whathappensinlondon

Posts Tagged ‘Thailand’

Get your skates off

In Day to Day on December 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

COVENT GARDEN, SOMERSET HOUSE, THE STRAND

So, last weekend I managed get nail varnish remover spilt on my beloved MacBook Pro. Obviously in no way my own fault, it still meant a Sunday trip up to the Mac Store in Covent Garden and a very long wait seeing as their online booking system is totally shit.

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With 4 hours to kill between getting there and my vital 15 minute appointment with them geniuses at the Genius Bar, I guilt-tripped a couple of friends into spending the day in Covent Garden. Turns out ‘I’m so sad, I’ve potentially lost all of my photos of me larking around on a beach in Thailand’ tugs at the heartstrings in more ways than you would expect and they eagerly jumped on the train to meet me.

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First off, while waiting for my friends to spend a day waiting with me, I stopped off at Somerset House. It’s so pretty once they’ve put up the skating rink, I challenge anyone to go there and not start to feel a bit Christmassy. I watched everyone whizzing around (no falls) for a bit, but it’s not as fun as actually going on the ice so made my way towards the exhibitions. There’s loads on at the moment, and most of it’s free, so I’d massively recommend heading up there if you’re looking for something to do of a weekend while still saving up the pennies for important festive things like booze and Christmas presents and a sequinned dress for the office party.

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The first exhibition I went to is just to your left as you walk into the main reception. In the late 1940s black-and-white photographer Cartier-Bresson said that ‘colour photography is not up to the mark; prove me wrong’. Curator William Ewing has set about doing just that in ‘Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour‘, by showcasing a number of photographers working in colour who also adopt Cartier-Bressons hallmark ‘decisive moment’ style of photo.

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For the exhibition Ewing has chosen contemporary photographers including my favourites Karl Baden, Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Webb and Trent Parke. Each interprets the ethos in their own way but all display incredible talent for powerful capturing split-second moments.

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Next up, Night Paintings from Paul Benney. The curation and location of this exhibition make it a worthwhile visit as it’s situated underneath the ice rink in a series of hidden passageways and atmospheric chambers. The space, known as Deadhouse, has never been used for an exhibition before and actually contains the gravestones of 17th century courtiers within the vaults and set into the walls. To find out more, there are free organised tours every Thursday and Saturday. Also, if you were left dying to find out more after reading my blog post on how London is romanticised in films, Deadhouse plays Newgate prison in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.

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I squeezed in the Henri-Besson photo exhibition and Paul Benney’s Night Paintings exhibition but am heading back this weekend so that I can see the Valentino and Timothy Walker exhibitions – to be honest I want to give them more time as I’ve heard that both are brilliant.

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Seeing as I’ve tagged and led this with spilling nail varnish remover on a MacBook, here’s a link to what you should do straight away (which I didn’t). You’re welcome.

Reach, Climb, Run

In Day to Day on March 27, 2012 at 7:57 am

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I’m not a typical ‘exercise person’. At school, being forced to play hockey, netball or tennis was my worst nightmare come true and I hated every minute spent running round an astro turf  wearing silly bright blue socks. One aspect of my school sporting calendar I did love, however, was the much loathed bleep test  – the competitiveness, the increasing pressure, the sole focus on running…

Sports day was the culmination of this weekly punishment and the ultimate in humiliating experiences. I went to an all girls school, where, unsurprisingly, there weren’t many takers for spending a whole day wearing uncomfortable kit and waiting in the Crystal Palace stalls to go and jump in a sandpit. The older we got, the less we went until…it was made mandatory. We all had to pick something. I got lumbered with the hurdle race and shocked myself when I came first.

Since then, running has been my favourite exercise and I try and go at least three times a week. Where I’ve found running a basic way to keep fit, I enjoy challenging myself more by entering races (Run to the Beat and the British 10k), and wanted to find another way in which to tone up other areas of my body.

Enter climbing.

Railay Climbing

After trying rock climbing in Railay, Thailand, I came back last year full of promise to start doing it regularly and become a total pro. Some months later, I found The Reach and enrolled on the beginners course. Exhausting, challenging and exciting, it was exactly what I had been looking for and I honestly can’t recommend it enough for someone seeking something new.

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For £35 you get two three hour sessions of teaching, shoe and equipment hire. Our instructor, Kevin was brilliant, even better when he told us that teaching indoor climbing wasn’t his ‘day job’ and that he was in between tours of showing people how to climb ice caps. With an eight people maximum per beginners class, there is more than enough opportunity to make the most of having an experienced instructor at your disposal. Make the most of this. At the end of the class, so long as you know how to tie a knot, belay your partner and fasten your harness properly, you can become a member for £4.

I’ve been twice a week for three weeks since the course and my only regret is not going sooner. The one problem I’ve found is that when you get to the top of the walls, you can easily smell the delicious food cooking in the cafe and if you’re anything like me, get easily distracted.