Snow in London

It’s been really cold in London very recently leading to some significant snowfall. It doesn’t snow a lot here but among the travel chaos and freezing temperatures, the snow looked beautiful. As per usual the cat stayed tucked away somewhere, having ventured out in the garden first.

And our garden bench looked very pretty and wintery in a layer of snow.

In the centre of London grand buildings looked even more scenic with a snowy surroundings.

Most of it has melted away now and everything is back to normal. It was nice to have a blanket of snow for a while that can transform a landscape, even amid the chaos and cold.

Winter Lights 2018

The Winter season in London can sometimes feel long and cold, but to help brighten it up there have been a couple of light events to make the most of it getting dark early. There was Lumiere London which had art installations scattered around central London, and there was also a similar event held in Canary Wharf, which was just as great. This event was also held last year which was very good, so I was looking forward to this year’s.

One windy evening my sister and I headed down to see what was on show. There were installations indoors ad well as out but we decided to do the ones outside first. There were some really interesting ones that I really liked, such as Halo which was a ring of lights and to make it even better it was suspended above a pool of water giving it a nice reflection. My favourite was the wonderful Dodecahedron which you could also climb into to take in the stunning colours. The huge inflated, lit up rabbit was also cute I thought. There were also pieces that interacted with music or with movement by people that was interesting.

Once we’d seen all the installations outside, we headed indoors to see the ones displayed there as well as warm up, as we were freezing. I thought these ones were even lovelier than the ones outside. There was wearable fashion such as a dress with LEDs and a clutch that you could have words appear on.

One that was really intriguing, simple and so effective were the giant, colourful, bubble-like balloons hanging from rods. They were made from plastic strips and as they retracted and expanded they changed shape as they spun. My absolute favourite though, were the colourful mosaic lanterns that cast beautiful light patterns on the walls and ceiling. I did suggest it could be my next birthday present but I don’t think my sister will be taking it as they were quite pricey.

There were a few we couldn’t find but having wandered around Canary Wharf for long enough we decided it was time to go home. I thought this light event was really good, and I feel lucky to be able to see such great art installations close to home, which certainly helped brighten up the winter nights.

Lumiere London 2018

I’ve had a couple of busy weeks so far this year attending various events. One such event was Lumiere London which was back for a second year showcasing various light installations across London for 4 days. I went a couple of years ago to the first event that was held in London and when I heard it was back I couldn’t wait to see what was on show this time.

I met up with my sister just as it got dark in the early evening at Bond street and found our first piece, which was a see saw that lit up when you rode it. This was actually in London last year and I sadly missed out having a go, so was happy to be able to have a go this time, being the big kid I can be. After the see saws we looked for other light installations in the area and found a neon bike, coloured tube lights covering the front of a building and one of my favourites, coloured umbrellas that people were dancing around with. There were several other pieces too that played music when you struck them or as they came on or off that were interesting too.

The next area we went to was Oxford Street up to Piccadilly Circus. There were light shows projected on the buildings that changed with music, which was relaxing to watch and was good for larger groups of people. In this area there were also other pieces, one that I thought that was really fun and sweet was Supercube. It was made up of lots and lots of tiny jars and in the jars were images of tiny women dancing or people making faces coinciding with music. I thought it was really innovative and another of my favourite installations.

We then went to Leicester Square which was filled with lots of huge animal shaped paper lanterns that I thought where great. Nearby in Chinatown there were more animals, here there were cheeky flamingos flying around, weaving in and out of people which I thought was brilliant.

The final area that we explored was Kings Cross. We first came across huge desk lamps in a row with seating beneath them which made for a great photo backdrops. Further on we entered an area filled with mist and light beams shooting across it. The effect was quite cool and like something out of the Twilight zone.

After looking around at the other light pieces on show we headed home, after some 4 hours of walking around London looking at innovative, fun light art, I can honestly say we were exhausted, but it was an engaging evening and I hope they do one again next Winter.

Here’s to the best of 2017

We’ve reached the end of 2017 and in some ways it’s felt liked a long year, in another it’s like it passed by quicker than ever. I’ve been lucky to go to lots of amazing places this year with family and friends and I leave you with some of my favourite photos that I took. I hope 2018 is an amazing, blessed year for you and me and that the World is calmer, more peaceful and that ease comes to those experiencing hard times.

Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for taking an interest in my little world.

Winter Lights 2017

Canary Wharf in London hosted a Winter Lights festival which I went along to last week. Last year was London’s first light festival which was huge and was based in the centre of the Capital. This year’s festival, however, was over a 2 weeks period, with less installations and in a less busy part of London, although still very attractive.

On arrival to Canary Wharf we were welcomed by a giant egg shaped structure that was lit up with changing colours that you could walk through, which I thought was vey pretty. Walking on we saw some lovely, illuminated angel wings with halos, but one of the best pieces on show, for me, were the bright neon strips tied around tree trunks. Light was shone one to them to bring out the reflective nature of the strips which looked very bright and almost psychedelic. It was a simple idea but one that was so striking.

Next we came across some balls that changed colour in sync to music being played, which was relaxing and entertaining, and some mist on water that had shapes and colours projected onto it, which if you moved around in front of made the shapes dance and change. Another of my favourites pieces on show was the super innovative water fall where the water was dropped in letters to form words that shone for a second before disappearing.

The last part of the festival was set up indoors which gave everyone a chance to warm up, and get out of the freezing cold evening. The most interesting light installation here was one that was operated with an EEG headset which a person put on, converting the person’s brainwaves into light movement and sound. It felt quite futuristic and I can imagine it being an idea that grows.

After 3 hours of walking around, I think I managed to see most of the light and art installations on show. The festival didn’t cost anything and it let me see some really innovative art, as well as enabling me to spend some in a part of London that I never usually visit.

Sprinkling of snow

We’ve had a couple of snow storms in London over the last few days, which has brought a lot of excitement with the freezing temperatures and stiff wind. It’s been a few years since we last had a good sprinkling and although it settled initially, the snow was gone overnight. I did manage to take a few photos before it disappeared though, and I’m aware I definitely need to work on my night-time photography

Falling snow

This is the garden swing that looked pretty with a light coating of snow.

Snow

I don’t know if we’ll get any more snow over the rest of the Winter, but if there is I’ll be certain to take some more photos.

Lumiere London – Part 2

The Lumiere event that my sister and I went along to recently was spaced out over various areas across London. Part 1 covered the innovative light artworks in Mayfair and Regent Street, and this post will cover the remaining areas.

After our walk through Regents Street we headed towards Trafalgar Square. I love Trafalgar Square anyway so with this light festival I was looking forward to see what was on show. In front of the National Gallery the words ‘Central Point’ were illuminated (these are normally found on top of a building on Oxford Street) and the iconic fountains were filled with light and plastic bottles. My favourite in this area were the neon dogs, which were so colourful and fun.

After seeing the dogs we hurried on to the next area on the map, Leicester Square. On approaching we could see an array of wonderful bright colours and could see that the whole area had been transformed into a garden of light. There were enormous lit flowers and colourful trees and I think this was my sister and my favourite spot on the map. My photos don’t show just how much the colours popped but it was a a really pretty sight.

Our last stop on the map was at Kings Cross, here the installations were a bit easier to find and closer together. There were some really innovative ideas; some light sticks to draw on the ground, a fun light show projected onto a large building and rainbow tunnel made up of coloured bottles. A little extra thing we spotted were candy floss on light sticks, which we thought was such a simple but effective idea.

All in all my sister and I had a great but exhausting evening, we walked around London on a cold night for approximately 4 hours and manged to see all but a handful of what was on show. We thought it was a great event and one that certainly lived up to the promise of showing us the city in a new light. I think we both agree that we would definitely go along to this event again if it was held next Winter. For more photos you can check out my sisters post of the evening here.

Lumiere London 2015 – Part 1

Last week my sister and I went along to Lumiere London, an event being held over 4 days showcasing 30 light art installations across Central London. This is the first time such an event was held and as it was free and practically on our doorstep we decided it was too good to miss. Armed with our cameras and special maps pointing out where each artwork was placed, we got going, ready for lots of walking and snapping.

The first area we walked through was Mayfair. Here there were a couple of pieces I liked, my favourite being the phonebox converted into a fishtank – which I thought was so innovative and clever. Unfortunately it was really busy and difficult to get a good picture, but below is my best one to give you an idea.

Next we moved on to Regent Street, where as soon as you approached the area you could see a large, strange, colourfully dreamy object almost floating in the sky

London

It was an interesting piece and the various changing colours and textures kept our attention for as long as we could see it.

Other lightworks around Regent Street that we saw included a stickman show, a lovely trumpeting elephant and a pretty, colourful, luminous dress. I also enjoyed watching the flying ‘fish’ which were set against the backdrop of tall white buildings and the dark night sky.

As we worked our way through the London street we took in the colourful, pretty lights, the buzzing atmosphere and the upbeat music, and although it was a really cold night we were glad to be there.

I still have more photos of the remaining 2 areas; Trafalgar Square and Kings Cross, both of which also held some lovely innovative pieces which I will post soon.