Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Sunday

It was gorgeous this morning- sunny, blue sky- a welcome break from the grey wet London weather we've had all week. So we went for a walk to Victoria Park and wandered over to the lake (pond) and watched the ducks and dogs before we sat down outside the pavilion and ate a fantastic brunch.


I have wanted a lavender plant for a very long time and a few weeks ago I picked one up at the Columbia Flower Market.

It grew.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

When Chickens Attack

We stopped by Hackney City Farm and got (awesome) homemade gelato on our way home from Broadway Market.

This is London.

And these are chickens.

(And some ducks.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008


It snowed in London today.

For about two minutes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Long-Lost, Endangered...

* Not actually Jackalopes. Still, giant, strange, rabbity-things darting about in the mists of Machu Picchu? It's an honest mistake.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Imperial War Museum

C & I took the luxury of a Tuesday afternoon without employment and ventured out to the Imperial War Museum to see a special exhibit called Weapons of Mass Communication.

The building, located in St. George's Field in South East London, was once a psychiatric hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital (otherwise known as 'Bedlam'). The entrance has got these enormous, overwhelming guns that were once on British warships that served in a bunch of different wars. They are huge. Too big to contemplate.

You walk into the museum to be met by a gorgeous atrium full of tanks, airplanes and missiles. These are the real things- the tags describe which wars they were used in- and they are a little surreal. You can climb through old planes, see into the cockpits of mini submarines and peer into tanks.

The museum is huge. After the propaganda exhibit we did a quick take through the remaining exhibits and I was struck at the breadth of artifacts- you've got the usual bits of war memorabilia, but you also have letters and diary entries, a bible with a bullet in it and a lifeboat that two men survived 70 days as castaways in. We went through the Blitz experience and the Trenches area and I'm looking forward to going back when my dad visits and truly immersing myself in all the museum has to tell.

The exhibit we went to see was great. Jam packed with war and related posters from around the world, it was fabulously curated. My favorite part was how the posters were displayed by themes but also by country, so you could see how the different places varied their approach and styles.

The exhibit is so popular that it's been extended until the end of April. In case anyone wants to visit.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Meet Alain

Alain is our lovely Italian/French cafetiere. He's from Paris, care of the lovely R.

If you come over, you'll most likely meet him.

(I don't know why I've started naming our appliances.)

The Little Fat Boy on Pie Corner

Last weekend I saw a gold statue of a little fat boy - The Fat Boy on Pie Corner.

In the aftermath of the fire Londoners needed someone to blame, so they placed the blame squarely on the 'barbarous papists' and even hung a poor Frenchman who, it was said, confessed to lighting the fire but was later discovered to have arrived in London years after the disaster.

A monument was placed on the spot where the fire was said to have ended - on Pie Corner. 

It was years and years later that a zealous preacher put Pie Corner and Pudding Lane (where the fire started) together and ascertained the true reason for the fire: 'The calamity could not have been occasioned by the sin of blasphemy, for in that case it had begun at Billingsgate; nor lewdness for then Drury Lane would have been first on fire; nor lying, for then the flames had reached the City from Westminster Hall. No, my beloved, it was occasioned by the sin of gluttony, for it began at Pudding Lane and ended at Pie Corner.' (source)

So, kids, it wasn't the barbarous papists who started the fire, it was Gluttony!

(Photo courtesy someone on flickr who's page I lost. Oops.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday Afternoon in London

Wandering through East London this afternoon...
Smithfield Market

The Barbican

A Banksy rat! It's holding a sign that says 'London doesn't work.' That is how I feel on the Tube some mornings.

It's pretty fabulous here.