Wednesday, April 27, 2011

London marathon, part two - supporters

A few more pictures from the marathon - observers, charity support groups, police and ambulance. Para-marathon, so to speak.

Those ladies were really not supposed to sit like that - there's about 6 meters drop on the other side, into the Tower's moat.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Benmore Botanic Gardens

When we visited Benmore Botanic Gardens couple of days ago, rhododendrons were in bloom. Even without them, gardens would be great, but it was a big bonus. I definitely recommend a visit, if you are on Cowal. They are a little bit more expensive than Cambridge ones - £10 for family ticket against £8 for two adults - but then again, the parking is free at Benmore,  they are a lot bigger, more varied and have a lot better setting.

The only problem with them I see is that only part of the gardens is accessible for wheelchair users - the level one close to the river. Large portion of the grounds is one big steepish slope with many stairs and a viewpoint at the top

Sunday, April 17, 2011

London marathon

 Me and Yuri went to see London marathon today. I have a few hundred of pictures that I eventually will process (eventually, yes), but I just wanted to say - I worked it out, marathon is an equivalent of all-London carnival.

I completed London marathon a few years back - I hesitate to say "run", it was not running, more hobbling, especially towards the end. But I did complete it, which is a huge thing. What I could  remember from it (not very much, I must say, I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other more or less) - the atmosphere was great. So, I decided to use what might be my last chance to see it as an observer. I wasn't dissapointed.

We didn't even try to catch the leaders - it takes a while to get there from our village, and leaders, by definition, are very, very fast. Whoosh - and they are gone. What we did catch is fast men race coming towards 23 miles mark and slow runners and walkers just passing under Tower bridge - half way mark, more or less. It's a magic spot by tower hill where marathon passes twice. And the slow crowd is much more interesting to watch - lots of costumes, lots of charity runners, less concern for speed.

Below is a little sample from the very tail of all the pictures I took today. Maybe I will do another little report with especially interesting costumes later


 and watchers

why vuvuzela? well, why not
Really liked those guys between the columns

Stripes are definitely back this season

guys from various charities are stationed along the whole route. as far as I understand, their task is to cheer "their" own runners - people who are raising money for them by running - but I think they cheered pretty much everybody. Not those two ladies, though, I think they are tired - main body of the marathon is past 23 miles mark by now

One more note - kids do get bored there. It's a looong event, and even if they manage to get a really good view, they eventually will find something else to do. Toddlers slept in their pushchairs, and this guys' fighting with those red clappers

Friday, April 15, 2011

Birchanger Wood

Went to Birchanger Wood today,  in search of alternative place to see bluebells. Small forest next to Littlebury is very beautiful, but private, you can't enter there and have to look over gates and fences.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Photobucket was down for a day or so, and all the images dissappeared from my blog. So, this is me trying things inside blogger itself. If I understand correctly, images go to picasa album, but I might be totally wrong.

Anyway - bluebells were not yet fully open but already in bloom yesterday

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Flower market (without flowers)

Me and Timur went to Columbia road flower market today. We got there about 2ish, and it was very busy. I don't know if it was because the weather was exceptionally nice, or maybe it's like this every time. Or maybe not. In any case, I got no pictures of flowers or the market itself - was too busy making sure Timur doesn't vanish into the crowd. But I can confirm there was a lot of flowers including interesting-looking ones. I think it's worth another visit.


Got some pictures of surrounding shops though

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

windy day


No, I am not obsessed with Cassandra, but mannequins make such good models, especially her, with her frequent changes of outfit

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Buddha's Birthday


Went to Milton Keynes to see Buddha's Birthday celebrations at Buddhist's Temple by Willen Lake. I won't pretend I understood the ceremony, but the location, the season, the temple, the gardens around it and the atmosphere were all very agreeable. Never been to Milton Keynes before and still can't say we've been really, what with the temple being on outskirts, but we liked the small part that we've seen




various UK photos on shutterstock

Saturday, April 02, 2011