Tower of London goes red for WW1 centenary

LONDON - On Tuesday nights I get to run with a great group of people who work at the Tower of London. We run all over the city and cover over 5km. It’s been a great way to get out of the office and get active. I haven’t been going much for a long time and I’ve got out of shape but last week we all met up and as I approached the Tower I noticed all the poppies that had been placed in the moat. Thousands upon thousands have been plants over the past few days and have attracted so many people. I’m told that as the volunteers place the poppies in the moat, the crowds thank them with applause in a sign of support and gratitude. I think placing all these poppies is a wonderful way to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1 – a war that changed Europe forever…

Poppy 2 Poppy 1

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Hampstead Heath

LONDON – Sometimes sunshine can be so rare in London. Lately there has been a lot of rain although it hasn’t been too bad in my area. I do think that London feels more like London when its rainy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the weekend there was a fair bit of blue sky so I took Bus 46 all the way to Hampstead Heath.


It’s a park that stretches across 791 acres of woodland. It’s rugged and windswept. There are paths and several swimming ponds.


I took a path to the nearest pond and fed the ducks and birds my leftover bread. They weren’t shy. In fact, it quickly started to feel like a scene from The Birds. The white ones (not sure what their breed is) got really brave as they flew up and hovered in the air less than a metre from my face catching the bread before it landed. In a way it was impressive. But as more and more of them came, and they competed with each other for my old bread, I decided to take a step back and headed up a small hill.


There were lots of people in the park today. Couples and plenty of families. It was nice to see kids get excited about being outdoors as they balanced on the fallen branches and kicked the dead leaves.

Some other great parks in London that are great to explore:

Battersea Park

St. James’s Park

Clifton Greens

MAIDA VALE, LONDON - One of my favourite outings for the week is heading off to Clifton Greens in Maida Vale to do my fruit and vegetable shopping.


Clifton Road is a busy street in Maida Vale that serves the local area with all your necessities. There are several independent shops such as the organic butcher, this gem of a fruit and veg shop, Clifton Greens, as well as some cafes (I love Baker & Spice’s almond croissants) and a beautiful florist.


In the past I’ve headed to Tesco (I’m weaning myself off of this convenience store in London) and heading to more mom and pop places. I think I overspend on food. And worse, I waste a lot of  food too.  I think I spend too much because I go into a shop to buy milk, but come out having purchased many items that are not necessary but simply wanted.


So I’m now trying specialist shops and seeing if I spend less and also less frequently.

Clifton Greens has a good selection of fresh fruit. A great deal of the fruit is imported in the UK so you don’t get the quality you want sometimes, but this shop hasn’t disappointed me and as a result, I’m eating more fruit and hopefully I’ll stop reaching for the junk food…i.e. chocolate and pastries all the time! Price wise it’s a fraction more. But worth it.