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Christmas at Kew Illuminations

This year we've had a fairly quiet Christmas. Mainly because that's the way we like it but also as both OH and myself have come down with a Christmas virus so we're not at our best. However before the Christmas break we'd been organised and booked tickets for Kew's Christmas Illuminations before they sold out. Of course the day we booked was also the day that the tail end of storm Frank came to London. It could have been a lot worse and only tipped it down towards the end of the walk so we were lucky! Anyway wrapped up in warm clothes, armed with waterproofs, umbrellas and a torch (in case of emergency) we set off into the dark for a magical and surreal walk around Kew Gardens with OH's sister and brother in law to keep us company. 

The idea is that you follow a circular trail and enjoy Kew light up. You start by walking past one of the giant Palm Houses which is a blaze with psychedlic colours
 Next up was a wondrous parade of signing trees. Sadly my pictures can't convey the magical Christmas songs sung by a choir which bounced around the landscape while the colours rippled through the paths. Even OH liked it and made a little movie.
 Next up was a forest of trees which bobbed about in the dark. They reminded me of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty for some reason which was odd

 The hill side was then a blaze with all of these oil burning candles - the smell was quite incredible. At this point the rain was starting to pelt down so I was battling with an umbrella whilst taking photos which is far from ideal. I have therefore managed to miss out the sun and the moon which were at the top of the sculptures. Further up there was a phoenix which was twisting around in the wind. Bizarrely lots of people were asking what the bird was which was odd given it was gold with a long tail surrounded by fire...
 
 There were lots of these lights throughout the walk which were like little flurries of snow
 Further down the walk things started to get a bit interactive. Above is a tree which changed colour by kids playing with a machine at the base of the tree. The lights whizzed up and down the tree like a scalextric which was great but was only as good as the kid in control of the console so was a bit hit and miss!
 One the best interactive section were these baubles that you walked through and they changed light.


 Of course Christmas was prevalent throughout the whole show and so here was Santa just before we went down to the vintage fairground,
 complete with a steam driven carousel which we took a ride on. Normally carousel are fairly sedate but this one was great and it was fairly fast (for a merry-go-round!)
After the merry-go-round we tip toed  through a magical garden complete with peacocks.
 It reminded me of the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland but it reminded OH's sister of the poppies in Wizard of Oz



 The rain really started to fall towards the end of the walk.
 But we still managed to enjoy the finale which was a the palm house and fountains illuminated and accompanied by music.


 Despite the rain this was a fantastic trip which left all of us smiling ear to ear. It was a shame about the rain but we were lucky and it was only really bad towards the end of the walk. And given the amount of rainfall the North is currently experiencing we can't really complain! All in all a great end to the year - roll on 2016....

Crafty Fox Market at the Geffrye Museum

So the past couple of weeks has been busy with Crafty Fox Markets though I've failed to post about Brixton and Peckham. The last fair of the year was in a new location, the Geffrye Museum and it was a night market which was handy as I could pop over after work. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.