Thursday, 30 June 2011

A little bit of hunger satisfaction last weekend

Its hard to say it but last weekend was an unbelievable one in terms of weather and getting out and about. Firstly a little meet up with some friends on Friday night in shoreditch to check out the American shop Rock Lobsta pop up store storing some lobster rolls... oh damn they were good.

Then onwards to a 2nd night in a row in a new favourite haunt Happiness Forgets which is almost a little New York style dive bar. Considering I was in there the night before with the guy who owned who had lived in New York as well as my friends .... lets just go with that. He made an unbelievable Negroni as well, which is now 2011 drink of the summer.

I was in a little pain on Saturday so kept low but sunday after a very hard day in the sun and a few beers at the Scolts Head it was down to Dalston to the somewhat infamous Mangal's on a side street of Stoke Newington Rd in Dalston... where I had a meatathon which was much needed. I have been informed that there are now a number of these restaurants who have stolen the name but this is the original so obviously the best. Great Meze plate with all my favourites to start with. Then onto a selection of meats which was to die for... If you get a chance check it out. But dont go at the major times as it tends to be hipster heaven

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Saturday 21st of May

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I have been bad... no real bad. Its not that I havent been living up to my objective of getting out there and doing more. I have just been terrible at writing about it. I promise I will get my act together and do more. Great saturday in London town so here goes

It all started off in the morning the only way I know how to at a great new cafe in Clerkenwell. which is the sister to St Ali near where my auntie and uncle live in Melbourne. I found the Melbourne one by accident a few years back when I was doing the family thing and Im so glad I did. The funny thing is the London one is across the street from my old work place in what used to be a late night bar we all used to end up in. Timing it is always my problem. The one thing I will always notice with cafes, bars restaurants is how they use their space. Im very aesthetically inspired but also the flow of movement through a room in how they organise everything. Its weird but a good flow of movement makes me feel more relaxed even in a small tight space and they have done a great job of it. It almost feels a little New York loftish. Food was simple and really good. Feel like they needed a few more egg based food options on the menu. I didnt take my time on the coffee but it was good and a quick squiz at the menu showed lunch and the wine menu being quite extensive. It makes hanging out in my old work hood maybe just ok...

A ride down towards Brick Lane lead us to a random little gallery and photo exhibition on what else but Pub Life in the UK. It was small and intricate look at such a huge part of this countries culture. I took some photos of the random facts about pubs you might not know. Like due to the lack of literacy a lot of pubs were named after animals so they could just use a picture. Still need that today after a couple of pints

Then onto the main draw Alessandro Botto's exhibition Flux in the back of the Truman Brewery which is awesome. We had a chat with him for a while and he is an interesting character originally from Peru but left around 15 years ago and lived from New York to London to Dorset. He told us his work was influenced by the Itatlian Futurists and Julie Mehretu. Great space and a nice line of work. You should do and check it out

Then it was a beautiful ride in the sun down to Battersea Park for a little lawn bowls and bubbles (I know its an Australian thing)

I promise I will go back and write about all the things I have been up to...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Making your own digital creatures

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I often come up with a million ideas but very seldom do I follow them through. So for 2o11 I am motivating myself to do more. (also reading this to help Make Ideas Happen... its good). One thing I have been extremely interested in lately is behavioural economics. Which has led me to find a number of interesting pieces of technology that utilise this behaviour for a positive outcome for an individual. Like this cool alarm clock that every time you press snooze it puts money into your savings account. So when I was perusing the School Of Life website I saw this fantastic course called Digital Creatures... and thought why not.

We learnt about the arduino which is a open source electronics prototyping platform that you can use to create all sorts of things. I had seen many youtube videos and cool things that people had created using them. But actually seeing one in real life and having a play was interesting, fun and frustrating all at once. I seemed to be ok at the soldering which is good. We created our little digital creatures. Which had a LED nose, Two eyes that were sensors, a mouth that was a speaker and knobs for ears to turn things up and down.

I believe it was probably my laziness and the hope that my housemates would never ask... but the refitting of an electric plug didnt go down all that well. After three attempts I finally got it... plugged the light in to see it working fine... then dropped the light on the ground and almost started a fire....oops

Well onto writing code for the Digital Creature. We were taught to write code for the light to come on, the colours, changing loops and changing colours, inclusion of sounds and other cool stuff . Although Dan the guy teaching us was great and very engaging. I soon remembered why I slept through my last few years at school. Im not a very good listener... I need to LISTEN / DO / ASK... being a guy I struggled to multitask and grapple with it all at once. But in hindsight and playing with it a little bit after I left. I felt I understood what he was saying and now its more about playing around for myself. Which I often find is the best way for me to learn. WATCH THIS SPACE

It was a great day out ... although very draining on the mind and I wasnt even hung over like some, so I cant imagine the pain they felt. I had a great time learning something new. I met some really interesting people and generally thought energy and enthusiasm from everyone was great.

So check out the School of Life which has a huge amount of cool things going on that are interesting to say the least

and Dan and Bethany have started their own little education program called technologywillsaveus so get involved

Sunday, 20 February 2011

It's all gone a little XOYO

I have taken my time uploading this one. But a few fridays back we wondered down into the heart of Shoreditch to a new little club. (Not that new...we've just taken a while to get our asses down there). The truth was we were waiting for a decent lineup and the wait was worth it. With a line up like A-Trak, Russ Chimes (an old fav) and some less loved ones like Monarch the night was stupednous.

Monarch.. athough a little melancholy which was slightly over dramatised with the band wearing feminine vails that you would only see at a funeral or maybe Marylin Manson's birthday party. But a nice start to the evening all round.

Then unfortunately timing was against us... as they decided to put A-Trak and Russ Chimes on very close to each other.. so A-Trak first and he was awesome really getting the crowd going early. But then moved into some of his old school rap / hip hop and he's unbelievable turntable freestyling which made him a god in the 90's when he become the 1997 DMC champ at 15. Not bad. But as much as we were there for the show... we wanted to rip the floor a little more. So upstairs to a little Russ we went...

I much prefer when Russ Chimes rips out the guitar and plays a little live synth in between. But it was all DJ this evening and he definitely pulled out a few old gems that got the dee floor moving.

All and all a great night. Venue was cool and the flow of space just worked. Music was a bit of a mix of finding some new and loving some old.... and the lights we can forget the lights

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Had to have a little bit of sunshine

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

What do you do when you are freezing your ass off in London. You hope a plane to Mexico to get some sunshine with your best mate and oh what a ride.

With his 30th hitting and mine not far away it was a year of transition from young crummy travelers to world globetrotters... we wish. From Cancun to Playa De Carmen to Tulum. Such a beautiful part of the world. I think I will definitely have to go back and travel through there more.

Beautiful Snow right across the road

Get the flash player here:

I have been bad with this site lately. Here are just a few photos I took of the snow across the street from my apartment. I get to walk through this park everyday..

Friday, 3 December 2010

Living the Dream....Are We ?

This film about the situation in Iceland through the eyes of the creative community starts to really ring true on a broader perspective in what is supposedly seen as the western world. Money, growth, power are they morals that people really want to live by.
We have been living 'the American dream' which is exactly what it is, not ours. Its that lifestyle that is played out in every American movie and TV show that sweeps the world. Work hard, love your country, get married, buy a house, have kids buy that awesome car and keep spending.
The interesting thing is our safety in and understanding of what morals is being thrown into dishevel or are they ?. Are your morals about how much you earn or your monetary value. Surely your morals are the things that you believe in. The things that guide the life that you choose to live. What if this American dream was that of your parents that they bestowed upon you. What if the more they pushed it, the more you realised it was wrong.
As my friend's start to hit their 30's and have been working hard like we were supposed to often ridiculous hours to buy the houses and the cars. Many of them, me included have started to ask one simple question. 'Is this it ??'
There was always something quite wrong about the situation that didnt feel right. Its not that i dont believe in a hard days work. But all those hard days to make that little bit more money for those companies who will treat you more like shit, doing something you really dont enjoy. Just seems wrong to me.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A bit of big thinking

I had a lovely day today, it wasnt directly because of work as I promised myself I would never talk about that on here. It was during a work like experience that I had a real revelation about my life. I didnt actually go into work today. I got to go to a cool event by the APG which is a group of all the thinky people from advertising (known as planners) talking about things that interest them. Guess what it was called... the battle of big thinking.

Sometimes it can be quite an egoboo and naval gazing event. The great thing was that it actually brought up some very interesting topics for everyone not just advertising people. Im not going to get into what the day was about, you can read my 'work' blog for that. But during a little bit of an energizer after lunch. They had this wonderful musician play (see above). During this I had my little revelation. I love living in London because it gives me the freedom to think big.

It made me realise that all the supposed big thinking Id done elsewhere was nothing. As I had no one to truly share it with or people that pushed me further to think harder and bigger. The 'positive friction' I have had with many different types of people has lead to even more interesting thoughts. It is probably also a somewhat sense of maturity but also a better knowledge that being mature doesnt mean you should lose the curiosity and naivety of being a kid as we saw today with a younger presenter who was brilliant.

I was given a pretty good education and got pretty good marks but only because I figured out how to play the system. Not because I truly saw the relevance or value of an education that in hindsight I feel somewhat bad about. But anyone my path I felt was that I would much prefer to experience life and learn as I go in the real world and not be forced into reading something about it. Its funny how things changed. But the value of education as a whole has started to really resonate with me as Ive realised it means much more than I was supposedly taught. I can experience things, I can read things, I can share things I can discuss things. I hated all the discussion when I first arrived in the UK. But I have started to gain an understanding of its value. So I have been able to start to mix it up. Read this, share this, experience this, share this. Then start to reach out to different people but also take the time to listen to different people. I can often be brash and harsh. But I need to remind myself to bring back that childhood curiosity and realise you can truly learn something from everyone not just the ones that are obvious.

All in all the more reading, talking and experiencing you do the more you understand what you are apart of and what you want to take from that... but also what you want to give back. Because at the end of the day we are all just looking for some fulfillment and Im realising this is a great way to get it. (for me anyway)