Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

Lasts week my sister and I managed to catch the Winter Lights Exhibition at Canary Wharf, which is a follow-up from the amazing Lumiere London light festival last year. It was a cold night but we persevered and followed our trusty map to get to as many light installations as possible – and were not disappointed!

The exhibition was on for a week, and like the ones before, it was pretty busy while we were walking around, but there was also a lovely vibe in the air – lots of people enjoying art, London and beautiful lights.

The first one which caught our eyes immediately was this egg-shaped installation, which was in front of the station as soon as we stepped out, with changing colours, musical lights and lots of people exploring the inside of the egg.

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We saw most of the installations (out of 30 I think we only missed two!) and managed to get a good look at most of them (and also take three hundred photos!). I loved the different ideas from all of these, from moving art to stationary, lights, pictures and words which all looked pretty beautiful.

Alongside the egg-shaped installation (called the Ovo), we also found lots of angel wings in the park nearby, which were very popular. I loved this idea, it let the public interact, take pictures and wander around exploring.

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We then walked onto West Ferry (which took us a while!) and got to these beautiful neon-lines wound around trees with fairy-lights. There was something very surreal about this part, which felt a little like a dream-world and was really fun to walk around. The interesting thing was, although these look like glowing strips, these were just ordinary coloured tape lit up with lights in the right places. We also went on a little further to see a Garden of Blooms – coloured baubles which changed colours and tinkled soft music, which looked like beautiful flowers.

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Next we went onto the more commercial and busier side of the area to Canada Water / Cabot Square, which had more buildings and offices. My favourite about this place was the Water & Light installation, which dropped quickly enough to form words (you can see in the video below). We also went into a few office buildings and saw spinning ‘Poemdums and Koans) which were cylinders and cones in various colours and sizes, some with words which caught your eye.

We then moved on to the Cross Rail which was the busiest part of the Winter Lights exhibitions, although it was spread out on three floors with lots of outside exhibitions that were lit up in the night. These are my favourite pieces, colourful rainbows, columns which mirrored your movements, flowers that lit up, recycled bottles used with lights, and a really fun musical and light show on the water controlled by people’s movements.

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There were quite a few very innovative ideas, which were really interesting as these were things we hadn’t seen before. I managed to get a clip of a very popular exhibition which was lightwaves affected by brainwaves, and the idea of thoughts, focus and brain activity. I also liked another exhibit which were mirrors that said one thing but changed into another word when you looked at the reflection, as well as a ‘body scanning’ exhibit which scanned the person standing in front and posting a quick ‘imprint’ image on the screen in front.

We finally finished by wandering around and enjoying the lights (and even popped into Zara at one point) on our way back to Canary Wharf station, so that we had come to a full circle, where we found this poem lit up in the park.

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We also managed to find lots of light benches (which we spent lots of time sitting on and posing on!) in front of a colourful lit-up ice-skating rink, which looked very surreal. I’m pretty terrible at skating, so didn’t want to risk damaging myself but having a go on the ice rink!

All in all, it was a really fun evening (although still pretty cold!) and we found a lot of things to see which we loved. I love that light shows are becoming more popular in London, and that a lot of people like myself and my sister enjoy wandering around and exploring the city. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of these over summer, and have already seen a few which look interesting!

Did you go to this event? Which light installation did you like best?

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Pretty Mosaic Giraffes

I saw this recently and loved it, a mosaic rainbow pair of giraffes created by local charity Headway East London, by survivers of brain injury, using art as a means of expression and communication, as well as helping the survivers in their rehabilitation. I though this was a beautiful, gentle piece of art which used pretty rainbow colours and mirrors to create something which looked pretty joyful – a family of giraffes which is simple yet very endearing : )st

Lumiere London 2016: Lighting up a city

My sister and I were lucky enough to see all the beautiful lights which were set up last week for Lumiere London, one of the country’s biggest light festivals. We managed to see most of the light installations – out of 40 of them we only missed around three or four.

I won’t describe them too much because there were so many, and because the pictures looked amazing – the lights were looked beautiful in the night and there was such a nice atmosphere of tourist and Londoners all out at the same time exploring the different streets with installations.

Mayfair and Bond Street

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Regent Street and Carnaby Street

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Pall Mall and The Strand

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Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Westminster

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Kings Cross

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We spent about four hours walking around all over London, but it was great fun and we managed to find spots of London we hadn’t been to before!

You can see more pictures on my sister’s blog, and also on my instagram account too. Did you manage to see any of these?

Cable Cars over River Thames

This weekend we took some of my nieces and nephews out to ride on the Emirates Air Line, which have cable cars flying across the River Thames from Greenwich to the Royal Docks. We got there at the perfect time, the sun set while we were in the cable car, and by the time we got to the other side, it was already dark.

The kids had great fun in the car (my toddler niece was fascinated by the view and was the quietest I’ve ever seen her!), and we took plenty of pictures and selfies from our height. It was pretty amazing seeing the o2 Dome, the River Thames and all the boats, and also the bright lights and motorways around which added to the view.

If you’re ever around this area I’d recommend a visit, it’s cheap and doesn’t take long, and it’s a great way to travel across the river!

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #16: Perspective

Perspective. Looking at things from different angles. I suppose this could be applied to Ramadan too, where fasting makes us view food, luxury and privilege in a different way.

I thought I’d post different perspectives of various things I’ve seen to show how conventional things we may be used to can look different when viewed from a different angle (the dandelion one was difficult because I have to crouch down really low to get the camera under the flower!) Perhaps just a reminder that sometimes the best way to look at something isn’t always from the obvious angle.

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A view of a dandelion from the bottom
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An arty bridge that I saw recently
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A picture in Canary Wharf taken a few years ago, I love this picture because of the way the buildings disappear into fog

Sri Nam at Canary Wharf

Sri Nam at Canary Wharf, London is a quiet little spot for some Thai food, (until the dreaded rush hour hits anyway) and for those of you looking for something a little different to open your fast and have iftari dinner with friends, why not try this place? It’s not halal, mind you, but there’s plenty of veggie options and the atmosphere is friendly, intimate and looks very stylish : ) With muted lighting (to disguise your date’s unflattering work suit, perhaps) and tables which seem set out almost like a little tea room (well we ARE in England after all), this seems like a popular choice for many, hidden away from the main hustle and bustle of Canary Wharf’s suited and booted finest. Have a look around if it takes your fancy (apologies for the not-so-crystal-clear pics, the lighting was not suited to my poor camera!) and let me know what you think of the prawn toast : )