Moli and the Brick Lane street art.

My search for amazing street art got a boost today with a visit to East London and the streets that surround Brick Lane. Traditionally this was a destination area for a vast multitude of curry houses and bagels but like much of London it continues to change and develop with this area now starting to fill up with trendy hot spot like bars, antique markets, specialist chocolatiers and craft stalls. Along with this obvious gentrification comes a great collection of street art. As I mentioned in a previous blog I’ve become a real fan of this art form and walking around the rough streets of E.1 and in some cases, rubble strewn alley ways I discovered not only some great creations but loads of fellow admirers doing much the same as me.

Street Art

Normally I’d be fairly concerned about heading down some unlit dodgy passageway with an expensive smartphone or camera for fear of being bludgeoned to death, however in this case I actually had to get into line if I wanted to catch a glimpse of the latest offering. The crowds were impressive and the notion of the traditional gallery is extinct in these cases as the streets become the gallery and you never know what you might find behind the every growing crowd.

I also finally managed to catch someone creating something new.

Street Art in progress

Here are my favorites from today.

M

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art - Face in the wall

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Street Art

Moli and the modern shopper.

As of today, once again, Waitrose tops the ‘Which’ poll for customer satisfaction along with M&S. The majority of my personal shopping is done at both these places and I have to say that I agree with the poll. Both companies have high standards of store design and exceptional own brand products, in particular for me M&S and the amazing runny scotch eggs that are annoyingly no longer ranged in my local store. (Can you believe that I actually have to order them in specially) The survey talks about the great customer experience from the shop staff themselves that on the whole I find welcoming and offer an excellent service. I however would love to see a survey from supermarket / retail shop staff themselves on the quality of customer behavior. I can’t see any measure for that but I would say that the level has dropped over the years.

Shopping

I’ve noticed that during the last 12 to 18 months the customers that visit my local stores have considerably reduced their courtesy levels to fellow shoppers and shop staff alike. Recently I visited Waitrose to take advantage of a meal deal. £20 for a three course meal and a bottle of wine. The experience reminded me of those scenes when a farmer delivers the feed to a pigs. A mass of knuckle scrapping animals pushing and shoving to grab a starter, main, sweet pudding and a bottle of plonk. I only wanted to see what was available but found myself being squeezed out of the way by the bigger apes. Now, I don’t know if this makes me any better than them but I actually crawled out from the food brawl, gathered myself and shouted to them, “Let me know when you fuckers are finished and I’ll come back, you selfish bastards” Clearly the red mist descended! I spoke to a member of Waitrose staff and he seem to confirm my animal theory. He said that when he fills the shelves with new produce, he kind of throws it onto the display and runs away. One time he was actually pushed off a ladder in the chaos.

Shopping

This got me thinking about the public and how they treat each other. I started to people watch and the majority of the time; London shoppers are really rude and aggressive towards each other. Walking down a busy city street is a bit like a rugby match with shoulders bashing into each other and not even a look back or a sorry/excuse me. I remember coming out of a Knightsbridge department store and stopping on the fairly quiet pavement. A woman was walking along the street towards me and chatting on her mobile phone. I noticed her from well over 100 meters away and I took no real notice of her as that’s not really an uncommon sight. However, as she got closer, she looked up from her walk to see me and then promptly continued to walk full body blow into me and pushing me right out of the way. Shocked by the experience I turned to see her continue walking along the street, talking on her phone as if I didn’t exist. I started to wonder if I was a ghost and should therefore expect people to walk through me without any awareness of my presence. Even my, “What the hell” comment was ignored. There’s rude and then there’s London shopper rude.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I’ve also noticed that when people need information from you like directions for example they just walk off once they get what they need. My parents always taught me to say thank you, so I could be more sensitive to those that don’t do the same. I just couldn’t imagine not saying, “thanks for that” or even “cheers for the help” But to spin on my heels and head off makes my really angry. It isn’t in my rule book and as they head off I often say, “Your welcome” It shows such an epic disregard to the person and sets the value of the individual well below that of the information they seek, such as the location of Argos or the nearest bank.

I’m sitting in Land Rover getting my car serviced right now, excellent service by the way, and I’ve just spoken to the receptionist about this blog post. She said that a bunch of kids that have just been into the dealership with their mother were offered a cold drink and a cake. However, when she walked off the kids then emptied the fridge of all the cans of drink into their pockets and took all the cakes while the mother watched. Great parenting!

Did it that all start with bad parenting? Is it a millennial thing? Can it be changed? Clearly not any time soon!

Please share your experiences in the comments section; I’d love to hear them. It’s clearly about time we had a human experience survey. Come on Which, I’m ready to cast my vote.

M

Moli & Street Art

During my travels of 2016 I’ve spent an obsessive amount of time looking around for something interesting to photograph. I started to notice that London is actually full of really great street art. Not the shitty graffiti which some brainless millenial created by writing his name all joined up for the first time in his life, that is really just a horrid visual litter but the creations done with thought and talent. I found these creative outlets down alleyways, on shutters outside shops and on walls where you wouldn’t expect it. I’m not aware of a map or guide to London street art and I’m sure if I was to look really hard I’d find one, however not knowing where these designs are located added to the joy of finding them. I’ve always loved the work and social messages created by Banksy the elusive street artist, so I guess it stands to reason that I’d be attracted to similar work.

I’m looking forward to finding more and thought I’d share some examples of what I’ve found so far.

M

E.1 & Columbia Market - 2016

Street Art

Camden Town 2016

Street Art

Super Kiss

Rude Kids

Street Art

Picture a day

Moli tweets.

So I tweeted the President of the United States the other day. Needless to say he completely ignored my suggestion to slow down the speed of his actions and start to reassure the American people. I had to double check how long he’s been in office. Was it 12, 18 or 24 months? Actually it was 2 weeks and according to FAKE new CNN, (Trumps opinion, not mine) A majority of those polled, 53%, disapprove of the way the President is handling his job.

Trump

This is the highest disapproval for a new elected president since polls began tracking those results. Trump is the only President to hold a net-negative rating this early in his tenure. CNN continues, Overall, 44% approve of the way he’s handling the job, seven points below the previous low-point of 51%. Further, the share who disapprove “strongly” of Trump’s work as president is nearly as large as the total block who approve, 43% feel intensely negative about Trump. The 90 day travel ban is clearly the most upsetting executive order for the majority of Americans and for people far beyond America but I worry that while the world screams and protests nothing is getting changed and those sick fucks ISIS are laughing at how Trump has become their chief recruiting officer.

As I write this, the travel ban has just been overturned, with Homeland security reverting to its previous rules and Trump is fuming apparently. I doubt the reverted rules will last long and having an angry Trump could lead to more drastic behavior and more heads rolling and I doubt he will let it go that easy. If he doesn’t start to listen to the people soon, this presidency will not only feel like an eternity but the world maybe changed permanently for the worst.

I didn’t want to blog about Trump again so soon but with so much turmoil in such a short time I had to say something. So, slow down Mr Trump and listen. If not to me but to the millions of people crying out for you to be better, to make America great again. I always thought it was great however. It has its issues but improving things and making life better for your people should be a legacy a nation is proud of and not ashamed. I see no advantage in being the best if the cost is creating more enemies and isolating your country and people from the wider world your nation was originally built on.

M

Moli Returns

Have you missed me?

No!

I decided to take a break from writing last year and with my photo a day project taking up plenty of my online time, I felt it best not to over do it. Now the project has finished and my final photograph, number 366 was posted, I went online dark for the whole of January and it actually felt great. I didn’t spend hours looking at silly videos. Liking something to save a sick kitten or feeling obliged to tag a mate who can eat a twenty person fry up. However, I’ve returned to Facebook today and nothing’s really changed. Except now the sick cat people are asking me to like if I hate Donald Trump.

MOLI 2016

The world as we all know is a crazy place but the first month of 2017 has been bloody bonkers. On the upside, loads of celebrities didn’t die but I’m sure a few notable absentees are spinning in their graves. In particular those that fought for freedom from a right wing dictator that hypnotized a nation into performing some of the most evil acts in human history. Trump is showing similarities I’m saddened to say but spurred on in the belief that he is protecting his citizens from radical Islamist that themselves have performed medieval and barbaric acts.  Our schools fail to teach children about Hitler’s rise to power but forgetting our past can lead us to make similar mistakes and I fear that’s what Trump has become. A great mistake given power by frightened people that will regret it when it’s too late! His action within the first two weeks of his inauguration have upset a great many people and I cannot remember any president being so hated, so quickly.

Donald Trump

Americans throughout the United States have marched to demand he change his executive orders especially his extreme vetting for 90 days. However while these people scream and shout, nothing is changing in the slightest and the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer continues to host some of the most bizarre and frankly scary/ laughable pro Trump rhetoric that leaves the worlds media scratching their heads in puzzlement and asking, “What just happened?”

Sean Spicer

Now it would appear that Trump has the most power and control of any president for years with the White House, Senate and the Supreme court all coming under his influence and be dammed anyone that goes against him. I’m guessing America and the world are just going to have to hold on tight during these bizarre times in modern politics and in the meantime LIKE the ban trump link on Facebook. These things make a difference right?

M

Moli and the Ship Builders…

Hello MOLIBLOG fans. As you might have noticed I’ve not updated my blog for a while. I’m having a Moli holiday. I got some feedback what suggested that most people liked my writing but just couldn’t be bothered to read it. I know that I’m still getting regular readers despite not posting for a while and that’s great.

However, I need to post to you all now. As some of you know, I sit on the board of directors for a London docklands residential development that was the former site of the Harland and Wolff ship builders. Yes, they built the Titanic in Belfast!

One of the projects I’m involved with currently is an art project to build a ship from recycled and reclaimed material, including debris from the Thames. Artist Dmitri Galitzine will start building his “Ship to Sail away” from the 8th August to the 16th September and he needs your help. He needs you to bring things that float or could be used to build his ship and help him put it together and bring it to life.

A Ship

Like I said earlier, it’s going to be a ship to sail away and plans to launch the ship and sail out to sea on his and your creation. So the shipyards of the East End of London are coming back to life once more.

Visit Galleons Lock, London, E16. Nearest DLR station is Galleons Reach.

Thanks for reading and I really hope you and your families can get involved.

Moli

http://www.dmitrigalitzine.com

https://twitter.com/tidaltwirlings

 

MoliBlog is 7 years Old…

MOLICAKE

It’s MoliBlog’s 7th birthday!!!

I’ve enjoyed writing my blog and sharing my views and experiences. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading them too.  I don’t update as much as I should and very few people ever comment on my posts but the numbers of viewers from around the world lets me know I’m getting myself out there.

Thanks for reading.

Moli

Moli a day…

At the beginning of this year I decided to embark on a photographic project that would involve me taking a photograph a day and publishing them of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The first two social media formats are for public consumption and with the right hash tags I can be sure that they get to the right audience that might actually enjoy them. Now, I use the word photograph and not picture for a particular reason. Snaps and Pics in my view are images that anyone can take of anything and often represent little more than the capturing in an instant of what is in front of the viewer. It is in essence what the world looks like at that time and place. Nothing wrong in that and I’ve taken a fair few of those pictures over the years. However, a photograph for a photographer is the capture of the world how the photographer or I see it and wants others to see it. The image can tell a story or highlight an object or character. It isn’t necessarily even the truth but it is an art that communicates a reality I want to project to the world as the photographer. Was that too deep?

The challenge I set myself has a couple of self-imposed rules. I need to take a photograph a day for year and I can only feature once in any of the 365 images. Simple really? Not really! I find myself looking around wherever I go, like a lost tourist, hoping to find that magic photograph and the reality is the daily commute is becoming fairly used up for great shots and I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m over 50 images in so far and I’m enjoying the challenge. Some places are duller than others and my inspiration on a Monday morning can sometimes be lacking. I’m finding that some people have followed me from day one and some groups and companies have started following me too.

Many of the photographs are taken and edited on my iPhone 6 which I feel demonstrates that you don’t need to have an expensive camera to take interesting images. I think it just needs thought, patience and a dash of creativity.

Hear are some of the photographs I’ve taken this year so far. Please leave some comments.

You can now follow Moliblog on Bloglovin. You can download the app from the App store or visit https://www.bloglovin.com/ and sign up.

Jackfruit

Magical Lantern Festival 2016

Paul Young

Tower Bridge

Marrakesh 2016

Marrakesh 2016

Marrakesh 2016

Picture a day

Picture a day

Picture a day

Picture a day

Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @moliblog

Please leave your comments. I really appreciate the feedback.

M

Darth Moli…

It’s almost impossible for anyone to have missed the marketing and media that has for over a year led to the premiere of Star War, The Force Awakens. Ever since George Lucas sold the rights of the franchise to the Disney Corporation for over $4bn we all knew they wanted to get their money back and selling t-shirts wasn’t quite going to cover it. Before I continue I just want to say that this is going to be a spoiler-ridden review and if you’ve not seen the film yet I would recommend that you stop reading this, as I’m sure I will spoil it for you.

Right, now I can continue.

I want to say that I’m a Star Wars fan. I’ve seen all the movies several times and the original three films probably more times than is healthy. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of the cast including Carrie Fisher and have even had dinner with producer Gary Kurtz for the inside line on the original production. I say all this to firstly do some gratuitous name-dropping and by way proof that I really love Star Wars. I’m not keen on all the CGI for episodes 1,2 and 3 and think they were very weak in plot and character development and in particular, in comparison to the original 3 three films. The original films had their own creative problems too and I won’t spend time going into any detail about that now but I will comment on one element that of the narrative around the Death Star and the ultimate battle to destroy it with a single shot from our hero Luke Skywalker. This was amazing in 1977 and I remember cheering in the cinema when the whole thing exploded. Annoyingly in The Return of the Jedi they pretty much did that all over again with another big explosion and without the benefit of home video I’m sure we all cheered again. However, upon reflection, I’m sure they could have come up with a different story? However, we accepted this and moved on.

Star Wars 7 Poster

Now, nearly 40 years later and we are all marketed to within an inch of our lives to go and watch Star Wars 7 and guess what. Spoiler alert, they have a Death Star type planet they have to destroy. I mean, come on. Really??? You’ve had 40 years to come up with a new story and you basically copy Episode 4 that was then copied by Episode 6 and now Episode 7. If these films were produced and shown within a few years of each other the public would be screaming for their money back!!! The underling plot for each of these films is different but ultimately the premise is the same. Blow up the big killer ball to save the universe. Maybe we could have a cube or a triangle next time? Now, I honestly didn’t want to get sucked into all the media hype and I deliberately waited a couple of weeks for the dust to settle to give myself a less influenced opinion of the film and I strongly feel that most audience members that went to see the film on release date having booked them months in advance and any film critics that were wined and dined would have found the movie the best thing since sliced Bantha.

Bantha

Certainly the early reviews like that of Bond movie Spectre were claiming to be as good as anything that came before but many of the US critics could see past the hype of Bond and I feel I’m seeing past the hype of Star Wars. Of course, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and nothing I’m saying here is the definitive view. Don’t get me wrong, I did find some elements really special. The film was clearly produced with love and by people that understand what made the original films so good. I loved the reduced and less obvious CGI and the imagery of a Star Destroyer crashed into the sand looked amazing, along with the classic feel of the Millennium Falcon and the attention to detail throughout the production. This was all done with care and consideration but I was concerned that the production artwork didn’t move things forward enough and given the amount of time that has passed in the Star Wars universe the ships on both the Rebellion and 1st Order side hadn’t been updated. It was like having a car chase in the Sweeny 40 years ago and then having a 21st Century remake and still using a classic Granada and a Jaguar as a getaway car. It just wouldn’t happen. Why didn’t they update anything in the last 40 years? Did the Star Wars branch of PC World close down? The new droid, BB-8 is however an excellent upgrade to the ageing RD-D2 and C3PO that I know Star Wars fans love but which I feel have served their purpose and it was good that their appearance though essential was kept to a minimum and R2-D2 barely giving a beep throughout the film.

Star Wars 7

The two new hero characters of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) brought a breath of fresh air to the franchise but with sadly a little too much Disney comedy and sweetness for me. A majorly under used character of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) was a great shame as the greatest pilot in the galaxy was hardly seen and as an actor, Oscar Isaac was wasted.

Star Wars 7

However, I understand this is something that will be corrected in Episode 8, Attack of the Triangular shaped object. The character I struggled with the most is Kylo Ren. (Adam Driver) Dressed in black with a mask and lamenting Darth Vader’s legacy, he just appeared like a Sith Lite or Diet Darth Vader and lacked any real menace and almost coming over as a bit inept.

Star Wars 7

The biggest mistake was his removal of the mask to reveal what can only describe as a bit of a twat. He had the sort of face that you just want to slap while telling him he’s a naughty boy. If he did have any menace, it was now totally lost and the only way it could have been worse is if Franks Spencer had been revealed with an “Ohh, hello.” I understand that the books, comics and various other texts give all these characters back stories but if I pay my money to see a film it needs to stand on its own two feet without the need for me to have read around the subject first. Harrison Ford played his Han Solo character by the numbers and there weren’t really any surprises except that he was clearly there for the money and to get out as quickly as possible, which he did before the film ended. The biggest disappointment was Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill. He became the Star Wars version of Where’s Wally, and didn’t get revealed until the last 20 seconds of the film which I was stunned at given all the hype and the global premieres featuring Hamill along with all the cast. Apart from being older and having a beard I really couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be our hero again and have a more significant role in this new film.

I’m sad to say that this film didn’t live up to my expectations but it was fun, nostalgic and an entertaining film and I do actually want to watch it again but I need to give it some time. I went to see it in 3D at my local Everyman cinema in Canary Wharf, London with its comfy sofas and armchairs. I couldn’t have had a better viewing room and it’s Star Wars type tunnel leading to it.

Tunnel

Everyman

I’ll wait till it arrives on Blu-ray and watch it at home to see if it grows on me. I really hope the future films can move things forward and make better use of the characters and maybe have a plot that doesn’t involved a sphere-shaped object that needs blowing up. Now, I remember being at the premiere of The Phantom Menace in 1999 and getting really excited about the new bad guy Darth Maul that sadly failed to transpire into anything meaningful and left audiences and myself disappointed. So, Kylo Ren being equally disappointing I really want any future films to have an evil character, shot at low angles and truly scary with a great theme tune to boot.

Star Wars 7

I doubt however that’s in keeping with Disney. We will probably end up with Darth Mickey.

Lets see what happens next in a galaxy far, far away.

M

Moli says goodbye to 2015…

There is one thing a new year and a new years day is good for. Reflection. I’ve spent the past few days thinking about the year that’s past and I can’t say that my thoughts are good. Actually, they are bloody awful. When I compare New Years Eve 2014 to 2015 this is most evidential. 12 months ago I was with a large group of people having the time of my life and this year I’m sat at home alone and thinking that I must be a terrible human being. How bad must I have been to have lost everything within a year? Have I learnt from my mistakes? Have I become a better person that people want to be around? I guess not as my NYE invites number zero.

Moli

I’m so glad to see the back of 2015 I’m not sure words can really convey. It was a year filled with so much pain, both physical and mental, and both of which I’m still healing from but now much improved. However, in my experience, some things in life can be fixed, some things will remain scars forever and some things will never ever be repaired. Sorry to sound cryptic but stupidly I’m still protecting those that hurt me and those that turned their back on me. I guess I’m also protecting those that did nothing for me in my darkest days. This must all sound very cryptic, self-pitying and self-absorbing but it’s my blog and if you don’t like it, fuck off. This helps me get things right in my head and when I read this back in 20 years time, I’ll remember how I felt about 2015, should I ever forget.

Logically NYE and NYD is just another day and nothing really changes. It is symbolic and numerical only. The symbolism for me marks the end of one life that could have been and the start of whatever I want my life to be but I don’t trust the universe enough to believe it won’t try to upset any well thought out plans I might have for myself. After all, 2015 didn’t go as planned and I put my heart and soul into it. Literally giving myself to the future and my soul almost dying in the process. What life is this? My spine failing me early in the year and the endless pain it left me with was beyond my ability to control and handle on a daily basis. I had to manage the pain and my recovery the best I could but the price was much higher than I could ever have imagined. It’s only upon my NYE reflection that I’ve come to think that maybe it could have saved me too from a far worse fate. A life that was false and emotionless, which is a slow death, as Shakespeare once said, ‘to thine own self be true’. It’s taken a long time for me to realise that. The year hasn’t been a complete disaster and the highlights are here for all to see in my blog. I’m proud of the adventures I finally managed to cram into the final quarter of the year. The trip to Texas and people I met along the way being a great memory but I’m also very aware of what’s not written here, the stories of the people in my world who’ve past away. With my new job I’ve made some new friends and I love working with this team. It’s re-energised me for the year ahead.

So, I wish you all a happy new year. The year ahead will find new ways to challenge us all and give us rewards too. A year of endless possibilities for both I’m sure. Wishing you all the good luck and strength you’ll need for 2016.

M