Sunday 28 June 2015

Pride London 2015

London Pride took place this year on Saturday 27 June 2015 with both the parade and concert starting at 1pm. Organised by Pride in London, this year’s theme is Pride Heroes which celebrates individuals and organisations “who’ve contributed to LGBT+ rights over the years”.

I would have to say my Pride Hero is Lady Gaga and not because she has such lovely ways with her words and support for the LGBT community, but her boundless love she has for everyone. Her Born This Way was released in 2011 and it gave me enough strength to come out to my friends and family.

My volunteering experience for this year’s Pride wasn’t really on par as the previous 2 years I volunteered for Pride in London, which I sense was because of the wrong sense of direction partly due to being short on stewards. Good thing about Pride in London is that they listen to their volunteers so I will definitely be voicing my feedback. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun with fellow stewards in the team with lots of freebies and group photos on the way.
Packs donated to Pride in London volunteers were put together by Tesco consisting of food, water and summer essentials such as wipes, sun cream and rain poncho (thrown in for good measures after last year’s poncho gate). Baristas at Starbucks were put into overdrive as volunteers flocked to the nearest Starbucks for their free drinks and I, for one, really appreciate it.

The arrangements for the flags in the parade were re-arranged in light of recent events in USA which saw a Supreme Court ruling allowing all gay and lesbian couples the right to get married across all the states. They are joined by Ireland which too in light of recent events saw votes in legalising gay marriage. The love can be felt in Trafalgar Square where the concert were taking place where many artists were taking the stage to voice their happiness of the USA’s ruling.
The spirit of Pride doesn't end there, you can find other information on the website where you can also find out information on how to volunteer.

Friday 26 June 2015

Cally Festival 2015

The Cally Festival, first started in 2011, is a festival held on Caledonian Road in London which features art, activities, performances and workshops. This year it was held on Sunday 14 June 2015 from 12pm to 6pm.

The festival is funded by local businesses in and around Caledonian Road bringing live music, art and children activities, performances from local groups and bands, a procession as well as stalls for businesses, charities and sellers. Many artworks were on display created by different groups such as wooden structures created by a university in London.


Thursday 25 June 2015

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival 2015

The Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival is an annual event held in and by St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden West Piazza. It’s a celebration of Samuel Pepys’s first sighting of Mr. Punch 353 years ago with this year being the 40th anniversary of the event. It was held on Sunday 10 May 2015.
The event holds many activities for everyone alike to enjoy. There are puppet shows which are shown throughout the day which brings Judy and Punch professors and puppeteers across the country together for this occasion. There are many other things run throughout the day such as a procession accompanied by a brass band which starts at 11am and followed by church service at 12pm. Other activities throughout the day are music from folk groups, maypole dancing for the children, stalls selling various animate objects (puppet galore!) and many clowns (coulrophobia beware!).

Friday 19 June 2015

London's Roman Amphitheatre

London’s Roman Amphitheatre is housed underneath Guildhall Art Gallery. The Roman Amphitheatre was open to the public in 2002 after 2,000 years of when it was first erected.

It was a complete mystery to Historians as to where the Roman Amphitheatre was or if there even was one, especially the fact that London was known to the Romans as “Londinium”. It was not until 1988 that the Amphitheatre was found after it was dug up following the plans to expand the Art Gallery, with excavations finally completed in 1996.
It was originally built in AD 70 as a timber structure, raised by wooden bench seating, with a calculation of the size round about 100m by 85m. It was improved in the 2nd century with rebuilt walls and the surfaces of the arena were laid soft sand on a bed of gravel mixed together with mortar. It is estimated that the arena can hold up to 6,000 spectators.
The arena was used for public entertainment, gladiatorial battles and public executions. There was a chamber with an altar, so that gladiators were able to pray before the battle for the lives began. In the chamber running opposite them held the ferocious animal, usually a lion, that they would be pit against. Gladiatorial combat came to end at the end of the 4th century possibly due to the rise of the religion of Christianity.
Public executions were done and the timber drains can still be found at the structure. The timber drains washed away the blood with heavier items dropping into a crevice. Coins adorned with the face of the Emperor were found in the pit as well, which could be viewed at the Museum of London.
The Roman Amphitheatre along with the Art Gallery is free to visit and a 360 degrees tour can also be viewed online as part of visitlondon’s series of virtual tours.

Friday 12 June 2015

Shaun in the City - Shirley's Trail

Shirley’s Trail is a trail as part of Shaun in the City, exploring landmarks starting from Tate Modern, heading into the areas around St. Pauls and ending off at the Barbican Centre. There are in total 13 sculptures on this trail which covers 3km.
19. Br-ewe-nel - Tate Modern - Bankside
20. To Sheep Perchance to Dream - The Globe Theatre - Peter's Hill

21. Sheep Shape & Bristol Fashion - Peter's Hill - Gavin Strange
22. Out of this World - City of London Information Centre - Josh & Aimee Williams
23. Baa-roque - St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Churchyard - Sadie Butler
24. Literary Lamb - Temple Bar - P J Crook
25. Hamish - Paternoster Square - Ros Franklin
26. Chelsea Pen-Shaun-er - The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gardens, St. Paul’s Cathedral - in honour of The Chelsea Pensioners
27. A Capital View - Festival Gardens - Laura Cramer
28. Fine & Gandy - One New Change Passage - David Gandy
29. Woolly Wiggle - One New Change Lower Level - Zandra Rhodes
30. The Guardian – Guildhall, Aldermanbury - Vivi Cuevas
31. Counting Sheep - Barbican Centre, Silk Street Entrance - Gerald Scarfe

Friday 5 June 2015

Camley Street Natural Park

Camley Street Natural Park can be found at King’s Cross which bridges the gap between the city and nature, where you can escape the hustle and the bustle of the city life and seek haven in this nature reserve.

The park was initially created as an old railway coal yard in 1984, which was saved by campaigns run by local nature enthusiasts. The park now is a habitat a myriad of animals and a beating heart for the London Wildlife Trust volunteers. The park, covering 2 acres, is home to different birds, insects and many other animals within habitats of grassland, wetland and woodland.
There is much to explore and lose yourself in marshlands, shrubberies, meadows, ponds, ascending and descending stairs. There are many sights to see such hazel fencing which is made from hazel wood woven together and spaces for private growing.
The park itself is by Regent’s Canal which can be seen from the banks running alongside the park. The Viewpoint is another platform to view the canal from inspired by the rocky islands of the Nordic Coastline encouraging people to take in the views of nature in conjunction with architecture. Viewpoint is designed by Erko Aarti, Arto Ollila and Mikki Ristola and commissioned by the Finnish Institute in London and the Architecture Foundation.
The Park is free to access and is around the corner from Granary Square, which is something else very much worth seeing.