Archive for April 10th, 2011

sunset over the river Thames in Twickenham

Yesterday I returned to my job from a 1 week break, during which time I stayed with my wonderful daughter in Twickenham.
Although she was in fact working during this time we did manage to spend a fair amount of time together and had a few adventures.
One of which I already wrote about was our time together on Mother’s Day when we went to Kingston-Upon-Thames. Fab day.
Nights we had a lovely time, sitting together on the couch watching TV, eating biscuits & drinking tea, chatting after lights out till the wee hours, and in the mornings sitting out in the sun drinking tea and chatting.  The weather was fabulous for the whole week and we were treated to some gorgeous sunsets.

Tuesday I met up with a friend, someone I met via twitter, who runs a business in Richmond. Of course we went to Sweetie Pies for tea & cupcakes 🙂

sweetie pies boutique bakery in twickenham

tweetie pies - could you eat that cute little face

and later on CJ and I walked to Richmond and had a late breakfast at ‘Giraffe’ in Richmond, very nice food actually, good value and definitely a place to go back to. Whilst there we saw John Hannah walk past outside and the comedian Justin Lee Collins came in for lunch. CJ was quite chuffed.  It’s quite weird when you see TV personalities in real-life.  We get used to seeing them on the screen and they never seem real, so to see them live….is weird.  (& I am not really sure why).   On Wednesday CJ spent the day with her client Sweetie Pies (only our favourite place to visit in Twickenham) and I popped in late afternoon to partake of a cuppa and for a change instead of cupcakes, I had scones with strawberry jam and cream…..delicious! Afterwards we sat on the bench in the churchyard just enjoying the afternoon sun, then strolled along the banks of the Thames for a wee while, after which we stopped off at Pincho’s where she treated me to a mediterranean supper. Their food is just delicious and we shared pita and hoummus, she had the aubergine baked with cheese & tomato, and the spicy chicken kebabs and I had breaded prawns in a mild chilli sauce and butternut with black-eyed beans in a light curry sauce (heavenly).

view of the church from my vantage point on the bench

On Thursday I lazed around and did a bit of work (online), then we met up at the W.I. (Women’s Institute) in the evening. She joined the WI a few months ago and loves being the youngest of the group, and has been taken under the wing of one of the ladies there. The ladies of Twickenham WI get together once a month to gossip and listen to speakers, discuss whatever there is to gossip about in town, and generally have a good time. They organise scrabble evenings, trips to the theatre, trips to the countryside, fairs and of course they bake cakes and make jam ( 🙂 ) – I have yet to hear them sing!

Man fron the Ministry

On this particular evening they had a speaker on, a gentleman who in the 80’s worked for/with Maggie T. We learned some really interesting tidbits about the lady in question and about the goings on in Parliament. I am an admirer of Maggie T and was delighted to learn more about her. Unfortunately the speaker was well restrained and did not give us any salacious gossip to tattle about….darn!!! She was a formidable woman by any means and it would be great to have more like her in power. The Gentleman speaker cut a dashing figure in his suit and tie and even brought in a bowler hat, the type they used to wear in the 60’s and 70’s, a satchel and a brolly cum walking stick. I had to laugh at how precise he looked and how much of a caricature of the TV series ‘Yes Minister’ that was ever so popular in days gone by.  Then we had tea and a chat and a raffle. Heehee I won a book!

Friday brought a stroll into Richmond for an afternoon on the green, lying in the sun. Heavenly. It was the first day so far this summer I have worn a t-shirt and the sun felt so good on my skin.

Richmond Green

Then we did something I have been dying to do for ages and ages. We sat on the banks of the river and watched the tide come in. There is a concrete ledge, flush with the pathway that runs along the bank of the river from Twickenham Bridge through to Richmond Bridge on the Richmond side. When we first sat down CJ, took her shoes off and dangled her feet over the edge at which stage the water was about 4 inches below her feet. Within minutes the water was up to and touching her toes and then covering her feet. It was so weird sitting there watching the water level getting inexorably higher and higher. I also sat with my legs dangling over the edge but didn’t take my shoes off! Of course the water reached her feet long before it reached the soles of my shoes, but within a couple of minutes I had to lift my feet up onto the ledge.

watching the tide come in

The river in this area is quite busy with little boats whizzing up and down, scullers rowing by – the lazy slap of their oars as they hit the water bouncing off the wall of the bridge like a gunshot. The water is inhabited by numerous geese, ducks and some swans. We were highly entertained by the wee creatures, sailing, flapping, flying and fighting on the water…..at one stage about 3 of them became quite violent right in front of us!! Chasing after a poor wee female that ducked under the water to escape their attentions, never to be seen again. The sun was sinking towards the horizon, and along the path cyclists, strollers, joggers and couples meandered by. On the bridge the trains regularly rattled by, causing quite a din as they traversed the steel girders.

on the river

Whilst I was sitting on the edge, enjoying the sun’s rays, a boat went by and caused quite a wake that by the time it reached the ledge, had quite a swell. It narrowly missed slopping over the edge and I escaped getting wet. A wee bit later another boat went by and as I kept a wary eye on the size of the swells, I decided discretion was the better part of sensibility and scrambled to my feet (it’s amazing how quickly I can move when I have an incentive). Just in time too as next thing a wave, just and inch or so high swamped the area where I had been sitting just a moment before. CJ was in stitches and very disappointed that I had moved when I did. The evil brat was keen for me to get soaked. 🙂

hhhmmmmm....look at that smile. Quite keen for me to get wet!!

After that and since I was now on my feet we meandered along the path towards Twickenham Bridge enroute home. Along the way I stopped off to film the water rushing into the little stream that runs between the walkway and the green. Although just a little sluice gate the water was pounding through, rushing and swirling creating an enormous noise, a little like being on a rapid over a waterfall. Marvellous. This daily rush of water keeps the stream filled and running, thus keeping it from becoming stagnant.

the noise was unbelievable

On the way home we stopped off on the bridge over the river to watch the sun sink behind the trees and a few planes flying into Heathrow.

You would be amazed at how many planes fly overhead, every couple of minutes (or 90seconds I believe).

plane flying into Heathrow

In all a wonderful week with my chica. Just very sad to say goodbye as it is usually ages before we meet again and now that her business is taking off big time she is working all hours. On the way to the bus stop we passed one of the iconic red postboxes and noticed this:

don't worry; be happy!

I think the Royal Mail people should stick little eyes on ALL their post boxes, imagine how cheered up we would feel each time we posted a letter. And if you were wondering what I got up to on Monday….I have no idea. Cannot for the life of me recall what we/I did!!

I am now back at my job and it is becoming more difficult to stay on. After my week’s freedom I feel quite caged in now. It’s really annoying in a way, you plan for the time off months in advance, it takes ages to arrive and then in a flash the week is gone! Time to start planning the next break 🙂


Richmond is such a lovely area with some gorgeous houses lining the side streets. Spring is sprouting all over with a profusion of colours; the daffodils are mostly gone now but tulips and poppies are taking their place. The grass and trees are incredibly green and along the walls wisteria is beginning to bloom, their lilac and purple blossoms against the white of the houses, remnicient of a mediterranean climate. Having the river flow through the towns is magical and I never tire of strolling along the banks or looking out over the swell of water from the top of the bridges, in themselves very pretty. Quite the loveliest areas and I am really keen to actually live out there now. I have been playing with my photos again and made another video. In time I hope to make them a bit quicker….. 🙂

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