Monday, 8 December 2014

A quick snapshot of London Zoo's tiger cubs

Those regular to this blog or who know me in person will find it no surprise that I took a trip to London Zoo today. Even less of a surprise is the fact that my trusty camera came with me.

One of my reasons for going was to catch a glimpse of the now 10 month old tiger triplets, Budi, Nakal and Cinta. Being notoriously difficult to spot as they grew, I'd only really seen them properly once before, and it's amazing how much they'd grown. It was lovely to see them really playing, running around and having fun.

When it all got too tiring, I managed to snap a few photos of them, including one which I'm particularly proud of.

Ladies and gents, I present to you, one of my favourite animal photos to date (and as my memory card will attest to, there's a LOT of choice). Just look at those beautiful eyes!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Kelly Holmes opens Cafe 1809 in Hildenborough

Dame Kelly Holmes - runner extraordinaire, double Olympic gold medallist and pride of Hildenborough - has gone and opened a cafe in the village. By which, I don't mean she's snipped a ribbon, posed for a photo, had a free cupcake and left. She's the brains behind Hildenborough's new addition, Cafe 1809.

Locals have been watching for months as she took over the site that was once the Fags & Mags newspaper shop, gutting the building before seemingly ripping it down entirely and starting from scratch. On Friday, the result of the long slog was finally revealed.

I managed to pop along on Sunday morning to take a look at the upmarket eatery. We were lucky enough to slide in just before the last two tables were taken, and grabbed a seat in the light and airy conservatory before going up to the counter to order. Having decided on our drinks orders, we went up to the till - only to find ourselves ordering from a very friendly Dame Kelly herself.

The drinks menu was plentiful. The choice of cakes could have been wider, but with chocolate brownies, lemon drizzle and oat cookies to choose from, most bases were covered. Whilst waiting for our food to arrive, we took the opportunity to peruse the rest of the menu. There's plenty for little ones in the way of breakfast, lunch and snacks - nothing too poncy, but good, homely foods like cereals or Marmite on toast.

For adults though, very little of the rest of the menu appealed. Healthy and hearty foods such as pies, quiches and soups reign supreme - and eggs take centre stage on the breakfast menu. Nothing wrong with that, but a panini or two wouldn't go amiss.

When our order did arrive - a lemon drizzle and a chocolate brownie - it more than did the job. Special mention must go to the delectable white chocolate - too sweet for some perhaps, but for a sugar head like me, it really hit the spot on a rainy Sunday.

The decor is certainly appealing - the main bulk of the inner walls consist of exposed brick, with metal shelves and beams, giving the feel of a trendily converted warehouse. There's a vague nod to a sporty theme throughout (perhaps that's the reason for the healthy menu) but it's certainly not overbearing enough to deter anyone for whom sport is an unfamiliar concept. Bike racks aplenty stand proudly outside, and a glance into the back garden area revealed dog lead hooks and even a canine water bowl.

On the way out, we stopped to look at the retail corner of the shop, where local food products (oils, chutneys, juices) are for sale, alongside a small selection of crafty gifts and cards.

And the name? 1809 (pronounced 1-8-0-9 if you please) was the number she wore on her vest at her successful 2004 Athens Olympics. Well, it's classier than "Kel's Caf''"

Sunday, 30 November 2014

In which a dream becomes reality (sort of).

I have a dream, or at least I did when I was 16. I wanted to go and live on a beach in Hawaii, making a living from the jewellery and other miscellaneous craft items I was making, Tourists would love my wares, locals even more so. Why Hawaii? Nobody knows. I've never been there. Just sound nice, y'know?

Then reality kicked in, along with the realisation that the closest I would get to this dream would be a sea shack in Skegness. Why Skegness? Nobody knows. I don't even know where it is. Just sounds like the sort of place where dreams go to die. Sorry, Skegnessers.

But my crafting ambitions never waned. Sure, the candle flickered a few times due to the heavy winds of university life and the like, but it was never extinguished. And so it was at the age of 23 that I found myself back at the secondary school where my Hawaii dreams began, running a craft stall at the Christmas Fair.

Although the actual preparation for the stall was stressful (I'd been making things since September and still had a last panic that I hadn't made enough), I enjoyed the actual day itself. Massive thanks to The Boy for bringing his visual merchandising skills to the table (pun intended). I'd love to do something like this again, given enough time to prepare. I'm just going to need a couple of years to recover from this one first.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Taylor Swift's 1989 album, reviewed

I wanted to like Taylor Swift's new album, 1989, I really did. I'm a massive fan of Taylor Swift's work, and seeing her live is quite an experience, so I was keen to get hold of a copy of the album as soon as possible.

The album design is definitely one for traditionalists - the cardboard sleeve complete with simple, home photo style shot of Taylor is perfectly in line with the Girl-Next-Door image the lady has projected so far. In a well-thought out touch, the album also contains an envelope of polaroid-style photos of Taylor, complete with handwritten captions which later transpire to be song lyrics - something which is bound to get hardcore Swifties squealing with delight.

A brief flick through the photos and we're onto the main course, the music itself. The technopop twist that we've been promised/threatened with in the run-up to album release rears its head straight away in the opening track, Welcome to New York, a generic, poppy tune with very little to identify it as Swift's work.

Second track Blank Space has vague overtones of her iconic vocals...and a couple of interchangeable tracks passed before anything else caught my attention.

The hidden gem on the album is the already released single, Shake It Off. Not only does it go some way to showing off her incredible voice, the lyrics are the Taylor that we all know and love. From this point on, the album becomes slightly more Taylor, although she's definitely stepped away from her Nashville roots. Sob.

So a pop album it is, but it's hard to compare it to any particular pop artist, not because it's so unique, but precisely because it's so generic. It's easy to get the feeling that T-Swizz was aiming for a Madonna cerca-Immaculate-Collection-style album, but she's not quite there yet. Technopop is for singers who can't sing and need autotuning to within an inch of their lives. Unless something dramatic has changed since the Red tour came to a close in February, Taylor Swift can, very much, sing.  It's not that it's bad music - it's not. But Taylor Swift is a phenomenal musician when she's at the top of her game, and it's disappointing to not see her full vocal potential shine through in 1989.

The real test will be how comfortably she performs this new music style live. Thus far it seems that the Swizzle PR machine has cottoned on to Taylor Swift's once-teenage fans having grown up, and showing less interest in her songs about Harry Styles and the like, so Taylor's music has been prodded in a new direction out of necessity rather than choice. Only time will tell.

And now, let's all take a second to enjoy some vintage Taylor Swift, complete with country twangs:

Saturday, 25 October 2014

In which I abseil down the Orbit

You know how, when your boss says, "Does anyone want to abseil down the Orbit in the Olympic Park on Friday?", you say something along the lines of, "No thanks, I'm busy that day/washing my hair/got too much work to do/all of the above"? Turns out, I don't. Turns out, my answer to that question is "Ooh yes, I'll do it, I'd love to. Me, pick me!"

Yup, that's right ladies and gents, I abseiled down the red whirlygig. Find out how that went.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Not a day without poetry in Punta Umbria

The coastal town of Punta Umbria in the South-West of Spain is known to few, often overshadowed by the nearby larger and more industrial town of Huelva. Those who do know Punta Umbria probably know it for its miles of beaches, or perhaps the fish market. 
However, one of the lesser known interesting parts of the town are these Andalucian-style painted ceramic tile signs, dotted around the town. 

One side of each sign is a short verse of poetry, attributed to the poet. On the other side of every sign is the phrase "Ni un dia sin poesia" - literally, "not a day without poetry", and the logo of the local council.

Although my patchy Spanish skills only allowed me to translate around half of the signs that I saw -and as is the nature of poetry, they didn't all translate too well - I was captivated by not only the idea of this project, but also the way it blended in. With the decorative signs on pavements and street corners among lamp posts, benches and litter bins, the poetry became part of the street furniture, a normal way of life in Punta Umbria.

Friday, 22 August 2014

London geekery

A little excitement on my way home from work tonight, when I saw Tower Bridge opened, a sight I don't think I have ever seen before.

Unfortunately I was too far away (Platform 1 of Cannon Street Station) to get a proper look, but I was still more excited than I should probably admit to.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A day at Barcelona Zoo

When The Boy and I went to Barcelona recently, it was inevitable that we would visit Barcelona Zoo. We only had one whole day to explore Barcelona, so had planned to do a quick visit of the zoo, but we ended up spending about five hours there.

Being another city zoo, it's hard not to draw parallels to London Zoo, from the similar entrance gate (as modelled by The Boy,above), to the setting in a large park.

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a free-roaming peacock, which we later discovered was one of many. Although it was nice to see them walking freely, this particular one was being terrorised by a small Spanish child or two.

One of the first exhibits we visited was the gorilla house. Having walked through the museum-style exhibit about the gorillas of Barcelona Zoo, including lots of information about Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla ever to have existed (photo of a photo below), we were surprised to find ourselves back outside without having seen an actual gorilla. Perhaps they no longer have gorillas, we thought, and continued on our whirlwind tour. Later in the day, we found the gorillas, right over the other side of the zoo..a slightly odd set-up, and we weren't the only visitors who seemed confused by this, but a trip to the gift shop revealed that Snowflake (no longer aboard this mortal earth) is the zoo's celebrity animal, hence the reason for the exhibition.
One of the things that Barcelona Zoo does well, and London Zoo could learn from (it was really hard not to make comparisons) is the announcement of animal talks and shows on a zoo-wide tanoy system a few minutes before they start. This is how we found ourselves seated in an auditorium, waiting for the dolphin show.

"Show" is a controversial word in captive zoology anyway, and marine animal shows have caused a lot of controversy over the last couple of years, so I was a bit hesitant about watching a dolphin show, but I think it's always important to make your own mind up about these things.
The show consisted of two dolphins taking it in turn to perform tricks such as jumping over a rope in the middle of the pool. Although there is an argument that it is important to keep intelligent animals such as dolphins mentally stimulated, I am against animals performing tricks for the public, regardless of the animal's mental capabilities. This, combined with the fact that it wasn't possible to see the dolphins at any time of day except when they were performing (and therefore it wasn't possible to see their enclosure, or even if they had an enclosure other than the one used for the show) left me feeling a little uncomfortable.

After the show we continued out tour of the zoo. The Boy was very exited about seeing the Komodo dragons, and even more excited when he learned there were baby ones in the reptile house.

My absolute favourite animal of the day was this bear. I don't think I've ever seen a bear in real life before, and he/she was absolutely adorable. In the picture above, a silly woman was leaning over into the enclosure and encouraging him to reach out for her. Eventually he got fed up of being tormented and sat back down, before going for a paddle in his river. I dragged The Boy back to visit him three times throughout the day, and it still wasn't enough!

This was just a snapshot of our day. We saw so many more animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, rhinos, hippos, pygmy hippos, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, jaguars, as many primates as you could possibly think of, even an elusive red panda. In fact the only animals we could think of that were missing from the collection were giant pandas and okapi.

Overall the zoo uses space - something of a commodity for city zoos - very well, with the majority of enclosures large and well-designed. The lion and tiger enclosures, however, got me down. Side by side, each enclosure consisted of a few rocks and a bit of glass. There seemed to be no stimulation for the animals, and not a lot of shelter.

Conclusion: Overall, Barcelona Zoo is a great zoo with plenty of animals to see, and is worth a visit. The majority of the animals are well cared for, with decent enclosures. A couple of the enclosures are questionable, such as the lion and tiger terraces, which seemed to have little stimulation, and the dolphin shows are still a major minus in my opinion.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Abseiling down Earl's Court

Yesterday was the day of my sponsored abseil down the outside of the iconic Earl's Court. (If you missed it, something adventurous + something iconically London + something that helps London = my idea of heaven).

The information that I had been sent before hand stated that dressing up for the abseil was very much encouraged, provided the costume didn't interfere with the safety harness and helmet. Mainly out of laziness, I declined the opportunity to dress up, instead opting for my lion t-shirt from London Zoo and black trousers (they were new yesterday morning, if that counts as "making an effort"?).

Walking through Earl's Court station, I was beginning to feel like I had made a massive faux pas by not donning a costume. The outfits that we passed! Every superhero that I could name, and several I couldn't. And was that an actual SCYTHE that just walked past. Surely abseiling with something so dangerous attached throws up all sorts of health and safety issues?

Imagine my relief when we arrived outside Earl's Court and saw that Comic Con, the biggest gathering of comic book, fantasy and superhero fanatics known to mankind, was also taking place at Earl's Court that day, which explained the costumes.

When my turn came round, I got harnessed up and a group of four of us headed to the roof. Until this point, I'd been focused on the getting down, and hadn't really thought about how we'd get up to the roof - a behind the scenes lift soon solved that.
Once on the roof, the views were amazing. We were looking over (and abseiling down) the main facade of Earl's Court, on the main road, directly opposite the station. But the panoramic view let us see from Chelsea football club, all the way round to Wembley Stadium, with the rest of London's iconic structures in between. It's unusual to catch a great view of London from so far West, and interesting to see structures such as the Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall thrown into the foreground for once, instead of lost amongst the metal and glass further East.

We spent a good 45 minutes enjoying the view whilst the group in front of us did their thing. So far so good, it seemed to be going well, and I was excited for my turn. The first person to go from our group was a lady who was very scared of heights, but she seemed to set off successfully (once a person stepped over the edge, they disappeared almost immediately from our rooftop view.
Next up was a girl about my age. She hadn't admitted to being too nervous beforehand, but as she climbed up the ladder to the platform of doom, it was clear that she was shaking a lot. Part of the correct abseiling position is having your legs completely straight, but she was shaking so much, it took her a few minutes before her knees would actually straighten. Couple that with the next guy who stepped off and promptly chest-slammed into the building, winding himself, and by the time my go came around, I was feeling quite nervous.    
The worst thing was not the height. I was more than happy looking straight down at the ground 70ft below. The worst thing was putting my trust into the rope. As I leaned back over the edge, the rope was slack, and I had no idea how far back I would have to lean until it became taught, and no way to control my speed until that happened. On the first attempt, I freaked out when I leaned back and pulled myself back upright. Big mistake, as on my second attempt of leaning back, the rope was now looser than the first time, making it even scarier.

Once I'd stepped over the edge, I was on my way and it was all over relatively quickly and painlessly, although my legs were still like jelly for over an hour afterwards!

Massive thanks to everyone who sponsored me! The lions and I all appreciate it!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Please sponsor me!

Two of my favourite things in the world are lions and having new adventures. So when I heard about the ZSL sponsored abseil taking place in July to raise money for the Lions 400 campaign, I signed up immediately.

Lions 400 is London Zoo's new flagship fundraising project which aims to protect the 400 remaining wild Asiatic lions in the Gir Forest in India and protect the species from extinction. Money raised for the project also goes towards building a much-needed larger encolsure for the lions at London Zoo, to allow the zoo to continue its breeding programme and work educating the public about these animals.

If you would like to sponsor me for this challenge and help raise money for these lovely animals, you can do so here. I have to raise a minimum of £95, but would like to raise a lot more than that in reality. Any amount you can donate will help! Thank you.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Hot Tub Cinema In Abandoned Shoreditch Underground Station - Reviewed

A rough photo of the venue that I took whilst trying to beat a hasty retreat.
Hot Tub Cinema - which, predictably, is a cinema where the public sit in hot tubs to watch a film - undeniably has a niche target audience. However, from experience, I can say that the target audience is neither those who enjoy cinema nor those who enjoy hot tubs, as it's not an enjoyable way to experience either of these things.

Prior to my HTC experience, I was 90% dread, 10% anticipation. And to be clear, that's anticipation of a new experience in general rather than HTC-specific anticipation. I was also full of questions; would spending two hours in a hot tub with strangers fresh from a sweaty day at the office (and this was a warm, sweat-inducing day) be as disgusting as it sounded? Wouldn't you go wrinkly sitting in the hot tub for that long? I certainly wouldn't have paid the going ticket price (£35) to find these things out, but having written this preview, I got the chance to go along and try it out for free, dragging The Boy along with me for moral support. Truth be told, a large part of my reason for going was to satisfy my curiosity for the venue - an
abandoned Underground station in Shoreditch.

The arrival was confusing to say the least. After checking in at the box office, receiving our wristbands and being told which tub we were allocated to, we were shepherded into a dark room and told to join the queue - for what, we weren't sure. It transpired that we were queuing to buy tokens for drinks and snacks - a good idea to prevent people from having to take money into the water with them. Usefully, the drinks prices -surprisingly reasonable- were displayed, allowing us to estimate how many tokens we needed, although unused tokens were displayed at the end of the night.

Once we had bought our drinks tokens we were allowed further in, where it became clear that the two marquees in the room functioned as the male and female changing areas. The Boy disappeared into the male one and I headed for the female one. The door was closed, and as the system wasn't clear -was it one in, one out, was it a free for all?- I did my usual thing of swerving all possibilities of social awkwardness and went and got changed in the toilets.

Appropriately swimsuited, we deposited our bags into the efficient cloakroom system and headed down the stairs towards the tubs. At first glance, the venue was larger than I thought, with around 16 hot tubs, and a screen at each end. However, once we were shown to our tub, it became clear that size was deceptive -yes, there were 16 tubs, but judging by how squished up the four people already in our tub looked, our addition
to the party was only going to make it more cosy.

This brings me on to the tubs themselves. You remember those paddling pools that either you or your really coll friend had as a child, with the inflatable edges that made such fun to slide along until somebody fell in the rosebush? Each hot tub was one of those, around 4 feet in diameter. We knew straight away, with our knees tucked under our chins, that it was going to be an uncomfortable couple of hours, what with 6 adults crammed into that space and all. There was no ledge or step to sit on, as in a normal hot tub, meaning that shorter members of the audience such as myself had to spend the whole time craning our necks to keep our heads above the water. There were also no bubbles. Now, I wasn't expecting the sort of hot tub you might find in a five star hotel. I'm reasonable. I know that this is a temporary set up. But the hot tubs were a massive disappointment, and by this time I was already thinking that if I had paid £35 for this experience, I would have felt ripped off.

A few minutes in, the film began. Up to this point, the atmosphere had been very noisy in the venue, with people chattering, laughing and screaming with their friends. Nothing wrong with that. But ten minutes into the film (Hot Tub Time Machine, in case you were wondering), I was still waiting for them all to shut up. It was so loud in there, that I could not hear a single word of the film. It was the sort of loud that caused the dinnerladies at school to grab the largest metal spoon they could find and bang it on the wooden canteen tables in a bid to get you all to shut up. I was getting so frustrated, that I was close to getting out of the tub, and in the end I ended up forgoing most of the film as I couldn't follow it, and simply people watching for a couple of hours. The lack of intervention by staff of HTC surprised my some what, but at the end of the day, everyone there was an adult.

However, about an hour and a half into the film (which still nobody was watching), things got boisterous. A couple of beer-bellied guys a few tubs over took it upon themselves to throw themselves, uninvited, from tub to tub. Their reign of terror ended when, predictably, they landed in our tub and did one of the other girls quite an injury. At this point, I was really shocked that not one of the numerous HTC staff -who were on hand throughout the film as they offer a waiter service - had tried to stop this clearly dangerous behaviour. It's one thing not wanting to be a killjoy, but it could have been a whole lot worse, and by this time, I just wanted to get out.

And as for the venue? Well, that was a bit of a disappointment. Although it was undercover, it wasn't actually underground, and looking at the fixtures and fittings, I'd say it's used regularly as a nightclub or gig venue, meaning that HTC is probably not the only way to gain access to it.

Overall, the whole thing was a frustrating, uncomfortable and not something I would repeat. As soon as the credits started rolling, we beat the hastiest retreat that we could - following the screening, a hot tub party began, and we certainly weren't hanging around for that.  Next time, I'll take a laptop into the bath. The electrocution risk may be greater, but that's a risk I'm willing to take to watch a film in peace.

Stories of a Shopkeeper at John Lewis

As I told y'all a few months back, John Lewis in Oxford Street is celebrating 150 years of the company with a shindig. And by shindig, I mean an exhibition of John Lewis memorabilia complete with faux shopfront and original book in which the taking from the first trading day were recorded.

"Sounds interesting", I thought, as I completely forgot that the exhibition even existed, until a few months later, when I managed to scrape in a visit mere days before it closed. Interesting, but you'd be pushed to spend more than half an hour there...


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sprinkles ice cream and cakes, Southampton

If you ever find yourself strolling the streets of Southampton, particularly on a sunny day, step off the beaten track and head for the delight that is Sprinkles on QE2 Walk.

Don't be put off by the too-pink exterior of this corner-dwelling piece of heaven, as what awaits inside is something spectacular.
Sprinkles is an ice cream parlour, cupcake cafe. and all round diabetes-inducing eatery. It's somewhat tardis-like in that the American diner style seating inside is more than expected from the outside.
The ice cream counter is an absolute pleasure to peruse, although somewhat eradicates any chance of a queuing system as people gather round to get a good look. On the day we visited, there were 44 different flavours available, ranging from the ordinary (mint choc chip) to the extraordinary (tutti frutti, Kinder Bueno). The only other place I've ever seen that's come close to this variety and novelty of flavours is LICC in York, although LICC is a much smaller scale than Sprinkles.

So you select your ice cream choices and make your way along to the till to order and pay, but then you're faced with the cup cake counter. They aren't just cakes, but works of art, with cupcakes designed to look like sheep, monkeys, and even the Cookie Monster (complete with choc chip cookie mouth). I had a tip-off that the sheep is particularly good if you like butter cream, but I went for Cookie Monster, and had it boxed up to take home.

So if you're ever in Southampton with half an hour to spare, follow your nose to Sprinkles. But beware the come down from the sugar high -six hours on, I'm still waiting for it to kick in, but I know it's going to be bad.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Londonist @ Museum of London

Last week was Museums At Night, a national event which saw museums and cultural venues opening late for special events. I was lucky enough to be able to help out at Londonist's activity at The Museum of London.

The event focused on London as a digital city, with various activities going on along this theme. We had an activity where visitors could plot their journey to the museum onto a giant map of London, using string, stickers and anything else we had to hand. The stickers were used to create emoticons for people to share their feelings about their journeys.

This map was one of the final results. Were you there? Can you see your contribution?

See more photos here.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Feeding the lions at London Zoo

Dinner now please thanks
 Recently, London Zoo introduced a whole host of new animal experiences, to allow the public to get up close and personal with some of their beautiful creatures. Naturally, I was drawn to the chance to feed Lucifer, the male lion. A combination of my birthday money and a rumour I'd heard that Lucy-Lou (as the keepers call him) was moving to another zoo spurred me on to book immediately.

Originally I was booked in for last Sunday, but Lucifer was under the weather. Despite repeated attempts by the keepers to call him over, offering him food and trying all the usual tricks, he just would not come over to be fed, so I had to rebook for this weekend.

On arriving at the zoo we headed straight over to the lion enclosure, where we were met by big cat keeper Tony. I put some gloves on and he showed me how to feed Lucifer through the fence, using tongs, and staying a good distance away from the wire, which looked flimsier that it ever had before. I fed him diced horse meat a piece at a time.

 The only time he really stopped eating was when my mum was taking photos. He obviously felt like he was having a bad hair day as he took a few seconds to stop and roar at her, in a no-photos-please kind of way.

There I was, thinking that we'd bonded for life - he's always been my favourite animal at London Zoo and it's a shame to see him move to pastures new - but no, once he'd had his breakfast his simply stalked off, with not so much as a thank you. RUDE.

Roaring with happiness after a good feed.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Big Red Bus Pizzeria, Deptford

One of my birthday present from The Boy was a trip to The Big Red Bus Pizzeria in Deptford. It had been on my hitlist since I'd heard about it a year ago, not being one to turn down anything quirky, and I was excited to finally be going (although the excitement was partly due to riding the DLR on the way there - although The Boy wouldn't let me sit in the driver's seat. Londoners, you know what I mean.

On a quite Tuesday evening, we got the choice of where to sit, and opted for the top deck of a double decker bus, the focal point of the restaurant (covered courtyard seating also available) where the original bus seats have now been converted into four-seater tables.

While getting used to our surroundings, we placed orders for our drinks, and when they arrived some time later, we had to send them back, as both orders were wrong. When it finally arrived correctly, my cocktail was lovely, but even better was the cheesy honey garlic bread.

"Cheesy honey?", I hear you ask. Our thoughts precisely when we read the menu, which is why  we gave it a go. And God does it work. Try it. Try it at home. I know I will.

So: rubbish drinks service. Excellent starter. It was all to play for with the main course, the pizza. As it turned out, it was...disappointing. Edible, but burnt, and nowhere near the quality to be expected from a place calling itself a pizzeria.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Ripley's Believe It Or Not in photos

One of my birthday presents from The Boy was a trip to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, the self styled "odditorium" in Piccadilly Circus. The museum is often scorned by...well, everyone, so I've kept my desire to visit it under the radar. I won't reveal too much about the experience, for anyone who hasn't been yet, but here are a few photos of my favourite exhibits:

Yep, that's a knitted Ferrari. Knitted from no less than 12 MILES of yarn. Wooltastic.

I've always wanted a chair big enough to double up as a bed.

The Boy in the giant chair, excited about dinosaurs #geek

That'd be a portrait made from butterflies. REAL (DEAD) ONES.

It's not a place for people with a short complex.