Thursday, 16 February 2012

London NHS

Just a bit of banner about the NHS this is meant as light hearted.

I am 15 and I drank a bottle of cider so should I be treated as it was my own fault?  I am 40 and 2 stone over weight should I be treated as its my own fault?
I am 29 and I rock climb but fell and broke my leg should I be treated its my own fault? I am 19 smoked a bit and my head went funny. should I be treated?
I am 73 and a bit confused but like the old brandy should I be treated?
I am a runner and ran into a wall should I be treated?
I`m 20 and get very drunk every weekend but usually get home ok but this week I didn`t should I be treated? I like to go over the speed limit  whenever I get the chance should I be treated when I crash my car?
I`m a chef and burnt my arm it was my fault I wasn`t paying attention, should I be treated?

See the point? how dangerous is it to start saying people are not worthy of treatment for whatever reason, just where does that thinking stop. The NHS is not free it is only free at point of contact we all pay for the NHS and I would rather pay more then see it eroded.  It is a system, it will never be perfect but lets not try and exclude people.
Pictures of drunken young people flood the tabloids, then the questions start should the hospitals have to deal with them, should the police. YES! they should because at that point they are vunerable young people, have the talks another time, but don`t forget to include everyone else.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Inspired by French Hats in Cannes

This photo taken by me of my sister in Cannes market last year trying on the colourful display of hats. Since then I have been  interested in the history of hats and what it says about the times we live in. As its fashion week next week I thought I would re-awaken this hobby.

The 12th Century book in the second photo was taken by me in St Albans Cathedral recently and while its not about hats, though it is beautiful, I noticed the following.

The wings on the holy figures in the pictures point almost straight up unlike the way wings are  portrayed in later works.  The wings reminded me of the conical hats worn by women throughout the world from 13th century and before. In the book above the devil is seen as black but still with pointed wings, could the black witches hat have developed from a black conical the dunces hat.  Where women of status wearing a conical because their status was seen as closer to God. The hierarchy displayed in stone on many Cathedrals does put kings up there with the popes and angels. 

Maybe women of status were indeed seen as closer to God even if they were considered less significant then the males of the time.
It is a bit like the chicken and the egg question, which came first, fashion following religion or religion following fashion.

Fashion Through The Ages 

 Vogue History of Fashion

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Magic of Fashion and Food

Fashion week is starting and who can not be excited by the thought of Kristian Aadneuks new collection. His Chimera clothes in 2011 influenced by Black Metal Music were sensational, teamed with long straight hair and ankle boots he stole our hearts.
The frenzied colour and movement of behind the scenes is addicitive, instantly you want to be involved even just to make the tea. The TiGi Urban creative team will be dressing the models hair and as this is such an important part of the whole look I can`t wait to see the creations. Hair like clothes has its own fashion history and speaks of rebellion, fun and independence without uttering a word.
Who can not be tempted to watch the front row for the  fashion famous the dark sunglass wearing elite who enter at the last minute. That is part of the fun of fashion week when your camera slips from the leather shimmering goddess on the catwalk to snap the cele sitting with her friends.
The live stage show has all the glamour and anticipation of  a dozen weddings as you wait to see the brides dresses. With Kristian you get a mix between a rave, festival and show stopping dynamic colour blocks.
Fashion is about the drama for me and I think in another life I would have worked in the theatre. I am definetly an observer though rather than a centre stage person put me behind a pen and paper, or a camera and I`m happy.
On March 6th I will be standing outside Westminister with many other people as we hand in a petition against the cuts in community care. I work with young people leaving care, I am also a volunteer at a food bank and homeless hostel. While fashion is vibrant and trend setting, fun and colourful it is superficial when compared to someone sleeping on the streets in sub zero conditions. This photo was taken on 8th February 2012  and shows the frozen lake at St Albans Park, the bench to the right had been a place to sleep for a young man.
Food is like fashion, we dress our food in colourful displays, we add and take things away, we make receipies and take photos. We know that just to live we would need a lot less artistic ways of cooking a cabbage or a steak but its nice. It fun and its interesting. Like fashion really.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Abbots Kitchen At St. Albans Cathedral

I am lucky enough to live near St. Albans in Herts. Today I decided to return to St Albans Cathedral and its friendly Abbot Kitchen.
The food is mostly homemade with huge slices of cake, soup and irresistible three course lunch menus. A three course menu costs £13.95  and includes a hot drink. There is a separate menu for  children. If you only want a coffee that`s fine too. It is waitress service and the staff are friendly and efficient.
I asked for a cheese and ham sandwich and this was served with a large amount of salad and a good number of crisps.
I noticed they do a very classy afternoon tea served with the traditional cake stand full of scones, small cakes and cream, for a very reasonable £8 per person. The Abbots kitchen is open until 5.30 pm and where else can you walk out the door and be in the wonderful St. Albans Cathedral. The Abbots Kitchen is actually in the Cathedral and it is quite special to soak in the history while sipping your tea. The Cathedral is very popular and so is the Abbots Kitchen so do try and avoid weekends.

Spend an hour roaming around the impressive Cathedral before or after your lunch. This 12th Century book is one of the Cathedrals most treasured possessions and sits in a glass case next to other ancient treasures. The lead glass window is from the middle ages.

Don`t forget to look up as you wander through the Cathedral, these Coats of Arms are up in the ceiling.