We have a local tea expert who retails personally blended tea!

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We have a local tea expert who retails personally blended tea!

I went the other day to the Duck Pond Market in Richmond.  It was there that I discovered a Tea Specialist.  I was super thrilled to also discover that this particular specialist was  named Freeda who owns the Monkey Char Tea business.

She is a local!

What a discovery for a tea addict like me to find someone local?  She ethically sources and personally blends loose leaf teas from all around the world.

This particular tea I got is a limited edition Chocolate Tea and I can that everyone who has come over has done a “oooh” and a “aaah” and a “wow I must get that” comment/sound when trying it.

You can find out all about Freeda’s teas here, I really recommend them from the experience I have had so far:  Monkey Char Tea

So this tea contains black tea, cocoa nibs, cocoa beans, flavourings and sunflower petals.  It looks great too!

  • As most of you will know the recommended guidelines for getting great tea is to always use fresh water when boiling.
  • Freeda recommends 1 heaped teaspoon per person to a 240ml cup.
  • With black Tea one should heat the water until boiling and infuse for 3-5 minutes.
  • I used this tea more than once so it’s great value too.

You can smell the chocolate, a rich, not sickly, deep aroma that permeates through your nostrils as you lift the cup, really enticing the tastebuds before you actually get to taste anything.  It is really heavenly.

It’s very hard to describe the taste, you get a hint of the black tea, and it’s almost like a vanilla chocolate taste, very mild, though there is no vanilla in it.  It’s subtle and elegant.  One that is easy to drink yet infuses one with a sense of richness as one does.

Visual Evidence

If you are a tea lover like me, pop along to Freeda’s web shop, she even personalises some teas for special occasions and has won some awards, go take a peek!

© Justine Nagaur, Living in East Sheen

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 05, May, Richmond Park

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Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 05, May, Richmond Park

May

Cardinal Guzman has come up with a very good idea and that is to photograph monthly something scenic, be it urban or rural.  To then capture this again in a month’s time and repeat until a complete year of shots is taken.  I am taking it that one should take shots of the same area to show the difference through the Seasons, but I guess this doesn’t have to be the case, just my take on it and choice I suppose.

For those of you interested in joining, don’t worry about the dates, there is no final deadline, just a suggestion, so you still have time to go out there and create a gallery for this lovely monthly exhibit.

thechangingseasons_6367Now on to my photos for Cardinal’s Monthly Photo Challenge:  The Changing Seasons (click the link to pop by his blog and read all about it).

Richmond Park

As you will know one of my favourite places to go is Richmond Park and this is the place I aim to photograph once a month until the year is up.

You will be able to see collectively all the posts on my Changing Season by clicking this link:- Changing Seasons of Richmond Park

I am also starting a bit of a collection of photographing benches, here are two unrelated favourites: – Weekly Photo challenge: Shadowed – the other one you will see in last months post and some more in this months.

I have presented the photos in gallery format but if you are looking at them from a desktop you might one to click each one to make bigger, if you are so inclined and see that each one is labelled 😀

I confess I am so so late on this, I had posted May on my other blog, Eclecticoddsnsods.co.uk, however totally forgotten I had not done so here, so I am aware June is still to come.  Meanwhile, let’s go to Isabella Plantation the long way around….basically I got lost!

So far I have done two posts which cover my favourite walk from Sheen Gate down to Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park.  I thought I would stick with this for the twelve months, but then I got distracted by Pens Ponds and decided to cover this area in a couple of posts also which now brings us to May.

Now I had heard that Isabella Plantation which is situated inside Richmond Park is stunning at this time of the year.  The blossom around the pond cast a vibrant mirage over the water, almost making it look the colour of the blossom.  This I could not miss, so the destination was set, Isabella Plantation it was.  If you wish to read up about this area, please click here:  Isabella Plantation.

But a brief account as taken from their website is:

The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830’s. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May.

Located in the gardens are the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaelas (introduced to the west from Japan in the 1920’s by the plant collector Ernest Wilson), large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, plus many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs which provide interest all year round.

Part of the parklands conservation designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the site is managed very much with nature in mind and the gardens are run on organic principles. Native plants commonly grow alongside exotics throughout the Plantation. Perimeter and shelterbelt areas are planted with native nectar and berry bearing trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for birds, bats and insects. The Plantation’s ponds and stream provide additional habitat for invertebrates and amphibians.

PREWARN – This post is not for the faint hearted, it took us a long time to get to our destination and I shall take you on the journey with me.  It is a nature lovers delight however.  There are plenty of galleries, please click on each individual photo to enlarge it should you wish.

So the trip to get to this area should have been relatively easy.  Being local residents we ‘thought’ we knew where it was, ie which car park it was near and decided in our arrogance for which we paid later, to just turn up at said card park.  This car park was near Pembroke Lodge.

So we arrived full of vigour an enthusiasm and decided to start walking to a wooded area that was enclosed in the distance that we ‘assumed’ was Isabella Plantation….it was not!

After brief respite they started to climb trees yet again, all rather exhausting to watch.

I was however given a floral present to keep me going.  The adventure seemed to be taking rather longer than I thought, after having noticed that the gate for the area we ‘thought’ was Isabella Plantation, clearly said ‘private’, Shrek decided to use google maps on his  phone and direct us to supposed ‘said’ area.

Changing Seasons May Richmond Park

Changing Seasons May Richmond Park

The boys yet again with their eternal energy levels decided to not only climb trees, but jump over fallen ones, then hide in empty wooden carcasses and poke their hands through like growing vines.

We walked what seemed a vast circle, the youngest eventually just dumping himself on the mud, no ditch nearby but he didn’t care, exhausting temporarily took over.

The Changing Seasons May 2015 Richmond Park

The Changing Seasons May 2015 Richmond Park

We then crossed over a road and Shrek said yes we are nearly here.  By this point I was utterly exhausted.  I decided to ask a nearby person on a bench and she pointed us in the other direction.  Shrek was not having it, we continued as he direct and we ended up at Holly Lodge which is NOT the Isabella Plantation.

We did however see some resident deer on the way, they had a curious look on their faces as if to say “I am sure I have seen these stupid humans wandering all over the park” snigger snigger.

We turned tail from Holly Lodge, of which you can read about here: Holly Lodge

My youngest decided to give me a wishing flower, but promptly blew it all himself, I can guess he was wishing he was at home with some electrical gadget to play with.  I decided to ask a couple if they could direct us, the look of shock and pity when they realised how far away we were from our destination.

They suggested we go the long walk back to the car park and drive nearer to our final location, which is what we eventually did.

However, seeing a the car was parked at Pembroke Lodge, mummy took the rare opportunity to insist on a cup of tea.  Seeing as it was semi Shreks’ fault for the extended walk he could not decline.  Upon entering the gardens I saw a bride, oooh and bridesmaids, of course I could not help but snapping them.

I had my cup of tea, and a view as you can see, semi respite, enough courage to carry on

We arrived at the car park to Isabella Plantation, phew, oh my, now a walk to get to the gate!!!!

Now I went in on my own.  The others were busy parking and the kids moaning about “silly mummy wanting to take photos for this challenge” .  So I thought it best to jump out and go in first on my own and get some photos under my belt before they came in.  What I didn’t realise was how utterly massive this place was, nor that phone coverage would work, I lost my family inside and I lost the entrance, oh my…..I am sooo not good with directions.

The plants however were utterly gorgeous.

I was heading for ‘the pond’ asking various people where it was.  They said straight ahead.  It was a long walk.  I got there, no blossom!!!  Then I was told that there was more than one pond.  I then started to panic.  I was asking whether fate was telling me that I really should not be here, nor trying to do this?

I then asked people where the pond was with the blossom.  I was greeted with either “No idea, I cannot find it myself”, or “I found it last week but cannot find it again”.

So forlorn and slightly frightened at the sheer size of the place, the fact I could not get hold of my family, I walked, and walked and walked.  Suddenly I came upon a clearing and heard lots of “ooohs” and “aaah” and eureka, I made it, found the pond I was so so pleased, nearly jumped up and down in joy!

It was seriously beautiful this particular pond in Isabella Plantation, I can now see what all the fuss is about.  Now I have edited, uploaded and looked at all these photos, it reminds me of the sheer immense size of the walk, for which I paid for physically the next day but utterly worth it wouldn’t you agree?

Thank you for viewing my gallery today, I would love to chat, have some feedback, so please don’t go away until another season, Justine xxx

© Justine Nagaur

 

Annual General Meeting, 7.30 pm Monday 18 May, All Saints Church Hall, Park Avenue

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The Annual General Meeting for the Friends of Palewell Common & Fields will be being held Monday 18th May 7.30pm All Saints Church Hall, Park Avenue

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Annual General Meeting Annual General Meeting

Friends of Palewell Common

Annual General Meeting

7.30 pm Monday 18 May

All Saints Church Hall, Park Avenue

Please join us for the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Palewell

Common which will take place at 7.30pm on Monday 18 May at All Saints

Church Hall, Park Avenue.

As well as electing the Committee for the coming year we will be reporting on

 What has been happening on the Common over the last year

The extension to the boules pitch formally opened last Saturday

The use of the common for sports – football, tennis and cricket

The creation of a new frog pond in the woodland on the Common

The activities of the Friends of Palewell during the year

The events we have held on the Common including most

recently our first dog show

The improvements we have made to our website and our regular

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Four legged friends & children have fun at the Friends Spring Event! See who won the handsomest male!

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It looks like the Dog Show and Spring Event for the Friends of Palewell Common & Fields went down a treat. What an amazing bunch of dogs!!! Congrats to all of those who came along and to those who won!

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Four legged friends & children have fun at the Friends Spring Event!  See who won the handsomest male!

Please note:  There are many photos on this post, some within a gallery, if you wish to see them enlarged, please click on each individual one and it will be brought up separately.

There was much anticipation and excitement brewing for our Spring Event just passed Saturday gone.  Plenty of organising had been done and we were stepping in to new territory by holding a Dog Competition for the first time on Palewell Common.

We had our usual Pin the Antlers on the Deer Game and a Seek and Find Treasure Hunt.  The wind gave us a challenge, threatened to rip down our dog enclosure and sweep away our leaflets, but we were not to be defeated.

Local police came down offering free security stamping for bicycles and this soon became a…

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Friends Spring Event inc Dog Show, Games & Competitions, Sat 9th May 10.30 – 12.30

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Friends Spring Event inc Dog Show, Games & Competitions, Sat 9th May 10.30 – 12.30
Sounds like an event not to miss!

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Friends Spring Event inc Dog Show, Games & Competitions, Sat 9th May 10.30 – 12.30

It’s all happening on Saturday 9th May 10.30 – 12.30

The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields are hosting their Spring Event down at Palewell Common.

There will be games, fun, banter and chatter plus Palewell’s 1st Dog Competition supported & hosted in conjunction with our local grooming salon, Dog Town.

It is FREE to enter.

Come and have some fun with your four legged friends.

Bring your two legged friends down for some fun & games also!

The Friends Spring Event The Friends Spring Event

Please feel free to spread the news through social media and to use the poster freely, all efforts to spread the word sincerely welcomed!

The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

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Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 04, April, Richmond Park

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Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 04, April, Richmond Park

April

Cardinal Guzman has come up with a very good idea and that is to photograph monthly something scenic, be it urban or rural.  To then capture this again in a month’s time and repeat until a complete year of shots is taken.  I am taking it that one should take shots of the same area to show the difference through the Seasons, but I guess this doesn’t have to be the case, just my take on it and choice I suppose.

For those of you interested in joining, don’t worry about the dates, there is no final deadline, just a suggestion, so you still have time to go out there and create a gallery for this lovely monthly exhibit.

thechangingseasons_6367Now on to my photos for Cardinal’s Monthly Photo Challenge:  The Changing Seasons (click the link to pop by his blog and read all about it).

Richmond Park

As you will know one of my favourite places to go is Richmond Park and this is the place I aim to photograph once a month until the year is up.

You will be able to see collectively all the posts on my Changing Season by clicking this link:- Changing Seasons of Richmond Park

I am also starting a bit of a collection of photographing benches, here are two unrelated favourites: – Weekly Photo challenge: Shadowed – the other one you will see in last months post and some more in this months.

I have presented the photos in gallery format but if you are looking at them from a desktop you might one to click each one to make bigger, if you are so inclined and see that each one is labelled 😀

This time I went back to the lakes which you saw in March’s post, I also went back to see if those two lovely dollies were still stranded.  They had been saved!  This photo session was done in one batch but my camera died on me and hence my trustee iPhone came out to take over part way.

We started off by heading down to the Pen Ponds Cafe, with sticks and leads at hand we headed up rather than down to begin with.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Magestic trees to view, yup I think that one way to high to climb, mothers near heart attack all over thank goodness as they walk by.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

However we get distracted by a rather cute bulldog flirting with Teddy and giving him a run for his money, she even poses with a rather crunchy stick in her mouth!

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

There are lots of dens again to be found, to nestle in to and then Teddy ruins it all by dislodging a branch that canopies one of the dens and decides to play tug of war with my eldest…sighs!

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

He gets chased by some rather small pony or huge dog, it went by so fast I’ve no idea which!

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

AT LAST I get a decent capture of a bird, namely one of our resident Parakeets that are copious in Richmond Park.  Though they are prolific and rather bullish they are also rather cute to look at and oh yes rather noisy!

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Then some lovely ladies pass us on horseback from Kingston Stables.  At least that is where I ‘think’ they came from, I did get distracted by the rather wonderful horses.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

I think I woke him…uh oh!  Spotted.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Alright I shall move on and annoy another…who seems to be dozing.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Oh great, not dozing but now apparently grinning for the camera, how lovely.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Or maybe not!

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Uh oh, looks annoyed, I best go.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

So the children and Teddy patiently wait for me to take my deer shots and I am very pleased AT LAST again to have gotten some close ups.  Now we are getting rather hot with all this walking and decide to finally head to the lakes, glorious.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Teddy didn’t care about dolls, all he wanted to do was rest and roll in the grass.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

After winding our way around the track that snaked around the lake, I spotted a lovely couple relaxing and taking in the view.  It reminded me of spending time with my mother who has since passed away.  Her birthday however was on the 21st of this month, so I wrote a poem and featured the bench post in it.  If you like poems and wish to see it, the link is here:  Eclectic Corner #10 Unconditional Love.

We are nearing the end of our journey now, so I give you another view of the lake and solitary swan.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

Plus a sign that Spring is glad to be here.

The Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

How does my youngest still have the energy to climb up curly trees?

Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

My youngest’s hair competes with a tree…

Changing Seasons #4 April

Changing Seasons #4 April

They rest and finally we get picked up, rather sweaty and tired we all are now!

Thank you for viewing my gallery today, I would love to chat, have some feedback, so please don’t go away until another season, Justine xxx

© Justine Nagaur

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 03, March, Richmond Park

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Better late than never, here is March 2015’s The Changing Seasons in Richmond Park. I will be re-blogging The Changing Seasons from Eclectic Odds n Sods, which is one of my other blogs, rather than taking up my media storage and duplicating. Hence I am very late on this, but April will come soon, hopefully all worth the wait!

Eclectic odds n sods

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 03

March

Cardinal Guzman has come up with a very good idea and that is to photograph monthly something scenic, be it urban or rural.  To then capture this again in a month’s time and repeat until a complete year of shots is taken.  I am taking it that one should take shots of the same area to show the difference through the Seasons, but I guess this doesn’t have to be the case, just my take on it and choice I suppose.

For those of you interested in joining, don’t worry about the dates, there is no final deadline, just a suggestion, so you still have time to go out there and create a gallery for this lovely monthly exhibit.

thechangingseasons_6367Now on to my photos for Cardinal’s Monthly Photo Challenge:  The Changing Seasons (click the link to pop by his blog and read…

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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

Successful volunteering with Natures Gym

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It looks like Nature’s Gym and The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields had a successful volunteering day which is great to hear.

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Successful volunteering with Natures Gym

The Friends of Palewell Common had a vey successful volunteer day on the morning of 19 March.   Eight volunteers turned up to work with Nature’s Gym, Richmond’s nature conservation contractor to plant new native wild flowers in the orchard area on the playing fields.  We started at our regular time of 10.00 and finished by noon.
We started by clearing the grass from about a dozen small areas for the new plants to give them a better chance to grow through.  We had a large number of established wild flower plants – red campion, field scabious, devilsbit scabious, meadow cranesbill and cowslip.   We also had a number of native daffodils to add to those we had planted previously which were coming into flower.

Volunteering with Natures Gym Volunteering with Natures Gym

After laying them out we set to planting

Volunteering with Natures Gym Volunteering with Natures Gym

We also had…

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Thursday 19th March 2015 – join Nature’s Gym at Palewell Common for a green fingered event!

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Don’t forget that the Nature’s Gym team will be down at Palewell Common & Fields tomorrow, 10am start if you want to help out at our lovely green space.

Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Thursday 19th March 2015 – join Nature’s Gym at Palewell Common for a green fingered event!

As usual Gina from Nature’s Gym will be at Palewell Common with her van of gardening implements at 10am.

The meeting point is Pistachios, if you have an hour or two to spare, please pop down and say “hello”.  It is always a relaxed affair and something usually to be learn’t from Gina and social banter!

We hope to manage to plant some wild flower plugs in the orchard area as well as tidying and enlarging the dead hedge.  There is lots of removal of ivy to be done in the woods and pruning of any areas of lavender.

Lots to be done, plenty of help would be muchly appreciated!

© The Friends of Palewell Common & Fields

Hard working boots Hard working boots

Sharing this through social media would be appreciated.

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