Sunday, 1 May 2011

Festival of Britain, great memories all round!

We've just spent a super day down at the Seaside, the South Bank version that is, enjoying the Festival of Britain anniversary celebrations.  Most of the time was spent lying about in the sand, which is the kind of thing  you do with a five year old!
 We went with friends and bumped into more friends and had a proper picnic!
The hand made bunting flapping in the wind added to the holiday spirit.  Apparently of record breaking length it was all made by the schools and community groups of Southend-on-Sea.

We did get the chance to walk around the fantastic roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  I loved the painted beds of the 'allotment'.
On the lower level, Stanley was drawn to Ben Kelly's Enclosure, happy to climb up the dry stone walls again and again and again.
  I loved the contrast of all that urban concrete towering over this great little homage to the British countryside.

As we were on a mission to get to the beach, we only caught glimpses of many other things, including the giant Urban Fox, but I'm sure we'll be back to discover more very soon.
Dishoom is also joining in the festivities from May 13th, so it won't be a picnic next time, I'll be in there like a shot if I have my way!
The highlight of the day for me was flying down the wonderful, high speed Helter Skelter. It brought back many a fond memory of childhood days spent with the family in Clifton Park, Rotherham.  I couldn't resist showing this video of us being hurled out at the bottom!

It was also nice to discover that, Yorkshire lass and old family friend,
Clare Cumberlidge curated the Land areas plus a couple of the art installations. Thanks to Brenda (her lovely mum) for the tip off.  I haven't seen Clare for ages, but it's down to her that I ended up in London in the first place, twenty one years ago.  I took over her rented room in the attic of an amazing family house in Highbury for just £150 a month!  I ended up staying there for three years during my RCA days and had a ball.

Happy days!


  1. oh wow the south bank looks amazing! probably my favourute place in london and they do such brilliant things. this is definitely on my list for next weekend. i love the connection with the curator and you coming to london. highbury is a pretty nice way to start your life in london! thanks for this helen, great post. x

  2. I was there with Ruby last week on our London trip! It's amazing isn't it? Likewise we spent a lot of the time in the sand ;-) Unfortunately we didn't make it up to the rooftops to see the gardens, so thanks for sharing that!

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments, it really was a fun day!

  4. I only discovered your blog last week and already have booked a week at Las Joyitas Ibiza and on Saturday we too spent a lovely day at the Southbank!

  5. Hi Alexis, that's great news and I just enjoyed a browse through your blog too! I'm sure you'll have a fab time at Las Joyitas, Ibiza is a beautiful place. x



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