Tag Archives: design

Canterbury Cathedral

It was another beautiful blue sky day yesterday so Modman, Brewgirl and I headed into Canterbury for a wander through the medieval town…

DSC_0660

…and a visit to the famous 11th century cathedral of The Canterbury Tales. I’d always meant to visit (I’ve been in England over 20 years!) but never managed to. Here was my chance.

DSC_0671

DSC_0697

DSC_0689

DSC_0813

DSC_0823

The newly clean stone shone in the winter sunlight but nothing prepared me for its size. The towers are cleverly designed to make them look even taller when you’re standing directly in front of the façade.

DSC_0707

Inside, the cathedral seemed even more immense, the Gothic arches soaring to points overhead and fanning out like the branches of sky-scraping trees.

DSC_0714

DSC_0755

DSC_0730

We walked around the nave until we found ourselves under the main tower. Then we looked up…to heaven.

DSC_0796

Then through another archway, and the “newer” addition. more Romanesque than Gothic.

DSC_0757

The most touching thing is the candle lit to honour the memory of St Thomas a Becket http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket, the 12th century priest murdered on 29th December 1170 in the cathedral by knights of Henry II. I stood on the spot exactly 843 years later to the day.

DSC_0767

DSC_0801

Every now and then my eye was caught by the swish of clerical skirts…

DSC_0791

…or a glimpse through a half-open door of life behind the scenes.

DSC_0785

The bright sun of the winter day filtered through the stained glass windows…

DSC_0775

DSC_0768

…lighting corners and illuminating details.

DSC_0789

DSC_0725

DSC_0719

DSC_0810

DSC_0780

DSC_0753

The sun wasn’t the only thing to sneak in.

DSC_0715

If you find yourself on English soil, do make a visit to Canterbury Cathedral. It is awe-inspiring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral

Advertisements

On the 11 Bus

I hopped the Number 11 bus (a fab new double-decker design by designer Thomas Heatherwick) with my flatmate Tango Girl yesterday to head across town from Chelsea to an urban art fair in the East End (The Other Art Fair http://www.theotherartfair.com/ ). It’s a slow ride across town, but our feet hurt (I’d been tangoing that morning and then we’d spent some hours walking around Chelsea sourcing fabrics for clients, and we fancied taking in the views. Because this is one of those buses tourists should know about but don’t.

We passed by Westminster Abbey, where I caught a glimpse of the Clock Tower and the Millennium Wheel…IMG_1817

…and headed up to Trafalgar Square where Nelson stares down Whitehall towards the Parliament buildings…

IMG_1821

…then we headed down Fleet Street towards St. Paul’s Cathedral.

IMG_1822

IMG_1825

IMG_1828

Just beyond, on the right, a glimpse of the Millennium footbridge (AKA the Wobbly Bridge) leading to the Tate Gallery.

IMG_1831

The bus trundled eastwards, snaking between buses and taxis, deep into “The City” — the heart of the finance world. Mansion House, the Lord Mayor of London’s official residence, came into view. The Bank of England on the left, and the thrusting skyscrapers of the new “City”, and cranes building more new buildings, a backdrop behind.

IMG_1838

IMG_1844

We hopped off at Liverpool Street Station and wandered through Spitalfields Market where I admired the goat statue, then it was down through Whitechapel, past the infamous Ten Bells Pub (of Jack the Ripper fame) to the art fair.

IMG_1846

Battersea Power Station

I’m on the train from Herne Hill to Victoria Station today and we pass the long-defunct smokestacks of Battersea Power Station…

IMG_1809

…and I suck in my breath. Breathless. It dominates the skyline like nothing else in London.

IMG_1811

It’s my favourite London building — unapologetically monumental. Stream-lined. Masculine. An Art Deco icon. The scaffolding has gone up. The plans have been approved. It’s now, finally, getting a new lease of life. Apartments, a hotel, shops, art galleries. I can’t wait.

A Child’s View of the Future

I spent yesterday at the Museum of Childhood in London with Hankenstein, Tootsie and Bubby (Hankenstein’s glamorous grandmother) at an art event where children were invited to work with artists to create art of their views of the future. It was a fantastic day with terrific energy bouncing around the room. And the art! Ohh!

IMG_1705

Hankenstein’s idea of the future was: “There would be loads of chicken to eat…loads. And we would eat on really nice china. Everyone would have loads of food. Oh, and there would be robots that took over the Underground.”

IMG_1727

So, artist Linney stepped forward and Hankenstein art directed her mural…

IMG_1632

IMG_1664

IMG_1726

While she was working, Hankenstein had a chance to work on his own art with the other kids…

IMG_1709

…and we had a look at what the other artists and kids were up to…

IMG_1718

IMG_1736

IMG_1716

IMG_1715

We headed back to Linney to see how she was getting on. “We need whales,” Hankenstein said. “Whales?” Linney asked. “Yes, three, In the sky.” Hankenstein said, crossing his arms and nodding decisively. “Okay. Whales it is,” Linney said, picking up her blue marker.

IMG_1750

When it was finished, Hankenstein looked at it and nodded. “Just like I thought.”

IMG_1756

http://www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/home/