Light bulb moment

Take a look at this:

It’s a resin cast of an incandescent light bulb with buttons in the bottom. It’s designed by David Hallett and is available from the Southbank Centre shop.

I spotted it yesterday on a trip to London to see Kin, a very good friend from school. We met in the morning at London Bridge and, over a leisurely coffee, planned a visit to the Geffrye Museum to see their Christmas through the ages exhibition. But some kind of tube alert and a failure in our back up navigation system (Kin’s brother, whose phone went to voicemail when she called to ask him to look up buses on tfl) sent us off along the Thames instead.

We did our best to ignore the driving drizzle and chilly winds and strolled along to the Tate Modern, where we took refuge from the weather and exchanged disparaging comments about the displays before disappearing into the shop to coo over books in the kids section (Kin and I share a love of illustrated children’s books). Then we went out into the wind, pressing on to the South Bank Centre. We rewarded ourselves with lunch at Wahaca’s Southbank Experiment and made a mess of eating some delicious but runny tacos, while we watched the waves on the Thames through some agaves.

Warmed and comforted by some churros we ventured out again and headed for the South Bank Centre shop. I’m a big fan of this shop as their buyers make a big effort to support British designers and an equally big effort to make sure they have something for every pocket. They’ve been early adopters of lots of good stuff, like SORT’s letterpress stationery and Chloe Owens vintage textile inspired homewares, so I try to pop in whenever I’m in London.

This time lots of lovely things caught my eye, but David Hallett’s light bulbs were the highlight (no pun intended). They were displayed in the window, clustered around a naked light, their coloured strings bright against the grey drizzle beyond the glass. The patterns made by the buttons added to the effect and created a bright, cheery spot in an otherwise grey scene.

Like the 176 bus I’m in London again on Saturday, this time with Mr E for a spot of Christmas shopping. I’ll bring you a report and maybe even some pictures on Monday.


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