Sometimes I hate the digital age, but when I can have a Face Time chat with my friends 5,000+ miles away then I totally embrace it. I am suffering from jet lag so at 3:00 am I was able to connect with Madison in London. I love this little girl. I just wish there was smellevision because she smells great.


She kept trying to stroke my face and kiss the phone. When she tried to give me a hug then I lost her. I think we’ll be having many of these sessions for years to come. When I met her Mom in 1998 we would read books to each other over the phone. When she got a computer we would do craft sessions while online. Sometimes technology can be wonderful when put to good uses.

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Good bye London

It’s time to say “good bye” to the city I have visited many many times, but seems so different this time. 

As I walked down familiar and unfamiliar streets I was struck by the change in the street scape. Cranes and new build-ups dot the skyline. Looking for familiar landmarks that used to stick up above the old buildings are now hidden by new modern glass architecture. I don’t particularly like the changes even though I know they are a given. But coming from a city where we might see one or two cranes, this is a huge contrast.


the view from Westminster Cathedral courtyard

 The congestion and the crowded streets got to me this time. I felt like I was always fighting for space when I just wanted to wander down a street. Stopping to take photos could sometimes feel like a jostling match. I didn’t get to take as many as I wanted and setting up my pinhole camera was, at times, impossible.

 It was after my last night staying in central London when I returned to my friend’s house on the outskirts of London that the tragedy in Paris unfolded. We don’t like giving into fear, but admit we changed our weekend plans. We were going to have a crazy jam-packed weekend in the city, riding the tram across the Thames, the O2, the lighting ceremony on Regent Street and lots of eating in crowded restaurants. Instead my last weekend is spent doing family activities , snuggled on the sofa, getting take-out and watching the news from Paris. We’ve decided to forget the crowds. Maybe if I was alone I’d do it, maybe not, but when there is also a baby with us, we think twice.  

 I will come back. Not sure when, but I know I will. London and the friends I have here draw me back. Now I just want a safe journey home and I won’t just think about the people in Paris, but people everywhere who have lost their lives to the violence that seems to crowd our newspapers and Tvs. Will we ever have peace? I can only hope. 

( I will continue to share photos from my amazing 6 1/2 weeks in London once I return home. Take care and may we all stay safe)

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 For five days and four nights I ran around London for my farewell to a city I love.  I timed it perfectly to see the Christmas lights, the pop-up ice rinks, and the many holiday display windiws. I’ll miss the tree raising in Trafalgar Square and the light ceremony on Regent Street, but I managed to see quite a few holiday expressions, including the count down on Carnaby Street.

I do have one observation about people. Sad, but so many rude people. Just once I wish someone would have given way for me, just once. It never happened. I constantly had to move to let people by, or they cut in front of me to get on the Tube, or they’d just ignore me.  I don’t feel most of the rude people were British except maybe the commuters, but there were an awful lot of people who acted like I was invisible. I was happy to leave all that behind today………

And be greeted by this:


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The 11th day of the 11th month and the 11th hour. That was the date and time to the end of WWI, the war to end all wars, but it didn’t. To honor that date I spent the day at Bletchley Park, outside of London. For many decades we did not know what went on at Blectchley Park due to the Secrets Act…”loose lips, sink ships”. I can think of a few people who should try living by this motto to keep our country safe.

I arrived at Bletchley just minutes before the ‘moments of silence’ at 11:00, followed by a short program and poem presented before a small crowd in front of the mansion.

For those of you who never heard of Bletchley until the movie ‘Imitation Game’ was released I want you to know there is more to the story than  Alan Turing. He may now be the most famous person who worked there due to his building the code breaking machine, but he did have help.


Alan Turing’s hut 8


Turing’s mug still chained to the radiator


Turing’s office


maybe just a bit OCD

At the height of operations there were about 9,000 people working at the Park helping to defeat the Germans by breaking codes or supporting those people. Every job was important. 


code breaking machine

It’s an interesting place. You can tour many of the huts, the main house, and see a working Bombe. I’d go into more detail, but there are volumes written on the subject.   I shall end here and leave it up to you and your desire to learn more.

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After no success in publishing last night I thought I’d try again. In the last two days I’ve walked 25 pounds and my feet are suffering. I’ve taken more than 500 photos so how do I decide which ones to share? I may keep writing about my trip after I go home.

Many of my English friends are already in the Christmas mood and I can’t say I blame them. London doesn’t have to wait for Thanksgiving before ramping up  the Christmas decorations. Last night I walked around yo see some of the lights. Regent street lights aren’t on yet, but many others are. Enjoy.



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Guy Fawkes night

Guy Fawkes and some of his buddies  tried to blow up Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. The plot was thrashed and those involved were executed in true British fashion. Now every November 5th, England celebrates by setting off fireworks. The funny thing is that the celebrations don’t just happen on the 5th but extend over two weekends and many weekdays.

We watched the fireworks at Blackheath Commons after enjoying a dinner of curry put on for us by the Foote family. The food, cooked by Kimberly, was incredible and we ate so much that the walk up Maze Hill was good for us as it walked off some of our dinner.

 After the fireworks we returned to the Foote’s for Fireball Jell-O shots, songs and silliness. It was a great night.



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Top of the food chain

Those who know me well know I could exist on ice cream. I have mentioned several times that if I am so lucky to make it to my 90’s that I plan to go on an ice cream diet, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am sure there must be vegetable ice creams to keep me fit, right?

So while in London I just have to sample some ice cream. Getting back to my no-sugar mantra will take a few weeks when I return home. In the mean time:


coffee latte ice cream with chocolate drizzle


lemon sorbet


vanilla ice cream with oreo ice cream pie


srawberry waffle with raspberry and lemon sorbet….not mine

After searching for ice cream photos I’ve discovered I’ve eaten healthier than I thought on these first 5 weeks, but also think I’ve added 5 pounds to my body. Boo. No sugar or ice cream when I get home. Just gave yo get to 90, but there’s no rush.


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