Monday, December 29, 2008

Postcard from Wellingtonia Avenue

No Christmas tree could be as impressive as these. Tucked away in an otherwise unremarkable corner of Berkshire, Wellingtonia Avenue is a great example of British eccentricity. The 100 giant redwood trees were planted in 1869 to commemorate the death of the Duke of Wellington. The road they line leads nowhere very interesting – but the journey's the thing. Driving down this avenue feels special.

One side of the road is on National Trust land, forming the border of a wood, which could be lovely; if only today's irresponsible Brits could refrain from fly-tipping. On the other site of the road, the trees are in private front gardens. I know I'd feel pretty lucky to have one. But then, I do own the National Trust ones don't I? Lucky me.

My picture doesn't do it justice. There's a better photo here:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Card 2008

Only ten days to go until Christmas so I'm showcasing the Christmas decorations on Birmingham's Selfridges slug. Anyone who hasn't visited the city in recent years is probably thinking, 'What the...?' It's a building I'm fond of though – iconic and fun, especially with its Christmas decorations up.

I've just been to the Post Office with a stack of actual cards and parcels. And yes, I had to stand in a ridiculously long queue for the privilege of posting them. My own fault for not doing it sooner, I know! So the ability to post a 'card' here, from the comfort of home, with a cup of tea by my side, is a wonderful thing.

I hope you have a good Christmas and wish you all the very best for 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Postcard from Troon

It was a perfect winter's day. Cold enough to make your cheeks tingle but bright and dry enough that you don't care. I love sunsets as much as I love postcards, and a seaside sunset is the best kind.

Driving into the low sun is a pain of course – the combination of the glare below the visor and the salt-splattered windscreen made visibility awkward. Troon was well worth the trip though. The seafront walk is bracing and beautiful, there was a Christmas craft fair on in the tiny concert hall and we found the perfect café.

With home baking and frothy coffees the Beach Café is a trip back to the 1950s – including the décor, but even that is appealing. The lady in charge bustles about taking care of her customers and adding to the feel that you're visiting her living room. This kind of place couldn't survive in a busier town. Troon doesn't know how lucky it is.