Posts Tagged ‘London’

Chinese New Year

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

February already and I haven’t made any posts or taken any photos in 2014. I hadn’t made any resolutions to take more photos this year or anything, but I kind of hoped that I’d have some more motivations but that hasn’t really happened yet. Oh well.

At any rate, Danni and I went into London for the Chinese New Year celebrations and to watch the parade that they haven’t held in a number of years.

China town all decked out

China Town looked brilliant as always, but the parade was really, really short.  Both in the route it travelled and the length of the actual parade.  We waited on the road side for the better part of an hour only to have the whole thing be over in about 10 minutes.

The autofocus on my lens had broken, so I didn't get as many clear shots as I'd like.

Still, I’m always happy to get to see the dragon and lion performers out on the streets.  I love that kind of thing, and they always do a brilliant job for Chinese New Year’s in London.

Two Dragons!

We struggled through Trafalgar Square which was ridiculously packed.  I’m probably getting old, but I honestly can’t see how anyone can have fun crushed in with tens of thousands of other people in such a small space.  Maybe they were trying to recreate an authentic Chinese experience?  At any rate, my cranky, inner old man wasn’t enjoying this part of the day, but I did get a shot of my lovely wife with the dragon as they were moving it into the Square.

Clearly the best bit of the very short parade.


My faithful lens had given up the ghost on this day and the autofocus was broken.  It’s fixed now (after an ugly repair bill), but it did mean that I got an awful lot less images than I was hoping to.  Still, there are a few more in the gallery here.

Taking Mom to Richmond Park

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This has sort of become a tradition of sorts around our place.  Come to visit and we’re very likely going to Richmond Park.  I think we both just really love it there but need some sort of excuse to make the trip out.  Especially now as it’s a couple of bus rides away.

We found this willing group of bucks to pose as some nice background decoration for us.

We had much more success finding the deer than we did at our last family outing.  The winter weather had killed off most of the shoulder-height ferns so there wasn’t anywhere for the deer to hide.  Well, apart from being somewhere in the vastness that is Richmond Park.  Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long to find them, we just needed to be willing to get our shoes a bit muddy.  It has definitely rained this year!

A couple of birds flying over the pond at the center of the park.

I’ve been enough times now that I can act as a bit of a mini tour-guide, provided I can keep to the general middle area of the park.  We did a wide loop around the ponds and through as many of the treed in areas as we could.  I enjoy the wide open spaces as much as the next prairie raised lad, but the bitter winds had us seeking as much shelter as possible in order to prolong our hike.

Another one of the large Red deer.

All in all a very successful deer spotting sojourn.  I think mom was quite happy with the wildlife, which is saying something for someone who grew up in Vancouver with the Rocky Mountains on her doorstep.  There are a few more images in the gallery, but they’re mostly family images.  If you’re after more deer photos, I was at the park with gusto earlier in the year to get my fill of deer shots.

Olympic Rings at Tower Bridge

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

With time dwindling down on mama’s visit, she wanted one more outing to get a few photos at the iconic Tower Bridge, resplendent with it’s temporary Olympic rings.  Looking through the archives of this site, I think it’s safe to say that Tower Bridge is my favourite of all of the London landmarks.  Possibly because I used to live by it and got to see it every day, but I really think it’s something special.  It doesn’t take much to convince me to head down there are take a few photos of it.

Any day along the south bank is going to be a busy day, but what with the nice weather and the influx of Olympic tourists the crowds were boarding on excessive.  We spent a fair bit of time waiting around for spots to clear up so we could get some decent images.  After a lot of fruitless patience I remembered that when the tide is out  there’s a nice, secret little spot that few tourists go that would be ideal for our photos.

The above shot was taken at our secret shore and provided a much nicer vantage point for the bridge.  There were a few other folks who had found their way down here, but everyone was pretty good about taking turns and staying out of each others  way.

More photos of Danni, mama & Tower Bridge in the gallery.

Richmond Park Deer

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The good weather has been holding up and I think we’re actually going to experience a bit of summer here this year.  Danni has been telling Mama about some of the amazing parks in London and the possibility of  seeing a few wild deer in Richmond park had piqued her interest, so off we went!

Our previous forays to Richmond had been in the winter months, so spotting the deer was easy.  There was no tall grass for them to hide in, and I think a certain amount of luck meant that we stumbled across them without even really trying.  This time was to prove much different, and we several hours scouring the far reaches of the park in hopes of spotting the elusive critters.

We did find some other interesting things to see, like the massive mushroom/toadstool above plus several birds and the usual multitude of squirrels.  The park itself isn’t too shabby either.

At our last turn making our way to the exit, we finally found them!  A group of about a half dozen deer bounded through the tall grasses (How tall?  The deer in the above image is standing up) and we chased them for a bit until we managed to get a few photos.  All in all, a successful day out.

Of course, it can’t truly be considered a successful day until you’ve found yourself inside one of the many, many local pubs.  Of course, we decided that instead of staying local we’d make the trek across the entirety of London and bring Mama to our favourite pub: The Prospect of Whitby. Such a great location, definitely worth a look if you ever find yourself deep in Wapping territory.

More photos in the gallery!

Danni’s Birthday Tea at the Ritz

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

As happens every year around the 27th of June, Danni’s birthday once again made an appearance and we were fortunate enough to have her mom here to celebrate with us.  In fact, she organized a lovely afternoon of tea & scones at The Ritz.

I’ve had lunch at the Ritz in the past (compliments of Danni actually) so I wasn’t a virgin to the scene, but I always feel slightly awkward in the midst of such opulence.  Fortunately, the staff are more than accustomed to the unrefined  looking to experience a bit of the high culture and nobody ever makes you feel out of place.  Even if the place looks like this…

Having recently had tea at the Langham Hotel, it was inevitable that comparisons were drawn.  While it’s hard to beat the settings of the Ritz, the larger selection of tea and cakes at the Langham win out for me.  I also preferred the scones at the Langham, and I’m something of a scone connoisseur (by that I mean I stuff as many as I can into my face whenever the opportunity presents itself).  The price difference is negligible, so I suppose it depends on what it is you’re looking for. As an experience, the Ritz wins hands down.

We tried to take as many photos inside while still remaining conspicuous, but that’s not always easy to do with a really large camera.  After a few post-tea poses in their reception area, we decided to stroll through the parks in and around Buckingham Palace.  Some of us very much needed to burn off a few scone-induced calories.

Like all touristy destinations, I don’t often go to Buckingham Palace unless we’re acting as tour guides for visiting friends or family.  It’s a lovely area and the surrounding parks are always well kept, perfect for a few photos.  As this June as been impossibly wet, you may have guessed that the sky in the above photo is not 100% authentic.  Well, it’s authentic sky, just taken from my recent trip to the Caribbean and transplanted into a few of the photos in this set to make things a bit cheerier.

After an hour or so of strolling the parks, we headed home to rest up for our dinner at a neighbourhood Thai restaurant that evening.  Hopefully Danni and her mom enjoyed the day as much as  I did.

There are some more photos of the day tucked away in the gallery.