Friday 9 July 2010

Is God a Transit van?*

I only ask, because it seems to be the implication of this video by the street artist Blu. It's 9 minutes long, so if you think you will watch it all (and I'd recommend you do) I'd go and make a cup of tea first:

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Many people asked me about the pictures which I posted a couple of weeks ago in Tara's Gallery

The Boy also thinks they are spectacular, and on a 'not quite authorised' trip to Brick Lane last Friday, he came across this:

I think they are spectacular too, so it wasn't too much of a hardship to investigate further, and just by googling 'big animal paintings Hackney Road' I soon found out they are by a Belgian street artist called Roa. Most excitingly, I found a map...a treasure map...which identified where other Roa's can be found. This is the map:

So on Tuesday, The Cat's Mum and I set out on a quest. We guessed from the map that not all would still be there...and indeed some weren't, but we found a few...and also had a very good chat with the owner of the Pure Evil gallery that represents him in the UK. We even found one of his pieces down in their basement, obscured by a pile of debris

It was a hot evening, so our adventure was punctuated by stops at watering holes, and because they've just opened a new railway line (yes even in central London!), we couldn't reach one picture, but here are the results of our endeavours:

This is the one we couldn't get to:

And this is one that's been painted over:

And this is something that we came across that I thought was very clever but nothing to do with Roa:

I wanted to add a bit now about how as a young, jet setting PR Executive I was in Madrid 20 years ago and stumbled across an exhibition which blew my was by a then relatively unknown (outside the art world) artist called Anish Kapoor, and I've been a devoted follower ever since. More recently, but still a few years ago, when The Boy and I lived in Hoxton, we came across various brilliant pieces by a then completely unknown artist who goes by the name of Banksy....

Half the fun with art is in the discovery,and I hope to see much more of Roa in the coming years. It's a shame street art is so transitory, but that is its nature, and whilst it lasts it helps make urban environments so much more entertaining.

* I realise that this isn't actually a Transit Van, but Fiat Van doesn't seem to work quite so well

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Holidaying at Tara's Gallery

It's that time again...Wednesday rolls around so quickly. This week's theme is 'Holiday' so I'm expecting lots of pictures of's always interesting to read the stories behind the image.

I thought I would share two images. Well one picture and one video. Both holidays mean a lot to me.

Here is The Boy in Bavaria which we visited last year. I blogged about it at the time. It was a wonderful week, which transported me back to my very late teens, as I spent my summer in Oberjoch before venturing to University. I hadn't been back since, and it was for me an emotional return to the hotel where I worked washing dishes. The hotel was still run by the same family, so I was able to reminisce. I think the holiday inspired The Boy - he loved the place, he takes German at GCSE (and likely through A Level) and will be taking two trips to Germany this year.

And this video. It might not look much. A red blob (I don't mean that in a blobby sense, but ski wear is hardly flattering) sliding a few metres down the snowy slope in France. I took the video in January. This was the first holiday that The Boy and I holidayed with The Cat and The Cat's Mum. The Cat's Mum doesn't like exercise. At all. Her friends said she'd never come. She did. She threw herself into learning to ski...which is never easy. And she might have even enjoyed it...although she'll never admit it...well not to her friends anyway - only to me. This is the first time this video has seen the light of day (and my first YouTube upload) so in tabloid fashion I add:


Tuesday 6 July 2010

Sell me a child?

I've always been quite envious of the blogger mummies who get invited on press trips to all sorts of fabulous places. Invariably they come back and write up something fabulous...well you would wouldn't you? Me, I get all sorts of press releases which are usually completely wrongly targeted.

I once got invited to the launch of moist toilet paper. Really???? Why would I go to that???

And the reason for this is that Don't Panic RTFM is listed on many of the media listings under parenting blogs. Indeed it is, but most parenting blogs are written by lovely mummies who have lovely cuddly bundles of joy, usually in nappies, but certainly no more than at primary school. The problem with PRs is that they never read the publications they send their missives to. No wonder they have such bad reputations...

But yesterday I got an invite to an aquarium in Boulogne. Marvelous. And I can bring a child...I checked their web site, and children are between 3 and 12. The boy is 15...and a big, grown-up fifteen at that. He likes fish. A lot. But mostly in batter, and sometimes with a creamy sauce but never with a watercress dressing.

I quite like aquariums so I rather fancy going, so I think I need to rent a child. I don't mind what sort. Just so long as they don't get in the way of my viewing of the fish. You can have them back at the end of the day.