, fruit and veg, jewellery etc.  We went on a Saturday so it was very busy - you get to see such a wide range of society and it's really great for people watching.

Notting Hill is a really pretty area of London with lots of interesting old architecture still evident, along with some very pretty coloured houses - unfortunately as it was a little overcast they haven't come out quite as brightly as they actually are.

The food stalls were amazing, piled high with naughtiness (we didn't succumb though the chocolate puffs full of cream were very tempting) and the smells from the cooking stalls really transported you to another place.

Along the sides of the street there are also lots of interesting little shops, but this one I had to take a photo of as the shoes were very colourful and some look a bit like instruments of torture.

Of course I couldn't leave without buying something - a lovely hat for winter.  I was very upset as the woman on the stall wouldn't let me take any photos - there was a great hat that looked like a wolfs head that I made Ken put on, and needless to say it was quite amusing, just the look on his face was enough to make anyone laugh ( he does tolerate a lot from me).

We had a really lovely day just wandering around, stopping for coffee and cake, and enjoying some of the many sights to see in London.

When we got home we had to quickly scrub ourselves up as we had a fund raising dinner to go to that night with friends, and it was a great night, with an incredible magician that came round the tables, and fab food and company.

We scrub up quite well, dont' you think?

That's it for now - just to say that my ending photo for today's entry is what we did the next day - another car parts fair, so needless to say Ken was in heaven.

Stay safe, and keep smiling.

Pamela & Ken

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Away

Last weekend my beloved took me away for a lovely weekend near Malvern which is in Worcestershire.  We stayed in a hotel in the hills called the Cottage in the Woods which was really lovely, Bertie loved it as when we arrived they had put a dog bed in the room and left some treats for him as well.

Bertie on our patio
The main hotel from our patio
 Now whilst you're all thinking how romantic of Kenneth to take me away for a lovely weekend, there was a slight ulterior motive - there was a car and car parts show on near Malvern!!  So yes, we went and wandered around stalls with lots of old bits of cars so that Ken could try and find bits for his current project - a car that is 50 years old and at the moment doesn't work - I call it his other woman.

We did also get to go into Malvern which is a really pretty spa town with lots of the original buildings still standing.  The priory, which dates from 1541,  is beautiful and the church ladies were getting it ready for harvest festival - lovely flower arrangements and animals made out of bread.

Bread fish (I think)

Bread mouse

One of the carvings under the Misericords (mercy seats) - thought he was quite a cheeky chappy

Malvern is famous for lots of different people, but one that I like is that C.S.Lewis used to visit there - there was a blue plaque on the wall of one of the pubs that he used to frequent.

When we got up on Sunday morning it felt like we were much higher than we were as we were above the mist and clouds - it was a really lovely morning with the sun shining on the mist. 

There were lots of old fashioned lamp post around the hotel grounds and Malvern
  On the way back from Malvern we drove through the Cotswold's, stopping in Chipping Norton and Stow on the Wold.  In Chipping Norton there is a gorgeous little bookshop/coffee shop which we always go to when we're passing by - nice homemade cakes.

Autumn leaves in Chipping Norton

My very dapper looking beloved
All in all a really nice break away with my two favourite men - the cats fended for themselves, and I don't even think they noticed that we were gone.  I've gotten a bit behind with my blogs, so will try and catch up over the next few days.

Hope all is good with you and yours, stay safe and keep smiling.

Pamela & Ken

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Deer Walk

Last weekend we went to Woburn Abbey (the site of Ken's magnificent Car victory) to do a deer walk.  We made sure we got there a little earlier than needed so that I could show Ken round the gardens - he was quick to find a friend.

It was such a glorious day with blue sky and sunshine, and there were even some butterflies out in the garden.

When it was time for the walk we were met by tea, coffee, and biscuits (some in the shape of deer which seemed a little bit odd) and then the head deer ranger gave us a talk about the deer park which was really interesting.  We got to hold the antlers to see how heavy they were - I didn't realise that they lose their antlers every year, and each year they grow back bigger and stronger, but with the same basic pattern.  They had antlers from the same deer ranging over several years to show us.

We then went on a two hour walk around the deer park with the head ranger whilst he explained what breed of deer we were seeing - they have nine different breeds in the park!  There are over a thousand deer in the park, and they have a park in New Zealand as well to help maintain the species in the event of any disease ever striking the park over here.

The grounds of Woburn Abbey are beautiful and it was nice to get to see the house from a different perspective.  The deer rangers work six days a week, but for that they get to live in a house within the grounds which must be very special.  I took a lot of photos, but here are a couple of my favourites.

It's mating season, so all the stags are being very noisy and trying to out bellow each other - the noise is amazing.  They also do things to try and make themselves look bigger like digging their antlers into dirt and bushes to add volume to them, and rolling in mud to add mass to their bodies like the lovely looking chap above.

Everywhere you looked around the park there was the sight of antlers, stags sitting off by themselves and groups of female deer's huddling around elsewhere.  There was a very interesting smell in the air, which could only be described as a mix of musk and pee.

As we were finishing the walk it was getting towards dusk and the grass was covered with cobwebs which looked really mystical.

At the end of the walk we were given lovely soup and bread - a fabulous day and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that lives within driving distance of Woburn.

That's it, so look after each other and keep smiling.

Pamela & Ken

P.S:  Atmospheric shot to finish.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mind, Body, & Soul Experience

Last Sunday my long suffering husband agreed to accompany me to the Mind, Body, and Soul experience at Olympia - all that new age stuff is not really his thing, but he went with a semi-open mind.  We got the train from Watford into London and as you can see from the photo below Ken could hardly contain his excitement at the coming day.

Ken asleep on the train before we got there.
There were lots of different therapies there and just after we arrived I was already having reflexology (which was fab) and my poor husband was left to wander aimlessly for 20 minutes whilst he waited for me.  When I finished my treatment I went looking for him, which took a while as I was looking for someone walking around with a slightly cynical look on his face, and instead I found him sitting down having hand analysis by needle free acupuncture!

Note the gorgeous floral shirt.
My matter of fact, disbeleiving husband was throwing himself into the experience so off I went for a wander, returning to find that the floral shirt had suddenly disappeared.

I bet he was glad he wore a t-shirt under his shirt!
Next his shoes and socks were removed and I think the lovely lady doing the therapy would have stripped him totally if they were'nt sitting in a public thoroughfare.

My gorgeous man exposing his body to all around - be still my beating heart.
Ken said that the needle free acupuncture really helped his neck and back ache that he constantly has, and he has come away with loads of herbal medicines to sort out his body (though from where I'm standing there's not much that needs sorting out).

We had a great day - especially people watching, as you see all sorts at an event like this, with all sorts of outfits on. 

I bought a lovely book about the power of silence and finding serenity in silence, and a raw food cookbook (I know that sounds a bit Irish, but what else could they call it) as I'd really like to try that every now and then for health reasons.  I also got a lovely pink scarf as there were lots of lovely clothes stalls as well.

Neal's Yard stall

We saw some interesting demonstrations, including belly dancing, yoga, and very weird singing.  We also met the author of a very interesting sounding book that he has written with the premise that God, Allah, and Buddha get together for a meeting and how that conversation would go - it sounded intriguing.

After we'd had our fill of mind, body and soul we went across the road to a lovely Persian restaurant (we went to it over 13 years ago before we were married) for dinner and it was as wonderful as we remembered - with the traditional Iranian bread oven making gorgeous bread.  Ken had mint tea with a really nice little trivet and candle to keep his tea warm.

I was a great meal, and a really good day with my beloved.  That's it for now - be good, stay safe, and keep smiling.

Pamela & Ken

P.S. Romantic shot to finish.