Thursday, July 20, 2006

Big smoke

Yesterday, the hottest July day on record 36.6C (97.3F). When "the Lions at Colchester zoo Essex were treated to blood flavoured ice blocks." from the Times online
What did I do? Sit under a tree reading a book? Swim in the river? Work here with the curtains drawn? No dear reader, I went to the big smoke, London, with my friend Heather.
We had booked it ages ago, & even though it was hot, it was bloody great too.
We started off at the Chelsea Physic garden a secret oasis of green in a tarmack-ed desert. I found these words of Rudyard Kipling in ‘The Glory of the Garden’. "Our England is a garden and such gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade". There were at least 5 gardeners all on their hands & knees digging, weeding & planting, in unbearable heat. Everything looked very hot & droopy. (Just like we felt). There are plants here that no longer grow in the wild & are rare even in cultivation. This photo of Sir Hans Sloane (of Sloane Square fame) from their website
We made our way at once to the Tangerine Tea department and sat under a shady tree to eat a really splendid repast, with home made lemonade (the real thing Kelly).
As I sat looking around and recovering with my bare feet twiddling in the grass, I spied a good old Aussie gum tree, I wanted to hug it but restrained myself & took it's picture instead. We didn't get as much time as we would have wanted because we had lots to do. I did get to see these amazing seed pods. I think they're from a Peony. They look like that rarest of plants "Vagina Dentata" to me.
After we left the garden we walked on towards Chelsea design center and saw this amazing bathroom showroom with its 'bath with port hole'. Perfect for the boat!!! (Not sure if my cellulite could withstand it though).
The walk was a long one, much further than we thought but took us past Chelsea Bridge, a beauty that looks like a childs idea of a fary tale bridge, all pink & blue & white. Also past this beautiful house & doorway near Cheyne walk where Mick Jagger, George Elliot & Dante GabrielleRossetti used to live.
Chelsea Design center might have to have it's own blog but afterwards we caught a water taxi back to Blackfriars & never was it more of a relief to sit in the wind & spray of a boat with the thrum of the engine massaging our hot feet. Here are some views of the mighty river Thames: Muddy but cool. See all those red double decker buses waiting patiently in an orderly English queue.

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