Sunday, March 26, 2017



I have not done a blog post for quite a while.  The reason is my friend for over 40 years, Norma died in December.   One of the things we did together was talk about what I had posted last time whether it was travels or art.  I won't have that part of my blog posts anymore and has taken me this long to try to deal with that.  
Our friendship started in Panajachel, Guatemala with dancing at the Coco Loco and drinking rum out of a coconut.  I had to cross a river on a log to get home so if it was too late I would sleep at Norma's and that bonded us for life.  

She lived in Santa Fe at a Buddhist Centre and was a painter and sculptor.  I am lucky to have a few of her pieces.  Norma was a fantastic friend...I could call her anytime and talk about anything.  I visited her in Santa Fe several times and we always had such a great time.  Whenever anyone would visit her she made a list of things to do that she knew we would be interested in.  I loved her rooms at the Centre where we had PJ parties and made art, drives in the desert, visits to the Taos Pueblo, Spanish Market, Harry's Diner for pie, the old lady who ran the religious store, Mexican food, churches, graveyards, thrifts and of course visiting the many museums and art galleries.  We would have deep discussions as well as great belly laughs.  
On the days she worked she would drop me off in the neighbourhood she was working in and I would spend hours photographing so I have some lovely photo memories.  She was a gentle soul and I will miss her terribly. 

I left off my last post in Scotland and this is the second half of the journey when we headed to England.  I asked a couple friends who came from England about a place to visit other than London and both said York.  We got off the train in York and stayed for three days.  A lovely quaint walled city with the biggest church!

 staircase to the top of the wall
 view of the huge church from the wall
 we heard a choir rehearsing when we went in
 old buildings with a bit of a sag
 love the timber work

 gate to the city
 turret on the water and now a cafe

  they had the most amazing railroad museum with literally hundreds of displays


 best castle...these buildings were initiated by the French for protection...
they dug a moat, piled up the dirt and built their castle on top

 click on the photo to see the original interior

 interior today
 we lucked out as it was an anniversary of a historical march and they were reenacting it

 took a trip on the river
ice cream store

 all about the pubs and sunshine on the river

Back on the train to meet up with Lee and Phil in London.
Our place in Earl's Court was fantastic, kitchen, two bed and baths, nice furniture and cool hood.

We had pre-booked a couple of tours.  One was the home of Marion and Edward Linley Sambourne in Kensington.  He was an illustrator for Punch Magazine.  Their home from 1875 on was decorated in the "Aesthetic" style which is basically "art for the sake of beauty" movement.   It was filled with his art and their friend's art and beautiful objects from all over the world.  Highly recommend it.

The other one was a tour of Highgate Cemetery started in 1839
the town of Highgate in North London is very cool

kinda says it all

these old coffins now deteriorating...these are not in the ground they are in a crypt in the walls

and they have this modern fence on the outside
 we had to visit Harrods which is unbelievable

the room for shoes and purses

the room for champagne and caviar

every department has its own decor

window shopping


 art gallery display

 cohiba car


wouldn't mess with this gang

welcoming couch for this store

at least they reused the box

a beer boat

old and new

some bling on the River Thames

 on the lookout

 sucker for a bike

 a backrest on a toilet????

paint sample display...there were hundreds in the windows

private the hats

the markets were cool but no deals!

coffee and newspapers in the middle of the through?

the EYE is high for me to venture onto

Arnt doing his Fred Herzog impression with street photography

got him back

Arnt and Phil went to the RAF Aircraft Museum and the Chatham historic docklands

 like a couple of kids!!

 boys like big machines

 touring the submarine
 will I fit in there?

very spacious

this is the mile long building for making rope

lovely wood boats
 you can rent this space at the docklands for private events

 each link is almost a foot wide!!

Hyde Park

 punting on the lake with champers and cigars

Lee and I went to the Tate Modern

 The original conversion from the Power House
the new addition which is called the Switch house
(photo from Tate file)


paper clips


my fav


Saint Paul's Cathedral

we heard an organ recital while there by one of the top musicians in the world

Millenium Bridge...St Paul's to Tate Modern
(archived photo)

 cafe/bar in Hyde Park

We took a river trip down the Thames

love to see that as an artist building

a bit like Holland with the long low houseboats

so many awesome train stations

Thanks Phil and Lee for a fabulous visit to London!


  1. Love it all. Going with the family in June, and will be visiting some of your sites. Photos are great Valerie as usual! xoxo

  2. Great photos Val! Love the mixture of old and new that you've captured. Also, I'd be a sucker for those paint samples! Fun :)