London Day Two: Apocalyptica Concert

Hello visitors! This post is doubling as Wordless Wednesday this week…

After the exertions of the previous day, a little lie-in was in order as well as a general catch up with my friend and time to get organised for the night’s entertainment. Apocalyptica are a Finnish band made up of 3 cellists and a drummer (they very often have an extra cellist when performing live actually) who first became famous playing covers of Metallica songs. It sounds unconventional because it is! But their fan base tells all, from metal to classical, they are amazingly talented performers.

It was a lovely cold day(!) to be queueing outside the Astoria in Charing Cross Road in order to get a good position inside the venue for photography amongst other things. This we managed in the balcony area to the left of the stage. It was a great night, started with 2 guest bands, Stone Gods, who I think were English, and ok, then Lacrimas Profundere who I believe are German who were also quite entertaining, I like some of their songs so will try to hear some more of their work.

Apo came on just before 9pm I think, and were amazing, they have a lot of energy when they perform together, and the stage was set out really well for viewing (unlike some!), with great lighting for photography (also got some great video) too. With their encore, they finished just before curfew at 11pm and a great time was had by all. I cannot recommend this band enough if you have the chance to see them, this was my second time.

Here’s some of my shots from the evening:

London Day One: Millais Exhibition

I’d barely made it into town from the airport when it was time to stagger to the Tate Gallery (or Tate Britain if you prefer) for the John Everett Millais exhibition, which has been running since September.

Regular readers will know that I adore the Pre-Raphaelite artists and Millais is one of my favourites. The exhibition is gorgeous, much more than I thought it would be, many more rooms anyway. The works were split into different parts and you were able to wander in between. There were also some artifacts, such as the artist’s easel and brushes, chair etc. which were also quite interesting to see.

I saw my favourite painting ‘Ophelia’ and also looked out for ‘The Black Brunswicker’ and ‘Mrs Perugini’ as the latter are both modelled by Kate Dickens, later Collins and Perugini, daughter of Charles Dickens.

There were many drawings, which were beautifully done, but not my favourite things to see, I love the light, colour and life in Millais’ paintings which I can’t really see in these.

I’d forgotten that it was Millais who painted that famous image of the ‘Princes in the Tower’, and ‘Bubbles’ who is so well known from advertising these days (Pears). It was amazing to see that some family members had preserved the shoes and bonnet worn by one of the child sitters, and they are still in family hands today.

All in all, it is a wonderful exhibition and I recommend that you go and see it if you can. Even if you can’t Millais’ paintings live all over the world, and I’m sure there’s probably one near you that you can visit at a museum or art gallery. That’s the thing really, I fell in love with ‘Esther’ and soon she’ll leave the country of her birth to return home again, that’s one thing that makes me slightly sad about exhibitions…

Robin, In Memoriam

Hello lovely people, I am now back but very tired after my trip.  Updates will follow as soon as I’ve time to do them.

Unfortunately my baby Robin the rat died suddenly on Monday afternoon while I was away.  He wasn’t yet 2 years old and a big old sloth, so I shall miss him terribly.

Anyone who hasn’t seen him, can see a picture here.

Back soon.

I’m Bogging Off Now!

Well, tomorrow anyway. I shall be away in London to attend the Millais exhibition and then HIM and Apocalyptica gigs. I shall also try to cram in lots of other nice things including shopping of course.

When I come back I shall be working the Follow the Star weekend at Castle Fraser, so you may not hear from me for a while, but I shall try to take lots of photographs and give a detailed update.

See you soon!

Blog Catch-Up

As I have been waiting for my blog to transfer over to its’ new host (seems to be working so far, yay!) a few new things have accumulated, which I’ve held onto in case of blog collapse!

Since the end of the week I have got most of my Christmas shopping done, and there are 2 little boys who seem very happy with their birthday presents.

I picked up my Mum’s present from the antique shop on Friday.  She chose it, so I can talk about it here without spoiling (she’s also a computer-phobe anyway) the surprise.  She chose a cut glass basket in a beautiful red colour, so now she’s sorted with her few extra bits and pieces that I’ve already got.  Nephews and parents are also sorted, yet not all are totally wrapped.

I also have to get stuff ready as I’ll be in London next week, so more gifts to pass on.  In the meantime, I managed to get 2 more things for my collection, though one is an early Christmas present to me.  The first I’ve been admiring for ages, and is a blue glass dish made of 2 hands and is Victorian, I think dating from about 1879, and my unexpected gift is a little silver plated jewellery box with ‘Jewels’ picked out on the top which I’ve also admired but had never been for sale as it was going to be repaired and cleaned.  As the owner knew I liked it so much, she gave it to me.  Happy days!

This afternoon we attended the first of the carol concerts taking place at Castle Fraser.  It was lovely in the Great Hall with all the decorations and the huge tree.  The choir were really good, and we all chimed in a time or to ourselves.  To follow, mulled wine and mince pies!

Below is a little taster of my new objects.  I hasten to add that my purchases are never big in price.  I have got most of them for small amounts over time, or saved for them.