Top posts of 2016 – my favourite five

Greenwich Park cherry blossom avenue

It’s time to look back at 2016 and pick my best posts of the year. Not as easy as you might think – there’s plenty fighting for a place, and it’s tempting to choose ten or even more. But I’m going to stand firm at five, so you know the winners have really earned their place. Here they are, in date order. Continue reading

Litre of Light at Lumière London 2016

Litres of LightLumière London, a spectacular light show that’s lighting up London for just four days, from 14th to 17th January, has turned out to be a massive success, with overcrowding by Lumière crowds forcing the closure of King’s Cross Station last night.  Lumière is a display of light sculptures and projections all over town, including brilliantly lit goldfish over Piccadilly, giant snowdrops in Leicester Square, and Westminster Abbey as you’ve never seen it before with a multicoloured facade. But with all this to choose from, I’ve decided to bring you a small installation called Litre of Light. Here’s why. Continue reading

Kimonos rule at Japan Matsuri 2014

Japan Matsuri 2014Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square gets bigger and better every year. Especially this year, with the Indian summer we’ve been having, which really brought out the crowds. A surprising number of people dressed the part in kimonos – everything from cotton yukata, the traditional wear for a summer festival, to richly decorated antique kimonos. That’s what I’ve focused on this year, so here’s my kimono fashion parade from Japan Matsuri. Continue reading

Love is in the air – Tanabata on the South Bank

Tanabata decorations, South BankDown on the South Bank they’re having a festival of love that’s going on all through July and August, with free events, themed weekends, performances, poetry, talks, pop-ups, installations and artworks. Including, courtesy of the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Society, a celebration of Tanabata, the Japanese festival of love, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month, and a display of fukinagashi decorations. I’ve been down to the Festival Hall to take a look. Continue reading

Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square

Japan Matsuri

Japan Matsuri is London’s annual celebration of all things Japanese. Arguably Hyper Japan is bigger, but it’s more commercial and you have to pay to get in, while Japan Matsuri is free to all. This year it was held in Trafalgar Square for the second year running and attracted an eclectic mix from London-resident Japanese through die-hard Japan fans to passers-by attracted by the fun and not quite sure what it was all about. Continue reading

Goodbye Eton Manor – Paralympic memories

Eton ManorThe Paralympics are nearly over – just the closing ceremony tonight and the athlete’s parade tomorrow. Here’s a roundup up of impressions from the Olympic Park, especially from Eton Manor, home to the wheelchair tennis, where I worked as a Games Maker.

With 27 degrees of blazing sunshine, Centre Court was a tough assignment. Continue reading