Friday, 27 August 2010

Minnie Bennett Sheltered Accomodation in Greenwich win Community Green Corners Award

All four corners of the capital were turned green in July in London’s Green Corners Awards, organised by The Conservation Foundation. Eight green corners have been chosen for July with Lambeth and Islington coming out as the month’s greenest boroughs.

Minnie Bennett Sheltered Accommodation in Greenwich is chosen as the Community Green Corners winner because of its green fingered residents’ successful efforts to bring colour to their surroundings.

In Lambeth a resident of Wareham House in Carroun Road has a glorious window box which brings colour to the whole building and wins them the Roof Terraces, Balconies and Windowsills Award, while Ashmole Primary School’s children have created a green oasis in their playground and with edible and scented plants.

In Islington, St Mary Magdalene Church in Holloway Road picks up the award for the Sacred Spaces category and the Edible Green Corners Award goes to SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Good Food Society for its splendid food growing space.

Arocaria Greek Restaurant in Crouch End wins the Health and Wellbeing Award for its wonderful display of flowers whose owner’s “Generosity of spirit and rewards of his hard work healed my anxiety and restored my well-being,” according to its nominator.

The No Man’s Land award goes to Union Street Orchard which this summer has been transformed from a disused site in Bankside into an urban orchard and community garden.

A cul-de-sac mews in Marylebone wins the Mews category - Bingham Place has been turned green by its residents and now attracts the admiration of passers-by.

“Despite one of the driest Julys on record, London can still be proud of its green corners,” says Conservation Foundation Director David Shreeve. “It’s great to see so much variety in this month’s winners and the care and thought that has gone into creating a green and biodiverse place for all to enjoy.”

The Green Corners Awards celebrate the Londoners whose green corners brighten our lives and improve the capital’s biodiversity. There are monthly winners who will go forward to the Grand Finals next spring for judging by a panel of celebrities and gardening experts.

Anyone can enter a green corner or nominate one that catches their eye – a garden isn’t a requirement. For details visit

The Conservation Foundation was founded in 1982 by David Shreeve and David Bellamy to promote positive environmental news, awareness and action. Since then it has created and managed a large number of initiatives involving a wide range of environmental issues. Currently these include London’s Green Corners Awards, Gardening Against The Odds, The Great British Elm Experiment, Tools Shed, The Millennium Yew Programme, Wessex Watermarks and Think Big, O2’s community programme.

The Judges of London’s Green Corners Awards are Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum, botanist David Bellamy, David Shreeve, Director of The Conservation Foundation, actress Susan Hampshire, Lucie Nottingham of the Tanner Trust, Rosie Boycott, chair of London Food Board, Bob Crawley, Archant London’s Editorial Director and gardening writers Matthew Appleby (Horticulture Week), Pattie Barron (Evening Standard) and Sir Roddy Llewellyn.

One winner a month will be chosen for exhibition in a special Green Corner at the Garden Museum.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Read this and thank me later!

So look it's coming up to the end of the children's Summer Holiday (Yay if I'm being honest) but we've still got this last haul to make before our kids are safely tucked back in school and we can really start to rest again. But what to do until then? (drugging them being not an option here). So I have the solution for you if your kid is over nine years old. If not, hmmm I dunno, go to the park again I guess besides we're not talking about your child today. Sorry!

Now before I go into telling you briefly what the book is about I would also like to tell you that Neil Gaiman is the same author of Coraline and Stardust among others but these are my favorites. Also after reading any book I usually google the author to see a photo and this author is delicious so if you're not interested in the book just check the dude's photo. Something for mum and something for kiddo you see? Yummy!

Where was I? oh yes. The Book. It's called THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman and it is by far one of the best children's books I have read in a while. Being a 'good' mum I thought I would read it first before handing it over to my son. The illustration (marvellous yet ominous and creepy) were a clue. I was hooked from the first sentence. That first chapter has to be one of the scariest ever and once I'd finished it (the chapter) I knew my kid would love it. The great thing about its scariness that although the chapter starts with describing a murder scene the word 'blood' is not mentioned once yet you can imagine (even smell it?) just by telling us about that big wet knife.

The story is about "that man Jack" who murders a family (mum, dad, and sister). The toddler by some stroke of luck manages to escape because being a rather naughty and inquisitive boy had gotten out of his cot and ended up in the street. Mistaking the sound of bodies falling for mum and dad moving about the house he slithers out slowly through the door left open (unknowling by him - he's only two) by the murderer.

Anyway, he ends  up in a graveyard where is adopted by two ghosts and given a new name 'Nobody Owens' (Bod) and is appointed a guardian called Silas who only appears when the sun sets never during sunlight hours (there's a clue here). The man Jack does follow the toddler to the graveyard but by more lucky events he is turned away to look elsewhere and for now the boy is spared his own death.

Every chapter you move through, Nobody grows up two years so by the time the story ends he is a teenager ready to face the living world. But until then he has to live within the world of the dead and learn their ways. He makes friends there and declares that he is never afraid of dying (even when faced with its true possibility) as most of his best friends are dead anyway.

This story although a mere 300 pages is packed with adventure. From werewolves to ghouls and vampires. Witches, ghosts dead for thousands of years and a Sleer and the somehow lovely yet daunting Lady of the Grey, it leaves no tomb unturned.

My best parts were Nobody befriending a real human Scarlette who becomes his friend yet towards the end is the most to cause him pain. This is a very touching novel, for adults and children alike, and will remain with me for a long long time. I don't think I'll ever look at a graveyard the same way ever again!

Stars: * * * * *
For more on this book, click HERE

Monday, 23 August 2010

Join the Carnival!

Friday 3 September, 7-10pm, £8 (2 tickets for £15).

Booking is now open for the fun packed CARNIVAL hosted by the Viewfinder Photography Gallery. This promises to be a fun filled night of games, pop up photography booths, performances and live music among a lot more.

The night will also witness the launch of ReViewfinder2 which collates Viewfinder exhibition catalogues from June 2009 to September 2010. Copies can be purchased between now and 23 August 2010, for collection at the Carnival only. From 23 August, 2010 ReViewfinder2 will only be available to read online.

To book your tickets, click here.


Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum is to mark the sacrifice of Britain’s wartime population with a special living history event on Saturday 11 September. Fighting on the Home Front will give visitors a unique insight into the daily life of the people who for a variety of reasons remained at home while the Second World War raged around the globe..

The Museum's own living history team will be representing soldiers recently returned from Dunkirk, while the ARP Warden will be telling visitors what to do in an air raid and no doubt to "Put that light out!" Local Defence Volunteers, the forerunner of the Home Guard (Dad's Army) will be drilled while archive film of Woolwich and London in the Blitz are shown in the Museum’s cinema. Visitors will also get to meet a policeman, fireman, Land Girl and some members of the Home Guard too as well as a young woman talking of her role as an anti-aircraft gunner during the Blitz. As well as the re-enactors, the event will also provide the opportunity to meet members of the Evacuee Association, real evacuees who will tell their stories of being young in wartime Britain.

“We are delighted to be hosting this event to recall and salute the people who fought on Britain’s Home Front during the Second World War” says Eileen Noon from the Museum “Working in factories, manning anti-aircraft guns and simply carrying on all kept Britain going while the Services were fighting on the front line. This event will remind the public that the war was fought everywhere, including the Home Front. Air raids, evacuation and rationing were just part of their experience, as were bravery, deprivation and sacrifice.”

Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum is based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich - the birthplace of the Royal Artillery that was founded there in 1716. The Museum is acknowledged as the world’s oldest and premier artillery museum. Firepower tells the story of the Gunners – the more than 2.5 million men and women of the Royal Artillery, and the part they have played in history and their role today in the front line with the British Army. Tales of extraordinary heroism and endeavour are presented alongside explanations of the technological and scientific advances driven by the development of artillery from Roman times to the present day. Experiences at Firepower include the ground-shaking Field of Fire audio-visual show where visitors are put in the midst of battle as shells and aircraft fly overhead and guns roar all around, giving an insight into the experiences of an artillery gunner.

Firepower will be open from 10.30 on the day and is located in the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London, between the A206 and the Thames. Woolwich Arsenal DLR station is just a five minute walk from the Museum.

Admission costs: Adults £5.00, children £2.50, concessions £4.50.
Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London, SE18 6ST

Friday, 20 August 2010

Great to be Back!

Hello Everyone,

It sure does feel good to be back in the UK after such a long absence. As you all know I've been on my two month break. Enjoying lovely sunshine when I could get it and will share anecdotes with you soon. Hope you're all enjoying the rest of what's left of the Summer and it will be business as usual here on Monday. Hope you all like the new look (all suggestions will be taken on board). Getting there slowly but surely!

The Editor