September 2013

Ideas and Activities

Giant Snails

My niece is currently working in Sydney, and has come across a number of giant neon molluscs who have appeared in the city in recent days.  These vibrant snails are part of the Art and About Festival in Sydney and will be around for the next month.  Made of recycled plastic the snails are designed to encourage people to consider more sustainable environments. As art projects go, I can’t help thinking these snails lack some of the endearing nature and public appeal of many of the other art projects included... Read More

Ideas and Activities

Trains and Ducks

Mapsareus is not the only one to enjoy steam trains around here!  When we were down in Sussex recently we had a great afternoon on the Kent & East Sussex Railway running between Tenterden and Bodiam chugging through the enigmatic Rother Valley and past Bodiam Castle.  At one point during the journey our train was ‘buzzed’ by what I think was a restored Spitfire plane! Although most of the afternoon was cloudy and overcast we had a good time spotting the various engines in steam that day. We later finished... Read More


Guten Tag, Bonjour, Buen Día, Buongiorno!

I am conscious that once again I am about to travel to another country, this time Germany, with little or no knowledge of the local language beyond ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ and ‘Do you speak English?’ What is it about the British that arrogantly assumes that we can always speak to others and be understood by them in our own language, and expect them to respond to us in English as well?  It amazes me as I have travelled around Europe (to date I have only left Europe briefly, and... Read More

Ideas and Activities

Cool Globes

“Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, is a public art exhibition designed to raise awareness of solutions to climate change” The Cool Globes exhibition has been touring has been touring America since 2007 with occasional forays into Europe and more recently Jerusalem.  These beautiful examples of street art come with a message though, encouraging viewers to consider ways of reducing the human impact on our globe, and thus reduce global warming. Related articles Boston’s ‘Cool Globes’ exhibit promotes environmental awareness (

Ideas and Activities

Giant’s Causeway

The impressive Giant’s Causeway has been on my ‘bucket list’ of places I want to visit for some time now.  Set on the coast of County Antrim, legend has it that the causeway was built by a local giant, Finn MacCool  as he tried to reach Scottish giant, Benandonner, who had challenged him to a fight!  I know that science has shown that the interlocking basalt columns are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, but I think I prefer the legend! In 2012 the area gained a near ‘invisible’... Read More