Monday, August 31, 2015

Odd Linkedins and the limits to electecable leaders

I've been on Linkedin for around 10 years (I think) a friend provided an invite when I left BT and I've been (largely) adding contacts since then.

At first my inclination was to add people  from the areas of activity I know well, these would be mainly 'techie' type folks working in similar fields with shared employers or other 'logical' connections but I felt after a while that this was slightly limiting and offered only more of the same.
Don't just repeat

There are I also found along with people who can offer news, shared resources and potential opportunities (those like me) others who measure their success on Linkedin as they might on Facebook accumulating  contacts for the sake of it - I tend to be circumspect of those requestors with 500+ or who are recruitment consultants.

I do though now favour people requesting contact who are very dissimilar to myself although I find there is sometimes an ulterior motive - recent additions from requestors are (it seems) a senior figure at Mitsubishi and a Lottery winning retired footballer and a request (from me) to a former executive at Wonga - all pretty diverse, why not try treating potential contacts as if we're at a party and strike up a conversation with those who we'd not normally meet but are interesting and engaging?


I've been to few meetings of the 'faithful' be they church, politics or pressure groups but the few that I've attended and ones pf work where we're all singing from the same hymn sheet can miss vital points.

The idea of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party is (I think) different from how a scenario with him as leader/PM in waiting.

Some of those who support his views recognise this and either warn others and there are also those who  I consider might wish to see Labour retain some form of Socialist purity rather than get in the dirty business of compromise and deal making.

People like me old enough to remember Michael Foot as Labour leader recognise the problem of revisiting a committed leader of the left, truth be told Corbyn as a potential PM would have far more challenges than in Foot's day.
I've been there too.

Sad to say that any possibility of a left wing labour leader in No 10 would send unattached 'hot money' scampering to other boltholes and this in turn would cause the pound to lose value against other major currencies (and that's even ignoring the intention to create more money).

The UK survives not by manufacture or naturally occurring resources it lives by trade and we enjoy a good (monetary) standard of living by dint of this - the voting public would be defrauded by those who did not consider the impact of  capital flight with a left wing government.

They say about investment past performance isn't necessarily an indication of how stocks/shares/funds will perform in the future, on my reckoning it's pretty much the best evidence we have to go on.

Quick Dialer still available!

Free Gift Casio QD -350

 Resisting my Geek-ish tendency I'm keen to get rid of stuff.
Not for everyone

Last year I gave away a rather special cable for an ancient Sharp  Organiser - tidying today I found a Casio Quick Dialler 50 (there were a range of these -mine looks a bit like something out of Star Trek and is referenced in American Psycho) - anyone want it and got a use for it - let me know and I'll stick it in the post  to you (my last freebie went to the USA).

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Art - a great site, shopping and chairs we need to sit in


The BBC has been screening some particularly worthwhile programmes about Art, Derek Boshier in the thirty minute ' What do Artists do all day?'  was a revelation on how there are happy artists and their work can keep them involved and engaged well into their 70's (climate permitting).

Boshier was a contemporary of Hockney and another 'Pop' artist but with his desire to experiment across media and use different styles he didn't get the same exposure but seems to have remained grounded and enthusiastic  - his was a new name to me but I'd unknowingly encountered his work via the artwork of the cover of Bowie's ' Lodger' album.

The other BBC Arts programme (out of  BBC Scotland I notice) was about Andy Warhol (A day in the life of Andy Warhol) - fronted by the amusing Stephen Smith who was at Channel 4 News when I worked on it at ITN, Smith has a fine sense of humour which made the  documentary entertaining as well as informative (I think he might live in West London too as I've seen him in Chiswick).

A great site

Watching the Warhol show I was (again) reminded of how significant Duchamp was and went off on a podcast search, discovering the rather excellent curated by the marvellous Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette, 3 x 20 minutes on Marcel Duchamp and loads of other stuff too - intrigued to learn of his late life work  Étant donnés (partially inspired, it is said by the Black Dahlia Murder) and seeing (of course) the connection to Courbet's scandalous  Origin of the world, amazing the connections and that art retains this ability to provoke audiences and good to see that even with revolutionaries popping up even they are part of a continuum.

Chairs to sit in

Having finished the 20th Century Design classes at OPEN Ealing run by Nick Pearson, I've now been infected by the desire to be photographed in odd chairs.

Yesterday we ended up  at Brent Cross  Fenwicks  more by accident than anything else, it really was quite frantic there with many people caught up in the whole back to School thing,

Anyway Debbie kindly indulged me as I hung around ( in one...)

A chair that's borrowed much

So many people standing and ..

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ealing Gazette Picture of the Week - The power of the editor

Surprisingly even after what I think is around 20 'Pictures of the Week' in my local paper The Ealing Gazette (circulation around 24,000) over the last couple of years I still greatly enjoy seeing my picture published and great to get a Mondrian reference in this one - let's face it his Design influence is all around us.

To my mind the standard of the pictures is variable and I was a little amused (to say the least)  when last week a picture of Labour Leadership hopeful Liz Kendall was given the 'accolade'! little local connection and it certainly looked like a stock photograph.

I did try and drum some interest from Canon UK (supplier of my cameras) in getting some sponsorship (a prize would be nice) or promotion but nothing to date
Most of my words but cropped picture.

Another thing I've noticed is how little or how much of my text is used plenty this week but sometimes a different tack is used or I suppose on other occasions the picture speaks for itself also in the hands of the paper is how the picture is cropped - you can see below that this is also a factor.

I reckon that there's a nice little story around the Parklets as described and in all honesty the paper should have covered anyway.

Here is the text  and background I supplied:

"Ealing Council are trial-ing this moveable mini park  known as a Public Parklet  in Bond Street Ealing where it's been  occupying a car parking space for the last few days.
The first use of this concept seems to be in San Francisco (where else?) and the idea is that it's an area where people can meet, sit or just chill.

The parklet  which looks like a cross between a Mondrian and Shisa Lounge is something of a curiosity so far but perhaps once the rain passes it'll get used"
The Picture supplied, better I think with this aspect ratio

Friday, August 28, 2015

Impressive and Plotting

Still a good post service
Yesterday shortly before 3:00 pm we booked a weekend away using this morning when the post came our travel  tickets were one of the items - now I know we should decry Royal Mail for being privatised (at a lower price than we might have hoped for) apart from anything else, but that service looks like a good business to me.

Well done to Superbreak too - good website and affordable offers.

A service we could lose
Equally (nearly anyway) impressive is the service from London libraries I requested The Duchamp Book earlier in the week - early morning text advised it was ready for pick up at my chosen branch - great performance and no cost.

The thing is we are going to lose the library service - how long it takes is the question and there is perhaps a possibility that it'll metamorphosize into something else but like the Milkman (gone) and the (hard copy)  Newspaper  history is moving on and doesn't have a place for a load of books, like Royal Mail it needs to excel and it needs to find a new purpose

Lettuces are fine

Plot 202

Pumpkins are from Mars (not really)

The summer feels, on some days like it's almost over but there's a lot of growing and harvesting to do, White (or Gold?) Raspberries are coming on stream (not many. but who knows next year could be a bumper year) .

Sweetcorn is tall
White raspberries- sweet

Peppers and Aubergines could still make it as could the grapes (no wrath we hope) the Lettuces (more planted out today) are doing well.

Some potatoes picked and some Onions and Garlic too.
Just a few so far

Sweetcorn and Pumpkins looking good - more updates to come I'm sure
Grapes -hoping?

Peppers are forming

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rethinking Corbyn and a (Very) Brutal Church in W9

Just been watching Abz struggle (BBC2  Country Strife: Abz on the Farm) with his green Idyll in Wales - he seems to be having a challenge with all things in his life  but perhaps his heart is in the right place, having heard that JC (that's Jeremy Corbyn) is a keen allotment  gardener- I'm thinking perhaps he's not such a bad fellow either but perhaps he could spend more time digging.

Ugly Church

Listening earlier on the radio earlier today   and there was one of those interminable phone-ins and  discussions on the preservation of some architecture of the Brutal School (of course our friend Goldfinger cropped up) -I was reminded of what to me is I think the most  unattractive church I've seen , it's in West London, it's called Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent de Paul and is in the  Harrow Road in Maida Vale.

One of the things that particularly puzzles me is that it's a Roman Catholic church from 1973, a previous church was demolished there in 1970.

Who chose and approved this was there some schism in the church at the time of it's conception, or was it ever considered a beautiful building - answers please.

Looking on the web it seems the interior is considerably more lavish but the outside looks something like I'd imagine a Soviet prison to be - and I'm not religious but surely the architect could have designed something which exemplifies higher feelings and glory on the outside too?
A Catholic Church?

You'd better believe it

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tory Politics - Crossrail, Johnson and Goldsmith

The Labour Party are currently putting themselves through the wringer as the membership contemplates who should lead them to power and compromise  or the high minded-wilderness of a more protracted period of opposition.
London's transport links improve?

Not so far off too though is the Conservative leadership battle, and the Tories unlike Labour it seems  recognise that being in power is the only place they can make a significant influence on society.

For me the intrigue around this Tory  new leader will  soon start to unfold - and  the  leadership battle means  that a number of  influences will impact the Cameron led Government perhaps immobilising it for the second half of the five year term.

Unlike within  the Labour party where old battles are being refought by a bunch of  marginalised time servers one of the London Mayoral candidates for the Tories  is a potentially  attractive Mayor who will lead London with principle.

Zac Goldsmith the charismatic and independent thinking maverick has no desire (stated anyway) to climb the greasy pole through cabinet  but after consulting his constituents he's proceeding to gather supporters for a Mayoral bid - the problem for the party at large is that he has principles and his clearly hammered Green credentials are attached to the mast he's stated  he will not countenance further runway expansion at Heathrow airport as Mayor.
Hayes shows new properties are shooting up near Crossrail stations

Looking back at the history of the Crossrail project is an education in itself with the idea  starting over 70 years ago it has come to near fruition  largely with cross party  as  the bills have progressed through parliament - who can not recognise the significance of Heathrow as a destination on the line?

Crossrail has so far led to  a bubble around property prices within the range of the new service which boasts rapid travel East to West London (and of course back again), would an expanded Heathrow be an electoral asset (particularly for George Osborne) or an albatross for London's remaining Conservative MPs?

Like Goldsmith the current Mayor of London the excruciatingly ambitious Boris Johnson has set himself against Heathrow expansion, firstly with a narcissistic 'Grand' project for an airport in the wilds of Kent and more latterly with an anything but Heathrow vision - Boris is keen to be PM (to put it mildly).

Next year London will have it's new Mayor and by the end of this year the present PM will have made his judgement on what his word is worth (can he do that 180 degree turn?) - interesting times as Cameron tries to manage a Euro referendum while keeping the peace between May, Osborne  and (perhaps) Johnson a figure like Zac Goldsmith as London Mayor is unlikely to make his life easier should he decide that Heathrow will be further expanded .

Monday, August 24, 2015

BBC TV as was and their 'Genius of the Ancient World series ' -[on Socrates ]

Work's underway at the 'old' White City TV  centre
A couple of weeks back I went passed the BBC TV Centre that was in White City- work's underway to make it into expensive homes and a posh hotel with refurbished commercial BBC TV Studios to open  in 2017.

Around 35 years or so ago a couple of  friends I shared a flat with worked for the BBC and I'd often  visit (I saw a TOTP or two being recorded and hung out in the Club bar too), one of the guys, Mike used to drive a London Taxi at the time and sometimes  he'd get access to scarce  parking by carrying an empty film can on the back seat of the car implying it was 'urgent'.

And the BBC Programmes are still better than their 'commercial' rivals

With Philosophy on my mind (I've just enrolled on another series of Philosophy for Everyone course  I took a look at one of the ultra bright Bettany Hughes expositions of the  Genius of the Ancient World BBC TV programmes, this one on  Socrates.
Was Aristotle ignored here?

It was a  reminder of the enjoyment there is in Philosophy but a little light I felt with plenty of footage of Modern Athens (which illuminated little for me) and also no discussion around how much the Socrates we 'know' now was or might have been a construction used by  Aristotle to pursue his own ideas.

I'm not really sure that it's accurate even with our limited knowledge of the events  to say he was executed for his beliefs.

All in all a shade disappointing but I will try the other two accompanying programmes on Buddha and Confucius who I know even less about than I do Socrates.

[On a slightly related point I heard a comedian talking about how Chairs play such a role in design with all seeking the perfect chair - as Jesus was a 'carpenter' (this is not to so clear ether though!) wouldn't he have produced the chair to end all chairs?]

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Flickr, An unreal parklet and A Fake Apple Store in NYK



There are plenty of places to share photo's as well as this Blog I use Twitter for a pretty much daily photo and I had a Flickr account some time ago but it seemed to disappear into the ether when Yahoo became the overall purveyor.

I returned at the time of my participation in the OPEN Ealing Digital photography course last year under the 'handle' Ealing Tim it was revitalised when I was one of a group of  a Flaneurs on a CityLit Walking Photo' course - sad to say the sharing of our pictures did not go smoothly but one of our number put herself out to add a site that we can use it's here ( Photo Group).

I'm pleased to see the two pictures I'm most satisfied from the walks are getting a few hits- here they are:

An Evening shot near London's Olympic Village site
Chiswick House looking, I like to think 'Painter-ly

A new Idea: an Ealing  Parklet

No takers for the Parklet on a rainy Sunday


The blurb...

Ealing is famed amongst the London Boroughs for the Green Spaces it has well this seems perhaps incongruous  but I like a new idea and it'll be interesting to see if it takes off..

[It's called Ealing Parklet the idea comes from San Francisco and it's a meeting place/somewhere to sit and read your paper - currently occupying a parking space in Bond Street W5]

Dystopian homage to the Apple Store

Earlier this summer  I visited the Apple Store in London's Covent Garden, it felt an odd place different from other ones  I've popped into in the past (Oxford Circus and Richmond spring to mind) the souls looking at the new Apple Watches looked lost or at least misplaced it held no attraction to me.

 imagine then  my interest  on learning of an Arts project (the  Fueled Collective) in New York that they had an exhibition  that represent an Apple Store, one that looks like a place where you’d buy an iPhone with  the corporate furniture and anonymous style, but it has strange and fascinating objects for sale.
The theme is a is a critique how we're all addicted to  ever more gadgets and tech-toys along with the fizzy startup culture that straddles so many of our big cities.

The Young  Artist behind the show is  Evan Desmond Yee and here's a link to his website - while I wait for the pictures I've been promised.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Arty stuff

A Book from Stik


Graffiti Art is becoming a De Facto movement and alongside Banksy one who creates recognisable and witty statements is the artist that named themselves Stik- Stik  who preserves his anonymity (but to not to the extreme extent of Banksy) has now brought out a book and this work rather than the subterfuge around the 'Public' works has been injurious to his health (seems he found typing tough).

If you travel on the Piccadilly line on the westward stretch into Acton Town you might spot a block of flats (Condemned I gather) with a rather large 'Stick figure'  on the side - a couple of weeks back also spotted a group of similar figures from the Seven Dials area in Town.

Stik in Town


And on the subject of Art that gets seen by the masses I watched a rather good TV Programme (via YouTube) about Andy Warhol - Warhol was the man who is famed for his Pop Art and decidedly odd persona but the programme revealed that there was far more to him than a quirky wig and the ability to deliver dead pan one liners with a straight face.

He was it is easy to overlook someone who knew about Art, and aspired  to be an artist.

The BBC TV programme presented by the young-ish but knowledgeable  Alistair Sooke is part of a short series  'where he's described as A Master of the Modern Era' and reveals that:

He was  a successful commercial artist, full of ideas working with retailers and he really understood business.

Born a child of immigrants from a poor background he suffered a prolonged period of ill health as a child and then went on to New York where he made plenty of money and hung out with 'Stars' in fact an American success story.

Marcel du Champ

Before Warhol appropriated mass produced packaging there was the ground breaking French born Marcel du Champ who pioneered labelling mass produced objects as Art and thus re-defining the modern world he  really provided the script for our model of  the Contemporary Artist who is about ideas above craft and finesse.

The prompt that looking again at  Andy's Art was for me to sign up to the City Lit one day  course on Marcel du Champ ( Focus on Du Champ) - expect some insights in November when I've done it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Densification and planning law in West Ealing (And beyond)

I'm not sure how it is for other cities in the UK (or further afield) but I see an awful lot of building going on around me in London, much of it residential.

When I was a youngster at school in Essex there were area of waste land and open patches around the towns and cities I knew - they weren't the perfect place for health and safety but they did provide space and a chance to run around and make mischief sadly this with the increasing price of land is becoming rare.
Where I live now a little over 100 years ago

There's a policy popular in many of the London boroughs called 'Densification' it sounds like getting more homes into  a given area and that's pretty much what it is - by the nature of economics it favours those without children or small families and helps councils get more income (greater council tax) and less costs - working couples with few children are less of a drain.

Having looked a little at Design and Architecture it is easy to see the mistakes of the past but I fear we are in many respects making very similar errors - although homes are being built for single or couple occupancy this does not mean they will only get used for this and that the new homes will retain their sheen and the thrusting nature of their residents. 

Are these new pristine boxes  'The Trellick Towers' of the future (but without the architectural panache?) - will communities flourish?

Housing policy is not something that should be left only to politicians, builders and town planners the citizen needs to be involved in the decisions that shape the environment they inhabit to make sure they get the best deal they can.

Presumably the Planning authorities have approved the housing and hotel (Holiday Inn, Express- come on)  shown below (do you think they should have? A couple of years ago I thought it was going to be a 'small' hotel.)

West Ealing - Are these the homes we should provide under the banner of  'Densification'?
Approved? Surely this can only be a commercial decision

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ValueYou needs buy-in and Franco Manca last w/e

Some time ago I mentioned that I was eligible for a gift by dint of my voluntary work for a gift as part of membership of  the ValueYou scheme.
This retailer not so thrilled with ValueYou

Well I'm someone who can easily misplace stuff or not take up offers so decided I should at least 'bank' what was on offer and went along to collect a gift (a bottle of wine up to £10) from a participating store- sadly the retailer 'supporting the  deal did not seem happy and said he was going to leave.

It seems it's not doing what he'd hoped for business wise - anyway I'm sure it'll be a nice glass or two for me but if support  for ValueYou  goes like so many 'Loyalty' schemes it'll go and volunteers won't get that small boost..

Franco Manca

We made it to Franco Manca at the weekend and found it offered up a good Pizza (Sourdough apparently) - decoration is that what appears to be slightly on trend- distressed which looks like a mixture of unfinished and cheap to some of us.
Distressing times but wait no more they're open now

If you don't want a pizza don't go there - this place has been a restaurant under so many different names it's difficult to speculate how long it'll remain as this one but it's family friendly and was looking busy and well run when we were there.

[look at the menu here]

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Picking time and the Tamils in West Ealing

This year has been a mixed one for growing - Tomatoes are mostly  non starters and peas not so good the pleasing thing has been  the fruit, soft fruit has gone well, particularly Gooseberries, Blackcurrants and of late Blackberries  (although strawberries need sorting out) and Apples are producing nicely,  I hadn't noticed (Debbie pointed them out) but we've actually got some plums too.
Blackberries by the score

First homegrown Plums

We've had a couple of nice cucumbers, first beetroot yesterday, lettuces are coming along well and onions .

The other thing I've noticed is how well my Sweetcorn compares with others - fingers crossed the birds and mice don't nick all of them.

Tamil Hindu Chariot Festival

Here's a West Ealing picture I took a few days back during the Chariot Festival .

West Ealing Morphs into  Colombo for the annual Chariot Festival

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Computers - not such a big deal

I think the first 'computer' that  I got with a proper keyboard was a  Commodore Vic 20  (I did have something before that which was a sort of hexadecimal circuit board which was probably sold as a computer).

Well I've lost count of the devices that have passed through my hands in the intervening years - they've included an Amstrad Word Processor with  dot matrix printer  (For me it took over from a Canon electronic typewriter) - I found it very functional and useful and after that  PC from a company called, I think  TIME Computers (What happened to them and other dedicated high street PC dealers?)
Not the clamour to open it once caused

Often there was an expectation of a quantum change with a high speed (56K) modem or the addition of Speakers and CD to become a multimedia machine.

Well last week I decided that at a bit over 5 years old and with a few annoying 'quirks' it was time to trade-up (seems that 'upgrade' is the industry term for 'replace'), it was disappointingly low key.

 I would think if I had been prepared to invest many hours and sought expert opinion I could have got something amazing but I set a price limit (£350), planned to reuse my existing screen and  found something in stock that fitted the bill (loads of specs I'm sure, and  over 1TB of disk anyway).

Having convinced the sales person I didn't need any anti-virus or extended warranty I left with the PC which remained unopened for a day or two (the first shock) - it was fairly easy to set up as a replacement and to migrate files (but not foolproof and probably still not complete).

Certainly for me it's almost essential  to have  a reliable home computer and it's renewed far more often than a car but it is no longer the exciting voyage of discovery with floppy discs and noisy modems that it was in those earlier days - I suppose as is with the case with new cameras, the experience is key and the product is a utility one with few limitations beyond theose imposed by the user - time will tell (a re-visit  in 5 years or so perhaps).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

National Allotments week - Northfields open to the public

Yesterday our local allotments were open to visitors as part of National Allotment Week   and as a result of fine weather and the coverage in our local paper it could, I think be described as a success, certainly there was quite an influx of visitors and I believe that the waiting list for a plot for this site will be further swelled.

The crowds and the Tea and Coffee at the entrance to the site

Tea, cakes and other refreshments  were available to the visitors (of which there were more than 350).

As well as the opportunity to visit the plots those attending could see Beekeeping, a selection of old tools  and a rebuilt Anderson Shelter.

Anderson shelters were used during the war (WWII)  and many became sheds after the war finished - Simon who is a dedicated allotment keeper and something of a local historian had rebuilt a shelter which was on show complete with gas mask and wind-up gramophone, it was a hit with many of the visitors.

The WW II shelters were a hit with older visitors

I have often mentioned how lucky I feel to have this area that I can call my own and I suppose that once a year to have the 'General Public' on site is not that big a burden but I would say that the behaviour of those attending was mixed, many were charming and engaged some though I would say  appeared to pay little heed to the plot holders and expected to be able to roam at will and taking all around for granted.

Beekeepers- Spot the Queen

I spent some time talking with people I know (very pleasant) and some very nice strangers - but it was wearing and I'm pleased I was there to make sure that I could keep an eye out on what they got up to.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Course feedback and an end to CityLit Photo walks 5 of 5

Trellick Tower - Now for the wealthy
It's been a week when both courses that I've enjoyed so much have come to an end (20th Century Design and CityLit Photo Walks) as we expect these days feedback has been requested - it does feel a bit of a chore.

For our final walk we met by Westbourne Park underground station the plan it seemed was to see some examples of Brutalist Architecture in London and first was the iconic Trellick Tower - it's got a really interesting history and is now a sought after residential location - when we stood and took some pictures a local started talking about how it had become a location for suicide attempts when it was newer.

After getting some pictures we took a bus to Camden area for another public housing experiment the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate (from the 1960s) - this seemed altogether more interesting, with lower rise accommodation and  some outside space.

Dusk at  the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate
From there we walked past the iconic Abbey Road Studios (famed for the Beatles masterpieces created there and onwards to the Regent's Park Mosque where worshippers made us feel very welcome.

It's very noticeable how dusk has moved earlier each week and by the time I got to Baker Street to return home it was dark
Abbey Road- The place where the Beatles worked their magic
Very welcomed

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Philosophy, Design, Art, Music & Politics all grist to the Post Modernist perspective

Yesterday morning I felt far better than I had any right to- Tuesday evening had been the last of the excellent series of Talks by Nick Pearson at OPEN Ealing where he'd led us through a hectic ride on the 20th Century Design story omnibus.
A version of the phones popular in the 70's 'Trim phones'

Each week we tend to have a cheeky slurp or two of wine and this week as it was the end of the course after the talk - we adjourned to a local pub (The Star and Anchor) and I had far more to drink than I normally do - oddly though I had no real ill effects the next day (and I'm not someone who really drinks that much) .

Nick had brought us pretty much up to date on the Design Story in fact he was running a final check on his material when I arrived at OPEN's premises in Singapore Road W13.

PostModernism has been with us for some time now and in fact one section of the talk was labelled as 'Post PostModernism' and there is a question-mark hanging over where we go next - in the various fields where Post Modernism has held sway.
Designer chair

Nick spoke about the impact of The Face (magazine), Pink and was  able to shed some light on the topic of branding from his work with branding at the University of the Arts London (ual) he also described how he was taken aback at seeing Vivienne Westwood at the ICA sans clothes!

The idea of Post Modernism within Design and Art is that Modernism has run its course  artists like Jeff Koons can be seen as Post Modern and the Italian Design  (the Memphis School is often cited on this) world reacted against the grey, functionalism of what went before with 'playfulness'   using all that had gone before as source material.

In music MTV is often mentioned too as an example of Post Modernism and certainly the essence of Hip Hop and sampling with its knowing references fits the mould (John Fiske is a name to drop on this).

If you thought that the categorisation on culture was a challenge then take a look a the philosophers' grappling  - this helped me a little (seems that Critical Realism is the closest we have to a successor to PostModernism but perhaps  does not hold the 'Big Idea' gene we so love).

Thinking about PostModernism I've been able to cast an eye on New  Labour, its rebranded success under Blair and its hankering for a previous simpler analysis - this (to me) will not work a retro vision is not what is needed and a return to a Labour Classic will not work the way that New Coke was deemed unworthy.

Just look at the multiple versions of Coca-Colas now on sale to be convinced of the complex narrative we're involved in as participants in the 21st Century world.

[ I'm really looking forward to the next series of Art Lectures at OPEN due to start in September.]

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ealing Allotment Open day this Saturday

This Saturday 15th August  Northfields Allotments are having an open day from 2.00 pm
The Open Day

Should be lots to see including the refurbished Anderson shelter, there are Plants and Sunflowers too.

Simon has done a great job with the shelter which reminds me of my granddad's shed in his old home at 4 Hillcroft Road Leicester.

On Saturday an 'Actor' will be bringing the place to life.

Put that light out

It's a busy time with things to plant out and harvesting too- real abundance of Blackberries


A book about the underbelly

Here's the book I'm currently reading it's rather odd but does evoke the loan and debt culture that many people battle - it's by David Gaffney