All Good Things Must Come to an End

…..the weather that is

I’m not talking about the weather that we’re experiencing today but the weather that we had when we were in London, England back in October. Most people think of England as being foggy, cloudy and teaming with rain with a bit of sunshine here and there. Fortunately for us that was not the case. Out of the 14 days in London we only had one rainy day. That happened on Day 8.

Originally we planned to take the train to Brighton and enjoy the seaside. The relentless downpour that day changed our plans. Instead we took a bus to Brick Lane. Brick Lane is in the East End of London and is famous for its curry houses. Having said that I found it unusual that our son wanted us to try a deli where they serve salt beef sandwiches. I guess they’re pretty popular because there was a huge line-up to order one of these massive buns. The weather certainly didn’t keep people away. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the area because the rain was really lashing down.

After sampling the salt beef we ventured back outside and maneuvered our way down the street with umbrellas overhead. We made our way to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Elmgreen and Dragset show. It was to say the least, a most unusual show. On the ground floor gallery they present the ghost of the Whitechapel Pool. IMG-9035
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Throughout the exhibition there are more sculptures, such as, a cash machine, in front of which a baby has been abandoned. This supposedly acts as an emotional precursor to sculptures in the rest of the galleries. These include a rifle on the wall, a judge’s wig, a pregnant maid and a frightened schoolboy.

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Later that evening, closer to our accommodations, we all went out for dinner together. It would be our last night together with all six of us. Andrea and Josie were heading for Scotland and my husband and I were moving to a hotel in South Kensington the following day. Our son picked his favourite Ramen restaurant, Kanada-Ya, Ramen Bar on Upper Street.

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Not only did the good weather come to an end but so did our time with our daughter and daughter-in-law. Luckily for us the good weather did return for the rest of our trip but Andrea and Josie had quite different weather farther north in Scotland.

Sunday Stills – Windows

….thanks to Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News for hosting Sunday Stills this week

All these windows are in London, England. They start at Heathrow Airport and include Buckingham Palace, storefronts, museums, churches and the train station.IMG-6912
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Art at Montgomery’s Inn

….the new art season at Montgomery’s Inn has begun

Now that the renovations at the inn are 95% complete they are able to host art exhibitions in the Briarly Room once more. Just over two weeks ago I helped curate and install the   art work of Shannon McManus.

Shannon is an abstract painter who uses different mediums on Terraskin and Yupo papers. In her artist statement she describes her work thusly: My abstract paintings depict visions of a natural world largely untouched by humankind.  They portray the alchemic reactions inherent in stone, water, and earth; in decay, germination, migration and transformation.

Ten days after the installation the inn hosted the opening reception for Shannon’s show. It was very well received and close to 100 people showed up.IMG-0126

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Shannon is on the left side of the previous photo.
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Last April, Shannon was invited to display her work in China.IMG-0136
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If you’d like to see Shannon’s work first hand you can still catch it at Montgomery’s Inn until March. For more information about Shannon and her art go her website here.

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Inspiration

….a new photo challenge

Going through my emails this morning I discovered that two blogging friends have started a new photo challenge and are inviting bloggers from around the world to join in. One of the bloggers is Snow from The Snow Melts Somewhere and the other is Amanda from Something to Ponder About.

This week’s theme is inspiration. What inspires me? There are so many things; my husband inspires me with his daily drawings, other artists inspire me, photos from around the world inspire me to travel, my friends inspire me to be a better person, reading books inspire me, music inspires me, etc., etc..

I saw these two sculptures at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto last week. They inspire me to get my hands on some clay and mold an image from my imagination. The only thing holding me back is not having access to a kiln.

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London Day 5 – Just the Two of Us

….after 4 days with Mom and Papa we decided to give the girls a break

Today Kevin and I ventured out on our own while Andrea and Josie did their own thing. We got on the Tube and made our way to the Bloomsbury District of London. The Tube by the way is the name of London’s subway system because it is shaped like a tube.

  • The Underground is divided into nine zones: central London is covered by zone 1.
  • There are 11 Tube lines.
  • The Tube fare depends on how far you travel, time of day, and how you pay.

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The Underground platforms lie anywhere from 41m to 58m below street level. The longest escalator at the Angel station is 60 m or 200 ft. long. All day long the PA system sends out PSAs warning people about the dangers on the escalators and advising commuters to keep to the right side.

The first stop we made on this day was at the British Museum. We were there in the middle of the week and so were hundreds of school children. This museum was built in 1753 and is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture.IMG-8873
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Some of the objects that we saw included Japanese art forms from Manga cartoons to wood cut prints and sculptures made from clay, bronze and glass.

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We also visited the Iraq display where we saw the Cyrus Cylinder.

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We passed on seeing the Rosetta Stone because there was a class of children in the line ahead of us and my husband just wanted to leave at that point. We made our way across the street and decided to grab some lunch at a pub.

One of our biggest disappointments in London was the lack of independent pubs. Many of the pubs belong to a chain called Greene King and when you walk into one it is pretty obvious that it is part of the chain. It seems they all have the same menu and alcohol selection. The first one we ate in was situated across the street from the museum. The food was good but later during  our trip we found it difficult to find a pub with a different menu.02970a49-26e9-43b6-b1ab-1185f03c24b6
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Around the block from the pub we discovered this wonderful art gallery called the Contemporary Ceramic Centre. We were immediately drawn to the window by the display of Sophie Favre’s figurative sculptures. At the front and back of the gallery dozens of her animated sculptures greeted us with their human-like qualities.IMG-8896
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These creatures certainly brought a smile to my face.