Tapas, Flying Carpets and Magical Lights.

It would seem that every part of London is currently lit up. The early nights (dark by 5...) and the gloom of January, seems to have made the powers that be decide that everyone needs some serious wattage to cheer up. 

As the rest of the family were up in the West End seeing Aladdin, after a rip-roaring set of tapas at Barrafina in Soho (do go... get there by 5 as the queues are endless, but it's worth it!), I tubed it down to Canary Wharf to catch the last night of the Winter Lights, which ended Saturday.

Obviously, it being the last evening, and pretty mild weather, it was packed, but I managed to sneak around and get some shots of the various installations and - more importantly for me - the people of London out enjoying them.

From a photography point of view, my main highlight was a piece called 'Urban Patterns' which was basically UV lit up lines strung up between trees. Everybody playing with them got some really cool shots.

Despite being familiar with Canary Wharf by having worked there at points, and living nearby in Leytonstone for years, I hadn't been back for a while and what was new was a spanking new Cross Rail station - or 'Cross Rail Place' which has got a brilliant tunnel/bridge spanning the waterways lit up in different colours. There was loads going on there, but I was really surprised to see the building had a rooftop garden with bars and restaurants overlooking Billingsgate Market. Well, you can't have everything.

One of the installations in the roof garden included a lit up fan affair called Helios, which was reasonable impressive until some playing children managed to break it. Cue much British huffing and puffing ("I blame the parents..." etc).

Following that snaffu, I made my way down to my last port of call. A series of lit up triangles suspended on poles in Montgomery Square that moved up and down to ominous music which reminded me somewhat of the Massive Attack piece in the V&A garden a few years back. 

So, a whizz back through the jolly throngs of London - including one poor drunk chap on the tube with mysteriously disappearing trousers - to Old Compton Street, where the rest of the family had enjoyed their theatre evening enormously.

When I think about it though, we'd all got some magic carpet ride action in different ways.


Tech Corner:
The full squad got involved as usual but with a little more action for Mr. Sony 55 f1.8