Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Looking Back to Boston.....But Should we be Travelling Right Now with the threat of Coronavirus?

Looking back to some of my travel photo archives before I went digital in 2006,
I managed to get some travel negatives put on to a CD disc and the images
seem to have held up well.
These pictures were just a few of many that I took on my U.S trips between
2000 and 2006.
And it was while I was staying in New York that I jumped on a Greyhound Bus
at Penn Station and took the four hour trip to Boston.

Of course I miss the travelling after my big scare with the big 'C' in 2013. But then
if the opportunity rose to travel today, I'm not sure I would, now that we have a
potential global threat with the CORONAVIRUS.

And looking around online I see that many leisure travellers are still hopping
around the world without a care. To them the virus is an inconvenience.
Wouldn't it be better for these people to just stay at home until the whole thing
goes away, if it does.

Apparently the authorities in Boston are trying to tackle the virus problem
before their City's Boston Marathon coming up next month. Many of
us saw the pictures this last weekend of the half empty streets during
Sunday's Tokyo Marathon.


I remember spending a few hours late in the day, roaming around the Boston
Harbour and River before jumping back on the Greyhound Bus for that
four hour journey back to New York.

Above: Cathay Pacific staff at Boston's Logan Airport.

Looking like something out of a science fiction film, this is the
Thai Airways crew disinfecting an aircraft cabin to prevent the
spread of the coronavirus  at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi
National Airport.



Apparently the latest figure of confirmed U.K. coronavirus
cases is up to
5,683. And we're reading that things will get
a lot worse.
And as we're being encouraged not to go out
unnecessarily, it is slightly putting me off visiting
all the places around town that I had planned to
visit, places like Galleries and Museums.   

Coping with a Large Collection of DVD's

A couple of years ago I stumbled on the idea of saving space with
a fairly large collection of blu-ray and DVD discs.
I decided to discard the outer plastic packaging and just pop the actual
discs in a small plastic pocket. And as you can see from my picture above,
100 dvd discs now takes the place of just twelve fully packaged discs.
Of course one can no longer see all the dvd's stacked up on a wall shelf
as I now keep them in a three draw locker. But I'm okay with that. And I can
still find any dvd that I want as they're all categorized.

Thinking that I thought it was something I invented, but then looking on the
pages of Pinterest I found others doing the very same thing.

Above (online image).  As popular as it is, I guess that this
is the kind of look that I've been trying to avoid, when your
main front room starts to look like a warehouse and storage

And so this is where I keep all of my dvd and blu-ray discs, in this
three drawer locker (Below)  thereby saving a lot of wall space.
And the discs are all categorized into their own sections so that I 
know where to look for them, with sections titled......
Classic Movies, Westerns, Comedy Films, World and European
Movies, Sports Events, Science and History Documentaries,
Vintage British Culture Documentaries, Music, Opera and
I can't imagine how many discs there might be. Perhaps over a

Below: This collector enthusiast is clearly quite proud of his
large collection of various discs.

Monday, 2 March 2020

The First Day of March

Well, Sunday was after all the first day of March so I thought I'd take a little walk around
The Heath and see how things were developing now that we're almost into a new season.
And surprisingly there was quite a bit of Spring colour. The daffodils were up alongside the
Spring Crocus. And even several Magnolia trees were in early bloom.
Although having just had our wettest ever February, The Heath's greens were quite damp.

And when I walked through the Park to get to the Hampstead Pergola it felt like I had
arrived at an Instagram convention with many couples taking advantage of the beautiful
surroundings. I also counted about four or five film groups making their video productions.
And although our Spring doesn't officially start until the 20th of March, it certainly felt Spring
And in just 4 weeks our British Summertime begins on Sunday 29th of March.

More pictures below.


Above and below are a few images from The Water Garden,
all part of Golders Hill Park which leads into the
main Hampstead Heath.

It didn't surprise me to find some rave reviews for the wonderful
Golders Hill Park, as I did HERE on a Yelp page.
The Park has a Cafe, Zoo, a Childrens Play Area and several
ponds and a Water Park. And on Summer weekends they have
Music Concerts on the Bandstand.

Above are the two resident Donkeys at the Golders Hill Park Zoo.
And it was good to see them roaming about freely, as they do
seem to spend a lot of time in their enclosed barn where they
can't be seen.
I always preferred it when they used to roam about in the open
Fallow Deer area where they were closer to the general public.

In 2013 the Zoo took in six Wallabies, but with the double fencing
it is hard to get up close to them and other animals.

This enclosed area with it's pond statue, but with it's fountain
turned off, is a haven of Spring and Summer colour depending
on it's allotted annual Park budget.

My particular favourite flowers in this part of the Park are the
fine display of Red Dutch Tulips which will no doubt emerge anytime
And just out of shot of the water fountain is the Park's showpiece
Magnolia tree (below in full flower) as well as a beautiful white
Spring Blossom tree that often attracts many Japanese tourists
who pose under it for their instagram pictures.

Above: The ever popular Park Cafe which can get very
busy during the Summer months.

Above: The pond in The Hill Garden which leads into
The Hampstead Pergola.

Above: Cottages right on the edge of The Heath by the road side
and opposite a well known Pub.

If I ever pass the cottages in the evening just as it's getting
dark, then they look quite magical with their indoor lights on.
And that Pub just happens to be the famous 'Old Bull and Bush.'
And back in 2006 the interior was changed into a more modern
gastropub with an openly visible kitchen.
In fact I once had a memorable Sunday lunch there a few years
ago. And believe me, there's nothing like real home cooking.

Back in it's early days the Pub became popular as a daytrip for
cockney Londoners, resulting in that familiar Wartime song 'Down
at the Old Bull and Bush.'