Monday, 23 March 2020

Back to Whimsical Life

I've been meaning to start a new blog but, instead, as the life has entered the next whimsical phase, I may as well continue.
Corona-virus-19 has attacked us and and put everything upside down. I am not amused. Need to stay in isolation for two weeks now as I had some cough this morning. It may be because I choked on some food yesterday while enjoying togetherness over a Chinese take-way from the excellent nearby North China Restaurant in Uxbridge Road.
It was Mothering Sunday but despite the cloudless blue sky, people cannot go out and need to observe social distancing to avoid spreading the nasty virus.
The three of us in the flat have been extra cautious and self-isolating for a week because each of us qualifies as a vulnerable person due to underlying health conditions and/or age. Shopping is a problem now. We need to ask people to do it for us as the online deliveries are fully booked. Luckily, there are good people. They formed mutual support groups and we communicate via social media. It works great for us. A neighbour did some serious shopping for us last week. Not only that. We were treated to some homemade curry and her birthday cake! A few other people have been helping us as well.
I'm grateful!

It's especially hard on sunny days when it would be great to be out and about on my bicycle.

Chiswick House and Gardens

Friday, 26 July 2019

A new life for Red Cross Garden


 If you find yourself south of the Thames between Southark station and London Bridge and have the time to explore, don't hesitate. You may find out about Octavia Hill and her work for others, learn about sacrifice and enjoy a beautiful garden recreated by volunteers.












Thursday, 28 February 2019

Fat Thursday mentioned!

A proper heatwave in London but today I am working at home. Always so much to do.

I wrote the above sentence a few days ago. Today I came back from work in the rain but at the same time the sun was shining. The heatwave is over. Never mind, it's the last day of February, after all.

I cycled to class on a borrowed bicycle. Mine needs a new inner tube. Hopefully, it will get repaired today. I am very happy after today's English conversation class. A new student joined my group, a lady from Brazil, so it was an intercontinental class. There were students from Japan, China, Africa and Brazil! It had to be fun! We had a new student today and she wrote us a very touching letter which I may share if and when I figure out how. I have already posted it on English Lesson Online and Offline on Facebook if you are curious to see it.

I've spent the afternoon working on the tour of Walthamstow which is taking place this Saturday, March 2nd. Our meeting place is Shelborne Road entrance from the Walthamstow Central Station and it is at noon we are meeting there. It's going to be fun!

Summary of the day - Good things that happened:

We all enjoyed my lesson!

The new student gave me a wonderful written feedback!

My bicycle got repaired!

Lovely neighbours treated us to some angel wings!

Unexpectedly, we had some Polish doughnuts given by complete strangers on Fat Thursday!

I spoke to my family scattered around the globe!

Life is good!



Saturday, 16 February 2019

Yerevan Cascade in pictures

Today I've been looking at some pictures from Armenia and I thought you might like to see a few as well. We arrived in Yerevan at night and got into our accommodation around midnight. The next day, although very cold, was sunny and we spend it exploring the capital city. Late in the afternoon we went to the top of the giant stairway called The Cascade. It was designed during the Soviet rule. 'Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps, are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Art.
The exterior of The Cascade features multiple levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. At the base of the Cascade is a garden courtyard with statues by contemporary sculptors such as Botero.', says Dear Wiki.
Mount Ararat in the distance
Yerevan Cascade, you can climb the stairs outside or use the elevators inside.
Yerevan and Mount Ararat from The Cascade, on the way to the top

Still a long way to go to the obelisk Monument to 50 Years of Soviet Armenia

    
Monument to 50 Years of Soviet Armenia

  
The Cascade houses The Cafesjian Center for the Art  and is well worth a visit. Its founder, businessman, philantropist and art collector, Gerard Cafesjian, was not an ordinary man. Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Armenian parents who escaped the Armenian Genocide in 1915, he achieved a lot in his life and helped others, especially his nation, a great deal.




 





Inside The Cascade renovated by Gerard Cafesjian 


Fernand Botero's 'Smoking Woman' under the tree in Yerevan.

When I was a schoolgirl, I collected sets of postcards, especially those of famous paintings. One of my favourite sets was that of Ivan Aivazovsky's works. I am not sure if 'Descent from Noah from Ararat' was among them.

Join the next two walks and talks!


Hello! How are you? I haven't been posting as much as in the past. Busy doing what I love and what I love less in order to do more of what I love. Let's meet in person and we can talk more then.
May I invite you to the next two walks with the Ealing Walking Talking and Exploring Group?

Talking & Exploring: Upcoming Tours, £10 pp ea. ­­

WHERE CHISWICK MEETS HAMMERSMITH, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Meet at Stamford Brook Station at noon on Saturday, 23rd February, for a walk towards the Thames through the tranquil St Peter's Square and past St Peter's Church with an intriguing sculpture outside. Enjoy the stroll along The Thames taking in the views and spotting blue plaques before visiting William Morris House. Next, take in more river views and walk back through a subway to look at the Hammersmith and Fulham Town Hall and Registry Office with its River God, The Quaker Meeting House and the site of a cinema.  When in King's Street, we will see more and finish by exploring The Polish Cultural and Social Association (POSK) and relaxing there. We can seat and talk over some traditional Polish food at the cafe or restaurant at POSK!

The Dove,  historicThames-side pub like no other

 LET US GO TO WALTHAMSTOW! Saturday, March 2nd 2019

Meet at 12 noon at Walthamstow Central Station for a stroll through the market, taking in the famous Pie and Mash shop. If you are hungry you can grab some lunch there or nearby. We will arrive at the William Morris House and Gallery around 1pm to see the permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibitions including the Chinese Cultural Revolution Posters. We will continue our tour with a visit to the Old Walthamstow Village, where we will see the Vestry House Museum, the 13th century St Mary’s Church and the timber-framed Ancient House dating back to the 15th century. On our way back to the station we will call at God’s Own Junkyard and we expect the tour to finish at around 5pm. 
At God's Own Junkyard
Which London places have you been to recently? Which ones are you planning to go to?



Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Conversation Club visits The Houses of Parliament

It was a long awaited Monday, January 21st, 2019. Mother-English learners from my conversation club at Derwentwater Primary School in Acton visited The Houses of Parliament, invited by our local MP, Rupa Huq. I was sent lots of pictures and could see how much the students enjoyed the experience.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Lower Place Changing Face

My next walk for the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation  tomorrow is fully booked! It helps that it's free and publicised by the Mayor of London organisation!


It's January 2019 and I've come back to this post to add some pictures which show the places we saw on our route. I took them in February 2018 when preparing my first walk for the OPDC. Preparing walks is a long process. It involves several visits to the area, approaching local businesses and organisations as well as doing research online, visiting libraries and going through my own 'archives'.
As requested, last December I organised a walk of the same area as in February so the route was quite similar. We met at Harlesden Station and walked to see the large two-piece mosaic before visiting The Old Sub-Station Makers.


This place has changed big way since a decade ago when I used to come to teach ESOL and NVQ to the agency employees at a big food factory that had replaced the allotments by The Grand Union Canal.

Even within these ten months between my walks, there have been changes at the OSS. Some craftspeople have left, others have joined this collective space. On both occasions it was a really good experience to meet the people who run it and those who use the space.


Now, these two pictures are very special and I hope you can zoom them in to find out about the lost community of Lower Place.

If you cannot do that, there is a remedy. Visit The Grand Junction Pub by the canal in NW10, Park Royal, London. This is where they were installed by the members of this community. One of them, born in Lower Place came on my fisrt walk and has been coming on the other ones whenever he could.








 Everyone knows that the London housing problem is dire so no wonder someone has arranged an outdoor lounge by the canal towpath.



 I was very lucky to have a personal tour of the Machine Shop studios. I also found out for them what was the original purpose of their premises! That was good fun and engaged a lot of people who used to live in Lower Place and Harold Wesley Estate. How so? Long ago I found and joined their group on social media!



I cannot add pictures from the popular Middle-Eastern sweet shop called Sweetland. We were treated to some baklava there!