As I'm currently working in Canary Wharf I was able to nip across to see this year's London Ice Sculpting Festival, held at the Wharf's new Wood Wharf. During lunchtime I headed over there in the sunshine to see what it was all about, in time for the first event - teams carving from a small single block of ice with the theme of "River Life."
There were only ten countries involved, and they seemed a bit spread out across the newly-developed area, but the space was filled by tourists, workers from the nearby offices and dozens of photographers. It was nice to actually be able to take photos in the Wharf without fearing a security guard would come and tell you off any minute (the whole area is privately-owned and photography is frowned upon!).
I had a good wander around, watching the people at work - mainly men, I noticed - scraping and chipping away, filing, chain-sawing... Every once in a while a huge spray of ice would cover nearby spectators. I became rather transfixed by the African team, who had a design showing waves and weeds and fish (I think). Others were mesmerised too. I left before the first event had finished, so don't know which of the teams won.
Here's a selection of the competitors and their works of art (in progress), as well as some of the spectators (and an Ice Man):