Friday, 24 September 2010

Team Feline

Judging by the amount of cat themed birthday cards I got about four months ago, you could definitely tell that I love cats. I love any animal (except for insects, don't really mind spiders as they don't fly and buzz around your face) but cats, big or small, wild or domestic, really are the kings of the jungle. IKEA picked up on the amazingness of cats and have featured them in their new advert, which by the way I love and have to watch and make everyone else in the room do so too when it comes on TV:


Dogs are great too. You'd have to have a cold heart made of stone to resist the brown puppy dog eyes that attest to their loyalty
, as well as beg for scraps of food and playtime. A dog is always going to be more useful for security (unless you can keep a ferocious wild cat) or for playing with and taking out for walks. But here are some reasons why cats are a bajillion times better:

- They're independent. There's no need to pick up poop or taking them for walks when you'd rather be in bed, unless you have one of those cool dog-like cats who like being taken out on a leash. They can entertain themselves and the best thing is watching them chase flies, bits of fluff, string, laser pointers and behaving like raving lunatics during their midnight bursts of energy when everyone in the house is trying to sleep.

- They're damn cute. Especially when they're kittens. If you have a cat, you've probably held it's paw and pressed down on the padded bits to make the claws protract, like something out of X-Men. Cats paws are too cute. Even cuter than their cute whiskers, cute fluffy fur, and cute pink noses.

- They're cleaner. It all depends on which type of dog you'll be comparing to a cat but generally cats are more hygienic. Their tongues are covered with thousands of hooks, like the rough side of velcro, which they use to groom themselves until they're cleaner, softer and shiner than Cheryl Cole's L'Oreal hair. Also their saliva contains an antibacterial enzyme that basically acts like a body wash. Beats the smell of wet dog.

- They're calmer and more sophisticated. Cats purrs are instant nerve calmers, sleep inducers and happy triggers. A cat won't jump on you as soon as you walk in, a cat won't try to hump your guest's leg and a cat won't slobber all over the floor. Cats are like James Bond, charming, sleek and aloof. Most dogs are verging on being the pet equivalent of Slimer from Ghostbusters.

- They have nine lives.

- They're adventurous. A dog hardly goes far outside without it's owner as it enjoys human companionship. Cats, on the other hand, will think nothing of slinking out for the night to meet up with other cats, climb on roofs, hunt for food, and come back with rodent or insect souvenirs to leave by your feet before you leave for work. There's this nifty little camera that you can attach to a cat's collar that takes regular photos of what they get up to when they're out. This can either be interesting (catnip roof top parties with other cats? Weird nocturnal encounters? Secret government hideaways?) or boring (lots of lying around, grooming, scratching, and running away from loud people and chugging cars). 

Or maybe their mystery is too intriguing and to precious to shatter?

Monday, 20 September 2010

UPDATE: Defamation of Boris Bikes

Looks like someone removed one of the stickers from the Boris Bikes and put it to good use. Barclays, KFC... who's next? Poundland?

The link to the original story is here.

On the window of Notting Hill Gate's KFC. Will probably still be there if no one has tore it off yet.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Banksy or not?

These magically appeared overnight on west London's Clarendon Road. Are they by Banksy or is there yet another budding stencil artist on the loose? Apparently, Banksy doesn't do his stencils or murals on anything that can be easily removed, so the road light and street sign are evidence that it could all be a ruse... that, and the slapdash execution. I have to say that the placement of the Obama stencil, in relation to the LOOK LEFT and arrow, is pretty damn clever. 

Friday, 17 September 2010

Defamation of Boris Bikes

London's Cycle Hire Scheme, otherwise known as Boris Bikes due to them being introduced and advocated by London Mayor Boris Johnson, have recently been targeted by "vandals"(as described by The Daily Mail). Stickers saying FUCK in the same font style as the actual Barclays logo have been placed above it, to serve as a subversive indictment of greedy banks and a statement of distrust on behalf of most the nation. Or maybe, it was executed by a disgruntled Barclays customer who had their mortgage request declined...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Turning Point Festival @ Roundhouse - PROMO CODE

Camden's Roundhouse is holding the 2010 Turning Point Festival this weekend (17th-19th December), starting from Friday evening. Headlining acts and events include Professor Green, Toddla T, Reggae Roast, Roll Deep, Ms Dynamite, Rob Da Bank, London Word Festival, Love Music Hate Racism... and a whole host of comedy, poetry, fancy dress and circus displays.

Ticket prices are outlined below but you can snap them up at half price with the promotion code: TP1
Remember to quote this code when booking online or over the phone!
Click here for website with full live act listings and venue information...
Tickets: Friday £15 | Saturday £18 | Sunday £8 | 3-day pass £28

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Short Summer Summary (iPhone pics)

So, summer has officially ended considering the festivals, carnivals, warm weather, al fresco dining, garden parties and camping trips have ceased to continue - except in our rose tinted memories. A far flung exotic holiday wasn't on the cards for me this summer so therefore a lot of time has been spent in the UK, except for a short trip to Amsterdam, which although it was neither exotic or far flung, it was an absolute laugh. These are a handful of photos taken by phone which shows the bits of summer that haven't been covered already...

Friday, 10 September 2010

Tim Westwood @ Notting Hill Arts Club

Some say that Notting Hill Arts Club's YOYO nights (Thursdays) have gone downhill, and some say they're not as good as they used to be. However, it is not disputed that NHAC still attracts some of the best up-and-coming artists and DJs in the UK, and sometimes the world. A handful of the most known names in the music industry have performed or made appearances at the Notting Hill based club, such as Lily Allen, Mark Ronson and La Roux. Last night, DJ Tim Westwood took centre stage and spinned some serious tunes. Despite his cheesy appearances on cringing teenage shows such as Pimp My Ride UK, this man is good, very good.

Monday, 6 September 2010

NYC for NYE - January 2010

You most certainly know something about New York, even if you’ve never visited. The skyscrapers, manholes and bright canary taxis would make anyone feel as though they’re walking through a film set with the notion that they’ve somehow been there before.

The senses are overwhelmed in The Big Apple. Steam billows out of the sewers in thick white clouds, cars honk in competition and thousands of lights are distorted by the raindrops on misty mirrors and windows; it is a truly dizzying experience. Frequently a police car would skid around a corner, lights ablaze and sirens screaming. Aromas of garlic and basil waft out of the pizza takeaways that line the streets, which are met with intermittent punctuations of sewage odours. It’s a city of celluloid clich├ęs and contradictions; swanky yet dirty, crowded yet derelict and chemist shops sell tobacco and beer.

To say that New York is a gritty city is an underestimation. The 24-hour subways are rarely fully staffed, making night journeys thrillingly uncomfortable, with the groups of teenagers on their way back to the suburbs and the sleeping homeless who are resting for the night, for in the winter it is too cold outside and the wind is sharp. Eccentrics wander around Downtown in their fancy garb. One approached and asked, “do you have any idea which way it is to hell?”, as if it was a normal question like "do you have the time?" or "can you spare any change?". There is a possibility that “Hell” is a club or a trendy bar, but it could really be taken either way. Busking is a measure of survival for some; it is rare to pass through Union Square subway station without hearing and witnessing a saxophonist, a break dancing group or a tap dancer, sometimes all at once.

Being New Year’s Eve, we decided to head to Times Square for the legendary celebrations that we heard so much about. Ear-muffed cops barricaded the roads to the "square" (it's more of a triangle), so we walked the long way around, trudging through snow, sludge, and treacherous ice. A white 4x4 car pulled up blaring out commercial hip-hop and was crammed with over-excited teenage show offs who shouted out to pedestrians for attention before accelerating and screeching off. It was impossible to get through to Times Square so we decided to huddle around the Central Park side where we had a view of the famous illuminated Times Square Ball, which drops to meet the bottom of a pole at midnight. A line of joggers bounced past; the "New York Road Runners" group. We stood there for half an hour, shivering and shuffling, until a build up of cheering and Mexican waving started.

A screen, inevitably sponsored by a globally well-known drink company, counted down to one. Then from nowhere streamers, glitter, balloons and confetti rained down with the sleet. Couples kissed, friends hugged and a loud booming voice was heard saying “okay, Happy New Year guys, now please, let’s go back to Florida tomorrow”. 

I wouldn’t blame him, it was arctic.