Alphabet Dating - ideas for the letter 'A'

Alphabet Dating – A is for Alice and the Aquarium

Alice in Wonderland Exhibition and Sea Life Aquarium London

Alphabet dating is, quite simply, the idea where you go through each letter of the alphabet and plan a date around that letter. So rather than the usual “what do you wanna do this weekend?” “I dunno, what do you wanna do?” routine, my hubby and I have decided it would be fun for us to do this! So now once a month, we will plan a fun date based on whatever letter of the alphabet is next in the sequence.

As March was the beginning of our Alphabet dating, we obviously started with ‘A’ and between us decided to visit London for the day, or more specifically, the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library and the Sea Life Aquarium on the Southbank.

Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library in London - celebrating 150 years of Lewis Carroll's publication

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a little while now knows that I totally love Alice in Wonderland so when I heard that the British Library had a free exhibition on to celebrate 150 years of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I knew that I had to go visit.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - an exhibition at The British Library in London

The exhibition features drawings of Alice’s adventures by various artists such as Ralph Steadman, Salvador Dali and of course the original illustrator to the stories, John Tenniel. You can also see Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript as well as other books and artifacts for everything Alice. I adored the Alice in Wonderland pop-up book and would have loved to look through that but sadly all of the items on display were kept safely in glass display cases. Obviously.

A Ralph Steadman illustration of Alice in Wonderland
Illustration by Ralph Steadman
An illustration by Leonard Weisgard - Alice in Wonderland
Illustration by Leonard Weisgard
Alice in Wonderland quote
For the typography geeks

Photography is only permitted at the beginning where there is a mix of illustrations telling the story, so I have no ancient artifacts to show you here so you’ll have to go see for yourself!

There is also a pop-up shop in the library, which is beautifully decorated and features an assortment of books, accessories and other merchandise. Unfortunately copies of the pop-up book weren’t for sale in the shop as I had hoped but I did spot some cute jewellery I recognised as being by the same company that designed the panda necklace I bought at Hyper Japan last year.

John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Cardboard figures part of the exhibit at the British Library.
John Tenniel’s Alices – cardboard figures outside the pop-up shop

The exhibition is fairly small, so we were there for less than an hour, but if you’re a fan of Alice’s adventures and you’re in London then I would definitely recommend, but hurry – it ends on 17th April!

After our brief visit to Wonderland, we hopped on the tube from Euston to Waterloo and made our way to the Southbank, where after a quick bite to eat we visited the Sea Life Aquarium.

Beautiful sea creatures that can be found at the Sea Life Centre on the Southbank in London
Beautiful!

I love an aquarium. I find them so fascinating and relaxing. Actually I would love to have my own aquarium one day… I’d give all the fish awesome old people names like Doris and Percy!

Colourful fish at the aquarium in London

Anyway…

Sea Life London do a good job of educating the public about marine life, rather than just “oh look at the pretty fish!” and they also raise awareness about the work they do for conservation. I found it very interesting and I feel like I learnt something.

90% of big fish including tuna, sharks, swordfish, cod and halibut are already gone!

I mean, I knew sharks were in danger of becoming extinct due to shark finning (killing the shark for its fin in order to make shark fin soup) but I had no idea that shark fin soup was something that was available in some chinese restaurants in London! You can sign the petition to help protect sharks around the world and also find out more here. Actually I think the huge shark tank was probably my favourite bit of the aquarium as it made me feel so small, I could have stood there for hours just watching these fascinating creatures just swimming around.

Shark tank at Sea Life London
My rubbish photo of the sharks swimming around
Piranha at the aquarium
Can you see the piranha’s teeth?

Unfortunately, the aquarium wasn’t quite as peaceful and relaxing as I had hoped (and have experienced in aquariums elsewhere). Perhaps it was our fault visiting on a Saturday afternoon, but the number of people visiting the aquarium made for quite a noisy and overcrowded experience, so much so that our visit was quite rushed. It would be better if visitor numbers could be controlled and staggered a little as it made me quite tetchy and claustrophobic.

Rays and fish gliding about at the Sea Life Centre

Finding Nemo at the Sea Life Aquarium in London
Finding Nemo
It's Squishy from Finding Nemo!
“I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine”
Celebs ain't got nothing on this fish with the perfect pout
Give us a kiss!

After the aquarium we were pretty tired so decided to head home. Bring on date ‘B’!

Aquarium selfie!
The only half decent photo of us both on our date!

Have you ever tried alphabet dating? What would you do for your ‘A’ date? Leave me a comment below.

5 thoughts on “Alphabet Dating – A is for Alice and the Aquarium

  1. I love the idea of the alphabet dating. What a great way of mixing up your dates. Sounds like you had a great day out. Your pictures are fab – loving the fish kiss picture!

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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