No man is an island

No man is an Island

Walking across the Millennium Bridge this morning I came across a box type thing upon The Thames with a model of a child on the top and what looked like a travelling bag at the bottom.

It was only later tonight while writing this post that I found out it’s an installation called Floating Dreams from South Korea’s Ik-Joong Kang and a memorial to the millions displaced during the Korean War of 1950-53. I imagine it has more impact at night but it’s still very impressive by day. Around until Friday 30th September and well worth seeing. More details hereP

Attack of the oversized director’s chair

Daddy can I sit in the chair

Seen walking over Waterloo Bridge this morning, an oversized chair outside Somerset House looking onto the river. I take it it’s something to do with Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick – An exhibition of art inspired by the film maker at Somerset House, rather than a fishing chair for an angling giant. More on the exhibition here. P

Into the trees

Lincoln's inn netting

On a late lunchtime stroll the other day I saw these two massive trees being busily wrapped up by construction crews in Lincoln’s Inn and wondered what was going on. Was it some crazy art project? Protection against a forthcoming nuclear war perhaps?

I had to ask the uniformed gateman on my way out, “Why the plastic netting?” as I pointed to the trees. He replied “Well, they’re in the process of redeveloping the area and the trees are sadly coming down next month” “and we don’t want any rare whatisname’s nesting in the trees and delaying the chainsaws, do we?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. P

I shall return

Here’s our first ever guest post, and it’s from our good friend Matt E. 

Lincolnc inn fields

It’s a blazing Sunday afternoon, and I’ve just bought an armful of books (Penguin Little Black Classics, 80p a pop) at the nearest open bookshop (Waterstones, along from Charing Cross Station.) Now all I need is somewhere to read them.

But where? The parks are packed and, anyway, I fancy a drink. I doubt the pubs are full, but who wants to sit in a boiling boozer on a day like this? Then, as I wander through St James’s Park, I suddenly think of another green space, and of a restaurant that nestles within.

Arriving at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a minute’s walk from the hell of Holborn Tube, I wince at the crowds spread thickly over the grass. Surely, some of the overspill have stumbled across Fields Bar & Kitchen (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ) – an unassuming pizzeria that overlooks the park’s tennis courts. (It’s so unassuming, in fact, that until very recently I’d always thought it was an oddly opulent parkies’ hut.)

Stepping inside, I instead find glorious near-emptiness. Giddy with relief, I lavishly order a bottle of ice-cold house white (£20) and head outside to the part-covered terrace. There, at one of the distressed metal tables, I happily sit for the next few hours, reading Michel de Montaigne’s collection of short essays, How We Weep and Laugh at The Same Thing, while watching people play tennis to a standard that also makes me want to Weep and Laugh.

I eventually get up to leave, thinking I really should try the food the next time. Because there will most definitely be a next time, having already assigned Fields privileged ‘bolthole’ status – the kind of place you can count on when London’s burning and you’re in urgent need of shaded sanctuary. M

Saturday daytime stylee

Bring Da noise

Thanks to our friend Ache DellandTrace for letting us know about a great family day out from Bring The Noise this Saturday August 22nd at the South Bank.

There’s DJ’s from 12 noon-11pm including Flowerz, Monkey, Huw72, Dell (Vinyl Bunnies), Simon Kurrage and Alex Turnbull from Ronin records/23 Skidoo. And for the kids (big and small) there’s design your own T-shirt and badges, photography, art and all sorts. There’s even a break dancer (Tim Hamilton) teaching dance moves. How good is that? And do you know what, it’s FREE!

It’s at The Southbank Centre Festival Village,
Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Just below The Queen Elizabeth Hall

Another sunny spot

A patch of green for a lie down - sorry about the pic quality

A patch of green for a lie down – sorry about the pic quality

It was sunny last week. And on a little jaunt past St Paul’s and down to the river I walked past this little church. It’s St Benet’s Metropolitan Welsh Church right by Queen Victoria Street. I didn’t get a chance to go in but did see that there was quite a lovely little patch of green out front that one could lay out on should they wish. I promise that it was definitely sunnier than this picture shows. W

The joy of repetition

Chill out - there's loads of room

Chill out – there’s loads of room

I pretty much run the same route every week. Normally I go up to Vauxhall Bridge and back. My mind is usually just concentrating on not coughing up my guts but as the sun begins to shine a bit more, I find myself looking around and noticing the good things about London. Like the glut of unused green spaces there seem to be. Places where you can eat a sandwich in peace and watch the world go by. In this very busy city I like to find the little nooks and crannies where people don’ t tend to congregate (for whatever reason). One of these places I ran through yesterday. It’s right by the Palace of Westminster, at Victoria Tower Gardens.

Sure, sometimes it might have a school party in but generally, people don’t tend to walk West past Westminster (you’ll also find it’s very quiet on the opposite bank of the river). So if you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy more than a postage stamp of grass in the sunshine, I thoroughly recommend it – there’s even boris bike stands nearby if you’re looking for that sort of action. And if you have nippers in tow, there’s a little park that I’ve only ever seen being used in the school holidays. Worth a look anyway. W

Cracking slide

Cracking slide

Have a go on the swings

Have a go on the swings