England in brief …

Now we have some photographs to illustrate the message posted here from a hotel room a couple of days ago.

Spring is sprung over there with a glorious display of what is probably my favourite flowering tree – the Blackthorn.  Given that you get these fabulous drifts of white flowers at this time of the year and then a fat crop of sloes in late summer with which ot make sloe gin it makea a very versatile plant.

Blackthorn in typical habitat - in this case beside a stream in Hertfordshire

Blackthorn in typical habitat - in this case beside a stream in Hertfordshire

Blackthorn flowers

Blackthorn flowers

One of the things we always like to do in England is to visit a country pub, have a pint of “warm” beer (it isn’t really warm at all, just doesn’t have icebergs in it but N-Americans like their myths so we try to oblige) and eat a sausage sandwich  (DON’T WORRY – BIRD PICTURES COMING SOON) … this pub also had a commendable attitude towards children that we could only applaud.

Good idea

Good idea

And now a bird … a female Pheasant trying desperately to get into that thick hedge and away from us … probably she knew how nice she would taste.  Over here this would be a Ring-necked Pheasant but in England they are simply Pheasants – and rightly so too, they are the first of the race after all and need no qualification.

Pheasant

Female Pheasant

Of course, England would not be England without some mist and grey skies and old buildings …

Mood piece

Mood piece

A little waterside boskiness never goes amiss for the tourist from this continent either :

7

When we made it to London, round the corner from the hotel we found (but did not enter) a Canadian public house … a pretty bizarre idea when you come to think of it in England, the home of real pubs and real ale … not surprisingly, the first item on the menu posted outside was poutine while almost everything else had maple syrup in it.

Canadian Pub - Covent Garden, london

Canadian Pub - Covent Garden, london

This next picture is ostensibly Buckingham Palace but that’s not really what was being illustrated … rather this is to impress you with the fabulous display of ornamental planting of flowers, an art that Europe in general and England in particular excels in (we are far too republican to take a picture of Buck-House for any other reason).

Some world-class ornamental bedding

Some world-class ornamental bedding

NOW for some BIRDS (not the object of the trip, but always nice to see) …

Moorhen

Moorhen

Eurasian Coots

Eurasian Coots

Pochard

Pochard

red-crested Pochard (not a native - this was in a park, but a handsome fellow for all that and certainly European)

Red-crested Pochard (not a native - this was in a park, but a handsome fellow for all that and certainly European)

Now for some iconic architecture …

The British Museum

The British Museum

The british Museum inside with the stunning new roof over the central courtyard

The British Museum inside with the stunning new roof over the central courtyard

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House (we visited for the music - stunning)

The Royal Opera House (we visited for the music - wow)

Telephone boxes all in a row outside the Bow Street Magistrate's Court - you expect the "Runners" to appear at any moment

Telephone boxes all in a row outside the Bow Street Magistrate's Court - you expect the "Runners" to appear at any moment, or perhaps Dr. Who

A wonderfully witty undertaker's premises

A wonderfully witty undertaker's premises - "Happy-go-Lucky"

the garden courtyard in the V&A Museum

the garden courtyard in the V&A Museum

And finally …

Modern glass in the glass (what else) section of the v&A - thes efellows appealed to us

Modern glass in the glass (what else) section of the V&A - these fellows appealed to us

Meanwhile, the splendid Victorian sculptury at the foot of the Albert Memorial, having lost an Empire has taken up feeding the birds :

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag"

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag"

Even more lastly …. one of the things we did today after our return to Canada (nice to be back – good vacation, but nice to be back home again for all that) was to take advantage of a some sunshine to get the pond pump and waterfall working in the garden for the season.  Within an hour birds were already bathing in the water and having a good time.  No garden should be without a pond and waterfall.  Quite essential.

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