Friday, 22 March 2013

More Stalls This Way!

I took this photo in tooting market today..I really love tooting market, it's my favourite market in the whole of London. Years and years back when my aunt used to live in England, she worked at a stationary stall in the Broadway market, and I remember as a kid I spent a lot of time keeping her company, playing with the animals in the pet shop, making friends, eating popcorn and dinky donuts, mucking around with the water taps... generally causing trouble!

Sadly now a lot of my most loved places in the market have either disappeared or changed, and sadly I think the spirit of the market is changing too (like a lot of other London markets!)... I really hope they don't gentrify our special markets any more, we like them the way they are- colourful, a bit scrappy and rough around the edges!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Robin, look to the Sun.

Lichenstein: A Retrospective

I've been a member of the Tate (by default) for over two years now and have been lucky enough to see some really excellent exhibitions, (inc. my favourites the Gaugin, Miro and Offilli exhibitions) Recently I went along to see Lichenstein: A Retrospective not really knowing what to expect... it was quite good, of all of the rooms, room 4 'War and Romance' was by far the most popular...

However, my favourite room (typically) was Room 5: Landscapes/ Seascapes. Lichtenstein once stated 'Art relates to perception, not nature.' I thought he really captured this in his landscapes/ Chinese landscapes and seascapes. These paintings were very different to his comic-strip style, colour-rich pop paintings, in that they were abstract, subtle and quietly reflective (I found)... 

In particular, I really liked 'seascape,' I thought it captured the 'idea' of the shore and its elements beautifully, the ripples in the waves, the movement of the wind, the lines... it was strangely static but also conveyed a sense of movement at the same time, in an almost trippy way. I think Lichenstein's perception of the seascape is very close to my own! (took this photo near harwich) Worth a visit. 


Friday, 15 March 2013

Dino Shop Outreach Programme

Madness ensues when four teenagers from Souf London take over the Dino Shop for a day....

...Dwayne strolls in from his break ten minutes late...

Angelo: Blad what time d'you call dis?
Dwayne: Ahh it ain't ma fault man! Trina got talking to me and she wouldn't shut up. The girl is fine, but boy can she chat!
Angelo: Who da feck is Trina?
Dwayne: You know dat skinny latino girl, short hair, she's one of dem visitor service assistants...
Angelo: Whatever man, I'm goin' to da mess room, you know dey got a tv down there? Them security guards were watching fresh prince this morning...
Dwayne: Serious?
Angelo: Yeah fam. allow it, soon as I'm done wiv college, ima get me a security guard job, get paid for doin' nuttink!
Mikaela finishes serving a customer and turns to the boys. 
Mikaela: Are you guys done chattin' crap yet? I swear down ima tell management of you.
Dwayne: Ooooh no, not management!!
Dwayne feigns a look of horror. 
Angelo: Yo i'm out. 
Angelo leaves the shop
Mikeala: Dwayne, now that your finally back go help Jerome in da stockroom, he be doin' actual work unlike you wasteman...
Dwayne: hmm I see about dat
A group of school kids walk in. Dwayne goes into the stock room. Jerome is sleeping in a box. Dwayne grabs a pincher and pinches Jerome's nose with it,  an electronic roar is omitted. Jerome lunges up.
Jerome: Whhhat....! Where am I? What's goin' on? I didn't do nuffink!!!! 
Dwayne: You bum! Get up. All dem school kids just came in da shop, lets get out there before Mikeala starts moaning at us again...
Dwayne and Jerome join Mikeala behind the till. A small boy comes up to Dwayne.
Boy: How much is this?
He holds up a notebook
Dwayne: Free pounds
Boy comes up again
Boy: How much is this?
He holds up a chocolate bar. Dwayne speaks through gritted teeth
Dwayne: Two pounds
Boy comes up to Dwayne for a third time.
Boy: How much is this?
Dwayne: Bruv are you blind? It's on da back, don't ask me nothing! Swear down, this kid's driving me mad!
Boy walks away evidently terrified. A woman, shocked, approaches Dwayne.
Woman: I can't believe you just spoke to my student like that. I demand to see your manager.
Dwayne: My manager? Ha! You're looking at him, whaaat?
The lady starts to speak, but then turns away fuming.
Dwayne: Yeah, that's right, keep walkin'
Mikeala: Oi Dwayne, cool it you dipstick! You gonna get us all in trouble.
Jerome comes up from behind. 
Jerome: I'm about to go t-rex on dis place!
Dwayne: What happened?
Jerome: Some Chinese man be talking shit to me, and pointing this dino in my face. I don't know what he be sayin.' Swear down dese foreigners need to learn some english before dey get up in my face!
Jerome then goes back to his till to serve a customer. He scans a cup. 
Jerome: That'll be five pounds please ma'am
Customer: Can I have a bag please?
Jerome: Yes you may
He hands her the bag. She looks at him and puts the cup in the bag and walks away. The shop quietens. Jerome leaves the till and walks slowly around the shop in circles inspecting the damage as he goes. 
Jerome: Dis shop is in a worse state den da bin room at da estate. There ain't no way in hell I'm cleaning up. 
From behind the till Dwayne appears. 
Dwayne: I'm going toilet
Jerome picks up a bouncy ball and throws it at Dwayne's head. 
Jerome: You ain't going nowhere blad
Dwayne grabs a flask and flings it in Jerome's direction. Jerome dodges it.
Jerome: HAHA you throw like a girl!! 
Mikeala: Are you guys duuumb? That's it, I'm gone' tell security!
Dwayne: You best watch yourself. I'm gonna get you when I come back...
Jerome: Yeah, yeah 
Dwayne exits the shop. A customer appears. Mikaela turns to him and scans the items before placing them in a bag, meanwhile the customer shoves money in her face.
Mikeala: Can you not see I'm doing somefing? I only got two hands you know. Some people! 
She kisses her teeth. Customer looks embarrassed, she gives him the change and he walks away..... be continued.... (maybe)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Whitstable Harbour

I took the train up to Whitstable today... a good trip, despite the freezing cold weather! I got to check out the harbour and walk along the coast for a bit before it started snowing/ raining. Also met an interesting Scottish chap named Ewan. Whitstable is most famous for it's oysters which have been collected in the area since at least Roman times...

Whitstable Beach

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


...bits of pink blossom, spindly arms- reach for our sky...

Monday, 4 March 2013

Time Out London Winner

...I found out much to my surprise that I had been selected as a winner for the Time Out/ Media Trust's 'Your London' competition not long ago...!

The Competition

'Media Trust has joined forces with Time Out London to launch Your London - an initiative that offers young talent from across the capital the chance to be mentored by Time Out’s Editor-in-Chief Tim Arthur and be part of Time Out London’s editorial team.

Your London, supported by The Jack Petchey Foundation, offers 18-25 year olds from across the capital the chance to pick up writing, photography and digital media skills from top journalists and be part of the team that creates Time Out London’s January 2013 edition.'

My Entry

Tell us about yourself and why you feel you deserve this opportunity (max 150 words) *

I'm a born and bred Londoner with a passion for creativity, exploration and discovery. I derive much of my inspiration from the places I go and the people I meet in London. Over the last few years I've written books, poems and short stories set in London, I've had my photography work up in places such as Brixton Village and the Candid gallery, I've worked in many different places across the capital, North London to South London, from the Natural History Museum to the London Wetland Centre. I've also volunteered in various community settings such as housing estates, pharmacies and refugee drop- in centres and schools. I love walking through London and meeting different characters along the way who inspire me and shape my way of life. I also currently run a blog which seeks to convey the ethereal qualities of London life. 

Tell us what London means to you, how you’d describe your capital and why you think it would be interesting to Time Out London’s audience (max 200 words) *  

This (Super) Natural City: A distinct quality of my London is the ethereal, mystical and timeless nature of the City, which to me, is most visibly found in the hidden wildlife-rich green areas of the city. The Magnificent Seven, for example Nunhead and Abney Park offer beautiful refuges in the heart of busy urban hubs. When one enters these almost sacred spaces, one leaves behind the insanity and movement of the city and is instead transported to a different place, a place of reflection and timelessness- the sound of traffic is replaced by the sound of birdsong...

Wherever I go in London, I find myself drawn to areas of quiet natural beauty- landscapes of an almost spiritual quality that appear to be untouched by humans. London is a beautiful city graced with heathland, marshes, wetlands, ancient woodlands, reservoirs, rivers and chalk grassland, many of these areas remain unknown/ unused or underused by the general public. I think my London would be of interest to Time Out's audience as I would not only seek to inform but also to encourage the reader to discover these special areas for themselves- to connect with the natural world, to the past and to themselves.  

The Prize(s)

So as a winner, along with the four other finalists including my good friend AG, I received my very own SLR! Finally, after 7 years of using camera-phones and second hand digital cameras I've finally got my very own SLR camera. Thank you Media Trust and Time Out! 

And that's not all. 

I was also able to attend a couple of very insightful evening media industry workshops at the Time Out headquarters in London. We got a chance to talk to chief-editor Tim Arthur (really nice guy) and other equally cool sub-editors, over pizza! Yeah, Time Out's cool like that. During the workshops I learnt a lot about the media industry, the different ways in and how to be good at what you do. We also got a tour of the building. The offices were typically un-office like, I especially liked the trippy carpets and foosball table... We also got a chance to see how the magazine is put together, and were able to share our thoughts/ ideas on the design/ layout for an upcoming feature.

As well as this, we also got the chance to be mentored by the guys at Time Out including Staff Photographer, a very down to earth guy who's worked for Time Out for over 10 years- Rob Grieg. The five of us also got the chance to pitch ideas and contribute work to Time Out's Top 10's! 

It was an amazing amazing opportunity and I feel like I've learnt a lot from the guys at Time Out. A big thank you to them and to the Media Trust and a special thank you to my mate Safia for making me apply.  Be sure to pick up a copy of the mag on fri! I wrote a few tiny pieces... :-)