Bees in the city

Adventures in brand land – agency Wolff Olins’  have hives on the roof of their Kings Cross studio here in London. I found this sweet, short video which explains how they came to be. (Pardon the pun.) 

There’s an old wives tale that you should tell your bees about births, deaths, and marriages…

Find what you love

“The government is cutting music programmes in schools and slashing Arts grants as gleefully as a morbidly American kid in Baskin Robbins. So if only to stick it to the man, isn’t it worth fighting back in some small way? So write your damn book. Learn a Chopin prelude, get all Jackson Pollock with the kids, spend a few hours writing a Haiku. Do it because it counts even without the fanfare, the money, the fame and Heat photo-shoots that all our children now think they’re now entitled to because Harry Styles has done it.

Charles Bukowski, hero of angsty teenagers the world over, instructs us to “find what you love and let it kill you“. Suicide by creativity is something perhaps to aspire to in an age where more people know Katie Price better than the Emperor concerto.”

– James Rhodes,  ‘Find what you love and let it kill you

Whaaaat

Just read Oliver Burkeman’s latest column in the Guardian. This week it’s about the wonderfully named “what-the-hell effect” – the idea that just one won’t hurt, we can try again tomorrow. This part struck a chord:

“The what-the-hell effect is usually interpreted, rightly, as an argument for setting more realistic goals. Instead of promising you’ll eat no unhealthy foods, or spend nothing on fripperies, build in a safety valve: permit yourself one self-indulgent item a day, or a certain amount of money a week. Better yet, replace “inhibitional” goals – the intention to stop doing things – with “acquisitional goals”, focused on obtaining or achieving something.”

Window Canteen

https://i1.wp.com/www.codeforsomething.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/window-coffee.png?resize=640%2C640

I really like Hackney Road. It’s gritty, it’s lively, it has a lot of shoe shops per capita, and it’s where the bar is… but it isn’t quite gentrified to the point where you can find a decent coffee any which way you swing your limbs. So it was a delight to find Window Canteen,  a cosy little outpost amongst all the heels and trainers. While the place is named for the walk-by coffee service they offer, Thom and I chose to sit in and sip our flat-whites in quiet contemplation – him, pondering the frothing qualities of soy milk, me – admiring the cool installation of raindrops by Studio Mufufu*.

No food on this visit, but lunch looks lovely judging by the other reviews. Small, simple, and a real DIY spirit. I’ll be back.

Window Canteen
276 Hackney Rd, Hackney
London, E2, UK

* “Mufufu is a mimetic word that represents a chuckle in Japanese. It is the overflowing, involuntary smile brought forth by an epiphany, a light bulb moment.”

Let’s do the time warp again

I spotted this little laundromat on Whitmore Rd, Hoxton, while out walking around our neighbourhood. It’s been closed for nearly five years, but not a thing has changed since the day the door shut. Aside from some saggy ceiling panel stalactites and newly formed mountains of dust, that is.

Hoxton Time Warp

First thought: Would love one of those retro blue dryers… Second thought: This would make a good bar…

Storm warning

waiting at the bus stop

“Once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

(An old photo from Auckland, waiting at the bus stop in the rain. A weather system from oh, five years ago.)

Daily photo: the fox of Hoxton

Photo

An early riser spotted in Hoxton this afternoon, just before sunset. A brave little fellow (or fellow-ess?), the fox didn’t blink at any of the passersby. Likewise, they didn’t see him either, wrapped up in their own little worlds of late-for-work, what-should-I-buy, head-phones-on. It’s good to breathe deeply, take things slowly and see some nature in the city.