Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Day 1 San Francisco

I have just returned home from a two week trip to Western USA My friend M from Canada met me in San Francisco where we would spend a few days together before I joined a Gadventure tour. The first thing I noticed about San Francisco is how expensive it is compared to other U.S. cities I have visited. I later learned that it is now the most expensive city in the USA. Today was all about getting our bearings and what better way to do that than to walk. I have to admit it was hard work getting to the top of Powell Street but I enjoyed the interesting architecture on the way.

Bay bridge in the distance

We went up Coit Tower which gives some of the best views of the city. The tower is dedicated to firemen but contrary to popular belief the tower was not built to represent a fire hose, which I think describes it very well.

We could just about see the Golden Gate in the distance. We were going to walk there but realised we needed to rethink that one.

But the best view was of the 'crooked street' with its 10 hairpin bends

The murals inside the tower's base were painted in 1934 to depict life in California during the Depression. When violence broke out during one of the strikes some of the controversial radical content in some of the panels was painted over and the tower was padlocked for several months.

Walked from the tower to Fisherman's wharf to watch the sea lions sunbathing and be overcome by the smell.

We decided to buy a $31, 3 day pass for the cable cars and buses seeing as one ride was $7. It turned out to be excellent value.

We had great fun riding up and down the hills on the trams.

The final stop for the day was the Golden Gate Bridge. The number one attraction on the tourist trail and not to be missed. As it was such a gorgeous day we decided to walk the 1.7 miles across the bridge. Stopping to admire the yachts sailing beneath the bridge and the seals playing in the water

Once across the bridge we thought we could get a bus back but no such luck so we had to walk back again!

Monday, 6 March 2017


Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
As I am off to the USA this week I thought it would be good to see an exhibition of an American artist currently on show at the Tate Modern. It is the first full scale retrospective exhibition since Rauschenberg's death in 2008. It is a large collection of his work covering six decades arranged into rooms. Each room represents a change in his technique or mode of working.

The work I liked the best was in the silkscreen room which he began to experiment with in the early 60s.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Grand Union Canal

This is part of the Grand Union Canal which starts in London and finishes in  Birmingham, 137 miles away.
Last week after visiting Perivale Underground station I walked back into London via the Paddington arm of the canal, a distance of about 7 miles.

There were so many reflections it was hard to choose but I think this was my favourite. 

Sharing with James at Weekend reflection

Monday, 27 February 2017

Hoover building

 Travelling West out of London on the A40 you might have driven past The Hoover building, a wonderful example of Art Deco. The design is not one we think of when looking at a factory. Built by Wallis, Gilbert and partners between 1931 and 1933 as a vacuum cleaner factory.  

1600 people worked here producing vacuum cleaners most of which were sold by door-to-door salesmen.

During WW2 the building was camouflaged and made not only vacuum cleaners but also parts for aircraft.

After the war business boomed and the factory was employing 3000 people.

By the 1970s business was down until eventually the factory closed in 1982. Tesco supermarkets bought the site in 1989, restoring the building before reopening it at the rear as a supermarket.
The inside of the supermarket is the same as any other Tesco supermarket.

Next to the main building is this later addition which was the canteen. This has also been restored and is now an Asian restaurant, Nawaab.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday