Rihanna’s Tea Party

1 November 2010

Rihanna performed on yesterday’s x-factor – a performance which blew me away (and also made blatantly clear how rubbish some of the x-factor’s acts are – especially the [at long last] voted off Belle Amie).

In a performance that the Guardian described as a “a smart move – making it as spectacular as possible to disguise the fact that the song isn’t very good” she dodged cupcakes thrown by what looked like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Last Supper. Who knows, perhaps the madness behind her could have been her own Tea Party movement!

The Guardian’s liveblog description was fabulous in it’s clear bamboozlement:

8.32pm: Rihanna’s the third singer on, and she’s pulled out all the stops. There’s a huge banquet onstage, and the diners appear to include a tin soldier, a rabbit and Yoko Ono. Everyone’s throwing cake around. And now something’s caught fire.

It’s a smart move – making it as spectacular as possible to disguise the fact that the song isn’t very good – but Rihanna didn’t have to make this much effort. She was following Bon Jovi and Jamiroquai, after all. She could have sat around cleaning the fluff from her belly button and she still would have outclassed them both.


Resolutions on food

4 January 2010

So I’ve already spouted my wisdom on New Year’s Resolutions: nothing too much, relative, bit by bit. I might even be keeping them already (if I can tell). I’ve certainly been working harder, today anyway. And going to the gym has caused me muscle pain, so that one’s working too.

So I thought I’d share something written by a food-blogging Twitter friend of mine (the same one I debated the killing, eating, skinning and general murder of animals with. Like me, he’s the resolution, not revolution kind of guy. And I’m a great believer in his theory about diets “Weight lost on rigid diets invariably returns like a boomerang. ‘Detox’ is bunk”.

“We should be wary of overhauling the way we eat just because we’ve started a new Dilbert calendar. Stripping fat from our food and leaving the sugar tongs unpinched won’t, in themselves, bring us happiness”.

Which is why, despite over-indulging on the stilton and mince pies (there’s still loads of Christmas chocolate, mince pies, panetone and cheese left in my flat if anyone would like to help out), I’m not dieting. Just eating a little more sensible. Sure I’ll cut down on the cheese and fat, maybe out half a sugar in me double espresso in the mornings, rather than a whole one. But I’m not a dogmatic-dieter.

A varied diet is key (OK so I’m vegetarian out of choice, but still have a wide range of culinary delights within that constraint). Not too much fat, not too much low-fat. Whatever makes me happy – holistically (the stuff going in my mouth, the impact it has on my body, my mind and my spirit).

As my food-blogging friend says:

“Tweaking a few manageable things in our food will likely help us more than puritan upheavals, with their threadbare misery, disappointed relapse and bitter stabs of regret”.


SkyRiding

21 September 2009

Yesterday was the London SkyRide (previously known as the Hovis Freewheel, when it had a different sponsor obv). I must say I enjoyed it. Having the chance to cycle through central London without traffic (except, worryingly, the odd ambulance being let through) was a great experience. I’d never ever voluntarily cycle along the Embankment north of the Thames when traffic’s using it – it’s like the M6 at rush hour, but moving faster.

Even had chance to take some photos:

DSC02150

DSC02145

Dave Hill at Guardian.co.uk today posted on the Skyride:

I went with my seven-year-old daughter, a child whose bike-riding displays a confidence her competence does not always justify. We arrived at around 10.30, soon after the start, and joined the route at its most easterly point, Tower Hill. The first 15 minutes were revelatory: a spin into blissful, if remote, urban possibility.

Did it last? To find out, read on. After that, try Cycling Weekly suggesting that Sky should run the railways too, and Real Cycling which was uneasy with the “implied message that cycling round London can only be done once a year with the help of heavy sponsorship, police cooperation and road closures.” Then there’s photos and anecdotes from blogger Richard Lartey, videos collected by Vinny, and a Guardian photstream. And finally, a Tunnel Bore. (see Dave’s post for all links)

Some food for thought. In Bogota, Colombia they basically do this every single Sunday. Every Sunday until 2pm one of the main traffic thoroughfares is closed off and people can cycle, run and rollerblade as they please. It’s called Ciclovía.

It’s an accepted part of Bogota life that it’s just a little more difficult to get around on Sundays (I know this because the road happens to lead to one of the City’s major hospitals and getting home from there early one Sunday after breaking my ankle salsa dancing the night before (don’t ask) was a nightmare – they wouldn’t let any taxis through to the hospital). Nevertheless it’s a brilliant experience and one many people take the opportunity to participate in.

In London we have the embankment north of the Thames from Westminster to the Tower – who on earth needs to use this on a Sunday? Why not close it off every Sunday (or at least once a month) and encourage people to get out and enjoy cycling along this road that the rest of the week is stuffed with cars and shrouded in smog? If the Colombians can do it, surely we can too, and not just once a year with massive sponsorship, police roadblocks and tunnel boom boxes.


Germaine Greer, you can do better than this!

29 July 2008

She has a good point she finally gets to in her rant about new housing:

The British, like other timid mammals, are neophobic – that is, irrationally terrified of the new. Eco-housing will have to work differently without looking different.

…but her argument is terrible. She bemoans the destruction of romantic but inadequate Irish cottages – most of which disappeared with the potato famine and has no concept of housing’s role in creating, and reaction to economic forces, demographics and lifestyles… to suggest that unless you live in a hemp-built wind turbine clad in solar panels over a tube station you’re not really eco is just plain stupid..

Although I quite like her argument that “Houses grew uglier as the proportion of architects in the population and their share of the new-build budget grew”… St George’s Wharf is a good example of a building designed for maximum river views (and thus maximum profitability) – but will it not always been thus? In a world of commercial developers, and a country country obsessed with home ownership, design isn’t going to be based on what looks good from the outside. And look where functional designs have got us in the past. How does this all compare to her house?

Come on Germaine – you have some great points to make but sadly your argument let you down.


%d bloggers like this: