Sunday, 27 February 2011
I wasn't even around to see it as I have been away for half term in the back of beyond, where 3G, wifi and even a phone signal was impossible!
For those of you who have viewed any of my ramblings, thank you. I now have to get to 2000 views.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
|What a watch! Huge but not heavy.|
In addition I can find out the sunrise and sunset times for all major cities. Find out the current time in all major cities. Use the stopwatch, 24-hour countdown timer or one of the 5 daily alarms. Add the fact that it is solar powered and requires no batteries, is incredibly accurate and can withstand a depth of 100 metres, I think I'll be alright out there in the field as it were!!
|The ABC buttons that provide 3 of several functions.|
Sunday, 20 February 2011
I am rather pleased at both of these mini-milestones and only hope that I am able to continue to set aside the time to maintain the blog and even expand it slightly. (Although I'm nit sure how I'd do that)?
For those of you without a blog I can recommend doing one, as it really is quite therapeutic (and a lot of fun).
So, keep reading as I want to hit 1000 page views before February is up!
The area is dominated by a few landmarks. The Mausoleum and Golden Ball (part of Saint Lawrence Church) on West Wycombe Hill can be seen for miles around.
|The Mausoleum and Golden Ball to the right of the picture.|
We did take bikes with us but soon realised that the area was far too hilly for them. We therefore parked in the Garden Centre car park at the bottom of West Wycombe Hill and walked up. The walk up the hill provides some wonderful views of the Chiltern countryside. We were also treated to numerous sightings of Red Kites. These once endangered birds were reintroduced into the area a number of years ago and have since grown in number. They are quite a magnificent sight and we were able to get some close views as they soared overhead.
As you go up the hill to your right you will see the grounds of West Wycombe Park and Dashwood House. It is regarded as one of the finest palladium houses in the country and is worth a visit in its own right. It has provided the backdrop for many films and dramas over the years. The Duchess, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cranford, Inspector Morse to name but a few.
About halfway up the hill you will find a tearoom and the entrance to the, Hellfire Caves. The caves were originally constructed in the 1740's to help combat local poverty by providing work. Local farm workers were paid a shilling a day to tunnel and mine chalk and flint. This was then used to build houses in the village, the Church and the Mausoleum.
Eventually you reach what is called the Inner Temple, were goodness only knows what went on!
Our ticket cost £15 for a family of two adults and two children, which is pretty good as there is no time limit on how long you spend down there. Our children went from start to finish three times and loved it.
Luckily we didn't encounter any of the ghosts that frequent this location. Paul Whitehead paid for his heart to be placed in the mausoleum when he died. In 1829 (I am sure you can guess this next bit) it was stolen. He is supposed to haunt the caves in search of his heart. Had I seen anyone I suspected to be Paul Whitehead I would have taken flight and made the swiftest of exits!
If you are anywhere near West Wycombe, do give this location a go as we had a lovely time. Make sure you bring a good pair of walking boots or trainers as it was quite muddy when we went. Might also be worth bring a pair of binoculars for the almost guaranteed views of Red Kites.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Lamy is a German company that make some wonderful pens for all budgets and tastes. Many are regarded as design classics and they can be bought at any good stationers or pen shops. (I have included the link to their website below).
Most of the time I am communicating via my iPhone, iMac or MacBook Pro but there are times, even in this day and age when I have to use a pen. I cannot abide those dreadful ballpoints or rollerballs. No! I use a fountain pen. Now, in my time I have had Mont Blanc's, Pelikan's and Duofold's but none of them can match the simple elegance that can be found in a 'Lamy Safari.'
|Lamy Safari's in assorted colours.|
So, next time you are in London and you see a devilishly handsome chap on a tube train, with an orange Brompton in one hand and a stylish and perfectly formed orange 'Lamy Safari' in the other, say hello. If I like the look of you, I might even say hello back.
Monday, 14 February 2011
Bigger blogs probably have this number of hits a day but I am ever hopeful of achieving what has become a magic number for me.
Anyone out there reading this (and can I say that I could hug each and every one of you), please feel free to comment or provide a location in London you'd like me to visit on my Brompton. I would then write about it in my own particular way.
In addition please follow as I would love more than the two loyal followers I currently have.
So, until my next blog entry happy cycling.
I have written about a visit to Kensal Green Cemetery previously on this blog but felt that I didn't really do it justice.
Kensal Green is in North West London on the Harrow Road. The nearest tube is Kensal Green (Bakerloo line). It was founded in 1832 and covers 72 acres. The cemetery is very well maintained with neat gravelled avenues and a neo-classical chapel almost at its centre. Many regard it as one of the finest Victorian cemeteries in the country, let alone London.
|The neo-classical Anglican Chapel|
Many of the graves, mausolea and monuments are breathtaking in their size, scale and detailing. We had the whole cemetery to ourselves and I have to say it looked very Hammer House of Horror. Very gothic to the extent I half expected to see Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi creep out, only to have me trying to make my escape on my Brompton. Picture that if you dare!
|Just one of the incredible monuments. The four men on the posts stare at you wherever you stand by the way!|
The catacombs are everything you would expect catacombs to be and more. Dark, damp, dusty, scary and full of atmosphere. Coffins are set in tiers and our guide was very knowledgeable and made the hour or so fly by. You are not permitted to take photos down there. which is quite understandable but believe me you wouldn't want to just in case some of the people with you didn't show up on photos!
|Just imagine seeing this at night!|
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Monday, 7 February 2011
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Being tea total I ordered a diet coke and took in the general atmosphere. The customers seemed to be solicitors, city workers or banker types - you get the general idea. The pub itself seems to be Victorian and you could almost transport yourself back in time to the fog filled streets seen on countless film and television programmes. The Viaduct Tavern does have an interesting surprise up its sleeve however and this is the reason I took myself and my trusty Brompton with me, to pay it a visit.
The Central Criminal Courts are across the road and they were built over the former infamous, Newgate Prison which was in operation between 1188 and 1902! What has all this to do with the Viaduct Tavern I hear you ask? Well, if you ask in a gentlemanly way the staff will allow you to venture downstairs to view their cellars. Now these aren't just any old cellars, some of them contain the actual cells that survived Newgate Prison's closure.
The cells are horrid!! Cold, dark, musty smell and leave one in no doubt that their purpose was for. Apparently, one cell in particular has received a great deal of interest from ghost hunters all across the world for obvious reasons. I was permitted to go into one of the cells and found the whole experience quite terrifying and couldn't stay in their for long. Staff told me that they don't like going down there at night and avoid it at all costs. Doors tend to close by themselves. Strange sounds can be heard - people moaning, footsteps, people talking and doors being slammed shut! I had my iPhone with me and intended to take some photos but I was totally preoccupied with a feeling of unease so forgot about it completely.
I can't say that I would go there again but believe me it was an experience and going back outside later on with the sun setting as I cycled off, did make me feel quite uneasy. If you find yourself in central London you might want to give this a go yourself. However, I suggest you take a friend to share the experience and don't go there in the evening when dark, even if it is on a Brompton!