England:  St. Kildas and Mile End

June 23 - 29, 2018

mru 2018-07-07

Double-click a picture to see it in full-resolution.

It's been six years since I visited St. Kildas, much too long.  In the last year it has undergone renovations to insulate it, modernize the interior, and provide beautiful landscaping.  It was very charming before, and now the interior is comfortably modern.   I've just spent a happy week there and with my friend Andrew in London.


St. Kildas

Older St. Kildas

2011 Realty Brochure before

2012 Property, aerial view

Ground floor plan before
2018 renovations

2012-04-07: Video Tour of Former Sun Room
(Orangerie), former Kitchen and
former living room

New layout


Approaching house

Entrance (left wing is the Cottage, which
is 16th century. Note thatched roof.)


Entrance viwed from upper corridor

Living room & snug seen from

Living room
(viewed from snug)

"Snug", with floating
fireplace (viewed from LR)

Closeup of "snug"

Mungo waits on Sarah

A "Snug" is British vernacular for a small, cozy corner room.  In the present case, it's not isolated, just a cozy corner.

Well persists in the snug

Dining room from snug

Dining room

Terraced garden

The dining room and kitchen are flanked on either side by large windows, admitting a lot of light.  On one side is the inchoate patio/courtyard.  On the opposite side, in the direction of the fields, is the new terraced garden, which wraps around the back of the kitchen (and Janet's study) into the courtyard.

Terraced garden skirts dining

Patio on opposite side
of dining room

Hanging out in kitchen. (On the
table are many scones and jam.)

Kitchen features modern

Modern (near-boiling) hot-
water dispenser
David waters garden

At the snug is a T junction.  Opposite the dining room is the cottage, which is walled off beyond the small bathroom and accessible only from the outside.  Later the wall of the WC will be replaced by a door allowing communication with the cottage.

In the other direction from the living room is a corridor offering access to:  David's luxurious study;  my favorite room in the house, the networking closet;  and terminating in the old beloved sun room (formerly dining room).

Sun Room's corridor

I like the lines in the
door to David's office

David's office

David's office

Networking panel

Sun room, to be Janet's
Floor heating controller (on left).
The house is heated exclusively from
the floors.

If I had one modest criticism of the spectacular new layout, it is that the living room doesn't have a function; it is merely a lovely oversized chamber to get past to where you want to be.  Perhaps the furniture could be reworked and it could be assigned a vital purpose.  I'm not trying to be catty here, it's just a thought.  P.S. David & Janet are perfectly aware and plan to add furniture, and also a piano to the "cathedral space" area at the entrance.


Annual fundraiser for St. Andrew church:

St. Andrew's Fundraiser at Mo's


Mo's side yard with train car,
telephone box


We eat while...

...Janet cooks.

...Her eclectic healthy creation

Group photo before disbanding

Mungo longs to lick

HEH in the fields of Chilcomb

Lunch at the Bush Inn

On the last night I made cod
with butter, garlic, lemon, dill

We had a guacamole dinner by the frog pond (the picnic table is out of view).

Frog pond

Frog pond

The longer driveway to the
tennis court
The access road is one-lane
(S. Downs Way)

One night we ate in town at an Indian restaurant (where I tried wood pigeon).  Afterwards Janet led us on a walk about the cathedral, Winchester College and the river.

Winchester walk

Houses on River Itchen



On Wednesday (2018-06-27) David drove Sarah & me to Winchester for breakfast at Josie's, which Sara adores and fancies working at this summer.  She joined us knowing she would have to walk home to Chilcomb afterwards.  She's tough!  David and I railed to Waterloo Station, London, and walked to the Turkish restaurant where we met up with Andrew.  Quite pleasant meal although I sent back my first request, the lamb kidneys.  Lunch done, the passoff occurred and Andrew took me on "the tube" to his flat in Mile End, which is a neighborhood a mile east of London center, not frequented by tourists.  That evening Andrew fed me English "mezze" on his patio, then took me on a pub crawl cum architecture appreciation.  Andrew pointed out apartments bombed in WW2, identifiable by the discontinuities in architecture.


Andrew at Turkish rest.

David too!
Andrew's flat, always with the
greenest lawn on the block 

Thursday we railed to Greenwich, where I straddled the eastern and western geographical (not political) hemispheres.  Andrew led me to Goddard's, a famous house of the classic East London dish, "pie and mash with eels".  The river was so polluted once that only eels thrived in it.  The sauce choices were "liquor" and "eels".  "Liquor" refers to a parsley/vinegar sauce.  Eels might refer to boiled pieces of eel in jelly.  Next time I'll try that.

We bifurcated for the afternoon. I ferried (Another excellent suggestion of Andrew's) from the Cutty Sark to Westminster, then subway to Sloane Square.  Walked to the ancient botanical garden, Chelsea Physic Garden (Andrew's idea).  En route visited the National Army Museum, which had a special exhibit on special forces.  It was good but I already knew everything from having watched David Mamet's TV series "The Unit", one of my favorites ever.  Despite a tube breakdown I met up with Andrew and we went to Islington for an excellent dinner with his Cathy and a friend of hers.

Harold spans two hemispheres
at Greenwich

Sundial.  Shadow cast by tail
tips indicates time.

Andrew brought me to Olde
Pie & Mash

Said pie & mash with liquor
(steak & kidney pie, parsley
sauce, mashed potatoes)

Ferry ride from Cutty Sark to
Westminster.  Lots of construction!

National Army Museum:
memory test

Chelsea Physic Garden:
cloth exhibit: hemp, flax,

Dinner in Islington: Andrew and a
mischievous Cathy

On Friday, my last day, Andrew had the terrace factotum Steve over to paint his deck, to better match its color to the apartment floor.  I walked a lot: to the bank to exchange my defunct 1980s coins for something spendable; then to the giant Victoria Park.  On the way back I spotted a fish & chips and got takeout.

The journey home was simple (thanks again to Andrew for guidance):  Subway, rail & Gatwick lounge.  Oh, and an airplane.


Hertford-Union Canal

Hertford-Union Canal

Victoria Park Map

Fish & chips store
(opposite the Vitoria Inn)

The fish & ships --
not my thing

Public transport presents
information well

Approaching Boston