31 October 2014

Poppies at The Tower of London – ends 11th November

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Just a reminder if you haven't been to see the expanding flood of poppies yet, they will very soon fill the whole moat and subsequently be removed forever.
Tuesday 11th November (Remembrance Day) will be last day to see the poppies in situ. Viewing is free as they can be seen from outside the Tower of London.

I have to admit that none of the pics above are mine. 
Even though I will being going to see them over the next few days myself, I wanted to get this blog post live sooner rather than later. The top row are mostly are pinched from the official site; the rest I have stolen from Maggie Jones and Malcolm Edwards

Post-event the poppies will be available to buy at £25.00+VAT each which I think is great value considering every one is hand made and therefore unique. I know one of the poppy-makers, though she isn't in this film about the making of them

28 October 2014

Islington Faces celebrates 100 interviews

Nicola Baird recently celebrated her 100th post by putting on a staged version at the King's Head Theatre last Saturday. In this one-off chat show called Islington Faces Live our inspirational host chatted to different Islington residents.
We met Theresa Debono, Islington's lovely diminutive Maltese lady mayor, Ethiopian singer Hanisha Soloman and John Walters the Pearly King of Finsbury (now part of the borough of Islington). We also heard from others about the theatre itself, star gazing on Highbury Fields, finding unusual artefacts in the road, learning languages in cafes, and how a 1960s immigrant discovered that the streets of London were not paved with gold after all. But he stayed anyway!

Top row: all in Upper Street
Middle row: Liverpool Road; Nicola with some of her guests outside the Kings Head*
Bottom row: Islington Central Library, Holloway Rd which sports the only sign I have seen using the word 'curtilage' (lovely!); a collection of signs in Essex Rd; one of Nicola's blog intervewees outside Islington Town Hall in Upper Street.
*Back row L-R: Bernita Matondo, stargazer Ernie Jegorovas, poet mechanic Stanley Smart, John Walters, Hanisha Solomon, Nicola Baird and King’s Head Theatre executive director Dominic Haddock. Foreground: Islington’s Mayor, Theresa Debono, with her husband, Tony. Photo by Vicky Ryzhykh. 

A very pleasant way to spent a Saturday afternoon.
All ticket money raised went towards The King's Head Theatre fund
Well done Nicola – here's to the next 100 interviews.

21 October 2014

Nice numbers

A multi-porticoed terrace Lower Sloane Square.
They aren't short of a bob or two around there are they?
So how come the door numbers are such a mess?
But I like it.
A lovely mix of hand-painted, self-adhesive, profiled, crackled, circled and shadowed numbers

14 October 2014

Trinity Buoy Wharf and East India Dock

A few weeks ago I finally found time to visit this once thriving area of London docklands.

We met at East India station and walked down the meridian line to the Thames and along the river's edge to East India Dock. Malcolm's hat was a bit big for him. It was the day of the Tall Ships and the cormorants had also come out to watch them.
The old dock basin looked sad and lonely, like a desolate wasteland with stinky stagnant water. Orchard Place, the road to leading to Trinity Buoy Wharf, is littered with street art including a taxi with a tree 'growing' out of it and a wall made of colourful cable ties. The northern section of Orchard Place which forms a kind of island surrounded by the loop of Bow Creek, was once a district inhabited by people who worked in the area and had barely ventured further than two miles from their homes. The site is now being developed. Images on the hoardings show yet another conglomeration of high rise glass and pre-formed plastic.
But forward into Trinity Buoy Wharf itself...

It's a steam punk's dream environment with art and history and containers as homes thrown into the mix. Read more here on Trinity Buoy Wharf's website.

Also see this wonderful episode of The Lost Valley of London here:

7 October 2014

The Proverbs of Hell

Earlier this year I posted about the mosaics in the National Gallery.
Another major London art gallery also has a fabulous mosaic floor, and this can be found in an octagonal room at the back of Tate Britain.

Dating from 1923, eight panels by Boris Anrep illustrate William Blake's 'Proverbs of Hell'.
Some of the statements within it are wonderful. I particularly like "The Cistern contains, the Fountain overflows".
Read more about it here.