Friday, 17 December 2010

Merry Christmas from google

The nativity re-told for our age. Follow that star on twitter! Haha nice.

Stats like you've never experienced before

Hans Rosling's 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes. Fascinating statistical study of the world and how standards of living have developed.

First ever film made by cats!

The first ever film shot entirely by cats! Actually pretty entertaining...and a good advert for Friskies!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The cutest video I've ever seen!

Spurred by the fact that there are only 200 three clawed sloths left in the world (very sadly this is probably due to the fact that they are too lazy to get down and dirty) my friend sent me this very cute video from the sloth orphanage. It's the cutest video ever!

Meet the sloths from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.

And on wikepedia it says they are actually competent swimmers! By the looks of it they are competent - but so slow they don't go anywhere...esp if there's a current. Take a look:

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Student protests

Half an hour ago I got accidentally caught inside a police defence line. Batons raised up against me it was a wall of black and yellow - like angry wasps blocking my way. I had gone out from work to collect my contact lenses (yes I'm obviously very dangerous) at Oxford Circus and bumped into a student protest. They were banging drums, holding a few protest signs, shouting a bit. There were almost as many police officers and riot vans. When even more police arrived the protestors sensed they might be being kettled and began to move....

(Kettled by the way is the police tactic that sees them trap and contain protestors in a small area. Protestors, finding they are trapped, get very angry and violent, then they calm down and just want to go home. This tactic is supposed to be only used when protestors are already violent. last week my friend Max who is doing a phd got caught in such a holding and was there for 10 hours in the cold with no food or rest).

...anyway as soon as they started trying to move the police, sensing they might loose their opportunity to contain the students went mental, running, and driving riot vans across the central road island to block their path, straight into protestors. I saw an unarmed man who looked like a geeky mature student grabbed by three police officers and pinned against a police man roughly while he held his hands up in a gesture of peace.

The scene was too much for me. I have huge sympathy for the students and I hate to hear about peaceful demonstrations that are brutally controlled by the police. I started crying. At that point I found myself faced by the wall of police officers with batons. It was threatening and frightening. I walked straight at the line slowly and looked at the floor, they let me pass.

Max told me that last week while the papers reported the bad behaviour of the student protesters and made them seem like extremists, they didn't report that there was a protest held by older graduates with their children, as well as younger school students that was charged by police on horses.

The police force should be ashamed. David cameron and Nick Clegg should be ashamed. In a democratic country this should not be happening.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Berlin! Ich lieber dich!

In November I went on a trip to Berlin. When Fiance and I were looking for a hotel we came across this insane artists' hotel. Fiance was desperate to stay. I was not. Now I don't want to be a spoil sport - I love art. It's part of my job. But I don't want to sleep in it! I want a nice comfortable hotel room that I can relax in. Check out some of the rooms:

2 cages and a toilet at the top of a tower

Impression of being inside a kaleidoscope

Sleep in coffins or the bed underneath.

A friendly prison cell complete with toilet in the bedroom.

The bed is suspended from the ceiling so fat people can't stay here.

Here the bed appears to float because of the strange slanted floor.

The furnishings hand from the ceiling and beds are hidden under the floor.

The floor is hilly like being in a mine.

I didn't stay but if anyone chooses to go please let me know what it was like.
And just a litttle word about the people in Berlin - they were soooo lovely! And very polite about our lack of German. So thank you Berlin!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Poems for her.

One Moment

Once, when she tucked me into bed,
standing on her tiptoes to hug me in my top bunk,
I closed my eyes.
Memorized her arms about me.
Her hair soft on my cheek.
Her warmth.
The darkness of the room, the mobile hanging from the ceiling,
The ragged curtains, the bed against the wall, the globe’s subtle glow.
I held her close.
That moment, like a photograph of feeling,
still fresh as dew.
7 years wise.
I knew that I couldn’t catch her forever.
So I took the picture.
And locked it in my heart.

She said

“Shall we walk back along the shore, just you and me?”
she said.
Surf washed our feet with smiles, we dreamt our runaway dreams.
“Come with me to the party! I don’t want to go on my own”
she said.
I soaked up a new person, glowing with friends.
“Would you like to come to Tescos?”
she said.
I ran to fetch crusty bread, bring her tarragon, tangy cheese.
“How was your day?”
she said.
Cross-legged on the cold granite counter everyday I told her my fears.
“Jazz-club! Niceeee”
she said.
We giggled, made faces, conducted twiddly solos with fingers.
“You’re not listening”
she said.
So I cuddled up close, loved Austen’s beautiful words.
“Let’s ask them to play True!”
she said.
We twirled, swayed, tapped, sung our breath out, sole owners of the floor.
“It doesn’t matter if you fail everything”
she said
I worked safely into star-light, got straight A’s, made her proud.
“When you’re older you’ll live in London”
she said
So I fell for the lights, tall buildings and glittering promises.
“My head hurts”
she said
So we speeded in soup fog from Cornwall.
But she said nothing at all.

The wait

In that hot white bloated bed she lies.
Her skin is unwrinkled perfect.
But her hands are fat with tubes.
Aunty Julie reads her the last pages of Maeve Binchy.
“She’s got to know what happens”, she says.

In the morning, I tell Kate to help make sandwiches.
We make sure everyone has their favourite.
There’s strength in sandwiches.
Outside the crows circle. Like they can smell blood.
Pathetic fallacy says my English teacher father.

I wear the same big thick teal wool jumper every day.
It’s comforting.
In the corridors, we are all there.
We haunt the hospital, red eyed.
We are the dead, inside.

Taking turns to look at her.
We tell each other stories of flickering eyes.
Spasms of fingers.
We see each other full of hopeless hope.
The nurses say nothing.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Barbie debate goes on

If anyone would like to see the videos that my friend Giles mentioned in his reply to my post about Barbie advertising then here they are.

The first is the Nike campaign for children being encouraged to play Sport:

The second is the scary video which hows you how to look like a perfect plastic Barbie doll.

I would like to stand up for the way girls play with dolls. While I am in no way saying that Barbies are good roll models, playing with dolls is a learning experience. Personally I am the type of person that role-plays scenarios in preparation for confrontations, issues etc. Even now I talk to myself when I'm alone and play out what I would say to someone in my head if a situation arose. This helps me straighten out what my view is and sometimes even stops me from saying things I could regret.

The problem is that if little girls learn and practice for life with dolls, they won't ever chose dolls that are ugly, or over-weight, or have muffin tops. Children are naturally drawn to beauty. It's hard-wired into all of us. So what can Barbie do? I'd say that Barbie are making the right moves. If only they would stop making everything pink.

So is Barbie a good role model as they claim? Or is it manipulative? Or both perhaps? Please send me your thoughts.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Barbie - when I grow up...

And a slightly different version:

I can't help think that as lovely as this ad is it should have shown a Barbie that wasn't a ballet dancer. Not that ballet dancers aren't wonderful and that it isn't a magical impressive career - it's just that it's so barbie and so girly. I'd like to have seen vet Barbie or doctor barbie at the end.

In any case it's a wonderful advert, a lovely idea and a break-through for the brand. When I was growing up my Mum wouldn't buy me Barbies because she said that they were an unrealistic view of women - with their huge boobs, tiny waists and feet. She didn't want me to think that's what I should look like. I love my Mum and her feminism. This is an advert that seeks to talk to women like my mum. Clever move Barbie. Clever move.

London restaurant recommendations

Grab em while they still have tables! Here is a list of great restaurants in London as picked by advertising folk:

Le Trois Garcons, Shoreditch: like a surreal, dark fairytale.
Hawksmoor, Shoreditch: melting steaks, amazing cocktails.
Village East, Bermondsey Street: Go for Chateaubriand or brunch.
Odette’s: Primrose Hill. Welsh chef Bryn Williams trained with Marco Pierre White.
Bistroteque, Bethnal Green, beautiful food with Tranny Cabaret to follow.
Gourmet San, Bethnal Green: cheap, unassuming, authentic Szechuan food.
Andrew Edmunds, Soho: Cute French restaurant, good for a date.
Fino, Soho: Spanish tapas, seafood and piglet!
The Wapping Project, Wapping: art and food in a warehouse.
Gaucho, Hamstead Heath: expensive but wonderful Argentinean.
Le Mercury, Islington: chefs in training for top restaurants = good food, cheap prices.
St. John’s, Smithfield/ St Johns Wine and Bread, Spitalfields: famous for their meat (whole pig anyone?).
Tsunami, Clapham/Soho: fashionable Japanese.
Levant Restaurant, beautifully decorated tasty Moroccan.
Boho Mexica, Shoreditch: Mexican food at its best.
Maze Grill: Grosvenor Square: Gordan Ramsey’s steak house.
Stingray’s café, Tuffnall Park: cheap wholegrain pizza and pasta etc.
Rasa, Stoke Newington: Famous Southern Indian restaurant, lauded by critics

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Selby - one day it will be in my place!!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently (as pointed out by my good friend Sarah). Work has been busy and so has life. Anyways I thought I'd share some pictures from brilliant and quirky interior design blog The Selby. The Selby go round to the houses of interesting people - often designers and performers and take pictures. Some people are famous. Most are not. Here are a few that inspired me.

Guy Blakeslee and Maximilla Lukacs. I like to imagine that these two live in a cabin in the forest in a hippy community where it's still the 70's.

Mike and Jen: this couple have done what I always believed should be done with the boring downstairs toilet. make it a colourful place full of things to look at. The downstairs loo is so often neglected in people's houses but actually it's an opportunity to go wild!

Celestine and Harry: Writing a poem on your wall hidden by clothes is lovely and whimsical.

Louis Vuitton family home (love this building!): Check out the gorgeous art nouveau fireplace. Jealous!

Simon and Martin: I love the way the picture above the fireplace reflects the heat from the fireplace and gives the room a warm cosy glow in a modern way.

Jamie Isaia and Anthony: This is the perfect study - lined, crammed with books with a traditional desk in the middle - almost buried.

Malene Barnett in Brooklyn. I love the colours she uses here - the way they somehow suggest the heat of Africa.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Eavesdropping - the best story I ever heard

There is a lovely little article in the Daily Telegraph today (which is currently free on the iPad!!) called "To overhear is to understand". It reveals the fact that Prince Charles loves a good eavesdrop (with those ears how can he help it). In fact he loves to eavesdrop on visitors at his royal residences, even getting down on the floor to listen. Brilliant. The article is about the social benefits of eavesdropping - how it teaches us that not everyone thinks like us and how it informs the work of writers. So now I think is the perfect time to tell you the best story that I ever overheard.

It was while I was standing on a packed bus in Swansea, Wales. Next to me were two middle aged women. I will paraphrase because I overheard this about 4 years ago.

Well, said one, my daughter was on the tube in London and these three guys got on. The middle one was being held tightly between the other two as if he was drunk. My daughter said she hadn't paid much attention to them but she soon noticed that a lot of people were leaving the carriage. Looking down the tube she could see that the other carriages were still full but hers was emptying. Then this guy who was sitting quite close moved over to her and told her to get off at the next stop. Bemused she did. As soon as the tube had left them on the platform she asked him what the hell was going on. The man in the middle of those two guys who looked drunk, he replied, was actually dead.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The darkest dream I ever had

A few times in my life very strange things have happened. Things that made me wonder if unconsciously my brain had told me the future in dreams.

I have only ever dreamt that two people I loved have died. First was my Grandad. My Grandad was apparently healthy. He was my big cuddly Grandad who was fit and active. One day I dreamt that I threw a ball at him and he keeled over and died when it hit his chest. The doctors (in my dream) said he had had a heart attack. A year later my Grandad died. He had undiagnosed cancer and by the times he died it was through his whole body. He died very very suddenly. In the morning Mum called to say that he had flu, in the afternoon he was dead.

Some other strange things happened when Grandad died. The heavy doors of the theatre blew open and all the doctors noticed how strange it was. My Grandad hated hospitals. My family think he was getting out of there. Then that night my Mum lay awake in bed with me asleep beside her. She felt a hand heavy on her leg. She said that instantly she felt calmer. She knew it was her dad telling her that it was Ok.

A year later for an art project during my Foundation art project I asked my Mum to pose as a dead person for a collage I was putting together. She is the only person I have ever pictured as dead for a piece of art. A few months later, now studying advertising in Cornwall, I dreamt that she died. In the dream I grabbed her dead body and screamed and screamed for the entire dream. It was truly the most terrible dream I had ever had. A few months later she had a brain hemorrhage and died within a week.

They are the only people who have ever died in my dreams. And then they both actually died shortly afterwards. Both were apparently healthy.

And another strange thing is that my cat Maisie has only ever regularly sat with her paw resting on two people. My mum and my Grandad.

A few weeks after my Mum died I had one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had. It was so vivid it was filmatic. The lighting was bluish - a bit like the lighting of Sweeney Todd. I was married and I was mortally frightened of my husband. He was a butcher and murdered people for meat. I had had an argument with a woman in town and I told my husband knowing that he would kill her. I watched as he butchered her flesh and pulled out her heart. I felt so so so guilty. It was my fault she was dead. My husband gave me the heart and told me to get rid of it. I went out onto the street and walked up a cobbled street. Suddenly I saw a huge black cloud whirling towards me. I hid from it because I knew it was evil. When it was gone I walked down to the cliff above the beach. There was a (strangely) huge paper drying rack onto which the town's rubbish was being thrown. I threw the heart onto the rubbish rack below and it became lost among the muck. Then I woke up.

I don't really know what the dream meant. But I had a rather extraordinary driving instructor at the time who had told me he could interpret dreams. he told me that the dream was about my guilt. I was subconsciously guilty, he said, of murdering the relationship between my Mum and myself. I thought it was rubbish until I thought carefully about my feelings of guilt regarding my Mum. In the months before she died we had rowed badly. I'd also been a little ungrateful about my birthday present. Maybe that's actually what the dream meant in part. But I also think that the person who was having their heart cut out was me. It was my own heart that I threw onto the rubbish. Perhaps.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Abandoned, forgotten, haunting

I found the work of Andrew Moore through Creative Review and was immediately entranced by his images of decaying Detroit. Here are some beautiful ones for you to see. To see more visit his website:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Beatles story by Rock Band

Beautiful animation by Passion Pictures.

Psychedelic trippy music video

Gong - How To Stay Alive video by Wakyo Productions, directed by Haruka Sakota.

Love this. It reminds me of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band video. Also loving the song. Gonna look up Gong on Spotify immediately!

Learning - the doodler's way

When I was studying for my school exams I would doodle. Not aimless doodling but doodle learning. The brown paper covers of my textbooks would become covered in tiny drawings showing how Corrie lakes formed, or the order of the planets, or the formation of igneous rocks. This learning method was one that I devised myself and was very effective. I usually got above 80% in my exams. It was effective because in order to visualise something you really have to understand it first, you also have to linger on each point for the amount of time it takes you to complete your doodle, then it also helps it stick in the mind as a visual - something you can actually see in your head during the exam. And finally it stops your mind from getting bored while you are reading information and wandering onto last night's episode of Eastenders.

At the time I thought it was just something I did, but having moved into advertising and become immersed in the world of graphics I have found there is a whole industry that does a similar thing, and it has a name: Info-graphics. Here is a brilliant TED talk by David McCandlesson info-graphics where he shows how much clearer seeing information visually is.

And here are some of his data Visualisations:

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Tipex it out and write your own bear story

The poor hunter doesn't want to kill the nice bear so he tipexes the command out and you get to write over it - Hunter "fucks" a bear anyone? Come on don't tell me that wasn't what came to mind first!

Arcade fire film down your street!!!

Check out this amazing new interactive video for Arcade Fire's new song built using html5 - I think it's probably the cleverest online video I've seen ever. Put in your most loved address at the beginning and wait for the surprises to begin.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I may have slept with Henry VIII!!!

No I don't mean his rotting skeleton was actually in bed with me, but possibly his ghost! This weekend Fiance and I stayed in The George and Pilgrim hotel in Glastonbury. We had the Henry VIII room so named because it is said that Henry VIII stayed in the hotel at the time of the reformation. Coolio. The downside is that the hotel needs a slight overhaul. I'm sure that many of the timbers date back to the 1400's because the hotel sagged and sloped all over the place and made me feel a little sea sick. The spiral staircase trapped all the nasty smells from the kitchen too. But if you overlooked the weird walls which channelled the noise from the television into the bathroom, plus the noises of the people in the room next to us, and the ability to lie in bed and hear the guy in the next room snoring, it was pretty cool. Maybe. Maybe next time I will stay at the Best Western.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Beautiful Leaf chapel in Japan

Looking through one of the books in our new office library "Patterns in Design, Art and Architecture" I came across a beautiful and very unusual wedding chapel.

The Leaf Chapel iin kobuchizwa in Japan floats on the grounds of Risonare hotel resort in Kobuchizawa, a beautiful green setting with views of southern Japanese Alps, Yatsugatuke peaks and Mt. Fuji.

The chapel is formed by two leaves, one glass and one steel. The steel leaf is timed to lift at the moment when the groom lifts the bride’s veil. This exaggerated sentimental gesture is balanced by the breathtaking details of the leaves themselves. The steel leaf, weighing 11 tons, lifts silently in one motion and reveals the natural backdrop. The steel leaf, perforated with 4,700 holes in a floral pattern, creates beautiful natural lighting inside and also glows elegantly at night.

Stunning. Pity it's a little far for me. but you never know...Maybe a little trip to Japan?

The Last Exorcism advert through Chatroulette

Very very clever advertising!! Oh my lord i feel traumatized!
(follow link coz silly cuts off half the video if I post it)

The skanky English pub game

Points awarded for the following British pub finds:

old men wearing funny hats - 10 points per person.
fireplaces - 2 points
at least 8 different beers on offer - 5 points
dogs - 10 points per dog
skanky carpets - 2 points
a busty barmaid - 5 points
only one toilet per sex- 2 points
down an alley - 15 points
suspicious looks from locals - 15 points per stare
regulars not talking but just sitting at the bar - 10 points per man
Slurring random - 20 points per chat.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Sketchbook project

Whilst looking at some fellow bloggers blogs I came across a brilliant art project that anyone in the world can get involved in. It's called the Sketchbook project. This is how it works:

You sign up to the project (it doesn't cost much) and get sent a sketchbook which you must fill with your own work on one of a number of themes. Send it back to the organizers who will arrange them into exhibitions as they travel around the USA. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project.

kelly L at [Insert Clever Title Here] blog is taking part so good luck to her!

Here's some of last year's entries:

A bloke called Brian tells advertising people what for

Monday, 16 August 2010

Self flagellation of a cat owner

I have to tell you all that I am a horrible horrible person. Why? Because I snipped off a bit of my trusting, docile, sweet-natured cat's skin. Before you report me to the RSPCA please know that I am truly deeply sorry. It was an accident and I really wish I had snipped off my own skin instead.

Poor little Maisie has had such a rough time recently. First she started shaking her head, so the vet gave us ear drops. After three courses of ear drops she looked so pathetic. The head shaking persisted and added to that the drops had made her ears and neck sticky. Then she was left on her own with just a daily visit from my sister while my dad was away for a week. She hates being alone and cries whenever she can't find people.

Then we took her back to the vet who sedated her and examined her ears to find there was a build up of discharge and drops in her ears and she has a middle ear infection. So she had her ears cleaned out. When she got back she looked happier but her fur hadn't been groomed in a while and she looked a bit scraggy (she is a long haired cat - a Ragdoll). SO I decided to groom her and cut out all her fur mattes with scissors. Only I wasn't concentrating and I cut off a piece of her skin!!!

It didn't bleed. I can only assume I cut through a couple of layers but not all. Maisie let out a pitiful little cry but still let me pick her up afterwards. She is so gentle and so sweet. Now every time I think about what I did I involuntarily put my hands over my face. Which I just did in a big meeting in front of my boss.

So Maisie, I'm so so so so sorry. I will never take scissors to you again.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Advertising. The land of the Copycats

In my last agency we had a thing about sending around adverts which have blatantly ripped off another advert/ a director's reel/ a photographer's work. And now, thanks to my French Art director friend sitting opposite me, I have a whole website to indulge this hobby.

Check out the unashamed copying this guy has spotted. It is shocking!!

The message is - Creatives! There's no need to be original! Just buy some old D&AD annuals and watch some ads from other countries and you'll get paid for ripping off other people's ideas! Bargain! Plus you may even win a Bronze Lion at Cannes!!!

Check out the skullduggery of my fellow Creatives at

When Adgirl met Royalty

A year ago I was in a mad shopping frenzy before my holiday. I needed a new bikini so Fiance and I headed to Selfridges and to the upper floor where underwear and swimwear are. Failing to find any bikinis that cost less than £80 I elbowed my way past a girl with long blonde hair and two guys. Suddenly my Fiance grabbed hold of my elbow and swung me into an aisle.

"Do you know who you just elbowed out the way????"


"That was Prince Harry and Chelsea Davy!!!"

"NO WAY!!...Who's that other guy?"

"Dunno, security?"

So what were they like in the flesh? Chelsea has a very snubby nose and her hair was in BAD condition. Harry? Well he just looked pretty normal. He was wearing a padded gillet. Very royal family.

Fiance and I looked around for Special forces police but could see no one hanging around wearing dark glasses and talking into a walkie-talkie like in the movies so we decided to stalk the royal couple from a safe distance. We followed then as they went to into the lingerie section, where they stopped and looked at naughty nipple tassels and giggled.

I would have taken a picture and sold it to heat magazine but I thought that if I tried undercover agents might swoop like something out of The Borne identity. So I resisted.

And that was the day that Adgirl met HRH Prince Harry. The end.

PS: If you guys have any great "bumping into a celebs" stories please let me know!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Oh shit wasn't I meant to be getting married next year?

I have done NO wedding planning since I got engaged in November. I am officially the world's laziest bride to be.
But I have seen a dress and a coat which I love. Here they are - I'm wondering whether I should get them both and have a winter wedding. I had been thinking summer but actually I can indulge my love affair with coats if I do winter and I also won't be upset if it pisses it down. It would be indoors anyway. Hmmmm...

What do you think of the outfit?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Sock Puppet Michael Jackson

I love puppets. I think this stems from my childhood as Mum and dad did my teddies talking every night before I went to sleep. I totally get into it still. Which is why I love this little puppet show of Michael Jackson's life. Don't watch it if you love love love Jackson and can't stand people taking the piss. Personally I love Jackson's music but taking the piss is perfectly acceptable in my eyes.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

You're never too adult to build a den/fort

Today in work we were talking about dens, or as my US colleges call then "forts". Debs used to use a big wooden washing rack to hand sheets over, I used the slide in the garden as my framework.

We love you so - the blog dedicated to Spike Jonze's Where the Wild things are have just run a "fort" building competition:

Here are a few of the entries sent by grown adults who are still 8 years old at heart. Check out the innovative locations. It's also nice to imagine the people who built each fort - some mechanics, some hippies, some corner shop owners: