Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Stuff I Like
& I think, since girl with a pearl earring, we shall all get this Vermeer reference. The photograph is of a squatter in Hackney reading a possession order, with a surprising dignity & calm.
& this one is just a rebel!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Another Victoria Climbé?
A murder investigation has been launched after two young children were found dead in a house. Police investigating the deaths have arrested a 30-year-old woman at an address in Hackney, east London, where the children, a three-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy, were found. She remains in custody tonight.
This time I do know we don't need any new law or guidance, the 1989 Children Act is a sound piece of legislation, & there is no ambiguity about the process which should be followed for a child at risk in guidance. Any falling through the cracks is the result of caseloads, which are often overwhelming in such a borough. This leads to high staff turnover & the problems which accompany it.
The social services team who will take your call, should you ring about a child, is called the Access team. In a much quieter (than London) countyshire office I learnt that the Child Access team can recieve 150 calls a week & the child protection team could cope with about 2 of those being passed on, maybe. Some calls can be screened out; people can't have their children being taken into care because they left the windows open again! Some are malicious ex-es or neighbours, & some require a follow up which happens within 7 days. It does happen, but after that, the Access team keep as many cases as they can, because can't refer them all on, even child protection is a concern.
Family Aides & Family Centres are fantastic, often supporting children & their families in very practical ways. Sometimes services can be put in place, referrals made to other agencies, & families emerge from their crisis. But the threshold for making a referral to the Child Protection Team is too high, because there are no resources, & cases escalate while people work very hard to keep the family together. Sometimes communciation fails in a way which really fails a child, & I hope that isn't what happened because we should know better.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
The Bard of JFS
Look we have coming to Dover!
Stowed in the sea to invade
the lash alfresco of a diesel-breeze
ratcheting speed into the tide with the brunt
gobfuls of surf phlegmed by cushy,
come-and-go tourists prow'd on the cruisers, lording the waves.
vexed blarnies at our camouflage past
the vast crumble of scummed cliffs.
Thunder in its bluster unbladdering yobbish
rain and wind on our escape, hutched in a Bedford can.
inland, unclocked by the national eye
or a stab in the back, teemed for breathing
sweeps of grass through the whistling asthma
of parks, burdened, hushed, poling sparks across pylon and pylon.
in the black within shot of the moon's spotlight,
banking on the miracle of sun to span
its rainbow, passport us to life. Only then
can it be human to bare-faced, hoick ourselves for the clear.
and our sundry others, blared in the cash
of our beeswax'd cars, our crash clothes,
free, as we sip from an unparasol'd table
babbling our lingoes, flecked by the chalk of Britannia.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Deep & Shallow Thoughts
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
That Funny Little Gold Man
In a not so nice moment, I anticipate the luscious competition there will be between these 3 leading ladies though; whilst the rhetoric will be all about how brilliant it is for 3 British actresses to be nominated, there will seething under the surface. I can't wait for the rictus grins of those whose name is not announced, especially if it is another of their compatriots. Given that the subtext of the awards are to give a little gold man to someone who has been overlooked previously, rather for their actual work in the film their name is nominally attached to, I expect Penelope will win for Volver; Pedro Almodóvar's is a real talent which deserves recognition.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Mona Becomes Less Mysterious!
Friday, January 19, 2007
How To Ruin A Face?
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Graffiti or Vandalism?
"The public are not impressed by graffiti. It is just a bit of a mess," said Keith Elgar, the father of Daniel Elgar, a 19-year-old who was killed last week after he went out, late at night, to tag or, depending on your point of view, vandalise, District line tube carriages in London. Elgar asked his son's friends not to risk their lives tribute tagging. "We are totally against the type of thing they were doing on Friday night."
But, of course, not everyone shares his reservations. The market in Banksy, for example, the street artist whose ephemeral stencils have become such a popular fixture in the homes of pop singers and Hollywood stars, was again in evidence this week, at the London Art Fair. Within minutes of its opening, frustrated connoisseurs of anti-establishment art were contemplating the red dot adorning a £700 Banksy print; the one of a rat holding a banner reading, "Get out while you can."
Presumably, such acclaim, and prices, will only intensify graffiti production at the risky tagging end, with artists demonstrating that their art has an anarchic integrity that transcends its investment potential, before responding to this vigorously expanding market with yet more subversive work in the £5,000-£50,000 bracket.
But how much safer, and simpler, it would be if the artists could cut out the galleries - and the police, the street cleaners and the magistrates - and take their art straight to the buyers, applying their stencils and colourful aerosols directly, and on a scale that is more appropriate to the inviting outer surfaces of their clients' homes and offices.
Not only would more senseless deaths on railway sidings be avoided in this way; graffiti critics, in their housing estates, would be spared this particular form of vandalism, while the bankers and lawyers, copywriters and estate agents who are now emerging as the tagging community's most enthusiastic patrons would surely find the messages conveyed on their extensively graffiti'd premises to be the envy of neighbours and clients alike.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
On Set With Mrs Twinkletoes
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Raise the Roof?
Designer Cath Kidston, best known for her cheerful, vintage-inspired homewares, has created an exclusive product to launch the campaign. Buy a Cath Kidston key ringThe money raised will help Shelter fund a new service to help homeless children in Britain. The enamel key ring costs £3.50, and all proceeds from its sale will go to support the new homeless children's service. Kidston, who used her Gloucestershire home as inspiration for the key ring motif, said: