Richmond Dyslexia Association AGM & guest speaker, 10/5/2016, 6.30/7pm TW9 1TP

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Richmond Dyslexia Association AGM & guest speaker, 10/5/2016, 7pm TW9 1TP

If you have a dyslexic child you must come and listen to Margaret Rooke talk about her new book ‘Creative, Successful, Dyslexic’ at The Richmond Dyslexia AGM.

Tues 10th May 6.30pm Old Town Hall, Richmond.

Free to members. £10 to non-members.

Join us for a drink from 6.30pm, talk starts at 7pm for more details.
Richmond Dyslexia Association
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Early Easter Present at the Wetlands

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 Early Easter Present at the Wetlands

Wardens at WWT London Wetland Centre are celebrating an early Easter present after three rare Nene goslings recently hatched.  Only about 1,000 Nenes – pronounced ‘nay-nay’ after their call –  survive in the wild in their native Hawaii.  The goslings are out just in time for Easter; the proud parents seem unconcerned about the fuss their offspring are causing among visitors to London Wetland Centre!

Nene Goslings at the Wetlands Centre

Nene Goslings at the Wetlands Centre


Nenes, otherwise known as Hawaiian geese, are close to the hearts of staff at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) as Sir Peter Scott, who founded the Trust, established a captive breeding programme in the 1950s.  At that time less than 30 Nenes survived in the wild.  Thanks to a reintroduction programme by WWT in the 1960s there are now between 1000 – 2000 Nenes in the wild. Approximately 25,000 of the birds inhabited the Hawaiian islands in the 18th century but the introduction of predators by Europeans, as well as hunting, caused the population to decline.

They are distantly related to Canada geese, a common site in London, evolving from them about 500,000 years ago.

Wetlands Centre

Wetlands Centre

WWT London Wetland Centre is a 105 acre wetland visitor centre in Barnes, southwest London, an international award-winning visitor attraction and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is home to a wide range of wildlife species including birds, water voles, bats and amphibians. Facilities include six wildlife hides, the Water’s Edge Café, an Observatory, a gift shop and free car park. The Centre also has indoor and outdoor adventure play areas for children.

WWT London Wetland Centre
Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT

Tread lightly in Richmond Park – find out a little more about local preservation in our wonderful green space

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Tread lightly in Richmond Park – find out a little more about local preservation in our wonderful green space

You can find out all about our wonderful Richmond Park at this website here.

However to give you a little heads up here is some general information about our wonderful green space, park regulations and 9 ways to help protect our rich flora and fauna!

Tread lightly in Richmond Park

Tread lightly in Richmond Park

Tread lightly in Richmond Park

Tread lightly in Richmond Park

Thank you for reading, Justine


Arts through the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

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Arts through the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

Did you know that our local Borough list a huge amount of Arts Educational Services, Exhibitions and Festivals on their website?

If not take a peek here:  Arts – London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

The beauty of the London Wetlands Centre & drowning iPods!

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The beauty of the London Wetlands Centre & drowning iPods!

It’s right on our doorstep!

I think that makes us very lucky don’t you?

Have you been?  Yes, then when did you last go?

I went last Spring with my 11yr old which he thoroughly enjoyed.  However nearly being a teenager the prospect of visiting again or doing anything which didn’t involve electronics was met with a groan and “urgh this is going to be boring 2nd time around, do I have to go?”  Of course I ignored him.

I had not taken my 8yr old, so was full of anticipation to see how he would find it.  In fact my eldest really enjoyed the whole experience again as much as the 1st time around and my 8yr old equally so.

There was no moaning to be had except when my youngest dropped his Ipod in to the pond, yep, it turned out to be a very expensive trip indeed as totally useless even after being sat for two days in rice, which was a recommendation that unfortunately didn’t work.

In fact I captured the moment just before it dropped and evidence that in fact he was not using the wrist strap which he claimed to have done!  Just goes to show, photos come in use sometimes for more reasons than just for viewing pleasure. (evidence below)

 Please note most photos are displayed in a gallery, you can hover over the pics for a brief title but if you double click it will bring up large editions of the photos to scroll, much of the beauty of capturing the Wetlands cannot be seen small.

The moment just before the iPod went in to the water

The moment just before the iPod went in to the water

 Bug Hotels

I found out about bug hotels when I was asked to go and write a piece up about a Community Project in Castelnaugh, you will find it here:  Bug Hotels, Community & a cuppa!

I was intrigued by them and thought not only is it a great idea for every garden to have one but it’s also such fun for the children to build, be a part of their maintenance and growth.

It seems the palette bug hotel is the most popular probably due to it being the easiest.  I was sure though that there would be more elaborate ones out there and low and behold on my Spring visit to the London Wetlands I did indeed find a very glamorous piece of art called a bug hotel.  I confess to being fiercely envious of this one, wishing it was in my garden.  You will find it here:  WW Wetlands Centre ~ Beauty in Nature

We are in the process of building a bug hotel and I have done a little bit of research in to what is the best way to build them.

I have shared the links with you should you be so inclined to give it a try and I will write a post later, once complete on our home made East Sheen one.

You will see also in the last two photos a bee habitat, bees an important part of our ecosystem, without them pollination would not happen and that gives a greater knock on effect as you can imagine.

They are on the decline due to various reasons, so it is important to try in our small way to make our gardens as bee friendly if possible.  There are plenty of ways to do this including through what flowers are planted as well as making a habitat for them.

Building and Insect Hotel Habitat

Wild about Gardens

How to make a bee hotel

White and black swans

I love swans and grew up with them at home.  Did you know they mate for life?

A male swan is called a cob, the female a pen and they can fly up to 60 miles per hour WOW!

Their eggs take 35 – 42 days to hatch, that is a long time.

The black swan was from Australia and is my favourite colour swan.  So striking and to me for some odd reason looks a little more alluringly fearsome.  It was hunted to extinction in New Zealand but later re-introduced, thankfully.

Wetland Landscaping

The landscaping of the Wetlands is mesmerizing, one meanders like a snake between all the pockets of water and grassland stocked full of so many different species of flora and fauna.  Even if you don’t know what is what, like me, one can just stand for a moment and take in it’s glorious beauty.


I love waterlilies, we never had them in our lake at home and I have always retained admiration for its striking, elegant features.  They are I imagine the most sought after water plants.

This took me back seeing how green the water was here just in this one spot.  My memory evades me to as why it is so green.  I don’t believe algae, but probably some water plant perhaps?

Floral beauty and bees

As mentioned before we need to look after our bees so it was lovely to see quite a few buzzing around.  Can you spot the bee?

Also the distinct colours between the flowers and greenery was almost as if painted, so striking.


Our family is not adverse to a bit of blackberry picking.  In fact even though this year it has been rather poor very nearby I managed to make a lovely blackberry ice cream.  It is extremely easy to make, I recommend you try if not this year but next, here is the write up/menu = Blackberry ice cream

I must say though the blackberries at the Wetlands Centre were second to none, we only had a couple but they were fat, juicy and sweet!

Dragonfly or Damselfly

I spotted this handsome or beautiful damselfly or dragonfly, the problem is I have no idea which.  I always thought that dragonflies were more ornate in colouring, but upon looking them up this does not seem to be the case.

Now from my photos can you tell me which it is and type?

Here is an interesting link on who to identify which = Dragonfly or damselfly

A fungi

It takes some while walking around the Wetlands, always set aside a few hours.  As you can see my youngest found a natural pit stop whilst I found a fungi, wow it’s just huge!


Now I presume this is a grey heron, though not entirely sure.  There is a section of the Wetlands Centre at the far end where you can go bird watching over the waters that are backed by some town houses on the other side.  It is always odd to see such beauty and then the stark reality of London in the background.


It is not often I get to see a woodpecker.  Normally you hear them rather than see them, well that is how it seems to be for me.  This was pure chance spotting this one in the distance.  He really was far away hence the photo quality of my camera not so good but at least he is there, I was rather chuffed to have caught him.




Birds Galore

My parents knew everything about birds, flowers, fish and so forth being country folk gave them an added advantage.  As a youngster I confess I wasn’t interested, I just wanted to escape to the City.

Now though I feel slightly sad that I do not have the knowledge, I can appreciate the beauty but it is at times like this when I do a write up and realize I do not know the name of this or that flower or bird that it catches up with me.

However, here are some beautiful feathered friends.  We used to have ducks and moorhens at home amongst other types but I always remember the moorhens being extremely shy so it was constantly challenge to try and spot one.  I am not sure if there are two types here, one with red beaks and one white or whether they are just different birds, perhaps you can enlighten me?



The children, as do I, always love these playful creatures.

The Wetlands Centre have EuroAsian Otters, they are small short clawed otters which are not nocturnal so we as customers get to see them which is fabulous.

Otters are included in the Wetlands Centre as they are a big part in an indicator as to health of the ecosystem in being that they are at the top of the food chain.

These two are now at the stage where they can breed, so everyone is waiting with baited breath.

Mother and chicks

I found these lovely birds right opposite the otters.  The crowds were gathering so I drew myself away to look elsewhere and get a bit of space, it was then I saw this lovely mother and her ‘chicks’.

Again I don’t know the breed, however it was fascinating watching how she tended for her young, dipping in out of the water to get food, they would sit there with their mouths so wide open the gaping hole was nearly as big as their body.  Then she would place carefully in whatever she had found for them.

So there you have it, a seasonal update on the London Wetlands Centre, if you wish to find out more about what they do, please take a look at their official website – The London Wetlands Centre

You can book tickets online here – online tickets

© Justine Nagaur,

You will also find events at the London Wetlands Centre, the next one coming up is:

Saturday 27 September

Wildlife photography: intermediate skills
10am – 4pm
If you already understand how your camera works and the basics of photography, but want to fine-tune your pictures of the natural world then this is the ideal course.

Based both in the classroom and outside you will explore and practice various advanced techniques and subjects such as

  • Lighting and exposure
  • Advanced camera settings
  • Depth of field preview/ hyperfocal distance
  • Field craft for wildlife photography
  • Bird flight photography
  • Advanced composition – to ensure your photos show what you want the viewer to see

The content will be tailored to the needs of course attendees, and with limited numbers there will be plenty of time for 1-2-1 tuition.  Iain’s wildlife photography courses at London Wetland Centre are extremely popular and places fill up very quickly, so we advise you to book early. £55pp + admission. Booking essential: call 020 8409 4400.

Wildlife photography equipment: This course is suitable for users of SLR cameras only.

Evening wildlife photography at WWT London Wetland Centre Thursday 14th August


Thursday 14 August

Evening wildlife photography at WWT London Wetland Centre

4pm – 8.30pm

This workshop gives keen photographers a rare opportunity to enjoy WWT London Wetland Centre in a relaxed, secluded atmosphere when most of the other visitors have left. Experience the beautiful evening light from late afternoon until dusk, taking advantage of the changing conditions to capture images that aren’t possible during normal opening hours.

The evening starts with an introductory session looking at composition and technique and you will then head out onto the reserve to spend the majority of the session outside under the guidance of wildlife photography tutor, Iain Green.

This is a tutor-led session and participants must stay with the group at all times.

£39. Includes admission to the Centre after 3.30pm.  Booking essential: call 020 8409 4400.

Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT.

Nearest Station: Barnes, Barnes Bridge.

Nearest Bus Routes: 33, 72, 209, 283.



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Computer Tuition in your home by Age UK

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Computer Tuition in your home by Age UK


  • Are you a local resident within the Richmond Borough of Thames?
  • Would you like to learn how to use the internet and how to keep in touch with family and friends?
  • Perhaps you know someone, family or otherwise who might like some help?

AGE UK have a reliable and friendly IT team that can help you to get the most out of your computer and internet experience.

To find out more call 0208 876 0620 or 0800 917 9980


Website:  Age UK Richmond

Thank you for reading/visiting, Justine @ Living in East Sheen

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Find Your Sport Event for 4 – 11yr olds – Sunday July 13th 2014

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Find Your Sport Event for 4 – 11yr olds

As taken from the Find My Sport Website

What is Find My Sport?




Boy_green_standing-124x300Find 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.

Finding elite athletes is not the primary objective of Find My Sport. That having been said Matthew Syed, in his book “Bounce”, suggests that elite sportsmen/ woman are elite, not because of their natural talent but because of the amount of practice they do. He proposes that athletes become elite after 10,000 hours of purposeful practice.

The earlier children find their sport the sooner they can start working towards that goal. Find My Sport is the first step on that road.

So, how will it work? Shene Sports & Fitness Centre (on the Richmond Park Academy site) boasts a playing field, 2 indoor sports halls and an Astroturf area.  18 different sports will be available to try across those locations.

The day will be split into sessions and parents will be able to book their child onto the sessions that they are interested in.

During the session children will get a short demonstration with the rest of the time being dedicated to giving it a go – with the best coaches on hand to help.

You pick your sessions when you register and will get an email confirmation of your schedule. No aimless wandering! Just back to back sport and fun. You can view the schedule on the Plan a Day page.

So, what sport will your child favour? Archery? Golf? Football? Tennis? Climbing? You can see the complete list of participating sports on the Clubs page.  Plan your attendance and take the first step to finding out what sports will get the adrenalin pumping for your child.


A really worthwhile event, many of us parents scour the website or rely on word of mouth to find varying activities for our children, or perhaps they are just ‘stuck’ not knowing what they like.

Why not make the most of this great event!

Thank you for reading, Justine x



Royal Air force Air Cadets – the next generation!

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Royal Air force Air Cadets

The Royal Air Force Air Cadets are looking for new recruits.

If you have ever fancied flying, gliding, outdoor activities and more and are aged between 13 – 18 why not enquire and or sign up?

It is a great way to meet new people and expand social circles, to gain additional qualifications and keep fit!

If you would like to know more, details for joining can be found below:

Website:- Air Cadets

Facebook: Air Cadets

or call:  0208 940 2223



Diary Dates ~ Get ready for the May Half Term

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Holiday activities @ Orleans House Gallery


Orelans House offers a range of full and half day workshops for ages 4 – 14 yrs old.  Professional artists specializing in a range of techniques from drawing to painting, sculpture, print-making and textiles.

They can provide support for children and young people with additional needs.

Here are some brief details for the May Half Term Activities…..

May Half Term Activities

Full day workshops

  • 10am-3pm
  • Materials Included. Please bring a packed lunch
  • £28 per day

Short workshops

  • 10am to 12 noon for 4-7 year olds
  • 2pm to 4pm for 7-10 year olds
  • £11.20 per session

Art Skills workshops

  • 10am-4pm
  • £30 per session

If you wish to see the full explanation of all the activities and to book, click here Orleans House Gallery can be found at:

Orleans House Gallery

Riverside Twickenham TW1 3DJ

This is a service provided through the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

Thank you, Justine x