Here's another shot from my walk along the Thames Path on Sunday. I had a good view of Syon House, the home of the Duke of Northumberland, across the river. I'd seen it before from the other side, when I walked the Capital Ring a couple of years ago -- that path runs through Syon Park.
What I'd never noticed is that the house has a proud-looking lion perched on the roof:
From the park side you can't really see it, but it's very apparent from the river.
Here's a super zoomed-in version:
Apparently this lion once stood on the roof of Northumberland House, a Jacobean mansion in The Strand in Westminster, overlooking what is now Trafalgar Square. That building was the city home of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, and when it was demolished in 1874 the lion -- the family symbol -- was moved here.
Dave and I have sorted out our summer vacation plans. We'd talked about traveling to Europe or the USA, but we don't want to leave Olga alone. (I feel guilty enough leaving her for a week in February to go to Florida!) Now that she's getting older she seems less independent and more vulnerable than she used to. So we decided to stay in England and take her with us. We rented a cottage for a week on the beach in Pevensey Bay, near Eastbourne. It looks like quite a swanky little place with a wall of windows that opens entirely onto the water, and pets are welcome. Woo hoo!
This doesn't preclude either of us from traveling to the states on our own -- we just won't do it at the same time. That way, someone is always here with the dog.
In other news, I've been in touch with the landlords about some of our maintenance issues -- mainly the dampness in the hallway, which I think comes from a seeping leak in our shower pipes -- and they're going to come by on Thursday evening to take a look. As much as I'd love a new shower or refitted bathroom, I'm dreading any decision to do a large renovation. In fact I'm not sure we'd stay put if they decide to do that. It might be time for us to move on to greener pastures! Our lease runs until July and I'd hoped to stay here at least one more year -- to enjoy the garden after our tree-trimming -- but anyway, we'll see what they say.
We've been in this flat for nine years, which is longer than I've lived anywhere except my childhood home. I'd like to make it an even ten!