The Wall

Some of you may know that I’ve been hunting street art for many years.  Mostly I find these various size works in and around the Shoreditch area in East London or The Leake Street Tunnel near Waterloo station.  Whenever I travel abroad I always try and find the local street art district with some amazing and well known artists’ work being visible in more than one country it’s always a nice surprise to spot a tag or style from an artist you’ve seen before. My Instagram page has been running since May 2020 and has organically grown to just over 1000 followers.  This is just the tip of the iceberg of course, with the fandom and movement having at least 100 times that in street art fans in the UK and with some Instagram followers having well over 15,000 followers.  I’m not shallow enough to worry about the followers that I get that much but it’s nice that people want to see my photography and my street art hunting efforts.  That for me is the real enjoyment of street art hunting, the not knowing what you’ll find next and with most pieces changing every week, it’s an exciting and constantly evolving outdoor gallery and I also often get a good 15k worth of steps out of each hunt whilst wandering around the streets of EC1, so it’s good for my health too.

Street Art - March 2021

A couple of days ago I was asked if I’d like to see some street art created by Sonia Boyce to cover the wall protecting the new Crossrail line that runs from Abbey Wood and though North Woolwich, Silvertown and Custom House.  This would be the biggest mural in Europe covering an area over 2km long.  This should be interesting to see but  I would always be a bit hesitant however about a corporation getting involved in an artwork project as the amount of bureaucracy and committee meetings often results in something very bland and disappointing. 

Crossrail Art - Sonia Boyce
Crossrail mural
Crossrail Art - Sonia Boyce

The Crossrail version of the Berlin wall certainly needs something to brighten up the area and I’m surprised that street artists or enthusiastic youths with spray cans and no idea haven’t already had a go at it with “Bozzo Woz Ere” but it seems mostly unmolested if just a dirty white wall. The pre-printed panels that are going up ready for the summer 2021 launch are pretty much as I would expect. Mostly a safe hospital style design of a black and white cityscape with flowers along the bottom. The panels are dotted with quotes from local residents and are mostly uninspiring.  One quote did stand out though that I’m stunned actually went through the due diligence and creative process.  The offending element was highlighting the crime and murders in the area. This will do wonders for the house prices I’m sure.

The quote read, 

I love this area North Woolwich. 

I’m glad I was brought up here, it’s like a village. It has a hairdresser, a corner shop, a post office, a library, three parks, a bakery and a pharmacy. 

What else?

There’s the Police Station, there’s a Chinese takeaway.

It has everything all in one small area and everyone knows everyone.

The only negative thing is the crime and the murders, which has been increasing.

This is unfortunate, but other than that everything else is fine.

Also there’s a little beach and you can take a ferry ride.

It’s all so close.

Like a village.’

Crossrail Art - Sonia Boyce
Great place, apart from the crime and murders!

How on earth did that ever get approved? Having seen this I decided to Tweet about it on the @Moliblog Twitter page showing my shock and disappointment at the way Crossrail and the artist can think this a great way to promote the area? 

Moliblog Twitter

Given the reputed £1m+ price tag, I can tell you that local community groups could really use that money post Covid more than hearing that they live in a crime and murder zone. It’s especially insensitive as less than 5 minutes walk away, a shrine is still in place to a young man that was the victim of knife crime. You could argue that the quote was honest and a temporary piece of commentary it would be challenging and inspire change, however as a permanent wall covering it falls short of any decency and consideration for local residents.


Crossrail didn’t reply to my tweet and why would they.  However, after ITV news and The Evening Standard quoted my tweet on their websites, the story did get some momentum and I’m glad to say that Newham Council put out a press release asking for the offending panel to be covered up or removed.  The Crossrail programme manager Jim Crawford appeared in ITV news that night and was frankly clueless about the whole project and claimed he would look into it. 

Crossrail Art - Sonia Boyce

I’m pleased to say that today the panel has been taken down and hopefully something more positive will replace it.  A quote maybe about the power of street art that can bring people together despite a big dividing wall though the borough. At least they don’t have guard towers and searchlights. Yet. 


12 Weeks


This week I received a letter from the government and the amazing NHS telling me that I’m a high risk individual for complications from Covid-19, Coronavirus. I knew that having a chronic lung condition probably wasn’t going to be a good thing and I emailed my lung specialist to ask him that very question. The government letter arrived before I got a nice reply from the doctor and both said the same thing. I need to shield myself away from people and any physical contact with them to avoid getting the virus that wouldn’t end well. The vast majority of cases around the world that have died have had pre-existing medical conditions, so the threat to my life is a real one. This is clearly a scary time for everyone but no more than for the elderly and those that have medical conditions that put themselves at increased risk. Frankly I’m scared of my shadow right now and I’ve not been sleeping well. I love being at home and spending time watching TV or playing games to pass the time but the stress of isolation is a different beast. The realisation that I can’t just go out for a walk or wander around the shops or go for a spot of lunch is leaving me feeling trapped, like being locked in a box and now I’m starting to panic. I feel fairly ridiculous really. A grown man acting like a baby. The thing that might be playing more on my mind is the period of time it has taken for the anxiety to toll on my mental state and how quickly that’s happened. Just 4 bloody days!

Shut Down

During the first and second world wars, kids would lie about their age or health to volunteer and sign up to fight for their country and way of life. They would put their lives on the line and many died doing their bit to save their way of life and make a difference. In many ways, we can’t understand that nowadays and I can’t really see the majority of youth today doing the same. All any of us really now have to do, is sit on our soft sofas and watch Netflix. Easy right? With the national lock down in the UK being set for a period of 3 weeks most people, including myself could handle that, however for me the period of time that I face in isolation is the most difficult for me to reason in my head, 12 weeks. 12 weeks without going out, meeting people, going to get a haircut, getting food, opening my own post, the list goes on. How on earth will I cope with that and what state will I be in afterwards?

Mark Oliver Photography

As I work in retail its fairly limited what I can do to work from home beyond people admin and the preparations before the lock down were nil to minimal, so I have limited resources. I’ve set up a small office in the kitchen and have kept myself busy with trying to put plans into place to look after the well being of my team while the country tries to stop this virus spreading around. In doing so, I realised that I’d rather be out there helping the fight than hiding away from it like some coward. Applauding the NHS as we did last night, I’m actually jealous of those people trying to make a difference and would have loved the chance to fight this war like our grandfathers did before us. The near 1 million volunteers are today’s hero soldiers alongside the nurses and doctors on the front line. This really has become World War 3. Not being fought with a flash and a bang from a foreign power or from some ideological mad men but from an enemy that we can’t see and we have no defense against. Like all wars, people will die or be left with permanent injuries and some dark days are coming. The government after all doesn’t create a 4000 bed hospital with 2 morgues at Excel, London without expecting a battle to be on the horizon. We will lose love ones to this Covid-19 and the suffering globally has already been immense and will only get worse in the coming weeks. The least we can all do is our bit. As home bound soldiers we all need to find the strength and character to fight this battle from our armchairs and stay at home. It might not feel very heroic but we are all heroes, because we all saving a life and I get to do it for 12 weeks.


As of today: 759 people have now died from Coronavirus in UK, 14,543 confirmed infected including the Prime Minister. 150 recovered.

Happy New Year

Sorry Guys and Girls. I’ve not had time to write Moliblog for some time.

I’ll try harder this year to get back into it. I enjoy writing and I hope you enjoy reading the blog too? I’ve got lots happening this year and it would be good for me to get my thoughts down as the year progresses and maybe you can follow along.

Mark and Gemma at St Paul's

Until then, best wishes for a great year.


Moliblog blogging again.

Hello readers!

I’m not sure how many of you are left that used to read Moliblog. I’ve taken a long break from writing and posting my pictures and I sort of fell out of love with it all. It seems that every other blog has something to do with make-up tips and fashion or Youtube-ers that have become youth superstars with their pages earning millions and even more followers. Who really wants to read the ramblings of a white middle aged fat man? Having thought about this recently I decided that the blog was really for me to share my thoughts with myself and if others choose to read it then great but I really don’t want to get hung up on followers and stats. I’ll do my best to write on a more regular basis as I used to really enjoy it.

Here’s a catch up with me meeting the amazing Darcy Bussell at the Royal Opera house for a signing of her book Evolved,

Darcy Bussell - Evolved Signing
Moli & Darcy Bussell
Darcy Bussell - Evolved Signing
Darcey Bussell – Evolved
Darcy Bussell - Evolved Signing

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @moliblog

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.


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 & 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.


E.1 & Columbia Market - 2016

Street Art

Camden Town 2016

Street Art

Super Kiss

Rude Kids

Street Art

Picture a day

Moli Returns

Have you missed me?


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?


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.



MoliBlog is 7 years Old…


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.