Posts Tagged With: London

Breakfast in Mayfair

London Porches in Kensington, by Mark Wallis on thevibes.me

Elegant London

Waking up in the spring sunshine, stepping onto the balcony of my Nash terrace in one of London’s more exclusive squares, is a moment to savour. Until room service reminds me I have to check out. Set camera to Stun.

Greek Church Bayswater London by Mark Wallis on thevibes.me

Greek Church Bayswater

The architecture of London is arresting, diverse and chaotic. Baroque and Brutalist, side by side. I can’t turn a corner without snapping away. I’m a tourist who stops traffic to get the perfect view, carrying a legal disclaimer for the police (written by the police) in case anyone tries to interfere.

Browns Brasserie Mayfair by Mark Wallis on thevibes.me

Just a couple of days in the capital, a surprise whistle-stop tour.

It’s so hot on Oxford Street, we buy chilled coconuts and drink the milk through a straw. Luxury in the dust! The sun sets on Soho Square, and we have to make our way back to Manchester. For all the noise and chaos, London is a difficult city to leave.

Soho Square Sunset in London by Mark Wallis on thevibes.me

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Categories: Photography, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Vampire Trumpet Chimney

Street sculpture in Manchester's Northern Quarter, Affleck's Palace

Vampire Trumpet Street sculpture near Affleck’s Palace in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

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Categories: Art, Design, Photography, Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Under Big Ben

Emerging from one of the most impressive tube stations, deep beneath Westminster, we stood in the shadow of Big Ben and before long we were wandering off the beaten track, away from the tourists.

Westminster Tube Sign London The VibesPalace of Westminster The VibesThe Palace of Westminster is an impressive riot of Gothic fakery, every buttress and spire insisting on it’s medieval origins. The Houses of Parliament are a testament to the great Victorian illusion that the establishment was rather more established than it really was. But just behind the familiar sight of Big Ben is a quiet empty park free from coach parties and cameras.

Victoria Tower Gardens Westminster London The VibesStone Lion Westminster The VibesBuxton Memorial Fountain victoria Tower Gardens London The VibesI had no idea Victoria Tower Gardens were hidden behind the bustle of buses and mounted police. A single stone folly, the Buxton Memorial Fountain stands on the great stretch of green which runs parallel to the Thames.

Designed in 1865, the fountain has been moved, ransacked, and renovated. It’s original statues have been stolen, but it remains a monument to the abolition of slavery in The British Empire. (Although there are some clubs in Vauxhall where slavery is alive and well and something of a vocation!)

The metal spire is unusually colourful for the period and has more in common with Gaudi than the grim preserve of the Victorians.

Stone lions guard the fountain which used to spout drinking water under the beautiful vaulted marble roof.I can see the place is more suited to a Vogue fashion shoot now, than the pomp and pageantry of the past.

London fizzes with energy, so finding an oasis like this is a relief, even if the sun is hiding and May feels more like November.
Westminster Folly interior The VibesBuxton Memorial Fountain Victoria Tower Gardens London The Vibes
Big Ben London Clock Tower The VibesSovereign's Entrance, Palace of westminster The VibesMark Wallis London Red Telephone Box The Vibes

“Hello? London? Big Ben? Sovereign’s Entrance? Are you avin a larf?”

Way Out Sign Westminster Underground Station The VibesLondon Underground Station Architecture The Vibes

The Palace of Westminster The VibesThis is why I love London. You can wander just a few yards and the scenery around you is transformed, from Nu Industrial Deco to Gothic Revival in a matter of seconds. I think I made the first one up, but the Capital is alive with hidden wonders, and taking a wrong turn is the thing to do.

Categories: Photography, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Shaking Pedestals – David Hoyle at The Tate

David Hole at The Tate Modern with Picasso

There’s a cliché that people in designer clothes attend art galleries to appreciate the Greats, making worthy appraisals while stroking their chins. David Hoyle arrives in front of a Picasso in a dress made of pens and all hushed reverence is drowned by laughter from an audience who are eager to see the great works through David’s eyes. There are even a few clichés amongst us, caught up in the crowd and slightly bemused as they are swept along in a refreshingly surreal tour of the famous gallery.

David Hoyle at the Tate Modern
“I’m interested to know what the girl who modelled for this actually looked like,” says David regarding the Picasso before us, voicing our own unconscious, secret thoughts. It’s this delicious rebellion against the unthinking, accepted perception of art that unites us all as we move from one piece to another.

David Hoyle at The Tate Modern

“This one is very…blue,” says David, unable to contain his own mirth and moves swiftly on. “Next!” A Henry Moore-style sculpture is similarly presented. “I wonder if this piece came out of the kiln looking quite how the artist expected it to?” But this isn’t irreverence for the sake of it: David is an accomplished artist himself and goes on to do a painting of a member of the audience right before our eyes and donates the work to the gallery.

David Hoyle donates a painting to the Tate

‘What does this make you think of?” asks David, indicating a plastic plant spray in a glass display case with what appears to be a selection from the B&Q gardening range. “Arts Council grants,” I reply a little too quickly. Scathing, hilarious and thought-provoking, David Hoyle himself is perhaps the most striking piece in the Tate. Crackling with spontaneous wit, he is an unpredictable splash of colour, the painted shaker of pedestals.

Mark Wallis and David Hoyle at The Tate

David Hoyle can be found on Facebook.

Categories: Art, Photography, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are the Olympics Absolutely Fabulous?

Patsy and Eddie speak for the nation!

Absolutely Fabulous Olympic Games Special Patsy and Eddie Torch

© BBC Photographer: Jack Barnes

In this week’s excellent Olympic Games Special, Patsy Stone and Edina Monsoon eloquently voiced the real feelings of the British people about the biggest event in the history of London. Yes there’s a lot of flag-waving and it’s great for tourism, but it’s a whole different ball game when you actually live here.

Eddie and Patsy present their pre-Games make-over plans to Saffy.

Eddie “We’re gonna be liposuctioned, lasered and lifted, darling. I’m going to be wearing my buttocks as a head rest by the time…”
Saffy “Well you better hurry up because it starts this week.”
Eddie “What?”
Saffy “The Olympics.”
Eddie “What? No! [to Patsy] Darling did you know it started this week?”
Patsy “What?’
Eddie “[panicking] The…running-the Olympics!”
Patsy “Where?”
Saffy “Oh my god! How could you have missed it? Even coming from the airport – it’s everywhere!”
Eddie “Yeah, darling, it’s been ‘everywhere’ for FIVE BLOODY YEARS, hasn’t it? Excuse me if I missed that it actually started! It’s been like tinnitus!

Absolutely Fabulous Olympic Special Patsy and Eddie running

Image © BBC 2012

Patsy and Eddie find themselves in the Olympic Stadium just days before the big day.

Patsy “It’s empty.”
Eddie “That’s cos nobody could get tickets, isn’t it darling?”

Absolutely Fabulous Patsy lights cigarette from Olympic Flame

Image © BBC 2012

Perhaps the best quote of all is Eddie’s Mother, staring bemused at some unused tickets…

Mother “I don’t see why anyone would actually want to be there when they can watch it in comfort on the good old Auntie Beeb.”

You can watch this episode on the Dear Old Auntie Beeb here and also some big sporting events which are happening this weekend…

All quotes © BBC Saunders and French Productions MMXI
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