life through my lens

my passion is travel; my enjoyment photography

secrets of London

One of my favourite things to do in London is to uncover the secret places; places hidden away, or places right there before your very eyes, that you wouldn’t know!
On Monday last I set out to uncover a few of these secret places; an occult lodge in a boutique hotel!  My first stop was the Hyatt Andaz Hotel and a Masonic Temple.

a Masonic Temple in London - ceiling

Guarded by heavy, studded doors the Grecian-style Temple is perhaps one of London’s best-kept secrets.  In its time the century-old room was considered one of the grandest Masonic temples with its marble columns & splendid zodiac ceiling; a Gothic show-stopper.
A breath-taking room; decked in twelve types of Italian marble, a stunning blue and gold ceiling decorated with the signs of the zodiac, a magnificent black and white marble floor (worth £2million) and a mahogany throne at either end.  This Grade I listed interior of marble and mahogany was built in 1912 for £50,000, the equivalent of around £4million today.

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May 31, 2011 Posted by | london | , | Leave a comment

Circle of Animals and Dancing Fountains

as mentioned in a previous post I went walkabout round London again on Sunday last week 🙂 Lucky me. I discovered so many wonderful things that I ended up taking over 400 photos! yeah, I know? madness. One of the places I visited was Somerset House. I have been there before a number of times (it’s a great short-cut from Victoria Embankment to Strand!) but this time around I was taken totally by surprise at what I discovered!

somerset house

55 dancing fountain in the courtyard of Somerset House

I discovered both these things at the same time coz they were in the same place at the same time and I was in the right place at the right time 🙂

ai weiwei exhibtion somerset house circle of animals

one of 12 wonderful sculptures by Ai Weiwei - Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads on display in the courtyard

May 26, 2011 Posted by | london, photography | , , | Leave a comment

finding Confucius

On Sunday last week I had the opportunity to go walkabout throught the streets of London.  I discover many fascinating places, buildings, sculptures and historic streets and parks on these excursions.  One of the places I stumbled across was King’s College London where I found this delightful statue in the gardens.

kings college london

Confucius say "stop a while and enjoy the sunshine"

 
in the next little garden was this rather lovely fountain…..

how pretty is that! exactly what I would like in my garden

May 24, 2011 Posted by | london, photography | | 2 Comments

a touch of frost…….

One of the things that I have found most fascinating about the UK, and there is much I find fascinating, are the seasons.  There is such a definite distinction between each.  This is one of my favourite photos from last winter.

the early stirrings of winter

May 13, 2011 Posted by | london, photography | Leave a comment

the old folks at home…..

My daughter’s grandparents are two of the sweetest people I know. We are going home in June to see them again.  This photo was taken in 2008 and so much has changed since then. 

Alan and Dixie - beloved parents and grandparents

 Whenever I think of the folks it always reminds me of a song we used to sing in school…..many years ago!!!   I always loved Stephen Foster’s songs and this was one of my favourites.

Old Folks at Home  
Way down upon de Swanee ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere’s wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere’s wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

[Chorus] All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebry where I roam,
Oh! darkeys how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home.

[Solo] All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I –.
Oh! take me to my kind old mudder,
Dere let me live and die.

[Chorus] All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebry where I roam,
Oh! darkeys how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home.

One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love,
Still sadly to my mem’ry rushes,
No matter where I rove
When will I see de bees a humming
30 All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo tumming
Down in my good old home?

[Chorus] All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebry where I roam,
Oh! darkeys how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home

Stephen C. Foster
written 1851

May 8, 2011 Posted by | family, photography | , | Leave a comment

communing with the dead….

after months and months of waiting I finally got to visit Highgate Cemetery with a good friend of mine.  We had tried so many times to find a day when we were both free at the same time, and finally today we did!!!  Highgate Cemetary has a fascinating history and is so worth a visit. I wrote a blog about it last year that you may find interesting.  There are many beautiful and unusual memorials to see, and these are a couple of my favourites:

so beautiful

 
I loved this little cherub, sitting there so pretty and cute

a wee cherub

 

May 4, 2011 Posted by | london, my life, photography | , , | Leave a comment

a very Royal Wedding

I recently attended the Royal Wedding in London, an event I would not have missed for the world.  It was one of the most amazing experiences and I felt overawed to be there, amongst all the hustle and bustle of the day before and the day itself. I love the Pomp and Ceremony of the events that involve the Royal Family and this was no exception.

Pomp and Ceremony along The Mall for the Royal Wedding

May 3, 2011 Posted by | london, my life | , , | Leave a comment

Henry Moore’s Hill Arches

a couple of weeks ago I attended a Henry Moore exhibition preview at Hatfield House.  It was an amazing afternoon and I enjoyed finding out more about the man and his sculptures.  I cannot say that I am totally impressed with the ‘forms’ he sculpted but there was one piece that totally captivated me: Hill Arches

henry moore at hatfield house exhibition

a perfect setting for an intruiging sculpture

a fascinating piece looking as if it had grown straight up out the ground

henry moore at hatfield house

Hill Arches - Henry Moore at Hatfield House

May 2, 2011 Posted by | my life, travel | , | 1 Comment