we headed down to the south bank the other weekend for a very different reason to visiting hms belfast. we were in the hood to see the paul smith exhibition, which was most excellent. afterwards as we strolled along the river, ronnie saw the huge battleship up close for the first time and was really taken with it, so we hoped on board and this is what we found.
a little bit of london fun on the way home from the royal academy of arts
if you didn’t know HPMcQ are the initials of my surnames. yes yes not content with just the one, i have three. i’ve always had two, the H and the P are my very own and the McQ i acquired when i married Mr HPMcQ. but why would i just be HP without paul smith? well let me tell you.
i grew up in essex, a friend of mine from essex went to work in the paul smith buying office. a friend of both of ours then met a girl through our friend and she worked at paul smith too. actually she was paul smiths PA. we became very good friends and most fridays we would all meet up for drinks and chaos. through these friends at paul smith i met lots of other creative people at paul smith and we all became very good friends.
we went exploring on saturday. we had tickets to see the paul smith exhibition at the design museum on the south bank of the thames. after this there was no plan. so we wandered, we fooled around, we stopped for lunch, we snooped around on a battleship. here are just a few snaps that we took along the way. more to follow in posts about the exhibition and the battleship hms belfast.
on sunday we went for lunch at Mr HPMcQ’s aunts house. she lives just a hop skip and a jump away from us. the sun had been shinning all weekend and we were busting to get out in the spring air. after filling our bellies full of roast chicken with all the bits and bobs that go with and filling that last little gap with a generous slice of berry pavlova we headed to the woods for a squelch and a potter in the woods, petts wood.
last week i posted about my favourite streets and how i discovered the synchronicity between their history and what became my future, this got me reminiscing more about the time when i first came to live in the uk and spent my days exploring the east end of london with my nanny minnie.
today i take you to victoria park. this park is part of the bank of my first memories of living in the uk, living in london. nanny minnie grew up round here this was her “manor” as such. when we first moved to the uk, both my parents worked full-time, saving hard to get a deposit to buy our first home. nanny minnie gave up her job so that she could care for me whilst they were at work. she would take me everywhere with her, the east end of london became my playground.
a little while back i showed you the doors of the houses on some of my favourite streets of london town. if you missed that post you can see it just here. you see i know the streets of east end of london very well, as my father grew up in the neighbour hood and all of his side of the family all lived in the area too. when we first moved to england we too lived in the east end and a lot of my fist memories of england are from adventures around that part of town.
there are a couple of places that really stand out for me, and one of these are streets between brick lane and spitalfileds market.
well some of them…
half term and what to do? well luckily for us we are very close to london town, just a hop skip and a jump. yes i know we live in london, i know, but for some reason it doesn’t really feel too much like “living in london” where we are, so we get the best of both worlds and therefore going into london always feels just like that, going into london!
i was having one of those mornings, ones that you wish would disappear as quickly as they appeared. it was then that i found that i had wondered into one of my favourite streets in london, and next to that two of my other favourite streets. after seeing them today, i will probably write about why these are so special, but for today i will share with you why these streets make me smile.
friday night we had a guest come to stay. someone who has never been to our house before. a weekend sleepover. barry bear. the school bear.
ronnie was awarded the head teacher award on friday for his progress in phonics. he was given a certificate to bring home and show mummy and daddy how well he is doing. however together with that certificate comes the responsibility of looking after barry for the weekend.
i’ve popped back and forth to essex a couple of times over the last few weeks. it’s strange seeing the place you grew up, once you’ve grown up is it. everything looks the same but smaller.
on my way home on one of these occasions i cut through the back roads through the woods, for old times sake, when i noticed a sign. it said the gruffalo trail. yes i remember being told about this by a friend and also a blogger, but had swiftly forgotten until that very moment. i came home i googled and prayed for sunshine or at the very least no rain at the weekend so that we could explore the woods of thorndon country park.
this place doesn’t need too much of and introduction or explanation, it’s fabulousness is world-famous. but just incase it has slipped you by here’s a short overview of what it is all about.
hApPY nEw YEaR!
hope you all had a fun-filled evening. ours was pretty quite to be fair. we are currently at coombe mill, which i’m sure you know already! fiona and nick set up a little gathering by the bbq shed, a shed with a bbq grill inside so you can bbq all year round, how epic is that?! i really really want one however it is the size of our whole garden so maybe not. there were snacks and some bottles of boozy plonk to swig at and just before 8 o’clock nick lit and set off a lantern for matilda mae. once tildas lantern was safely on its way nick launched a display of fireworks for us all to welcome the new year.
the title of this post might be a bit misleading and somewhat of an exaggeration. as you can imagine coastal walking with a five-year old is over pretty quickly after it has started, especially when it’s hugely windy, and that wind is cold, so very very cold. but today we gave it a good go though.
today was somewhat wetter than yesterday, so we had a lazy lay in, and got cosy by the fire. once our bellies were full of breakfast we were ready to embrace the coldness outside. well as long as it took to get from the front door to the car, parked right outside the front door that is.
inside adventures were on today’s plan as it was a constant stream of drizzle. you know the kind that doesn’t look that wet, but you are wet to the bone before you know it? yes, not so great. so we decided that we would go and explore the local jail that has a few tales to tell.
we woke to a beautiful morning. slight frost on the ground, a nip in the air, mist hanging in the sky and the sun was absolutely beaming. what a gorgeous morning to wake up and remember you are on a farm.
for the last few years, we have been enjoying a christmas winter break. now i love the sun, i really do, but a winter break in the english countryside is very nearly high up there on my favourite holidays. school is out. childcare is scarce, so holiday time it is. we’ve been to cornwall, we’ve been to yorkshire and then fell in love with the north norfolk coast and went for couple of years back to back. this year we thought we would start back at the beginning. cornwall. so here we are on the home turf of the country kids, coombe mill!
with just 3 sleeps to go, the excitement levels in the HPMcQ household were starting to reach a high. we had been having a really lazy sunday. it was gloomy and cold outside, and gloomy and cold and i don’t get on much. so we stayed cosied up in our jim jams watching movies until gone mid-day! absolute heaven.
living in a big city, doesn’t give you the biggest opportunity to get out into country as much as perhaps you would like to. however saying that, a lot of the country seems to be sneaking its way into town more and more. which is a good thing, a very good thing. traditions like the weekend farmers market seem to be popping up in all the boroughs of ye olde london town. the del trotter type of market of only fools and horses fame, seem to be slowing fading away and making room for markets which have a far stronger focus of good quality locally grown fruit, veg and other foodie delights. all of this sitting along side small creative design businesses, vintage furniture, and bric-a-brac for thrifty and restorative types.