Friday, 31 July 2009

Get Your Cheque Book out Wenger!

I am not going to pretend to know lots about football, but as an Arsenal fan and a pretty logical person, I feel I can comment on what I feel to be a bit of a shambles at Arsenal at the moment. I am a fan of Arsene Wenger, I think he is a highly intelligent person, who knows about football, but there are two things I just don't get.

1) Why is he selling some of our best players to Manchester City, one of the main rivals for a champions league place (Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor)? Added to that, it's looking likely that Emmanual Eboue is being sold to Fiorentina, so we will be another experienced player down.

2) Why is he not replacing said players? Okay he has bought Thomas Vermaelen but we probably could have done with him anyway even without selling other players.

Gone: Adebayor; Gone: Toure; Going: Eboue?

So we have just had another season without silverware, scraped into fourth place - with Aston Villa and Everton breathing down our necks; and yet Arsene is saying that he is happy with the squad. Happy? Unless something miraculous has happened over the summer and then surely they are going to be in the same position this year as last i.e. battling for 4th place?

In: Vermaelen; Target: Viera; Target: Huntelaar

Is there something amiss here that we are not being told about? Has the purchase of the Emirates Stadium so severely dented the Arsenal finances that they are unable to spend the 30 million pounds they have received for the sale of Toure and Adebayor?

The newspapers yesterday said that Wenger is interested in bringing Viera back to Arsenal. Okay, so maybe that could work, but would he really be committed to Arsenal? Particularly as it appears he has considered joining Spurs of all teams!

The Arsenal fans are hungry for a trophy and I don't think the club will want to finish another season empty handed. I think Wenger could be in trouble if he doesn't get it right this year, which is why he has got to splash the cash and strengthen the squad with some players who are capable of helping Arsenal win something THIS SEASON. Never mind building a squad for the future we want it now. I just hope we get Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Real Madrid and that it's just the first of a few good signings.

If Arsenal fail to win a qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season they will lose a massive amount of revenue and it could have dire consequences. And the biggest casualty would surely be Wenger.
What do you think?

Thursday, 30 July 2009

God is a Director, the Cinema is My Church

I just wanted to write a brief post to give some more publicity to the campaign in my local area of Crystal Palace, South London, to get a cinema. After lots of hard work encouraging arguably the best independent cinema company in the UK to set up shop in Crystal Palace, City Screen (owners of the PictureHouse Cinemas), were outbid for the perfect site; by a Church.

The site incidentally used to be a cinema many moons ago, is at the heart of the community and until recently was a Gala Bingo hall.

The Church in question, Kingsway International Christian Centre, is not local and will be attracting people from across London to its services, taking up valuable parking space, which is at a premium in Crystal Palace, and contributing little to the local economy. Now don't get me wrong, I am not anti-religion; each to their own I say. However, I am anti losing a valuable local site that could be used to much better and more appropriate effect.

With the loss of the bingo hall, Crystal Palace needs something that will revitalise that particular strech of the road and provide footfall for the areas many shops, bars, cafe's and restaurants; and entertainment for the people e.g. the elderly who have lost a place to socialise. And it appears that many of the local community feel the same.

I started a facebook campaign recently which has now got over 2,200 people who have signed up. Some slightly more enterprising individuals than myself have created a website, and a petition. In addition, a whole host of local people, many members of the local community forum have been involved in everything from creating t-shirts and leaflets, setting up protests and organising a campaign group. The local and even the London newspapers have written articles highlighting the campaign. This is a brilliant example of community spirit at its best and highligts the passion that people have about the area and what it needs.

Although KICC now own the site, they cannot use it for services until they get planning permission for a change of use; and this is where people power can have a real effect. If everyone who has signed the petition, facebook group or has shown an interest in the campaing contacts the London Borough of Bromley to make their views known, then hopefully they will see sense and refuse permission. Maybe one day Crystal Palace will get the cinema that it so badly wants.

If you're from the local area, from London or even just want to show some support for the campaign, follow some of the links for more information. Or let me know what you think in the comments section.
What do you think?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Deck Shoe: Go Take a Long Walk off a Short Plank!

What is it with the deck shoe? They are everywhere at the moment, every other bloke here in London seems to be gracing a pair. Even in East London for crying out loud! Plain ones, hideously coloured ones; worn in a variety of ways with shorts, trousers, skinny jeans. Have they all gone mad? What on earth are people thinking?

There is only one place that the deck shoe should be worn and that is ON DECK! Or in South Kensington on a Thursday night at Boujis. Now I'm all for irony in fashion, but surely deck shoes are taking it too far? Have we entered into some kind of dodgy-fashion parallel universe where we are suddenly taking fashion tips from the Sloanes? They have never exactly been known for the dress sense have they?

A few years ago, after university, I somehow found myself managing a shop on the New Kings Road, in London's Parsons Green (just down the road from Chelsea). Deck shoes were all the rage with the locals; but that was almost acceptable because they were being worn with our Crew Clothing Company harlequin rugby shirts in pink and blue and with bright red Chino's. Seriously! No SERIOUSLY! There was totally, obviously no hope for them fashion wise, so it kind of didn't matter.

So called fashion journalists are now calling them 'design classics'. Ha ha. They have got to be having a laugh. Next they will be calling them 'urban', 'edgy' and 'street'.

Maybe I am just getting old, and at the ripe old age of 29 I just don't get it anymore? In which case maybe it's me that should be taking that long walk...all the way into middle age!
What do you think?

Monday, 27 July 2009

Paolo Troilo's Handy Works of Art

I came across an amazingly fabulous artist at the Mondo art Gallery, whilst in Postino, Italy last week (more about Positano later - a beautiful place by the way).

The artist is Paolo Troilo and some of his works are shown below. The paintings are all in the image of the artist himself and he paints using his hands - I loved the rawness of this and found his paintings really powerful, especially the way he appears to be fighting or struggling with himself. The images look violent and masculine, almost erotic even and I found look looking at his work quite emotional, not something that always happens to me.

I was too scared to ask for the price of his work at the gallery and at the moment I am still dreaming that I will one day be able to buy one! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any exhibitions of his work in London.

Update: I am so in love with Paolo's work that I had to feature him again on my new blog Mr Musing where you can see more of his work and a video of him painting.

What do you think?

Red Carpet Fashion Awards: It's got me started!

By Adoomer (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
So this is the first post on my new blog…wow talk about pressure; first impressions count and all. Well actually this is really just an introductory post, a little hello there to let you know what my vibe is.

I was inspired to set up a blog after reading about Catherine Kallon and her blog in the Evening Standard last week. It sounded like fun and so here I am only a week later.

I should really get across that I am totally new to this (both writing and creating) and see this blog as being in a state of flux for a little while whilst I find my feet. My technical ability has a long way to go before it catches up with my enthusiasm. But enthusiasm goes a long way right?

So now that you have seen my blog (by some miracle it must be said, as even I struggle to find it at this stage) why should you stay? What have I got to offer that will keep you coming back for more?

Well I just like stuff and I like to talk about stuff – all day long. In fact many people say I could talk in an empty house, and I suppose this blog is my way of doing just that. I can be opinionated at times; frank but always honest. I don’t believe in bullshit and am looking forward to writing about things that I find interesting.

I am into everything really – Music, Films, the Arts, Sports, Fashion, Food and Politics; so I want this blog to reflect that and cover whatever takes my fancy at the time. Some of it will be deep and some of it extremely shallow and that is exactly how I would want it to be – a bit of a mixed bag for people who like a bit of this and a bit of that!
What do you think?
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