Lane wars

swim-lanesDiamonte-shaped sunburn, lambrini in the park, scantily clad ladies tanning on roundabouts – it can only mean one thing. Spring hath sprung in London Town. The ice sheet of winter has finally cracked, dousing us in sunshine and dressing our trees in glorious, lustrous greenery that smells better than a Lenor advert. We didn’t think […]

Smells like teen ambition

pressureMichael Gove has once again sparked outrage among teachers over the last week, this time singling out schools in East Durham for ‘lacking ambition’. A tad confusing, as he hasn’t even been there. Claiming that five north-east schools were underperforming dramatically, Gove recently told those at the London launch of a book on GCSE underachievement… [Read more…]

Britain you’re an idiot, but I still love you

Snowmageddon#Snowmageddon is here. After five days of ice and sludge we’re no longer talking about The Big Freeze, The Cold Snap or That Fucking White Stuff. That’s just so 2010. This year our annual snow flurry has become a catastrophic destructive force of biblical proportions, or so the internet would have us believe. It’s the… [Read more…]

Christmas marketing and the hysteria illusion

A Morrisons Christmas“Why do they call it ‘Christmas time’, when ‘time’ is the one thing you don’t have at Christmas?” sighs the Curry’s voice-over man on the radio. Before we have a chance to ponder whether this is true, he’s chipper as a grotto elf and explaining how the electrical shop plans to make buying their wares… [Read more…]

Break-bone fever, arse flashing and latino Sunset Beach

In the build up to Halloween I’ve already had a run in with a transvestite witch, donned a bad pink wig and encountered far more Miranda Hart posters on the tube than my nervous system can handle. My local florist is doing a pretty good line in ‘hellacious’ geranium displays – shit be getting SCAREY.… [Read more…]

Gove us a break – the new EBacc

‘Oh for heavens sake…’ muttered my science teacher, brandishing a fistful of marked mock exam papers at his nervous class. ‘Stop CRAPPING all over the QUESTIONS!’ Thus followed an entire lesson on exam technique to help trim back our rambling, excrement-like responses to ‘what the exam board wants to see’, and to get us ‘thinking… [Read more…]

Distinguishing a Usain Bolt from a Homer Simpson

The great Charles Dickens was quoted as naming our capital city’s copious parks and green spaces the ‘lungs of London.’ A pretty apt moniker given the rejuvenating effect they have on their wheezing, choking metropolis – breathing life and vitality into a smog belching, tarmac crunching, urban jungle. The quintessential Londoner, Dickens knew his city’s streets,… [Read more…]

Travel on a G-string

‘Are you attractive but don’t have money to travel?’ Fear not, beautiful people – there’s a new website on the scene which can pair you up with rich, generous strangers who will fly you around the globe for free, on the proviso that you are hot hot hot. No, really, it’s a genuine website and…[Read more…]

The Flip Flop Threshold

At this time of year England experiences a phenomenon I like to call the ‘flip flop threshold’. Winter here is miserable, and essentially spent waiting for summer. During the cold, grey cavity that is January we dream of sundrenched days spent lounging in the park, firing up the barbeque and scoffing our body mass in… [Read more…]

Lady and the Van Driver

Ah Spring – the smell of cut grass, lambs frolicking in the sun and the sweet sound of sexist abuse winging its way towards women on the street. I’m looking at you, White Van Men. Why is it that as soon as the sun comes out, and winter coats are joyfully shed, that some men… [Read more…]

Not on British soil, please

I do love a good protest. But I love a protest against a protest even more – such as tonight’s planned gathering by the Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance, to counter the 40 Days for Life candlelit vigil taking place  outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in central London. The 40 Days for Life campaign aims… [Read more…]

Better out than in?

Have you ever cried in front of your boss, marched past a crowd of colleagues with your skirt tucked into your knickers, or accidentally said ‘penis’ to a client? If, like me, you can answer with three yes’s, then you’ll be very familiar with this boardroom juggling feat – being professional, while also being human.… [Read more…]

A tale of two vendors

Supermarket giant Tesco’s is to create 20,000 jobs in the UK, as part of a  two-year drive to improve services and open new shops. While this may seem like good news for the unemployed youth of our wilting island, the relentless growth of these corporate chain stores always spells trouble for locally-owned retailers. Such was the… [Read more…]

Who is Joseph Kony?

If you don’t yet know who Joseph Kony is, for the love of crumpets, buy a computer. Yesterday a video named Kony 2012 grabbed the internet by the throat and spread like wildfire across multiple social media platforms, reaching millions of people. Created by Invisible Children, an American NGO, it reveals the brutal activities of… [Read more…]

Email me your LinkedIn – I’ll send you a tweet, then see you on Facebook, yeah?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, Friends Reunited, Tumblr, Skype – modern society is infinitely connected. Isn’t it fantastic? You’re never more than a swish of your iphone from the rest of the world. On the down side…you’re never more than a swish of your iphone from the rest of the world. I used to feel an… [Read more…]

Panic in the cabbage patch

I once had a horrific nightmare that giant, tentacled cabbages were chasing me across a field. When I woke in a cold sweat and crawled, snivelling, into my parents’ bed I was assured that I would never have to do battle with these sprouty fiends, there was no such thing as a walking, talking cabbage,… [Read more…]

The measure of happiness

It’s that time of year again. December’s festive bickering over the last Quality Street and Auntie Marge’s gin-fuelled racist rants at Christmas lunch have passed through the January-depression-memory-adjuster, leaving only fuzzy memories of family bliss and jolly games of Scrabble around the log fire. You’re reminded that it’s February, you haven’t kept any of your… [Read more…]

Put that in your crack pipe, and smoke it

Last year when I heard that the city of Vancouver’s public health authority had announced plans for a pilot project to hand free crack pipes to drug addicts, it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. Then I learned that cities like Toronto and Winnipeg have been doing it for years, and the gag…[Read more…]

Happy planet

My last post focused on why the arts should have to prove their worth in monetary terms, which provides a great little segway into an inspirational talk I discovered on today. Wellbeing statistician Nic Marks takes the issue further to question why we’re so hell bent on measuring a nation’s success by its productivity,… [Read more…]

Save our arts

After yet another amazing day spent wandering around a few of London’s best art institutions for free, soaking up some culture with a good friend, our conversation took a more sombre turn. ‘So how much longer do you reckon we’ll be able to do this?’ Silence. This wasn’t a rhetorical question but we decided to… [Read more…]

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