London – The Francis Crick Institute, Noguchi at The Barbican and Pub Life…

The Mishmash Blog is back. I’ve decided to start blogging again because I missed writing and researching. Sorry, it has been so long. My advice is: Don’t stop blogging because once you stop, you may not start again. More about what I aim to blog about soon. So stay tuned.

After nearly two years we decided to venture to London for a day out. We caught a bus then the train so we could enjoy dinner with drinks later. Yes, including alcohol.

The Francis Crick Institute

David (hubby) was keen to see the impressive building as well as view the exhibition. Architecturally the place was developed to support the institute and promote public engagement. We arrived early and waited several minutes before the exhibition about Cancer research. We crossed the road and took some time to admire the magnificent edifice and I took copious photographs.

The vaulted roof is two shells hiding the heating systems but integrating the solar panels in such a spectacular way thus enabling an iconic structure which I found truly impressive. The laboratories are arranged over four floors with interconnected blocks that bring staff together from different fields and are adaptable as new scientific opportunities emerge.

The UK’s first cancer research exhibition is surprisingly fascinating and well, small. It’s an immersive exhibition inviting the public to see the latest research at the Crick. The films commissioned are innovative conversations between patients and experts who are driving the cancer research. The experts will answer questions and demonstrate how they are conducting the cancer research. Included is BBC journalist George Alagiah who tells about ‘mini-organs’ (organoids) and the aim to personalise cancer treatments.

The exhibition is very small but gives the public hope about the complexity of cancer and more understanding about the work being undertaken by the scientists at the Crick.

Lunchtime – The Diminishing Dramatic Cleaning of Tables

Afterwards, we decided to venture forth for a meal at the wonderful Dishoom at Kings Cross. We enjoyed wandering around the area but unfortunately were unable to secure a table. The lesson here is London is back to normal and busy so book a table. It is tricky though because you never know how long things will take, and when you are going to arrive at these places. We have been before and the fundamental premise is original and authentic Indian food (grills, slow cooked and aromatic biryanis, robust and spicy curries) to pass around, share and enjoy in an authentic Bombay Station type atmosphere. We will go next time we are in the Kings Cross area.

We ended up in a café at St Pancras Station with a roll and coffee. I couldn’t help noticing the Dramatic Cleaning of Tables seems to have diminished somewhat. You know, when the server stands and dramatically sprays the table… look at me cleaning the table, chairs, … Yes, well, let’s hope it starts up again. A young family member who often eats with us socially (and worked in hospitality) remarked recently, “They should be doing that anyway” whilst locking eyes with the poor server.

The Barbican Art Gallery – Isamu Noguchi

After leaving the café and its tables of crumbs and debris, we decided to go to the Barbican Art Gallery and see the Noguchi exhibition. After we got over the cost (so many places are free in London) we explored the artworks about the kaleidoscopic career of the Japanese American artist sculptor. It is organised along with interconnecting themes and concentrates on work with stone, ceramics, wood and aluminium showcasing the theatrical display integrating landscape, furniture and lighting. I found the simplistic notion of Noguchi’s ideas about cellular structures and the natural world unusual and innovative. He seems to create a soft flow of geometrical works which reflected the clever lighting in different ways as you meandered through the artworks.

Upon leaving the exhibition, the gentle meander mood was abruptly broken by the realisation that someone had inadvertently lost the cloakroom tickets. I toddled back into the exhibition hopefully asking attendants if they had picked up the orange cloakroom tickets but to no avail. I sculked back and embarrassingly admitted to the attendant, I had lost the tickets. Hubby, of course, remembered the number of our peg so we were given our stuff back (2 coats and a backpack). But it didn’t end there. Oh no. The manager was called to question hubby (they’d obviously decided I couldn’t be trusted by this point) and asked many, many questions about the contents of the backpack. Coats (2), drinks (2), purse and a book. “Can you tell me the author of the book?” I kid you not. And so, it went on, and on… Anyway, as they established our honest demeanour we were begrudgingly allowed to leave with coats AND backpack. Hooray. We scurried off quickly. I needed a beer.

The Old Bank of England Pub

The next stop was a pub for dinner. I was tired and hungry and eager for a beer and meal by now. Yes, you guessed it we arrived at the pub and all the tables had stupid reserve papers on “This is RESERVED FOR MARY EFFICIENCY”. Ridiculous nonsense for a pub. We did, however, find an outside table which because of the clement October weather turned out to be satisfactory.

The pub is situated in the old Law Court’s branch of the previous Bank of England which operated from 1888 to 1975. The interior is stunning and beautifully kept so well worth a visit. The garden has a Route master vintage double decker bus and is a sheltered and sociable hub for outdoor socialising.

Again, it was very busy so again, if you want to go out to eat, drink or scratch your bum in London, I strongly suggest you book. Hubby and I enjoyed a few beers, people watching (being nosy) and food. A fabulous day and we plan to go on more trips to London now. But next time we will be Mr and Mrs Efficiency and book flipping everything.

Back soon (I promise)

Andyx

Mentioned – Links:

Homepage | Crick

What’s on – Art & design | Barbican

Food & drink | Read Dishoom’s menus

https://www.oldbankofengland.com/

 

 

Margate, England

Feel compelled to write about my wonderful day out at Margate because it is such a fabulous place, these days. Visited yesterday, so decided to write this impromptu blog post about my adventures…

I started off with a visit to the Turner Contemporary and viewed an exhibition called Animals and Us. All about the examination of humans and animals and concentrating on modern and historical art works and installations. An unusual exhibition which displays our distance and closeness with animals using symbolism, cultural and experimental views.

Next stop was lunch at the Sands Hotels. I sat next to the large window with the most spectacular view of Margate beach. Had goats cheese mousse, beef and Etonian mess. Fantastic, not expensive and once again, I felt quite spoilt.

Then I wandered around the beach area, had a few soft drinks, enjoyed the views and realised, as I was relaxing, that I should frequent Margate more often. Going to the beach for a day is like having a mini holiday because it is so much fun and very relaxing.

Then I had a look around the Shell Grotto which was discovered during 1835. Nobody knows why it was built and who was responsible for this incredible tunnel full of shells. Ornate and quite a surreal structure. Apparently, the folks of Margate have argued about the grotto’s origins ever since it was discovered. Rather a perplexing matter. Maybe an ancient pagan temple or meeting place? Very odd.

Popped in a burger place then the, what must be, the world’s most quirkiest micro pub, Fez. Really fun place, full of quirky artefacts, vinyl music and a warm welcome. What a day!

Fez

Margate has a fantastic selection of micro pubs, cafes, galleries and of course, a wonderful beach. Can highly recommend. I left Margate walking along the promenade whilst viewing this amazing sunset!

Thanks for reading my blogs. Don’t forget to follow…

Source: http://shellgrotto.co.uk

Chilham, Bluebells and Whitstable

Chilham Castle in the distance…

 

We decided to venture out for a day in Chilham for a bluebell walk which was organised by the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry). Luckily, we were blessed with a warm, sunny day and arrived an hour early due to my husband’s keenness for punctuality! The village is small with a medieval square overlooked by the impressive and imposing Chilham Castle. We wandered around hoping to find a tea shop open for a quick cuppa, but nothing opened until ten o’clock. They maybe missing a business trick here. It didn’t matter, it is wonderful to stroll around and take photos including the Tudor houses and St. Mary’s Church.

Chilham

Everyone arrived and met at Shelly’s tea shop, which was also irritatingly shut, and we introduced ourselves and ventured forth towards King’s Wood. The landscape and woodland around Chilham is truly exquisite and the bluebells just seem to become more impressive as the walk continued.

The walking folks were very friendly and I discussed my interest in health and fitness with a lady called Kate who was into fitness and yoga, and a possible hope to do a charity 10k run in the Autumn. Everyone, was very encouraging, but I’m still considering the challenge because trust me, it will be a massive task for me.

Some scientific conversations did ensue and we heard an interesting story about how nerve gas doesn’t dissipate into the atmosphere and could be doing the rounds on our currency! Then we were told a tale about when currency is scientifically examined, all sorts of drug traces are found…

The walk was fun and it is always interesting to chat to new people and hear their take on life. The views are incredible around Chilham and I’m sure the castle is well worth a visit too.

Whitstable…

 

After we had our lunch, we drove to Whitstable and after eventually parking the car, we wandered along the sea front. My goodness, it was busy. Apparently, this is where London people go to at the weekend. In other words, it has become the trendy place to visit. It shows too. All the old huts and houses have been painted and refurbished and of course, the property prices have, no doubt, shot up.

To be fair, it is a great place to visit with the selection of arty galleries, shops, (micro) pubs, restaurants, etc. We have decided to come back on a week day to explore properly and hopefully it won’t be quite so busy.

All in all a fabulous day out and I can’t wait to go back to Chilham and Whitstable.

Oyster stall..