Friday 3 March 2023

I wonder what March will bring?

February was a topsy turvy month, with warm sunny days, days of endless rain, heavy frosts, strong winds and fog. It would be nice to have some settled weather but I don't think that will happen until later in the month. On the plus side the longer hours of daylight are a real help, more time to go walking with Missy and less driving to and from work in the dark. March has three family birthdays which is always fun and John and I have a weekend away booked which will involve a trip to my favourite quilt shop. We are also planning a couple of days out. I have several sewing projects that I want to finish and several more that I want to start. I think March could be a fun month.

Last night as I was reading some of the posts from the blogs I follow I realised I hadn't posted about visits we had made or progress on my projects. I thought I'd start the month by doing a catch up post. John and I had decided that we had to have at least one day a month where we went walking, did something we have wanted to do for a while or visited somewhere. Early in February we decided our visit would be a local visit so we hopped on the underground and went into central London. We have both lived in London since the early 1970's but there are still places we haven't visited. Neither of us had ever visited Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner. As we both have freedom passes ( a perk of being older) travel on the tube is free all weekend and our English Heritage membership meant entry to the house would be free. A win win situation, cheap day out, no driving and we had good but cool weather. I took a photo of Apsley House from the Wellington memorial.

When I turned 90 degrees to my left I was able to take a photo of The Lanesborough hotel. This used to be St Georges Hospital until it moved to its present site in Tooting, south London.  John used to work at the hospital when it was at Hyde Park corner but he never made the short walk to visit Apsley House.

Aspley House was the residence of Arthur Wellesley who due to his successes as a military commander had the titles of Duke of wellington and Marquess of Douro bestowed on him in May 1814.He fought 60 battles during his military career and is looked on as the conqueror of Napoleon.  His house was popularly known as No 1 London because it was the first house people coming into London would reach after passing through the toll gate at Knightsbridge. There is no longer a toll for entering London unless you are doing so by car and you are entering either the congestion charge zone or the ultra low emission zone. The ULEZ is only payable if the vehicle exceeds the emission limits.

Photography wasn't allowed at all in the house so I have no pictures to show you. The house is home to many of the dinner services and other gifts presented to Wellington for defeating Napoleon. It also houses a large art collection. If you are in London it is well worth a visit. You can find out more about The Duke of Wellington Here. After our visit to the house we walked across the road so that we were on the island around which the Hyde Park corner traffic flows. Here there are several war memorials. The largest, the Royal Artillery Monument you can see in the photo of the Lanesborough hotel. This commemorates their loses and casualties in World War 1. The Australian War Memorial was dedicated in 2003 and is a wave like curve of green granite. It was difficult to photograph but you can read about it Here. We were headed for the Wellington memorial or Wellington Arch. My photo came out blurry so I have used one from Google.  The article was telling people about the arch.

Photo Evening Standard, taken by Luke Abrahams 13/4/2018

You are able to go into one side of the arch and also up to the top viewing platform to take photos. The lower floors were giving the story of the arch and what it has been used for since it was erected. At one time it was a very small police station. There was also a display about the Royal Artillery regiment . We spent some time reading the information before going to the art gallery at the top of the building. There was an exhibition running for a couple of months by a female artist. 

She was born in Epping UK in 1969 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from La Sorbonne in Paris. I loved the colour and patterns in the work on display. The lighting made it a little difficult to get some good pictures but I'm happy with what I got.

Having enjoyed the artwork I went out onto the viewing platform to take some photos. The hotel and Apsley house you have already seen. This one is the best shot I could get of the back corner of the gardens at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately this area is very wooded.

I then turned slightly to my left and took the next picture of Constitution Hill. Green Park is on the left of this picture.

John and I finished our outing by going to a cafĂ© in Hyde Park that served a very hearty, warming vegetable soup with a good chunk of crusty bread. As the weather was rather cool the soup was most welcome . We strolled for a little in the park before heading home on the tube. We enjoyed our day out.

Today is my none working day of the week. I need to take Missy to the groomers for 1 p.m. and I also have sewing on the agenda. I want to pull some fabrics for the blog hop I'm taking part in later this month. I need to cut the backing and wadding for the bag I'm making for my cutting boards and I need to set up the machine so I can get on and finish the bag. I also need to give a little thought to my goal for March. I think I'll start by making another cup of tea, then I can make some fabric choices.

Take Care


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