August 2012 Archives

Much of the artwork and art installations celebrating London 2012 is focused around ancient monuments and the countryside. I've previously mentioned Peace Camp in another blog entry, which was one of the art installations set up in multiple coastal locations throughout the UK. In addition, various locations throughout the UK will seen (or have already seen) a life-scale and interactive inflatable Stonehenge. Think Stonehenge in "bouncy castle" form.

The inflatable Stonehenge installation was created by Jeremy Deller, and it has already travelled around the UK a fair bit, but it can still be discovered in the north of England. The installation is known as Sacrilege, and you can discover more about it here: []. The website also explains where the installation is headed next.


Another art installation featured across Hadrian's Wall, and it takes place this weekend. This installation featured many colourful and pulsating balloons marking out the length of the wall, and it's known as "Connecting Light". The piece was designed by New York-based arts group YesYesNo and Zachary Lieberman, and the artwork aims to describe borders (without barriers). The installation uses weather balloons, and these transmit messages between each other and change the internal LED lights to create multiple pulsating colours.

Update (September 11): BBC have posted a video about the balloons on Hadrian's Wall. For those unable to make it up north to see this in real life, you can watch that here:
I took a trip over to Shoreditch a few weeks ago in order to check out the graffiti that has been popping up for the Olympic games. I like the rawness and laid-back atmosphere of this area of London, and there's always something to glimpse or down a side street. I've decided to add a post with some of the Olympic-themed (and Diamond Jubilee themed) street art that I discovered.

Jimmy C. painted a colourful Usain Bolt's face in Shoreditch, not far from BoxPark

DON painted many of the UK's Olympic medalists off of Brick Lane

I discovered this vibrant purple mascot, designed like a spray paint can, on the fencing in Potter's Fields

Across the street from the Olympic medalists by the same artist, DON, is the "heart of gold"

This graffiti in Shoreditch depicts the Olympic rings as triangles with the all-seeing eye in the middle of the black triangle; unfortunately, it's been damaged by other street art placed on top of it

A closeup of the above piece

The next street art piece can be controversial to some and it is toilet humour. I realise that this is not to everyone's taste and is a bit sick. Don't read if you're easily offended or sickened by this type of humour.

The Stratford Skid Scale, located in Shoreditch

The following artwork was discovered off of Brick Lane and is probably best represented with the Diamond Jubilee events earlier in the year. The artwork depicts the red, white, and blue colours and British monarchy imagery.

A hot air balloon and bunting appears above a giant robin.

A Diamond Jubilee balloon crown with balloon flowers on a Union Jack background

Olympics Trails Mascots

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During the Olympics, a few walking trails have been set up around London to encourage tourists, visitors, and Londoners to get exercise and discover the city. There are six walking trails with over eighty life-size mascot statues along the trail routes. The trails will be available with the life-size mascots until September 9. 

The trails cover various areas of London. One trail covers South Bank, Borough Market, Potter's Fields, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Monument, and St. Paul's Cathedral. Another visits Leadenhall Market, Brick Lane, and Spitalfields. Another allows visitors to walk through Regent's Park. Another starts near Westminster Abbey and continues down Lambeth Bridge past Westminster Bridge (south of the river) to the London Eye. Another explores the West End (Covent Garden and Leicester Square), and the final trail explores Mayfair.

I managed to walk all trails on one Saturday. (Yes, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but the weather was gorgeous, a friend joined me for the first two trails, and interesting exercise was welcomed.) As I am already familiar with London, I managed to combine the City trails into one trail. However, with all of the trails combined, the distance is 23km. I managed to photograph all of the mascots.

Others were enjoying the trails, but I saw far less enjoying them when compared with similar events. many of the admirers of the mascots seemed to be tourists who happened upon them, with the mascots in the touristy areas proving to be popular.

The trails (known collectively as 'Stroll') have been created by the Mayor of London as part of the Olympics, and trail details can be found here:

My first trail of the day was the Blue Trail, which covers the City and passes St. Paul's Cathedral, Monument, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and South Bank (Globe Theatre). Some of my favourite mascots are shown below.

The City Gent Wenlock, located in Cheapside. Telephone Wenlock, located outside St. Paul's Cathedral. St. Paul's Mandeville, located between St. Paul's Cathedral and Millennium Bridge.

Beefeater Mandeville, located in front of Tower of London. Skyline Wenlock, located near City Hall.

Rainbow Wenlock, located near Southwark Bridge on the South Bank. Pirate Wenlock, located in front of the Golden Hinde.

The next trail I completed was the Yellow Trail, and I was able to combine this trail with the Blue Trail to make it more efficient. Both trails were my usual weekday haunts when I worked in the City. The Yellow Trail covered the heart of the City, from Leadenhall Market, Aldgate, Brick Lane, and Spitalfields.

Londinium Wenlock and Leadenhall Market Wenlock, both located in Leadenhall Market. Punk Wenlock (actually, this is Mandeville), located near Aldgate.

Park Wenlock and Sari Wenlock, both located on Brick Lane. 

Dickens Wenlock, near Brick Lane. Victorian Mandeville, located near Spitalfields Market.

Spicy Wenlock, located on Brisk Lane. Pearly Mandeville, located outside Spitalfields Market.

The next trail I completed was the Purple Trail, which went through Mayfair, past Piccadilly Street, Bond Street, and Regent Street. 

Dog Walker Wenlock on South Molton Street in Mayfair. Cycling Mandeville (actually, this looks like Wenlock to me), located near Hanover Square. Plane Trees Wenlock, located in Berkley Square.

Tyger Tyger Mandeville in Berkley Square. Queen's Guard Wenlock, across from the Ritz. Gemstones Wenlock on Piccadilly Street. Red Bus Wenlock, located at Piccadilly Circus.

Groovy Wenlock, located on Regent Street opposite from Carnaby Street.

As the previous trail blended close to the Pink Trail, I walked this one next. This trail covered Covent Garden, Leicester Square, and circled back toward Charing Cross. 

Trafalgar Wenlock near Trafalgar Square. Performer Wenlock on Long Acre. Tourist Wenlock in Covent Garden.

Cleopatra's Needle Wenlock and Embankment Wenlock, both in the gardens near Savoy Place on the embankment.

The Green Trail in Regent's Park was my next stop. It was a beautiful day to take a walk in the park.

Union Flag Wenlock, Regency Mandeville and Animal Wenlock, in Regent's Park.

Midsummer Night Wenlock, Sherlock Holmes Wenlock, Deckchair Wenlock, and detail of Victorian Wenlock (actually, I think it's Mandeville) - all located in Regent's Park.

Before leaving London, I completed the Red Trail, which started near Westminster Abbey and went across Lambeth Bridge, on the south side of the river and finished near the London Eye. I took a lot of photographs of the mascots in front of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

A-Z Map Wenlock and Garden Wenlock, on both sides of Lambeth Bridge. Tourist Mandeville, across the river from Big Ben. Lambeth Palace Wenlock, in front of Lambeth Palace.

Ceremonial Speaker Wenlock, located opposite Big Ben. Big Ben Wenlock, located near London Eye and County Hall. 

I hope you have enjoyed my photographs. Have you been spotting the mascots and walking the trails? Do you have a favourite mascot?

Nothing is Set in Stone

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"Nothing is Set in Stone" is a musical sculpture made of stones and designed by Mira Calix. The sculpture is located in nature reserve Fairlop Waters during the summer months. The sculpture is a part of the 2012 London Festival for the Cultural Olympiad.

The sculpture encourages that visitors engage with it. The sound comes through the stones, and it only happens when the sculpture is being approached. Visitors also have to walk around the sculpture to hear the sound. The sound changes depending on where the visitors approach it and how they move around it. In some cases, the visitor is encouraged to chase the sounds.


According to an interview with, Calix stated "The genius of the idea started because I'm one of those people who takes stones as souvenirs...I started to look at these stones, which appear to never change, and realised of course they are changing -- even when things are imperceptible to the eye, change is occurring." (1)

In another interview, Calix discusses why she used stones and the technical aspects of creating the sculpture (2).

For more information about 'Nothing is set in stone', visit the official website:

1) Clark, Liat. Nothing is Set in Stone: Musical sculpture reacts to moving crowds. [11 July, 2012].

2) 200 Percent Mag. Mira Calix: Nothing is set in stone. [25 March, 2012].

Welcome to NowhereIsland

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NowhereIsland, an arts project for the Cultural Olympiad, is a floating island on display. The island was discovered by Alex Hartley on a trip to the Arctic. When ice melted in the Arctic, the island was discovered. The top layer of rock from the island was removed and was placed onto a barge, marking the birth of NowhereIsland.

In 2012, NowhereIsland is visiting the southwestern coast of England. It has visited Weymouth, Exmouth, Torquay, and Plymouth. It will visit Ilfracombe on September 1 and will arrive at its final UK destination on September 7. A van designed as the embassy is set up on the coast near the island each day so visitors can learn more about the project.


Visitors (of the official website) can sign up to become citizens of NowhereIsland through the website and read more about the island and its UK journey so far:
Many Olympic-themed art installations have appeared across London to celebrate the Olympics. One of these is "House of Flags", designed by AY Architects Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Anthony Boulanger. The colourful flags are on display in Parliament Square. The flags are built from a three-dimensional wooden box-like structure, interconnected into each other. Standing in different angles allows visitors to see a certain selection of flags for each country participating in the Olympic games. The installation's presentation in different angles encourages visitors to interact with it by walking around the structure. 

Many visitors, including those from the UK, walk around the structure to glimpse the flags of their countries and pose for a photograph. This installation was posing to be popular with visitors, and its location near to Big Ben and its bright colours drew visitors to the square. (On a side note, I'm glad that most of the protesters have been moved on from this area so that it looks clean once more. It's also the perfect place to showcase art installations.)


As a very young girl, I have always been fascinated by flags. I was too young to know about most of the other countries or comprehend the idea of other countries. The shapes and colours on the flags always drew me in. My grandmother had a small book about flags, and the book showed photographs of all of the flags in the world. I remember spending hours looking at the book and picking out my favourite flags.

Don't miss seeing this installation if you're in the area. Let me know what you think about it.

Olympics Medal Tree, Leicester Square

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Many art installations have been put up across London to celebrate the Olympics, and many of these have Olympic themes. The Medal Tree in Leicester Square (the cinema area of London) is an example of this. For each medal an athlete wins, a large medal is hung from one of the trees in Leicester Square. I visited Leicester Square the day before the final day of the Olympics, and the trees were filled with a variety of gold and silver medals hanging from the branches.

Medal Trees in Leicester Square.

Hyde Park Olympic Torch Relay

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The main Olympic games are now over, but the majority in the UK (at least) still seem to be missing the games. Those few weeks of the torch relay in London, opening ceremony, and games went by rather quickly, and it was all too soon the time for the closing ceremony. I know many have been suffering an Olympic games withdraw, so I thought I'd post some of my photographs of the Olympic Torch Relay in Hyde Park to let you relive the memories. Also, I am hoping that this will help get you back into the spirit for the Paralympic games.

The torch visited many of London's famous landmarks on Thursday, July 26. To mark the event, the torch evening relay was held at Hyde Park. This included an outdoor concert and many kiosks set up by sponsors, including freebies. Dizzee Rascal, Rizzle Kicks, Eliza Dolittle, Katy B / Mark Ronson, and the Wanted were a few of the acts that performed throughout the day.

In between performances, the torch was brought on stage. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced the torch and gave a speech about London and the games. The torch was brought on stage by Tyler Rix (chosen by Coca Cola as an inspirational person in the sports and music fields), and a cauldron on the stage was lit with the flame. 

I hope that these photographs bring back some nice memories, even if you were unable to make it to Hyde Park to see the torch.

Tyler Rix goes on stage in front of 80,000 people in Hyde Park.

The cauldron on Hyde Park's stage is lit by Tyler Rix.

Tyler Rix and Boris Johnson share a huddle.

Boris Johnson gives a speech to the crowd in Hyde Park. He mentions Greece and Spain and makes fun of the state of their economies. He also pokes fun at presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and he shows how excited he is and Britain is for the games.

The crowds at Hyde Park for the torch relay concert wait for the next concert to take place. People walk with pints of beer. A real festival atmosphere buzzes in Hyde Park.

It looks like an interview; Camera and video in Hyde Park. Many were trying to get in the limelight, and I have some amusing photos of one particular guy trying to get into the video camera's view that probably requires an album of its own.
Before the sunrise, the car was loaded onto a large ferry at the Stari Grad ferry port on Hvar island. Sleepy passengers slept or chatted in the indoor area of the ferry. The outside temperature was chilly and windy, and I took some photographs of the scenery we went past from the top open deck of the ferry. I watched a few other early cruise ships make their way to the city of Split. We sailed past several other islands. The early ferry was due to arrive in Split at 8:00 in the morning, which would provide us ample time to find a parking space and see the city.

The sun rises across the Adriatic Sea, from the top deck of the ferry on the way to Split from Hvar

After finding a parking place, we walked into the newer area of Split, along the harbour. (Split is famous for the remains of its Palace of Emperor Diocletian, and it is a popular stop for tourists and cruise ships.) The emperor was from the nearby ancient settlement Salona, but he had the palace built by the sea. Outside the old city walls is a fish market, and this was heaving with locals just after 8:00 in the morning. Sellers and buyers negotiated on the prices of the fish and other sea creatures, and some of the fish and eel were being cut or weighed. I actually found the fish market to be the most fascinating sight in Split. 

Prawns and skinned eel or fish for sale at the fish market in Split

Fish for sale in the Split fish market

Eels for sale in Split

Common fish for sale in Split

A seller chops up these fish at the market in Split

A seller puts skinned fish on display

A group if different types of fish are for sale at the fish market

A buyer picks out the fish he wants to buy at Split's fish market

After leaving the fish market, I ventured into the old city and out the other side through one of the old city gates. In this area is a massive market selling fruits and vegetables, lavender, honey, flowers, and many other items. I bought some strawberries, and they tasted delicious. The flowers were also beautiful. I enjoyed this market and found it fascinating.

Fresh strawberries

Stands set up selling a variety of goods, including honey, at the market in Split

Flowers for sale at the market in Split

Flowers for sale at the market in Split



After doing some shopping (there are many shops selling Split and Croatian merchandise), it was 9:00 in the morning. The remains of Diocletian's Palace (basement area) were open, and I spent some time wandering around the dark rooms and reading the signs along the way. There had just been a flower show in the palace, so there were many piled of flowers laying around the rooms. Many of the displays had already been taken down, sadly, but I managed to capture most of a display in the area that the emperor would have had his throne (according to the sign-age).

Diocletian's Palace in Split; flowers are leftover from a flower display that took place the day before

A cat chills out at Diocletian's Palace in Split

I found much of the area around the palace and outside the city walls to look a little run-down, and I was glad to have booked the hotel in Trogir for the night, instead of staying longer in Split. Split is okay to visit, and it is worth seeing the palace, but I felt that it lacked the character of some of the other Croatian cities I had visited. The 'soul' of the city seemed to be focused heavily on the tourist industry, although the markets reflected more of a genuine feeling for a place that seemed to be conflicting in its identity. 

A quick trip up the cathedral's bell tower, inside the cathedral, and inside the baptistery was made. I also visited the city's museum and spent a little bit of time looking around the city. (For me, the city was much too busy with tourists, but I was glad that I had arrived earlier and before the crowds from the cruise ships arrived. Before the crowds descended, the city was relatively quiet.)

A house in the walled city of Split

This gargoyle decoration is near the baptistery in Split

After leaving Split, a short car journey took us inland to the remains of the ancient city of Salona. (Sign-age to Salona was rare.) I arrived at the hottest time in the day, already feeling thirsty from wandering around Split, but a small pub is near the entrance of the ruins, and I managed to have a drink before getting more hot and thirsty amongst the open ruins. Bits of the city seem to be well-preserved, such as the tombs and some of the old walls and infrastructure. The amphitheatre was also amazing, and much of it has been reconstructed.

A decorated tomb in Salona

Many poppies grow amongst the ruins of ancient Salona

The tomb on the road just outside or near the old city walls was from the necropolis. The dead could not be buried within the city walls

From Salona, the UNESCO world heritage site of the city of Trogir was only a thirty-minute car drive away. Trogir is surrounded by water, and there are two bridges that join it to the land. Trogir has a large cathedral, harbour, and many narrow cobbled alleyways. I arrived in the afternoon, and the city was quite quiet, with the largest group of tourists near the cathedral. 

The cathedral has a bell tower with nice views over the town. My favourite aspect of the cathedral, however, is the main doorway, which is covered in sculpture and designed by Croatian artist Master Radovan. The detail of this doorway is beautiful. After visiting the cathedral and having a quick walk around the old town and harbour, I visited Fortress Kamerlengo. The fortress is mainly a walled shell and used for events, but the walls can be walked around, and one can climb on the top tower for nice views over the harbour. (The stairways to the top can be easily missed, so make sure you look around the main tower.) 

The day winded down with a nice meal on the harbour, followed by an ice cream sundae at a small ice cream and desserts parlour near the gate and bridge on the harbour.

A view of the main square from the cathedral in Trogir

Potted plants in windows, Trogir

View of Trogir's harbour from the top tower of Fortress Kamerlengo

A Croatian flag flies near the city gates, Trogir

This sculpture of a lion with two cats reminded me of Roman symbols Remus and Romulus in the sculpture of the doorway of the cathedral in Trogir 

Trogir's cathedral bells in the bell tower

An ice cream sundae was enjoyed at a cafe in Trogir's harbour

Gifts from the Olympic Gods: Art

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During the Olympic games, several large-scale works have art have popped up across London to signify the equipment used in the games. Giant shot puts, javelins, and bows and arrows are now located in various parts of the city. The works are known as "Gifts from the Olympic Gods" because of their large scale and historical significance of the games as having begun in ancient mythological Greece. The giant shot put looks as though it has been thrown by one of the gods and landed in the middle of London, embedding itself into the pavement.

The giant shot put attracted curious visitors who happened to walk past it on their journeys. Many stopped to read the sign about the sculpture, and many felt it and knocked onto it. Once one person became attracted to it and did this, others who saw it did the same. Many gravitated toward it, curious to see and understand it. Perhaps unknowingly, it encouraged interaction.

These artworks will be on display until the middle of September. More information about them and a map showing where they can be seen is available from the Mayor of London's website:

This "Gift from the Olympic Gods Shot Put" has landed near to Waterloo station.
The iconic red post boxes are being painted gold to signify every gold medal that the UK receives in the Olympic and Paralympic games. The post boxes that are in the home towns for each gold medal athlete will be painted gold by the Royal Mail within a few days of the medal being awarded. This will allow the community and home towns to recognise success of the athletes. (In addition, Royal Mail have also launched a new stamp for each gold medal win the day after the medal has been awarded.) So far, the UK (TeamGB) have 28 gold medals. 


The post box near to Westminster Abbey has been painted gold to demonstrate the gold post boxes.

For more information and to view the locations of the gold post boxes, visit

Borough Market, Part 3

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I've mentioned in the past about visiting Borough Market during my lunch break sometimes on a Thursday or a Friday. I visited the market on March 1st, and I was surprised at how busy it was. London seems to be busy these days; last year, I visited for the first time at about this same time, and it was not as busy. Borough Market is popular with tourists and City workers. Although the market is open on Thursdays, Fridays are the most popular day. In addition to the market, there are a couple of restaurants, and wine and whisky shops (and tasting) are nearby.

I showed my new colleagues around, and some of them had the paella. I had a sandwich, bought some fudge, and I snapped a few more photographs of the market. Last year, I posted the following articles: Borough Market, Part 1 and Borough Market, Part 2.








On the second day spent on the island of Hvar in Croatia, I explored the nearby towns of Jelsa, Stari Grad, and Vrboska. Vrboska is a village built on the canal with an attractive rainbow bridge. Jelsa has a nice church and harbour. Stari Grad has much history, an attractive harbour, and interesting back streets. In Stari Grad, there are many signs for tourists to talk about various important buildings. All of the towns were very quiet. (You can view photographs of my first day on Hvar by going to the Beautiful Hvar Island: Lavender and Mountain Views blog entry.)

On the way back to Hvar Town, a stop was made at the abandoned village of Velo Grablje. This village seemed to be more recently abandoned (perhaps in the 1980s), and there are a few abandoned cars around. I found this village to be creepier than Humac because it looks more recent. The church there still may be in use, and the bells rang while I walked around. The quiet was eerie, and the bells breaking this silence was disturbing. I could almost picture the ghosts of people and children on the streets. I did not wish to stay here for long. The roads down to the village are also narrow with sheer drops, without guard rails, and as the town is built on a hill, it is difficult to turn around.

On this day, we were lucky to witness an event in Hvar Town. Hvar Town threw a festival to celebrate one of its patron saints, St. Prosper. Dancing and a market selling local goods was set up during the day. In the evening, we witnessed the community coming together to celebrate the saint. The entire town seemed to fit inside St. Stephen's Cathedral to be a part of the ceremony. The patron saint was paraded around the old town square, followed by locals in religious dress. The remainder of the townspeople followed the patron saint. They walked around the square and filed back into the cathedral at the end of the ceremony. Food and drink was also held for the townspeople in the theatre near the old town square. The ceremony was beautiful, and it was nice to witness some of Hvar's culture.

The harbour in Stari Grad

Fishing nets in Stari Grad.

Overlooking Hvar Town from the fortress.

Buildings in the town square, in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral.

A flower shop in Hvar Town.

Hvar Town buildings

A market is set up for the patron saint's day in the old town square in Hvar.

Hvar Town

The well at the monastery, inside the cloisters

A cobbled street in Stari Grad

Beautiful lemons

The abandoned village of Velo Grablje.

The patron saint, St. Prosper, is paraded around the square.

The townspeople parade around the square with St. Stephen's Cathedral in the background.

Another view of the patron saint and the priest.

The start of the queue in the parade around the town square.

A boy holds a candle at the start of the procession.

The townspeople involved in St. Prosper's procession.

The procession

The townspeople and robed figures disappear back inside St. Stephen's Cathedral to mark the end of the procession and the beginning of the night's festivities.

Summery Eton Mess Recipe

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Eton Mess is one of my favourite desserts, and it's very summery with a mix of fruits, cream, and meringue. Apparently, the dessert was named after a college in England. It is a traditional English pudding (or dessert, as they would say in the states). I've introduced my friends to the dish last summer. I made my bloke Eton Mess, photographed below. Use a margarita glass, wine glass, or martini glass to show off, and add a colourful cocktail stick to make it prettier.

The Eton Mess recipe that I use is a variation of one of Jamie Oliver's. Normally, I prefer to make my own meringue. However, if I am running short of time, I buy meringue from the shop. (Meringues are readily available in the major supermarkets in the summer.) The store-bought and mass-produced meringues are alright; homemade does taste better. 


The ingredients you will need include:
  • meringue
  • strawberries
  • red raspberries
  • sugar
  • vanilla pod
  • 1 pint of double cream

Unless you are planning on making your own meringues, the step that is the most involved is the cream. You will want to cut the vanilla pod and put the vanilla pod 'seeds' inside the whipped cream. Also, put a couple of spoons of sugar into the cream. Put the cream and vanilla-sugar mix into a bowl and whip it. Make sure that you do not over-whip it. You still want it to be slightly runny. The vanilla gives the cream some flavour. Place in the fridge when you're finished.
Next, take some red raspberries and strawberries, and put these into a bowl with a couple of spoons of sugar. Crush up using a fork (or fingers) into a lumpy berry sauce. The amount of sauce you make depends on how many you wish to make, but you should keep some whole fruit. 

The final step is folding all of the ingredients together. Start with some meringue, and break it up into varying degrees of powder or chunks. Place this in a martini glass. Fold some cream into it, then some fruit sauce, then perhaps place a whole berry in the mix. Keep folding the cream, meringue chunks, sauce, and berries together.

To prevent the meringue from going soggy, make sure that you fold the ingredients right before you serve the Eton Mess to your guests or family. Don't forget to enjoy!
Now that the Olympics have finally arrived, the focus of the world (or at least the UK) seems to be on the games and everything surrounding them. The official sponsors have spent a lot to market their brands. Many companies, including official sponsors, are deciding to cash out on the London 2012 Olympics with Olympic special edition merchandise. Coca Cola, Cadbury, and MINI are a few of the companies who have launched Olympic-themed merchandise.

Cadbury have launched Union Jack chocolate bars; these were launched before the Diamond Jubilee. In addition, they have also launched chocolate Olympic mascots and chocolate gold medals. Cadbury have also set up an exhibition in Hyde Park and in other areas of the UK to sell their product.

In addition, Coca Cola have been doing a lot of marketing around the Olympics and have hosted several concerts and events, including the torch relay events. Coca Cola have launched special edition torch relay bottles for those who attended the torch relay, and these were handed out for free around the country. In addition to the torch relay bottles, Selfridges are currently selling special edition gold bottles of Coca Cola to celebrate the Olympics. (These gold bottles can only be found at Selfridges.)


Another brand spending money on marketing for the Olympics is MINI. Last year, MINI launched a special edition Olympics MINI. The car comes in red, blue, and silver, and the seats have a red/white/blue trim on them. The car also has graphics in the form of small Union-Jack stripes and the Olympic logo on the roof. In addition, MINI have a float in the Thames near the Olympic park.


Also, MINI have been participating in the Olympics. Miniature radio-controlled MINI cars are participating in the games by delivering Olympic equipment (such as javelins) to the athletes during the game. Several MINIs are also being used for fire emergencies and are painted accordingly in yellow. A MINI was also used in the opening ceremony.

As mentioned for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in a previous post, many other products have used flags in their branding, such as Marks and Spencer (pictured below). 


Peace Camp 2012

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Toward the end of July (19th - 22nd), eight secluded areas in the UK (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, and Cornwall) became home to the display "Peace Camp", which featured hundreds of glowing tents in each of these locations at night. The locations included coastal areas, and some of them were located around ruins, castles, and lighthouses. In between the tents, visitors could listen as the surroundings emitted poetry about love, literature readings, music, and soothing sounds. The exhibition took place from dusk to dawn. 

'Peace Camp' was created by Deborah Warner, and it was commissioned by the Olympiad 2012 Festival. I've posted a couple of links below that contain video. More information about the event, as a whole, can be found on the official website at

Due to unforeseen circumstances (including the locations being a bit far from where I live), I was unable to experience this exhibit. I hope that it comes back at some point.


Design Boom. Peace Camp Sound Installation for London 2012 Festival. [20 July, 2012].

Artichoke Trust. Peace Camp 2012: Cuckmere Haven (video). [20 July, 2012].

1) Daily Mail. Welcome to the Peace Camp: Thousands of Glowing Tents Spring up on the British Coast to Celebrate Olympic Truce. [21 July, 2012]
As part of the cultural events surrounding the Olympics, the art exhibition 'Fire Gardens' was held at Stonehenge amongst the stone circle. (Unfortunately, the final day of the exhibition was cancelled due to the non-stop rain that the UK has been having.) However, I was lucky to discover that the 'Fire Gardens' exhibition was going to take place in Milton Keynes for the Milton Keynes International Festival a week later (toward the end of July). I jumped at the opportunity to see it, and I was not disappointed.

'Fire Gardens' is the work of French arts group Compagnie Carabosse, and it is an art exhibition made of fire and sculpture. The 'Fire Gardens' have visited many places worldwide, and each is slightly different depending on the space that it is in. In Milton Keynes, Campbell Park came to life with a labyrinth of flaming sculptures, flame-lit trails, music, moving metal figurines, and various types of flames using a variety of torches, cauldrons, and flaming pots.

Do not hesitate to see this exhibition if it is visiting near you. Since I missed the Stonehenge exhibition, I've posted some links to some information and photographs from the Stonehenge Fire Garden below my photographs.

The 'Fire Garden' is lit.

One of the metal figures in the Fire Garden

Another view of one of the metal figures in the Fire Garden

The Fire Gardens structures

Visitors walk amongst the flame-lit trails

Moving steel frames with flaming pots decorate one area of the Fire Gardens

Steel pipes shoot flames and haunting music can be heard throughout the garden

A moving steel figure amongst flames

A lit trail in Campbell Park

One of the metal figures in the Fire Garden

Earlier in the evening

Flaming structures of the Fire Garden

A sculpture at dusk in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes

Rebekka Seale is a freelance artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. On her website (, she states that her artwork reflects "her love of homespun charm in a digital world." I love the simplicity of the watercolour illustrations, such as the alphabetical range of flowers, telephones, and birds. 


Rebekka also creates custom house portraits, which can be commissioned and purchased in her online shop: These are perfect memories to showcase your house and great for a house-warming present. I really love the townhouse house portrait.


* All images are painted/illustrated by Rebekka Seale. To visit her website, go to:
To visit her shop, go to:


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