Pop-up shop

If you’re out and about in London the next few weekends, check out this Pop-up jewellry shop on Columbia Road. The shop features hand made creations from the Dialogue Collective as well as students and other designers and makers. All pieces are priced at £20. Plus, the shop sits above the ever so trendy flower market that happens on Sundays. It makes a nice day out. You can’t miss it- just walk down the road and you’ll see lots of home made tape signs pointing you in the right direction. Just in case you do, its number 146 Columbia Road.


A letter to the Editor

Dear Glamour Magazine,

I used to like you. Although some of my friends judged, and called me vain and warned me of sub-par content and subject matter, I really liked reading you. I liked your stories about women starting their own stuff up and your fashion pages, how they weren’t full of silly feathered, bejeweled frocks just aimed at middle class women. I liked how the School of Everything somehow managed to get on your Blogroll. But today is the last day I ever pay for, or even flip through your glossy, celebrity donning magazine ever again.

Why? My answer is very simple. I was grossly offended by ‘Your world cup survival guide’. Ok, fine you came up with a way of playing up on the fact that less women than men will be keen on the world cup. Fine- sterotypical, but fine. But then, you go on to suggest ways of ‘Escaping the football this summer with our clever, stylish 90-minute must-dos’ as alternatives to a 90-minute match (see bottom of post for this)

These must dos are: (this isn’t a joke, by the way, this is completely real)

– ‘Watch Sex and the City 2’

– ‘Shop till you’re ready to drop’

– ‘ Try wine tasting’

– ‘Have a picnic in the park’

– ‘Have a bake off’

Oh, and since its also a promotional piece featuring Rosemont White Wine, ‘Give football the Yellow card: win a girl’s shopping trip to New York’. No Glamour I won’t. You get a RED card for being so offensive, sexist and uninspiring. Have a bake off? Honestly? This is not a clever, or stylish ‘must-do’. It’s dated and perpetuating an age old stereotype. You should have included knitting, look after your children or braiding each others hair if that’s theme you’re rolling with. On page 105 you’re telling women ‘yes, you can do anything’ and not 5 pages later, you’re telling us to have a bake off. Lovely.

Here is MY World Cup Survival Guide:

– Don’t read Glamour

– Watch a match- or all of them. If you don’t like football, the best matches to watch will be the later games, like quarter and semi finals. They’ll (hopefully) be the most exciting. Also the prospect of North Korea having to face South Korea for a match is insanely exciting- it’s historical.

– Drink juice. Or beer. Or cider. Drink anything- except Rosemont Sauvingnon Blanc. (Any company that allowed that ad to endorse them must be crazy, or even worse any company that came up with that ad is just completely out to lunch)

– Pretend you support a team. Since Canada isn’t in the World Cup, I’ve decided to support Spain. And Argentina. And Holland. And Italy because I drew Italy in my work’s football lottery. Then when one team gets knocked out, switch and support another. It drives some people crazy, but when you have no actual allegiance to a team, it’s quite fun. Fairweather supporting. Try it.

– Carry on with life like normal?

I’m so disappointed- partly because I won’t ever read the magazine again but mostly because I used to defend my Glamour reading, and now I’m just embarrassed that I actually thought that it wasn’t a horrible resource for women.

(PS-I have sent this to Glamour. If you too are annoyed, send something to them:


Sustainability’s Next Top Model

Green Thing has just launched a really cool competition: Sustainability Next Top Model. When I first heard about it, I had images in my mind of Tyra Banks asserting authority over eco-conscious people. But it’s nothing like how I pictured.  It’s actually a really nice way of showcasing 4 new start ups, all offering an alternative to consuming more.

Vote on facebook for your favourite and the winner gets a marketing campaign worth a £50,000.


My Canada Has Real Lakes

I know that Canada will see people from all around the world arrive for the June G20 summit. Impressions are important. But why is there a fake lake when we have so many real and beautiful ones? Yesterday saw the announcement of an a million dollar fake lake in the summit headquarters to ‘impress foreign media’. It’s not just a waste of water, and resource, money, time- the list could go on….*sigh*.

Here’s an idea- send them on a boat tour of an actual lake, like for Lake Ontario, whose shores Toronto happens to be on. I know Lake Ontario is not the cleanest or bluest of Lakes. Nor does it have Muskoka chairs lined up all around it (like the fake Lake does). Canada has an immense number of lakes- something like 31,752. Well, now, we’ve got 31,753. Only one of them isn’t even real!


‘You Are Responsible For Spills’

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. This one sure is. I think we could easily replace a few words in that sign to make it a more telling depiction of what’s going on now in the Gulf of Mexico.

(Spotted on Boing Boing, image from Flickr)


Tim Hortons in Kandahar

Canadian love their Tim Hortons. It’s much more than a chain of coffee shops, its a cultural institution. There is a Tim Hortons on the military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. And, when top Commanders of NATO shut down the Pizza Hut and Burger King on the base, Tim Horton’s got to stay. How nice.

But some are now thinking that changes to military policy, that makes Tim Hortons staff in Kandahar eligible for Afghan war medals is a step too far. Arguments in favour of Tim Horton’s staff receiving medals is based on previous wars where medals were awarded in WWII to civilians working for Salvation Army, Knights of Columbus, the Canadian Legion and the YMCA. Other say it doesn’t matter if Tim Horton’s staff are rewarded, the military has a reward system that shows who has done what type of service and for how long so it wouldn’t be as prestigious an award as those who were in combat in Afghanistan. Critics of the change in policy suggest that the only reason why the policy has changed is that American’s receive more medals than Canadian forces.

Canadians arguing over giving Tim Hortons staff awards, and being competitive with Americans? Yep, that’s the Canada I know and love.

(Spotted in the National Post)


Soccer Aid: England v. The Rest of the World

What a good idea. Get together a bunch of veteran professional footballers and celebrities in Old Trafford stadium and raise money for UNICEF. This year’s England squad included: Robbie Williams (Boy band singer), Alan Shearer (football legend) and Jamie Redknapp (veteran footballer). The rest of the world’s team included Zidane (football god), Gordon Ramsey (celebrity chef), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United player) and Mike Myers (Canadian actor). My favourite player on the pitch was definitely Olly Murrs. Olly, most famous for being the runner up of X -Factor is quite the player!

He owned the right wing for the first half of the match and had a really good work rate. Second half, he helped assist Sherringham in his goal, ducking so that he could take the header. Yes, Olly, I saw that clever little tuck you did.

It was a great game, really funny and light-hearted- something we rarely see in the football realm. The best remark from commentators was ‘Alan Shearer, denied by an Irish comedian.’ Hilarious- and true.


So Long Fabergas, we’ll miss you

Word on the street is Cesc Fabergas is leaving Arsenal. We’re all sad. Many in fact, are in denial of the whole situation. He’s been with Arsenal 7 years, and what a great 7 years they’ve been.

Think about how delighted people are when players return to their roots- sometimes not even permanently, but even for just an away fixture. When Man City played Arsenal at Emirates a few weeks back, Toure and Viera were given an amazing reception by Arsenal fans. Adebayor, not so much.

When players come back to Arsenal permanently, like Sol Campbell for example, everyone is happy. The stars are aligned and a player is seen as returning to their roots. Ever since Thierry Henry mentioned in an interview he wants to end his career at Arsenal, fans still talk about this like its going to happen tomorrow.

Fabergas is now returning to his roots. He left Barca years ago and now he will return to his club a world class player. I heard someone on the bus say ‘Arsenal is in Fabergas’s heart, but Barca is in his blood’. It’s true.

So, if this is so long Fabergas, fine. I promise to be one of the many people standing and cheering when you return for away fixtures at Emirates.


Everton Ladies win the FA Cup

Today I watched the women’s FA Cup final, Arsenal vs. Everton at the Nottingham Forest Ground. Everton won, from a goal scored in the last minute of added time, in extra time. I was convinced it was going to go to penalties.

While I was a bit disappointed Arsenal didn’t win, I was well impressed by the quality of football played.  Everton’s number 8, central mid-fielder Jill Scott was brilliant. She won every air borne ball in the mid-field. Other players I’d rate are Rachel Yankey and Kim Little from Arsenal’s side. Yankey’s pace completely blew away Everton’s right back. She had some explosive runs with the ball, allowing her to deliver excellent crosses into the box. Kim Little, who is quite a small player, had a dominating presence on the pitch. Despite several tackles and challenges from Everton, she remained sturdy and pushed through. After reading in the program she’s only 19, I was even more impressed. And, she has scored 2 hat tricks in the FA cup matches leading up to today.

Disappointing day for Arsenal Ladies (and Arsenal men losing 2-1 to Blackburn) but great day for women’s football.

(Image from Everton FC)


UK Election 2010

I’m finding Britain’s upcoming election quite exciting. I’ve watched all of the debates and can’t help but notice the piles of conversations happening online, especially on twitter.

I was pretty apathetic when it came to registering to vote but I remember an old friend telling me ‘If you don’t vote you lose your right to complain’. This one’s for you Robs.

So, I registered online, printed the necessary forms and sent them in. A week later, I received my Official Election Poll Card and my details were wrong. So, I went into Hackney Town Hall spoke with at least 4 different people and eventually, filled out the form again, with all of the same details as the first one.

And this arrived today…

voters card

Am I allowed to complain now?