a quirky look at London Life

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Unique, fun and quirky Lisbon – street elevator, thief’s market, hate tourism tours, and more

See on Scoop.itBeyond London Life

Useful info for those of us who enjoy the funkier side of life!

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Chelsea Fringe — a festival of flowers, gardens and gardening across London

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a festival of flowers, gardens and gardening across London

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

from now until 9 June

just downloaded the free app

sounding good!


click here for this week’s events!


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Sensational Butterflies | Natural History Museum

See on Scoop.itLondon Life

From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Museum’s front lawn is alive with the return of our popular outdoor, Sensational Butterflies. Now open until 15 September 2013.

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

It would be wonderful to see a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis !


You can immerse yourself in butterflies from all over the world .


Flutter on!

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Old Westminster – 1,000 Years of History | Walk4Life

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*This is the great seminal London Walk. Old Westminster is London at its grandest: the place where kings and queens are crowned, lived, and often buried. It’s the forge of the national destiny, the Mecca of politicians throughout the ages. The past here is cast in stone and we take it all in: ancient Westminster Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the Jewel Tower, Westminster Abbey and Cabinet War Rooms. And to see it with a great guide is to have that past suddenly rise to the surface. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

For detilas about this afternoon walk and other London walks on offer today , go to


They are free of charge and led by enthusiastic, knowledgeable guides.

A perfect choice  for this sunshiny day!

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Music for the evening :John Butler Trio – Ocean (Live at Federation Square)

See on Scoop.itMusic for a London Life

ty B 🙂 


this guy is phenominal!!

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All The Queen’s Ravens – “Aura Negra”.

See on Scoop.itMusic for a London Life

“Introducing All The Queens Ravens an enigmatic six piece at large on the London folk scene. Their music is a flamboyant bi-lingual mix of nu folk and country that alludes to blues gospel and sultry flamenco. Fronted by two ladies with a devilish vocal chemistry and style that marries with a plethora of driving strings. All The Queens Ravens feverishly combine influences diverse as Pentangle, Fairport, The Byrds, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zepplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, PJ Harvey, Estrella Morente, Kate Bush, Nick Cave, Ennio Morricone, Slayer, Punch Brothers to name but a few….”

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Saturday Art Choice: John William Waterhouse (English Pre-Raphaelite painter) 1849 – 1917 Head of a Young Girl, ca. 1880

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John William Waterhouse (English Pre-Raphaelite painter) 1849 – 1917 Head of a Young Girl, ca. 1880 pencil on paper 16.5 x 15.5 cm. s.l. 
“His models provide a theme of interest in themselves… the paintings show how as the years went by he continually sought his ideal vision of womanhood, rather than some character type adapted to each new subject. The remarkable thing is that he found her and remained faithful to her in his art, reflecting the distant ideal of Medieval Courtly love in the warmed mirrors of Italian passion and Greek sensuality.
John William Waterhouse is one of the few artists to combine influences from the two main currents in late nineteenth century British art: one derived from Pre-Raphaelitism, the other from French painting. He was a painter of poetical subjects drawn from Keats, Tennyson, Shakespeare and classical mythology. Although his subject matter and romantic approach owe much to Pre-Raphaelitism, his bold painterly technique derives from French artists such as Bastien-Lepage. Indeed all his friendships were made among the French-influenced artists of the Newlyn School, rather than the circles around Burne-Jones. 
John William Waterhouse’s parents were both minor artists. He was born in Rome, although his family returned to London while he was still a child. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1870 and began to exhibit at the Society of British Artists in 1872, and the Royal Academy in 1874, making his debut as a painter of eastern and classical genre scenes and large reconstructions of incidents from ancient history. The culmination of this phase of his art was Mariamne, Wife of King Herod the Great, Going Forth to be Executed (exhibited Royal Academy 1887; Forbes Collection, London & New York). The following year he initiated his poetic phase with The Lady of Shalott, which was bought by Sir Henry Tate, and is today one of the most popular paintings in the Tate Gallery. Despite his preferred subject matter after this date, Waterhouse showed primarily at the Royal Academy, although he also exhibited a few works at the more `aesthetic’ venues of the Grosvenor and New Galleries. He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1885 and Royal Academician in 1895. Anthony Hobson’s The Art and Life of J. W. Waterhouse RA, 1849-1917 appeared in 1980 (Christie’s and Studio Vista, London).” 


Christa Zaat

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

for many more wonderful works of art, carefully selected and annotated by Christa Zaat, visit :


An afternoon walk around Old Kensington – London’s Royal Village

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Date:25th May 2013


Start Time:14:00







What kind of walk is it?


Duration:  2 hours

Length of Walk:  Less than 5 miles

Cost:  Free of charge

Booking advice:  No booking required


Walk Description:


Royal Kensington is London at its best – picturesque, stimulating, and full of character: from warmly handsome old Kensington Palace to Kensington Gardens, from cobbled lanes and mews to millionaires’ row and beautifully kept squares – and a clutch of the world’s greatest museums. Let alone: the largest roof garden in Europe; the secluded town house of the greatest Londoner of the 20th-century; an American president’s flat; the most astonishing small literary house in the world; a secret trap-door. (Please meet at High Street Kensington tube station by the M&S sandwich shop, in the rotunda just beyond the ticket barrier.

Ursula O’Reilly Traynor‘s insight:

One of many free walks happening this weekend. Take your pick!

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A Message From The Thames: a creative collaboration with a river


Exploring The Invisible

One of my works at “Exploring The Invisible”, Trinity Buoy Wharf. A photographic process that uses the microorganisms naturally present in natural water courses to make living images. To make these, I took water taken from the Thames, and used this  to infuse a paper canvas. Next,  I  differentially exposed the medium to light, using a negative image, so that the normally invisible photosynthetic microbes naturally present in the water, would grow in the illuminated areas to form a poem,  written in a living green ink which has arisen from the river water itself. Nature is capricious though, and the Thames seems to have censored the intended message, and created its own interpretation. Here are the words of the original poem: Grey Thames at flood in balance swung, Grey gulls scared mewing overhead, The chill grey wind a requiem said, And over all the grey sky hung. Mortlake Bridge, Fred S Thacker, 1920

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Motopony – “Wait for Me”

See on Scoop.itMusic for a London Life Motopony performs “Wait for Me” live in Studio A. Recorded 9/19/11.”

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