Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Fear of flags

I have a strange relationship with my own union flag and I put it largely down to tendencies towards racist discourse when it comes to my own state.

When I was young I learnt to associate the St George and the British flag to a large degree with racism, bigotry and empire.

I wasn't the only one.


At University we would deliberately avoid the pubs that displayed the flag on the outside, because it was often code for narrow minded attitudes inside.

This wasn't exclusively the case, but you can see why I would grow to see the symbol of my nation as something toxic.

From that day to this I have yet to wear one, display one or wave one.

Dark times

To allow you to look through those eyes you might realise why the Olympics that passed a year or so back were interesting for me.

Things were tough here, really tough.

There had been recently been rioting in the capital and many, many people were out of work.

The younger generation was rapidly being lost.

Watching from the cheap seats

Thus the attitude to the Olympics in the media and by many people I spoke to was very jaded, a lot of people saw it as a waste of money.

When it happened I had no tickets for the able bodied events, I simply had the TV.

However watching Jessica Ennis storm to victory on the large TV in the local pub, which did put up the union flag for the occasion, found me shouting wildly at the television.

I dubbed her Superwoman to a friend later.

A hero

To me, she was amazing.

She was short, like myself, she was a woman and she had won a complex athletics event at a time when everything around me looked like failure.

But more importantly than that she was mixed race and she was wrapped in my flag, a double victory.

Those year's of shame at the words that often seemed to be attached to that symbolism was in a moment shaken.

In taking the flag and winning she provided a potent image of an ethnically diverse and successful Britain.

More please.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Too thin by half

Numbers admitted to anorexia clinics has gone up in Britain in the last 10 year's as reported by The Guardian.

The articles cites celebrity images in magazines as being part of the culprit.

I do not know enough to assume the exact triggers for eating disorders, but idealised standards for women are unlikely to help, based purely on common sense.

All women have the capacity to be beautiful and it would be great if the media could move closer to reflecting this fact.

Cosmopolitan in the UK did some great images recently shooting pregnant women of varying races and body types and they all looked great.

Could we present more of this?

Doves advertising in the UK has been interesting, it has made the bold move of focusing on women's beauty rather than their flaws to sell things; the better course I believe.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

In defence of commitment

I don't normally stray towards relationship matters, but there seems to be a pervading dialogue of commitment doubt.

Yes, marriages break up, couples fall out, and friends and colleagues have fights.

The reason for all of this is ultimately working towards understanding.

By committing we allow greater room to know a person and accept them, we de-objectify them and allow them to become whole.

The South London papers are on strike, I honour their commitment to the standard of their work.

In all its forms commitment seems to have power to me.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Freedom to blog

Amnesty International has been campaigning for a significant amount of time now to protect the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi from the 1000 lashes he has been sentenced for insulting Islam.

Sadly the supreme court in Saudi Arabia has upheld the punishment.

Just when I was feeling hopeful that the Middle East might find room to change.


As I am in a country where blogging is legal and freedom of expression largely allowed I thought it sensible to blog about this.

It is hard when people express things that you find hurtful or insulting, but the better impulse is to try and hold back from a violent response.

Much as I would like to slap Frankie Boyle in the face for some of his so-called comedy, so far I have just verbally fumed and turned the TV off, and if I had gone chasing after him with a baseball bat after the things that had offended me I wouldn't have allowed him enough room to express some of the cruel wit that actually holds some legitimate social commentary.

I could certainly be better in the area of non violent opposition to things, but I think that it is important that I and everyone else attempt that road for the future.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tiffany's call to protect journalist

A short article in The Guardian today mentions a move by Tiffany's to call for the withdrawal of prosecution of an investigative journalist who uncovered human rights abuses in the diamond trade in Angola.

The issue of conflict diamonds is one truly worthy of international attention.

It is heartening to see that the winds of change are turning.

Action from those in the business is a strengthening move, all be it pushed by grass roots work.

Rafael Marques de Morais treatment at the hands of the Angolan authorities is reportedly prompted by the work in his book Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola.

A promising news story for the day.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


So I caught up with a bit of random spy action recently.

Young south London kid gets trained to be a spy, lots of people very stereotypically posh and rough, as if there was no complexity to human character.

This film hardly blew me away.

Good points, bad points

It was quite paced, but it tended to rush its way through with no real plot intricacy.

I guess I feel plot intricacy is appropriate for a spy movie.

If you want something fun when you're tired though it could be a giggle and they do amazingly reference the vagina monologues.

Bit male dominated

This is a bit of a 'lads' film, I think, not much that made me laugh and some jokes that I found in poor taste.

Also a shot of a South London pub I know which is a bit of a winner and a fun sound track.

There are some touching moments though, maybe 5/10..?

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Odd one out

I always embraced other cultures and tried to learn about them.

So when presented with the option of sharing a house with foreigners I didn't think there would be any problems.

However I didn't take account of dealing with conflicting prejudices and social expectations.

Things I did that I found completely normal were sometimes frowned upon, leaving me occasionally fighting to be myself.

I didn't expect to struggle with acceptance that made me feel culturally alone.

This isn't an experience that I faced before.

When I look back on these difficulties now what I was struggling with wasn't about where they were from as it was about the fact that our attitudes weren't well aligned.

Had I been living with David Cameron my problem would have been similar.

The person that I am was in opposition to the people that they were and with those of them that was less the case for I found the relationship easier.

This is saddening because I imagine neither of us wants to change ourselves to live in harmony, so how do you build harmony when fundamental things about you conflict?

Does a certain level of conflict then become healthy or dangerous?

Friday, 29 May 2015

Unpure driving

In the same moment as the British Library has managed to get Spare Rib up online there is a Rabi in North London that is making driving a purity issue.


I currently don't drive, because I have been unwell and didn't trust myself in a bad condition behind a wheel.

Responsible female attitude to road safety right there.


However, all sorts of nonsense seems to now be coming out of the wood work.

There is a man on the radio saying that women don't need to drive for work and are just unnecessary polluters.

I'm sorry...

Yes, we should keep our car journeys to a minimum and use public transport whenever possible.

However, sometimes everyone needs to drive, anyone who attaches driving with lack of modesty or purity or anything of the sort needs their head examined.

Are British men suddenly going mad, drunk on a ridiculous Clarksonesque rush of power.

Hush, or some woman might run you over.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Good news for the Rainbow flag

I have a headache, some parts of YouTube are getting to look like Satan with all the aggression and prescriptive love advice.

Gay marriage now exists in Ireland.

Wish I'd been at that party, I suspect it was more liberating.

We are certainly living in interesting times.

All you're getting out of me today, the last thing I tried to write was too depressing.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Feminism exists

A woman I spoke to recently was talking about supervising young girls.

She was pointing to the fact that they can be horrible to each other and in the same breath dispelled the notion that feminism even existed.

Given the kind of woman that she is I suspect that it wasn't meant as too serious a comment.

However, it got me thinking.

We need to stand together

I would be a fool if I didn't recognise that women often attack and undermine each other.

However, this does not mean feminism doesn't or shouldn't exist.

After all feminism does not require all women to think the same, it requires enough education and economic power to make them meaningful contributors to the debate.

Bitching is a trap

If I stoop to the level of judging a woman purely by her looks or similar superficial aspects I invalidate my own position.

This does not mean that you can't appreciate the effort someone has made with their appearance, but don't focus overly on this if she is making a speech on politics, singing or dancing.

Ultimately if you focus on what women can be you put them on a more equal footing with men in public discourse immediately, by the same token this allows you to focus on the fact that one woman might be being overly mean or controlling.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The struggling local press

I was searching for an outlet for an article that I am trying to write on a local issue.

Only to be confronted with precious few outlets for such articles and a writing team on some of these papers that clearly consists of about three people.

Now, I know what that feels like to a degree having worked for a student news team of three, but that was only producing a paper about once every four weeks - my memory of these facts is now hazy.

It was an intimate experience and one which served to make me some friends who I admire to this day large numbers of who work in the media and publishing in some capacity.

It wasn't the best way of serving a community though really.

Journalism is best when you can get out to see people and that isn't always going to be possible if there aren't many of you and you rarely take on freelancers.

If this isn't a pitch for a job I don't know what is, but I'm actually trying to draw your attention to a wider problem hard working journalists with integrity who are being asked to do more and more for less, something worth remembering when Andy Coulson's name is being splashed all over the place.

It's unsurprising one of the unions for those media workers was out on strike recently.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Privatisation battle in Waterloo

A fight has broken out over the building of the Garden Bridge in Waterloo, a meeting was held last night to discuss the matter further.

The Coin Street builders are looking to redevelop the land at Queen's Walk.

The local Waterloo community have put in an objection to the plans, which they say is not a transport project, but an aggressive money making venture undertaken with public money.

They argue that not only is the project not needed, but it will lead to overcrowding and fear it will damage the character and peace of the area.

The community have managed to secure a judicial review to take place in the near future.

A number of political representatives were present at the meeting, but Kate Howey the long standing sitting MP was noticeably absent.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Chuka's bowing out

For those watching the UK election fall out Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have stepped down as leaders of their respective parties.

Chuka Umunna was tipped for the leadership of the Labour Party and had thrown his hat into the ring.

Yet today news was out that he had already pulled out blaming aggressive press attacks on his family and girlfriend.

It is hard in these situations to be sure what is going on, but it may not be the best news for an opposition Labour Party that was increasingly aware he was feared by the Conservatives.

Some could argue that was why the press were going for his neck.

No news seems to be coming from the Liberal Democrat camp, I imagine their party will be reeling more than most having been clearly rejected at the polls.

The UK political landscape certainly presents an original picture at present.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Post election alarm

I ran away to Greece for the recent election, I think given the result it was the best place for me.

The result reduced me to tears, coming unexpectedly late since on results day I was insulated from the shock on an idyllic Greek island.

My initial hopes that the SNP might align with left wing parties were destroyed fairly fast with Sturgeon wading in with further devolution demands, change the record missy you don't sound much better than the BNP (not linking to them) that way.

Painful realisation

Now that the initial bitter jokes in my mind are wearing off the reality of what straight Conservative government is beginning to hit.

The stories coming through are making me jumpy to say the least.

So the woman touted for equalities is anti Gay marriage, something Cameron at least had claimed that he was behind.

Human's don't need rights

They're throwing around ideas of abandoning the human rights act, something that protects all of us from the worst excesses of human cruelty.

Seriously, there is nothing controversial about protecting people with the law and from degrading treatment and the right to marry if they wish.

I thought they were nasty, I didn't realise they were quite that nasty: are they aiming on a police state?

Friday, 24 April 2015

Home turf

I was at a party earlier this week and someone from the other side of London took it upon himself to insult my part of town.

Now, here's the funny thing, if it had been one of my mates running the area down or if I'd been fed up, it would have passed with nothing other than perhaps a sage nod.

Hearing it from a stranger unfortunately sends all my hackles up.

Gone all primal

The reaction is something akin to what a Lioness might feel if you turned on her cubs.

I can physically feel myself bristle and then all the aggression that is thoroughly unacceptable party behaviour comes out.

This is not the way to win friends and influence people.

I like it this way, I do

That has however flown out of my head, I feel something similar to if the man had wandered into my home and insulted the paint work.

Sure I know it needs a paint job and yes I'm not entirely sure about the shade either.

But here's the thing, it's my home, it feels like one of those comfy sweaters that everyone has that has now got a million holes in it due to the fact that you've worn it to death because despite it not being fashionable or to most people's tastes, you love it.

I always start a fight

So here I am cursing a lost connection because of a mixed up sense of pride and belonging.

Honestly, if you're reading this I thought you were lovely, I just can't seem to keep my mouth shut when I disagree with people, it was how I was raised.

No one ever sent me to finishing school I'm afraid.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Which way now?

I believe that good journalism should underpin the democratic debate.

Alongside my younger brother we put together a short film with interviews in London and Birmingham to address the question of how people currently feel about voting in the UK.

This is a not for profit venture.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Streatham's hustings

Last night there was a general election hustings in Streatham Baptist Church for the local seat.

Six parties were present to contest the seat: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, TUSC and UKIP.

The church was nearly full.

Chuka Umunna who is returning to try and hold his seat put in a patchy performance compared to how strong he has been in the past, he looked dangerously close to resting on his laurels.

The Green and TUSC candidates spoke strongly and are likely to draw Labour votes, challenging Chuka for actions taken by Lambeth council in forcing people out of their housing association properties.

However both the Greens and TUSC are suggesting policies that may cause significant political and economic upheaval in contrast to Labour's slightly more evolutionary approach, it is not clear whether the electorate is ready for these moves.

The Green Party emerged as the most internationally focussed party, seeing problems faced here in Britain as wider issues affecting the international community.

The Liberal Democrat candidate put in a considered performance, aligning herself with the anti-war movement and business concurrently she certainly presented as a leader in waiting and I suspect that she will not disappear.

TUSC also identified themselves as anti-war but picked up the issue of comprehensive education rather than business.

The Conservative candidate seemed weak on policy, making vague comments such as mixed communities being a good thing without offering concrete pledges on actions she would make while in power.

UKIP appeared to only offer a pledge of winning back Britain without any suggestion of exactly what he meant by this statement.

People seem to think that Chuka will win the seat and it is merely a question of lessening his majority.

However, Labour seats have been lost by a split vote in the past, the seat is not won yet.

This is merely a short report of my view on the hustings, I would encourage interested parties to read reports in the local paper.

Sunday, 12 April 2015


I was lucky enough as a teenager to be told that news reports tend to paint the world bleakly.

The world seems more threatening because it focuses on bad things.

This is an invaluable world view.

Sadly I feel too far from the effects of this sane view point.

Losing sanity?

Too much media exposure and hyped up talk has left me occasionally falling into irrational panics.

Yet this seems to happen to me when things are safer.

When I am actually faced with more genuinely worrying situations I seem to deal with them better.

All in the mind

I am beginning to wonder whether this is unresolved issues related to feeling threatened in the past or actually due to news exposure.

Does listening to negative reporting drive this panic in my mind to a larger degree than finding myself in a frightening situation?

I'm beginning to think that it does and my best defence seems to be turning off the news...

Thursday, 9 April 2015


I got caught into conversations about the state of London last night.

Bemoaning changes in the landscape around me.

Then I feel I was forgetting the things that have got better.

Letting go of the past is a funny thing, sometimes you need to, sometimes you should hold on.

I guess the trick is trying to work out what is actually worth the struggle of keeping.

Which probably ends up with you listening to songs like this.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A slow day at the office

I have waded through this sugarless world with huge quantities of Salmon.

My alcohol consumption has upped.

That's a tricky one, it has limited me in my mind to wines and liquors and asking lots of tricky questions about cocktails, which unfortunately I fell down on.

Less than I'm used to

It has also meant practically no coffee, as my sweet tooth doesn't really handle coffee without sugar in it, I think we've been here before...

Missing food is a dangerous business, not intended, but it does occasionally happen.

Without sugar hits from sweets and other things it hits my mind like a bit of a vice.

If ever there was doubt that what you put into your mouth effects your mind this exercise may well make it hit home.

Self control

I didn't enter this as a diet.

It is frustrating that because I have a womb the world assumes that fashion and dieting are all I want to read about.

Fine topics, but like pink actually not at the forefront of all female brains.

A brain that I am seeking to strengthen by enforcing a rule upon it.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Media landscapes according to Quilla Constance

Quilla Constance is a punk persona looking to provide a critique of the development of the pop ascetic. Recently she took club soho to court. She says “I thought it would be something quite funny to do a gig there as a spoof militant punk persona.” But in the end they double booked her gig with a corporate gig. She went straight to equity and they sued and won. She said: “I did a protest outside, which was actually I would have said a lot more punk than anything that would have happened inside the club anyway.”

Quilla is insistent about providing an alternative to the mainstream, which she sees as toxic. She is interested in the fact that women now seem to find it empowering to take off as many clothes as possible. She is scathing that Lilly Allen is saying oh yeah I’m a feminist ambassador and then the next day she’ll be like, you know posing in FHM. “I’m just wondering where that alternative voice is.”

Her message she says looks at an over identification with a familiar ascetic and where does a black woman reside in this very air brushed European look. The interruption of that very glamorous language.

“She’s the arbiter of taste. She’s the QC. Let’s call her the mainstreams ultimate quality control.”

Feminism vs conformity

When I was doing lots of research for this PR blitz video (her last performance) I was just ripping out headlines from these gossip magazines and a lot of the headlines were about a woman’s weight … or whether they were happy with their bodies and stuff. And it’s just kind of like God you know is there really nothing else to talk about?

She speaks at length about the way the media is driven by PR. She clearly sees the whole thing as fundamentally flawed. She is irritated by the fact that women are drawn to careers like Jordan’s rather than other professions. She goes on to say: “I think possibly I’m repulsed by it more because I’ve never fitted into that ascetic anyway.”

“People think, oh if you’re a feminist you must be a really butch angry woman it had a very bad press behind it and the problem is, it’s not defined, it can’t be defined really, I don’t agree that it is as cheap as it’s being sold to be. There’s more to it.”

Where next?

Asked whether she would like to see the media landscape as it currently exists to self destruct she says: “I don’t think that it’s ever going to be, the joke about the PR blitz with the news of the world landing on a puppet of Rebekah Brooks at the end is the fact that it’s never over and it never will be, it’s only going to get worse I think actually”

With QC she is trying to claim back some of the power that she feels has been lost. She is not trying to create pop, but rather provide an alternative landscape to the dialogue that she feels resides there.

The Private View of her exhibition is tonight from 6pm.

Solo exhibition, opening at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning (funded by Arts Council England). The exhibition runs from March 26th - May 8th, with a symposium at UAL Chelsea College of Arts and video screenings / performances at The Freud Museum and St John's College, Oxford to follow.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Boy in Darkness

The Blue Elephant have finalised their production of Boy in Darkness.

Boy in Darkness is an episode in the Gormenghast series when Titus Groan, referred to mostly as "the Boy" in the story, is a young teenager.

Yearning for freedom from his ceaseless duties he escapes the ancient castle and encounters the nightmare world outside.


When I saw this show in development I was impressed by the physicality of it and it's brooding dynamism, despite being a one man recital.

The final production had added stage props to aid with the exploratory climbing of the tale.

This is a beautiful dark representation of the Mervyn Peake book.


I still have reservations about the length and intensity of the production, at times it feels as if there is need to take stock of the story, especially as it flows straight through with just one narrator.

However the overall effect is quite spell binding and is a great effort to bring a spine chilling storybook to life on stage.

The run ends soon, so go while you still can.
The simplicity of the production adds to it's foreboding.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

No sugar moodiness

Today was not my happiest day.

I am wondering at this point in my sugar fast, which is rapidly becoming every sweet thing but fruit fast, whether my mood is being hit by the absence of sugar.

There are more pressing things to consider than this minor ponderance of mine, but it is perhaps worth noting that I have spots, so if you're thinking of cutting sugar out for that then don't bother.

The wider world

In other news I was heartened to see so many people out on the streets of Israel protesting.

Hope is a precious thing in such a situation.

And given the myriad of confusing news coming from the region I feel opposition couldn't come at a better time.


And the fictional fashion duo are becoming real life fashion stars.

Seeing them pictured next to Anna Wintour makes me feel a little uneasy.

Still burning with anger from How Glamour Lost it's Lustre.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Food nonsense

Given that I'm in this weird anti-sugar Utopia it seemed eminently timed for thug kitchen.

Passed on through the wonders of Facebook this 'spoof' book (hard to be sure) encouraged me to eat like I give a f&*k.

That's a dandy idea that one, especially after the worst ever salt beef sandwich I have ever come across.

Mama don't preach

Thing is, actually cooking up a storm is not exactly high on my agenda.

I feel despondent.

Aware that despondency is only likely to be increased by a poor diet, but there you have it folks.

How a person feels, or at least how this person feels directly relates to how excited they are by cooking things.

Simple dinners are us

Tomorrow I will be mostly eating noodles, because I am aware that I am not on a wage that actually supports people properly in this city.

So pass the noodles and soup ingredients, budget cooking is all the rage in this very annoyed brain.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Black sexualisation WoW style

Ok, this is a bit of a rant.

The south bank centre runs the Women of the World WoW festival once a year now and I may be suffering from the fact that nothing is going to compare to the first feeling I got of attending the event, but I was a little disappointed by some of the line up this year.

I went to the sexualisation of black women event hoping for some insightful debate on how black women fare in the realm of sexual imagery.

Indeed, some interesting points were raised about the number of black women who were abused by their partners proportionally and the phenomena of denigrating darker black women's skin tones, which is truly heart breaking.

However, then I felt the debate started to turn a little south.

Troubling ideas

The issue of white women being prized over black women, seems bizarre.

I have to say that is very damning and de-humanising of black men, not saying that they never do this, but the dialogue seemed to tar all black men in this way?

I felt similarly disturbed by claims that black women were punished for not being white.

Physical abuse may have more to do with other social and economic strains affecting black people, rather than because of any desire among black men to punish black women.

Again, not saying it doesn't happen, but I truly believe it's not all about race.

Let's just blame it on race

Then claiming that idealisation of lighter skin tones comes from the white community, it is a very select and privileged set of white people in charge of things like fashion magazines and they serve to dissempower both white and black women by trying to insist on a standard.

The debate started to simply sound prejudiced.

All white women, just like all black women are not the same.

This dialogue helps no one by being purely confrontational.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Enchanting frivolity

I ventured to Brighton on Sunday, despite the ever rising rail fares.

An invitation to The Seven Stars in Brighton.

Turns out on a Sunday they have live music, perfect really.

A haven from the sea air

There was a beautiful atmosphere, friendly, lively and warm.

The band performed some lively jazzy numbers good for toe tapping and full on whirling.

Indeed, some of the attendees displayed some mighty fine footwork.

Sublime glass ringer

But nothing quite prepared me for Sam Chara.

She innocuously slipped on stage to perform on the mic.

The only word for what followed was phenomenal and I do not say that lightly.

To my imperfect ears her renditions of famous jazz numbers was flawless and rose to scales I had not even heard in the originals.

Hats off woman, it's no surprise that you're trained in Opera and Jazz, in some alternate reality I'm sure you could weave silver with those lungs.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

10,000 page views without the sugar coating

I am persevering in my little lent quest, my fruit intake is definitely rising.

Not quite sure if it's altering my mood, but I think I might just be sleeping a little better.

No scientific evidence for this, just a feeling.

It's been a quite day, I've mainly been cursing government cuts and getting sad about religious extremism.


So all there is really to report is my slight excitement that 10,000 people have decided to come and look at the funny little words I write.

That seems like a big number to me.

If each of you could now donate this unpaid blogger a pound I'd be stoked.

Someone once said, if you don't ask you don't get, you see...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

EYE WITNESS Firefighter demonstration outside parliament

The FBU, the firefighter's union gathered today near parliament at 12 o'clock to protest attacks on pensions..

By 12 numbers had amassed to roughly 180 to 200 people, 40 of whom appeared to be waiting outside the pub and accidentally set off a police car alarm.

Attendees were mainly men, perhaps indicating how male centric a profession the fire service remains in the 21st Century.

At the early stages the Essex, Cornwall and Isle of Wight banner could be seen.

In full swing

By 2 o'clock the demonstration was in motion and moving towards the actual parliament building.

Numbers had reached around 500 by this point and by this time the Dorset, Wiltshire and Northern Ireland banner could be seen.

The protest, which coincided with a strike called over a row over fireman's pensions.

A number of placards denounced Penny Mordaunt, a Tory minister as being a liar because of what she had said in parliament about pensions and firefighters fitness.

It is noted that the police presence was notably smaller, almost non existent, compared to the EDL marches a few years back in area.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cooking in a time of savoury

Well yesterday ended with me realising one of the fish dishes I made up on my own, for a non chef I was really pleased with that one, would be missing an ingredient due to what I guess I'll call my sugar fast.

Still tasted pretty cool.

Wake me up before you go go

Today started with me in a rush to a meeting failing to remember my vague rules and picking up a Pain Au Chocolat, although strictly chocolate isn't refined sugar and so I will still think of today as a success.

I was also treated to a delightful surprise in finding the instant Chai that I have come to love so much is refined sugar free.

Cinnamon baby, that's all I'm going to say, yum, yum and yum.

Good news on the home front

Teenage pregnancy in blighty is still going down, as is binge drinking.

A cheer for public information ads people, don't you think...

Monday, 23 February 2015


I seem to be surviving off a lot of pizza in this no refined sugar world.

I've done a whole day today without:

No wait, you should get the drill by now.

Big promises in little bottles

So I will turn to something slightly, though not really, more interesting.

Shapers Skin Sparkler.

This little bottle of trouble promises to maintain collagen formation and help with the skin and nails.

Pet peeve

Now the words pasted to this little drink mention some great vitamins that I can well believe would do wonders for my skin.

But until I took a mouthful I forgot to check for the ingredient that a lot of these drinks bring along with them.

Sweetener, it pretty much makes all drinks disgusting and even with a no sugar diet for the last few days it is if anything more disgusting.

As far as I can remember they have no real benefit, so I left it and had an apple instead, much nicer.

Feeling uninspired

Saturday saw no sugar or honey consumption.

Though I did eat some coconut cakes, which I do not class as refined sugar.

I ate them in a rush to sustain me through a Beethoven concert, which was quite lovely.

Ended the day craving KFC, which filled a hole but felt like I could taste the water and salt injection.

Quiet days

Sunday had a much better day all round.

No sugar, honey, chocolate or even coconut cakes.

Quite moody by the middle of the day though.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Self denial a go go

Today didn't start as well as I'd planned.

I was offered tea this morning, I asked for peppermint because I find it easier to drink herbal without sweetener, I was given tea with honey in it.

I had been meaning to stay off the honey for as long as possible to see how challenging it would be to do it that way.


I have made the end of the day with one dose of honey, no sugar and no chocolate.

I'm feeling fine and have done a lot of transcription and a bit of dancing.

I'm writing up an interview I did last year that I'm hoping to pitch to a magazine or newspaper.

It has nothing to do with sugar.


There is of course an election coming up and a 'grown up' debate about who should leads our country, but no one is paying me to talk about anything as exciting as who governs the United Kingdom.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Speaking nerds, again

The Festival of the Spoken Nerd are touring again.

It's all got a lot brasher and brighter and, possibly, nerdier.

Things have moved on a lot since I last saw these guys.

The experiments have got bigger.

The nerdiness has become nerdier, if that's possible...

I was treated to spreadsheets, maths equations and fire...

Who says science is dull?

This performance came complete with running stenographer text for the deaf and the hard of the hearing, making geekdom even more accessible.

These three musketeers of nerd offer up a unique brand of innocently positive comedy at a time when everyone seems to get a laugh by being more offensive and nasty than the last person.

They invite you to wonder and giggle at the truths and explosions that the march of scientific endeavour has provided us.

Sorry I didn't publish this at the time guys I was having a crisis of unpaid confidence.

A spoon less of sugar

I have decided to observe lent.

Odd thing to touch on at this point what with Chelsea fan racism and shootings in France.

Perhaps I'm retreating mentally.

Then again the government has been driving me nuts and other than a bit of pre-election campaigning there's not much I can do about that state of affairs.


I am going to try and do something about myself.

I'm not a Christian so I've only observed lent once when I was having a crisis of Atheism back in my teens.

Giving up chocolate proved very hard and may have contributed further to how I felt about the whole God stuff, it's hard to be sure.

This time I'm doing it for myself in an exercise in self control, in a bid to strengthen my own sense of self determinism.

Cutting the sweet stuff

The luxury in question is refined sugar, and no I didn't fast on Ash Wednesday.

I'm going to start strict with this and see how I go and do quite a mundane blog of my struggles in the mean time.

This may be very dull, we will see, but it will give me something to hang some writing around.

They're giving you more than a hair cut Britain!

I am not going to delve further into the Hebdo nonsense and deaths that have followed other than to say: try not to kill people.

And move onto a different topic: cuts.

Government cuts

As you sip your water, walk paved streets, cross the road...

Ask not what you're country can do for you, but...

What it might have been doing...

And isn't anymore!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Taking the piss for a better future

The Hebdo attacks had my mind whirring, partly because I'd never even heard of the cartoons (admitting to ignorance), and partly because I'd become bogged down in British politics and being reminded of the spectre of terrorism again left me reeling.

So my reaction was first tears, then to join a throng of Je Suis Charlie, only to turn tail when someone described the publication as racist.

While I do not wish to live in a racist world I also do not want to live in a world where religion reigns supreme.

Yet the question rising in my mind is why do I not know about this publication and what does that indicate? Is it their failing or mine?

Freedom of speech

At school I often felt different and left out, so I dislike bullying behaviour and people without compassion.

However, having been that odd ball I value my voice and by that I mean my ability to criticise and argue with anything.

By that I do not mean a right to hurt people and if the Muslim world wishes to take the piss back, let it do so, but that is not the same thing as killing someone.

Let's not play holier than thou

In our supposedly feminist championing West a girl who challenges things often finds themselves unpopular and criticised in a way that most men wouldn't accept.

That can mean as much the devoutly religious girl, as well as the devoutly atheist one.

Then again, getting less male attention generally means you get more done.

So thanks for taking the piss guys, I probably wouldn't have got three A grades at A level without it.

Ridicule is a great weapon

My mistake was to stop taking the piss of things I didn't agree with.

But I and everyone else would do well to remember that you can take a joke too far.

My beliefs are as important as anyone else's and yes Atheists do believe in things.

Ignorance is still the biggest bully going.

Monday, 12 January 2015

To Paris with love

The attack on Charlie Hebdo had me crying and shaken.

The strength of those challenging the attack with ink is admirable.

Please also look at the condemnation coming from the Arab world.

Though as reports reach me that the magazine is to go to press with a cartoon of the prophet, my first reaction is hold fire mes amies.

Satire is a tool against the strong by the weak.

Remember the Muslims in your country that have served you in this moment and let it breathe.

Osama Bin Laden was looking to ignite a war when he attacked the twin towers.

I suspect this attack is also calculated to provoke hate.

Let love and enlightenment win, not over simplification.