What inspires graffitti ‘artists’ / street artists.

I don’t know for certain, I imagine as with lots of things it is different for different people. I can understand the desire to create / leave your mark / express your self. Not all people who are artistic / who want to express themselves can make a living from their art. Like people who may want to express themselves writing may, write a blog rather than earn a living out of it.

Who has not written their name or a message on a misty window / mirror, in sand or snow? As parents know, children seem to be born with a desire to write on walls, floors and tables rather than paper so maybe we are all born with the gumption to be a graffiti  artist? But some of us grow up or do not dare?

Perhaps we all have it in our genes the urge to write on walls. As this great blog post I read, points out there is evidence of cave  painting and hyreglyphics in Egyptian tombs.

A fascinating post (not mine) about street art.

Writing on walls can be a powerful communication method. Wilkipedia credits the first modern graffiti artist as being Cornbread who as a student in 1967 wrote on walls in an attempt to get a girl’s attention. In Sheffield on a bridge, that is part of the Park Hill flats the sprayed message ‘I love you, will you marry me’  has been immortalised in lights.

Now a days with the internet is possible to get messages across to a large group of strangers; though posts electronic walls, tweets etc… In times gone by expressing political views or making statements about situations has been enabled by writing on walls such as John Lennon’s wall where peace messages were painted during times of communism and the Berlin wall.

Wonderwall: John Lennon Wall Prague

Wonderwalls: Berlin

Despite  enhanced mass communications methods street art can still be used to highlight topical issue /  points of views.

Women’s rights street art

Global warming street art


Some art pieces need a large space and walls provide that space.

Some would argue those who spraypaint their ‘tag’ albeit that it may be a moniker rather than actual name reflecting the risks of tagging illicitly; are not so artistic. Perhaps taggers have different aims.

A quote from the following article (also linked above):

A fascinating post (not mine) about street art.

The article above also speculates the thrill that the taggers get from the process; the cat and mouse game with police. Then there are so called heaven spots, which is where tags are painted in difficult to reach places. it can be a wonder when you spot some colour , high up on a building; how on earth it was painted. Indeed unfortunately  heaven spots are also so called because of the risk to life.

I also wonder whether taggers get a thrill seeing their tag everywhere. I have noticed the Nop tag everywhere in Sheffield and it did cause me to think what it meant,; therefore it has had some impact on myself. It has been suggested the nop tag stands for Norfolk park and it is a gang symbol and that it stands for Not for Profit.

Wonderwalls? NO:P
I also see the word Quiet and initials SCS around Sheffield.

A couple of times in the same writing, I have seen the message ‘keep it real’.

I see the colours and words but never the people creating. So what do I really know?

Another day to remember the holocaust and some places dedicated to remembering (Boston, Prague, Austwich, Laxton)

Tomorrow is National Holocaust Memorial Day. 27th January marks the day that the largest concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberarted. Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those affected by genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  Of course, every day we should be observant about groups being victimized. At different times I have been to three holocaust memorials around the globe. I have been to Krakov in Poland but, could not seriously consider going to Austwich from there although it is theoretically possible, because it is a 3 – 4 hour round trip, just to get there and I did not have a whole day spare. I’m not sure I would have wanted to go, it seems a rather morbid activity and perhaps rather voyeuristc.

Appropriately the Holocaust memorial in Boston, Massachusetts is part of the Freedom trial which also. commemorates those denied freedom due to slavery. It features a line of six, tall glass towers. Each tower represents a major Nazi death camp: Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The glass is etched with 6 million random numbers to represent the 6million Jews in  concentration camps. You can walk in line through one tower to the next like a tunnel. At the bases of each tower steam rises, from the grate below, therefore it is very eerie to walk though and brings to mind walking into gas chambers.

More personal than the numbers on the Boston memorial, the walls of the Pinknova synagogue in Prague features handwritten names of the 78thousand Czech and Moravian victims. So many names and no the only details being, if known their data of birth and date of death; no information about them as a person. Although upstairs in the synagogue is an exhibition of Child Holocaust victims art, so the loss creativity can be seen. Downstairs I zoned in on someone who shared the same first name as me and I’m trying to find out more about her, which is not proving easy so far.

The Berlin memorial close to the Brandberg gate (which was once part of the the Berlin wal) features no lists of names or numbers. It is a collection of large square blocks of granite. It covers a relatively large area with most blocks been too high to see over as you walk though. Some of the paths roll like waves rather,than being flat. Therefore it feels a bit like being in a maze and disorirntated, whether this makes you think about about holocaust victims or taking pictures in a different location is debatable. I believe there is just one explanatory board on the site. The blocks darkness makes the place rather bleak.

Upon realising I have not been to a Holocaust museum in the  I did a google search. I found there is National Holocaust Centre in Laxton near Newark, which features exhibits about the holocaust and outside a rose garden to contemplate in Additionally a Holocaust memorial for London is currently been designed, echoing the Freedom trial in Boston it will be displayed im Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Thames and Westminster; alongside monuments to suffragettes, abolishment of slavery and civic service.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on’ i.e. after the genocide; something to consider today.

Wonderwall: John Lennon Wall Prague



The story I heard about the wall by someone, attempting to sell me a panoramic view of the wall as I crossed the Charles Bridge, started with a woman who used to sit in the doorway within the wall with a guitar singing Beatles songs. I was told She added the first art work of head shots of her self- portrait and portrait of John Lennon. Google searches about the history of the wall, has not verified the story of this. Internet pages tell of how after John’s Lennon’s death the wall became a focus for art / graffiti relating to the Beatles / John Lennon peace and anti-communism sort of like a Facebook wall in the era before internet, before people could create an image of themselves in a press of a button and post to their own wall. The panorama I was shown, showed the wall covered in colour, it included the supposed first art of the guitar lady and John Lennon and also the second which was the word Fred which means Peace in Norwegian.

On the following website http://www.absolutetours.com/blog/john-lennons-wall/ it details that the story of the wall started before John Lennon’s death; in the 60s and 70s when people wrote anti-communist messages on it, leading to it being termed the wailing wall. During communist times it was painted over at different times by communist regime including http://www.absolutetours.com/blog/john-lennons-wall/ mentions being painted green in 1981. The article goes on to describe the first time it was painted over, after the fall of communism in 2000. The article says it was painted white by art group Rafani, with just the word ‘love’ however elsewhere on the internet I have read it was painted green in 2000. Indeed I saw on this site http://www.paetau.com/downloads/Friends/Rafani.html it painted green with the Czech word for love; Laskia and explains it was painted green because the communist used green to paint over the wall.


The internet seems to agree that On 17November2014 the wall was covered with white paint and just the words ‘War is over’ a twist of John Lennon’s Christmas song ‘Happy Christmas, war is over’. Students who claimed they were responsible for whitewashing the wall stated they did it to commemorate 25 years since the start of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.


In between, the two post 1989 painting overs of the wall in 2000 and 2014 and since the wall constantly evolves with new additions, therefore it is a an attraction that is worth revisiting to see what has changed. Yes’s after painted self-portraits, selfies are now captured by tourists in front of the colorful wall or like I did photos of the wall are captured of that moment in the walls evolution. The colour is even starting to spread to a tree in front of the wall.


I would certainly like to return in years times to see it. Plus as it is on the street is a free attraction, as long as you don’t get tempted on the Charles bridge to buy any souvenir. If I had visited prior to the Brexit vote, with a better exchange rate, I probably would have bought or if at the price it was I would have bought if the same seller had been there on my last day in Prague when I visited the wall for a second time. Between the first and the second time there was already changes unfortunately mainly just scribbles in green, but I’m sure by now there are new more edifying additions. On my second visit there was the bonus that a busker arrived singing Beatles songs.


Food and drink delights in Prague

Top 3 attractions Prague

Best Hot Chocolate in Prague


The wall is less than 10minutes, from the Charles Bridge on the same side as Prague castle. The most direct route from Charles Bridge takes you past the John Lennon wall. The first time I saw it we arrived at the Malostranske namesti tram stop and it then took a while to find it but on the way we did find a café for hot chocolate. The area around Malostranske namesti tramnstop is interesting to walk around as there is Charles Bridges, restaurants, cafes, chocolate shops up the hill from the bridge wall is Prague castle. Prior to my second viewing of the wall  I had a Thai massage (ouch!) in an establishment that also had the fish for nibbling peoples feet ; other such establishments can be found around Prague. At the moment it would be the following trams to get to the area;12, 20, 22, 23.


Food and drink delights in Prague

  • Delicious mains include gorgeous goulash and a dish with beef in a.creamy sauce served with cranberries.
  • The city has an abundance of cafes serving tasty cakes and hot chocolate.

Best Hot Chocolate in Prague

  • A good way to change the pace from sightseeing Pragues many attractions is with a brewery / beer museum tour.

Top 3 attractions Prague

There is the Prague beer museum which has a few exbhits to look at then you go down to the cellar where you rest 4 beers.

The Starpraman brewery takes you through the beer making process, with interactive displays including hologram of former brewery owner.


  • The hotel Adria has a beautiful restaurant in an underground cafe.


The good service, food quality and touches like amuse bouche makes it pricier than other options, but worth it. I had a fantastic steak with pate named after the composer Rossini as it is based on his favourite dish.


Top 3 attractions Prague

In addition to delicious food there are many tourist attractions to visit.

Food and drink delights in Prague

In no particular order, the top three attractions for me are as follows, in unravels order.

  • Spanish synagogue: beautiful interior.


  • John Lennon’s wall: fantastic evoking art. Even better when a busker arrives.


  • Climb the astronomy clock and walk around to see views from every degree of 360, from the top and as climb spiral staircase.


Best Hot Chocolate in Prague

We had been recommended Cafe Kafico as the best hot chocolate in Prague. We stumbled upon the cafe, when was looking for John Lennon’s wall rather than the cafe. The hot chocolate was a good thick chocolate. However the next day we found better, on the road up from Maostranke tram stop up to the castle. It was called Prague Choclate bistro / Prazska Cokolada. A very thick flavoursome chocolate.


Names that I have photographed

Some of the many names on the wall of the Pinkadova Synagogue in Prague of Czech Republic. How to make sense of all the names? I would like to find out more about those who shared my name; any suggestions where to look?


Rhod Gilbert’s autograph.


Some familiar names that have caught my attention away from home (Berlin, Hong Kong, Prague).


Names — The Daily Post


Packing away Christmas decorations from around the world …

Realised I’m not sure where I bought this angel. Possible with the two yellow decorations in Poland.


So took some photographs whilst remember of where I have collected baubles from and whilst I was doing it pictured the ones I have made from decoupage over happy evenings at Fired Earth.

Village in Poland 🇵🇱 during walking holiday.


Definitely bought a couple in Krakov  🇵🇱 at end of walking holiday, was it these two?


Budapest baubles; will not forget with these as they say Budapest on them!


Berlin baubles which can also double as Easter decorations.


Prague decorations.

Ready to be packed away with the decoupage stars I have made.


The other baubles I have made.


London themed decoupage baubles.

The rest of the baubles individually.