Tag Archives: travel

120, Fenchurch Street

Hellooo!selfie

Here we are again, this time on top of 120, Fenchurch Street – wow that sun was bright!

(see previous post about the Sky Garden at 20, Fenchurch St)

That is ‘The Gherkin’ in the background.

To get up to the roof garden at 120, you just turn up and queue. As people come out, more are let in – we only had a couple of people in front of us and didn’t have to wait at all. You go through an airport-style security scanner before getting into the lift.

roof garden

This garden is open to the sky with native planting and it is much quieter and calmer than in the tropical lushness of the other garden.

120, Fenchurch Street, London

I loved the play of light and shadows on the floor, walls and plants.

There are no restaurants there, but it is a perfect place to take a packed lunch as most of these people seemed to have done.120, Fenchurch St

They were perched on the edge of the rather awkward looking water feature, more comfortable seating would be a bonus.

From this terrace you can see ‘The Walkie-Talkie’ building and look at where we had been just a few minutes ago – in the garden on top of that building.

walkie talkie building

120 Fenchurch Strooff gdn

roof garden

so much to enjoy, looking in, looking up, looking through, looking out, roof gardenwith a few surreal reflections where the glass wall was high

London roof tops and reflections

and looking down building siteand DOWN!street

On the way out you pass under a vast ceiling covered with a moving video art installationsculpture in london

it is called Botanic and is a picture of slowly swirling flowers as if they are floating in a dark pool. It is part of Sculpture in the City.sculpture in the city

and as we walked back to the tube station we spotted some more, this one with a very long title that makes very little sense to me, and is something to do with lava and volcanoessculpture in the city

and thissculpture

Bridging Home

which could be very witty …….hmmm. Perhaps I need to find out a bit more about them to appreciate them more.

Edit: I looked for more images and information about this piece. I wanted to see the piece up closer and from the inside. I found this which says the Footbridge was closed so that the piece was not vandalised. Grrr! So eventually it will be removed. I seem to have a whole load of thoughts and emotions swirling around about that. It would have been good to have had a video to experience this replica of a displaced home. I get the reference to migrants and displacement and the fact that the ‘home’ looks as if it has been just dropped uncomfortably out of context, I just wish it’s message could have been presented in a more accessible way.

Searching for all of the 21 sculptures and getting up close to them could be a nice focus for another visit to London.

I will end with a photo my son took just before we left The City.

Look up!

sky

and went back to his house to spend a delightful weekend with him and his three girls, whilst their Mum was on a girly birthday celebration holiday.

Egypt: Getting There

hurghada

The picture above is a screen shot from Google Maps.

Red marker marks my destination: Hurghada.

In 1995 I had one of the best holidays of my life when I went on a Nile Cruise with the mother of a school friend of my daughter. We did not know each other very well but we were both single and we agreed that if we did not get on, neither of us would have lost a friend, but if we did get on, then we would both have made a friend. We got on really well and had a wonderful time. We did the tourist tours of temples and tombs and drifted down the Nile each night, watching the life of the river banks slip slowly by whilst sipping cocktails til dusk – it was bliss.

I hope you won’t be disappointed to hear that there will be no tourist tour pictures from this trip. No pyramids or temple paintings. I stayed with friends who run a business in Hurghada, and I was happy to fit in with their daily life and chillax.

Even so there were preparations to be made:

Top priority, crochet (in this post) and sketch books in this post.

Then toe nails – ha! I don’t usually bother with nail varnish but I had visions of lying on a sunbed on the beach gazing past my smooth legs and pedicured feet to a serene turquoise sea – turquoise is a great colour to show off a tan – so I treated myself

crochet whilst the nails dry

at Pure, in Dorchester.

How wonderful it is to be pampered sometimes – sitting there waiting for the varnish to dry, dreaming of sun-drenched beaches and making a mandala, was one kind of heaven for me.

And now for some new sandals to go on those newly spruced-up feet. Of course I had to make them mine

 

and add a bit of colour (with Sharpie pens)

 

I might add more later, but for now, they were just rightsharpietime

Our plane from Gatwick was delayed for about an hour, which gave me some crochet and ‘people-watching’ timecrochet with scraps

I took this picture as a ‘before’ to see how much mindless crochet I would do in a week. Just rows of US dcs (UK tr): I can do this whilst chatting, watching TV and even walking along. I’m using a 5.5mm hook and scraps of yarn of all thicknesses tied together with a reef knot. I will leave the knots and ends on show as a design feature. The crochet hook passed through security no problem – both ways.

As we flew over icy mountainsmountains from the plane

I was happy listening to Pick of the Week, and a Play on my iPad and doodling

doodles on a plane

until we were coming into land over the desert

from the plane

and then a short drive to the villa where my friends live when they are in Hurghada

villa in Egypt

As you can see, not quite the clear blue skies we were all expecting

beach

There would be no lounging about on a sunbed here!Egypt

Or swimming in that icy pool

But the villa was lovely and there was a peaceful view from the sheltered veranda

garden

Where one could watch the many feline residents/visitors come and gocat

but more of them another time ……

Image

Silent Sunday in Egypt

Egypt

What to Do on an Aeroplane

gel pensWhen planning a trip, I put more thought into what I will do on the plane, train, whilst waiting in airports, stations and in quiet moments on holiday, than almost any other aspect of the trip. I have to get that planned well in advance, only then can I think about clothes and what the place will have to offer.

I will be taking my Scrap Happy blanket to crochet – yes you can take crochet hooks on board a plane. I have done so many times. (Just in case I meet with a problem, I take a cheap old plastic hook that I wouldn’t mind losing, keeping a better one tucked away in my case).

There needs to be an alternative to crochet as well. At first I thought I would take this 11″ x 11″ sketchbook in which I have painted some backgrounds,mandala on acrylic

but it is rather big and heavy, so I bought two 6 x 6 inch sketch books, one with black paper, one with white, and some gel pens intending to draw some small mandalas.

I’m not sure if the airline will be happy with a compass, hence an old CD to draw round. sketch booksI drew some circles in preparationdots

and could not resist having a quick doodle.

dotty cloud doodle

and another

doodle on black

I remembered the ‘false writing’ Julie Balzer had shown us on the Whimsical Collage Workshop

It is such fun to do

doodle on black 6 x 6

These mandalas were not turning out at all as I had originally planned. I thought I would re-visit Alisa Burke’s superb online Mandala Magic Course, that I first took back in July 2015. She has so many wonderful online classes. I can highly recommend them – Alisa is very generous with all of her tips, techniques and ideas. Once you have bought a class you have unlimited access to it forever.

I was on a roll and enjoying this more minimalist form, keeping to the CD as the basis of the patterns – it feels like it might turn into a little series – I’m fantasizing about how I will frame them as a group …….

But Stop! This is supposed to be for when I’m travelling.

doodle writing

Luckily there are 40 pages in each book.

Reluctantly I have put them away for now.

What do you take with you to do when you are travelling?

 

6 Marathons in the Desert

And on the subject of SCALE!!!!

I just had to share with you what my crazy son is up to

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DesertRICS

Marathon des Sables

He is running 6 marathons in 6 days in the Sahara in April.

This is totally OFF THE SCALE!

If you would be interested to see him in his video of one of his training runs

66 Miles in two days!!!

yer tiz.

 

He and his team are raising money for Macmillian Cancer Support, so it would be wonderful if you felt you could sponsor him.

I’m full of amazement and admiration – he has always loved a challenge!