Barnes Pond Monthly Outdoor Collectables Market is on this Saturday! 3rd September 9am – 3pm

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Barnes Pond Monthly Outdoor Collectables Market is on this Saturday!  3rd September 9am – 3pm

On the first Saturday of the month – weather permitting – there is an open air collector’s market held on the green next to Barnes pond and across the road from the farmers’ market. More info

The last date will be October 1st.

 It’s a fun shopping trip, a great walk and if your thirsty pop by the OSO Arts Cafe for a cuppa!

Barnes Monthly Pond Outdoor Collectables Market is on this Saturday! 4th June 9am – 3pm

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Barnes Monthly Pond Outdoor Collectables Market is on this Saturday!  4th June 9am – 3pm

On the first Saturday of the month – weather permitting – there is an open air collector’s market held on the green next to Barnes pond and across the road from the farmers’ market. More info

More dates are Saturday June 4th, from 9am to 3pm. Future dates for the season are July 2nd, August 6th, September 3rd and October 1st.

 It’s a fun shopping trip, a great walk and if your thirsty pop by the OSO Arts Cafe for a cuppa!


Barnes Village Fair ~ Saturday 11th July 2015, 9.30 – 5.30pm


Barnes Village Fair ~ Saturday 11th July 2015, 9.30 – 5.30pm





This year the Barnes Fair will be being held on Saturday 11th July.  If you have never been it is a complete must for your diary,  you can also see my write-up fro the 2014 Barnes Fair here:  Barnes Fair 2014

Click here to go directly to the Barnes Fair Website:  Barnes Fair Website

This year Barnes Fair is having a Medieval theme whilst celebrating it’s 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta and it’s links with Barnes.

We have been promised a bright pink castle, photo booth (make sure to dress up historically!), traditional Bandstand, themed floats in the Grand Parade.

Where it is?  It is being held on Barnes Green.

There are around 300+ stalls selling a huge variety of items from food, crafts & art, handmade, vintage, new, accessories, gardening, plants, books and designer items.  A host of other attractions, catering for every age and taste will also be there on the day.

The lightning speed merry go round

The lightning speed merry go round

I will be exhibiting there myself this year with products from my Artisan Online Store called Eclectic Odds n Sods, which you can find online here:  Eclectic Odds n Sods  (

I was very lucky to get a spot in the Old Sorting Office near the pond on Barnes Green, so I will be inside come rain or shine and none of my items will get blown away.

If you love handmade, eclectic, vintage, new and items made from near and far then please come and see me.  There is a huge variety from vintage jewellery, handmade jewellery and accessories from all over the world, modern fun items, accessories, homeware, children’s toys, textiles, crockery, handmade silk wraps from Sri Lanka, handmade knotted crystal beaded necklaces from Bali, crafted wooden & palm baskets from Africa and so much more.

Below you will see an example of some of the wares, there will be special Fair prices on the day.

Being a SW14 resident, I am also very happy to show items from my  home should you wish to see before buying, you can contact me on

Shipping:- I also ship outside of the UK upon request.

An example of some really Summer Fresh items for sale at Eclectic Odds n Sods….

Eclectic Summer Fresh Blog post


If you miss me at the Fair, you can always click my Shop Logo at the side of this blog, which looks like this:

Eclectic Odds n Sods Timeless Gifts & Accessories from Near and Far

Eclectic Odds n Sods
Timeless Gifts & Accessories from Near and Far

The Old Sorting Office Art Centre

(if you head to the Old Sorting Office, you will not only find me, but be in the hub of activity for the Fair)

Shabbytique Vintage Fair being held at the OSO Barnes, Sunday 17th May 10am – 4pm, live singer, shopping & banter!

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Shabbytique Vintage Fair being held at the OSO Barnes, Sunday 17th May 10am – 4pm, live singer, shopping & banter!

I will be down at the Eclectic Odds n Sods stall on Sunday as Shabbytique come to Barnes for the first time.  Let’s give them all our support and wander down on a relaxed Sunday morning to see what shabby chic, vintage or retro pieces that might catch our eye.  There will be entertainment in the form of a singer and he sounds great, you can hear him here:  Shabbytique.  The cafe will be having refreshments, the rest is up to you!

Eclectic Odds n Sods Poster for Oh Darling

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

Half Term Activities For Children at the Wetlands Centre

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Eggs, Bugs & Rock n Roll
WWT London Wetland Centre takes a light-hearted look at mating and dating


Authored from The Wetlands Centre

White-facedWhistlingDuckc_JackBoothbyLove is in the air and nowhere more so than at London Wetland Centre.

Come along to discover how birds, bugs and mammals attract a mate, their dating habits and what sort of partner they make.

If you thought your partner was clingy wait until you hear about male Angler fish!  And the Beatles aren’t the only ones to make sweet music; discover how animals use melody to make themselves more attractive.

Our Eggs, Bugs & Rock n Roll show is a fun and fascinating look at how animals meet, mate and mind the kids. After all, birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it – so come along and find out how!

The show is suitable for all ages over 8 years and runs daily at 14.30 from Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 February, 2015. Tickets are free with paid admission to the Centre.

And it’s a good time of year to build a Love Nest. Come and decorate a bird box to give a good home to a young (feathered) couple or build a bird feeder from scrap, our very own Scrap Cheep Challenge!


Asian short-clawed otters

Asian short-clawed otters

Eggs, Bugs & Rock n Roll is free with paid admission to the Centre: reserve your tickets by emailing  Tickets can only be reserved prior to the day you wish to attend, not on the day.  Some charges apply for the craft activities.

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, Water’s Edge Café, Observatory, a gift shop and free car park. The Centre also has adventure play areas for children.


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.



Visit Website


Joke of the day, or this day!


A bad joke, but we all love them right?

What do you call a blind stag?

Look at the bottom of the picture I took for the answer 🙂

No idea! (no eye deer)
No idea!
(no eye deer)

A bad joke, but my arm was twisted, and seeing as I took this photo, it seemed fitting.

Thankfully the stag is NOT blind!

I love deer too, before I get any “you must hate deer remarks!”

Thank you for reading as always, Justine x

Photos © Justine @

© Justine @

Swirling coffee & how to keep in touch

Lets keep in touch!


The Boat Race – A clear win for Oxford!

Thames River The Boat Race

A murky view!

A murky late afternoon for The Boat Race

I am rather embarrassed to say that this was the first time that I had gone down to watch The Boat Race.  What a murky early evening it was too.  The skies were spitting, threatening to dampen our experience, but we were full of British spirit as we ‘all’ (kids included and dogs, no one dog!) wandered down to the Barnes area of the river.

We got a great vantage point, the camera crew were out and a clear space on the river wall to lean over and prepare cameras for ‘that’ shot, which unfortunately with my rather old camera was rather fuzzy, but nonetheless I shall share with you anyway.

I must say that though the weather proved to be rather dull, there was one bright ray on my viewfinder whilst toiling the minutes away waiting, rather sunny and lovely don’t you think, even for an umbrella?

yellow umbrella

A sunny sight!

We watched overhead, the helicopters giving a good clue as to what was going on, and here they were..or should I say…here Oxford was, with a clear win by a strapping 11 lengths, apparently the biggest margin of victory since 1973.

Cambridge started aggressively but Luke Juckett had his rigger damaged in an early on, making rowing effectively impossible for him.  They did however remain in good spirits continuing energetically for the crowd until the end, finishing at Mortlake.

Some fuzzy pictures for those who couldn’t be there.

I must say though short but sweet, I enjoyed the experience and will make sure to get my walking legs on again next year to support this grand event.

There is no better way to finish off watching such a sporting spectacle than to have  a pint and a burger.  We trundled down to The Sun who had a barbeque going.  I was presented with burgers that were just onions and beef or pork burgers.  Being a fusspot I said “what no cheese, what no salad?”  Promptly the reply was no.  My heart sank, thinking “not being a fan of burgers in the first place this is not looking good”.  However, I must say that was the best burger I have ever had, the meat was delicious, so if you fancy a great burger, head on down to The Sun.  Apparently they do more elaborate ones not on The Boat Race night, so it is a no brainer, you will be pleased.

Thank you as always for reading!

Did you go to The Boat Race?

© Justine @

relax and chat with cup of coffee