food, inglorious food

Continental Europe is so much better than us when it comes to progressive, environmentally minded ideas.  Particularly ones so good you wonder why someone hasn’t done them already (see Unverpackt). This means it’s unsurprising and annoying in equal measures they’ve found a way to utilise the misshapen fruit and veg deemed too ugly to be eaten even though they just end up being turned into poo(p [shout out to my American reader{s}]) 

It’s a great idea even if I’m not sure why we’re so hung up on what produce looks like.  You cut most of it up anyway and if Jamie Oliver’s shows are to be believed huge swathes of us can’t even identify fruit and veg correctly. Maybe you want a pretty fruit to take to school/work to keep up appearances but what you eat at home is your own business.   Saying that, the orange does look like its prolapsed (do NOT google that word if you know what’s good for you)

I guess we do have a similar thing in the UK with Sainsbury’s basics fruit and veg but the mixed peppers bags are ridiculous.  90% green peppers is not mixed, Sainsbury’s!  And who uses green peppers anyway?  Green peppers, if you are reading this, I do not like you and I don’t want to be forced into buying you.

PS while I’m firing off supermarket non sequitar, have you ever noticed how good supermarkets on the continent smell? And the produce is so vibrant and I am jealous and I want to move back to Italy.

PPS I like postscripts


sneaker freaker : a magazine review

sneakerfreakercoverTitle : Sneaker Freaker

Tagline : it doesn’t have one ;_;

Issue : 28

Price : AUS$10

Cover nice sleek illustration of an Air Max sneaker.  Typography heavy with the only white space you’ll really see in the mag.  This was one of four(?) covers. Chose this one because of the Air Max focus and it was the slickest/cleanest.

Shelf appeal : bought online but shelf appeal would be great.  It’s a mini/midi mag so would get front shelf placing which is always clever.  It’s the perfect size for creative directors to put in their (Cambridge) satchel so they can read it on the Tube, if they aren’t cycling to work of course or working from home (can creative directors work from home, is that something they can do?)

Layout and Design : total eye-gasm.  I’m sure its readers would hate to admit it but it’s more or less a fashion magazine cum catalogue so it’s heavy on the visuals.  Very little white space but full page images and big, bold typography give the eye a break (not that you really need it).  It’s just plan good and massive props to the designers/layeruppers because there are a lot of images to fit in, especially cut around ones.

Content : all sneakers all the time.  If you like sneakers and reading then you’ll love reading about sneakers in Sneaker Freaker magazine.  Same goes for those who like to look at or covet sneakers.

Best Feature : Feels like a bit of a cheat because it takes up half the magazine but, the (almost) complete Air Max retrospective is pretty incredible.  There are loads of images of Air Max through the ages and some interviews with collectors, designers and someone who is represented with a thumbnail of a dog (still haven’t worked that one out).  If you’ve ever looked at an Air Max and thought ‘that’s nice’ you need this feature in your life.

Best feature : the back cover is a four page fold-out ad with Godzilla AND the fifty foot woman in it. Amazing.

Worst feature : really pushing it to find one but with editorial and advertising content so similar you can’t always tell if it’s a picture feature or an ad.  You could say the whole magazine is advertising, or at least PR, if you want to labour the point (which I don’t).  Doesn’t bother me too much but you might hate it.

Rating : Full marks. Really want to subscribe but seems like the sort of gift that would keep on taking.  Seeing so many sweet shoes would just make me want even more.


more awkwardreviews here

blast(oise) from the past(oise)

photo1(4)Last week I bought a Gameboy Color under the delusion it was some sort of thought experiment.  Wouldn’t it be interesting, I lied to myself, to buy an old Gameboy and boot up the copy of Pokemon Blue I kept for no reason (deep seated psychological issues aside).  Like some sort of digital time capsule, I mused, an insight into the terrible t(w)eenage years.  I would examine my choice of player name, the pokemon I used and what I’d called them.  I would peer into the pixellated psyche of my preteen self, I bluffed, and share the results.  People will love that, I just plain wrongly told myself.

I scoured ebay and bought one (well two,  I’ll be damned if I lose an ebay auction) and waited.  Not really that long and it isn’t an important part of the story so I don’t know why I mentioned it but here it is.  Flash forward four(ish) days to the hallowed beast’s arrival.  I assure you it was no coincidence the precious cargo arrived by myHermes messenger service.  The Gameboy Color (limited edition Pokemon version) is truly gods’ gift to man, and I mean the proper old school, ancient gods here.  Forgot the gift of life or fire, Pandora can go and jump, the real box of myth and legend is made from yellow and blue plastic and has Pikachu on it.  As I opened the box the clouds parted and the heavens opened.  Angels sang.  I audibly gasped.  There was a parade in honour of the very moment as it happened.  This is what Link must feel like I dementedly thought.  I also thought I probably shouldn’t have Coke(ca cola) for breakfast again.


I cradled it briefly, much in the same way I had held my newborn godson, fear mixed with reverie, reverie mixed with fear.  I jammed the blue, Blastoise adorned, cartridge in its back (the Gameboy, not the godson) and held my breath.  Gameboy game batteries last about fifteen years (the more you know, huh?) and mine is a little older than that.  I slid the switch and the console pinged into life.  The familiar scene of a sparring Gengar and Jigglypuff played.  Joy levels achieved critical mass.  I anticipated the amazing, creative names I’d given my pocket monsters, VENAFART, PIKAFART, FARTLETT, I was nothing if not a mature child and lower case was not an option (seriously though, it wasn’t).  The battery, and therefore save function, was in working order. So far things were going better than planned but as I loaded the file disappointment set in.


At some point I’d obviously decided to restart the game giving up soon after.  The present save file was of a player called RUNE, from that time I thought I was misplaced Scandinavian royalty, and had two pokemon, a Charmander and a Metapod.  My first ever ever pokemon, a Bulbasaur who evolved alongside me into Venasaur, was gone. Forever.  I dropped to my knees.  The skies turned black, the heavens opened (again) and a tempest fell upon me.  I howled in anguish, eyes to the sky, hands by my side having torn apart my shirt.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, the pulling of hair and beating of breast. Nah, jk I just turned it off and took some pix for Instagram.  I mean, what use is having something if not everybody knows that you have it?  I’ll just play through it again like any normal person in their mid-early-late twenties with two limited edition Gameboy Colors and a blog.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the amazing design choice of putting the power ON  light in Pikachu’s cheek? Give than man, or woman, a medal.


zombie boy v2.0

Do you remember Zombie Boy/Rick Genest?  You do? Good. Well there’s a new heavily tattooed Canadian model on the block and he’s following closely in his footsteps/PR plan.  He’s even done one of those cool Dermablend cover-up videos.  I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I’m sure he’ll get a few photoshoots out of it.  The fashion industry loves this sort of extreme stuff, the whole ugly pretty/pretty ugly argument, but is it worth having your face like that forever?

Have to say I prefer Rick’s video, and tattoos, but there’s something cool about Vin Los’ tattoos looking just like marker pen.  Also have to give the man some points for ingenuity for the chest hair tattoos.  If life doesn’t give you lemons, just draw tattoo them on.  Those Canadians, eh? (couldn’t resist that)

Chambord on the rocks

Something shocking happened during Big Brother on Monday night.  Not during the show of course, because who really cares?, but during the ad break.  Among the terrible ads for payday lenders and shows about autopsies, there it was, the ad for French liqueur, Chambord, in all its glory.  Good enough to make me set down the 3DS, and that’s saying something.  Regardez-vous the bold use of colour, flamingos and those noises French people make.

It should come as no surprise that it was made by Wieden and Kennedy, the people behind cats with thumbs, dancing ponies and cheery car engines, and it’s got their hands/signature all over it.  It should probably be even less surprising they’re the guys who came up with the Southern Comfort’s Whatever’s Comfortable and Old Spice campaigns.  It reminds me (quite a lot) of a few other ads and videos I like which I why I probably like it.  It’s different enough to feel exotic and exciting but familiar enough not to be alienating.  One of those ‘do what you want, just as long as someone else tells you to’ moments.  There’s an interesting article about it on Fast Company at the minute, it’s all very du jour.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m taking the piss because I’m not, I really like this ad, especially the way it looks.  It’s got the sort of editing, and attitude, that would make me buy anything.  I blame taking a degree based on comparative study and having read The Anxiety of Influence.  You end up seeing everything, everywhere.  Did you know that everything is actually The Odyssey? Because it is.  Everything is a Remix.

TL;DR –  take one part Whatever’s Comfortable, one part Stupid Manifesto, one part Battles Ice Cream, serve in the style of Prada CandyGarnish with faux French eccentricity. voila, the Chambord cocktail

Playlist of the series here

made in Belfast

For some reason it was decided I would be a suitable person to curate the @PeopleofUK twitter account this week.  It’s meant I’ve needed to find interesting Belfast things to tweet about, which isn’t hard, I just make it look hard. It’s reminded me that Rihanna shot a music video here a few years back.  That’s right!  Belfast’s New Lodge Area was chosen as the ‘hopeless place’ in the VMA award winning We Found Love video.  Hooray for us!

It was a pretty big deal as there’s a history of bands and singers avoiding Belfast on tours because of the history of, well, you know.  She didn’t quite stop traffic while she was here but loads of people pulled up on the hard shoulder beside the field she was frolicking in.  It later made the press when the land owner kicked Rihanna off the farm for wearing (not much) provocative clothing.  It’s a bit of a coincidence the farm selected happened to have an infamous barn with John 3:16 painted along the side. It’s almost as if it was planned, isn’t it?

And if that isn’t drama enough, the field’s iconic fairy thorn tree is now dying.  Probably from being danced too close to by a scantily clad lady or maybe from the land being over worked.  Such shocking, breaking news that even the BBC used a joke headline.

thinking outside the box

I’m not the biggest film fan.  I’m not really a film fan at all.  Chalk it down to a child-like attention span but they’ve never really held my interest.  And though it might not be my thing I can’t deny the huge influence cinema has on pop culture.  An influence so strong I have a bank of  iconic movie scenes and sayings from films I’ve never seen stored in my head.  Scenes so famous they have become ripe for parody, spoofed and subverted hundreds of times.  Step in Cardboard Box Office who recreate famous films with little more than a baby and a bunch of boxes.  Worth having a child for that alone.


Oh, and let’s not forget aphotoadayofkermitinmay by yours truly.But the important question is, who wore it better?