Sunday, 15 July 2012

If Ben Maidment had said 'yes'

Not one for being engrossed in the conspiracies of the every day, or the serendipitous loveliness that pours from Hollywood, or the auspicious moments that seem to be dictated by ‘fate’ or some form or another of the pre-destined, I am however quietly charmed by the sequence of eventualities that happen after a slight twitch in decision making, that at the time bare no significance, but now seem to have caused a significantly larger shift into where I might have a pint, and say my name.

Currently stumbling through a potential career in architecture, or some form of, I’m pretending to be someone of some knowledge when it comes to knowing what I am doing with myself. In my current workplace there is an acute sense that everyone ‘knows’ what they are about, what they have done, and where they’re going, and with that comes a standard set of three questions that are engrained in the everyone when first meeting each other (perhaps, but if I didn’t say that then I couldn’t follow up with this rest of this).

1: What’s you name
2: Where did you study?


3: How come you have ended up in architecture?

The first question is already an issue for me. Now I know my name, I’ve been relatively confident with it for a number of years, and you’ll think you’ll know my name once you’ve heard it, but put pen to paper, or search it in the intranet, and you’ll be curious as to why an English fellow is either eastern European, or so dyslexic (of which I am) that he can’t spell his own name. Alas, in the pub, over a pint, Petr is fine…

The second of where I studied isn’t too problematic. Ravensbourne, relatively shy in the world of league tables, relatively not shy in its appearance.

It’s the third where I stumble, or have no credence to suggest that I am a person knowing what this [architecture] is about, or that I dreamt as a sprog to build the world, to be the architect of architects, to be a hero of the designed world, because I didn’t, so I can’t. Alas the question is asked, and as I search for reason, I go further back into the story to pin point just this one moment of why, and I’m left with when Ben Maidment said ‘no’, which meant that I’m in the pub, having a pint, saying my name, and explaining who the hell Ben Maidment is.

Ben is an old student who went to school with me, I don’t speak to him, wasn’t friends with him, and it would be of no consequence to him to learn of what I was doing now, and ten years ago in he was asked by the head of the year to go on a RAF work experience course. Oh, and he was tall. That’s Ben.

If Ben had said yes, then I wouldn’t have gone on RAFVEP, and I wouldn’t have been invited to join the air cadets. I wouldn’t have spent all my time going to camps like the good little cadet I was, forgetting the need to do college-y things.
Neither would have I become obsessed with the military, met the like minded people that your promised, been convinced that the only career for me was to fly some plans, come home for tea and medals, and pretend to know that I had the whole possibly killing someone thing sorted in my head. I wouldn’t have gone to Cranwell, failed the selection panel, been told to go travelling around Asia, do it, and go back to Cranwell only to fail again. I wouldn’t have known that Nasal Polyps really are irritating on both the day to day breathing sniffs and a danger to national security. I wouldn’t have cried my eyes out in the middle of the OASC with the panic that my career aspirations had reduced to nothing. I wouldn’t have had my family search for options. I wouldn’t have had my brother call his old tutor to arrange an interview that turned into a place at university. I wouldn’t have gone to Ravensbourne to study the same design course as he had. I wouldn’t have had the support structure that was the only way that I was going to do well. I wouldn’t have met the industry people that I needed to. I wouldn’t have been gifted job opportunities. I wouldn’t have gone to free range to show work, and I wouldn’t have been given an interview for my current job that resulted in me working there for a while to build up enough confidence to go out for a social drink to order a pint of Stella, sit opposite this person that I haven’t met before, say my name, and talk about who the hell Ben Maidment is.

But he said No. And I was the second choice.

So I had my pint, I said my name, and I get to pretend that I know what I’m doing.  

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Our new Penis

“It is said to be penile, which can only mean that there are some odd-shaped penises out there”

As an extensibility covered topic already, in variety of different media, from the news, blogs, the radio, talk shows, documentaries, public enquires, field trips, reports, general gossip, post cards, instagram, facebook, newspapers, journals, talks, lectures, whispers, poster campaigns, adverts, websites, hate campaigns, support campaigns, books, letters, walking tours, and bus tours, general fan fare and telepathy, the story of the Shard is enough covered that it need not have another joe blogger writing about it, but tuff, today I’m joe, and here it is.

To hate this building, you’ll need to shout a good resounding ‘Fuck off’, clear cut, decisive, and with resolute confidence to rumble the foundations (pun entirely intended) of this spiky spike. A polite ‘go away’ will merely dissipate onto deaf ears, and your irritations of this supposed penile giant will be forever forgotten. Even a disparaging article in the telegraph illustrating a consortium of well scribed gripes with the site is splintered by a mid article graphic showing their very own online poll suggesting their readers are in overall support of the shardy tall glass thing. Reality is, it’s a new London love affair, and theres no way of fighting it.

The biggest crime however is that this thing not only can be seen for miles, but most ghastly of all, say the English Heritage, is that it can even be seen from Hampstead Heath, god forbid. Our friends from English Heritage up hold the already widely held idea that they’re stuffy grey humpty nostalgic mufflers that seem to constantly act ruffled at the very sight of anything with an air of 21st century. The world of English heritage is a world stuck 200 years ago. I do love a bit of nostalgia, but even better, is nostalgia riddled with a splattering of city fresh, something that chimes a brilliance of anything but the then.

With a healthy supply of bodies and comities keeping us in check, from the now unfortunately defunct CABE to national lobbyists, there’s a tiring incapacity for the policy makers to actually make any policy. Tea on they other hand they can make…Tea yes, policy no. Policy for the daring new is just a little beyond the tips of their fingers, beyond their whispers, instead it’s an open invitation for master Barrat to lay siege to the lovely and we’re left in a sort of modern day limbo, a step down from the stunning classical, three steps away from the elegant modern, and about twelve step down into architectural bollocks where Lewisham looks unpacked from an IKEA flat pack.

Whilst the Shard can arguably splinter a community of onlookers, from the haters and the admirers, to the political supporters, and the conservative poopers who wince over the numerous scout huts it could have easily have financed, it does stand as a glimmer of something brave. And that…that I like. But what of the folk that utter a consistent muttering of discontent, of those that put up with the constant hoo hah of gasps and gauping mouths, of silly plebs pointing in awe, and stuffy nosed pricks regurgitating endless anecdotes of it’s unfounded awesomeness, of it’s big leap forward to burst open the skies of the greater city of London, what of those that aren’t from the 18th century, that still despise the white glassed frontier into the south.

There is no doubt that the sheer scale of the build undermines the cosmopolitan feel of this ancient city. The city skyline has lived with a certain rhythm that has been delicately chaperoned over the years. It’s been nurtured, moulded, burnt to a crisp, and bounded back with a character that no other city has. It screams a certain prowess that is accentuated by its quiet obedience. It hums along to the day to day activities of its inhabitancy, and delivers secrets from one street to the next, it waits patiently for it’s next visitor….it is utterly diverse, and in being so, utterly London.

On the other hand, The Shard shouts…and this seems to be brilliantly un-London, but maybe, just maybe, we're in need  of a good old shout.

This i fear, could go on for a while, so for snippets by people that know how to write, and are better informed than the whittled together shambles that is above, try the below.

Oh, and the top quote was from the Guardian too.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Nooks and Yuri

Bruge is in a plentiful supply of alcoves, especially in the area of Astridpark. This according to Yuri (a fictional character of In Bruge fame) it’s a perfect place for the heinous crime of murder. But for Yuri, the big concern is over 'alcoves…or nooks and crannies?'

Whilst Yuri seems none too bothered about the unfortunate grizzly end for one individual that will be the result of his selling of armoury to a portly Irishman, his quest for a more appropriate term to accurately describe these architectural nuances seems to plaque his dialogue rather too much. It seems odd to me that a gentleman of this unique calliper, interested in facilitating hit men, gangsters, the all round not the loveliest of folk, would need a better descriptor to deliver his disturbing advice.

Alcoves tend to suggest a specific form, a recess in a room, a place for grannies books, a safe haven for dust, a unthreatened post from which to leave generic images of your glorious gap yar photos, framed in ‘authentic’ livery with hand painted ornament to reassure any viewer of the authenticity of it's Asian jungle far from the reaches of the manufactured (although stamped with 'made in india' on the underside), origin

The alcove is easily illustrated but rarely ventures beyond the living room. It’s type cast as an easily defined space fit for the purpose of sound storage. It however meets few benefits for Yuri, and neither does it have much skope for exploration in my ever tentative look into my supposed interest of the fabled all encompassing narrative architecture.

‘Nooks and Crannies’ seem to better reflect the construction of these archi-types that populate the Astridpark area and allow for the sinister story line conducted by Hollywood’s scribers to play out. But it’s unfortunate that the nook and crannies formula retain such a negative label, from general space waster and space planners’ nemesis, to the arch rival of the modernist machine ὰ habiter, and now top hitter for Yuri’s advice on delivering 6 feet under, it’s about as much loved as a wolf whistle.

I wonder what younger Yuri, a loved and opportunity rich, ambitious boy of the post war Belgium, state educated, tentative yet confident lad, explorative with charming naivety, a giddy thinker, a happy go lucky dreamer, what would he have made of the nooks and crannies. What would his memories be, what we he do with them, instead of his shadowed quirky self of late.

The nooks and crannies from an array of person’s anecdotes, plenty dull, but plenty not so dull, generate the very crux of the story and turn the inopportune moment, into a delicious melody of chance.Take Frodo and team for a prime reference. During his early foray into the unknown, He, Sam, Pippen, and Merry take quick refuge in the nook below the track, perhaps a little fortunate, but then it would have been a dam sight shorter story if they had no where to hide, the horse chap picks them up, kills the lot of them (ironically the absence of an alcove at this moment in time is the reason for their demise) takes the ring, and bobs your uncle, Middle Earth is destroyed. The nook saved them.

The nook and the cranny are the unspecified, un-regulated, un-loaded space for the strangest events to take place. Consistently overlooked as a blight to ‘space’ the good nook and cranny has potential in the private or public sector, from residential to office spaces or maybe rural farmland. They can offer little pieces of intimacy for that cheeky kiss. For the stashing of all things tea related. For your new ant farm. They can act as secret meeting areas, public meeting areas, devious meeting areas, chickens meeting areas….if you have chickens. They can be awkward, unusual, simple, bland, cosy, dark, damp, cold, frosty, full of ice, ants, cheese and crackers, or paint by numbers. They can lead to secret lairs, squat loos, or to nothing at all.

But I think the young gun Yuri would have just peed in them. After all, his national icon is Manneken Piss

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Disconnected Dribble

I have been tasked with writing 10 points on survival. 

This tasking came about during a brief discussion based on the recipient of a frivolous “you’re a spoon” accusation that was handed from one individual to another. This comment has no bearing on the following, and I am not clear on the exact conditions of said comment, but I can assure you, I have lost no sleep on it. But after interjecting into the said negative comment/gesture, a plea for mediocre help was issued.

This unfortunately was not a cry of help to fend of lions with laser shooting eyes, or to stop jungle fever induced diarrhoea, or to solve the mystery of Sherlock Holmes as he obviously plunged to his death in the last episode, but some how manages to waltz about merrily, or be it lurking behind a tree, after his doctor friend. I mean really, surely there should have been a dirty splatter of his innards permanently marking the floor that stopped his friend saving fall. On that note of people falling to their splattery death, In Bruges has similar circumstances of jumping to an inevitable death to save the hide of his friend dearest. However on this occasion there seems to be an indication of poor quality control in the craftsmanship of the metal pistol that is shattered upon impact, which is in contrary condition to owners skull which remains resiliently wholesome. 

Shifting back from beating that bush into submission, the help orientated plea was to evidence a path of success during the last term of an undergraduate course. Even I’m bored of it before writing it… It could have been about surviving capture of a enraged gorilla that has masterminded the take over of Checkers, or how to undermine the privatisation of all European roundabouts so they all go clockwise in a bid for international consistency, or how to destroy the growing hedgehog empire that seems to plague our back garden. No, this is how to navigate those final bitter, burden heavy, social free, contorting, anguishing, unrelenting, mind screwing, challenging, stupefying, brutal…..lovely months. 

Well the truth is, I don’t know. It’s a blur. Maybe not a blur. It’s a mixture of un-spectacular to the outsider, but unforgettable moments to the insider (me). They’re boring moments of getting three cups of coffee for three because you made a joke with the vender. It’s about staying an extra 23 minutes after kick out to finish the never used section. It’s about the night guard coming round the studio at 2 in the morning handing out peaches just to help everyone through the night. It’s the entirely forgettable moments…that somehow are stuck in my head. So here is the top ten tips to triumph.

1 – Have short nails
I can’t think of much worse than having a broken nail at 2:30 am, compounded when you haven’t got any nail clippers. You’re dealing with the impending doom of definite failure that all the effort your pouring into this piece of crap you're supposedly designing is going to fall on it’s arse. You are struck with the idea that you would have been better off being a chippy straight out of secondary school, that all the money that you would have made from working straight away would easily balance out the money you’re going to get after graduation. It’s made even worse because you know you’re not going to graduate, you’re going to be stuck with £27,000 worth of debt, a bitter taste, friends all moving onto better things, and you're going to be doing the same job you left when starting here. You're dealing with the reality that this is all for nothing, that life is too short and you’re a failure, you're dealing with the life crushing realities that you’re having a midlife crisis at the age of 23 and then your nail rips. You catch it on the zip of your bag and it slices ungainly towards the nerve endings in your fingers. 
With the mental capacity of a coke influenced anarchistic teenager, you decide to deal with the problem immediately, and continue the rip down to remove offending splintered nail piece.
In the heat of the moment you have removed half your nail, you’re in agony as the pulsing nerve endings pulsate brilliantly in the face of your moronic compulsions. Whilst a plaster hides the immediate problem, your hand is rendered useless for the days to come. An irritable persona encases your every move, and you have lost the ability to work constructively.

 It’s a disaster easily missed. Cut your nails.

2 - Don’t cut your nails
You haven’t got time to be wasting cutting your nails?! It doesn’t matter what dirt you have trapped under there, and long nails make for good pincers to tackle those multiplying spots that occur during the times of oily stress.

3 - Make love to the security guards
Don’t make love to the security guards. There should also be another point that says don’t do everything that you’re told, but that sounds far too serious and meaningful for the ill ramblings of an idiot. 
In fact, get in bed with all the staff, it's just good sense. They’re the ones that make that place work, and they’re the ones that can cut the corners, get you to the front, take you to the front, put you at the front...get you a free biscuit, sometimes they even dunk it for you…and biscuits are good. Who doesn’t like biscuits? Because biscuits come with tea, and that’s my next point

4 – Make love to tea
Don’t just know about tea, read about tea, see about tea…you have to love tea. Love tea and drink it. There is nothing better than the sight of a steamy cuppa ready to be dunked, and then drunk. If there where ever to be a uni survival pack, it should include nothing else, not a tin of baked beans nor a condom - but a mug, a box of tea bags, Milk (I suspect UHT in case you buy this pack a couple of weeks before you go to uni), and a spoon.

Tea is better than watching kittens eat Rupert Murdoch, I know this hasn’t happened, and I wouldn’t want it in reality, but as this is a place of fiction, i am allowed to imagine it.

Tea is a friend that no friend could ever be. It’s warm and lovely, it doesn’t talk back, it helps you to make other friends, it acts a distraction from work, and helps as a fuel for you to tackle work. Anyone that mocks tea has no place to comment further, as they have lost the morale high ground, and should be extradited without trial, without question, without appeal, to Norwich.

5 – Have biscuits to hand
Have biscuits to hand, so you can dunk them in tea. To see how good tea is…drink it. To see how tea is relevant, read point 4.

6 – Hamas is relevant
Talking from a creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything still isn’t good enough to make lovely work. Talking from a non-creative perspective, knowledge of just about everything makes you Steven Fry, and I don’t want to be Steven Fry.
Knowing about just enough gets you just about known. Read up, because knowing a little about Hamas may come in handy when you least expect it.

7 – Quote the shit out of films
To do so, you need to watch films, to watch films, you need to take time out of work. To take time out of work, you need to have a break. To have a break, well according to Nestle, you need to have a Kit Kat, now apart from their less than reputable reputation for screwing over the third world, I couldn’t agree more with Nestle, because Kit Kats are great, unless you don’t hear, because it might sound like kick cats. 
...I would start with Top Gun, it’s a great one for a sing a long, cheesy lines, and worse repeat film cuts.

8 – Stop reading this and get on with your work!

9 – Make sure you have a brother that is several years older than you are and that has done the exact same course as you, with the same tutors, in the same uni that knows what you’re getting into and can guide you through and support you in the harder times
This takes an uncongenial amount of preparation that I am as of yet, to comprehend. It involves hoping to have a bigger brother, which means wishing for something before you’re born, which as far as I know, isn’t possible. But then I thought Transformers 3 wasn’t possible, and they still made that.

10 – Love it
Love it

Not sure any of this helps, and for those that have for some reason continued to the end of this un-flowing array of disconnected dribble, read a decent blog for heavens sake.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Fancy a Burrito? Nah, I'll just have an Esposito

I have little to say in the culinary field. I am as far removed from the profession of cooking as might be attainable. I rely heavily on the package printed cooking methods, microwave settings, and a dial-a-pizza to satisfy an un-relenting rumbling belly that speaks beyond the control of my own conscience.

But it was a particular jiggle that bellowed from my midriff the started a sequence of events that changed the lives of very few, but did lead to a book not being opened and an answer never read…what do you call a piece of bread with jam on top?

Many of my educated and perhaps confused friends have called upon the well known identifier of bread based goods “the sandwich” to recognise this piece of food stuff. However I would like to point out to my honourable friends the food stuff known as “the sandwich” needs a mirrored piece of breaded stuff to run at parallel to the base item to be recognised as “sandwich”. This piece of food not yielding such characteristics means it lay a whole slice of breads worth away from being known as “sandwich”.

It was shuddering to know there is no house hold name for this item that I wish to consume. I have enjoyed the slice of bread topped with a variety of supporting players, be it butter and Nutella, mothers made marmalade, the long forgotten but still available “fluff”, marmite and in desperate times vegemite, or even slices of banana which was a carefully deliberate action considered on days devoid of your devotion. But how, in this most modern of ages, do we recognise this item. It is no good to call it “sandwich”, unless of course the bread with topping is folded in hand to create inners nestled softly between the bready goodness.

How dare we let ourselves live without name for the common, how dare we live in a world where what we consume has no identifier beyond a muffled description shouted from one lounge based individual to a serving counterpart in the kitchen. Why must I write to further identify the yet to be identified. It rocks me to the very corps of my laden heart that this most delectable and comforting piece of food has yet to be given a place within our food history. We speak the words of pizza, sausage roll, biscuits, crackers, Ryvita, Kellogg’s crunchy nut cornflakes, Sainsbury’s crunchy flakes, muesli, porridge, and orange squash. We speak them with such ease and fluidity, but beyond the life spans of these kitchen bound items, has lived the singular slice of bread topped with topping and be without name.

But it is no longer. I take you, us, the world and it’s greater existence into the new and greater. I take we all into the future, make our history, and forge new territories in the breaded world

Much like the common name Burrito, which exists as a singular surface wrapped to contain and hold its inners, the newly names has a dual characteristic, being a coined term named after and by its creator, but also to retain a rhythm to the already known burrito. I give you the Esposito

“Fancy a burrito” they may ask…

“nah….just give me an Esposito, don’t fancy a whole Burrito”

This ladies, gentleman, young people and old, confused and bemused, is the birth of the already born, the identity that no one has been after, cares about, or will use, I give you the this name to move us into a new world order.

Now please, for all things good and lovely, get your self a cup of tea, an Esposito, and think about doing something better with your time than reading the ill ramblings of a silly boy.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A trip I want to tell you about that you don't want to hear...

The Start:

How do you make a factory trip to Fritz Hansen sound exciting?! I don’t have any videos to show of the automated machines pressing, pumping, cutting, painting, and sanding their products. I have little memory of the ins and outs of the detail of their product. But most of all, I fear that the end reader wouldn’t be bothered for the most part to hear of a whistle stop tour around the Danish firms production facility.

Further more, the fun, jokes, laughs and giggles came about not far and few between, but from the result of the classic ‘had to be there moments’ that then dictated the resulting and unrelenting piss taking.

But never the less, given that it was an out of the ordinary adventure for a new kid in the designery world I’ll do my best to fill in the gabs of one boring anecdote to another with tales of mystery, wit, charm, and a dabble of ridiculousness (actually this never happens) all based on the concrete reality of the two day venture to Denmark…

The Phone:

…The story starts a couple of days before when the demons at work played host to one of the least accomplished, yet successful thefts of my time. Through pure ignorance and content, I (the target) ignorantly and foolishly positioned my phone in a pocket. The evil doers and subsequently and hopefully wholly guilt ridden players targeted my ignorance and called foul play, removing what I owned from previously mentioned ‘pocket’, and allowed my materialistic position to abandon I, it’s owner, and left for the sweaty palms of it’s ill minded and dirty victor of which now claimed ownership.

It left me £150 poorer (gold insurance isn’t as golden as I thought) and without a telephone, and more importantly at this stage an alarm clock. The trip to Copenhagen was due to start at 6:20 when a taxi would deliver me to Heathrow, however through shear fear of not naturally waking up, I attempted to stay conscious for the evening, resulting in 20 minute naps for 5 hours until the hand reached 6 o’clock and I could dress myself.

The Airport:

The missing phone caused further problems once at the airport. Excited about laying eyes upon the gleaming Terminal 5, and suffering swathes of disappointment as the grandeur of the port that I was so expecting seemed never to transpire. I searched for my compatriot travellers that, according to the flight info were waiting at gate A…..or B…., D,…or G. Now as helpful information goes, and given the size of the airport, this was ridiculous, so I paid due curtsey to the automated check-in, collected my flimsy ‘ticket’ and took to security.

After being confidently groped, patted, and shouted at for numerous ill doings in my etiquette whilst attempting to navigate the removal of belts, shoes, jackets, coins, pens, more coins, paper you don’t even need to remove, passport, ticket that you mistake as rubbish, wallet, phone, i-pod, and another coin, I eventually found my group upon the plane and unsurprisingly, and very, o so very thankfully we flew without crashing to Copenhagen.

Plane lands, passports checked, bladders duly emptied, bus found, ‘pimp’ section delineated (see picture), beer opened, beer drunk, Fritz Hansen promo speech delivered, British flag spotted, factory found, bus stopped, we entered the factory for our tour.

The Whistle Stop Tour:

I had previously written a rambling smoosh of nonsensical and ultimately dull anecdotal hopelessness that should be consumed by no good person. So I’ve refrained from describing anything more, will drop a couple of photos in…and leave it at that.


We were taken for dinner to a local foodie basement garnished with the stereotypical inhabitants of Denmark, reached the bottoms of a healthy volume of wine, and shown the door. We were then taken for drink to a local drinky basement garnished with the un-stereotypical inhabitants of Denmark, reached the bottom of an un-healthy volume of white Russians, whilst under the scrutiny of a fellow punter named Jans, offering games of tennis, rugby, and chess, whilst convincing us of his submarine selling business and in the process, looking indescribably silly. But I suppose who were we to barge into his local and claim superiority, so we indulged in his anecdotal prowess and licked up the ramblings of a drunk.

The End: 
…so that’s one of the two days…mirror the events and you can build your own idea of the second day. I’ve wasted enough your time, and can only hope that this particular entry doesn’t leave a lasting impact and it can disband from your memory in due haste.

I’m off to waste the time of cat…

(the travelling peeps having a 'casual' sunday lunch on of course, Fritz Hansen product)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Two hours in Victoria and this is what you get...

I’m walking around Victoria station, waiting at Charing Cross, lingering at Waterloo, sprinting up the causeway to London Bridge, drifting outside Euston, cursing my delayed train at Hither Green, yearning for shelter in the snow covered and blustery platform of Dulwich, I’m sodding bored, desperate, uninspired, emotionally shattered, and want anything other than to be peering into the WV show rooms that blight my view from Haywards Heath Railway station. One un-inspirational station to the other, they’re all different, they all have their place, and they’re all, frankly…rubbish!

There seems to be no respite from the dull drudgery that has found undisputed sanctuary around our stations. They stink of the same nothingness that is echoed in the Barrett home developments from the tips of Scotland to the seas of our southerly shores, to the…well, every Barrett home development seems to lack any sense of creativity. The word ‘new’ only seems to be chanted in their HQ when there is demand for fresh toilet rolls. As for charm in our stations, it is too few in our remaining depots and mainly to be located in the countryside and far reaching lines rather than our ringed suburbs and inner city stops which are frequented most…frequently.

This is where I’m quite confused…
Whilst I will heed and bow to the delights of St Pancras, glammed up for its new status as international stop point, a glitzy smooth and Sauvé entrance door to London central, it is our other grisly beasts, that while don’t have ‘international’ on their placards, play host to thousands of wide eyed travellers every day. For our international guests, it is these stations that they first lay eyes upon, it is the gateway to London and I couldn’t think of anything worse…well that’s a lie, I could think of plenty worse. Margaret Thatcher for starters, being water boarded for seconds, having your fingers chewed off by a starved mouse for thirds, buying a packed of wine gums with just green ones in for fourths…actually, maybe there are plenty more “worse” things…but then if I went on like this there would be no point to this hopefully point full blog...just a thought, loosing a company owned book on the train is pretty annoying.  
Back on the stations, there seems to be an overwhelming discouragement to have people waiting in a place that by is nature, asks you to wait. You wait for your train to arrive, wait for it leave, wait for you’re friends, your family, your colleagues, your girlfriend. You’re waiting for the faster train, the next train. You’re waiting more because a snow flake touched a near by stone…hundreds of people waiting.
So the logic of removing every chair, stall, bench, any horizontal service from knee height up that remains relatively clean, excluding coffee stained metros and old McDonalds’ cups, seems a little odd at first. But that’s just a small aggravation of an irritating repetition of unimaginative design executed by the lords of these grand warehouses. 

Trains, the journeys they took, the steam they bellowed into the roof tops, it used to be a place of wonder. Harry Potter doesn’t use an electrical, or even a magical powered train to transport him to Hogwarts, he jumps through a solid brick wall to take him to a magical hall of grand archways, Victorian brickwork, rich red carriages, and a gleaming, beastly, beautiful train that beats and shouts it’s way to its destination. It was an event! The buzz of the people about to board for their adventure away, luggage being hauled, people waving, crying, singing, falling, hugging, shouting, kissing amongst a rabble of others doing pretty much the same thing. It was a celebrated moment, and the magic shouldn’t be lost. 
It’s a still a moment to watch people arrive and depart. To see people leave forever, for a day, for a couple of hours, for holidays, work days, wedding days. But our love affair with the train, the station and the whole event has been ripped so unkindly away and we’re left with consumerist crap, from the Upper Crust, Nero, Burger King, Costa, everything that you can find every where else. 


These places are the kings of golden opportunities, and we are most, and whole heartedly, steaming past them on our quest to be somewhere faster. Victoria station is reamed with places to have people stop and stair, to share a coffee, to linger with an old love affair, to delve into a book, to have one last lunch with a distant living brother. They scream out to host the tales you’ll one day bore your grandchildren with. Yet we allow them to host the very worst of what’s on offer…another chain store that promotes the age of the generic, and stamps in the face of the independent charm. I’m not one fore living in the past, but most adamantly not wanting to cherish the current.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Don’t be slow, you can’t be slow, you must be fast. Faster, better, faster, stronger, better…more courageous.

You must be smarter.

Campaigns to be noticed, see me, look at me, notice me. I am better, best, the best. I am taller, broader, shorter, quicker. I am quicker than him, them, all of them. I’m more humble, gentle, and gentlemanly. Campaigns to be greater, great, the greatest. The most intelligent, witty, and fantastic. Campaigns to be there, not there, but here, here with you, in front. Campaigns to be ahead, to be in front, to be the highest, first, the winner. To win. Campaigns to win. Win the game, beat the game, be the game. Campaigns to move faster, think faster, consume faster.

Post more, tell more, share more, know more, know the most, post the most, share the most. I am the most. I am the most of everything. Campaigns to better us, to better you, to be better. Know, tell, nurture the future, you know the future. Tell, hold, and command the future. You can’t be behind, you can’t be behind, and you can not be behind.

Struggle, race, fight for the front, push for the front, battle for the front.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

How much does your building weigh Mr Esposito?

Buckminster Fuller, or Bucky to the few, once asked his under the wing compatriot of architecture, how much does your building way? Mr Foster was duly stumped by the question, but with his much envied handle on the profession he commands, within a day he was able to answer.

As an employee of Foster and Partners, I live and work in the shadow of the companies’ commander and chief with the aspiration to be as dedicated, as skilful, as phantasmagorical as he is. But after watching the film of which is entitled by the aforementioned question, I was able to answer in seconds out stripping my hero in his ability to answer so promptly. (Below is me trying to be him...poorly)

The answer was zero, the building weighs nothing because it simply does not exist. I haven’t a house to call me own, nor a rented place that I would regard as home. I’m in a state of limbo with little in the way of a positive and stable direction. With the step into the wider world from the general safety of a life of study, the requirements of moving out, finding a job, and learning the trade in the workplace is a reality for most. But London is starting to bring up some rather challenging hurdles, ones which I’m stunningly tripping over on a regular basis.

The cost of rail travel is constant metro daily number to be brought up by journalists, bloggers and commentators a like. The draining plight of the commuter, the unacceptable standards of morning rush hour, and the increasing cost to endure these daily pleasures. But it is the housing of these people that is most troubling.

Whilst the cost of travel is increasing, it is the cost of housing that is kicking me in the face, hard, over and over again, right in the face, in the nose, stamping all over it. My quest these past few months has been turned to the location of suitable accommodation where I can work rest and play, and have a couple of pennies left over for a near frozen pint of Irelands finest, a packed of Rolos, and a vegetable samosa form the those ‘local’ shops that frequent our underground stations.

But as simple as the desire for adequate accommodation at a fair price might be, the staggering rise in rented accommodation is frightful. But worse than the cost of spare rooms where you may have to remove your lifestyle from a selection of luxuries, are the spaces where the less fortunate find themselves. During my hours flicking from page to page of hovel after hovel, the reality of peoples living conditions in this ‘world leading’ city become troubling rather than frustrating.

With rooms at £70 per that offer little more than a single bed, two stoves, a sink, one cupboard and a shared bathroom in an attic, I would argue a case of there being something wrong. Now at this point I would love to offer up a solution, a joyous revolution to the housing crisis that is seeping into the city. Alas, I have nothing…

… and with all things written on staggeringly large issues, there a far wiser, smarter, and ingenious people to listen to, read about, and question than the Saturday afternoon rattling’s of a confused boy.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Twitter me this

Since the start of the new year there has been much to talk and gripe about, the blistering cold days have started to breach our wintery attire, the FTSE could still do with a stiff drink and a Viagra or two, and Prince Charles is talking. But an old fad has nestled onto my phone as a new thing to indulge in.

Twitter has led me to broaden my lust for information from the worlds of design, satire, F1, and any traveller that has a touch of wit and charm. But more unfortunately, it led me to immediately keep a distasteful watch on ‘followers’ and how this may…or as it turns out, may not grow. Apart from the steady flow of quick links to a vast array of pornographic web sites from @sexy_cindy43 who really likes my abs (I have none), the following is small, but a niche market is perfect for me. No burden on perfection, of pleasing a mass, but there was niggling desire to get a big name ReTweet, or commonly known as a RT.

So I set out in a late night task of @ing some of the big guns, but primarily Mr Fry, the national treasure, the crown jewel of QI and ultimate twitter king. But my problem was that I had nothing of interest for him to bite. I needed to create a hook, a beautifuly dressed nuanced gem, full of delight, humour, insight, intelligence, and flow all in the limited 140 characters permitted. I had nothing…nothing, not a drop of anything...and eventually this was blurted out.

is it a myth that three the story of the three hedgehogs from Rotterdam forged their way to devils dyke in a glorious fashion?

What was that? What was I trying to achieve…as it happened nothing was aforementioned and it was a failed task. But it led me to a new place, a new venture to pursue…what did happen to the myth of the three hedgehogs? How did they make it? Where did they stay? What tools did they use?

It’s all to follow in the next entry….until then please follow for more failed attempts of RTs @petresposito