Saatchi Selfies

Visited from Selfie to Self Expressionism at Saatchi (on until 6th September) for a wander about.  It covers the first ever selfies from the old masters to present day.   Found it more entertaining than I expected as several were interactive, with mirrors giving you devil eyes with smoke pouring out and a great surveillance room.  There was a really weird one with black and cream fur that moved to form the silhouette of the person in front of it with motion censors – it look like lots of small animals moving about.  On the back of having a selfie beamed across the stadium at the World Athletics last week, maybe I will become the Kim Kardashian of Crouch End.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Rob Drummonds’s National Theatre play starts with his guilt at not voting in the Scottish Referendum and IMG_0653then a story about meeting an activist, Eric, and is increasingly awkward relationship with him.   The central idea is around how a liberally minded individual can tolerate views that they believe to be wrong.  The audience is given voting handsets and we voted at different times on questions put to us eg. if there is a runaway train heading for 5 railway workers, do you divert it to hit and kill 1 lone railway worker on a different piece of track.  This escalates into would you do it if it was your child and then a Nazi.  But the final question was supposed to be dramatic but felt a bit vague around whether it is okay to abuse someone holding a differing opinion.  So a bit of let down at the end of 90 minutes.

It also felt a bit awkward – I not sure as to whether that was deliberate and supposed to be cheesy or whether it was just misjudged with Rob walking about and standing in spotlights.  And he does not have a raconteur’s skill and so it felt badly acted at points.  Not one that I would be rushing to recommend.


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.

Following the Sculpture Park, and the deluge, we popped up the road to Waverley Abbey where the sun had come out again.  It is small ruin but the setting, near a river with willow trees, is beautiful.  Short walk from a car park alongside takes you into what remains of the first Cistercian abbey in England.  Sir Walter Scott took is inspiration for the novel “Waverley” from it and Disney used it in “Into the Woods”.  Free and open during daylight hours.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Amazing Sculpture Park

Visited The Sculpture Park in Farnham on Saturday.  Great experience – around 800 sculptures dotted around the woods.  Walked about with a big smile on my face all afternoon.  We saw around 700 and took hundreds of photos and then there was a deluge – but at that point we had been there over 3 hours.  We also went into a pitch black maze which was a bit disorienting but fun.  Cannot recommend this enough.  Find it very difficult to pick which images to put up on the blog so rather a lot.  Big fan of the skeletons but the bear and the bishop won out for me.


We Broke Out!

I was very reluctant to get involved in this with family members; had visions of cryptic IMG_2634[1]clues and no enjoyment at all.  Loved it!  Totally clueless for a few minutes (or to be honest I was for about 50% of the time!).  Thought we’d got out in 20 minutes but no, we’d made it to just the 2nd room.  Three rooms and blood splattered walls; the mystery of the abandoned motel room in Vacancy.  Got out and wanted to try another room.  Really recommend it – we were a group of 4 with a 10-year-old in the group and she got stuck in as well.  The Facility looks pretty scary.  Our Escape Room was in Liverpool.  Same company in Chester and Manchester.  Don’t know the London ones.


Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We had a quick stop last weekend on way home from St Helens, stopping to see family around Sheffield.  We met at YSP as there is a memorial plaque on a tree in the park to a family member.  Pretty special place to have one.  As time was limited, this visit we stuck to seeing the newer sculptures.  Tony Cragg was great as were the 80 sculptures by Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness.  Pretty impressive lined up as an army and great title for the sculptures. Ai Weiwei’s Ai’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2010) is also on display.  We saw a much smaller version of this at Blenheim Palace back in 2014.  And there is a serene head of cast iron called Wilsis by Plensa; almost as good as The Dream by Plensa in St Helens!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.