Adventure

Scary history

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Not a big attraction in the UK (yet), there are over 1,200 professional haunted houses, 3,000 charity-run spookshows and 300 theme parks that operate horror-themed events in the United States.

Creating scares is not a recent phenomenon –

but in the past it was used for different purposes.

The ancient Egyptians used scares to keep body snatchers and tomb raiders away from the contents of their pyramids. They employed moving walls and self-opening doors, traps and mazes, as well as snakes and insects to provoke fear.

Mazes and labyrinths, often filled with monsters, can also be found in Greek and Roman folklore.

Theatrical scares were started in ancient Greek theatre, with productions including things such as trapdoors, ghostly images and fake blood. By the middles ages, travelling players performed mostly Biblical stories, including the scarier parts which were intended to frighten audiences into being good Christians.

The middle ages was also when the idea of Halloween, as we know it today, began. When the Europeans converted to  Christianity, they carried over the idea of an autumn holiday from their Celtic and pagan religions. This included bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins or turnips, dressing in costume and trick -or-treating.

Communicating with the dead……

As theatres developed, so did the development of special effects for the Ghosts, demons and monsters that often appeared in plays. But these spectral sightings were make believe.

By the 1800’s additional forms of ghostly entertainment were available, with Mediums, fortune tellers and spiritualists communicating with the dead.

Or did they?

Harry Houdini and others debunked several famous spiritualists as frauds.

Amusement park thrills and beyond……

In the early 20th century freakshows and dark rides became part of the travelling carnival’s attractions. Then permanent sites for amusement parks sprang up. These included haunted houses and mazes.

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion did not open until 1969. It’s facade was based on the Winchester Mystery House. Inside the house visitors ride “doom buggies” through the haunted mansion.

Now haunted hoses are not restricted to amusement parks. Halloween enthusiasts known as “home haunters” create attractions at their homes. There are also haunted hayrides, mazes and scavenger hunts.

night building forest trees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Last year the team attended Fright Night near Southampton.

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Visiting The Globe Theatre

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All the World’s a Stage

The Globe stage - photo by Juliamaud
The Globe stage – photo by Juliamaud

Shakespeare’s Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599 and a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s work and the playhouse for which he wrote.”

The centre of the theatre, and standing space in front of the stage, is open to the sky. The auditorium also has seats arranged across three levels around the side. These are covered with a thatched roof. This is the only thatched roof in London.

Whilst thatched roofs remain popular in English villages, they have been seen as dangerous in cities following the Great Fire of London. ‘The ordinance of 1212 (London’s  first building regulation) banned the use of thatch to stop any further incidents of rapid fire spread from one building to another.

The Globe is London's only open air theatre with  a thatched roof - photo by Juliamaud
The Globe is London’s only open air theatre with a thatched roof – photo by Juliamaud

Tours of the Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre tours run every day, except 24 & 25 December. For the Globe Theatre performance season (mid-April to mid-October) the tours finish at midday to allow for the matinee performances.

Tours include the inside and outside of the building.

the Globe Theatre photo by Juliamaud

A visit to the Globe Exhibition

There is an accompanying exhibition with details about London’s history, displays of costume and props used for plays, and demonstrations of printing.

You can listen to recording of Shakespeare read by famous actors from the past and even have a go at recording a brief snippet yourself.

Globe Theatre banner - photo by Juliamaud
Globe Theatre banner – photo by Juliamaud

 

 

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Frietmuseum

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Want to discover the history of the potato and fries?

 

Then you need to visit the Frietmuseum in Bruges!

 

This museum is devoted to the history of potatoes and the production of Belgian fries. It describes itself as “the first and only museum dedicated to potato fries”. 

Potatoes at the Frietmuseum -photo by Juliamaud
Potatoes at the Frietmuseum -photo by Juliamaud

Potatoes originated in Peru more than 10,000 years ago. The ground floor of the museum leads you  through the history of the potato.  Then it’s up to the first floor, to discover the history of the fries. End your tour with a trip to the basement where the medieval cellars house a cafe serving chips.

Yes, there are Chocolate Museums and Beer Museums, but this is something unusual to do while in Bruges.

And if you still want chocolate after you’ve enjoyed your chips, there is even a chocolate shop next door that serves delicious hot chocolate made with real chocolate……

Enjoy!

Frietmuseum and Choco-Jungle - photo by Juliamaud
Frietmuseum and Choco-Jungle – photo by Juliamaud

 

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Fossil hunting at Kimmeridge Bay.

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The Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English coast that stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset.

Kimmeridge Bay on the Jurassic Coast by Juliamaud
Kimmeridge Bay on the Jurassic Coast by Juliamaud

 

Group on Kimmeridge Bay by Juliamaud
Group on Kimmeridge Bay by Juliamaud

You may not have heard of Kimmeridge in Dorset. I know I hadn’t until  a group of us went there in search of fossils.

Kimmeridge is a small coastal village that enjoys international recognition due to the fossils that commonly occur throughout the Kimmeridge Clay. In particular there are shells of ammonites and bivalves, as well as the skeletal remains of marine reptiles and (occassionally) the bones of dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

The Etches Collection

After a wall along the bay, looking for fossils, our group visited the nearby Etches Collection. This state of the art museum was created by famous fossil hunter and expert Steve Etches MBE.

Steve Etches with Catherine Skeggs
Steve Etches with Catherine Skeggs

Steve spent years combing the coast for ammonites and dinosaur bones. He collected so many that a £5m, world-class museum had to be built to house them all.

The Etches Collection: Museum of Jurassic Marine Life opened in 2016. It is a new purpose built museum  about a mile from the beach. It contains a magnificent collection of around 2,500 specimens. The permanent home for the collection is managed by a  trust, that was created to hold the finds for the nation. Local landowner, the Smedmore Estate, donated the site for the museum and the Lottery Heritage Fund gave £2.5m to the project, which was matched by private donations.

Visiting Kimmeridge Bay and The Etches Collection

The bay is reached by way of a narrow toll road a short distance from the village. Plenty of parking is available at the cliff-top. Fossil hunting is permitted at Kimmeridge Bay, but the use of hammers is not.

The Etches Collection is in the village of Kimmeridge, eight miles south of Wareham in Dorset. Kimmeridge is sign posted from the A351 at Wareham.  As you turn into the village, the museum building is on the right hand side.

The Etches Collection by Juliamaud

The Etches Collection

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Tips for solving puzzles in Escape Rooms

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So you are in an escape room with your team.

What things can trip you up? How do you over come them?

labyrinth-1738043_1920

Not seeing what is in front of you.

Sometimes one of the hardest things in an escape room is seeing what is in plain sight. You are so used to having to open locks and search cupboards that you can miss something that is staring you in the face.

Check your answer.

So you’ve worked out the puzzle and are sure you’ve got the right answer, but the lock isn’t opening?

Time to start double-checking your work. It may be that you have the right answer, but the wrong lock.

Next, ask your team. Maybe you’ve made a simple error in your calculations. Or maybe you’ve gone about solving it the wrong way. It could be as simple as on those game shows where they read who “has” been in rather than who “hasn’t” and loose the jackpot.

I give up!

Unfortunately, you can’t.

Or if you do give up, someone else on your team has to solve the puzzle.

No-one is getting out unless all the puzzles are solved…….unless of course you hack the puzzle. And that’s not why you paid good money and gave up a couple of hours of your time.

So stop complaining, stop procrastinating and ask for help.

Initially ask your team. But ultimately ask your Games Master. They are there to help you get out. Use them.

 

person about to catch four dices
Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

Want to know more about clue solving adventures?

Check out What Are We Going To Do Next?

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Escape Games 

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So what is an Escape Game?

It is a physical adventure game. Usually an escape game is an escape room, although there are outdoor escape adventures available.

For an escape room, a group of people are locked in a room and have to solve clues and puzzle to escape. They look for codes and clues, solve puzzles and riddles, and combine information.

It’s intensive playing for an hour, but also a form of team building. To win (escape) the team need to collaborate and co-operate with each other. It brings out qualities such as leadership, communication, trust, flexibility and responsibility. And throws in a dollop of stress, time pressure and competition.

 

 labyrinth-1738043_1920

Love playing Escape Rooms and interested in knowing how to design one?

Well, you are in luck. Nowescape asked Daniele Colombo to share his secrets to designing “must-play” escape games.

He said to decide on a theme and make the game-play follow the story.  He advised sticking with a classic theme, such as pirates, mad scientist or bank heist, if you’re the first game in the area. But be innovative if you’re last. Decor and lighting should enhance the theme and there should be a themed soundtrack. He suggested using a balance of technical and traditional puzzles.

He also advised considering smoke machines and smell effects. I know they are used to help players become fully immersed in the theme, but I’d advise caution re breathing problems.

More about team-building

Check out more team-building ideas with “What Are We Going To Do Next?”. This fascinating book shows how social team-building builds memories and happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Tate Modern

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The Materials and Objects display

A while ago we visited The Tate Modern to discover how artists around the world have used diverse materials and embraced new and unusual materials and methods.

Lee Ufan Relatum 1968, 1994;Relatum photo by Juliamaud
Lee Ufan Relatum 1968, 1994
Magdalena Abakanowicz Embryology 1978–80; Embryology photo by Juliamaud
Magdalena Abakanowicz Embryology 1978–80
Susumu Koshimizu From Surface to Surface 1971, remade 1986;Surface to Surface photo by Juliamaud
Susumu Koshimizu From Surface to Surface 1971, remade 1986
El Anatsui Ink Splash II 2012; Ink Splash II photo by Juliamaud
El Anatsui Ink Splash II 2012
Learning about Marcel Duchamp - Fountain 1917, replica 1964 - photo by Juliamaud
Learning about Marcel Duchamp – Fountain 1917, replica 1964

If you’d like to discover what treasures are held in Tate Modern collection, visit

TATE MODERN 

for International modern and contemporary art

 

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