149/365 - Faces of Felix

He is looking like our various kids more every day:

Like Zachary (but with much less hair)

Give Me a Smile
Like Erica and Brian

Wait for It
Like Matty


Old Central London

I had a fun time converting these images to Black and White. The process is quite simple - I added a black to white gradient map layer and added a texture on top.

Along the Banks of the Thames

Old Westminster

Old Trafalgar Square

My sister and I were lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day to explore Central London on Sunday. We walked from the Tower of London, across the Tower Bridge, along the Thames, all the way to Parliament / Westminster, into Trafalgar Square, then to Piccadilly Circus and down Piccadilly to my favorite London store, Fortnum and Mason. A very full day of walking and sightseeing.


Day 148 - Our Day in Central London

Quite a contrast from yesterday, our Sunday is bright and sunny. Teresa and I, after consultation with Andrew, will be heading into Central London for a day of sightseeing. This is Teresa's first trip to London, so Andrew plots us a route which maximizes our exposure of the city.

I'm in it just for the ride. My only "must do" while visiting is to make sure I get to Fortnum and Mason. Because I'm all about the tea and biscuits. Forget about all the monuments, the history, the architecture, I'm here to eat!

Speaking about eating, did I mention Andrew is a major foodie and gourmet cook? Check out this morning's brunch - Boudain Rouge with Apples and Pine Nuts.
And yeah, "Boudain Rouge" is a fancy term for blood sausage. But it was delicious!

We took the tube from Hammersmith to the Tower Hill station, which brings you out to the Tower of London.
Old and New

We walked around the Tower, and then across the famous Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames

The North Tower

Tower Bridge

This southerly walkway is called the Queen's Walk, and winds through numerous areas, museums and sights. These colorful baby elephant sculptures dotted the landscape wherever we turned. They are part of the Elephant Parade throughout London.
Elephants Everywhere

Since we've arrived in London, Teresa has been on the lookout for traditional fish and chips. We found some at the Anchor, an English Pub along the river:
The Anchor
In true UK fashion, the fish and chips are purchased at a counter inside the pub and then taken away to eat. We watched our fish come right out of the fryer and onto the plate. Served with malt vinegar. Yum.
Obligatory Fish and Chips

Next on our walking tour - the Millennium Bridge. You know, the famous footbridge featured in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Teresa recognized it as soon as we got close.

The bridge spans from the Tate Modern on the South Thames to St Paul's Cathedral on the North Thames. We walked across and back.

Once past the Tate Modern, we start to see street performers and vendors. I found this blue man quite interesting:
Blue Man Group?
And the most unusual skate park. Underneath the Royal Festival Hall, this skate park is covered with graffiti. Very unusual.
Commissioned Art

We passed the London Eye and started to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and Parliament.
Big Ben and Parliment

We cross the Westminster Bridge and catch a great view of the London Eye and the London Aquarium:
Being a Tourist

One of my favorite shots of the day - The Westminster Tube Station with Westminster Abbey in the background:

We walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus, a little underwhelmed by the "original Times Square". It pretty much looks the same as it did 20 years ago, during my first visit to London.

It's almost 5pm now, and we have some serious business to attend to - shopping at my favorite London spot, the Fortnum and Mason! We know that the store is open until 6pm, so we have ample time to peruse the vast selection of coffee, tea, jellies and jams. I even ventured upstairs this time and had to tear myself away from the cute tea sets and china.

Classic Colors

The last leg of our day entailed taking the Route 9 bus back to Hammersmith. We were instructed to be on the lookout for the "Special Route 9 Bus", aka the "Routemaster Bus". You alight these buses from the back of the vehicle. They run an abbreviated route - from Royal Albert Hall to Trafalgar Square. I spotted one of these buses as we departed Fortnum and Mason, and due to heavy traffic and us running down Piccadilly, we were able to board around Green Park.


Since this bus doesn't run all the way back to Hammersmith, we boarded another Route 9 bus (a modern double decker) and we arrived back at Michele's right on time, a little before 7pm.


Food Court Sushi

It's a rainy Saturday, on a holiday weekend, so we headed to the mall. The food court featured several ethnic foods, including this sushi bar, where the sushi dishes travel via conveyor belt, around and around the long bar area.

Sushi Going Round and Around

We didn't get to enjoy any sushi, because the bar was packed with people. Correction - the entire mall was packed with people. Apparently, the rest of West London decided to go to the mall, too.


Flowers Along the Thames

We are staying about a mile from the famous Thames and enjoyed a short walk along the river this afternoon, enjoying the setting sun along the water.

Flowers on the Thames

That's the Hammersmith Bridge in the background. Garden by a very inspired Houseboater.


147/365 - Scenes from The Mall

It feels like I'm back in the US.
Abercrombie and Fitch.
The Gap.
The Apple Store.
The Food Court.

Oh, wait, we don't have sushi going around on a carousel in the US.
Sushi Going Round and Around

Nor do we have falafel available at our food court.
Today's Lunch

The falafel platter was yummy. And despite the crowds (wow, was it ever crowded!), we had a good time.
10.05.29 - Scenes from the Mall


SOOC Saturday - Brought to You by the Letter K

I'm fortunate to be visiting my sister, Michele, in London this Saturday, and don't have a lot of time to spend editing the photos I've taken since arriving on Thursday.
So I'm sharing a SOOC capture I took Friday afternoon at the little cafe where we enjoyed our afternoon tea.

Brought to You By the Letter K

The other tidbit about today's post - I'm posting via my brother in law's brand new iPad. He managed to obtain one through his workplace on Friday. I'm just playing around with it this morning :-).


146/365 - Hammersmith

Teresa and I finally made it across the pond to the UK, after "planes, trains and numerous delays". But we're glad to be here, hanging out with Michele, Andrew and (of course), nephew Felix.
I ran some errands for Michele, which took me by the closest Tube Station, Hammersmith.
Hammersmith Tube Station
Even though their house is a short distance from the hustle and bustle of a city borough, their street is so quiet. Like the city is far away.


Sweet Dreams

There's nothing like having a baby sleeping on your chest. So much worth the trouble we encountered traveling.

We did finally arrive into Heathrow at 3:00 pm, only to wait another 45 minutes before getting to an open gate. An hour to get through immigration and customs, and we were on our way to Michele and Andrew's place in Hammersmith.

We are enjoying the clear, cool weather (55degF now). And, of course, our time with baby Felix.


Stuck At the Airport

We were on the plane when we learned one of the cargo doors had been damaged by ground crew loading luggage.

That was 10pm, and here it is, 1:30am and we're still waiting.

Hoping to get on the plane "soon".

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


145/365 - Birthday Travel

It’s my birthday and I get to meet up with one sister, Teresa, and travel all the way to the UK to visit our other sister, Michele.

The main reason for the trip - Michele and Andrew’s newest addition - little baby Felix, born just two months ago.

Teresa and I met up in the Philly airport and enjoyed a nice dinner before boarding the plane. Everything proceeding as planned... until we were informed that the cargo door had been damaged. We had to get off the plane and wait until 3am to board another plane.

At least by that time, I was so tired, I actually slept during the flight. More details tomorrow.....


144/365 - There's No 'I' in Team

We wrapped up a wildly successful soccer season tonight with a little celebration party with Erica's undefeated soccer team. The coach awarded each player with a small trophy along with kind, encouraging words from the season.


The best part - Erica will get to play on the same team in the fall. The 8th graders will move on, and new sixth graders will be added, but the current 6th and 7th graders who sign back up will be placed back with this coach. We were very impressed by the overall program and look forward to cheering on Team Green this September.


Bowl of Strawberries

Pretty simple, but still lovely.

Bowl of Strawberries

Things might get a little scarce here over the next several days as I am traveling to visit my sister, but may get a chance to post something interesting during my trip.


Mosaic Monday - Scenes from Campus

A collection of some pictures I took while visiting the large State University. Lots of neat architecture to choose from.

Scenes on Campus

I'm linking to Mary at Little Red House this Mosaic Monday. Lots of other mosaics to enjoy there.


143/365 - Peonies from the Garden

Just as Lilacs personified the end of May while I was growing up in Massachusetts, the Peony now personifies the end of May (and my impending birthday on Wednesday).

10.05.25 - First Peonies of the Season

We have some busy days ahead of us, so I'm taking time now to pick and smell the peonies.


142/365 - Grown Up Softball

Hey, a shot of Scott at bat. No, it’s not baseball, it’s softball.

Buck asked Scott to play on his team of “mostly doctors” from Carle, and here we are - watching grown up softball on a hot Sunday evening. The Team’s name - the Medicine Balls. Appropriate for doctors, and goofy enough for Scott to appreciate. The best thing - these games are quick - an hour, tops.


SOOC Saturday - After the Rain

One of my favorite colors is green and if you mix in a sun shower with Hosta Leaves, this is the possible outcome:
SOOC - After the Rain

Hoping your Saturday is filled with beauty and peace.


141/365 - Recital

Today's big event (for me) - the violin recital where I performed the First Movement of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14. Held at the Smith Memorial Hall on campus.

10.05.22 - Smith Hall Columns

I tend to shy away from solo performances, as they bring out severe jitters and nerves for me. But I know that I will never overcome these jitters if I don't perform. So I do it and each time it becomes easier.


140/365 - Rain Gives Way to Sun

Last night's baseball game was canceled, and as I dropped off Erica at a band concert in the rain, I watched the baseball players scrambling off the field. But the rain was short lived and gave away to sun.

10.05.21 - Rain to Sun

We're taking things easy tonight - off to bed early as both Brian and I aren't feeling well and we have a full day tomorrow.


139/365 - Road Construction

It's that time of year again. For those striped barrels to be rolled out and traffic narrowed down to a single lane on the way to work.

10.05.20 - Road Construction Again

Fortunately, the delays have been minimal on the way to work.


Team Up Thursday - Work

I knew this theme would result in an unusual diptych.
I know Lee's work is centered around home (and the computer). While I spend a lot of time at the computer, too, I specifically walked outside the office and to the Maintenance shop to capture some hands on activity. I found two maintenance guys putting together some pipe.

Team Up Thursday - Work

On Thursdays, I team up with my friend, Lee for Team-Up Thursdays, a creative venture started by Melody and Megan. Each week, one of us picks a theme, we each take a picture and combine the two into a diptych.

You can view the other great diptychs at the Team Up Thursday Flickr group.



These terminal blocks belong to a programmable logic controller (PLC) we decommissioned last year. Discarded and in the corner of an unused building.



138/365 - Gathered

Erica gathered this collection of flowers to enjoy inside.

I took a picture of her cutting the pink flowers, but she didn't want me to take her picture, so it will remain hidden (if you are a Friend / Family Contact of mine on flickr, then you'll be able to view it).

A lovely bouquet for us to enjoy at the kitchen table.

A little note about our May weather. It seems as if Mother Nature confused April and May this year - April was totally warm and sunny, while May has been cool and rainy. I guess in the end, it all balances out.


Fly Away

I confess - I really don't like the capture and I added a texture layer to mask and soften the harshness of the swing set and house siding. But I was impressed by how wide the duck's wingspan is.

Fly Away


137/365 - Under Wraps

What might this be? Ready for the big reveal today when Scott gets home.....
10.05.18 - Under Wraps

OK, I bought him a new TV for his birthday (yesterday). Now the old TV can go downstairs to the basement.


Project 365 - Week 18 Summary

I am a little behind on these weekly summaries. I like to post them on Tuesdays, but last week I didn't finish it in time. I don't have Week 19's mosaic pulled together, so you get last week's instead. Hopefully I'll have time to post two weeks' worth next Tuesday.

Project 365 - Week 18 Summary

On Tuesdays, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life. You can check out the other Project 365 participants there.


Edge of the Pond

What I see as I look out the Family room window. I love the pond this time of year.

Edge of the Water


136/365 - Do Not Touch!

Brian spotted this skull in one of the basement window wells. He's left specific instructions for us not to touch. Not that I would anyways......

10.05.17 - Do Not Touch


Fields of Gold

I see these yellow flowers in the fields every spring. I'm pretty sure they are weeds, but when you drive by these large swaths of bright yellow, it's hard to consider them as such.

Sea of Yellow


135/365 - Look Inside

A little bit of fun for today - the contents of the fridge.
I know it may seem odd to take a picture of this, but think about how food trends, appliances and even food storage quickly change. I bet in 10 years another snapshot of the fridge will reveal these changes.

10.05.16 - What's Inside?

On the top shelf - tonight's chicken noodle soup and spicy black bean soup in containers. On the lower shelves, you can see the wedge of watermelon (first of the season - it is quite good), strawberries, yogurt, milk, cherries and water. Just some of the highlights.


134/365 - Undefeated

The last soccer game of the season, and Erica's friends came out to support her [actually, they slept over last night and didn't have a choice, but I think they had a good time watching her play, even at 8:30 in the morning!].

They spent some time texting.
Supporting Friends

But they showed their support of the Green Team:
Supporting the Green Team

And the team played a great game.
10.05.15 - Coming in for The Steal

A little storyboard I made of Erica stopping, setting and kicking the ball:
The Kick

Their team won and remained undefeated for the season. The girls celebrated by dousing their coach with their water bottles. A fitting end to a great season.



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