Vic Reeves' Wonderland

We braved the weather last night to see Wonderland in Museum Gardens. Although it was bitterly cold, it wasn't raining, so P and I set off with Isabella and Ava, all swathed in our winter woollies for a jolly evening with an illuminated Alice, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Queen of Hearts et al. How wrong can you be? Maybe I just didn't read the publicity well enough but this was Vic Reeves' Wonderland, with added input from Blackpool Illuminations, absolutely nothing to do with the Lewis Carroll version! 
The man himself projected on the Yorkshire Museum
Unabashed we dived in, the lights looked lovely and there were sounds too. The ruins of St Mary's Abbey had a running show of dancers who were strutting their stuff in a tent, then somehow projected individually onto the abbey walls.
Attendee dancers projected onto abbey walls
More dancers beneath the changing lightshow
Then there were pedal-powered glowing butterflies dotted around under trees, so the older kids could have a go...

...and a fabulously spreading old tree showering white light from its branches.
Philip and Ava walk under tree
Pathway into the light
Some of the trees had their foliage illuminated and I couldn't help having my design cap on thinking what a great sweater a close-up would make.
Filigree leaves
However, there were far too many people for little ones to really enjoy it, unless you were carrying them on your shoulders (not to be recommended for too long!) they couldn't see anything and all too soon it just became a boring disappointment for them.  We decided to cut and run at this point and wrestled our way through the crowds to the back entrance, passing this gorgeous elephant on the way...
I've always loved elephants
...with the York wheel towering above everything looking majestic in the background.
York wheel
Just as we were approaching the gate we noticed the Hospitium also had its own light show, and a psychedelic VW camper van caught my eye...
... bringing Felix immediately to mind, as a longstanding VW camper van twitcher.
Congrats to Sara & Tom
We subsequently discovered that this was not part of the Vic Reeves show but a private wedding getting into the spirit.

All in all the children found Wonderland a bit of a damp squib. Maybe they were just too small, but actually P and I too found it pretty tacky in places, especially the big plastic unidentifiable insects? in the undergrowth. But the real disappointment was that we mistakenly thought we were attending an Alice extravaganza - and apparently we weren't the only ones making this error.
School bonfire
All was not lost though and the evening was saved by a fabulous fireworks display. Suddenly in the car on our way home, the sky was ablaze with colour, we skidded to a halt and I got the children out while P went off to find somewhere to park. We found ourselves at the tail end of Isabella and Ava's school bonfire, which was a much more satisfactory affair.

Looking through the pics this morning, I did find lots of colour inspiration - made me itch to get my paintbrushes out to capture some of the gorgeous hues. Is it possible to add a few more hours to every day please?


  1. Wow Jean, love the new blog look! Hope P is in fine form these days after your Greek holiday...sorry the Wonderland event was such a bust. Better things will be in store as Christmas approaches! Remembering your lovely fruitcake from last year, as I'm seeing candied fruits appearing in the stores, would you consider posting a recipe? Pam xx

  2. Yes P saw doctor last Friday and was pronounced fit and well. He put it down to no sleep, altitude and stress.
    Great idea about the Xmas cake, I'll look out the recipe and post sometime soon. Off to see Christy Moore and Declan Sinott in concert tonight x


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