A freaky weekend at Southbank, suitable for everyone!

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A freaky weekend at Southbank, suitable for everyone!

The weekend just gone we decided to go on a spontaneous visit to the Southbank, starting somewhere between Waterloo and Southwark Bridge.

It was my sons 12th birthday and when he asked “what are doing today for my birthday mummy?”  Me answering “going for a walk along the River Thames” was met with a swift “urgh, booooring” and disgruntled looks and a most definite dragging of feet.

Little did he know!

We arrived, the surrounding area giving away no clue as to the delights and excitement nearby but it didn’t take long upon reaching the pedestrianized area along the river to be met with a bevvy of food stalls, street performers and various other things to see, it was a positive feast of entertainment.

What I liked was that there was a complete eclectic mix of food sellers most set up in what seemed to be temporary looking but permanent personalized motorized vans, cars and caravans.  There was even a Lobster Shack set up in a VW Camper Van, the chaps selling all dressed up in their black and whites which set off nicely against the red and white newly painted foody vehicle.

We happened to try the Burrito Stall and oh my, I have to say it was the best I have tasted, my mouth dribbles now just thinking about it.  My children sat and watched the BMX cool guys whizzing up and down the graffiti worked concrete as kids in the background played in a huge sand pit as the boats whizzed past on the river.

There was a veritable feast for the eyes at every step, there were very good street performers, persuading us to part with our pounds and notes at every opportunity but I have to say the standards were high.

There were the water garden which yes got my children wet, shock horror, well one child, the youngest who cannot seem to stay away from water, but all great fun and luckily at the end of the day.

My piece de resistance was going to the ‘Freak Show’.  All of us as a family went in, we were assured it would be suitable for all and I have to say that ‘everyone’ really did have an amazing time.  It was 20mins long, cost £6 per ticket but filled us with “oooohs” and “aaahs” in utter shock and exilaration that we all came out smiling.

The chap who seemed to run the show is called “The Lizard Man” he has nearly his whole body covered in tattoos mimicking I presume lizard skin.  He has body modifications above his eyebrows in the form of a trio of lumps apparently surgically connected to his skull.  He has his teeth filed to points and has a forked tongue of which he does amazingly odd things with.

He in fact outside to wow the passer bys stuck a fork up his nose until it nearly disappeared.  Inside, well he stuck other things in his nose that then came out of his mouth.

There was the lovely flame thrower or eater, I am not sure which but she moved like a ballerina and toyed with the flames marvellously.

Finishing off was the sword swallower with a difference.  He not only swallowed the sword but then embarked on a back flip which if you can imagine how close the sword inside is to things like lungs, our heart not to mention oesophagus it was ‘pretty’ dangerous to say the least.

Warning not for the faint hearted

I do have a couple of videos which I shall be uploading to my Eclectic Odds n Sods you tube account.

But for now, I hope you enjoy the photographs, I must say there are a few fuzzy ones with the Freak Show mainly as I was right at the front a little taken aback and hence concentrating without wiggling my camera was proving to be difficult but perhaps in this situation visually less information is better 🙂

I would thoroughly recommend for families, singles, couples to head down to Southbank for a weekend that is empty and enjoy all that is there.  Take plenty of spare change for the street performers and have an empty tummy to sample the delights, it only takes around 30 mins from East Sheen to get there.

You can find out a little more of what is going on at Southbank by visiting the centres website: Southbank Centre

If you wish to see the complete set of photos from my adventure please click on my Pinterest gallery below, meanwhile thank you for viewing, Justine xx

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Orchids at Kew – last call….

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What a stunning array of orchids, the display ends this weekend, don’t miss the chance to see such beauty.

The Teddington Gardener


The Orchid Festival at Kew ends this Sunday – 9th March – and if you can get there, it comes highly recommended. And it is at least 21 degrees centigrade in there, with a tropical soundtrack to boot. Gorgeous.


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A little slice of Petersham – and a little announcement

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Petersham Nurseries as photographed by the ~Teddington Gardener who will now be using his green fingers to help out there too!

The Teddington Gardener



Antique urn with Hellebore Pirouette, Muehlenbeckia and moss..



A new delivery of some very old things! The delicious red-flowering standard camellia is very Alice in Wonderland



The cutting border – the bulbs are coming through and I can’t wait to see what buried treasure we have here. The border will develop through the year providing cut flowers – and inspiration – for everyone at the nursery. I wonder if we can extend the season to give us something interesting in the deeper, darker months?


and a colourful spot in the sunshine for a break…

These uniquely creative and beautiful nurseries have an international reputation, with excellent horticultural credentials. I’ve loved spending time there – and photographing its eccentricities and theatricality – and now I am joining the exceptional team that conjures the Petersham magic.

My private work will continue, with greater flexibility and focus, side by side with my new…

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