Tuesday, 30 October 2007

A Near Tragedy at the O2

Is this the first of many accidents to befall the O2? Have they been jinxed? Well, yesterday proved to be near tragic for the O2 staff as they were treated from minor injuries brought on by a gas leak. Who is to blame? How can they ensure that this does not happen again? Why did it happen in the first place? Rumour has it that measures could have been taken to prevent this from happening but someone failed to act, did they?

Questions which I hope we'll soon get answers to. But here's how The Guardian covered the news yesterday.

Press Association Tuesday October 30, 2007 12:03 PM

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said 30 workers at the venue in Greenwich, formerly the Millennium Dome, were treated for minor injuries after the gas leaked from the ice rink plant to the outside of the arena through an air vent.
No members of the public were harmed and the London Fire Brigade and Health and Safety Executive have launched investigations.
The fire brigade was called at 8.30pm on Monday, with police and the London Ambulance Service also attending.
The LFB spokeswoman said: "The gas supply was isolated and monitoring of the affected area was carried out using specialist equipment.
"The area has now been declared safe. An investigation team has been on site but the matter is now in the hands of the site manager."
The LFB spokeswoman said a total of 30 members of staff suffered ammonia inhalation and 27 were taken to hospital, with three declining treatment. The staff complained of runny noses, itchy eyes and discomfort.
A spokeswoman for The O2 said: "There was a minor ammonia leak last night at The O2. The building was immediately evacuated. Some members of staff have gone to hospital as a precautionary measure."
The O2 opened in June this year in what was formerly known as the Millennium Dome. The entertainment venue's centrepiece is a 20,000-capacity arena. It has already attracted some of the biggest names in music to perform, including Prince, Bon Jovi and Sir Elton John.
In November an ice disco is due to open for four months on a 900-square-metre ice rink in the London Piazza area of the venue.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Halloween Events To Die For!

Monday 29-Wednesday 31 October:

Crayzee Halloween Parties, Crayzee Barn, Woolet Hall Farm, Sidcup
4-6pm. Spooky after school parties. Fancy dress optional. Includes entry, food box, 2 hours play, Halloween goodie bag, prize for best dressed boy and girl. £8.95 per child. Prebooking is essential. 020 8300 2103 n

Tuesday 30 October

Halloween Mystery Walk at High Elms, Farnborough
6pm. Meet at High Elms car park. Discover the links between nature and mythology at this time of year. Ghosts, goblins, witches and wizards are all welcome on this spooky guided walk. Wear fancy dress and bring along a pumpkin lantern. Family event suitable for children ages 5+. Admission by ticket only. Booking essential. 01689 862815

Wednesday 31 October

Ghostly tour and Ghoulish Supper, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
5pm. Are you brave enough? Hear about the haunting and ghostly encounters at the College with a lantern-lit tour in the dark of night, followed by a hot dog dinner in the Hall. Meet in the Visitor Centre. £10 adult, £7.5 child. To book tickets call 020 8269 4799

Bad-Eye Moody, The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley.
12noon-4pm. A Mad-Eye Moody look alike will spy out young muggles to join the charm offensive and hunt for stickers to complete the spellbound clue competition. Also Wizard and Witch Craft and Fancy Dress Parade in the Upper mall, outside Zara. Children can make wands, hats and personal spell books and are invited to return at 4pm for a grand fancy dress parade dressed up as their favourite magical characters. 020 8313 9292

Mr Horniman's Halloween Torchlight Tour, Horniman Museum, Forest Hill (100 London Road, SE23).
7-8:30pm. Ever wondered what goes bump in the night? This Halloween come to a spooky Halloween closing party of Walking with Beasts and find out! Grab a torch and tour around the Walking with Beasts Exhibition - if you dare! Then hear spooky stories from Mr Horniman. Book in advance by calling 020 8291 8168 or email:
marketing@horniman.ac.uk. Tickets: £4.5 adults, £3 concs. £2.5 child.

Halloween At Charlton House:
One night's entertainment - 400 years in the making. Tours from 7pm. Ticket £10. Box office: 020 8858 7755
Charlton House, Charlton Road, SE7 8RE. 020 8856 3951

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Ground Hog Day Syndrome

I wake up way before anyone is legally supposed to, don't converse with anybody until I've had my first of many mandatory doses of caffeine for the day and sit myself down in front of morning telly which alternates between hardcore news from around the globe to the shallow and fickle goings on of Hollywood celebrities.

Here's the same news I've been waking up to for the past week:

1. It's 60 days to Christmas (I started with them when they were at 70, so if you've forgotten how now's the chance to brush up on counting backwards all the way to Christmas Day... hooray).

2. We are all going to die faster and so are our children because we are all lazy fat bums who gobble up tons and tons of food with no thought to nutrition or a healthy lifestyle.

3. We are a stressed nation, be it due to mishandling of our money, work, home, kids, ... (fill in the blank). We are so helpless but obviously not beyond despair as most of us are now turning to life coaches to pat us on the back and tell us how great we are (even though we may be shit and yes if you're wondering you pay them to do so.. Sad enough?

4. We are terrible with money. We shop too much, we accumulate debt too fast ( I wonder if point number three has got anything to do with this) and most of us have been victims of credit card fraud. No sense or sensibility people!

5. We are a drunken nation who knocks back liquor better than water and it's the middle class who are at risk (and we thought we were the sensible ones!!!) and you mums-to-be are not any better than the rest of us it seems. Tsk, tsk!

6. Can Britney Spears be saved dammit? Yes, this is serious news all.

6. Did I mention that it's SIXTY DAYS TO CHRISTMAS yet?

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The O2 Express

Yesterday saw me on the O2 Express, the new ride that takes you directly from the O2 pier to Waterloo pier in the space of 30 minutes. To my luck (I have something to write and complain about this morning) and the unlucky disposition of the O2 management, the express was an hour late on arrival. It had promised to make a show at 10:30am (my friend even called to check) and we were promised that the vessel would be there to whisk us away to Waterloo.

I was promptly there by ten (I'm one of those obnoxiously early arrivals who always gives time for the in cases of the World as they mostly happen to me I've come to realize). And with enough time to spare, bought my coffee and paper and trundled down to the pier to await my ride.

After a half hour delay, the pier controller announced the news that the express would not be arriving until 11:30am - that's an hour's delay. Luckily for them, it seemed that most of those waiting to board were in no real rush. So with nothing we could do about the situation, we all busied ourselves in the waiting room ( a neat heated waiting room - more like what you'd see at a doctor's clinic really- but this one overlooking the heap upon heap of scrap lying opposite the pier. Not very romantic.

Finally, at eleven thirty sharp, the Express pulled up to the pier and we boarded. What a beautiful clipper to be on. As with all things new, it still has a sparkle to it, and you think to yourself that there could be nothing better than this on the Thames right now. That is until you've visited the toilets.

It's just incredible. How could we be the first ride of the day out of the O2 and the toilets could manage to look so dirty? I mean filthy with caked things inside you'd rather not see really. There went my beautiful morning - hell, my entire day was ruined. Whether freshly soiled or left from the day before, the state of that toilet is a disgrace. Shame on them!

After recovering from that experience I just settled myself away from that sight and took in the all too familiar sights outside along the Thames. The Express is just what it promises. Fast. We were there in just under 30 minutes and there were no delays on the way back.

I probably will be using the O2 Express as it is convenient and on weekends and event nights it runs until really really late (see timetable here) which is quite remarkable. And with a few minor adjustments here and there, it should be the best sail on the Thames yet. Oh and by the way, if you're wondering, the toilet's disposition had not changed on the way back when I boarded the Express back to the O2. And that was at five in the afternoon. Shame on them!

The O2 Express is £4 for a single journey and £8 return, tickets can be purchased on board or online with Ticketmaster

Monday, 22 October 2007

Deciphering the Greenwich Bin Code!

From 21 January 2008, Greenwich Council's refuse and recycling collections will be changing. From then the waste team will be collecting as follows:

Green-Top bins: There will be a weekly collection date.
Plate scrapings, meat fish & bones, fruit and vegetable peelings, grass cuttings, leaves. You are to use paper to wrap food (not plastic bags).

Blue-Top Bins or clear bags (get them from the council): Mixed-Dry recycling. There will be a weekly collection date.
Cans, cardboard, glass, plastic & paper.

Black Sack (buy your own, the council doesn't provide these you know): A fortnightly Collection
Polystyrene, waxed cartons and any other non-recyclable waste.

Families with children in nappies will be able to register for a weekly collection (thank heavens for that) and all three types of waste will be collected on the same weekday (the council is going to personally contact each and every one of you to let you know when).

Friday, 19 October 2007

The Greenwich Gazette WeekEnd Guide

Saturday Oct 20, 2007

Autumn Plant Sale: Surplus seasonal bedding plants and locally produced plant material available from Greenwich Park. 9am-12 noon. Car park area just inside Blackheath Gate of Greenwich Park. Free entrance.

Day of the Dead Decorations: Art & Craft in Gallery Square at Horniman Museum. 11am - 3:30pm. Drop in sessions and activities last about 30 minutes. Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, SE23. 020 8699 1872

Dance of the Diaspora: Try some dances with Mandacaru Dance Theatre. 1:30pm, Cumbia. Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, SE23. 020 8699 1872

Abigail's Party: Mike Leigh's strictly limited run at Greenwich Theatre. 020 8858 7755

Tudor Toys Workshop: Make your own simple Tudor toys and learn about the type of games children would have played 400 years ago. Charlton House, SE7, 10-11:30 and 12 noon - 1:30pm.

Eid in Trafalgar Square: Eid marks the end of Ramadan, which is the month of fasting, observed by millions of Muslims internationally, including many Londoners. Eid in the Square includes stages with singers, dancers and comedy. During the event a street bazaar and exhibitions and displays about Islam will also be in the square. Free entrance. 020 7983 4100 or www.london.gov.uk

Sunday Oct 21, 2007

Silly Billy Bum Breath: The naughtiest imaginary friend ever. For children aged 5+. 3pm. £5.5. £4 concs. Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8. 020 8692 4446. www.thealbany.org.uk

Fabric for Living: Discover more about Ghanaian textile and Adinkra symbols. Family workshops. 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm.

The Tiger Lillies: A twisted blend of music hall, opera, carnival and gypsy song, with an ample serving of pre-war Berlin cabaret and a generous seasoning of Monty Python. 7:30pm. £15 (£12 concs). Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, SE3 9RQ or call 020 8463 0100. www.blackheathhalls.com

October 20 & 21
Greenwich Playhouse: Romeo and Juliette: an atmospheric, provocative and sexy production is set in Verona in 1938 against a backdrop of Italian fascism. £11/£9concs. Greenwich Playhouse, Station Forecourt, 189 Greenwich High Road, SE10. 020 8858 9256. www.galleontheatre.co.uk

Going On Tonight

Fair trade fashion show for Black History Month. Dance by Greenwich Dance Agency's NrgDance and original designs by fashion students from Greenwich Community College.

7-8pm. Greenwich Heritage Centre, Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich SE18

Thursday, 18 October 2007

gDA November Cabaret!

Greenwich Dance Agency, The Borough Hall, Royal Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8REBox Office: 020 8293 9741

Greenwich Dance Agency
The gDA Cabaret
its unique monthly cabaret event
Friday 9 November 2007
Doors: 7.30pm

Tickets: £15/£10 concs
Special offers:
Offer one: 10% off when you book a table of six
Offer two: £10 for Early Bird bookings (applicable up to three weeks prior to performance)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Editor Speaks

Without further ado, The Greenwich Gazette is back as promised. But first I have a few things I would like to share with you (maybe even confess). I started this blog upon a whim, a fancy to do something new; a time filler. But by some strange twist it took over my life. I have for the past month tried to live (although unwillingly) without blogging and it has proved futile. Once a blogger, always a blogger. I have accepted my fate.

In the past month I have read post upon post of other people's work, from all around the world. Some great, others ghastly, and as expected they varied in content, views, backgrounds, countries, and even levels of skill. But the ones that stood out shared one thing in common; they were there every single day. Rain or shine they would show up and make it work. That's what sets them apart and that is what defines who they are.

They say that one learns most by observation (isn't that afterall how are children grow) and in doing so over the past month I have come to realize that it is not the topic that defines your blog but the style, manner and respect you give your topic that makes or breaks your blog. Only you can make your blog worth your time, no one else can do that for you.

So, we'll be here tomorrow and every day thereafter offering our best and possibly our worst. You'll know where to find us time and time again. Welcome back to The Greenwich Gazette!