The Rain Room – A place where you don’t get wet ??

Saturday 1434 – 2nd February 2013

Last week I wrote about the 12.12.12 Underground Orchestra Challenge.    If you missed it you can read it here

I’ve been travelling today so I thought I’d cheat a bit and share some photos from the other thing that I did last Saturday when I was in Londonium. I visited The Rain Room Installation at the Barbican and it was every bit as good as I thought it would be or possibly even better.  There is a huge 2-3 hour queue because they only let 10-12 people in at a time  but I didn’t join it. I used my feminine wiles ( what do you mean at my age !! ) and my camera to gain entry….. well I do have an ankle problem too and standing around ain’t good for me so I don’t feel too bad about the queue jump!  Here’s a bit of spiel from the Barbican website –

“Known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art, Random International’’s experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction. Their largest and most ambitious installation yet, Rain Room is a 100 square metre field of falling water for visitors to walk through and experience how it might feel to control the rain. On entering The Curve the visitor hears the sound of water and feels moisture in the air before discovering the thousands of falling droplets that
respond to their presence and movement.”

Can you imagine the powerful noise of pouring rain getting louder and louder as you approach the Rain Room?


Can you imagine the dampness in the air as you stand in the middle of what looks like rain pouring down around you?


Can you imagine the powerful feeling of stopping the water from falling as you walk into it?

That’s exactly what these women are doing.


 This women’s expression below, a cross between joy and awe, sums this feeling up.


Can you imagine trying to capture the scene as you stand there, expecting to get wet but staying dry, everyone was trying to do just that. But sometimes it’s hard to capture an experience except in your memory..


When you leave the room you certainly feel as though you have experienced a little bit of magic…


How many of us haven’t wished we could stop the rain when it’s making us soaking wet?  Well in the Rain Room you can do just that.. 😀

Saturday Girl signing off now. Have a joyful week  but I hope not too much rain falls on you.. unless you need it where you are, of course 😉

If you’d like to read more about the Rain Room you can do so here


You can find my photography blog Photomania here and I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already



The Underground Orchestra Challenge

Saturday 1435 – 26th January 2013

The Undergound Orchestra

Last week I wrote about what makes me happy in my post called Happiness Is – at the end of that post I told you about 12.12.12 Underground Orchestra Challenge.   A reminder of what I wrote  “On 1st January 2012, Shaun Buswell started a musical challenge to create an orchestra made up of musicians he met as strangers whilst travelling on the London Underground. Clearly he was absolutely as mad as a box of frogs but he’s doing it to raise money for charity. The charity Daytrippers who help “children with disabilities, life limiting or terminal illnesses enjoy amazing experiences that might otherwise not be available to them”   Click on the names to read more about the challenge.

Well it HAPPENED today and I was there to witness it. Shaun alias Contrabuffoon ( his words in the programme!) pretty much gave up a year of his life to do this. Why did he do it…. because he could and did!

The evening started with a documentary of Shaun’s efforts to meet musicians on the underground and persuade them to come on board; to give up their spare time for this. The video was full of pathos and hilarity; a potent mix, as Shaun struggled _636to keep going at times ( it was only finally confirmed a week or so ago. Phew! )  but weathered the storm in his ever bushier-growing beard.

There followed an introduction of each member of the orchestra and where on the underground he’d met them, no mean feat in itself!_642 

He even managed a set of twins; each met separately on the underground but 3 months apart!

The orchestra,very ably conducted by the lovely Ellie Ververk played 3 pieces, by Grieg, Holst and Dvorak respectively, which I found hugely emotional. 4 people who were ticket holders for the event brought instruments and joined in and one of the members of the orchestra only met Shaun the day before.. Amazing and the whole orchestra was brilliant.


There was a brilliant medley of music from films that feature the London Underground… admittedly some rather tenuously but I loved it and so did the rest of the audience, if the clapping and “whooping” were anything to go by !


Shaun performed with members of his band Buswell and the orchestra. The extraordinary part of this is that Shaun wrote the parts for different instruments which is pretty good considering he can’t actually read music!  _635

_634You can see from Shaun’s face in the little photo left how pleased he was when a line of musicians stood up from their balcony seats and played a little piece in the middle of one of his songs, again arranged at the last minute.

He has a sort of warm contented look on his face

It was a great moment.


My favourite songs of Buswell’s were It’s You, , It will Pass, For the Family and The Road.. all beautiful . You can read more about Buswell the band here  and listen to some of the music here

You can see the concentration and passion for the music when Shaun performs.. 2 things that served him well on this challenge… and he jumps around a lot, hence the blurring in the first one 🙂  




You got a sense that everyone in the audience felt a part of the challenge and were rejoicing in the completion of it which added enormously to the enjoyment of the whole event. I had never met Shaun before this event but I felt as though I did because of being following the challenge since the beginning. He started his orchestra challenge a few days after I started my 366 photography blog which seems really easy now in comparison with what Shaun has achieved.


So what was the point ? What has it proved? 

That if you set yourself a challenge as long as you are committed enough to it, are prepared to work through the problems and never give-up, you can achieve almost anything. Self-belief can carry a person a very long way, that and a charming and very persuasive manner!!   Connections between human beings that develop trust and friendship, as seems evident in this challenge, can be so life-enhancing for everyone concerned can’t they?

So hearty congratulations to Shaun Buswell ( not so much a contrabuffoon after all, eh Shaun!), to the musicians, to the workers from the charity Daytrippers ( personal thanks to the lovely Leila) and all the others who made it possible for Shaun to make this dream come true. 

It was a Triumph and he’s undertaken challenges before this one.  I wonder what he’ll be up to next ??

If you weren’t able to be there you can still help. Take a look at the page on the link below which “features amazing goodies and an exclusive reward in return for pledges, ensuring as much money as possible is raised for the charity”

There is also going to be an auction for some lovely things, like a Spa day for two and Lush goodies, I don’t have details of that yet but will put them in a future posting when I do have them.

You can also read about the charity, and donate directly to them if you are inspired by what they do by visiting them here

This year will be the 10th Anniversary of the founding of Daytrippers and they said this on the 12.12.12 website “Daytrippers were inspired by this huge undertaking as the disabled children and their families that we work with also face many of their own challenges daily. We loved the similarity and wanted to celebrate it.”Leila Talmage, Daytrippers Children’s Charity

The message of never, never give up seems a good place to leave this Saturday’s post.  I like writing about happy things. Must do more of it!

Saturday Girl signing off now. Have a joyful week and be inspired to challenge yourself.


You can find my photography blog Photomania here and I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already