At lunchtime on Monday I cycled down to Russell Square to help remove some mesh protecting plants from birds. I was going to leave work at 12 but answered some replies to my Top 100 posts instead, so had to rush to the square. We got the job done so quickly, we spent time litter picking. Stalwarts Beth, Liz and Abi were there, as well as David G who I didn’t recognise (he’s working temporarily at Somerset House). I reported my missing security pass. I had to leave my bike at work again in the evening – but moved it ,to avoid them thinking it was abandoned - because we went to Winter Lights, a free outdoor show a Canary Wharf consisting of 26 installations.
Some were repeated from last year and others were mundane, but the best ones were really good. I was well wrapped up on top and wore a long skirt and high-denier tights but I was still a bit cold being outside for two and a half hours, so full marks to the girls watching the light show wearing short skirts and thin tights, looking sexier than ever in the low temperature. I was glad we got in Pret a few minutes before it shut, to warm up. Jack was happy following a printed map of the installations, working out the best route and ticking each one off with a pen as we saw it.
There were seven good ones. ‘Bit.Fall’ featuring topical words somehow cascading down in water from The Guardian, The Times and BBC news feeds, is there permanently, as I realised when I did a run in that area. The Cubitt Steps red water-wheel of light got better the nearer you got, creating shimmery reflections in the water. ‘Sky On Earth’ created clouds by gushing foam out of chimneys. ‘Desire’ was a hypnotic collection of 1500 red lights. ‘Constellations’ was the best, a show lasting several minutes featuring 3D visuals somehow projected in our direction onto a giant water screen above the water, giving the impression we were in space being drawn towards strange objects and a black hole. The Neon Tree had different coloured ribbons of light tubing encasing the branches. The ‘Sasha Trees’, our climax this and last year, in different locations featured a whole square of trees of numerous colours on each, constantly changing. ‘Squiggle’ was quite good, tubes of light in a park with ever changing colours, sometimes in pulses like fibre-optic signals. ‘Absorbed By Light’ consisted of statues of three people sitting looking at their phones.The ‘Bra Tree’ was the most pointless.