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Thursday, 3 November 2022

October in Review: What a Great Month!

 

Dear friends. October was a very busy month. Four Meet Ups, John's birthday celebration, two Kettlewell Colour Club outings, a visit to Battersea Power Station, a sky dive and more.  Let's "dive" in.

Kettlewell Colour Club Outings

I am indebted to Kettlewell Colours, online retailer specialising in colourful basics in hundreds of colours, for the creation of the Kettlewell Colour Club on Facebook.  

This happened during lock down and was a wonderful diversion with women posting colourful outfits every day.  Once lock down was over, we started organising meet ups, and it has been fabulous to get to know so many like-minded mid life women. 

In October I went to the Bluewater shopping centre to meet the Kent contingent again.  It was a bit of an adventure getting there: for a couple of days environmental protesters had attached themselves to the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge on the M25, which was then closed.  All the surrounding roads were consequently jammed, with long delays reported.  

So I chose public transport instead, at very short notice, and had to get ready in record time to catch a train, a tube, a train and then a bus to get to the shopping centre.  It was worth the trip for coffee, lunch and a quick browse.  On this occasion, the ladies were representative of two seasons only, the warm seasons Autumn and Spring. 

Last weekend there was a gathering of the "Colourful Croydon Coffee Club," which is probably the most active colour club group. We have met several times, and there's always a lively conversation on Messenger.

Hosts Clare and husband Lee in Redhill, Surrey, welcomed more than 20 women into their home, some coming from quite far afield. It was fun to meet some new faces. 

This time all the seasons were represented, with Winter on the top step, Summer below them with a Spring on the far left, and autumn with 2 Springs (including me) on the 3rd step, and autumn again below that  (lots of Autumns!). 

Meeting of the Kettlewell Colour Club in Redhill, Surrey. Photo by Lee Franklin

Exploring Greater London

My walks have greatly expanded as I go out with Meet Up groups and explore other parts of London and the home counties.  We had mostly glorious weather in October. It was warm and balmy with temperatures reaching 22  (70 Fahrenheit) by the end of the month. 

The top picture was taken at the Isabella Plantation on a long walk from Wimbledon to Richmond with Meet Up. Richmond is a lovely area with good shops and open spaces.

I joined a new group for the first time who do local walks in my area. This walk was in "my patch" of Epping Forest, but still interesting because the leader knew a lot of the shortcuts through trees, and we finally discovered what's known as "the lost pond." Here it is, no longer lost! 

I enjoyed a walk around Beckenham in Kent, which started and originated at Place Park.  I was lucky to get to the start in time because I was on a bus and overshot the entrance to the park.  There are some lovely gardens in Place Park (below), as well as a pretty cafe and a swimming pond. 

I snapped this squirrel with his conker: 

John and I did a walk in brilliant sunshine from Hampton Wick to Hampton Court, the former home of King Henry VIII.  The lure for John was a trip to a particular bike shop - he wasn't at all interested in going inside Hampton Court!  As the bike shop didn't have the bike he was looking for, we then had to leg it across London to Hackney to go to a bike shop where they did.



The deer were prettier than the muntjacs we see in Epping Forest. 


On a walk of 9 London bridges, I saw for the first time the National Covid Wall, in memory of those who died from Covid. It's opposite the Houses of Parliament. The first section of the wall remembers those who died from CJD.  A lovely, and simple, idea for a permanent memorial. 

Birthday Celebrations

For John's birthday we went to one of our favourite restaurants Dinner by Heston, in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  I've shown here what I had: starter of Lobster Kedgeree (left), main Black Foot Pork Chop, and pudding Tipsy Cake.  

Visit to iconic Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station, which ceased operating in the 80s, has now reopened as a luxury shopping mall with apartments.  It's regenerated the surrounding area too with lots of interesting eateries.  For Lynn's birthday we went inside the former Turbine Hall to look at the shops. We had a couple of cocktails in the former control room - some of the equipment is listed, so behind glass. It's good to see how all the history has been preserved. 

The chimneys, a familiar sight on the London skyline, have been replaced by replicas. 

Here I am in the Control Room cocktail bar. The cocktails are all imaginatively named after functions of the former power station - I had "66,000 Volts" - and the staff wear engineers' overalls. 

And here's the birthday girl at Cinnamon, the restaurant where we had a late lunch: 


Book Event 

I went to my first book event, a discussion with authors Dawn O'Porter and Jane Fallon at Europe's biggest bookstore, Waterstone's in Piccadilly. I've read all Jane's books including her latest, Just.Got.Real, and I enjoyed Dawn's last book (reviewed here).  

The ticket price included Dawn's new book Cat Lady.  It's been a VERY long time since I had a hard back book to read!  Below: the ladies looking a bit serious!  Dawn O'Porter on the left.  

Waterstone's must have had an event prior for Jamie Oliver. 


London Marathon

The month started with the London Marathon. John wasn't running but was helping out at the Orion Harriers' elite runners' drinks station.  I did this for several years when John used to run. Here he is, far left, with his drinks station colleagues, including his sister and brother-in-law:

Blog Update

The blog seems to be having a bit of a resurgence, now that brands are once again creating campaigns using "influencers."

I had approaches from four new and prestigious brands, Cotton Traders, Land's End, Strive footwear and Vichy. 

One of my outfits was featured on the #yourMarks section of the Marks ad Spencer website. 

And I signed up for NetGalley, where reviewers can request upcoming books and receive ARCs (advance reader copies). This is very exciting to me as a book enthusiast!

Poppy Appeal 


At the end of October the Royal British Legion launches its annual Poppy Appeal. I'm proud to wear a poppy in memory of those who died in all the world's conflicts. For the last few years I've been buying a poppy brooch from the RBL for me and my mum. Traditional paper poppies are sold by volunteers on street corners across the UK. 

Heart warming sky dive

Finally a lovely story featuring John's nephew George. A few years George, who's 30, befriended an elderly blind man, and they recently went to Hawaii on holiday. Ron, who's 83, did a sky dive with George - and loved it: 

I hope you enjoyed this round-up.  November sees my own birthday, although a national rail strike has put an end to my original plan for the day! Catch my November happenings post at the beginning of December. 

Sharing this post with:  #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Rena at Fine Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Inspire Me Monday at Create with JoyWonderful Wednesday at Oh My Heartsie Girl

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