May 2014 Archives

A Morning at Broadway Market

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I made a visit to Broadway Market a few weeks ago. I got to the market quite early, and it was good to have the market virtually to myself. I had a nice walk up from Haggerston along the canal before walking through the market. There looks like nice cafes for breakfast, but I was by myself this time. However, I picked up a few sweets, bread, and some apple juice. I did not leave Broadway Market empty-handed. The market sells everything from crafts to baked goods to food; there's also a food area in the market which would have been a great stop for lunch. 

Enjoy the photographs below. I hope to visit the market again one day soon and take advantage of the cafes and pop-up food stalls. It would also be nice to walk the canal in the other direction.

Miniature cupcakes

Cupcakes with violet sugar petals

I bought some kisses from Meringue Girls. These were so delicious. Each one has its own flavour. The rainbow of colours is so pretty as well.







A milk delivery


Cooking street food

Apples and juice

Baked goods


Wooden boards

Jellied eels



Weavers Fields Brick Art

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Weavers Fields is a park located south of Bethnal Green Road and east of Brick Lane. The park gets its name from the weavers who used to work and trade in this area and the surrounding areas. While walking through the park last year, I saw various bricks (photographed below) that had been drawn into by different people in the commutity. Each one was unique, and I managed to get a few photographs of a variation of them.



I thought that this sense of community made the park area feel even more special and personal, with its community spirit.

To the Beach ->

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Last winter, I discovered this vintage "beach-inspired" touristy sign that would nicely fit in to the environment in Brighton or Bournemouth. In Shoreditch, just off Great Eastern Street, it looked out of place. There is no beach here, only dismal-looking grey streets. This street art sign placement did its job. I actually wondered what I was doing in the middle of Shoreditch in London instead of chilling out and relaxing on the beach...even if it was a little too chilly and wet to go in the water. I loved this street art find.

Beach is this way...

Days Out: Bodiam Castle

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Bodiam Castle, a picturesque ruined castle surrounded by a moat, was built in the late 1300s. Some of the towers and rooms are accessible and visitors can see for miles from the tops of the towers. Remains of the Great Hall, kitchens, servants' rooms, chapel, and the lord/lady's rooms can be seen. The castle has many opportunities for good photographs. The sun was out, so I had perfect weather for visiting the castle.

Bodiam castle with many visitors enjoying the view

Two of the tower areas can be climbed, and there are views of the castle's grounds and the hills outside the castle from these towers. On the left in the photograph below, you can make out the chapel's large arched window. On the right and just visible in the ruins is the remains of the Great Hall, where the banquets would be held. Between the Great Hall and the chapel is where the private lord/lady's rooms would have been.

Bodiam Castle

The kitchen and its rooms are located just off the Great Hall. The area between the kitchen and Great Hall would have been a covered hallway where food was taken from the kitchen to the Great Hall. There are two large ovens in the kitchen, and they were used for cooking different foods.

One of the ovens and fireplaces in the kitchen

Another interesting room is the Postern Gate, which is the gate that tradesmen would have entered. The interesting feature in this room, between the outside door and the interior door, is that it has murder holes. Unwelcome guests could be trapped inside this area, and murdered by items being thrown or shot down the holes in the ceiling.

This side of the castle, near to the Postern Gate, had some nice views and another tower to climb. The northeast tower also has a large and wide well; according to the notes on site, the well is ten feet deep. 

Moat at Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle

After the visit to the castle, I headed back out through the main entrance. The moat is covered in many large fish, and many ducks were also about. I managed to take a photograph of a duck sitting upon the land near the moat.

Duck at Bodiam Castle

As it was nearing the end of the day, the castle became quieter, and I got a photograph looking down the bridge. The small island in the middle used to have a tower on it, and it was occupied by a guard, and the remains of a garderobe have been discovered. (A garderobe is a toilet, but they stored clothing near to the toilet in those days to prevent clothing being eaten by moths.)

Bodiam Castle

I caught a glimpse of a bright-red ladybug. It was on one of the plants next to the moat.


This wraps up my day out to Bodiam Castle.

Bodiam Castle

Earlier this week, I got the chance to visit Paddock, a World War 2 bunker located near Dollis Hill and Neasden in northwest London. Paddock was a secret bunker, and Winston Churchill and the Cabinet met here for meetings. The underground bunker was left as it was to go into decay, and when its location was revealed to the public in the early 2000s or late 1990s, it was explored and left. Today, it suffers from water and mould damage due to flooding; the area above the bunker is now occupied by a housing estate, and the building of that housing estate damaged the bunker somewhat in that it allowed water to drip in and form formations on the ceiling. However, the bunker has concrete walls that are five meters thick, and it was meant to survive a direct bomb hit. No bombs hit it during the war, and the enemy probably was not aware of it or its location.

The bunker is only opened two days a year (May and September), with permission by the housing estate to conduct tours. It was free to do, and I signed up as I was interested in seeing the bunker. (I visited the Westminster Cabinet War Rooms over ten years ago now, but Paddock seems more 'real' as it has been unaltered.) I showed up for the tour and was given a hard-hat, and we descended the flights of stairs into a damp corridor.

Paddock war rooms corridor

The kitchen was just on the right from where we entered, and it contained a sink and some cabinets, and you could see the piping here and throughout the bunker. This regulated the air through the bunker. In one room, we saw the generator and another we saw where the air was pumped through the series of ventilation along the ceilings. All of the equipment was left as it was.

Generators and ventilation

Filter and switch

In the above picture, there's a light switch and a filter. In the event of poison gas on the surface above, the air ducting would snap shut so air from outside could not get inside and poison everyone working in the bunker. 

Air ventilation equipment

There are two floors in the bunker. After exploring part of the upper floor, we descended a narrow spiral staircase to the lower floor. This was even damper than the floor above. The lower floor contained the meeting rooms, a BBC newsroom, and the map room.

A wet lower corridor

We were shown the power generator room with the equipment still intact and rusty.

Power generator

Generator room

We were shown the map room, where there are still cabinets standing and rusting away. Panels on the wall probably held up the maps, and members of the navy and army and air force would have viewed the map wall from windows in other rooms. One of the guides pointed out that the lighting in this room was flourescent and extremely expensive for this time; the lights were also angled toward the walls where the maps would be hung.

Map room

We were then shown the meeting room where Churchill sat and met with his colleagues. Outside this room is a BBC broadcasting room. This room is really decayed, so we did not go inside. After seeing this, we climbed the stairs to the upper floor.

BBC Broadcasting room

On the floor above, we saw the switchboard room with its large switchboard paneling. On the back of the switchboard are the various boxes to route the telephone calls to. One of these was labeled "War Cabinet Rooms". 


Cabels and boxes lined the walls as well as a sign. The sign reads "Floor 28", but there are only two floors.


Paddock is also famous for the development of Colossus, the first programmable computer that was used to break codes and Enigma during the second world war. The bunker was used primarily as a research facility, and it has certainly been an important part of history. 

Image Art Made From Text

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A developer has created a tool to allow users to upload photographs, and the uploaded photographs are rendered into images, created completely out of text. Users can customise the font style, type, size, background colours, and apply other settings to view their "text-ified" photograph. To try this out, visit the link below. Please note that this browser-based application is tested to work in Firefox and Chrome. (It may not work well or at all in other browsers.)

Example of textify it

Since publishing it, the developer seems to have added more filters for imagery and additional settings and controls, such as font size and family.

Street Art Round-up in East London

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I have a lot of street art (grafitti) photographs to post from the past couple of months (or longer, in some cases). The street art scene in east London has also gotten busier at the moment as the weather has improved, and I have been noticing several new pieces that popped up since the end of last week. I'll be posting these in time, but for now, have a look at these pieces below. 

NZM and James Boy



Ben Murphy (covered here: Street Art: Ben Murphy and 616) has been busy this year, and this is a new piece that appeared on Great Eastern Street, next to Millo's work. Millo painted a few pieces in London last summer, and he was back earlier this year (Recent Street Art in Early 2014).

Millo and Benjamin Murphy

Benjamin Murphy and dropOutUK

Another artist that has been adding art to the streets is Pang (Street Art: Pang); the work is now on a larger scale from the small ashtrays and cowboy figures that used to dominate the area.



And, 616 has been painting larger-scale pieces (the tribal patterns) as well as PMT, who paints large white dogs. This one has a bird and a cuddly-looking dinosaur (or dragon?). 

616 and PMT

Saki (Street Art: Saki) has also been busy with paintings, and I was happy to see that the three caged girls have been repainted. They had been painted over with black paint for many months; I guess someone was not happy to see them.


And, I discovered this message: "home is wherever I'm with you"...


Fan Horror Crew (Street Art: Fan Horror Crew), who paint balloon-creatures and sweets, painted a high-profile piece off of Brick Lane and several smaller pieces.

Fan Horror Crew

I had just recently published an article about Mobstr (Street Art: Mobstr), but he had an exhibit last week.


Perspicere creates street art made from thread or string. I've seen a few pieces around east London, but the one below is on a larger scale and is a collaboration with Joyce and Tommy Fiendish.

Joyce, Perspicere, and Tommy Fiendish

On Hackney Road, I discovered a lot of street art on scaffolding. The one below was "Tom's Got a Pencil", and the other work was from Skeleton Cardboard  (Recent Street Art in Early 2014), Nathan Bowen (Street Art: Nathan Bowen), and Squiddy Johnson (the alien-like figure, which also appears in the Nathan Bowen post).

Tom's Got a Pencil

Nathan Bowen and Cardboard Skeleton

Nathan Bowen

Cardboard Skeleton, Squiddy Johnson, and others (I'm not sure who painted the Henry).

Nando Mambo has also been painting a lot recently, and his figures always represent superheroes.

Nando Mambo

Nando Mambo

Street artist Gee (Street Art: Gee) has been improving his stencil technique. 

Gee and unknown

The one below is a little older. The gun by Cityzen Kane (Street Art: Cityzen Kane) has been there for a long time. The American-missile appeared last summer, and it's not there anymore.

Cityzen Kane

Vinz (covered here) also painted a few pieces last year, and he's been back this year with more. Sadly, they do not last too long.

Unknown and Vinz

Dan Kitchener (Street Art: Dan Kitchener) was busier last year, and there was a spot on Brick Lane that always contained one of his pieces, but it kept being painted over and replaced. The following piece (on two sides of a building) has been there for a few motnhs now.

Dan Kitchener

And, I've included several more pieces below. I would not mind knowing who the artist is of the pieces that I have not identified, so please just leave me a comment with the name of the artist.

Lily Mixe

Mural in Dalston


Unknown bird







Sokar Uno and unknown

SLM Art - Russel Brand


Mr French


Enjoy looking for street art! I hope that this weather continues to stay nice.

London Underground Treasure Hunt

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A little over a week ago, the bloke and I participated in the London Underground Treasure Hunt, run by London Premiere Tours. The treasure hunt was actually a gift that I received at the end of last year, and we booked to go along with another thirty or more groups. I will not spoil the fun and excitement, so I won't discuss the details or give anything away. There are basically clues that you can locate inside or just outside the London underground tube network, and photographs should be taken on cameras or mobiles as proof of visiting the relevant location. These were easy, but in case trivia/history/clues are not your area, there are also other tasks that you need to capture which seemed a little risque. 


First of all, some of the photographs that you need to capture involve speaking to strangers. That's right. Speaking to strangers in unfriendly London and asking them to do something for you. These were some of the tasks that we had to complete, and I am a shy person, so I did not enjoy these tasks at all. Actually, I think I could have done this if it had been more than just me and the bloke in a group. 

Another complication to add some fun into the treasure hunt was avoiding "Agent Orange". There were a few of these random "Agent Orange" people about, waiting for us in the stations. They tried to catch us off guard and trick us, but we would not be so easily fooled. Ha-ha!

Despite some of the risque questions, we managed to do alright. We came 6th place. Apparently the numbers and the average score was unusually very high on the day that we went. We missed out on the best prizes, unfortunately. However, we did walk away with a couple of London souvenir pens, magnets, and  William+Kate souvenir tat. Some of the other gifts were London Underground merchandise too.

This was fun, but I think it would be even better in a small group (instead of just a group of two). Also, groups do have the advantage and you would also be more likely to have a non-shy team member ask strangers to participate in the different treasure hunt activities.

In the past several weeks, new street art by RUN, the Rolling People, and Dscreet appeared in east London. I took a few photographs of the new street art, but I have been particularly busy in the past few weeks, so apologies to not posting these photographs sooner. 


I originally wrote an article about this artist here: Street Art: RUN. I was happy to see some new work go up a couple of months ago. One of these appears underneath the railway bridge off Shoreditch High Street, opposite a piece by Ben Eine. The trademark RUN portrait contains phrases around it to give a hint of personality ("old trucks", "plant trees", "good life", "tribe", "dance floor").




The other new piece by RUN appeared on the same wall where there was an older RUN piece, with Dscreet. The piece was replaced with this new one, with a "dope" hat.


The Dscreet piece also was freshened up with a new one.


The Rolling People:

The Rolling People (covered here: Street Art: Faith47, Cernesto, Rolling People, Edwin, and many more) have also been busy, and their comic-style work always brings a smile. I enjoyed seeing these new pieces appear on Sclater Street in Shoreditch.


Rolling People

I have plenty more street art photographs, so keep coming back.

Recently, I noticed a quirk in obtaining the file title in CQ5. To be clear, I am only obtaining file metadata here if the file type (dc:format property is a PDF, or 'application/pdf'). The file title (dc:title property in the jcr:content node), is stored as a String. However, when actual metadata is stored with the actual document, it is stored as a String array (String[]). 

Basically, what I have done is to obtain the dc:title metadata property, but if this is empty, then I simply display the file name in place of the title on the front end. What was happening is that, even though a file title was transfered from the document when it was uploaded to the DAM, it could not obtain the dc:title property so it simply displayed my fallback, which is the name of the file. 

The fix is to simply obtain the Asset and determine if it is an Object[] instead of a simple String, and if it is an instance of an Object array, simply get the first item in the array and store that as the title. An example of how you may do this is below:

First, get the Resource from the path, and adapt this to an Asset.

Resource resource = resourceResolver.getResource("/a/path/to/a/file/in/the/dam");
Asset asset = resource.adaptTo(Asset.class);

Next, get the metadata property that contains the title.

String fileName = asset.getMetadataValue("dc:title");

Finally, assess that the fileName is empty or null. (You can use the StringUtils class in the package org.apache.commons.lang3 or your own method.) If it is empty or null, determine if it is an instance of an Object array, and if it is, get the first item in the array as below.

if (fileName instanceof Object[]) {
  Object[] titleArray = (Object[]) asset.getMetadata("dc:title");
  fileName = (titleArray.length > 0) ? titleArray[0].toString() : "";
} else {
  fileName = asset.getName();

File size and thumbnails can also be obtained. To get the size of a file, simply adapt it to a Property. The path to the jcr:data node will need to be obtained, similar to the below. Note that one can use the JcrConstants class from the package in order to get various property names in the Java content repository. The dam creates the following structure to store the uploaded PDF: PDF>jcr:content>renditions>original>jcr:data

Property property = asset.adaptTo(Node.class).getNode(JcrConstants.JCR_CONTENT + "/renditions/original/" + JcrConstants.JCR_CONTENT).getProperty(JcrConstants.JCR_DATA);

To get the size of the file from the property, simply:

fileSize = property.getBinary().getSize();

This file size can then be adapted to display user-friendly units and text, such as "100 MB". 

Thumbnails can be obtained in a similar way, except we do not need to adapt these to Property objects; the path is what we need in order to display the image. Different renditions of the PDF thumbnail are created from the first page in the document when it has been uploaded, and a thumbnail can also be uploaded and overwrite the renditions created at upload time. Decide which rendition will work for you, and simply obtain the path. The dam creates the following structure to store the uploaded PDF's thumbnails: PDF>jcr:content>renditions>.

String thumbnailPath = asset.adaptTo(Node.class).getNode(JcrConstants.JCR_CONTENT + "/renditions/" + "you/rendition/to/use").getPath();

Last weekend, we went to a wedding at Athelhampton House and Gardens, which I covered here: John and Alice's English Country House Wedding. Athelhampton House is near Dorchester in Dorset, England. A house on the same site was mentioned in the Domesday Book, but the current house was built in the 15th century, and it has over 160 acres of gardens. Thomas Hardy was very familiar with the house as his father worked on the house. The house is open to the public and for private events, and it has also been used in films and television. (It was used in an episode of Doctor Who.) The house is also rumoured to be haunted. For more information about the house, visit the official website here:

Althelhampton House

One of the gardens, quite near the house, contains pyramid-shaped yew trees. In between a couple of the trees are hidden benches for privacy. This was one of the most unique gardens.

Pyramid-tree garden

Many of the gardens had a private feeling as they were secluded behind walls and arched doorways, within different levels. Each had its own feature point, such as a fountain or a sculpture.


The spring blossoms were out in bloom as well as spring flowers.



I loved this wooded area with bluebells beneath a row of arched trees.

Bluebell path



There is also a bird house building. I'm not entirely sure what it was for, but it contained a cement trough and has a very small doorway. There's openings for birds to get inside, and there were a couple of birds inside it. (Update: This building is a dovecote; it is a place for birds such as pigeons and doves to nest as they were used in older times for their meat and eggs.)


The main hall contained many gargoyles, such as the one pictured below.

Gargoyle - Athelhampton House

The interior of the great hall was beautiful with timber roof, an organ, tapestries, and pictures. 

Great Hall - Athelhampton House

Stained glass was a common find too.

Stained glass

The rooms were decorated and contained furnishings, but I did not look around too much. There was apparently a wine cellar and several bedrooms upstairs. I peeked in a couple of them but did not long.

Room in Athelhampton House

This weekend, I attended a very beautiful wedding held at Athelhampton House and Gardens in Dorset, England (Days Out: Athelhampton House and Gardens). John and Alice had a beautiful ceremony in the grand hall at the historic Athelhampton House with a reception to follow. The bride was beautiful, and the groom was handsome. Everyone had a wonderful day, and it was great to meet some new people.

Despite a few drops of rain in between family and group photographs, we were surprisingly lucky with the weather and the sunshine that we had throughout most of the day. (In Britain, you never know exactly what the weather will do.) I am happy that they had nice weather for their day. Well done, Alice and John, and congratulations.

The wedding programme design

The ceremony was held in Athelhampton House's great hall. A fire was waiting for us in the hall, and it made us feel warm and cozy; I love the smell of the fire. The music that they choose to play while everyone had their seats was from the Harry Potter soundtrack, which fit the location perfectly. Other music played was from Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Back to the Future, and Little Miss Sunshine. 

The vows

After a couple of readings and the completion of the vows, the smiling couple signed their marriage certificate in front of the hall's fireplace.

Signing the marriage certificate

After the wedding, we got some photographs of paper confetti being thrown over the bride and groom. While they went off to take photographs in the garden, everyone enjoyed free-flowing summery cocktails or elderflower juice in the garden. 


Guests in front of Athelhampton Hall

John and Alice with cocktails

The programme

The gardens were beautiful, and there were plenty of opportunities for fantastic photographs of the newlyweds. I loved the bluebell-lined pathway of trees in the photographs below.



Of course, no wedding is complete without a lot of kisses...


A Japanese garden-inspired bridge was a perfect wedding photograph backdrop.


And, I captured a photograph of John and Alice with one of the guests, the bride's mother -- a lovely photograph!




We took more photographs, including the family and group photographs.

John's parents

The bride's sisters


We had to duck inside to get the remainder of the family photographs because the rain started; the rain was on and off, and there was a large downpour. Thankfully, it did not last long and a photograph of everyone was taken in front of the house. After the photographs, we walked over to another building to have the reception.

John and Alice tuck into their starters

Each of the tables contained sweet shop sweets in a jar. The one photographed was for 'Cola Bottles'. We sat on the table with 'Nerds', which is my favourite type of sweet.

Cola Bottles

We had starters, a main, and dessert. The food was delicious. Everything went perfectly.

'Order of the day' design

The cake also looked lovely. There was lemon cake (top tier), coffee (middle tier), and chocolate cake (bottom tier). I had a slice of lemon and a slice of chocolate, and they tasted as nice as the cake looked.

Wedding cake - lemon, coffee, chocolate

The bride and groom cut the cake and photographs were taken.

The cutting of the cake

After food and cake, we joked around and danced and chatted with other people. It was a great party. Everyone looked so happy.


The dancing started off with the couple's first dance. A lot of others joined in.

The first dance

It was a perfect day. Many congratulations to John and Alice.

Street Art: Mobstr

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Street artist Mobstr (, an anonymous artist from Newcastle in the UK, paints words and statements on walls, signs, and billboards across London. Often, this work evolves due to others adding to it or the council attempting to remove it. I have photographed a few of the pieces that I have found around London in the past year or two. Unfortunately, some of these have been damaged, and this work does not seem to last too long. 


Earlier this year, Mobstr placed a billboard up in east London that was dubbed "The Scribble Board", and the public could write on this. Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph it before it was removed.



In some of the artist's work, the buffer (person from the council who has the job to paint over the work) plays an important part in the creation of Mobstr's work. This can be seen in the example below, where the word "Here" is buffed out and then repainted in a different place. One of the artist's work is also a story created in installments, based on the work being covered. (This is documented here:


Some newer pieces appeared this year, and I grabbed a few photos of these. (I think these are new as I have not noticed them before.)

Lucky Juice Pop-up in London

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Ali Baba juice brand has launched a pop-up shop on Hanbury Street off of Brick Lane. The pop-up appears on the side of a building, and it encourages passers-by to insert three pound coins and watch a fruit-machine-style animation that eventually leads to a bottle of chilled Ali Baba juice. The flavours are random and selected depending on the end result of the animation, which is designed with a same fruit-machine concept with prompts. After the dials spin to select the 'fruit' for the juice, a bottle of the juice is shown on another screen with the words to collect the juice. The juice is then delivered, via human hand, from a gap in the shutter.

Lucky Juice

I watched others obtain the juice and decided to try it myself a few days later (I had to wait until I had three pound coins, and the price is a little steep for just a bottle of juice, but I liked the novelty factor). 

After the juice was delivered, the hand pointed below the window to inform buyers of the bottle opener underneath. The couple I watched obtain their juice also received the message "YOLO" (translated as 'You Only Live Once') by the hand. I got a quick photograph, but it is blurry.

Lucky Juice pop-up

Below is a photograph of the delivery of the juice that I collected.

Juice delivery

The mystery "lucky" juice that I received was pear, pomelo, matcha, and green tea. It was alright, but I am not fond of the taste of pears.

Pear, pomelo, matcha, and green tea juice

For more information about the company, visit their Twitter page:

This weekend, I went to 'Edible Cinema' to see the 1996 version of 'Romeo and Juliet' starring Leonardo DiCaprio; this was a film I watched with my friend from High School in the year that we graduated and then went on to the same university. Choosing to show this film is possibly in respect to Shakespeare as he would have been 450 years old and was born around the end of April. 'Edible Cinema' is a pop-up cinema that uses the senses of taste, texture and smell to enjoy a new dimension to film-watching. They do not show films too often, so I jumped at the chance to make my booking as they often sell out. 

Romeo and Juliet at Edible Cinema

This time, the venue for the film-showing was at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. Some of the seats had plaques on the backs of them, which I assume were related to donations. I sat behind one that was Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

When we arrived, we were directed to the bar where we were told to select from one of two cocktail drinks: Capulet or Montague. The event is sponsored by the brand of gin 'Bombay Sapphire', so all of the cocktails contained this ingredient. We choose one of each type of cocktail, and it looked like all of the other couples did as well. According to Edible Cinema's Facebook page, the cocktails "differ in taste but, which at heart, are the same...".


...or Capulet?

Montague and Capulet cocktails 

We drank our drinks, and before long, we were asked to go into the cinema to take our seats. On the way in, we were given our mystery boxes of food to enjoy during various points of the film. (I had the vegetarian box, which just replaced any meat items with non-meat items as I was not sure what I'd receive otherwise due to being extremely picky about my food.)

We received eight mystery boxes in a tray, which also included the menu and a napkin. We were told that at various points throughout the film, a number would be projected onto the cinema walls and on a television screen just under the cinema main screen. At this point, we would indulge in the contents of the little box with the corresponding number.

Romeo and Juliet Menu and mystery boxes

I took a photograph of the contents of each little box before the film began. Note that these are the vegetarian versions, which replaced pork scratchings with popcorn and chorizo with beetroot and mushroom with ox tongue.

Romeo and Juliet 'edible cinema' box contents

We missed the first number appear, but we saw everyone else eating and tucked in. At that time, there was a big fight with explosions going on, so I assume we just missed it due to the flashes. The first item was the pork scratchings with sea salt, charcoal and chili flakes. This corresponded to the petrol station exploding with the fiery chili and charcoal. Each mystery box taste and texture or smell corresponded to what was happening in the film. 

Another example is Romeo popping a pill; the mystery box was in two parts and the second part was popping a vitamin pill at the same time when Romeo downs a similar-looking pill (drug). The most iconic is the vile of poision that Juliet takes and the one that Romeo takes; both of these were cocktails made with 'Bombay Sapphire'. (Note that non-alcoholic versions of the drinks are also available to those who do not drink alcohol.)

Romeo and Juliet on the big screen

I've included a photograph of the menu below.


This is certainly a unique way to enjoy film. I did not enjoy some of the items as they tasted a little strange, but I tried them. I even tried the mayonnaise one (mayonnaise with artichoke), and I hate mayonnaise. The texture put me off, but it was meant to symbolise inside of slimey plants, and it worked well. The cocktails were lovely, and I enjoyed the popcorn (first box) and the sweet and soft white chocolate cross (last box).

Have you been to see an 'Edible Cinema' film? What did you think? If you would like more information about Edible Cinema, visit their website:

London's Ridley Road Market

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Ridley Road Market is located in Dalston in northeast London. The market sells fruit and vegetables, jewellery, household goods, fabric and clothing, meat and fish, and other items. The market has an ethnic feel and many of the items sold cater to the African, Caribbean, and Asian groups. The market consists of many stalls that line a long stretch of road.

Ridley Road Market

I visited the market earlier this year and took a few photographs. There were hats and brightly-coloured pieces of fabric for sale.



Some of the shops along the road sold fabric.


Other shops sold household goods: buckets, mops, brooms, batteries, kitchen goods, cleaning products, and anything you could think of.



There were eggs for sale.


Fish and seafood also proved to be popular. It also looked fairly fresh as well.




Of course, there were also vegetables and fruit for sale. Some of these were sold from wooden carts.



The butcher shops along the road proved to be the most unique. In the past, the market has been noted for having illegal meats (bushmeat) sold here. You could also buy any part of an animal here, and I have never seen this done anywhere else in England. There were many chickens hanging up, and they looked very chicken-like and retained feet and heads. Animal feet (pig's feet) was also for sale as well as a wide array of innards: liver, kidney, and even cow stomach. I have no idea what some of it even was. 

Actually, the smell was revolting (to me) here as well. It smelled pungent. Visit with an open mind, particularly if you are a vegetarian and such things make you feel a little queasy. I tried to not think about it so much.

Chickens in Ridley Road Market

Fish and hooves

There were a lot of pieces of 'meat' that I could not even identify, and I tried to take a sneaky photograph os some of it without attracting attention to myself from the shop owners. The below photograph features tripe (the thin layers of meat on the right) and cow stomach (the sponge-y middle item). There were also small bags of liver/kidney and other assorted items. I only happened to discover what the cow stomach was by reading a news article and seeing a photograph of it in the newspaper a month or two ago. 

I was chatting to my colleague about the market, and he mentioned that cow stomach is eaten in other countries and in his home country of Ghana. He has eaten it.

Cow stomach and tripe


In old times, people would have eaten these parts without thinking twice. Our society now wastes so much by not using every part of the animal. (Unless, of course, this is what sausages, processed meat, pet food, and fertilizer is made from.) 

Ridley Market is the place to visit if you are looking for a London market that is a little quirkier and rawer. It does fit its location in Dalston. Though, if you are planning a visit, just ensure that you keep an open mind and keep aware of yourself and your belongings - and have fun!

A historical exhibit of photographs taken in and around Spitalfields was on display in April just off of Brick Lane in Eleven Spitalfields gallery. The exhibit showed several photographs by photographer CA Mathew taken on Saturday, April 20 in 1912 (five days after the fate of the Titanic). The photographer is not well-known, and these photographs were forgotten until a few years ago. This was the first public display.

Crispin Street - CA Mathew

The photographs show a time when this area of London was vastly different than the London of today, although the street names and some of the buildings remain the same. The first difference I noticed was the number of children (and families) in the photographs; contrast with this today and there are virtually no children. This area is mainly noted for City office workers and adult tourists from every country visiting the area to go on a street art or Jack-the-Ripper tour.

The location for the above photograph today (from Google Maps) has changed. The building with the railing on the left appears to remain the same, but the buildings on the right are new. In fact, White's Row (the white car parking area on the right and the street by the same name) were rennovated greatly. This area used to be the slums and had shelters for criminals and prostitutes until the late 1800s when some of the area was demolished and the streets renamed.

In 1888, it was the location of the last and most gruesome of the Ripper murders. It seems that in the years after the terrible murders, the area was cleaned up. The pub is gone, but it does remind me a little bit of today's The Gun pub, which is further up the street facing Spitalfields Market directly. (In older days, Spitalfields was just outside the old city walls and was the artillery grounds for the royals and the tower guards, and many of the streets retain its original use; Artillery Lane and Gun Street are nearby.) 

Crispin Street today

Another photograph from the exhibit, along with today's view, is displayed below. I wonder if these people knew about the Titanic or if it was big news for them.

Artillery Lane - CA Mathew

Artillery Lane today

These photographs are fascinating. However, no one really knows why the photographs were captured or knows much about the photographer. The photographer was a surveyor before he learned photography. He only spent five years in photography before he passed away. Many of the photographs depict buildings and contain measurements of the streets and buildings, so perhaps he was on a job. It is possible that the area, in rennovation, was in need of some surveys. However, these plans would have been canned on the eve of the first World War, so the photographs were never used. It is also possible that the photographer simply made a trip to London on the Saturday to use the camera.

Another photographer, Horace Warner, in Spitalfields at around the same time was more interested in photographing children instead of buildings. The children, known as nippers of Spitalfields, completed errands and chores for money. For more information and photographs, see:

Horace Warner's photo of a nipper

More photographs and information about CA Mathew's photographs can be seen here:

(All images in this entry were taken by photographer CA Mathew, Horace Warner, and Google Maps.)


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