Lumiere London @ King’s Cross

It was definitely that FOMO feeling which motivated me to visit the event Lumiere London 2018. I missed out on the same event in 2016 and this time, I didn’t want to be the one who was pitied by those, who made it to the spectacles, how foolish I was to skip such a fantastic do.

‘We are going to their King’s Cross venue after dark!’ I declared to Hubbie’s back while he attended a pile of emails on his iMac screen. ‘Are we?’ His response to my suggestion was rather ambivalent.

Hubbie always made it clear that he hated visiting crowded places. I, myself, was not excessively fond of overcrowded places, therefore, I understood his reluctance. However, we were living in a capital city with the population of 8.8 million and the possibility of finding any event which was not crowded would be pretty negligible. ‘Well, we will wrap up quickly if it is too crowded!’, I quipped.

We arrived at a forecourt of King’s Cross station around 7 o’clock. The square was already teeming with the people who appeared to be heading to the installations which were dotted around Granary Square…

At Battle Bridge Place, we found IFO (Identified Flying Object) by Jacques Rival…

Any well-publicised mega event, such as Lumiere London, was bound to attract large crowds, and as a result, the installation was swamped by the waves of onlookers with their cameras and smartphones. Like them, I also tried to capture the vibrant colours of the artwork but my iPhone 7 was not up for a job, the images came out all too light and flat.

On King’s Boulevard, we were greeted by a row of giant office desk lamps…

The work, Lampounette, was by TILT, a French artistic studio. The desk lamps towered over us and gave us the feeling of being a doll in Polly Pocket!

While I took some snaps of the installation, Bella was held by Hubbie…

‘I have a great vantage point!’

We decided not to walk her on leash at the event. It was because the streets were too crowded and also too dark. We thought she could be easily trampled and the lead could be tripped by the pedestrians who weren’t aware of her presence.

Then, we arrived at Granary Square where a large installation, Waterlight, by Daan Roosegaarde was displayed..

 

The mid space of the entire square was filled with LED lighting which floated above our heads.

The art piece was breathtakingly beautiful…

 

There was a fog generator at the southwest corner of the square and it was pumping out the mist so the LED could illuminate the travelling mist in the air. Oh how much I long to be alone with this blue dancing haze! The beauty was ethereal.

Then, we moved on towards West Handyside Canopy and found the work, Aether, by Architecture Social Club…

 

I was really not sure if the audience needed this deafening techno music with the installation. Instead of enhancing the experience, I thought the tune was distracting and it also made the piece rather cheap and cliche. Like night clubs in Ibiza? I would have like it more if it was a silent piece.

After having a glimpse of Entre Les Rangs and Bottle Festoon, Hubbie and I opted to head home. We thought that some opportunities, such as Lumiere London, were too irresistible to pass on and that was why we went there. However, the venue was simply too crowded and we were a bit fed up with dodging the people and slow-marching in the freezing wind.

‘I just feel numb on my toes!’, I pined.

At Vinoteca King’s Cross, we bought mulled wine. The spiced wine was hot and it warmed our chilled finger tips and stomachs…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Enough!

I wished if I could shout out loud when Hubbie phoned me to let me know that the office experienced yet another break-in. I should have known something was up when Hubbie jumped out of a bed and ran out of the front door like a flash.

Yes, those buggers burglars came back last Monday night. And the same as the last time, they scarpered empty-handed but smashed up the temporary glazing completely this time.

I truly and wholeheartedly want to believe in the goodness exists in my fellow human being. However, my faith in the others can’t help wavering when I am faced with an out-of-order behaviour like this.

So far the only thing I could do was putting our life back to normal and the first thing I did was giving Hubbie a big hug and then got on with a clean-up with a broom and a dust pan.

Later on, a landlord arrived with a team of builders to patch up the window frame with plywood sheets.

Let’s hope the police will catch the bandits…

Bella had no idea why there were so many pieces of glass scattered on the floor.

Now, the police has informed us that they are on the case full time. I hope their investigation will bear fruit because I just can’t take the fifth time!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

She has an issue…

My girl Bella’s arch-enemy is our vacuum cleaner, Dyson, and she becomes super aggressive every time I pull out the appliance for cleaning. As I hoover the rugs and the soft furnishings, her irritation rises in a crescendo and it reaches to its peak when I unplug the power plug from the socket…

 

I have no idea why she is so annoyed by the plug. The funny thing is, she seems to have sussed out that the plug is a kingpin of her arch-enemy and she has to attack it at every opportunity.

Bay-Bay, I wish if I could be a doggie mind reader…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Contingency plan

There was an incident in the park the other day which made me realise that I needed a contingency plan in case of losing Bella’s ball.

It was mid-afternoon and Bella and I just enter Regent’s Park through the gate near Chester Road. We saw a large Labradoodle and its owner playing with a tennis ball in the distance – a familiar sight, so I didn’t think much of it and let Bella off from the leash. As usual, Bella begged me to throw a ball for her and I obliged to her request.

However, the Labradoodle galloped towards us as soon as our ball landed and snatched it from the ground. Bella was only very happy to see another dog and started to dance around it like a butterfly around a luscious bloom. I sent a pleading look to the owner of the “ball-snatcher” and she came over to sort out the situation.

It didn’t work, unfortunately. The harder we tried, the more the dog resisted. While we tempted him with treats and his own ball, this naughty Labradoodle kept us at his paw length, gnawing on Bella’s ball like a chewing gum. I could see the neon orange ball gradually losing its shape through his teeth and saliva. Alas. ‘Never mind our ball. But you make sure that he won’t swallow it.’ I told the embarrassed girl and we walked away.

Then, we moved on to the rugby pitch and looked for a ball we lost a few days ago. Again, exactly like it happened in Hampstead Heath last Sunday, the ball disappeared like magic under the mud and the fallen leaves in the sports field. I combed the ground with the ball launcher and kicked up leaves but failed to find it.

Oh Bay-bay, what can we do?

Out of desperation, I throw the launcher for her…

She went for it but looked a bit confused. Where is my ball?’

Never mind that, Bella. So we continued to play with the launcher…

 

At first, Bella was happy to carry the stick because it was new. She was showing off her new trophy and trotting around with it.

But then, she realised that the launcher didn’t fly very far and it didn’t bounce either…

 

“No! I am not playing with this crap! Where is my BALL?’

Sorry, Bay-Bay, I shall bring a spare ball or a frisbee as our contingency plan next time…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Freaking cold @ Hampstead Heath

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

It was too damn cold! Despite donning several layers, a beanie and a pair of sheepskin fingerless gloves, I found the top of the windswept heath too cold to hang around.

Last Sunday, Hubbie, I and Bella decided to have a little post-lunch stroll in Hampstead Heath. The forecast was sunny but chilly. ‘I’m gonna take my camera!’, Hubbie packed his crossbody bag, and I armed myself with Bella’s treats, a tennis ball and a frisbee.

Lime Avenue was rather crowded…

Everyone seemed to have the same idea about a Sunday stroll and the heath was teeming with people and dogs. Our girl Bella was beside herself with happiness and excitement by meeting so many friendly four-legged and two-legged creatures!

Hubbie suggested us to walk towards east instead of continuing to follow Lime Avenue because he wanted to go to Parliament Hill Viewpoint.

Then, Hubbie stopped and started to take photos of the distant woods, so Bella and I decided to play with a ball.

I threw the ball with a launcher, and Bella gave a chase. However, the vegetation on the slope was really dense and the ball seemed to have been tucked away in the overgrowth. Oh no! It’s our second ball to be lost this week!! I cursed and looked around in vain but the ball was nowhere to be seen.

Ok, a back-up plan kicks in! I pulled out a frisbee and threw it for Bella…

 

Yippee! Bella was just so happy to be running around the heath with her beloved frisbee.

“Fatigue” is a word to be found only in the dictionary of humans, according to Bella…

Do it again, PLEASE.

What is the matter with you? Are you crying??

‘I don’t wanna cry but I can’t help it!’

The wind which was whipping us up was so cold and it made one of my eyes welled up with tears.

Eventually, Hubbie decided to move on to the viewpoint, so Bella and I picked up the frisbee and pressed on.

A view from the Parliament Hill Viewpoint was spectacular…

But the place was very exposed and too damn cold! A few people tried to fly kites but the wind was too unforgiving. The kites were slapped down to the ground by the beating gust as soon as they were in the sky.

‘Let’s go home!’ Apart from Bella, Hubbie and I were only too happy to head home. We desperately needed something warm in our system…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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