Category Archives: Art

Exploring the Art of the Brick

Last week it was Mr O Senior’s birthday so as part of his celebration adventures we all visited an exhibition called The Art of the Brick, which is currently taking place at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch.

The exhibition is a showcase of New York-based artist, Nathan Sawaya’s work… and it’s particularly interesting because everything is made out of LEGO bricks. Sawaya is the first ever artist to sculpt exclusively in LEGO and brings an interesting juxtaposition of playful and serious to his pieces.

Sawaya has created a wide range of pieces across different themes and genres, including reproductions of famous works… like these ones of the Venus de MIlo, Edward Munch’s The Scream and Vermeer’s Girl With the Pearl Earring.



11034234_10153094125410638_3711830140316358454_nSome of his work is more whimsical, like this Tiger Giraffe:


Or this mega dinosaur, which took up a whole room and required over 50,000 bricks.


But Sawaya’s most interesting pieces capture his desire for self exploration.




10919044_10153094127050638_1855477067365740494_n 10659316_10153094127550638_5109563932226089886_n

I particularly liked this sculpture of a swimmer.

11041586_10153094126215638_6611998492594229737_n 10309133_10153094126300638_3129910627300378577_n

And this amazing red dress, which was later superimposed on a model in a photograph.


And who wouldn’t love a LEGO portrait of Jimi Hendrix?


Of course it wouldn’t be art appreciation with Abbi if I didn’t goof off just a little…



if, like me, you grew up building things with LEGO and love imaginative, new artistic mediums I would highly recommend checking out The Art of The Brick, which is open until 12 April. You can buy tickets here.

I think you will be just as satisfied as Mr O Senior was when you get to the end.


Books About Town – City Trail

I hit the final and biggest trail on the National Literacy Trust Books About Town tour on my own today to pick up the last fifteen benches (minus the 1984 one, which isn’t back from repair yet) and the upcoming 51st book which is still being voted on by book lovers. The City is one of the most interesting parts of London, being technically made up of only a square mile. The rest of London is actually the City of Westminster… but I digress. The City is the heart of London’s financial district as well as some of its most iconic sights including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London, which means the super modern stands shoulder to shoulder with the truly historic. If you are going to do any of the trails and want to be awed by London, this is definitely the one for you… plus it’s the easiest to navigate. Here are the benches I snapped.

Katie in London by James Mayhew


Noughts and Crosses by Oliver Dean



Usborne’s that’s not my bench by Rachel Wells (original illustrations) Jenny Hillborne (design) Painted by Sarah Jane Richards



Jacqueline Wilson by Nick Sharratt (original illustrations) created by Jane Headford


Bridget Jones’s Diary by Paula Bressel


Mary Poppins by Darel Seow



Peter Pan by Laura Elizabeth Bolton



Dickens in Liverpool by Hillside School


Fever Pitch by Sophie Green


Brick Lane by Charlotte Brown


Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack by Trevor Skempton


The Laura Marlin Mysteries by David Dean (original illustrations) created by Jane Headford


Alex Rider by Kanako and Yuzuru (original illustrations) created by Mike Snowdon



The Wind in the Willows by Mik Richardson



A Brief History of Time by Paraig O’Driscoll



Books About Town – Bloomsbury Trail

Em and my  National Literacy Trust Books About Town adventure continued on Sunday with the Bloomsbury Trail. Bloomsbury is an area of London with a rich publishing history so it made a lot of sense that it was a core part of the trail. It is also home to the British Museum and the British Library where we met Em’s friend, Donna, who joined us for this leg. There were so many awesome familiar books on this trail with cool little flourishes that I started to realise that I should also be taking photos of the backs and sides of some of them, which is why there are multiple snaps of some of the benches. The only disappointment was that the 1984  bench had been removed for repair. We heard a rumour that it had been stolen but apparently it’s going to be back soon… fingers crossed. I’d hate to have an incomplete set.

Here are the eleven we did find.

Jeeves and Wooster Stories by Gordon Allum


The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by Quad Digital Mandii Pope

wpid-img_20140713_185113.jpg wpid-img_20140713_185411.jpg wpid-img_20140713_185515.jpg wpid-img_20140713_185643.jpg

Sherlock Holmes Stories by Valerie Osment

wpid-img_20140713_185804.jpg wpid-img_20140713_185950.jpg

Mrs Dalloway by One Red Shoe

wpid-img_20140713_190109.jpg wpid-img_20140713_190327.jpg

Earnest by Trevor Skempton

wpid-img_20140713_190431.jpg wpid-img_20140713_190542.jpg

Rest Your Stalks by Oliver Dean

wpid-img_20140713_190641.jpg wpid-img_20140713_190827.jpg

Pride and Prejudice by Charlotte Brown


Always Try to be a Little Kinder Than is Necessary by Sian Storey

wpid-img_20140713_191213.jpg wpid-img_20140713_191404.jpg wpid-img_20140713_191455.jpg wpid-img_20140713_191616.jpg

James Bond Stories by Freya Dean

wpid-img_20140713_191705.jpg wpid-img_20140713_191832.jpg

Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly by Tom Adams (artwork) created by Mandii Pope

wpid-img_20140713_191959.jpg wpid-img_20140713_192159.jpg

Around the World in 80 Days by Valerie Osment

wpid-img_20140713_192638.jpg wpid-img_20140713_192809.jpg

Books About Town – Riverside Trail

Regular readers might remember that I sent off on a mission last week to complete the National Literacy Trust Books About Town trails with my friend, Em. We started with the Greenwich Trail last Sunday and this weekend did the Riverside Trail which runs along the South Bank alongside the Thames River. It’s one of the most exciting parts of the city where super modern meets ancient London in a vibrant swirl of business and leisure.

I was extra excited to venture out because my company will be moving offices to the South Bank in a couple of months’ time and I’m looking forward to really getting to know this part of town and what secrets it has to hide. We certainly weren’t disappointed when we came across the Hays Galleria, which houses a cute collection of bars, restaurants, boutiques and market stalls surrounding a crazy fountain.

Although Em and I had to do part of the trail during a downpour we still had a whale of a time and snapped 10 benches (plus the one I accidentally found in Waterloo Station).

The World’s Biggest Flipbook by Jeremy Banx

Shakespeare’s London by Lucy Dalzell

Please look after this bear. Thank you. by Michelle Heron (featuring Em in the background)

Great Expectations by Ivan Liotchev

From the Gruffalo to Scarecrows: The World of Alex Scheffler and Julia Donaldson by Alex Scheffler

The Librarian by Paul Kidby

Clarice Bean by Lauren Child (original illustrations) created by Jane Headford

Dr Seuss by Theodore Seuss Griesel

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (original illustrations) created by Gerard Strong

Through the Looking Glass by Ralph Steadman

War Horse by Rae Smith (original illustration) created by Gerard Strong

Books About Town – Greenwich Trail

There’s no question that London loves an art installation project. In the past five years we’ve had elephants, eggs, Olympic Mascots and telephone boxes dotted around the city. And every time I have adventured around the city collecting them by taking photos. I’m not sure what it is about me that loves the kind of combined concept of art and a treasure hunt and collecting but I simply cannot resist the urge to capture every one.

So when my friend, Em, told me the National Literacy Trust had scattered 50 park benches around the city in four trails each one depicting a British literary classic I was immediately intrigued.

On Sunday Em and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and hit the Greenwich trail. Greenwich is one of my favourite parts of the London. Not only is it home of the amazing Cutty Sark but it’s also where you’ll find the beautiful Greenwich University campus, the National Maritime Museum and the Meridian Line inside the breath taking Greenwich Park. And it’s where Mr O and I had our wedding reception. Fun fact: If you watch Thor: The Dark World you can see the pub where we spent our first evening as a married couple for just a few seconds.

Collecting the twelve benches on the trail was both fun and a challenge. As it was a lovely Sunday quite a few benches were being used as actual benches and we had to kindly ask them to move out of the way. Everyone was really friendly but we had some really entertaining confusion when a couple of Spanish teenagers thought we wanted to take a photo of them on one of the benches.

The best part about following this trail was really exploring the park in its entirety. I’ve been to Greenwich Park loads of times but this was the first time I made my way all the way to the back of the park where we discovered the most incredibly beautiful flower garden. It’s got to be one of the most perfect, captivating picnic spots I have ever seen and if you head down one of its tree-lined trails it feels like you’re miles away from the city.


Here are the 12 benches we snapped.

The Railway Children by One Red Shoe


Samuel Pepys’ Diary by Michel Petit-Jean


The Canterbury Tales by Beth Quinton


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed)


Frozen in Time (Captain Scott’s Autobiography) by Charles Bezzina


On the Origin of Species by Jane Veveris Callan


The Jungle Book by Ruth Green


Elmer the Elephant by David McKee (original illustrations) Created by Giles Boardman


Samuel Johnson’s Wild World (A Dictionary of the English Language) by Scriberia


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Deven Bhurke


The Time Machine by Di Ralston


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury (design) Created by Gerard Strong


Which is your favourite?
Have you read any of these books?


A Trip to the Tate Britain

This Easter weekend Mr Osbiston’s family came to stay with us, which is always loads of fun. We were expecting really good weather on Sunday and so we planned to visit Kew Garden to see all the lovely spring flowers… but then it poured and we had to quickly come up with a new plan. That’s where a trip to The Tate Britain, which houses 500 years of British art came in.

I really enjoy art but I find it hard to take anything seriously, which is how I ended up photographing in inappropriately captioning several pieces of art… enjoy…


I will call it "booby fish"


Sorry darlings, I appear to have forgotten my trousers


The invitation SAID fancy dress!


Get a load of those melons!


Get out of that tree, you bellend!


Matt Lucas presents his cock


Now I'M the queen, bitches!


Live on a farm, they said. It'll be fun they said.


Man finally gets control of his... err... snake


Outside the Clapham Grand on bsnk holiday Monday


I don't know what happened. One minute I was walking down the road and the next thing my cock was out


Stop splashing me, bitch!


Darling... are you bored with the cat? Because I'm TERRIBLY bored with the cat


Shoes, you're doing it wrong?

Birthday shenanigans

On Wednesday I turned thirty-three (or 23 +10, as I’ve been telling people) so  decided to take the rest of the week off work and just spend time with Mr Osbiston. He of course took this a challenge to fill my day with excitement, which he did rather impressively.

I did put a bit of a spanner in the works straight off the bat because he wanted to make me breakfast in bed and I wanted to go for a run. I don’t like to eat much before I work out because it makes me feel a bit sick so I convinced him to get my breakfast ready for my return. Here I am with my beautiful birthday flowers… in my running gear. I couldn’t let myself get behind on the Fall into Fitness Challenge.


It was my best 5km run ever and I finished in 32 minutes exactly. I think it would have been even faster if I hadn’t have had to wait to cross the road. Maybe the universe gives you extra energy on your birthday!


After a delicious breakfast, Mr Osbiston, told me we were going to Spitalfields City Farm to visit the pig he sponsored for me for my birthday. (My other amazing present was Sigur Ros tickets!!!)


Despite the fact that it was a very grim and rainy day, I was ridiculously excited about going to the farm and about meeting my pig.


The farm is a stone’s throw from the East End and has all kinds of interesting animals, including donkeys, a Shetland pony, pygmy goats, a calf, rabbits, ferrets, geese, guinea pigs and chickens. The farm is free to visit and you can pop in and chat to, and even pet in some cases, the animals whenever you want. They also have a cafe and a shop where you can buy all kinds of food grown and produced at the farm.

Paul investigates some sheep

Paul investigates some sheep

Almost all the animals are available for sponsorship, including my pig, Watson, who is on the left of this picture. He is a rare breed of pig from New Zealand called a Kune Kune. I think he is very, very handsome. His pen-mate is called Holmes, which is very fitting. I decided that Watson was the pig for me because he took a brief break from eating to look up at me when I arrived.


In the next 12 months I will get to visit Watson four times and help to take care of him. I can’t wait.

After we had finished communing with the animals it was time for a (veggie) lunch at The Real Greek in Spitalfields market. Delicious!


Om nom nom

Om nom nom

After that it was time for some culture so we went for my first ever trip to the V&A, one of London’s many free museums.


The V&A is considered to be the world’s greatest museum of art and design and contains amazing ceramics, architecture, fashion, metalwork, books and more from multiple time periods all over the world. It really has to be seen to be believed. I have to admit that the fashion section was my absolute favourite and I became utterly lost in the gowns from the past… as well as this front room, which Mr Osbiston and I are adamant we are going to recreate when we own our own house one day.


Our last outing for the day was a trip to the movies to see Thor: The Dark World in 3D… but you’ll have to wait until next week’s Film Friday to hear about that!

Bournemouth in the winter

Faced with no passport for a month, Mr Osbiston and I were forced to abandon plans to visit Amsterdam in February and pick something a little closer to home. Something by the sea, within two hours train of London and public transport friendly since we don’t drive. And so we came up with a weekend break to Bournemouth, where neither of us had been before.

We stayed near the town centre and seafront in a small hotel called The Blue Palms, which absolutely lived up to its name in terms of blueness. Everything that could possibly have been blue was blue. Our hosts were super helpful and friendly, to the point of being slightly worrying for London-types but definitely handy if you want some help finding your way around. Our room was huge but oddly the bathroom was minute and unheated. The shower was very small and devoid of any power, making washing your hair into a trial. All the furnishings could probably do with a refurb but it was spotlessly clean, excellently located and very good value for money at £129 for two nights.

On wandering down the very steep hill to the beach (And it’s worth noting that Bournemouth is very hilly. If you don’t like walking up and down hills, you might want to look away now), we came to the realisation that coming to Bournemouth in mid-winter is probably not the best idea ever. It was bitterly cold, the tour bus wasn’t running and it was too windy for the sightseeing balloon to take off. Bum.

However, the beach did have a certain windswept charm and it was the first time I’d ever seen children playing in the sand in coats and mittens.


We decided to spoil ourselves on our first night and headed to The Print Room, a gorgeous fayn dining restaurant in the former premises of the Bournemouth Echo newspaper decorated in pink and black art deco. We were lucky enough to get a booth, which had newspaper snippets from the early 1900’s in it, amusing us to no end until our food arrived.


Everything was delicious, especially my deconstructed prawn cocktail.

After an impressively greasy breakfast, which we skipped on day 3, day 2 was spent exploring. I am absolutely aquarium mad. I will go to any aquarium anywhere so I was insistent on going to the Bournemouth Oceanarium.  As aquariums go, it’s pretty small and doesn’t have a huge amount of wow factor, but what it does have is otters, which might be the cutest animals in the world. We were around for the otter feeding and completely fell in love with them. They’re pretty fast moving little rascals so it was hard to take a good snap of them but I think this says it all.

We also had a wander down the pier with requisite amusements. I hit some moles with a hammer. It was great. Avoid the coffee though. It was not great.


After that we headed up yet another hill to check out The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, which is an eclectic collection of art works and other treasures from around the world, assembled by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes on their travels in the late 1800s to 1900s housed in their former home.


It’s hard to sum up just how amazing both the house and the items in it are. It has to be seen to be believed. Of course the jewel in the crown is Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rosetti but even if you just went for the view it would be worth it.


Our last dinner was eaten in Lolita’s, initially chosen for its red and white polka dot décor and what a great choice it was. Not only is the décor fab but the food is delicious and very good value for money. It also has a charmingly ramshackle atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve popped into a friend’s house for dinner. Without question, Lolita herself is likely to make a stop at your table to tell you in detail about the food, give you a cuddle and shout at the cook, who appears to be her husband. There is not a single thing I didn’t like about it. Go there. Go there lots. Eat all the things.

We were slightly at loose ends on our last day and somewhat accidentally ended up in Westbourne where it turns out the hipsters of Bournemouth reside, along with all the cute cafes and little boutiques. I do wish we’d found it sooner since the sea front and town centre offer little in the way of decent coffee shops and pubs and we struggled to find anything edible for lunch on either of the days we were there.

Overall it was a lovely little break but I’m not sure I’d go back… except maybe for Lolita’s and definitely not in winter.

The Big Egg Hunt 2013 – Part 4

We were lucky to be joined on our last day of Egg Hunting by Paul’s family, who were, as always, extremely tolerant of my bonkers enthusiasm. We managed to find all but two of our missing eggs, with David partly to thank for spotting three in an area that Jen and I had just avoided because it was overrun by tourists. Fortunately we didn’t miss this awesome blown glass egg from Berengo Studios in Italy.

Yoni (ova 1) by Michael Petry

Yoni (ova 1) by Michael Petry

We also managed to find Eggbert, who had been on the move and hidden in a secret location. I won’t spoil the fun by telling you where he was when since he might come back to the same home when the eggs return to London on 22 March.



Our final egg for the day was the supposedly very lonely, Alann, who looks a little bit like a muff under a blanket. If you like the look of Alann you can watch this video about helping him find a new home.

Alann by Stuart Edmundson

Alann by Stuart Edmundson

We couldn’t find our last two eggs before they started to make their way to Birmingham for the next leg of the tour, so we’ll be back to snap them up at the end of March. The full album is here.

Lucky for us our hunt ended with a delicious meal in China Town in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Yum!

China Town

The Big Egg Hunt 2013 – Part 3

After our initial Covent Garden market egg frenzy, Jen and I headed back to do some more hunting in the surrounding areas. I know initially people thought this year’s hunt might not be challenging with all the eggs being in one place, but with zero clues or listings, the challenge is definitely still there, just without all the trekking around.

Our adventures took us into several rather posh shops, including one that was selling shoes that cost more than our rent. The sales assistant seemed baffled by our presence but it did turn out to be one of the best eggs.

This is not an Egg by Graham Hudson

This is not an Egg by Graham Hudson

Special shout out also to the security guard in the office building that was housing a couple of eggs, for pulling faces in the background as we snapped pics through the windows.

Here are a couple more of the top eggs of the day.

COSMIC EGG by Robert Rubbish

COSMIC EGG by Robert Rubbish

Hello Cheeky by Hattie Stewart

Hello Cheeky by Hattie Stewart

Eggistentialism by Baxter and Bailey

Eggistentialism by Baxter and Bailey

All remaining eggs here. Just 10 more to find!

The Big Egg Hunt 2013 – Part 2

I am glad to say that yesterday’s phone misfortune turned out to have a happy ending, as a bike courier named Adam (who is officially my hero) found my phone and returned it to me yesterday morning. I’m not sure exactly what happened to it, but it’s back in service and I got all of my photos back!

So with that stroke of luck, I have added the remaining Covent Garden snaps to my  Big Egg Hunt gallery. The tally now stands at approximately 77 of the 101 eggs found. There were a couple without plinths that we’re not 100% sure about.

The remaining 24 or so are apparently all within a 1 mile radius of Covent Garden, so we’ll be back on the hunt later this week to see what we can find on the side roads and definitely sharing tips with fellow hunters.

To celebrate the newly recovered phone, here are some pics of a few of the more unusual eggs. Click here for the full gallery.

Spring in Budapest by Nick Kaplony... appears to a skull hiding out in that flower

Spring in Budapest by Nick Kaplony… appears to a skull hiding out in that flower

A Common History by David Macintosh - is it just me or is that someone's minge?

A Common History by David Macintosh – is it just me or is that someone’s minge?

CENTURY EGG by Will Daw AKA Angry Cat Judges You

CENTURY EGG by Will Daw AKA Angry Cat Judges You

The Big Egg Hunt 2013 – Part 1

The Big Egg Hunt is back – this time in conjunction with Lindt and Action for Children. Unlike last year, the 2013 eggs are on the move and will visit 5 major cities around the UK including London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

Right now the 101 eggs on display are chilling out in London, all within a one mile radius of Covent Garden – good for quick hunting but just a little bit disappointing if the hunting is the bit you find exciting.

Jen and I couldn’t resist getting stuck in quickly and snapped loads of eggs in our lunch break today. Unfortunately my phone got stolen halfway through by a pick pocket so I lost half my photos and will have to back for the rest. In the meantime here are a few of my favourites:

Egg Tank by Mark Hayward

Egg Tank by Mark Hayward

Ritual by Mark McManus

Ritual by Mark McManus

Peter Rabbit by Penguin

Peter Rabbit by Penguin

You can see the full album here.

In which Abbi is pleasantly baffled by the ballet

On Friday I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, my first ever ballet, which is kind of shameful really from a culture perspective. Apparently Bourne is a bit of an innovator/rogue element in the ballet world, if such a thing exists, but my lack of any kind of dance knowledge renders me unqualified to comment on the show from that perspective (apparently Gangnam Style is not a ballet move).

With that caveat in place, what I can comment on is how absolutely awed I was by everything that happened on stage. The grace, elegance, strength and sheer skill of all the dancers was genuinely mesmerising and the set design and lighting created an impressively haunting ethereal atmosphere.   However I do have to admit that I have close to zero idea of what was going in the second half. Initially I thought it might be stupidity on my behalf but after overhearing the people behind me attempting to work it out I felt somewhat better.

This was not a traditional retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story I grew up with. This one featured vampiric fairies, a heroic gardener rather than a prince and a pretty impressive puppet baby (still more lifelike than the CGI baby Breaking Dawn Part 2), hence the confusion.

In conclusion, it definitely made me want to go to the ballet again, especially at the Sadlers Wells Theatre where you get an amazing view from the nosebleeds, for only £12. Apparently there’s something called Two Cigarettes in The Dark by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (what??) happening in February. Bring it on!

Scary fairies!

Scary fairies!

Olympic Mascot London Discovery Trail: Green Trail

With the recent lovely weather, we decided we should take advantage and do the Green Trail, which is set out in Regents Park. I am ashamed to say that prior to taking on The Olympic Mascot London Discovery Trail I had not been to Regents Park and didn’t realise how vast and lovely it is. You could probably spend a week in the park and still not fully explore all of its nooks and crannies.

I particularly loved all the little fountains, flowerbeds and topiary. London truly has parks to be proud of. If you’re going to take on the Green Trail, I would suggest packing a picnic and making a day of it. It’s also worth noting that Sherlock Wenlock, who is near the bridge close to Clarance Gate on the map, has moved, as the bridge is being repaired. It’s best to come in at the York Gate, catch Union Flag Wenlock and then cross over York Bridge and bear right. You’ll run into Sherlock Wenlock and Deckchair Wenlock and from there you can continue the trail as normal.

These were my favourite statues of the day:

Sherlock Wenlock – look out Benedict Cumberbatch

Safari Mandeville – reminds me of home

Victorian Mandeville – love the tash!

You can download maps of the trails here. And if you want to see more of the pics, they’re here.

Olympic Mascot London Discovery Trail: Purple Trail

Last week Jen and I decided to take on the Purple Trail, which encompasses Mayfair and Piccadilly. It was a lovely wander, with a few little parks along the way, perfect for enjoying a sunny afternoon.

One of the highlights of the walk was discovering the fountain outside The Connaught Hotel. This extremely unique decorative piece is called Silence and was designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The fountain is built around two trees and every fifteen minutes atomisers hidden at the bases of the trees release clouds of water vapour.  The doorman of The Connaught recognised our fascination with the fountain and was kind enough to come over and tell us that if we had brought our flip flops we’d have been allowed to walk across the it, as it is designed to be stepped on.  So if you’re going to do the purple trail, bring flip flops and go for it.

I took this photo of its surface:

But if you really want an idea of how cool it is, check out this YouTube video (credit to koliberk).


These are my three top statues of the day.

I am slightly worried about how Afternoon Tea Wenlock is going to enjoy all these cakes with no mouth, but I guess that’s beside the point!

Gemstones Wenlock

Queens Guard Wenlock

You can download maps of the trails here. And if you want to see more of the pics, they’re here.

Festival of the World and Real Food Market on the Southbank

Over the weekend Mr Osbiston and I decided to go for a wander along one of our favourite places in London, the Southbank. Situated along the riverside, near Waterloo, it’s one of those places in London where there is always something going on and you’re guaranteed entertainment no matter when you visit it.

At the moment there is a pretty amazing festival on the go around the Southbank Centre and Royal Festival Hall. The Festival of The World is made up of loads of smaller exhibitions aiming to create a story of how art is changing the globe.

We explored all kinds of art pieces.

Paul got in on some graffiti and the London Earth Creature, which is based on an eco build school playground near Heathrow airport.

I was really keen on the Baobab tree, which is made up of stacks of fibre from around the world, celebrating global diversity and creativity.

And we both loved the giant map of the world in the process of being built from over 1 million Lego bricks.

After checking out the outdoor exhibits we lost ourselves in aMAZEme by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo, a giant maze built from over 200,000 new and used books.

Of course being inspired by art is hungry work and we couldn’t resist popping into the Real Food Market, offering tasty high quality food from around the world. The smell as you come around the corner and enter the market is enough to make you wish you had twelve stomachs! We came out with olives, Polish Calbassos, cheesecake, giant English muffins and these colossal strawberries, all of which were delicious.

Barring our overindulgence at the food market, all the exhibits are free and the ones I’ve put up photos of are only the very surface, so if you’re looking for something to do, do yourself a favour and spend an afternoon at the Southbank.

Olympic Mascot London Discovery Trail: Pink Trail

As you know, I can never resist an “artistic trail” and I’m currently obsessed with the Olympics, so you can imagine my delight when I came across the Wenlock & Mandeville London Discovery Trail.

Wenlock and Mandeville are the rather unusual cycloptic mascots of the London 2012 Olympics. They’ve been reproduced 82 times with different décor and set out on six routes around the capital, designed to give you a good overview of the best of the city. You can find out more here.

On Friday afternoon Jen and I decided to take on the pink route, which encompasses a sort of Theatreland, Strand, Covent Garden area. We set off with the map, with little hope since the maps for these kinds of things tend to be beyond rubbish. However, I have to hand it to whoever organised this one because the map was perfect.

It was a really lovely walk, especially since we got to stroll through Victoria Embankment Gardens, which is one of the most beautiful parks in London.

These are my three favourite statues from the Pink Trail, you can check out the rest here.

Novel Wenlock

Somerset House Mandeville

Embankment Wenlock

The BT Artbox Adventure: The Last Box

Today Jen and I made our last box hunting trip to the BT Centre near St Paul’s to photograph our eighty-second box, Purple Box Lounger.

While I am quite sad to hang up my camera, I have to admit that of all my hunts, Elephant, Egg and Box, this was the worst organised. We did eventually find the boxes but the numbering system and the maps made it really hard slog. I think if the numbers had been up in the triple figures like the other hunts I would have given up after a week.

So, to the organisers, remember these campaigns are only effective because of the dedicated group of nutters that goes around collecting pictures of them. Don’t make it too hard for us to find them… especially since it never stops raining these days!

BT ArtBox Adventure: Day 8 & 9

Tuesday saw us take on East London where we started with a ramble and a bit of slipping in the puddles around Broadgate, which is a large and confusing place. We eventually found all three of the boxes in the area. As a tip, if you want to take a picture of Telethrone in the Broadgate Welcome Centre, it’s best to go during office hours. It was closed when we got there at six so we had to snap it through the window.

I loved both the boxes in Spitalfields market. There was the very funky Poppy Field…

… as well as The Poetry of Life, which looks like some kind of delicious floral cake from a distance.

But when you get closer, there is something just a little creepy about it.

Yesterday we braved the bonkers weather to go to Canary Wharf to find the infamous Moneybox in the Barclays building. There’s been a lot of controversy about this box because the security guards have refused to let some people take photos so we were expecting a hard time. Luckily we had no trouble at all and were allowed to snap away unsupervised.

There is only one box on display, which we haven’t seen yet, so we’re off to St Paul’s tomorrow to get the final box. You can see all 81 that we’ve done so far here.

The BT ArtBox Aventure: Day 7

Monday’s box hunting adventure took us on what was essentially a tour of the district line. We started with a stroll on the Victoria Embankment, which would probably have been a little bit nicer if it hadn’t have been tipping down but it was worth it to get a snap of Crown Chat, Show Box with the London Eye in the background.

Our next stop was the area around London Bridge, where we made our way from Borough Market to The Tate Modern and eventually Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. It was a bit of a tourist’s dream. At the bridge we spotted London Calling, a little homage to The Clash and the great Joe Strummer.

And the tower was home to the rather unusual Slip.

We then took the long ride to Sloane Square for the last of the Jubilee box before making our final stop of the day at The Royal Albert Hall, where the architecture is so beautiful it literally took my breath away. Check out Ring a Royal Phonebox, which features the royal family. I’ve purposely taken the picture focusing on my favourite prince.