29 April 2016
Last night I finished work at 11.15pm. I got home 75 minutes later and ate a small bag of Mexican Chilli flavoured crisps and drank a can of off-brand cola for dinner. I went to bed at 1.15am and woke up at exactly 5am for an 11-hour shift.
I drank a lot of coffee today.
Anyone who's worked in any kind of hospitality job will recognise this kind of schedule. Late nights behind the bar. Early mornings in front of the espresso machine. These are the kind of jobs where weekends become meaningless, bank holidays are irrelevant and the idea of committing to plans more than a week in advance seem impossible.
By Simon Wood at 18:30
28 March 2016
We live in a consumerist world. It's very easy to buy things. Almost too easy. Our society has never had such immense access to such a huge range of products and choices. It's overwhelming.
This has the potential to be a wonderful tool - we can choose products that fit our lifestyle, our budget and our values. Our parents never had that luxury. They were often limited by what was available to them locally. I met a Norwegian girl once who could remember the first time bananas came to her country. It's easy to take our current range of choices for granted. A lot of us, myself included, do take this for granted.So I wanted to sit down and explore the choices I've made.
By Simon Wood at 20:05
24 March 2016
|St Cecilia and the Angels|
Exploring galleries is one of my favourite things to do in life, and one of the things that makes living in London so special. There's dozens of places to spend an afternoon while standing in the shadow of amazing artworks and exploring my thoughts.
Ten years ago I used to love going to the Tate Modern and this week I ventured back there again for the first time in many months. There's lots I love about this place - work by Mark Rothko and Henri Matisse and Yves Klein make me smile.
But as I wandered around the expansive chambers of this former power station, I found myself feeling a little uncomfortable with how ironic and sarcastic a lot of the things on the wall were. I stared at Spatial Concept 'Waiting' by Lucio Fontana, a work I adored as a 21-year-old, and felt empty. Or worse than empty. Angry. Or disappointed.
By Simon Wood at 02:27
19 March 2016
When I started this blog in 2010 (yikes!) I used to illustrate all of my posts with Simpsons images. Like many upper-lower-middle-class types my age, the classic episodes of this show are one of the defining features of my formative years. Using screengrabs was an easy way to break up the walls of text.
Yep, I adore The Simpsons. The first ten seasons have a case for being the greatest pop culture achievement of my lifetime. If you go back and read through the past entries on this blog, you'll find many many references to the show alongside the images. Some are obvious, and some are throwaway combinations of words that only fellow tragics like me will have a chance of noticing.
By Simon Wood at 18:32
10 March 2016
I had a surreal conversation with a London black cab driver. It lasted less than two minutes but I've been thinking about it for two weeks. I witnessed the death rattles of the iconic London cab wrapped up in a tiny conversation.
Working for a hotel, ordering taxis is a part of my daily routine. My hotel is a prominent international brand with a huge presence across London. And like many hotels, black cabs aren't even on my radar. And this cabbie wanted to know why. He really wanted to know.
The slow demise of iconic black cabs are is one of the percolating conversation topics hanging in the London air. For several years now, London cabbies have been spreading ominous stories about their impending extinction and imploring every one of us to help keep them alive. Black cabs are are hugely endangered species and we, as we've been told, have to decide whether we want to help them recover to a sustainable level or watch them go extinct.
By Simon Wood at 18:09