Sunday, April 16, 2006


Yesterday I got back from Barcelona, I was visiting a great friend I met through KCU, Sila, (she recently started a blog too). It was so last minute I didn’t have time to blog I was going. It’s weird to think that if that very bad thing never happened, we would never have met. Especially so as it dropped out of our conversations so long ago, it feels like it never happened. We never mentioned it all the time I was in Barcelona. It rarely gets mentioned ever anyway. Our friendship started as she had the same reaction as me when she joined KCU, massive shock, so I was reassuring her it was normal for a while. She has listened to a lot of my July 7th junk too, so it works well, and I’m so glad we got the chance to meet, it’s just a shame it was in such a horrific way. She was in the 1st carriage the other side of the bomber and went to Russel Square, so it wasn't till March 9th until we met. It’s great when positive things emerge from the negative, it brings a lot of closure.

I wasn’t nervous about flying, just excited to be going, it was my first time flying on my own but I was fine. Barcelona was amazing, so beautiful. Gorgeous architecture almost everywhere, (the image is Gaudi's Sagrada Familia) and the laid back atmosphere was just what I needed. I always feel quite at home around the Mediterranean because my mum is half Spanish, even though I can‘t speak a word. One day I’m going to trace my ancestry back. Sila did an amazing job as a tour guide until she got severe bronchitis on the last day. Pleasant. A lot of people on our train have had repeated severe chest infections, including me, bronchitis should be renamed Bin Laden disease. I spent the last day strolling along the beach for hours, how touristy!

I didn’t want to write about it yesterday, I had the back from holiday blues, or should that be back to the dung hole that is St Helens blues. I feel the benefits of my break today though, I feel re-energised, rejuvenated and raring to go! Bring it on!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


If you are sensitive to gory images be aware before reading on.

Just as I thought I was getting back to normal the flashbacks have started to kick back in. I used to get flashbacks often from August till December, but not recently. I say flashbacks, but they begin as a vivid memory, and then play out a very different scenario to what actually happened. The old flashbacks were always the same, get on the train, go down the tunnel, bang, injury, wait 5 minutes. But, then me and my friends go into the 1st carriage. This goes on for a while, dragging people out, asking people to bring us scarves, belts and ties, anything to use as tourniquets. While I didn’t really see in there, what I imagine has to be quite close, it is truly horrific. All I saw in reality was damage to the roof and parts of it hanging down, as the smoke settled it became clearer. Unfortunately I have a very vivid imagination and am able to piece together the rest.

These flashbacks stopped. Now a new flashback has started.

I am on the platform, first train arrives, can’t get on so I wait. Announcement: “next train on its way.” Bang, bomb goes off on the platform. This time it is fully lit up and I can see everything, so can everyone else all the way up the platform. Because there isn’t the barrier of the carriage to take the blast it blows me off my feet and up the platform. There are people dying on the tracks who we can’t help as the tracks are live. So we can only help the others who are either side and pushed/blown back off the platform. Because we aren’t as packed as we were on the train a lot of people are knocked over all the way up the platform and caught up in a stampede to run away. Then the train comes in and the flashback stops, I don’t know if it stops in time or they get the message before it hits the people on the track.

With most of my trauma I can guess why I’m having those specific feelings, there is a logical reason behind them. I can see why I was having the first flashbacks but I’m not sure about these ones. Maybe I’m just playing out every potential scenario till it is all out of my system. Also, I’m off work this week, the last time I was getting flashbacks I was out of work, maybe I have just been too distracted to have these thoughts till now.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Trigger happy

We got a lot of coverage ‘up north’ of the Condoleeza Rice visit. I wasn’t going to post anything on it, but I saw her and Straw talking about terrorism on the local news last night. They mentioned 9/11 and the London bombings. I can’t remember her exact words, but I felt very hacked off, I felt that I was being used as a pawn, an excuse for them to maintain their silly ‘war on terror’ policy. I’m not going to post anything political, there are so many people who can articulate the issues much better than me, plus, Iraq is so complex you have to be an expert just to hold your own in a debate.

And people wonder why my generation is so apathetic?

I am so confused by Iraq now, but I know one thing, I am nothing like this bunch of trigger happy gun toting insensitive bloodthirsty fools! (read the comments section)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

50 Best Chairs

Some people obsess over cars, for me it’s chairs. I’ve been meaning to write something chair related ever since I saw this in the design museum. It’s Jerszy Seymour’s “Easy Chair”, for me it is a one stop lesson in product aesthetics. Let your eye fall on it, subconsciously you will scan over the whole form wherever you start, either from the legs up or the seat down taking the arms and the back in without even knowing it. This is because Seymour has designed it so all lines are continuous. All lines/edges follow and accentuate the form, some accelerate downwards only for your eye to loop round the bottom of the leg and carry on. It is this flow of lines which makes an object appear light and effortless. An AUDI TT on the other hand has many lines which hit each other or the floor at tangents creating an altogether different aesthetic. The AUDI appears heavy and solid, while the easy chair appears light, casual and fun.

The fun form of the easy chair means it suits its vibrant colour palette, I’m getting bored of everything minimal and white at the moment. And, it stacks, is weatherproof and wipe clean, so top marks for function! I admit it's not to all tastes, I probably wouldn't have it in my own house.

However… no design is perfect, if it was I would be out of a job, but I think Seymour's comes fairly close. Ok so it’s not a swanky leather office chair, or a chrome Bauhaus lounger, but I’m getting bored of all that by now. That’s ancient history. It’s also the most recent design in today’s “50 best chairs” article in the Independent. I would have to disagree with about 46 of their 50 choices (probably because they had Max Fraser on the panel… I‘ll explain more later) , but then I’m a perfectionist. I would find it hard to choose 50 average chairs, I hold only a few dozen as good, a handful as great, but only one as the best ever. This is the only design both me and The Independent agree on: the Eames Aluminium group EA108 office chair. I’m sat on one now, I spent all my first wages on it and it wiped me out for a month but I don’t regret it one bit. It’s comfortable, classic and I would get back what I paid for it tomorrow on ebay!

I will try and write more on this passion of mine, maybe do my own top 5. For the time being here’s a few of my other favourites, some you may know, some you probably wont. Poul Kjaerholm’s ‘PK24’, Ernest Race’s ‘Antelope chair’, ‘Dolly’ by Citterio and Low and Sori Yanagi’s ‘Butterfly’ stool. Oh, and as for Max Fraser, I went to one of his lectures last year, he spent two hours telling us how great his career was and how he spends most of his time going to designer parties. And he gets paid for it!

NB: new 'Creative Links' section in the sidebar >>>