Lovely London

And already I am behind in loading photos! I blame it on having too much fun. 🙂

Thursday we went to the British Museum. I’d been there before, but because I went with the group doing the quilting depth report during a study abroad, I didn’t get the opportunity to wander around and look at many exhibits. This time, we looked at Assyrian art, Greek/Roman art and artifacts from medieval Europe. The latter was my favorite.

The Parthenon pediment. Pretty dang cool since it obviously wasn’t at the Parthenon when I visited it in Greece!

On of my favorite parts of the museum was the room filled with clocks. Why don’t we make clocks and pocket watches this way anymore? I wish this sort of craftsmanship was still common. One of the clocks had a rolling ball that went back and forth every 30 seconds and evidently travels 2,500 miles a year. Calculating for the clock’s age, the ball has traveled something like 507,000 miles at this point!

This galleon clock has little tiny soldiers on the deck and a bellows inside that used to play a regal tune marking the hour.

This is what my sister is like in the morning. No joke.

Isn’t this lovely? It was outside a florist down the street from the flat we’re staying in. I love how clearly the sky and buildings across the street are reflected in the plate glass windows.

I’m a sucker for blue doors.

This is the apartment building we’re staying in! We’re on the third floor.

More later, folks!


Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Ten points to the person who knows where the quote in the title of this post comes from.

So the girl who lived in this apartment last lived here for three years. In that time, she put in a garden in the backyard and she did a really good job. The town where I live is very industrial and the houses are all about three inches apart (no, I’m not exaggerating), so it’s a good piece of luck to have the space for a garden in the backyard of the apartment.

The garden is sturdy, has that great blue door and is covered in chicken wire so the pigeons can’t get in. We have a serious pigeon infestation at this apartment. To the point where our friend Devon’s offer to come shoot pigeons with a BB gun is growing on me. The pigeons have also taken to roosting on our porch, which sucks big time because now it’s covered in pigeon poop. So on our list of things to do this weekend is buy some screen and screen in the porch. And scrub pigeon poop.

Anyway, the garden has three raised beds built in pallets, which I spent some time Monday (when the temperature got up to a whopping 50 degrees!) weeding and cleaning up the garden area. To the left of the fenced-in area, I’ve started a compost pile. Still trying to figure out how to discourage the neighbors from tossing their trash in it. Since Shawn and I apparently live in eastern Europe (I’ll post a pic soon to illustrate that point).

We plan to cover the garden in white plastic too so it will be more like a greenhouse. It still gets pretty cold here at night until well into June. Here’s my point illustrated:

36 degrees at 11 a.m. in May. Ugh.

The plastic will be roll-up-able, and we can clip it up with clothes pins to let air circulate so it doesn’t get so hot inside in July and August. But to protect against those June (and probably July) frosts, we’ve got to get something up. Oh the trials of living at a mile high.

But despite the weather, there’s hope. While I was weeding and turning the soil over (it’s great soil, too), I noticed some small rhubarb plants pushing up. Yay!

Last night we went to a fundraiser for the community garden, which is also conveniently two blocks from our apartment, and I’m planning to get involved there too. They need some help composting and building raised beds. Huzzah for putting my master gardener class to use!

One fabulous outcome of the evening was that there were some seeds and tomato plants for sale. And guess which variety of tomato plants? Cherokee purple! Cherokee purple is my favorite (at least of the heirloom variety tomatoes I’ve tried, which isn’t very many). And since the little guys were such a deal ($2 a plant, with one dollar going to the grower and one dollar to the community garden), I couldn’t resist. Let’s hope I don’t kill all three of them. I’ll be planting them after Memorial Day, as per the suggestion of one of the community garden ladies.

Well, I’m off for the day — lots to do! I’ve got to get some freelance work done, design a brochure for a client (I’ll post photos of the final product) and get some lettuce and flowers in the ground!