Let's Chat About Cynicism

2 October 2016

I'm an easily baffled person,

but occasionally London baffles me even more than usual. 

One of the best and worst things about living here is the sheer scope of the place. It's massive - twice as many people live here as do in the whole of New Zealand and in the five years I've been here I've met so many interesting and wonderful people.

But it's also easy to get lost in the crowd and feel isolated among the throngs of people. When I'm riding the tube at rush hour, I sometimes take a moment to look around me at the thousands of people making their way some place and imagine where they're going and what their day has been like.

But that's as far as that goes.

Breaking Britain

22 June 2016

Tomorrow Britain goes to the polls to decide whether to remain in the European Union or go it alone. Bizarrely, despite being neither British nor European, I can vote in this referendum. So can any Commonwealth citizen who arrived in the country more than one month ago. 

It's a baffling remnant of the UK's colonial past as the country faces an uncertain continental future.

These are precarious times in British politics. In British society, even. The EU referendum, the Scottish question, austerity, terrorism, immigration and a general sense of fading glory have all contributed to a deep uncertainty about the future of the nation. The British have always had a quiet unshakeable sense of their own greatness and fortitude. This is the empire on which the Sun Never Set. The nation which stood alone against Hitler in Europe and even the birthplace of Cool Britannia..

Things haven't been so cool recently though. The very idea of Britishness is up for debate. There have been rifts in the last 40 years - Thatherchism and Iraq - but this is different. This is an angry country divided, not along class or racial or religious lines, but by something much murkier. No one seems to know what it means to be British any more. But Britain has quietly become a country where an MP can be assassinated in the street because of her political beliefs. 

Early Mornings, Late Nights

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.

My Life in Brands

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.

Be Excellent To Each Other

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.