The doors of Brick Lane: London

I enjoyed a weekend in London recently and decided to take a trip to Brick Lane in East London. I’d seen a television programme that week that was all about the history of the East End. I wanted to see it for myself – so went along to explore.

There was street art everywhere I looked. I went snap-happy with my camera and loved every moment. Here are some of the amazing doors I found!

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Which bottle would you choose?

While walking along one of the arty streets in The Hague (Den Haag) my attention was grabbed by a rather interesting window display.

Lots of water bottles were placed randomly throughout the window space, each with a different label.

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Oh which one to drink?

Anyone fancy a swig of ‘sex’? How about some ‘chi’ to calm your inner self?

Which one would you like to try?

Minipop Invasion

What are Minipops?

Well, they’re tiny cartoon versions of people and characters.

The minipops have taken the internet by storm and are becoming increasingly popular. The fantastic images showing the cartoon version of last year’s Eurovision acts were created by Ben Morris in 2011.

Clearly being incredibly popular, Ben decided to create new ones for the entrants in this year’s Eurovision. If you know what the people look like then you will agree that they truly are amazing!!!! So true to life.

Ben got the idea to create the icons after attending the 2010 contest in Olso. He said “While admiring one of the official merchandise stalls outside the Oslo Telenor Arena, I had the notion of creating a range of Eurovision mini pop icons”. Ben had already created icons for the cult TV show Doctor Who. You can the whole story behind Ben Morris and his ideas here on the ESCInsight site.

Ben now has quite a followingThe minipop icons have their own Facebook page. It’s worth a look, for sure.

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Last year, Blue represented the United Kingdom in Eurovision. Following their photoshoot for Attitude magazine, Ben Morris decided to undress Blue for their own ‘stripped’ Minipop picture. Take a look at the video showing how they were made below. Amazing stuff!

Knitted covers for your bike, bus or car.

I have some friends who love knitting.

Okay, I should be clear on this one. Some love knitting and some like to croquet.

The urban knitting craze is taking off and here are some wonderful examples of how the craze has taken an unusual twist.

Perfect for all the abandoned bikes here in The Netherlands.

Now THAT is a bus I would love to catch!

Isn’t this just the cutest Smart Car!

I also found a great website with fantastic knitted things. It’s called Mochimochi Land. Take a look.

Frantic Origami

We recently had International Days at my school. It is a time to celebrate our school’s multi-cultural make-up.

The children come to school dressed in a traditional costume or clothes to represent where they come from or where they have lived. We have a big parade where all the children walk through school in front of each other and all the parents. It’s a great sight!

Loads of the parents volunteer to come in and run a stand representing their countries. There’s food to eat, games to play, puzzles to work out and things to make! I love it.

This year I had some volunteers to come in and work with my class.  My class are 3 years old. We did lots of different activities – making flags, sharing stories, craft fun, dancing and lots more…

Next, we were going to try…. origami.

Yes, origami with 3 year olds.

I was a little stunned to begin with – but the children loved it.

I am not sure whether they loved the activity more or the fact that their teacher (me) and teaching assistant were frantically rushing around our little circle (with 13 children) helping to fold paper left, right and centre.

It was simple origami. By that I mean – extremely tricky rather complicated. I giggled as I worked.

I think I’m an origami pro now!

I’m glad it’s the weekend – I need the rest!

Not a child from my class - I just love the expression! Boats next time, maybe?

The John Lennon Wall: Prague

Visitors at the Lennon Wall.

One of the most surprising places to visit in Prague is the John Lennon Wall – sometimes known as the Lennon Wall or the John Lennon Peace Wall. If you ever get the chance to go to Prague, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a few minutes here. It’s very close to the Charles Bridge.

Here I am at the Lennon Wall.

It is a colourful, ever-changing, graffiti-covered wall that really captures the eye and the imagination. I was lucky enough to have read about the wall in my Everyman MapGuide prior to arriving in Prague – I was so glad that I did read about it.

A tribute to the Beatles.

Situated on Velkopřevoské Square, the wall stretches approximately 20 metres. The original portrait of Lennon is long gone now, lost under layers and layers of spray-paint. Over the years, visitors continue to add lyrics from Beatles tracks, message of love and peace and their own names. I spent quite some time reading the things written. I could have spent a lot longer there – every time I looked I noticed something else.

Lennon? Why John Lennon? He wasn’t from the Czech Republic, so you would be forgiven for being confused. I was confused too.

A new portrait of John Lennon (but for how long?)

Well, the answer to that is that Lennon was a symbol of peace and a hero to the pacifist youth of Central and Eastern Europe during the totalitarian era. Before 1989 there was a ban on western pop music, especially songs by Lennon, which praised freedom. After Lennon’s death his portrait was painted on the wall, defying the authorities. From that moment the wall became a symbol of peace and freedom. There are also claims that the wall helped inspire the non-violent Velvet Revolution that led to the fall of Communism in the former Czechoslovakia.

One of my favourite shots.

Peaceful poetry.

I want to know who these people are... Love it.

All You Need Is Love.

Captivating.

The Hague: Graffiti or Art?

I was walking through the city the other day and came across this. The early evening light looked pretty good and I managed to get these ‘decent’ shots on my iPhone. I like the painted walls. It makes a change from just-anothe- brick-wall.

I love this kind of art……. Some say art, some say graffiti.

What do you think?