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I wrote about Brazilian telephones for Space Arts

I think it’s fairly clear from this that I don’t like the Olympic Park. But I did have a fun time pushing all the phone buttons…

Read it online HERE or the unedited version below..

Have you ever walked past a ringing telephone and picked it up? It opened up a whole peck of trouble for Colin Farrell in Phonebooth. It blew the whole case wide open for James Stewart in North by Northwest and makes things seriously stressful for Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, to name just some of the last century’s greatest artistic moments. For me, answering a ringing telephone in the middle of the Olympic Park led to a quite unexpected six minute Brazilian push-button science quiz and a more than mildly intimate interaction with a stranger in a trench coat. (Continued)

LTOTBH: Princess Alice

Last week I was very lucky to take part in Josie Long’s Lost Treasures of the Black Heart night. Here’s what I read…

Tonight I am here to venerate a canasta-playing, cigar-smoking nun and possibly the world’s most mobile clitoris.

Princess Andrew of Greece is not just my cute personal pet name for Peter Andre. Whose festival rider, by the way, I once drank at V Festival. It genuinely came in a strange pirate chest and was pretty much full of orange Bacardi Breezers and bananas. No, Princess Andrew of Greece was more commonly known as Princess Alice a.k.a The Mother Superior of The Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary a.k.a Prince Philips’ mother. Now, I tend to feel about the royal family the way I feel about thrush – I completely forget about it until it starts to irritate or my gusset gets an unfortunate raw burn when I remember that Prince Charles once told a woman he wanted to float around in a toilet bowl like a tampon during phone sex.

But Princess Alice is slightly more interesting than most of her horse-toothed, mink-stuffed relatives. Although she was born in the tapestry room of Windsor Castle she was actually known formally as Princess Alice of Battenberg. Or Princess Chess Cake, to her friends. Alice’s birth was witnessed by Queen Victoria, according to history, while mine was overseen by a large Tooting midwife who had to tell my nitrous oxide addled mother than her egg yolk golden baby was not, in fact, an angel but simply suffering from a little infant jaundice. (Continued)

I wrote about university tuition fees

This was one of those on-again-off-again commissions so I’m just going to put it up here for you lot.

Separating value from cost is like pulling your arm from the jaws of a bull terrier; difficult, but necessary.

According to a study conducted by ComRes this May, four out of ten students don’t think their university course was good value for money. Which is appalling. Not because people aren’t getting their £27,000-worth but because they are thinking like consumers, not students; weighing up the financial value of degrees like they were car insurance or so many potatoes. (Continued)

Goppeldangers: Philip Larkin

To celebrate my beloved old Toad finally getting into Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. Congratulations, Philip.

See them all at goppeldangers.tumblr.com

I wrote about Miffy for The Independent

My editor asked if I knew about Miffy. I assumed this was some cool female musician I didn’t know about. No. No, she did actually mean the rabbit. Read it online HERE or my original below…

A flat blue background, a thick black line, a simple orange triangle and a cross across her mouth; Dick Bruna’s original Miffy drawing is as silent, as still and as flat as a Dutch canal. She is a masterclass in minimalism and as enigmatic as Buster Keaton. And yet Dick Bruna’s little white rabbit has adventured and endured for 60 years, journeying from seaside to starlight, from Holland to Japan. (Continued)

I wrote a list about builders for Buzzfeed

Well.. write what you know. You can read it online HERE.

I made a fiesta costume

I wrote about advertising for The Independent

I knew my life as a copywriter would come in useful one day. Read the online version HERE or my original below…

Sometimes, when it comes to the noble art of flogging a horse, it’s time to cut the bullshit.

In a recent post for the Cambridge student site The Tab, History of Art first year Miranda Gabbott celebrated the apparently “endearingly low self-esteem” of Sainsbury’s Basics range. We say celebrated. Perhaps ‘pointed out’ is closer to the truth. From trifle that’s ‘less fruity’ to pitta that’s ‘a little bit smaller,’ water that’s ‘definitely not from the tap’ to lasagna that’s ‘a little less golden,’ Sainsbury’s Basics have used their packaging to make the joke before you do; this isn’t great but, hey, it’s cheap. (Continued)

I visited Smithfield Market for VICE

The sad truth is that I absolutely love waking up at 4am to cycle across London. God knows why I’m not a milkman, really. Anyway, I’ve wanted to visit Smithfield Market for years. And so, in the name of journalism, I did.

Read it ONLINE here or the unedited version below….

There is a man in a blood-stained pair of overalls, standing beside a pink amputated leg, sucking down a half-smoked cigarette and staring at me.

“Morning love,” he breaks out into an enormous smile, flicks the cigarette into a nearby bin and strolls through the huge plastic curtains back into the delivery area. It is 4.30am and I am in Smithfield Market – one of the largest and, at 800 years and still chopping, oldest markets in all of Europe. Back in 1726, in one of his many long and erstwhile chapters in A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, Daniel Defoe described Smithfield Market as “without question, the greatest in the world”. Well, I hope Daniel liked his markets with a side serving of forklift trucks, Arsenal helmets and sexting because the modern Smithfield is still fucking great. (Continued)

I spoke to filmmaker Veronika Lisková for VICE

Veronika Lisková has made a very challenging but important documentary about non-offending paedophiles, called Daniel’s World. I spoke to her about making the film, which is due to get shown at this year’s Open City Doc Fest. Read it online HERE or the unedited version below…

If a sexual fantasy is never acted on, never indulged in through pornography, understood to be impossible and rightfully illegal, is it still harmful? This is the question raised by Veronika Liskova’s documentary, Daniel’s World. The film is an intimate portrait of Daniel, a long-haired Czech man in his mid-twenties who loves and is sexually attracted to boys, particularly boys aged between eight and 10 years old. He does not believe that the age of consent should be lowered from 15. He seeks help from a sexologist. He has accepted that he will never be able to have a relationship or sex with someone he loves. He has come out to his family and seeks support from others like him. And yet to watch him, and others, standing at the fence of a playground, commenting on small children as they play is one of the most uncomfortable experiences you can have as a viewer.

In becoming the subject of such a documentary, Daniel is publically admitting to possibly the greatest taboo we have. He is laying himself open to an international shitstory of abuse and threats. But, according to the World Health Organisation’s definition of pedophilia, he is also admitting to a mental illness; an illness he believes the was born with, and for which he understands there is no cure.

We spoke to director Veronika Lisková about making the film and how it changed her attitude to pedophilia. (Continued)