Thames Riverside Walk, Petersham to Richmond, great fun!

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Thames Riverside Walk, Petersham to Richmond, great fun!

What did you do this weekend?

We had a spontaneous moment.  I decided I wanted to go somewhere different as I have done the Richmond Park route back home and Wimbledon Common many times.

Having heard about a route down by the river via Petersham Nurseries I was curious and so headed down that way on Saturday.

We were not disappointed.

With kids and now one dog in tow we headed down to the Thames Riverside in the Petersham area, there are a  few little ways to get down there but always pretty much busy and tight for parking but we were lucky.

I was surprised to see not only dogs but children in the water enjoying the sunshine and small ripples of waves caused by the numerous but varying amounts of boats which was all a joy to see.

My youngest soon rolled up trousers and threw off shoes in various directions and plunged in.  Teddy my frenchbulldog was not so keen.

Having managed to drag my youngest eventually out of the water we headed down the loose pebbled path enjoying the sunshine and watery view.

We passed the rare breed cows who were curious when they met my dog, both having a good close up sniff.

Eventually we came to a gateway which led us through manicured lawns and the much needed ice cream van.

There were varying riverside restaurants from open top canopied ones to high walled rather exclusive ones.

We passed artists with their easels housing waxy paint drying in the sunshine.  There were quite a few small gazebos out with families and friends having fun.  One such gazebo housed a trio of musicians plucking at stringed instruments, their singular table laden with glorious foods that made me salivate and all for a young just wedded couple who posed by the riverside for photos as champagne flutes were quaffed under the suns rays.

There were majestic swans bobbing by the riverside steps waiting for morsels of bread, there was a father and son fishing further down, a puppet theatre, canoeing and much more.

All in all it was a great walk and I am sure there are those out there not yet taken up the joys of a Thames Riverside Walk.

So I have found a link of Richmond Riverside Walks here - Richmond Riverside Walks

If you would like to see some of the fun photos from the walk, please take a look at my Pinterest album below.

As always, thank you for reading, Justine xx

© Justine @

Macro Monday – Prickly but cute!

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Living in East Sheen:

A prickly friend from Adrian Hall, East Sheen, London

Originally posted on Eclectic odds n sods:

Macro Monday – Prickly but cute!

A prickly but lovely flowering yellow cactus, photographed at theAdrian Hall Garden Centre in East Sheen, London.

One of my favorite passes to pass through on my way about East Sheen.


The cactus was ever so popular in the 80’s, do you think it has diminished now in popularity?

Do you have a cactus at home?

Thank you as always for reading and viewing, Justine xx

© Justine @

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A great sporting extravaganza was organised by Find My Sport!

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A great sporting extravaganza was organised by Find My Sport!

Sunday just past both my children attended the Find My Sport event which was as quoted per their website:

Find My Sport is a jamboree of sports for 4-11 year olds all scheduled on one day – Sunday July 13th 2014, at Shene Sports & Fitness Centre in East Sheen, Richmond Upon Thames.  It is an opportunity for your child to watch and try a whole range of sports and be inspired to pursue one or more of them. Find My Sport is about each child finding the sport that suits them. It is not intended as an elite athlete search.  It’s about making sport a core, fun value for your child; an attitude that will last a life-time.

Being the first time we had ever gone to anything like this our minds were open but with the usual questions.  I can confidently say that the event in our minds was a resounding success, having been professionally organised with obvious precision throwing in a few nice little touches as well.

Upon entering there was a registration tent where we were given our boys tickets which comprised of five slots to be stickered every time one of the five recommended activities were partaken off, at the end of which there would be a goodie bag for completely filled in cards.

Unfortunately because of one son dipping out to go to a friends party midday and the other having to shift around activities due to his age none of them did complete their cards, they didn’t seem that bothered but I rather fancied one of the Find My Sports bags and my pout was not going to persuade the boys otherwise.

Find My Sport Passport

Find My Sport Passport

We started with archery.  It turns out my two sons must be descendants from Robin Hood for they really took this.  Taking a close up shot of my youngest who finds it hard to sit still I was amazed at the concentration on his face, something we will be definitely signing up for either holiday, term time or both.

I thought that there would be massive queues and tetchy children having to wait.  The timing slots however were done cleverly to allow small gaps inbetween. Numbers of entrants per activity were clearly monitored and there was some free flow time where children could mingle and informally try different sports without booking.  This allowed for an easy stream of youngsters to move from one sports provider to the next.

We then headed over to the fencing area which was a safely cordoned off.  The children were taught first the dipping and diving steps, yes you can tell I have no idea as to their proper terminology.

The boys were itching for a sword and much to my relief were given bendy plastic ones.  Then it came to sparring time, brother was pitched against brother.  I thought there would be bloodshed but they had great fun, acting with chivalry obviously brought about by the sport and shaking hands at the end.

Around the fencing area was the newly developed cafeteria for Richmond Park Academy.  Oh my, as you can see inside it is like something from a space age, spic and span and gloriously shiny and upbeat.

My son who is now at secondary school, but a different one was slightly green with envy.  Luckily he did not see the fairy cakes that apparently the students can buy, I thought they were just out for us, but that was not the case.  Lucky children we never had anything like that at school.

We also met up with Sheen Sports who had a stall there and provide residents with a huge array of different sporting goods, you will find them at 353-355 Upper Richmond Road SW14 8QN.

It is a family affair, Nick and his brother who resemble twins (my eyesight is bad), but who are not, actually live up my street, but can be found around East Sheen when not working namely the Hare & Hounds relaxing after a hard days work.  They are a friendly lot so if you need some new tennis shoes, or kids sporting goods why not pop in and see what they have to offer?

There was also a lovely face painter, unfortunately I think she might have fared better if placed on the field as most of the children probably didn’t see her around the back, but seeing as she was just beside the cafeteria she was well looked after by the lovely ladies serving there.

Riff Raff Face painting

Riff Raff Face painting

There was a barbeque man providing burgers, a pimms stall and more, nothing was left out for provisions.

I would say that the average age range was between 4 – 6/7yrs old.  This was wonderful to see.  The only thing it did do was leave my 11yr old slightly embarrassed to have to enter a class with a huge group of youngsters.

I thought we would become unstuck at this point as 11yr olds can become quite ugly and grumpy at this age. We didn’t force him to be with the younger ones but found other areas that were either quiet or had children slightly nearer his age.   No provider turned us down even though we weren’t booked, so I give a huge thumbs up for flexibility.

One of the sports providers we ended up seeing spontaneously was the rugby area where London Scottish FC were the hosts.

We had seen them previously at the  Mortlake Fair where I had written an article mentioning them, which you can see here – Mortlake Fair we survived a washout

My eldest hasn’t really taken to rugby the way my husband would have liked (him been now a keen rugby watcher rather than player).  So I was surprised that he chose to go to this area.  I found the hosts to be amazingly patient, supportive and encouraging.

My son ended up with a one to one session of effectively personal rugby training after which some youngsters who were actually part of the club joined in and trained with him throwing balls back and forth and gently letting him know the right and wrong way to do it!

One thing I will say that was obvious is that all the sports providers showed a passion and gusto for their chosen profession.  There was not one person that I spotted there with a bored face, or the “I want to go home now” look about them.  There were smiles all around and genuine support, advice and skill sets given to the children who were attending.

Another area we visited was the hall which was taken over completely.  There were gymnastics, basketball amongst other sports and we headed for the table tennis.

It was a Tooting based club that was hosting this sport, though a little far away they are hoping to get a club in the area.  I cross fingers for this as its great fun.

One of the men helping out was in his 80’s and he flitted around the table with the speed of a dragonfly it was quite amazing to see.

They had a robot that would throw out balls which is where my son started, I sneaked in a go as was hopping about like a kid desperate to try it.  Then he had a match against one of the trainers which was fun.

The robot throwing out balls

The robot throwing out balls

My youngest tried kayaking which you might ask where was the water?  They hoisted a boat up in the air and children could then learn to row, it was ingenious.

He also did cycling and was thrilled to be given a BMX bike to try out on.  They had various courses, poles to cycle under, speed testing and the slowest race which proved to be very challenging for the children as opposed to who was the fastest.

There were a few exhibitions to see also, one being gymnastics.  I was amazed and squeamish at how bendy some of the children were.

We left exhausted but happy and hoping that there would be another event like this put on again in the not to distant future.

Well done to Find My Sport

© Justine @




Barnes Fair wow what an affair, come take a look at what you missed if you weren’t there!


Barnes Fair, wow what an affair!

This year the Barnes Fair was held on the 12th July, 2014 and I have been lucky enough to attend the last 3 years.

The first year was a wash out as in the heavens opened and literally tried to wash the stalls away however it didn’t dampen my spirits, excuse the pun!

The second year was blisteringly hot, to the point of wishing to pass out or nearly doing so and this year though not blisteringly it was blazingly hot, though it did not deter my presence.  However I was chasing shadows rather a lot for some brief respite.

Barnes Fair is organized by Barnes Community Association and it did not disappoint this year at all.

It’s a relatively small space of land for how overwhelmingly large it feels at fair time, the sheer amount of stall holders they pack in to the space and the maze of weaving around makes it feel immense, giving one that lost feel that one often gets in Ikea, however unlike Ikea I didn’t have the “HELP GET ME OUT OF HERE” thoughts.

I was on a mission this year to get some good photos and to find local craftsmen, in the heat and trying to be prudent with my voice I would generally jump in immediately asking “are you a local?”  Some unsurprisingly thought it was a trick question and furrowed their brows in thought before answering.

There didn’t seem to me to be as many local craftsmen as I would have liked however, before there are protests though I was there for hours I didn’t get alllll the way around nor question every single stall holder.  However it was fairly irrelevant to me as a shopper in the end as every single person held the same passion for what they were selling whether it be handmade or sourced from somewhere else.

I would advise all local boutiques who like to stock something individual to scour the Fairs and Fetes because in the crafts area you would be surprised what gems you can find in the form of jewellers, textile designers and so forth.

As well as a wealth of things to buy and lighten ones pockets, there were also lots of childrens activities.

There was the merry go round which my 8yr old went on.  As he spun around I saw a great big beam of a smile on his face having thought that perhaps he might be a bit too old for it.  When he got off I asked him if he enjoyed it and he said in almost teenager fashion “NO” just as a matter of course.  I asked why and was answered with a “It was boring” number.  This is the same answer I now get for most things, including dinner, is this the same for you?

There were also a number of food providers, there was the Samosa man who I was tempted by.  Upon asking if his samosas were hot he hesitated and said “not really” that was enough for me and I ended up having a burger.  Though I am sure the samosas were lovely I was not sure if my poor heat riddled sun baked body could cope with an internal bake too!

We popped over to The Sun Inn for our burgers having tasted their delicious meaty surprises when The Boat Race was on.  Not really being a burger girl myself I am now converted, but only to the tune of if it is is cooked in The Sun which causes a few problems if in Devon for Easter.

I will say that I met someone in the Ladies loo queue, I am not quite sure why I said Ladies because it is not as if I queue outside the mens.  However I digress, I met a woman in the long queue.  Why is it that there is never a queue at the mens loos?

However, she had a paper bag in her hand, I had asked her if she bought anything.  She answered that she had bought some samosas for her family, suffice to say the fact she was carrying them in to the loo might predetermine that I was right in thinking they were in fact rather hot!

As I arrived I found my feet thumping a tune to the sound of a very good band playing, though I didn’t get their name they were awfully good, isn’t that quite frustrating.  However they said they were playing somewhere later on, though I didn’t quite catch that either, probably due to the fact I was desperate to get some good photos of them before they finished, of which I did catch!

I accosted the young chap who was selling pimms on his rather home made pimms carriage attached to a bike.  Unfortunately the lemonade had run out so I had not only a discount but an extra shot to take up the lemonade free space.

This was even after my youngest had decided it would be rather fun to push said carriage that was on wheels in the direction of the pond!  What a charming chap, the seller that is, not my son.

I also sent my son in the the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ having been enticed by the rather brightly attired man who had been selling his wares with booming voice for quite some time.  After my son had disappeared in to the depths of this mystical place I asked the seller if he didn’t get a sore voice.  He assured me that after 40 yrs of attending the best Fairs there was no way he was going to be getting a sore anything.

I took his word for it as my son appeared,  I asked him if he enjoyed it and guess what he said?

Suffice to say after the helter skelter I did not bother to ask him anything at all.

So i finish off with a little viewing pleasure as always.

A few lovely sellers I found of whom I can remember their details:

Beyond Biasa – click name for website

Beautiful colours, slight ethnic yet not obvious feel to them, simply stunning!

Ruby Rock Jewellery

Ruby Rock Jewellery

cgMACARON – local seller – click  name for website

We had a lemon macaron mmmm it was delish!

Ruby Rock Jewellery – click name for website

I found some absolutely stunning pieces here.  I make a point of not buying when I first arrive somewhere and her stall was right where I walked in.  Had she been later on when I was waning I would have bought something off her.  The pieces had a very different look to them, very unusual, slightly rocky and wow the Deer Head Necklace was amazing!

Chris Bell Photo Gallery - A local photographer – click his name for the website

I have nothing to show you apart from the man himself because of copyright issues, however I got one of his photographs that blew me away.  It is of a boat, I don’t even really like boats, but it was one of those photos that you just want to stand and watch, yes watch, because it really took you there.  He is in Mortlake, has a studio, go and check him out a lovely chap!

Chris Bell Photography

Chris Bell Photography

Coral & Bone - a local mummy – click business name to get to the website

Now I know the Owner of Coral and Bone,  a lovely mummy who shares the same schools as both my sons.  Her passion for finding unusual items is great to see and feel.  You will see that she has an eye for putting things together in just the right way, the pink glass candlesticks curtaining beautiful flute edged almost joss stick grey pottery was divine.

I am half hoping the candlesticks didn’t sell so I can have them.

Nearly last but not least a boar, yes a boar, I saw him at Mortlake Fair and he gave me quite a fright when I turned the corner and there he was again.  Does not anyone want to buy him?


Finishing off because I am from East Sheen, London, near Richmond Park I must have a deer.  I’ve  no eye deer (sorry had to do it), who was selling him, a large metal deer nonetheless he was rather stunning in the sunlight don’t you think?


As always thank you for reading/viewing, Justine xx

© Justine @



Palewell Common Pentanque this Friday 11th July 2014 at 2pm

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Living in East Sheen:

Stuck for something to do tomorrow? Now that the Summer Holidays have begun, do you have teenagers stuck at home bored, not knowing what to do. Why not bring them down and yourselves to have a game of Pentanque, there will be plenty of advice on hand as how to play!

Originally posted on Friends of Palewell Common & Fields:

Palewell Common Pentanque this Friday 11th July 2014 at 2pm


This Friday is one of our friendly dates for Pentaque at Palewell Common suitable for all ages.

If your children have broken up for the Summer Holidays why not bring them down and join in as a family?

How to get there:

Palewell Common & Fields are accessible from Vicarage Road.

The entrance to the boules terrains is just before the small building that houses the ice cream & pitch and putt sales.


John Hockley 0208 878 2980

Bernard Adams 0208 876 4099

© FOPC&Fields

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Recent death of dog down to suspected willful poisining at Sheen Common


Recent Death of Dog possibly linked to poisoning

A local resident has sadly lost the life of their beloved pet in the last couple of days down to suspected poisoning after having walked it in Sheen Common.

For all Sheen Common dog walkers please be mindful when walking your dogs and what they eat when out.  Suffice to say if you see any unusual signs of behaviour from your pets talk immediately to a vet.

Thank you for reading, Justine

© Justine @

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Syon Park a visual treat!

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Syon Park a visual treat!

Syon Park is not too far away from East Sheen, London.  It took us about 30 mins but unfortunately we got there too late and couldn’t go in to the actual building.  However it was a sunny day and we decided to sit outside and in just that space I managed to capture some of the delights of this area.

If you wish to find out more about this historical building click the link – Syon Park

Here are some pics, more to follow when we get to visit properly.  What a fabulous meadow?



Thank you for reading/viewing, Justine x

© Justine @


Schoool Holiday Activities on Palewell Common & Fields over the Summer Holidays

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Living in East Sheen:

Summer School Holiday Activities on Palewell Common & Fields, lots on offer!

Originally posted on Friends of Palewell Common & Fields:

Holiday Activities on Palewell Common & Fields over the Summer Holidays

Summer Camps1 (2)-page-001

Thank you as always for reading, The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

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Macro Monday ~ We are going pink and bright!

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Living in East Sheen:

Beautiful photography of stunning flowers taken locally in East Sheen

Originally posted on Eclectic odds n sods:

Macro Monday

All photos taken in East Sheen, London

I thought I would treat those of you girlie girls to some pink today, how does this brighten your morning?

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One of them looks like a jewel to me, can you guess which one?

Did anyone spot the visitor? :-)

Lets stay connected!

Lets stay connected!

It is a lonely place blog

Come browse my journey with chronic pain!

Living in East Sheen blog

Come browse one of my other blogs?

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Richmond Park Walks & Map – July to October 2014

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The Friends of Richmond Park run frequent guided walks and courses all free of charge, however some are only for members, others to everyone.

(As taken from their website) – Friends of Richmond Park

Walks & Events

  • 11 July, 2014:Informal birdwatching walk (open to everyone) (**)
  • 12 July, 2014:SUMMER EVENING WALK: Guided walk from Sheen Gate car park, meet 8pm (open to everyone)
  • 19 July, 2014:Course : BUTTERFLIES (Ray Garrett) (*) (Friends only)
  • 25 July, 2014:Informal birdwatching walk (open to everyone) (**)
  • 2 August, 2014:Guided walk from Kingston Gate car park (open to everyone)
  • 8 August, 2014:Informal birdwatching walk (open to everyone) (**)
  • 22 August, 2014:Informal birdwatching walk (open to everyone) (**)
  • 6 September, 2014:Guided walk from Robin Hood gate car park (open to everyone)
  • 20 September, 2014:AUTUMN BIRD WALK : Guided walk from Sheen Gate car park (open to everyone)
  • 4 October, 2014:Guided walk from Sheen Gate car park, including “Walk the Wall” option (open to everyone)
  • 11 October, 2014:Course : DEER (Peter Burrows-Smith) (*) (Friends only)
  • 25 October, 2014:Course : FUNGI (Janet Bostock and Elizabeth Cheesman) (*) (Friends only)

Our free guided walks do not need to be booked ahead, except where indicated. Most (but not all) begin at 10am and finish around midday at the car park or gate shown. Please keep dogs under control. To double check dates or meeting points, or if you need special help or support, contactPeter Burrows-Smith ( or consult the Park notice boards.

(*) All courses start at Pembroke Lodge at 10am. Friends only, booking required, contact Sue on 0208 940 9114 or The courses are 30 minutes talk indoors followed by a 2 hour walk. Coffee/tea provided.

(**) Meet at Pen Ponds car park coffee kiosk at 9.30am

(***) Discoverers’ event, for full details and to register go to