London – Day 4, Part 2

…..Diana’s Memorial Fountain, Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, the V & A and happy birthday to my sweetie

While walking along the Serpentine we came across Princess Diana’s Memorial Fountain. It was officially opened in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth and the opening was attended by Prince Charles, her two sons and her brother Charles Spencer. It was the first time in seven years that the Spencers and the Windsors came together to honour Diana.

The fountain itself was designed by an American, Kathryn Gustafson.  She had wanted the fountain, which was built to the south of the Serpentine, to be accessible and to reflect Diana’s “inclusive” personality.IMG-8812
IMG-8813
IMG-8814

From the fountain we walked further west towards Kensington Gardens where we came across the Albert Memorial. From the size of the memorial you would have thought that Albert had been a king but it was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

IMG-8824
IMG-8825
IMG-8826IMG-8821
IMG-8822

After Kensington Gardens we headed south to meet up with my husband Kevin and our son, Brendan. Brendan is a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.IMG-8833
IMG-8835
IMG-8836

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance. (copied from the V&A website – www.vam.ac.uk)

Brendan gave us a wonderful personal tour of some of his favourite rooms at the museum.

IMG-8837
IMG-8838
IMG-8839
fullsizeoutput-739a
IMG-8845
IMG-8846
IMG-8847
IMG-8848
IMG-8851

The last five photos were taken in the casting room. The gold leaf that you see here was used to cover the private parts of the statue, David, whenever Queen Victoria would come to visit the museum.

Opened in 1873, the Cast Courts display copies of some of the world’s most significant works of art reproduced in plaster, electrotype, photography, and digital media. The cast collection is famous for including reproductions of Michelangelo’s David, Trajan’s Column, and Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, amongst many others.(copied from the V&A website).

Brendan explained to us that the whole idea of making these copies was to bring the world to the people at a time when most people couldn’t afford to travel to exotic places. Over the years these copies have become invaluable reproductions because many of the original pieces have been damaged or disappeared because of environmental factors or conflict.

fullsizeoutput-7398
IMG-8856
IMG-8858
IMG-8862
IMG-8863
IMG-8864
It’s impossible to see everything in this museum in one visit. I went back a couple more times I was in London.

After an exhausting day of walking we went back to our apartment to rest and freshen up. October 2nd is Kevin’s birthday so Brendan and Azadeh booked a reservation at a restaurant in Central London called Polpo Smithfield. We had a wonderful time sharing numerous plates of delicious Venetian food. fd3f46d5-f05c-407b-b1bb-20256b07ea63
3fdc906a-4b3d-49db-9e48-667cbcf54c32
7892fadc-6839-4a40-aea2-75e8a820e561

London – Day 4 (Harrods, Hyde Park)

….day four was another busy day with lots of walking

Today my Andrea, Josie and I headed to Harrods and Hyde Park. We left Kevin at home to rest and agreed to meet up later in the afternoon.

Harrods is probably one of the most famous stores in London. It is not centrally located and is about a mile from Kensington in the area known as Knightsbridge. Knightsbridge is a very exclusive area, one of the wealthiest parts of London where some of London’s most expensive hotels are situated. Needless to say that we didn’t go there to shop but merely to look around. The food hall was most interesting and beautifully set up with gorgeous display cases of chocolates and pastries and the seafood was displayed on mounds of ice in the most  attractive way.

While we were there we were told about the Egyptian escalators that were built in 1998 to reflect the Edwardian style of the building. Harrods built the first ever escalator in the UK in 1898. Nervous customers using the contraption were offered brandy when they reached the top to help them recover from their “ordeal”.

IMG-8668
IMG-8673
IMG-8674
IMG-8675
IMG-8679
IMG-8680
IMG-8682
IMG-8683

From Harrods we walked over to Hyde Park and walked along the Serpentine Lake. People actually swim in this lake along with the local ducks, geese and swans.IMG-8686
IMG-8688
IMG-8691
IMG-8806
IMG-8811
IMG-8816

The installation art that you see in the lake is from the world famous artist, Christo, who unveiled his work The London Mastaba (2018) earlier in June. It is a 20-metre-high floating sculpture on London’s Serpentine Lake, constructed from 7,506 oil drums.

IMG-8808
IMG-8810

Stay tuned for part 2…….

November Photo a Day – Dark Red

…thanks to City Sonnet for hosting the November Photo a Day Challenge

Today’s prompt is Dark Red.

P1060669
P1060764
IMG-6828
IMG-8854
IMG-8951
P1070150
IMG-9193

365 Days of Art – Day 4

….decided to switch it up a bit

Today I found some leaves pressed in one of my sketch books and I decided to use it as a collage element. I was also inspired by Herma from Studio Mastarre who draws very whimsical portraits. I haven’t tried to copy her style with today’s post but at some point I’d like to try my hand at it. I did use pencil to start with and I added some watercolour to finish.

IMG_0457

7 Day Challenge – Day 4

….black and white photos

I received this challenge from my blogging friend Cee over at  Cee’s Photography  

Rules are

  • Seven days.
  • Seven black and white photos of your life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation.
  • Challenge someone new each day.

Today I challenge Joanne over My Life Lived Full.  If anyone wants to play, feel free to jump in and start your own Seven Day Challenge.fullsizeoutput_77e0

 

Seven Day Nature Challenge – Day 4

Becca Given over at On Dragonfly Wings With Buttercup Tea has invited me to join her in the Seven Day Nature Challenge. For seven days you are requested to post a photograph taken in nature and invite another blogger to join the challenge. Getting people to accept the challenge has been a challenge in itself so I’m putting it out there to anyone who wants to participate. I know that a lot of you take amazing nature photographs but I also appreciate that many of you are already involved in other challenges and are just plain busy in your everyday lives. Any takers? If you’re interested just go for it and let me know.