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Archive for the ‘Days out in London’ Category

Put in for tickets last summer and they came through for Saturday morning 10-14.45.  The sun shone and we got to see all the relay heats – therefore, we got to cheer home those who went on to win the medals in 100m and 400m and it was no less exciting.  And we got to see Bolt run – as it turned out, for the final time.  The men’s decathlon was really exciting with the pole vault in front of us.  We took a selfie and tweeted it and to our surprise (and horror!) our photo was beamed across the stadium.  We did the Mexican wave and sang Sweet Caroline – and it was just great.

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Bit disappointing this year as there were fewer than usual and one or two I think were a repeat of last year.  But nonetheless, always good for a stroll around the City when it is quieter at the weekend.  You can find the map here.

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Not sure how we’d missed that this existed but on Saturday afternoon we walked The Line. The walk is okay, not my favourite one.  It is a contemporary art walk but they are far and few between although there is a Damian Hirst and a Paolozzi. The best bit is from the Olympic Park, through Three Mills Island (like a French Chateau) and via Cody Dock to Star Lane – I would stop then and get on the DLR to go home, not continue to the 02 as it is so crowded.  My favourite – the shopping trolley sculpture by Abigail Fallis.

 

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Took a trip down 180 steps last Saturday, deep under South Clapham Tube station.  There we had a great tour of the old bomb shelters built for the Blitz.  I had assumed that people ran into stations and slept on platforms, not that 8,000 people carrying a mattress could be down there with a ticketing system, dr’s station, canteen, toilets and row upon row of triple bunk beds.  Great stories and photos about how they were built and set up.  Also post war stories with Jamaicans arriving off the Windrush in 1948  temporarily housed down there, less than a mile from the employment exchange in Brixton. And then a hotel for the Festival of Britain.  In another old shelter, herbs are now grown for the restaurant trade.  At the end of the tour, if you go down 180 steps, you have to come up them again!  Hidden London Tours sell out quickly.

 

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New Design Museum

Visited the New Design Museum which has just opened in site which used to be the Commonwealth Institute.  The architect had to design within the confines of the original space and ceiling which has meant compromises and it is somewhat disappointing.  Lots of blonde wood and landings with lots of empty atrium space and exhibition, cafes and workshop space squashed around the sides.  It needs some exhibits within the atrium to bring it to life instead of feeling like a hotel.  There is a crowdsourced wall of 200+ objects nominated by the public but it is difficult to take your time to look at it as it is on a crowded landing.  We visited Fear and Love which includes a display about the European Union with a piece of design from every EU country.  Sad reminder of Brexit.

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Damien Hirst’s private collection of works by Gavin Turk.  There are spinning bottles and knives, the blue plaque sign which resulted in Gavin failing his masters degree, Pollockesque paintings, rooms full of Sid Vicious and bin bags cast in bronze.  The most intriguing room is where there are waxworks of Turk as Sid, a vagrant (with bronze cast sleeping bag), a sentry and a sailor who starts laughing when a sensor triggers. And a self-portrait with a hose drizzling water onto the figure and steam coming out of its head.  These are all based on Warhol’s gunslinger pose.  Interesting show.

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Garth Bowden

These are great – they were in the grounds of The Priory at the Order of St John attached to Made in Clerkenwell last weekend.   Find out more at Garth Bowden.

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