Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
The Rain Room
You may have hear about the Rain Room at the Barbican, an art installation where you can walk in the dry in torrential rain. It's a very popular exhibit, and the queues when I dropped by were longer than the time to closing time. However, if you walk around the back you can look in as people come out. There is really a very lot of rain, and some of the young children find out the hard way that their parents REALLY mean walk, don't run......
I may well try to visit before it closes, but if I do, it won't be a weekend and it won't be anything other than first thing in the morning.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
It's the RSPB Birdwatch this weekend: take one hour and count the birds in your garden. It's something anyone can do, and has been going on for quite a few years. The results are often surprising, and provide a unique, speedy, feel for what is happening with our bird populations (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17523815 for last years. Squirrels feeding from bird proof feeders don't count.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Bike Show
On Sunday I visited the Bike Show in Excel, it is fascinating seeing the changes over the years, how cycling is becoming bigger and more mainstream. This year, for example, the were many people making and selling fashionable ladies clothes for cycling. These two bikes come from the same manufacturer - Cambridge based The Light Blues. The top bike is a special track bike built by the founder in 1900. The bottom is one of their latest offerings.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I was in a building 23 stories up yesterday, and I was struck by the number of cranes that are scattered across the landscape. And yes, in the rear of the frame is the broken crane on the building of St Georges Tower. You can see the wide view here http://extraspecialtreat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/view-fromthe-top.html.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Walking through London's Chinatown, I noticed a small doodle on the side of a street food vendor's cart. It's nice to think people thing about the ... artistic .... side of food. By the way, have you heard about the new Tesco beefburgers? They're meant to be very good, in fact they are the dog's b*****s
Friday, January 18, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
No, this isn't an old Rock'n'Roll haunt, instead, the "C" of "Crockers Folly" has fallen off. A magnificent Victorian pub, originally the Crown Hotel, its name was changed back in 1987 to perpetuate the legend of the founder, who is said to haunt the place. You can read the story in The Shady Old Lady. It's obviously going to be changed into flats, £4M is the asking price if you're interested.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
A Chinese Sculpture
One of the more bizarre bits of 2012 legacy is this sculpture of chinese playing polo (they invented it, apparently) dropped into a bit of scrubland opposite London City Airport.
Donated by a Chinese artist, I can do no better than to quote the press release:
A magnificent sculpture has been gifted to the borough by renowned Chinese sculptress Huang Jian.
The China-UK Friendship Polo Match was unveiled at a special ceremony attended by Mayor Sir Robin Wales and councillors.
The Polo Match sculpture is based on two Chinese ancient polo fans and two British modern polo lovers who travel through time and gather in the Olympic Park for a polo game.
Sir Robin said: “The Royal Docks is a fitting setting for this magnificent sculpture, which we are delighted to welcome.”
Speaking through a translator, Huang said: “My sculpture has found a fitting home. The backdrop of the docks and London City Airport is amazing.
I am very happy.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Two For Tea
That's the name of the duo I was fortunate to catch up with for free in the foyer of the National Theatre. Dropping in there around midday is always fun, and this duo was excellent. You can see for yourself - I took a (mobile phone) video and it is here http://vimeo.com/57220160.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
What's it Wirth?
Answer: I don't know, they don't say. Hauser & Wirth is an interantional art dealer, this is the Saville Row operation showing Isa Genzken's work. This is "Nefertiti plaster busts with glasses on wooden base, wooden plinths, belt, colour photographs in aluminium frames", of course it is. Just the thing for the mantelpiece mantelpiece mantelpiece mantelpiece.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I don't often get caught up by inane PR stunts but this one took my fancy. The more you swing, the more "snow" is produced (actually, a foam). It will be in Finsbury Square over the next couple of days if you fancy a try. I happen to think that bottled water is one of the most unnecessary, environmentally negative products of the modern age and no amount of silly promotions will make me think otherwise. And yes, I do sometimes use them for convenience, but the idea that one make of bottled water is better than another is risible.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Glockenspiel and Flags
The Glockenspiel that used to be outside the now defunct Swiss Centre in Leicester Square was restored recently, alongside the flags of the Swiss Cantons. It is supposed to chime with a five-minute performance five times a day Monday to Friday (at 12.00, 17.00–20.00), and eight times a day at the weekend (12.00 and hourly between 14.00–20.00). I have to confess, I think it is broken again. At least, I've not heard it lately, has anyone? It is supposed to sound like this.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
The Grand Old Duke of York
He had 10,000 men, d'you know? This is the Duke of York Monument off the Mall, with the Duke of York on the top; I've never known the viewing platform to be open, bit of a shame that - could be a candidate for Open House? He must have been popular with the soldiers, though, for all the futile marching, as they voted to donate a day's pay to construct this monument. Not the easiest thing to photograph, the rain helps.
Edit: Thanks to Hazeln for the pointer to Ian's story http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2012/10/30/closed-for-130-years-the-public-observation-tower-in-central-london/
Monday, January 07, 2013
Sunday, January 06, 2013
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Nearly beyond belief
Friday, January 04, 2013
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Each time I see an "amusements" arcade I'm reminded of the friend of a friend visiting London for the first time from the Soviet Union, very soon after the regime change. Her English was self taught, and the cost of coming to London was met by the legacy left to her by her father. We were walking through the west end, and came across an amusement arcade. She read the sign in faltering, heavily accented English. "Ah - moos - ments, vot is zis?" So, we explained the principle, that you walked into the place with money, put it into the machines, and then walked out again. She thought about this for a few seconds. "Zis must be very amusing for ze owner".......
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Happy New Year
Reflecting back on 2012, London's Olympic year, I was looking for my favourite shot of the year, which had to be one from the games. But which? Each of the shots I posted says so much to me, instead, here is the shot of the Olympic flame.
And then, here are some of my other favourites for you to click on, to remind you what it was like:
Oscar Pistorius, The Bladerunner
The Games Makers
What a year.
A happy, prosperous and healthy New Year to you all.