Monday 21 June 2010

Charley Harper Exhibition in Brighton

Nothing makes my heart sing more than the news that there will be a Charley Harper exhibition, in Brighton, I can't wait!

It's at one of my favourite shops on the seafront Castor + Pollux where there have previously been Angie Lewin and Rob Ryan exhibitions - my 3 favourite artists.

Friday 4 June 2010

Kew Gardens

One of the highlights of my oldest being at school is that during the school holidays there are days when the youngest is at nursery it's just her and me. So we can do big grown up things together, yesterday we went to Kew Gardens for the day.

I've never been to Kew before, it's absolutely beautiful, so huge, well maintained, full of different things to explore. In the palmhouse (shown above) you can go up a windy staircase and walk around the top to get an amazing view of the plants.

Another highlight was the Treetop walkway (not to be confused with Treehouse towers which is a play area). I didn't think I had a problem with heights but on climbing up the stairs (we chose to visit on a day the lift was out of order!) and reaching the top, it was really high giving an incredible view of the treetops.

You can just see the opposite side of the walkway in this photo.

The structure was really cool with these big rusty columns holding up the walkway, very Jurassic Park.

Another highlight for me (but definitely not in any way for my 5 year year old) was the Prince of Wales Conservatory. Certain rooms were full of the most amazing butterflies, some of them huge. Which to the horror of my daughter had a habit of slowly flapping towards your face and looking dangerously like landing on your head. Ok, I had to admit is was a bit freaky, but the beauty of them just outweighed this.

It was a series of interconnecting rooms with different climates and plants in, some with butterflies, some without. We got hopelessly lost trying to find our way out once it had been decided that the whole experience was not going well. At one point (at the same time I realised it!) my daughter said 'we are going round in circles!'. Hilarious, we found our way out eventually, but at every interconnecting door we had a tense discussion over whether or not we were going to enter a 'butterfly room'.

But then we were out, in the first and last room, full of soaring butterflies, exit in site, striding towards it and this huge black butterfly swoops straight towards my daughter's nose. I think it just knew! Anyway, it made me glad I had decided against a trip to a butterfly farm earlier in the week.

I was surprised how much fun Kew was for a child, it helped that we had the most amazing weather. I would definitely come back with or without a child, it would be a lovely grown up day out.