Shop in a box? Hmmmv…

7 11 2009

Situated opposite Starbucks, at Liverpool Street station, are four polished words – ‘Shop in a box’. Now i’m all for a convenient vending machine – i ADORE the Japanese alcohol dispensers and Amsterdam’s croquette machines – but somehow ‘Shop in a box’ doesn’t fill me with glee.

HMV SHop in a Box at Liverpool Street

Maybe it’s because i associate ‘shopping’ with fun and human interaction? (even if it is shoulder barging the queue-pushers at Primark in Ealing)…

But anyway – always one to try something new – i thought i’d attempt a purchase at the coffins of retail.  Apart from feeling EXTREMELY conspicuous – the first issue i had was whether i was registered.  What?!  I’ve got to type in my personal details with someone watching over me behind a Caramel Macchiato?  I think not…
Read the rest of this entry »

(Slipping) Evening Standards

13 07 2009

renaissancechambara flickr

I think it’s a sad time we’re living in when something – once the symbol of London pride and the mark of a bowler-hatted gentleman – is visibly crumbling before us.

I’ve seen them selling the paper for 10p at Paddington Station, i’ve seen them bribe us to purchase with a free Oyster Card or ruck-sack, i even picked up a free copy when it was relaunched – But this evening it was being handed out gratis because it just hadn’t been sold. The vendor, stood at his umbrellaed metal box, distributed freely from a 3ft pile of unwanted Standards. Read the rest of this entry »

Moonwalk Flashmob – Liverpool Street

28 06 2009

A flashmob descended upon Liverpool Street on Friday evening for a pre-arranged moonwalk, en masse. Organized through the usual social networking channels – most notably Twitter – the message was simple –

“Right. It’s on. There will be a mass moonwalk at 6pm tonight at Liverpool Street station.”

With no further information needed, I, along with a significant percentage of London’s social media savvy population, headed to the station.

Arriving with a few minutes to spare, it was enough time to suss out the best spot for documenting the event.
With a heavy police presence and an unusually high volume of ‘commuters’ (eagerly gripping their mobile phones) if you weren’t in on the plan – you definitely knew that something was different…

Tannoy messages began to address the crowd –
“If you have just arrived at the station for the Michael Jackson Moonwalk event scheduled for eighteen hundred hours, please make your way outside onto Liverpool Street outside the McDonalds where it will now be taking place.”

Confusion is placed in our minds –
“Is it a bluff?”

“Are they trying to disperse us?”

“Will it actually end up happening in here and then we’ll have gone outside and missed it?”


Anyways. We headed for the escalator at 17:59 and 30 seconds, hoping to get a rising aerial shot of the concourse.

17:59 and 50 seconds– on the escalator – camera is on.

18:00 –

Top of the escalators and it all seems to be happening outside…

What’s happening exactly though isn’t a moonwalk – it’s people with cameras waiting to take pictures of a moonwalk. Everywhere you turn is someone looking expectantly, holding a cameraphone aloft. If they haven’t got a camera phone, they’ve got a camera, if they haven’t got a camera they’re on the phone, if they’re not with either of those – they have a video camera, and not just a little handycam – huge broadcast quality Z1s et al.

After 20 minutes, of taking pictures of people taking pictures, i’m ready to leave when suddenly a speaker system bursts into life and a man begins to speak.

After he speaks, the Michael Jackson music begins.


Nobody really does anything. People take photos of… people doing nothing.


It reminded me of the recent Liverpool Street ‘riots’ where a media mob descended on just one person attempting to smash in a window. Desperate for something to film, with nothing really going on.

For me the most interesting thing is the lure of this event, not for people to be involved in the actual moonwalk, but to be involved just as an observer.

Is this the death of the Flashmob? Surely the point of them is to be unexpected? A brief, bizarre interlude, in the otherwise predictable routine of someone’s day. It all becomes a bit ‘pop will eat itself’ when it’s mass-marketed and pre-publicized to the gawkers. (and maybe even a little in bad taste when you consider the reason for the gathering was someone’s death?)

I like Flashmobs – but i think they need to go back underground, maybe even on the Underground again – a la the circle line party. [Click here for the Circle Line party flashmob video]

I honestly didn’t see anyone moonwalk on that Friday evening. But I did spot a very cute dog, so i guess it was worth it…

Bionase – Hayfever ‘cure’?

15 05 2009


"My hayfever vanished - as did my boyfriend!"

"My hayfever vanished - as did my boyfriend!"

Normally i don’t pay too much attention to the classified ads in the Metro (unlike those in the Innovations catalogue) but i’m glad i looked more closely at this one.

It fills me with joy the way the model on the top left attempts to look attractive – whilst demonstrating the Bionase.  

I can just imagine her joy when receiving the call from her agent telling her she’d just got a national ad campaign; followed by her crushing disappointment when she got to the shoot and realised she’s have to stick a wired peg up her nose.

At least the ad was in black and white – this lady didn’t get off so ‘lightly’ –

A night out in Bangkok's red-light district wasn't quite the same as it used to be

Bangkok's red-light district wasn't quite the same as it used to be


Once i started looking into the Bionase, i was so tickled with the pics i found that i thought i’d start a dedicated gallery here – 


Smells OK - but i'm still not convinced...


Bionase - 1992

This won't hurt a bit...

This won't hurt a bit...

"Have you taken the f**king picture yet?

"Have you taken the f**king picture yet?

I'm only doing this if you PROMISE it won't end up online

I'm only doing this if you PROMISE it won't end up online


We like to make our own Christmas decorations


You won't be smiling in a minute.

I think someone tagged the wrong photo...

Wrong tag (i hope)

Plastic Fingered

7 05 2009

Walking down Oxford Street yesterday i was confronted by two men holding huge inflatable fingers, giving away bloodied, plastic pointers.

On each giant finger was a web address.

Later that day i clicked on the site – a plain white page – brilliant!   What will come next?

  • A teaser campaign over the coming days?  
  • A media splash?  
  • Free gifts for all those with a finger?

Today, fuelled with curiosity, my excited fingers tapped out a slightly different address to the one i thought i’d seen –

“No finger needed! – CornerTape… Absolutely brilliant at helping you to joint tiles like a pro”

These guys were stealth-promoting a Norwegian tape company!  Spreading a buzz about a product that allows you to mastic your bathroom tiles without using a damp finger.  On the site are a list of “Demo Days” where i can watch the product in action – including such cutting-edge locations as ‘Denvale Trade Park’ or the North Circular’s ‘Deacon Estate’.

I’m not sure what’s worse – the fact that they had guys giving out plastic fingers on Oxford Street (the least likely place to find anyone remotely interested) or that i’m actually choosing this as my first trend-spotting subject.

I think this blog is over before it began.

HºtИât ☹

☝fingers and thumbs☟☝fingers and thumbs☟