Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wintery scenes from snow covered West London...

Snow? Wintery landscapes? West London? Don't panic! 

Are you wondering where your daily dose of Hollywood gossip and amusing anecdotes from our exploits living here in sun-kissed L.A. are? Or are you looking for the latest news on our adorable Labrador pup Cooper (never fear, he's not been carted off to the puppy pound quite yet)? 
Chiswick in snow
Well don't you worry, normal service will resume shortly. For now I just wanted to share with all you returning fans of Jason in Hollywood or any newcomers a selection of wonderful wintery images of London from our recent trip to the British Isles.
Jason braving snowy London
These fantastic images of West London in the snow were taken on Monday 2nd February 2009 after the heaviest snowfall that London has seen in around eighteen years.
Chiswick House grounds in snow
The snow took everyone by surprise - the weathermen, transport chiefs and even us on our first return home after living in sunny California for ten months.
Chiswick in snow Feb 2009
I'm so glad that we remembered to take our big coats and all our winter gear, as it was bitterly cold. 
Frozen Chiswick pond
Fortunately I was finally able to sport my Prada coat which I'd bought in Florence, Italy, one holiday (for a small fortune and the most I've ever spent on an item of clothing in my life) and then never worn it because we'd decided to move to L.A. to live shortly after. 
Jason in Hollywood in London snow
Aside from being the loveliest coat in the world to touch, it also came in handy keeping me snug and warm in all the snow.
Chiswick House snowbound Feb 2009
As the snow pretty much stranded us in our old West London stomping grounds, we made the most of it by taking a walk through the gardens of Chiswick House to enjoy the dramatic winter wonderland.
Snow laden branches
Chiswick House was England's first examples of neo-Palladian design and the octagonal domed villa building was completed by Lord Burlington in 1729. 
Snowy Chiswick winter landscape
Apparently the Palladian villa was never intended to be lived in (it has no bedrooms or kitchen), but was meant to house Burlington's collection of art and books and to entertain friends.
Chiswick House in snow February 2009
The house and grounds passed to the family of the 4th Duke of Devonshire when Burlington's daughter married him and she died an early death in the 1750's.
Snow covered branches
In 1929 the 9th Duke of Devonshire sold the property to Middlesex County Council and it is now looked after by the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust which was formed in 2005.
Geese on frozen pond
Chiswick House and gardens is currently one of the UK's biggest restoration projects, receiving over over twelve million pounds of investment to return it to its 18th century glory.
Birds in the snow
Because of the renovation work happening a lot of the gardens were roped off, but that didn't stop people playing in the snow and building snowmen along the river bank.
Snow covered Chiswick trees
We were just happy to walk around the familiar surroundings, in somewhat unfamiliar circumstances granted, but it still felt nice to be enjoying one of our old local haunts.
Turnham Green church snow covered
After our wander through Chiswick House we headed back over to Turnham Green, by Chiswick's Town Hall to see the church in all the snow, which looked pretty picturesque.  
Chiswick Townhall in snow
After the initial snowfall during the night, there continued to be frequent flurries during the day and everyone was taking advantage of the deep snow to make giant snow boulders on the green, throw snowballs at passersby or if they were young, experience the novelty of snow like this for the very first time.
Turnham Green in the snow
By the next day the sun was back out and there were blue skies again and we were able to resume our trek around the country catching up with friends and family.
Blue sky, snowy tree
So the snow was a real unexpected highlight of our trip home.  Little did we know that the British weather still had a few tricks up its sleeve.

Finally on another note, Happy Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day foodie message
Have great time however you intend to celebrate this romantic occasion... 

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