I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly since I wondered into a fantastic exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in 2011. And of course, everyone adores his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A. So I was happy to queue with the hoards of other fans on a sunny Saturday in June to see Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens.
Photographs can’t really do the works justice; I’d definitely encourage packing a picnic and heading over. The trail takes in the newly renovated Temperate House and spruced up Great Pagoda; and with the summer flowers starting to come through, it’s a good time to visit. I plan to return later in the year too, to see the sculptures illuminated at night.
A little collection of winter foliage – and even some splashes of colour – as we prepare to welcome in spring. A reminder that, whilst our politics may be a dismal and dreary affair, switching off the news and getting out can lift the soul….even in January!
Having previously spent hours with the butterflies at London Zoo, I thought I’d see if the Natural History Museum’s temporary butterfly house could compare. I think I now have arthritis in my hands from gripping the camera steady for so long!
Having taken a few days off over Easter to unwind, I treated myself to a ticket to The Shard’s viewing platform. I’ve fancied going up for a while. Mainly because (a) I like tall things; (b) I like London; and (c) I like being a tourist. So, armed with my camera, backpack and mini-panoramic guide of the sights, I ascended the 72 floors to the open-air gallery. I didn’t walk, you understand; I took the fastest lift in the universe…travelling at two floors per second! My ears actually popped.
You may have heard me waffle on about The Shard before. It was designed by Renzo Piano and is an architectural wonder. It has completely recast London’s skyline and can been seen from all over the city. Yes, it might be a slick, glass megalithic symbol of the corporate west and represent exactly why I am now struggling to afford a small two-bed flat in my own city. But, setting that aside…it is beautiful. And at a height of over 1,000 feet, it offers spectacular views over London. You can see for up to 40 miles on a clear day. Here are a few snaps…