The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Sunday 8th December, Reiss and I ventured to a museum in London called The Horniman Museum and Gardens. We weren’t sure what we were expecting to see but I was delighted by the range and scope of this museum. The gardens include a small petting zoo and an allotment. The Museum itself houses a taxidermy wing, and assortment of curiosities, a music wing, a photography exhibition and an aquarium.

All of the grounds and exhibitions are free to enter except a small fee of £3 per person for the aquarium, for the upkeep of the tanks. We spent around 3/4 hours here and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greenhouse and clocktower

Greenhouse

Bird

Rodent

My favourite thing in the museum was the jellyfish tank in the aquarium. They were beautiful and mesmerising.

Jellyfish 1

Jellyfish 2

Jellyfish 3

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A Lonely Walk

At the moment I am signed off work and cannot go to public places. Im starting to get a little cabin fever so I decided to go for a walk around my local nature reserve. I know the walks where your not likely to see anyone. For my birthday I got a new lens the 55mm – 250mm and some of my shots were experimental with this new lens.

Firstly I walked to The Plotlands, the museum is called Little Haven and is a house that was used originally as holiday homes for wealthy Londoners and then as shelters for children during the air raids. Although it was closed you can still go into the gardens. I found a wheel barrow full of glass bottles.

Bottles

Bottles 2

Through the window I could see this medicine cabinet, I love the vintage advertising.

Medicine cabenet

soap copy

I walked from here through a pathway that is seldom used. I had forgotten why. It has the remains of other Plotland houses that have collapsed to the right of the path. There was a keep out sign, but I ignored that.

I only scratched the surface of this area as I didn’t have a respirator and the air quality was poor. I will be going back.

fallen house

Jacket

Bread

Next I walked over to the lake. The usual stuff here but I did pluck up the courage to venture through the cow field on my own. Reiss you should be proud!

Mallard 2

Cow

Cows 2

From the top of the lake and up the hill, there is an amazing view of the landscape between Langdon Hills and London. As the crow flies, The City Of London is about 30  miles.

view copy

Hedingham Castle & Gardens

On Bank Holiday Monday, Reiss and I decided that a trip was long over due. The weather looked rather good, so we decided to check out a Norman Keep called Hedingham Castle.

After an hour and a half drive, we pull in to find a confused boy holding a sign saying disabled parking but not really pointing it in any direction. So we went and parked in what we thought was the over flow carpark. Others followed so we thought hey ho, everythings fine. The Gardens look rather impressive and the keep was looming behind us. We realised rather quickly that there was some form of jousting day going on with archery, an artist carving wood with a chain saw and birds of prey. We go to walk in and are asked for tickets, obviously we have none and were asked to stand aside. A few more people came up who also didnt have tickets as there was clearly a mix up at the gate. So we were taken directly into the castle to pay. On the leaflets it stated that it was £7.50 each, the gentleman in front of me was charged £12.50 each. I was slightly shocked at this price. Whilst standing in the queue I noticed a second queue had formed the other side of the till as we were in the shop. Instead of serving me next the woman behind the counter went to them. Reiss pulled me to the side and we went straight into the castle free of charge. We were there for about 3 hours, we saw everything the castle and grounds had to offer and even had a picnic by the lake, no one was any the wiser. It certainly wouldnt have been worth £12.50 and im not entirely convinced it would have been worth £7.50. All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon out and I got a few photos that I was happy with.

Castle

Flag

By the lake there was so absolutely enormous doc leaves. The sun was shining through them. I didn’t realise that doc leaves have such big spikes on them!

Dock leaves

There was a small outbuilding that was open and looked neglected and abandoned. The inside looked very strange indeed. I would love to know the purpose of this building. It was a little gem for us, photography wise.

Window

Rubble

Holes

Rubble 2

On the floor was this perfectly preserved beautiful butterfly, very hard to photograph as the like was very dim.

Butterfly

I loved the handle to the outbuilding. Beautiful.

Handle

An enjoyable afternoon, made better by the fact that it was free!

Grant Museum of Zoology 30.10.12

On the day that Reiss and I took Shannon to The V&A we also took her to The Grant Museum Of Zoology. Its a little known museum which is only one room but it is filled to bursting with wonders! We all really enjoyed it and found it fascinating. It is a really hands on place that allows people to touch some exhibits and really draws you into learning.

 

Taxidermy was a way of teaching students about different animals in a safe environment.

 

This is a Rag Worm, I didn’t realise that it had legs like a millipede.

Shannon tried her hand at some photography in the afternoon as well. This is an Elephant skull.

All photos have been taken with the Fujifilm.

 

Cast Courts 30.10.12

My sister Shannon had been pestering me to take her to London to do some museum wanderings for a while and as it is half term I agreed to go. Reiss came along too and we were originally going to the Hollywood Costume exhibition and Ballgowns at The V&A. However, when we got there my volunteer pass (I volunteer for the Cutty Sark) would only let me in and the others needed to pay £20 each for entry. Clearly that wasn’t going to happen, so we had a wander around the costume through the ages and Shannon snuck round the back of the Ballgowns exhibition and went in for free anyway.

As we were wandering around the museum which has a vast array of items we came across The Cast Courts which I haven’t seen before as they have been closed for renovation. Only 1 side was open but it was so spectacular it really didn’t matter. All of us appreciated theses replicas from the 19th century. The intricate details and unusual animals completely blew me away as well as the sheer size and scale of the casts.

All the photos have been taken with the FujiFilm.

Dover Castle 26.10.12

Ok well the 26th had been dedicated to Dover Castle for a while, come rain, sun or snow we had decided that Friday 26th October would be the day to explore the castle.  I prepare a day early (excited as I was) sandwiches ready, drinks ready, camera ready! Into the car we go, no hiccups with the sat-nav, no parking fees etc. However, on route Reiss and I did go through torrential downpours and decide that a stop off at a local Tesco cafe for nourishment was in order. We drive into the garrison to find a sheep hanging over a precipice and I decide today is going to be a good day! Despite the grey, cold and windy weather the day was a success I am pleased to say. All photos have been taken with the fujifilm.

Back Log Pre Blog Examples 3

This is the final back log post I am going to do. What’s left are just a few of my favorite shots from odd trips.

Tower Of London

I took a trip to the Tower and what trip isn’t complete without a shot of the infamous ravens. Below is a picture of a mask worn by a headsman that worked for a time at the Tower. Being frightened of masks I found it terrifying but at the same time intriguing.

Egypt 2011

This particular shot is taken from St Catherines Monastery in Sinai, which is situated in front of the mountain which Moses climbed to receive the 10 commandments. The monastery is still working and has a collection of monks living there, they allow tourists in between 9-12 daily. It was a beautiful place and it also houses ‘the burning bush’.