February 2013 Archives

Street Art: Thierry Noir

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Street artist Thierry Noir has arrived in London. The Berlin artist was one of the first in the street art movement and famously painted on the Berlin Wall from 1984 (until its fall in 1989). Some of his work has started to appear in Shoreditch, and I captured a glimpse of some of his work at the end of last week with the Village Underground Wall near Great Eastern Street alive with one of his figures. The figure appears with one of my favourite street art artists' figures, Stik. Both artists use bright colours and simplified drawings of figures. At the end of last week, Stik and Thierry Noir presented a discussion about street art at Somerset House.
A bright Thierry Noir figure on Great Eastern Street; Thierry Noir figures near Great Eastern Street above a car park; Thierry Noir and Stik in conversation.
In addition to the Village Underground Wall, I noticed a couple of Thierry Noir's figures appeared to be in conversation on a wall above the car park opposite. These were a little bit difficult to spot and photograph, but I managed to get a photograph of them on Monday, though they'd sadly been painted over by another 'artist'.
On Monday, I spotted one of the well-known walls that hosts street art (on Great Eastern Street) was decorated with his figures against a black background. This made me think of chalk drawings.  
Thierry Noir's figures appear on a giant 'chalkboard-like' painted wall in Great Eastern Street.
Taken on Rivington Street
I like the simplicity of this street artist's style and the bright colours. Seeing Thierry Noir's figures with Stik's last week made me smile as both have a similar style of simplicity and bright colours. His figures remind me of the large stone sculptures on Easter Island.

Street Art: London's Mushrooms

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
One of my favourite pieces of street art to be discovered in London are the mushrooms by street artist Christiaan Nagel. The mushrooms are made of foam, fiber glass, stainless steel, and they are painted in bright colours. They can be discovered on the tops of buildings and walls in Shoreditch, London. 


The reason I enjoy them is that they seem to "appear" or "pop up" unexpectedly, like a mushroom does. They seem to make the city look natural or organic by bringing a little bit of life into the structure that they 'sprout' from. They are a bit unexpected and make the drab city (wall or building) a colourful, playful, and 'growing' place. 


In an interview (1), Nagel states that he choose to create these mushrooms because:

"They're pop-up art, they could be mushroom clouds, they could be psychedelic drugs," he said. "I suppose they tie in with the sub-culture of street art, which is guerrilla art, which is illegal."

For me, this street art is a welcoming sight. (I, like many others, do appreciate the street art that does have an artistic merit and that does not destroy personal property or offend in any way.) I think many more are appreciating street art, and I often see tourists with cameras looking at the street art. I also see or have seen advertised about London walks to see the street art in and around Shoreditch.

mushroom1.jpg mushroom5.jpg

1) British artists take to the streets. http://gulfnews.com/news/world/uk/british-artists-take-to-the-streets-1.1014636 [28 April, 2012].

Days Out: Snowy Peak District, Part 1

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
A few weeks ago, I planned a visit to the Peak District. Over those three days that I visited, there was heavy snow. Some of the roads were hardly passable. I've not been to the Peak District before, so it would be nice to see it when it's not covered in snow too. I got some good photographs of the snow and the picturesque villages in the snow.

Snow-covered roads in the Peak District

Red berries with snow on them in the Peak District

One of the villages I visited was Bakewell. This village is famous for its puddings and the tart named after it. Unfortunately, the bakery/cafe selling these puddings was shut (as were most other shops). This village has a picturesque church on top of the hill, and there's a pretty bridge crossing a river. Along the river, I watched Canadian geese and ducks swimming in the river.

One of the main streets in Bakewell 

View of Bakewell and snow-covered roofs and spires

I also visited the town of Buxton and had a walk down from a car park at the top of a hill to large gardens. I also visited Poole's Cavern not far from here.

The car park is nearly empty and covered with snow

A little girl is pulled on a sled on a main street in Buxton.

The gardens in Buxton are covered with snow

A Muscovy Duck in Buxton's gardens

On the final day of the stay, the sun came out in the morning. I managed to take a few photographs on the drive through the Peak District.

Wintery Peak District

Horses in the Peak District

Horses in the Peak District

I hope you have enjoyed the photographs.

Street Art: Ronzo

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The street artist known as Ronzo completed new street art at the weekend just off Brick Lane near another one of his pieces. I've been waiting for artwork to appear here for a little while now, so I was glad to see the new artwork appear on Monday morning on my way to work. The artwork features dinosaur bones in concrete with a broken skateboard, spray paint cans, and a CCTV camera. The toothy dinosaur wears the trademark Ronzo red and white ball cap. 

Ronzo's street art in Corbet Place

Below is a photograph of one of Ronzo's monster sculptures in the same square as the street art photographed above. These fellows started to appear at the City's boundaries, but most of them have been removed except the ones located in Shoreditch. They are known as the 'credit crunch monsters'. Smaller ones appeared in the City (known as 'Pity of London'), but these were removed. However, this character has become quite popular. It's a pity that I did not get to see the smaller versions in the City.

Ronzo's street art in Corbet Place, known as 'Crunchy'

Ronzo is a street artist from Germany, and he arrived in London in 2000. Many of his artworks feature toothy monsters or the trade-mark hat.

'Fresh in Town' and cockroach sculpture off Great Eastern Street

In addition to the above, Ronzo has created additional artwork in London. This "Fresh in Town" artwork with the cockroach sculpture appeared earlier this year near Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. He also created a series of street art featuring pigeons with gold chains and ball caps. The one below was also located in Corbet Place off Brick Lane, but it was replaced sometime at the end of last year or beginning of this year. I think it's brilliant.

Ronzo's pigeon, a.k.a. Birdz

One of the works of street art to appear before the Olympics featured Ronzo's pigeon with the Olympic logo. Recently, sculptures of pigeons have appeared on Great Eastern Street. 


To read more about this street artist and to read an interview from him, go to: http://www.veryverylondon.com/2012/03/08/interview-ronzo-a-street-artist/

LOVE Notes in Covent Garden #BHFLove

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has installed two 'LOVE' installations in London (Covent Garden and Camden Lock Market). Visitors can donate to receive a heart-shaped metal plate with red lock to lock the heart onto each installation. These metal plates can have a message written on them. I thought that this was a nice idea, and many others were reading and writing their own messages to their loved one. I saw a metal heart that read "Love those around you :)", which I thought was a very sweet message. 


Spitalfields Pancake Race 2013

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I happened to come across the Spitalfields Pancake Race last Tuesday as I was leaving the office for my lunch break, and the race had not yet begun. I wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but I noticed a few people dressed up and walking into Dray Walk off of Brick Lane. A small crowd started to form, and I watched the event unfold. The race was set up with several people taking part and several others dressed up. Some of the costumes had the 'pancake' theme. Then, the races began! The races were with two or three people racing against each other. The races carried frying pans with pancakes, and the pancakes had to be flipped at two points in the race. The winner of the races received a special engraved frying pan.


I started to watch the races in the crowd, but I watched the rest of the races from the rooftop terrace at work.

Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, takes place a few weeks before Easter. This day was the day before the fasting began (and ended for Easter), so milk and eggs and other products would need to be used. The day was a 'half-holiday' at one time in England. Pancake races were a tradition and held in villages and towns. These events are not so common anymore, but there are a couple to be seen around London.


Spitalfields Pancake Race raises money for charity - the London Air Ambulance. Entrants must register in advance and bring their own frying pans on the day. There are also prizes for the best costumes.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs. My camera battery was dead, so I had to use my mobile phone. 

Big Egg Hunt 2013 Begins in London

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
After the success of last year's 'Big Egg Hunt', sponsored by Faberge, the Big Egg Hunt is back in London. And, this year it will also be visiting a few other cities in the UK. This year sees the event sponsored by Lindt chocolates, and one lucky winner who finds all eggs has a chance to win a year's supply of chocolate. Visitors can purchase a book and spot the eggs. Those that manage to find all of them get a stamp in their book. Free chocolates are also being handed out to visitors.

The eggs have been in Covent Garden in London all week, and this weekend is your last chance to see them unless you plan on visiting another city or waiting until Easter week (when they return to London).

Nicktoons' Spongebob Squarepants

For Grace, After a Party - Susie Hogarth (I love the figures.)

Strawg - Ged Wells

There are 101 eggs on display, and these will be on tour to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Glasgow. They are in London's Covent Garden until Sunday but will be back again for a week at the end of March. The eggs will only have a week at each location, so do not miss the opportunity to see them.

Two Sides to Every Egg - Chris Bianchi

What's that? How Long? Sit on... - by Maeve Rendle. (One of my favourites.)

Hello Cheeky - Hattie Stewart. This is one of my favourites as I love the expression and it makes an excellent photograph.

Last year, I loved looking for the eggs (and other animals and artwork dotted around various cities in previous years). It's a great chance to bring people together to go out to explore, get exercise, give money to charity, and admire the artwork of each sculpture. I love walking and seeing new (and familiar) places, and I love artwork. This is popular with families too, and I think watching the children and adults get enthused about the sculptures is part of the excitement. More of the eggs this year have children in mind with Ben 10, Spongebob Squarepants, Peter Rabbit, and Moshi Monsters eggs.

Artwork by Mark Hayward, Thibaud Herem, Network Rail, Ed Saye, Moshi Monsters, and Penguin

Equinox by Barbie Harrison

A row of eggs

This is one of my favourites. Eggs in the City - Lindsey Spinks

Smiley Stop by Jack Brindley

For more information about the eggs and their locations and dates, visit: http://www.thebigegghunt.co.uk/

Have you been to see the eggs in Covent Garden, or are you planning to see them in another city? What is your favourite egg? Did you participate in the egg-spotting last year?

London Street Art Roses

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Red roses and hearts can be found everywhere in time for Valentine's Day, whether or not you love it or loathe the day. At the moment, I am loving these stenciled red roses that I discovered a couple of weeks ago on white-washed walls near Brick Lane. I've also captured the love-bird paste-up a few blocks away. I love how the rose appears to be growing out of the pavement and brings a little bit of colour to a cloudy day and a plain wall. Without looking twice, you may not even notice this almost insignificant red rose.

Street art roses on Brick Lane

Love birds north of Brick Lane

A lonely rose

Rose stencil street art close-up

Swoon's Street Art in London

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Swoon (real name Caledonia Dance Curry), a street artist from America, pasted up art around Shoreditch. I discovered one of these paste-ups near Shoreditch station of two boys. I discovered these last summer, but I've only got around to adding this entry. The paste-up is still there, although it is slightly more damaged now. Swoon makes her artwork based on people that she knows or has met. 

Swoon's artwork in Shoreditch

Swoon's artwork in Shoreditch

Other paste-ups have been located around Shoreditch, and they can be viewed here: http://streetartlondon.co.uk/blog/2011/12/09/swoon-street-art-east-london/
A couple of months ago, I posted a review of "Vini and Bali's Rustic Indian" cook-in sauce (see the article here). I reviewed two of the cook-in sauces in the article (Jeera and Shahi). The review for the other two sauces (Tharka and Fiery Mirchi) is in this post. 

I received a package a couple of months ago from "Vini and Bal's Rustic Indian" with their Indian cook-in sauces in their new and colourful rebranded packaging. (The brand  was formerly known as "Heavenly Curry", but they have kept the sauce recipes the same.) 

I was really impressed with the quality and taste of the product. Normally, I find Indian cook-in sauces to be bland (and mild) or lacking in fresh ingredients with complimentary and authentic spices. These sauces impressed me because of the nice blend of spices and flavour (while keeping the ingredients fresh and natural). By using one of these sauces, I was able to have my curry in 30 minutes and keep the clean-up to a minimum.

The brand includes four different curry flavours made with traditional Indian recipes, which are photographed below: Shahi (the most mild of the sauces), Fiery Mirchi (the most spicy of the sauces), Jeera (mild to spicy sauce), and Tharka (mild to spicy sace). Each sauce is its own unique blend of spices and ranges from very mild to spicy. Each cook-in sauce can be used to create a vegetarian or meat meal; you simply add the meat or vegetables that you wish. 

Another note is that the sauces are gluten-free.

I will showcase the "Tharka" and "Fiery Mirchi" sauces in this article. Read the previous article, linked above, for the review of the other sauces.

The "Tharka" sauce is a mild sauce. For this meal, I diced chicken breasts into small cubes. The recipe on the box mentions using prawns, but I do not eat fish. However, I am sure that it does taste delicious no matter what meat or vegetable you use.


I mixed the meat and the cook-in sauce into a wok and put a lid over the top of it to let it simmer.


After twenty minutes, I poured in about half of a cup of small peas. I put the lid back on the wok and let it simmer for about ten minutes.


The "Tharka" was served with rice and an assorted selection of snacks. The sauce was delicious, and the meat was tender. I love the flavour of this curry, and this one or the "Fiery Mirchi" is my favourite.


The final sauce to review is the "Fiery Mirchi". This is the hottest (spiciest) sauce of the four, and it's delicious with a great blend of spices. Again, I diced chicken and put it into the cook-in sauce. There's a recipe on their website if you're a little worried about the spice in this sauce; the recipe calls to add cream. (For those who do not know, adding milk-based products lessens the heat of the spice.) 


After simmering the chicken with the sauce for thirty minutes, I had a very nice curry. See the photo below. Delicious!


I love these sauces. Give them a try. You can discover how to order them through their website: http://www.rusticindian.com

Let me know if you're a fan.

Artwork to Deter Illegal Parking

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks
Giant metal orbs with wings and large eyes appeared in London last year. These were designed to deter illegal parking, according to the article by Londonist (1). Twenty-two of these have appeared on the street overnight in south London. The one below was photographed in Corbet Place, on top of a wall/building, off of Brick Lane. Imagine going back to see your car and seeing a giant metal orb on top of it. The orb looks like it's about to fly away with the car.


1) Aliens invade south London. http://londonist.com/2012/10/aliens-invade-south-london.php?utm_source=Londonist+Ltd+List&utm_campaign=f381a9a79e-Londonist+Daily&utm_medium=email [October 16, 2012].

Street Art: "Super Foetus"

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I've been seeing the "Super Foetus" street art in Shoreditch, mainly on and near Brick Lane; a particular concentration of the image has been seen in and around Corbet Place off of Brick Lane. The imagery includes wall paintings, street paintings, paste-ups, and clay decorations stuck on the sides of buildings and walls. According to the official blog (1), the image is also on clothing, body tattoos, and jewellry. 


Sebastien Lecca is the creator of the concept. On his Facebook "Super Foetus" page (http://www.facebook.com/SuperFoetus), he states that the foetus is a sign of faith in humanity. The imagery has caused controversy with some feeling it portrayed political views. An interview by Lecca to explain the image and the different views is located here: http://superfoetus.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/article-paru-sur-le-blog-mcwp-en-reponse-aux-attaques/

The image is also being used with the super hero image, such as Superman in a baby form. The image can be found on t-shirts and in sculptures. 

For more information about this artist and the image, go to the following:

Blog: http://superfoetus.wordpress.com/
Web: http://www.superfoetus.com/

Days Out: Polperro, Cornwall

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Polperro is a fishing village in Cornwall, England. The village has many narrow, winding streets lined with slightly-uneven stone and white-washed buildings. The village is picturesque with these buildings and the fishing harbour. A short walk down the narrow streets leads to the harbour and a hill that overlooks the harbour and village. This is the perfect place to get photographs.

View of Polperro (in low tide) and its harbour from the hill

White-washed buildings along the harbour and boats waiting for the tide to come in

I recently visited the village. The village was extremely quiet in the off-season. I imagine that the streets get packed with tourists in the summer months. These days, Polperro is a popular tourist spot, so it seems that the village is shut down over the winter months. This makes a nice time to visit and get photographs.

A white house with green shutters on the hill on the edge of Polperro.

Many of the buildings in Polperro are interesting and have slightly uneven shapes as they bend around the narrow streets. The street running parallel to the harbour had many interesting buildings. One of these is known as "The Shell House." This building is covered in all shapes and sizes of sea shells. 

"The Shell House", a house covered in shells, is on the left in this photograph.

White-washed stone buildings in Polperro

Fishing is still popular in Polperro, and the harbour contains many fishing boats. I saw the boats, but the tide was just coming in and it was evening. I did manage to watch a couple of men working on and around one of the fishing boats.

Fishermen take a boat out to a fishing boat.

Polperro was noted as a popular smuggling port at one time, from the 12th century until the 19th century. The tourism industry now plays a big part of the life of the village. Many of the shops are tourism-related, and many of the cottages are now holiday homes. There's also a museum in the village.

Polperro: The tide is out.

Holiday homes along the coastal path in Polperro.

Polperro is a popular place for walks, and there's a coastal walking path from the village to take in the views.

A lonely, grey cottage sits on the fringes of the village, out to sea.

A seagull stands on a boat in the harbour.

Fishing equipment in Polperro.

South Bank's Skate Park Art

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
I snapped a few photographs of South Bank London's Skate Park street art a few weekends ago. I was glad to see some works by street artist Don, who also creates artwork around the Shoreditch area of London. There's so much street art to be seen here, with every wall covered with street art. The street art here is always in a constant state of change as well. Come back in a few weeks, and you're sure to see something new.  

A kissing couple in South Bank

Various art by Don in South Bank

A bright wall


Recent Comments

  • jenn: Thank you. read more
  • Murge: Amazing post. read more
  • Herbert: good post. site read more
  • Frank Quake: Hey, This is great when you said that I had read more
  • Chappy: You mention peptides here? I have had first hand experience read more
  • jenn: Thanks! I love the work. I have got more recent read more
  • Fanakapan: Thanks for the write up. This was some of my read more
  • jenn: Yes.... but that's only for the islands. Mostar and Montenegro read more
  • jenn: Hello, the code is not mine to hand out. I'll read more
  • pantich: More info about the best day trips from Dubrovnik can read more
OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID