Bristol Upfest 2015

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I have been visiting Bristol this weekend, and I went to Upfest yesterday (Sunday) in order to see some of the work (and work in progress). For those who do not know what Upfest is, it is Europe's largest street art/grafitti festival, and it takes place in Bristol each year and attracts many visitors and artists from the UK and overseas. This year, the artists painted primarily along North Street in the Bedminster area of Bristol. Many of these pieces are in progress with scaffolding obstructing the views, so I be posting again with the finished artwork. (Note that a few pieces below were previous pieces painted on shutters, so I've just included them here too.)

Olivier Roubieu

Guy Denning

Andy Council in progress - tribute to Wayne - RIP Wayners

Dan Kitchener (Dank) work in progress

An artist at work at 'The Steam Crane'

Guy Denning

Tizer and various artists on North Street

Artwork at 'The Hare' pub: Bex Glover, Parlee, :Si2:, Gnasher (Wallace & Gromit)

BraveOne and CHG




One of the pieces by Angus - 'Minions' cross with 'Pulp Fiction'


Stik & My Dog Sighs - Revenge of the Stik 

Unfortunately, the largest venue (South Street Park) was shut due to the rain. The site had permission from the owners of the land, a school, and they were told not to let visitors enter because they did not want the grass destroyed. A lot of people were disappointed. I was allowed to take photographs from the entrance only, but there were so many pieces here that I could not see. I recognised a couple of artists' names that I know from the Upfest directory for this location, so it is a pity that I am many others were unable to see these pieces. I did see some stunning pieces from the entrance when I zoomed in using my camera. I hope that these boards are put on display somewhere so that they can be enjoyed by the public and the artists can get the exposure that they want as well.

South Street Park

The Spotted Cow - Lex Luther, unknown, Beepmonkey, Yash, Object, Sinna One, Hardie, DinDin, Arrix

North Street: Unknown, Rob Lee, Bram, unknown, Gage Graphics, Bill Giles, InkFetish, Fabio Petani, unknown

North Street: Lemak, Hoshiko, unknown, Stephen Quick, Julie (?) unknown, Agent Provocateur and Korp, SMV, European Bob

North Street: SF80, 4ire, Skie, John Curtis and Alex Willmott, RAST, Zabou, unknown, Steek, Johnman, Canvaz, FKDL, Roots, Leeks & Fetch, , Carleen Desozer, Giusi Tomasello

Luckwell - Olivier Roubieu, Miedo12, Diogo Galvao, 45rpm

Hen & Chicken: Mr Dog Sighs, Miss Wah, Los Dave, unknown, unknown, Jody, Dr. Love

Angus, unknown, Masai, Inkie, unknown, Inkie, Stewey

Otto Schade

Tobacco Factory: unknown, Thierry Noir, Fake, Oli-T, Loch Ness, Hannah Adamaszek, Acerone, Andrew Burns Colwill

Vector seating: Karl Read, Unknown and Rolling People (?), id-iom, Jim Vision and Dan Kitchener, unknown, CodeFC, Julieta XFL, Rusk, Nomad Clan (?), unknown

Martin Ron

My Dog Sighs

Berlin Wall exhibit at St. Francis with Thierry Noir

Hen Harrier Day with Danielle Mastrion & Lexi (?), Masai, DAP (?) with RAW (?), Goin

Rising Sun: Snooty, Dice67, unknown, Decay, John Doh, Angus, Deeds, Annatomix, unknown, unkown and D7606, D7606, unknown with Lone Wolf, STX

Collaboration on Luckwell Road - Dale Grimshaw, Cosmo Sarson, Mr. Cenz

Mr. Cenz in progress - Luckwell Rd

Luckwell Road - Dale Grimshaw and Cosmo Sarson in progress

Voyder in progress on West Street

Let me know if you recognise any of the artists that I have labelled unknown (or got incorrect). I've had to rush to write this post as next week is going to be really mental for me and I am not going to have any time to spend on this blog. As always, I've covered a lot of the artists in previous posts, so just search my blog. Sorry I wasn't able to add any direct links like I normally would have done. I've just had a lot of material to get through and long weekend and a very trying week ahead of me (which I am very much dreading, particularly as I've got blisters on my foot from doing a lot of walking), and next weekend is going to be mental as well. Thanks for reading!

Lego Street Art

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Lego is an intesting media for creating street art. Over the past few years, I have seen Lego bricks used to create some beautiful pieces of sculpture and art around the city of London. I wanted to showcase these iconic brick toys in this post as I've noted its uses. This post will feature various sculptures and Lego used in street art.


Bright Bricks (, a company who has created various large-scale Lego sculptures in Covent Garden, encouraged the public to visit St. Mary's Axe (the Gherkin) in order to help construct a large-scale model of the Gherkin building last summer. 



Second, we have one artist, Jan Vormann, who uses Lego bricks in street art in order to repair or add to crumbling buildings and brickwork. The result is a colourful patchwork of Lego bricks and stunning artwork that blends into its environment. I would love to discover some of these pieces in London at some point.

Jan Vormann photo

Jan Vormann photo

Jan Vormann photo

Jan Vormann photo

Jan Vormann photo

Last but not least brings us to Brick Lane. Over a year ago, the streets around Brick Lane and Spitalfields acquired small trees made out of plastic Lego bricks. I am unsure who pasted them upon the walls and have not been successful in finding out who pasted them up and why. I thought that perhaps more of these would be appearing, but they never did. Sadly, many of them have been stolen from the walls now, leaving a tree-shaped void.


I also discovered some additional Lego and toys put into the concerete across from BoxPark on Bethnal Green Road. I'm unsure as to why they are there, but they have been there for awhile and trampled probably millions of times by now.


Let me know if you see anymore facinating work created with Lego bricks.

Pizza is one of my favourite foods. When I was growing up, my parents always got pizza on Sunday nights; this was then moved to every Friday night after our local pizza place was bought out by a major local company and they changed the recipe. We would relax and eat pizza once a week for as long as I can remember. I don't have it that often anymore, but I do love good pizza and have a preference for the thin crust (Italian style). 


Readers may remember my trip earlier this year to Pizza Pilgrims, which is a London pizza chain serving up delicious pizzas. I had the chance to give Homeslice Pizza a try recently, and I was not disappointed at all. I had only a slice of cheese pizza, but I could have had a lot more.


Homeslice is located in Neal's Yard, which is close to Covent Garden and Seven Dials. Neal's Yard is a hidden courtyard with a few shops and restaurants. Homeslice occupies one of these spaces, and there's several seats indoors as well as outdoors. The company began its life in an east London brewery, and they have perfected the pizza dough over the course of the past three years. Pizzas are cooked and heated up in a wood fire oven, which can be seen at the back in the photograph below.


Tap water seved in chilled bottles is free, and a slice of pizza is a little on the costly side. I would love to go back to share a whole pizza with someone. The pizzas are ideally made for sharing. A slice of pizza was just enough for lunch or a snack. The bread is quite light and I did not find it too 'heavy'.


I am looking forward to returning. 

Homeslice is located at 13 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, WC2H 9DP. They are open Monday to Saturday until late and serve pizza slices at all hours from noon. For whole pizzas, the hours are noon until 10:30pm. Their Sunday hours are noon until 9:00pm. 

Joachim Paints Wall on Rivington Street

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Joachim is an artist from Belgium who has been involved in the street art and grafitti scene since the 1990s. The artist came to London nearly a couple of months ago and painted a wall on Rivington Street in Shoreditch (London) with his trademark abstract style figures/faces.


Close-ups of the piece can be seen below.



The artist's style reminds me of Italian artist Hunto. The artists also collaborated on another mural on a wall together.


For more information about the artist, see his Facebook page here:

I have a lot of photographs of street art that I've not published but that I think it worthy of some mention or documentation. Below are several pieces, primarily paste-ups, that have made their appearances in London during the past three years. For those who have done a street art tour of London or who have followed street art in London, some of these pieces may bring back some memories.
St8ment and Mr. Fahrenheit
High Five
R. Satz
St. Gentrifizian, St. Cargo, St. Spekulatius
Unknown birds on Blackall Street
Pezzy, Cartrain, HelgaAniorte
Skull at the Foundry
unknown and chinagirl
aliens and pipsqueak
Tribute to Flanders fields at the end of 2014 (the great war)

Anna Laurini
13 coins
Real Dill
Real Dill, Anna Laurini, Georgie
Corpse and Dotmasters
Three of these hanging fish turned up in east London. Artist unknown but read awhile ago it may be the work of Pablo Delgado
John Dolan with George the Dog

Last month, I mentioned that the month of June was my final for the beauty subscription company Birchbox.  However, they messed up in cancelling my subscription, so I received the July box this month. For those who do not know, Birchbox is a monthly beauty and skincare subscription box that sends between four and five samples each month. Instead of the box and drawstring pouch this month, the subscription came inside an envelope. Inside the envelope was a colourful plastic clutch. It is available in four colours: pink, yellow, orange, and turquoise. I received the turquoise colour. The contents are described below.


Unani aloe vera gel: This product should be used after getting sun. It contains aloe vera to help cool the skin and help it to recover from the sun. It does feel cool on my skin, and it's not sticky. I'll try to remember that I have this product the next time that my skin suffers a bit from the sun.

Indemne (eau de Genie): This product is a cleanser that contains grapefruit, tomato, lemon, and apricot extracts to boost the skin. It absorbs into the skin quickly, but it could take some time before I notice any results.

Soigne nail polish in 'fruit de la passion': The colour of polish that I received is a pale apricot or peach colour, and I love this colour. However, I did not care for the product. It took four coats to cover my nails, and the product took forever to dry completely.

POP Beauty eyeshadow trio in 'Peach Parfait': This trio of eye shadows can help achieve the smokey eye look. I love the bronze and gold shades. I am going to get a lot of use out of these, but I want to use up some similar colours first.

Benefit Cosmetics Dream Screen: This matte sunscreen protects the wearer's face. It is factor SPF 45. The skin absorbs it quickly. I do use a lot of Benefit Cosmetics products, so this one was not new to me.

Pura Vida lace headband in 'aqua': This hair band is a good idea and on trend. I'll have to research how to wear it, though.

I have (hopefully) managed to cancel my subscription sucessfully now, so this will be my last Birchbox review. I was just tired of getting repeat products and products that did not suit my needs. However, this box was okay for me this month, but it's not enough to keep me subscribed.

I visited Vintage Salt during my birthday weekend in mid-June, and the bloke and I ate here before watching the Saturday performance of 'War Horse', which I've wanted to see for a little while now. Vintage Salt is a restaurant on the rooftop of Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London, and it takes its inspiration from the Cornish coast. Over the winter, the restaurant (Le Chalet) took inspiration from a ski lodge, and I had the chance to visit.


The restaurant takes its inspiration from a Cornish coastal town with wooden floors and blue and white. The tiles near the bar featured drawn ship illustrations.



Other seaside items were featured inside the entrance to the restaurant, including ropes, benches, lifesavers, and buoys.


In addition, we received some facts about Cornwall.


When we arrived, we were seated near the entrance/exit, but I had a wander. Part of the decking area had beach huts in the colourful style that can be seen on the coast. Unfortunately, the weather was not perfect for the day; we did not have rain, but the roof was only partially opened in case we did get a shower.


The menu came with some British weather warnings.


We promptly ordered our cocktails. I had the 'Selfridges Sparkler' cocktail, and I believe that the bloke had the 'Tropical Punch'. 



I also ordered a non-alcoholic raspberry lemonade.


We shared the 'crusty ancient loaf' of bread with butter. This tasted similar to the bread that we shared when the restaurant was Le Chalet in winter.


The meals do not come with sides (unless stated), so these were ordered separately. I ordered the truffled chips and wilted summer greens, which consisted of buttered kale and spinach. The chips had parmassan cheese and mushroom (truffle) on them.


The bloke ordered the fish and chips dish, which contained a pot of mushy peas. He assured me that the fish and chips was very tasty.


I ordered the chicken, which was marinated in a barbeque spicey sace, and this tasted lovely. The chicken could have had a little more meat on it, but the glaze was delicious. The image below shows my chicken with the truffled chips and the greens (sides).


For dessert, I opted for the 'chocolate burger'. This consisted of white and dark chocolate, jello (tomato) and cream (mayonaisse) as well as a sugary pastry. The 'fries' were sugared doughnut sticks that could be dunked into a melted chocolate pot. Genious, but it looked much better than it tasted. There's also a 'deconstructed sundae', which I would love to go back and try.


After our meal, we headed over to see the play 'War Horse', which I have wanted to watch for a little while. The puppetry work with the horses was absolutely amazing.


Overall, we had a good evening out, and that concluded my birthday weekend.

If I could move anywhere in the United Kingdom (without having to worry about a job), I would move to Salisbury. (However, I also like the Cotswolds, so that's a contender.) I fell in love with Salisbury in 2000, when a past boyfriend took me there to visit as he lived down the road in the New Forest and his parents worked in Salisbury; Salisbury was their nearest big city and the closest with a train station, and I'd find myself traveling down on the train from London on Friday evenings to see him every other weekend. I also worked there for a few months. I've visited the town now and again over the course of the last decade, so when I learned about the Baron's Charter sculpture trail last year, I knew that I'd be paying the city another visit this summer.

MC 800 Baron - Mark Elling

The Baron's Charter sculpture trail consists of 25 painted sculptures in the shape of a baron. They commemorate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta (1215), a set rules/laws for society of that time, which influences current civilisation. Salisbury Cathedral displays one of the remaining signed Magna Carta documents. Only four of these are in existance today, and the others can be seen at Lincoln and the British Library. 

The Magna Carta Baron - Donald Brown

The trail is on display until the 6th of September. After it finished, the barons will be auctioned off for charity Trussell Trust, to provide food for those who need it. Below are photographs of the barons from the sculpture trail. 

Stained Glass Flower Baron - Louise Luton

Salisbury Market Baron - Lee O'Brien

Stonehenge Winter Solstice Druid - Mandii Pope 

Traditional Tribal Baron - Jake Cook

The Salisbury Baron - Jodie Silverman

Discworld Knight - Paul Kidby

Astro Baron - Jenny Leonard

Quintessentially British - David Graham

Baron Button - Laura Fearn

Additionally, we happened to visit Salisbury during an archaeology event. We were able to go into the Salisbury Museum, which has gotten larger since my last visit and is well-worth a visit with a large selection of prehistorical items. I'll be posting more on Salisbury at some point, but we saw some archaeologists that have been on television. I heard a thick Somerset accent (I used to work near Bristol) and the bloke recognised Phil Harding, who has been on Time Team and other shows. I took a sneaky few photographs. 

Phil Harding from Time Team and other programmes

The Baron's Charter sculpture trail will be in place until 6 September, so do go and see the sculptures. They are all within walking distance of each other and are centrally-based. (There are two that are accessible from the centre for those who wish to walk a little further.) For more information, visit:

UK 2015 Glossybox Review: July

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My Glossybox arrived yesterday. Glossybox is a monthly beauty and skincare subscription box that sends subscribers four or five sample or full-sized products. This month's theme is 'Vive la France', and the products inside the box are French. The box this month has a nice illustration, and following competitor Birchbox, all subscribers received an illustrated plastic make-up bag.


This month, each subscriber received four products.

noxidoxi enhancing serum base: The product promises to protect and moisturise the skin. This product needs to be used over time to see the benefits. It is absorbed into the skin and does not feel sticky or greasy.

Lollipops lip balm: This lip balm is rich in vitamins and contains sunscreen. The scent reminds me of vanilla cupcake. This is a brilliant product and made my lips feel nourished and soft. A little bit of this goes a long way. 

Teoxane Cosmeceuticals skin refiner: This product promises to hydrate and make skin appear plumper. It feels slightly tingly on the skin at first use. 

Yves Rocher 'Comme une Evidence' eau de perfume: This perfume is described as a musky but floral scent. I enjoyed using this product and like the scent. It's also in a generous size that will last a little while.


This was my free box for completing surveys for the past year. I may subscribe for a couple of more months so that I can redeem another free box.

Basingstoke Live 2015

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This weekend, I listened to music at Basingstoke Live. Basingstoke Live is a free event held in Basingstoke each year, and it marks the end of the Basingstoke Festival, which I covered a few weeks ago. The event hosts art, music, dance, drama, and various rides. Some of the artists are local, but there's also international acts and different styles of music to cater for every taste. I was unable to attend on Saturday late afternoon and evening, but I could hear the last act from where I live, and they sounded amazing. Instead, I went on the Sunday, which had a chilled-out atmosphere. The headline act that evening was Mungo Jerry, who created the 1960s hit summer song "In the Summertime". I managed to get an autograph and meet him after the concert. Photographs of Basingstoke Live are below.

Mungo Jerry

Rides at Basingstoke Live

Sugarman Sam and the Voodoo Men

Devout Skeptics

Devout Skeptics

Fish Hook

Fish Hook

Groove Republic

Groove Republic

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