Blog

Learning to Love Once Again

June 19, 2018

It’s one of the most cliched topics in the book: learning to love once more after a traumatic loss. But for so many of us, it’s a pivotal moment in our lives that redefines how we think and feel. There are few that can say that they’ve gone through their entire lives without ever once […]

Life in the suburban paradise

June 18, 2018

Newsletters are the hallmark of suburbia, the reminder that you have moved out of the city and into its middle classes. They might feature a section called Environmental Update, which informs residents that “the wetlands area will be reclaimed this spring and wild flowers planted… .with every effort made to eradicate poison ivy.” Similarly, understanding […]

Solidarity

June 15, 2018

Male conservative writers never discussed female solidarity. As far as they were concerned, women were far more connected to the earth than to each other. But they were worried about women’s growing independence–whether or not it resulted in their cohesion—and it fueled a serious discussion about the decline of patriarchy, the origins of gender roles, […]

Going solo

    Exams are over, essays are in and for a couple of months you haven’t got a care in the world. After a term of hard slog, you’re finally emerging from that dark tunnel into the full light of the summer sun and it’s glorio… Hang on a minute. A bunch of your friends […]

Talk to your girl

June 12, 2018

There’s a question that is always asked of us, so much so that I think it’s the perfect way to start off this series properly. That question is simple but so essential to what we do that it’s amazing to hear people actually ask it, yet they do. That question is whether or not we […]

Japanese beauties

Beauty is inherent in the world and we have only to tune into it. Some beauty speaks particularly forcefully, other beauty exists in quiet delight. Great beauty may reside in forgotten places. Wherever it is and however it presents itself, thinking of beauty as resonance gives us new ways to find and appreciate it. Walking […]

The why of whys

Why did London’s social structure and spatial form develop in the ways which many historians have observed, and not in others? And why, in particular, did slums proliferate in some areas and attractive neighbourhoods in others? What pressures caused transportation networks to assume certain forms and not others? Why was so little done before the […]

Awfully Attractive

June 11, 2018

When I began the study of beauty, I had the sense that the ability to perceive beauty and to create it were indicators of psychological health. While I still tend to believe this, I also see that the situation is more complex. The beauty of aesthetic arrest, the appreciation of the beauty of form and […]

London in the noughties

June 9, 2018

A snapshot of London in the 2000’s obscures the fact that its social and spatial fabric was in the midst of a major process of transition which had begun during the 18th century and continued at least until the mid-20th century. London’s internal organization was changing from a situation in which the workplace and the […]

Revisiting Rouen

June 8, 2018

One of the recurring themes of Rouen is a sense of isolation and distance. The poem itself may be considered a ‘war poem’ yet it is never dealt with directly. The narrator is a nurse, someone who deals with the aftermath of the action and provides a secondary service rather than actively participating in the […]

The Elephant’s Journey

June 6, 2018

The Elephant’s Journey is rather hard to classify as real. Although its settings did exist, Saramago has hardly taken pains to be accurate in his stereotypical characerisations. The king is the standard indecisive buffoon huffed up on his own sense of power “” The queen a overly emotional fop who is ultimately very self centred […]

The Ultimate Man’s Game

June 5, 2018

Let’s be honest, the arrival of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag hasn’t exactly been stealthy. From promotional footballs to huge advertising hoardings, Ubisoft has been pulling out all the stops to make sure their latest title takes the market by storm. It’s rather fitting really; after all this is the game that has decided to […]

The mark on the wall

One of Woolf’s most striking portrayals of this idea comes in the 1921 short essay ‘The Mark on the Wall’, in which she remembers noting a small mark upon the wall and wondering what it was and what could have made it. The entire story is a wonderful musing on the ramifications of imaginative freedom […]

Living in Dublin

June 2, 2018

With Brexit just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to consider moving away from London.   The bustling, charming heart of The Republic of Ireland, Dublin is a city with plenty to offer. Its relatively high cost of living can seem a little daunting at first, but high wages ensure that residents […]

Reacting to the present

May 31, 2018

It is all too often, and too easily, forgotten that the Modernist was strongly reactionary, defined as much by its anxiety about the creed of others as it was by the principles of its own.   One of the most intriguing tensions in Modernism is the political reservation about the rise of ‘democracy’, an ideology […]

Worrying Developments

May 30, 2018

There’s something oddly addictive about worrying. For whatever reason, we like to do it because it’s a habit that none of us can truly shake. It gives us a chance to really burrow down into our own minds and escape from whatever thoughts we might otherwise have. Those might seem like contradictory statements, but think […]

Great Eats in the Capital

May 29, 2018

Having published a pretty comprehensive write up on ethical eating yesterday, it only seemed right to go and put our money where our mouths are and actually provide you with a list of places worth going. Especially with the annual Easter meet up, bane of your festive life, sneaking up on us . The only […]

The reality paradox

May 28, 2018

While popular psychiatrist Maslow saw the progressive satisfaction of lower to higher needs as a pre-condition to self-actualization, Albert Hofmann (1990), synthesizer of the drug LSD, described a more immediate path to the higher spiritual realm through the experience of other realities. While noting the dangers inherent in taking the drug he developed and recommending, […]

Boys will be boys

May 27, 2018

East London has always been something of a male dominated area, one where men could be men and see real escorts. The sort of place where testosterone was encouraged.   There were external factors in East London society which were beyond the control of women, but which defined the parameters within which they functioned. Essentially […]

The First Person and Other Short Stories

The First Person and Other Short Stories reads the title of Ali Smith’s latest work. What does that mean: “Other Short Stories”? Is it one of those books: an assortment of several stories  joined at the spine by little more than an editor’s taste or an author’s name? Or is it what we can term […]

Places define us

May 26, 2018

Places communicate to their users. The physical patterns that evidence particular ways of life communicate to other current or potential users. What is more, they speak in language that is often difficult to codify, but can be nonetheless well-understood.   Consider the analogy of music. Some music lovers may know exactly what comprises a certain […]

Getting Engaged

May 25, 2018

The perception of beauty requires an extraordinary level of engagement with the world. As beauty is inherent in the world, we discover beauty when we are most in tune with the world, when we are in resonance with it. To resonate with beauty, not simply to recognize beauty from past experience, involves entering an altered […]

3 memorable date experiences

The Grill at the Dorchester   From its opulent dining area to its silver service, everything about The Grill at the Dorchester hints at established, reliable dining. The staff are exceptionally doting, the menu reads like an homage to big flavours, and the atmosphere is pleasantly inviting.   Whilst the food is hardly groundbreaking, it […]

Harbor Town

May 24, 2018

Earlier plans and marketing brochures loosely claimed that houses would be inspired by a regional style of “old Memphis” or “old Mississippi riverfront towns”, but this was largely a marketer’s fictional appeal to history. With more than 20-approved architects and builders on an “approved” list who custom design for buyers of neighborhood lots, the resulting […]

Where the wild things are

May 23, 2018

Wild camping can be one of the most enjoyable experiences possible. Getting back in touch with nature and being able to finally let your hair down in a stream or a wood. No issues, no worries, no complications. It sounds idyllic but we do have a bit of a spoiler to tell you. It’s not […]

Avante Garde ahead?

Stewart Home is in many ways correct. “To be avant-garde” he postures, “is to be ahead of the pack”, to be outside of the norms of society in order to highlight the contradictions failings of the system that are invisible to those inside it. Where he falters is in his assertion that this counter culture […]

Journalism

Although journalism executed rather differently than history or biography, it largely relies upon the same methods. The basis of most journalism is that it is the conveyance of events from one party to the masses. There is no room here for subjectivity or personal reflection, it’s a top down acquisition of information. That is the […]

Modern dating

May 22, 2018

The telephone cut off the absolute need for face-to face discussions, yet society thinks nothing of this today. Rather the telephone is one of the most important forms of communication in our daily lives. After the telephone came the television. Children would come home from school excited because it was time for their favorite show. […]

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