Posts Tagged ‘flower’

Dicing with death in Richmond Park

The day before yesterday, I had a day off and decided I was going to do an epic trip around some of London’s open spaces.

I started the day by watching the Olympic torch pass by. While I didn’t feel especially excited, I thought that in the spirit of Getting Excited About Stuff (a challenge I set myself a little while back), it might be good fun. And sure enough, it was. The build up took a while, one convoy came, then some motorbikes, then some running people. It went on and on. And by the time came, I barely had time to take one, slightly rubbish, photo and then it was gone.

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It was fun though, and the atmosphere was lively.

Then I headed up to Richmond Park to start a walk which also took in Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common. As I came out of the Roehampton Gate of the park, I managed to catch this amazing picture of a butterfly on a flower.

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I went to university in Roehampton so was back on familiar ground as I followed the road toward Putney Heath. I couldn’t resist popping up the little high street to a place called Dong Phuong’s, which we ordered from with such regularity that they didn’t even ask our address when we ordered anymore. O, the junk-food-related memories…

Next I was on Putney Heath and starting to feel the heat. I rifled through my bag and came up with some Body Shop body butter so slathered myself in it and hoped for the best. It didn’t have any sunblocking qualities. It was just moisturiser. But it was the best I had.

I fought my way through thick foliage…

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…until I suddenly stumbled onto an open playing field and a beautiful little hidden country pub called The Telegraph.

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From here it was a short walk to go under the motorway and on the other side I was greeted by Wimbledon Common and a beautiful pond, called King’s Mere. Virginia Woolf apparently called this end of the Common, ‘the bleak end.’ Now I don’t know Miss Woolf personally but I would argue that the bleakness was maybe not in the Common but in herself because this end of the Common is fabulous. It’s a riot of overgrown trees and paths. Everywhere I stepped, wildlife teemed. It was on this stretch that I saw two rabbits, a mother and ducklings, could hear the constant sound of birds and lots of dog walkers wandering about too. Not bleak at all.

This was my view during my Chocolate Stop (I was walking this one alone so was allowed a Chocolate Stop whenever I wanted).

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From here I walked toward Putney Vale Cemetery, which was essentially overflow, when all the church graveyards nearby were too full. At the end of this was a war memorial and some rugby grounds and that’s when I started getting hot again. The sun was out full blast. No clouds, just raw, untarnished, skin-cancer-inducing sun. I’d been shaded by trees for most of my walk until now. But as I crossed over the road and re-entered Richmond Park by the Robin Hood Gate, I started to worry and applied a second layer of my verging-on-useless body butter.

As I struck out across country, trying to get through the park as quickly as possible, I found myself with zero tree cover and started to regret my decision to wear jeans. Hotter and hotter, I got. I started to wonder if it was possible to die of heat in England. My water supply was rapidly diminishing and suddenly… I was in the middle of a group of extremely threatening looking deer with massive antlers!

Shit! How had that happened? Was I in such a heat daze that I hadn’t noticed them? I stopped…. They were heading straight to me…. I wasn’t terrified as such but I was quite nervous!

I started to edge sideways into the long grass and crouch slightly, trying to become invisible. Then I worried that they might think I was crouching ready to attack so I stood up tall again. They split and started walking either side of me. So close!

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They kept walking a few steps, looking at me, going again, stopping to look… Etc. It went on for what felt like ages until they were eventually all on one side of me. I carefully edged away from them, the deer looking back at me threateningly all the while. After about ten minutes of creeping and trying look as inconspicuous as possible, I continued on my path, heart racing. It was all very exciting/nerve-racking.

Shortly after this, because I had gone into the long grass, I stumbled across some mushrooms and was beyond tempted to take one home and cook it! I didn’t though, because I have no idea about which mushrooms are safe to eat.

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It wasn’t long after this that I reached Richmond Gate, my start point, and some trees to hide my burning shoulders under. I think I might wait until late afternoon next time I want to do a five hour trek in the open!

Lessons I have learned from this walk = don’t wear jeans on a long walk, always carry suncream, make sure the t-shirt you catch a tan in, is pretty much the same shape of most of your other t-shirts. I am suffering the teasing of having an odd shaped tan at the moment.

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Cake talk

Today, I have a day off work, so my brain has gone into meltdown. I’m not very good with time off. So I make jobs for myself. I have made a cake this morning already. I have also done a bit of Land Law revision. It’s mortgages today. Not the most fascinating thing I can think of. With the brain in meltdown, I’m not very good at thinking what to blog about. So I’m just going to blog what’s on my mind.

The biggest thing is planning a wedding cake. Not for me, I might add! Someone else is getting married and I’m doing their cake. (Me? Getting married? What a hilarious thought!) I had trouble falling asleep last night because I was planning it in such detail. I love a foodie project. Yesterday I went into the cake supplies shop and was just out of control. It’s like someone had unleashed the mad woman that I usually keep under wraps and told her to get one of everything! It’s not like I went in with a plan in mind and got things which fitted with my plan. Instead I looked in great detail at absolutely everything in the shop and thought about how I could possibly use it, picked it up and kept moving. Occasionally I placed things back when I’d re-made the plan after looking at the next item but my arms were still pretty full by the time I got to the till (maybe an hour after entering the shop).

When I was falling asleep last night I was running through, over and over again what I was going to do, whether I should put this here or that there. What type of cake should I do for the cake bit? I also took the momentous step of finally purchasing a piping bag, which is a thing I’ve always felt like I should have but was quite intimidated by, like muslin cloth. I now have both. I think I should practise piping things first because I can just see a big disaster happening on the actual cake.

Now I don’t want to jinx things by talking about it too much and I hope Mr/Mrs Soon-To-Be-Married don’t stop by this blog before the big day but here’s the plan. Opinions please.

He owns a gallery and requested a cake in the shape of a picture frame. So I’m going to do a square/rectangle cake with gold frosting for the frame bit. Then inside the frame there’ll just be white frosting and I got two little silver letters for their names.

Oo! I’ve just thought! Gold framing and silver letters?! It’s not going to go together. Dammit. Should I go and get gold letters instead? Or will that be gold overload?

Anyway, two letters for names, whichever colour they end up being. Then I have edible red carnation petals that I thought I’d make a little flower out of for one corner and two small white icing hearts for the opposite corner. I’ve got two teeny tiny mini champagne flutes to put in the middle and thought I’d make some really small white chocolate truffles to either put on the board around the bottom of the cake or to put round the edge next to the flower, so it looks like part of the pattern on the frame.

It will probably change tomorrow, and the next day, so I’m going to start making little sketches or something so I remember each idea before I change it. Actually, here’s the one for what my current idea is… (Obviously my artistic skills are somewhat lacking and the proportions will no doubt end up completely different.Those little blobs in the two corners are the mini white chocolate truffles.)

Anyway, that’s the main thing on my mind this morning. Other thoughts are:

‘I’d better try and finish revising mortgages today as the exams are really close..’

….and ‘Omygoodness I ate a lot at the staff meal out last night, I should probably try to do a long walk or something to balance it out…’

…and ‘I want to make the truffles for the cake today.’