Sunday, June 5, 2016

5 on 5

On the beach in Bournemouth
Hello, chickadees!  I'm excited to participate in 5 on 5 this month, along with some wonderful photographers I know.  We share our five favorite photos from the past month.  My favorite photos from May are all from a journey Mr. Magpie and I took to England and Belgium, where he was giving talks for a couple of weeks. We were both teaching our online summer classes while we were there, too, so it was a challenge to juggle work, travel, spending time with friends and colleagues, and just soaking up the ambiance and energy of places that we love.  I returned home completely exhausted, but feeling incredibly lucky that I got to be back in England--and was able to explore a bit of Belgium, too!

A grave in the cemetery at St Alfege's Church in Greenwich
Over the years, London has come to feel like a home away from home for us.  When we're there we often stay in Greenwich, which is a Borough of London, but it's located east of the city center, on the south side of the Thames, across from the Isle of Dogs.  Greenwich is incredibly beautiful, and we like to stay at a wonderful B&B there, hopping on the Docklands Light Railway or the Thames Clipper boat when we need to get into the city proper.

Gravensteen Castle in Ghent, Belgium
Midway through the trip, we took the Eurostar to Belgium, so Todd could give a talk in Ghent, and we snuck in a day in glorious Bruges, too.  Both felt like magical fairy tale cities, and I will be back to post much more about them very soon.  I'd never visited Belgium before, but I hope I'll have the chance to return.

One of the many gorgeous store floral displays for #chelseainbloom during the Chelsea Flower Show
Meanwhile, back in London, the Chelsea Flower show was in full swing by the time we returned.  I didn't manage to snag us last-minute tickets, because I wasn't willing to hand over $300 apiece, but we spent a wonderful afternoon at the Chelsea Physic Garden and wandering past the gorgeous floral displays in the shop windows of Sloane Square.

On Princelet Street near Spitalfields
We don't spend a lot of time doing typical tourist stuff in London anymore, preferring to go to neighborhood markets, or to wander through lesser-known gardens and quirky, off-beat museums, sampling street food along the way.  I'm working on a fun post about some hidden treasures to experience if you're looking for something a little off the beaten tourist path in and around London.

Thanks do much for stopping in, my friends.  If you'd like to take a peek at Stephanie's beautiful photographs, her link is here.


  1. So nice to see a post from you, and these images are gorgeous! It's impossible to even think about picking a favorite! I'm looking forward to seeing more from your trip.

  2. Such incredible images you've shared and wonderful insight into your visit. I would travel just the same way, staying to the small and local markets instead of the touristy stuff.
    Your photos sure stand out, I believe that I could recognize them anywhere!

  3. I can't wait to hear more about London and Belgium. I always welcome any information about anything interesting in London that is off the beaten track. your photos are beautiful. The one of Spitalfields reminded me of something out of a Charles Dickens novel.

  4. it's a serious fairy tale life you're leading, ms. magpie. absolute gorgeousness, and what a wonderful trip! thank you for sharing.

  5. Love seeing a touch of your adventure in England and Belgium. Your photos are just wonderful. How I am enjoying remembering through photos beautiful places there.

  6. What a treat to go there often. I loved London and would love to go back someday. The off-beat things are definitely more fun.

  7. These are so beautiful and lovely to look at! I can't stop staring at the 4th image. It should be hung on a wall!

  8. Gigi these are all such beautiful photos, and I loved reading about your recent visit to London and Belgium. The grave covered in flowers is remarkably beautiful...a story all on its own. LOVE your hubby so classically leaning against the building! Love your work!

  9. Wow! These are absolutely incredible! The first is my favorite. It looks like it could be on a book cover. Actually, I think any of these could be on a book cover . . . Great work!

  10. I will be very interested to read about the things you have found in London that are off the beaten track. I haven't lived there for years, so don't want to do the tourist things anymore, so new and up to date findings are just what I need.
    Lovely photographs too, and I'm so glad you liked Bruges. I went there on a school trip in 1961 and loved it. In fact the food where we stayed turned me into an eater, after years of being picky. My mother was thrilled that I had finally discovered vegetables!


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