This week's "something for Friday" is more of a "what I did on Thursday" post really. Just for five days (today's the final day) a small hedge maze was erected in Trafalgar Square, themed around secrets of London. There was also a different artistic theme every day of the week - annoyingly (and surprisingly considering the theatre news blogs I frequent are usually pretty on the ball with stuff like this) I didn't find out about this until it had already started. Annoying because I would have been able to plan a trip on Monday, when the artistic theme was West End shows, and apparently there were Avenue Q
cast members in there. I did want to go in and have a look around though, even if I'd missed the best day, 'cause what's the point of living in a city like London where bonkers fun stuff like that happens if you don't go to it?
I was going into town anyway yesterday for Earthquakes in London
, and not knowing how long the maze would take I went in the afternoon, figuring I could do some browsing in shops afterwards then get something to eat before the theatre. As luck would have it, just as I got to the maze entrance the security guard said it was closing, and would reopen in 30-45 minutes, and to come back then - but not to worry, it was only a 10-minute queue to get in. So off I went to Covent Garden to pick up a birthday card for Evie, then some bookshop browsing. By the time I got back to Trafalgar Square it was over an hour later and they were only just reopening it. The trouble with a 10-minute queue is, it might be ten minutes when the attraction's been open all day, but close it for an hour and the line builds up a fair bit. The line had filled all the barriers and gone way past it by the time I joined it at about 10 to 5. Still, fine, so long as I was out of there by 6 I'd have plenty of time to get food before the show. I kept myself busy texting and tweeting and was waiting for a good half an hour before finally getting in.
The hedge-maze actually was
made of real hedges, in large plant-pots with Rent-A-Hedge written on them - who knew you could rent a hedge? It was hardly a tricky puzzle to get through; there were a lot of blind alleys but that was kind of the point since, as in the photo, each dead end was a London location with a street sign and blue plaque with a fun fact about that location. This one quite amused me:
I guess I was kinda tickled by the idea that those astrology shops are there because a couple of hundred years ago someone went "ooh, these roads are a bit of a spooky shape." But like I say, having got to each hot spot it was easy to get back and you never felt like you didn't know where you were. At the end of the maze (which is wrong, surely? The centrepiece is actually meant to be at the centre, no?) there was a man playing jazz, which seems a rather harsh punishment to us for successfully finding our way out, but there you go. Presumably this was the spot where the puppets and drag queens were on Monday.
Overall it was a lot easier to get out of than to get into - ten minutes including lots of stops to read the blue plaques. A bit underwhelming after a half-hour wait to be honest, but I think if it had just been ten minutes' wait as, allegedly, it usually is, it'd probably be worth a look. And in any case I'm all for these little fun things that give the city a different flavour; those painted elephants were barely in place before they got taken down so it's nice to have somethhing else to make this summer stand out.