Thursday, May 22, 2008

Internet Entrepreneurs

One of the great things about the internet is that it has encouraged people to start new businesses. Here's 3 examples invented and run by friends of mine.

Brume, which sells decorative window film, stickers and curtain poles.

Defeet, which sells copper coated pot feet to stop snails attacking your plants

Pink Bamboo, which sells Asian influenced girls clothing

Do check them out and help them to become millionaires!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Well Done Boris

One of the first initiatives undertaken by Boris Johnson was to review and to cut the Greater London Authority and Transport For London advertising budget, saving £20 million. The marketing press were up in arms over this, claiming it to be short sighted and headline grabbing.

However, I think it was a great decision and sets a good example for the government who have spent £1.5 billion on advertising since it took office in 1997.

The intentions behind some of the ad campaigns have been positive, particularly those aimed at reducing gun crime and encouraging cycling. However why does the Major need to advertise? He can discuss these issues and launch campaigns on tv programmes and via newspaper features rather than resort to paid for advertising space. Word of mouth and pr are nowadays much more powerful communication media and he has the presence and charisma to get his message across. Also some of Ken’s initiatives were ego driven eg his free magazine and needed to go.

Hopefully, the money saved will be spent on more important stuff. Good for us, bad for advertising agencies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Satrurday Night on The South Bank

Went to the Real Greek Restaurant on Saturday night, just after we'd visited the Duchamp, Man Ray and Picabia exhibition at Tate Modern. I think this restaurant chain has been around for some time, but it was my first visit and I really liked it. Very informal, contemporary with simple, fresh food. Tate Modern's a great place to go in the evening. Its quiet, easy to get around and there's a bar with a great view of London. I've not been to Skylon yet, but apparently its really good.

We saw a few people getting ready for the Moonwalk to raise money for breast cancer research. Well done to them all. It was a very chilly night.

Isn't the South Bank brilliant?

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Trip to The Cinema

Last night we went to see Mike Leigh's latest film, Happy-Go-Lucky which was fantastic. As ever, the acting is brilliant and the dialogue is sharp, natural and insightful. However, unlike other Mike Leigh films, this is a life affirming, feelgood movie built around a central character who's outlook on life is to live in the moment and to exude joy. I also loved the familiar London settings which gave a snapshot of modern London life.

However, this is not mushy or sentimental in the style of Richard Curtis movies and there are moments of real tension and sadness which make it feel more authentic and less one dimensional.

Best film I've seen for ages. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Allotment News

The recent hot weather coupled with a warning letter from Wandsworth council has encouraged me to sort out my allotment over the past couple of weeks. Now its looking fantastic with loads of new crops emerging.

What's great about being on the allotment is the sense of tranquility you feel and the sense of achievement you get from growing your own veg. You also find that you meet a real cross-section of people who are never short on advice and help.

I learnt recently that some people organise their gardening activities around the phases of the moon. When the moon is waxing, the earth is 'exhaling' and releasing. This is the time to sow flowering veg. When the moon is waning, the earth is 'inhaling' and absorbing. This is the time to water, use natural fertilizers and sow root veg. I tend to work around the weather.
What I'm Reading

Took a train to Manchester and back yesterday which gave me the chance to make some decent progress on 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'. I'm really enjoying it. The author also wrote 'The Kite Runner' which I loved, but I think this is shaping up to be even better.

I'm so looking forward to picking it up again. Recommended.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Football Memorabilia

I'm now the proud owner of a shirt signed by Gianluigi Buffon the World Cup winning Italy and Juventus goalkeeper.

In order to raise money, schools hold auctions whereby a whole range of weird and wonderful items are put up for sale. I couldn't resist bidding for Buffon's shirt at an event on Saturday and amazingly I won. I've always rated him as one of world's best goalies.

Think I'll get it framed and hang it in the house in Italy.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Business According to Morrissey
Over the weekend I read that Morrisey lyrics are going to be used to teach students about business. Apparently 3 academics have written a paper called 'Business Relationships the Morrisey Way' which is published in the British Food Journal
However, I bet most of the students weren't born when the Smiths were in their heyday. Would love to see them try to do the same with more recent artists eg Business Relationships the Winehouse Way

Officially The Worst

Even if Derby beat Reading on Saturday (which they won't), they will become the worst team in the history of the Premier League - something we've known for some time.

The only good thing to emerge is that next year Derby will play local rivals Nottingham Forest in the Championship. The 2 teams are supposed to hate each other, but they don't really. They missed each other so much they had to invent the Brian Clough Trophy for whenever they play.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Weekend in Norfolk

Have been away with friends in Norfolk over the weekend, staying in their house in the lovely village of Great Massingham. It has all the trappings of a typical English village: the village green, duck ponds, ancient old church and of course the converted gastropub. This one was called The Dabbling Duck. The food was fantastic with lots of local produce.

I'd not been to Norfolk for many years and really liked it.

PS Still can't believe Boris won!

Friday, May 02, 2008

I Hope You Voted

I find voting a very emotional process. Going to the Polling Station, marking your cross, putting it in ballot box. I think to myself, 'this could make the difference',

It reminds me of how hard people fought to get the right to vote and how lucky we are to live in a country were free and fair votes are the norm. Just looked at the BBC at so far, looks like Labour are in big trouble. Gordon's really up against it now. What about Ken? We'll know tonight apparently. How exciting.