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December 2018

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Laura Pergolizzi (born March 18, 1981) is an American singer and songwriter who performs under the stage name LP.

She has released four albums and one EP.

She has written songs for Cher, Rihanna, Leona Lewis and Christina Aguilera.

Shortlist.

I am currently working on a short list of people that influence how I work, design, create and ‘am’.

LP is one of them.

Because she is so untypical of anyone and anything.

I see her as a pure, creative force. Just being who she is. And her music is really brilliant.

Please watch and listen to this live performance.

What do you think?

We’ve just had a family weekend break. 

£400 for two nights at a local posh ‘Hall’.

You know the score… Old building with big curtains, great gardens, they call you ‘sir’ and ‘madam’ and charge you £13 for a burger.

Without fries.

Long Days.

We’ve just got back home and we need advice on how to do a holiday.

Because something went wrong with this one…

Lisa and I work quite a lot.

15 hour days each in the week and maybe 10 hours over the weekend.

This is not to complain or show off at how hard working/badly organised/whatever we are.

It’s just stating a fact.

Friday.

We arrived at about 3pm on Friday.

Got to our room.

Excitedly ran around for a bit with a 2 year old Izobel.

Drank.

Ate two burgers.

Drank.

Lay down for a rest at about 7.45pm.

Woke up at 7am on Saturday.

Saturday.

Breakfast at 8am (see photo).

Buzzed to Corbridge.

Shopped.

Drank (1 pint).

Back to the hotel at about 6pm.

Ate in the room.

Lay down for a snooze at about 7.30pm.

Woke up at 7am on Sunday.

Had breakfast.

Went home.

Anywhere. 

We were rubbish.

We should have done a pre-holiday.

We could have been anywhere really because all we needed was sleep.

At home we get to bed (or fall asleep at various points around the house) at 11pm and get up at (anything from) 5am and this had clearly caught up with us.

Our Next Holiday. 

Our next holiday (although I haven’t told Lisa yet) is packing the car, driving around the block, parking back in the drive at home, going back into the house, having a bit of lager and falling asleep at 7pm.

For three days.

I’ve budgeted £30.

David Beckham was recently chastised by ‘the Internet’ for kissing his daughter on the lips.

I peeped at this story out of the corner of my eye and made no comment.

The main reason was because, I think, Piers Morgan was either responsible for or was at least in part the catalyst for the discussion taking place.

And he’s an odious twat.

Naked. 

I still won’t comment on anything to do with him, because just like Katie Hopkins, attention is his oxygen.

And so it follows that if I ignore him he may suffocate and die.

So instead, here is a picture of me kissing my daughter this weekend, on the lips, whilst we are both completely naked, in the shower.

And in anticipation of any negative comments that I might get, here is my pre-emptive response.

Not bothered. Shit off.

Have a wonderful day x

I am smiling as I compile this list.

Anna Koska has illustrated over 100 books and worked with chefs, writers and publishers from around the globe.

David Hieatt is the founder of The Do Lectures, Howies and Hiut Jeans. David is a personal hero of line.

Luke Sital-Singh is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter from the UK.

Jack Adair Bevan is an award-winning food and drink writer, and co-author of The Ethicurean Cookbook.

Shana Dressler is the President of Turquoise, a creative leadership consultancy which designs bespoke programs and innovation training for Fortune 500 companies and social impact organizations.

Dan Kieran is a British travel writer, humorist, literary editor and entrepreneur. He is best known for his travel books and for his role as deputy editor of The Idler between 2000 and 2010. He is also a CEO and co-founder of the publishing company Unbound.

Company.

I am Michael Owen and I find myself in the company of all of these people at the excellent online home of Carlo Navato’s podcasts.

It is beyond me how I find myself in the company of these brilliant people. Carlo included.

But for as long as the journey lasts – I’ll keep smiling.

I was out in Newcastle with a modelling agency last week. On their Christmas night out.

Not because I am a model you understand, because I worked alongside their excellent founder for a couple of years to help shape the brand.

Drinks were £7 to £10 each I guess as we bounced around the cool bars.

I was buying for me. And friends. And people I didn’t know.

You know how it is. It’s Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

People bought for me too of course. It was a good night.

I had no idea how much I’d spent on the night in these times where waving your phone at a barista or cocktail maker results in a balance-reducing beep in under a second.

The following day I could estimate. But I wasn’t sure exactly as I did have cash on me a well.

But hey, it’s Christmas.

ASDA

How strange it is then that, at ASDA on the following afternoon, I guarded my trolley (MY trolley) with my life.

Because it had my £1 coin in it.

I’d put my bags in the car and the trolley was about 20 yards away (I’d had to carry bags a little distance for some reason).

But I watched MY trolley with a steely gaze. Constantly.

MY trolley.

MY £1 coin.

I think that if someone had walked towards it I’d have skipped across, puffed my chest out, lowered my voice and said,

‘Ere mate. That’s my trolley.

And I don’t ever call anyone ‘mate’.

But this was serious.

This was MY trolley.

Control.

I thought about this afterwards. And smiled.

It’s amazing how our behaviours and reactions are so miss-matched to situations sometimes.

It’s silly.

I bought a £5 tin of instant coffee yesterday, impressed that it makes 52 cups. A graphic on the packaging told me this.

And I still paid £2.50 for a flat white on the way home.

How odd!

But this is not about money or numbers. It’s about control.

MY supermarket trolley, containing MY £1 coin was MY supermarket trolley.

And the social rules around the exact moment it becomes mine or his or hers are unclear. So it made me feel edgy.

When I bought a £7 cocktail the rules were clear. It’s mine.

Relax.

I think I’ll relax more.

I don’t always have to control everything.

Have my trolley. And I’ll buy you a coffee when I see you. A 10p instant one or a £2.50 flat white.

It is Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas.

As it’s my blog, I can write whatever I like I guess.

So this is about dog shit.

Dog shit.

I have two dogs. Colin and Frank.

I don’t walk them as much as I should and that makes me feel guilty. But that’s another story.

Anyhow, this is a question for all dog owners. And, once you see where this is going, maybe non dog owners too.

Have you ever picked up, willingly and with no fuss or self-aggrandising, another dog’s shit?

I have. More than once and – on and off – for a long time now.

For one reason.

It’s wrong that dog shit should be left around for people to stand in/kids to fall in/toddlers to play with.

That’s it.

Choices. 

I choose not to do any of these things:

  1. Walk on by and call the dog a dirty sod. Under my breath or to my friends or partner.
  2. Walk on by and call the dog owner a dirty sod.  Under my breath or to my friends or partner.
  3. Pick the dog shit up and tell the world, ‘I picked up another dog’s dog shit today’ to make me seem like a good guy. Remember, I’ve done this for years.

The point of this post?

We’re surrounded by other people’s dogshit.

And homelessness.

And bullying.

And older people crossing  a busy road.

And someone being cruel to their dog.

How about you just walk over and step in every now and then?

Either on a micro or macro level. Sandwiches for homeless people or voting for a government that (we hope) gives a shit about homeless people are both pulling in the same direction.

Elbow out of the way those moaning and blaming and pointing and taking selfies, pick up the dog shit, put it in the bin, glare a bit at the idiots if you must – then get on with your day.

I just wanted to say that, whether you agree with the exact sentiment here or not, walking on by is not an option any more. For us or for our kids, actually.

And doing it because it’s good for business will, I hope, soon be seen as just as weak.

Sainsbury’s adding information to their packaging about what food is best for a food bank is not what I mean.

Sainsbury’s invisibly giving and doing something meaningful and permanent for the homeless or underpriviledged with (say) £100,000,000 of their £400,000,000 annual profits – is.

Change.

Stopping and making a change because you know damn well that something is just plain wrong or unkind is where it’s at.

And we should feel privileged as we do it.

We are so exceptionally lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of the change we want to see.

I am finding that, as a general rule, when you’re nice in business – nice things happen to your business.

I am also finding that, as a general rule, when you’re nice in life – nice things happen to your life.

If you layer on top of this an expectation and acceptance of the fact that you are going to fail occasionally, be rejected occasionally and meet an average of about two arseholes each week  – you’re pretty much invincible.

Give it a try.

I bet nice things happen to you too.

Quote this week about Always Wear Red

“Amazing Mike.

We always knew it would happen.

A Beautiful Collection.”

AMY GALLO-GOFTON
Former Vice President of Design, Kate Spade, New York.

According to a survey that appeared in The Telegraph a few years ago, women grow up before men do.

No surprise there, then.

A study into the differences in maturity between genders revealed both men and women remain ‘immature’ well into their late 30s and early 40s.

The average age at which women mature emerged as 32.

Men?

43.

11 years later.

Self Test.

Here is a list of men’s top 30 maturity failings. See if you’re guilty of any of these things. And are therefore shamefully immature. How many are you, between 0 and 30?

1.Finding their own farts and burps hilarious

2.Eating fast food at 2:00am

3.Playing videogames

4.Driving too fast or ‘racing’ another car at the lights or on the motorway

5.Sniggering a bit at rude words

6.Driving with loud music

7.Playing practical jokes

8.Trying to beat children at games and sport

9.Staying silent during an argument

10.Not being able to cook simple meals

11.Re-telling the same silly jokes and stories when with the lads

12.Don’t like talking about themselves/ having proper conversations

13.Hating books/reading because of short attention span/they’re boring

14.Doing crazy dance moves

15.Mum still doing their washing

16.Having their Mum still make them breakfast/any meal

17.Wearing trainers to night clubs

18.Owning a skateboard or BMX

19.Not eating vegetables

20.Changing jobs regularly

21.Getting too excited over stag do’s

22.Sometimes trying to do wheelies/stunts on their bike

23.Driving a modified car or one with a loud exhaust/boy racer

24.Showing off about how girls are attracted to them

25.Wearing pyjamas, specifically cartoon pyjamas

26.Using dodgy chat-up lines

27.Showing off about protein shakes/weight-lifting/how much they ‘lift’

28.Littering

29.Wearing saggy-crotched jeans

30.Having a cartoon bedspread

Well?

Flag Day was the first single released by The Housemartins. One of my favourite bands.

It was released in 1985 when I was 17 and it reached number 124 in the charts.

33 years ago.

It’s a beautiful song.

And a sad song.

Because the theme – who has all the money – hasn’t changed for the better.

It’s changed for the worse.

Have a listen.

Too many Florence Nightingales
Not enough Robin Hoods
Too many halos not enough heroes
Coming up with the goods
So you though you’d like to change the world
Decided to stage a jumble sale
For the poor, for the poor
It’s a waste of time if you know what they mean
Try shaking a box in front of the Queen
‘Cause her purse is fat and bursting at the seams
It’s a waste of time if you know what they mean
Too many hands in too many pockets
Not enough hands on hearts
Too many ready to call it a day
Before the day starts
So you thought you’d like to see them healed
Got blue Peter to stage an appeal
For the poor, for the poor
It’s a waste of time if you know what they mean
Try shaking a box in front of the Queen
‘Cause her purse is fat and bursting at the seams
It’s a waste of time if you know what they mean
Flag Day, Flag Day, Flag Day
IMAGE: Housemartins – WOMAD July 1986. Photo by Martin Whitehead.
Video at www.50odd.co.uk.

 

Ignorance is seen as a negative thing isn’t it? 

And knowledge, a positive thing.

More than that in fact…

‘Knowledge is power’ we are told.

Children.

When you and I were children we were ignorant of so many things.

We just didn’t know we were. Ignorance was, at least in part, the thing that turned us into little whirligigs.

Spinning tops.

Crazed, hungry creatures wanting to learn.

Asking why, why, why.

Until unkind people suggested to us that ignorance was something to be embarrassed about.

It was about then, from memory, that I started to see ignorance as a weakness.

And I asked less questions.

Ignorance is fuel.

But I was thinking just this week, because so much that I am doing is new, and because I care less and less what people think about me and what I am up to… ignorance is fuel.

I want to learn lots.

I am already quite good at some things.

But I want to be good at more.

And my ignorance is the fuel that pushes me on.

“I don’t know”

I love saying that I don’t know something these days.

I was bullied by my stepfather for years for not knowing things. But as he is no longer around I am free from that.

I welcome ignorance.

After all, I can’t learn things that I already know.

Excited. 

So, going forward, I pledge to become even more excited by ignorance and finding out new things.

Just as I was when I was a very young child.

There’s so much to learn!

Ignorance is not a bad thing.

But thinking or teaching people that ignorance is a bad thing – is.