MoleculArt at Oxo tower

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On Wednesday 9th December I was invited to the MoleculArt event with Bonnie Britain in the Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, London.  As I was the +1 of Bonnie – I didn’t really know any more than there would be cocktails – and they would be free! Actually – that was as far as my interest ventured.

We climbed an array of barren brick walled stairs up to the 4th floor – into large dimly lit attic space with old heavy wooden floors and above them – metal air condition ducts that felt untouched by modern adornments – a space that was perfectly comforting in and of itself.

The first eye catcher was the cocktail lab – made up of old oil barrels and a plank of wood -minimal and moody -with bring pink, green and blue lights piercing the darkness from below and wrapping itself around the cocktail stand – which itself had implements resting upon it which wouldn’t look out of place in a science laboratory – as coloured puffs of smoke bellowed out of wide bottomed glass science beakers with a pretty lady pouring and fusing concoctions of green stuff into other stuff – to make stuff that looked like something one could throw down ones neck.

Beyond the scientific blending that was taking place in the popup lab – and at the far end of the attic – was a large floor to ceiling canvas – made up of 30 individual sheets of paper to combine into a whole – one piece out of many.

The canvas was lit by an image projected it on to it – later I learned that these were drug molecules. Laid out in front of the this display were numerous coloured paints, sprays and crayons.  All waiting to play their part in the making something different and unique.

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In between the cocktail lab and overside canvas was a good looking young DJ who kept the beats flowing rhythmically and gave the attic space the feeling of being in a club – all be it – right at the very beginning of the night.

To the sides were projections of still images upon the brickwork – which also turned out to be drug molecules – or maybe food, or maybe alcohol.  I wasn’t quite sure.  The lab cocktails started to work and after a couple an unquenchable thirst grew from with – to head down to the canvas and draw, paint, splash, mash or trash – although I’m guessing if we’d done the latter – we’d of been asked to sling our hook.

I’m not sure if gender plays a part in this.  But I was definitely a grab, splash and dash artist.  Bonnie on the other hand – and many of the girls (although this is in no way scientific) – seem to take more time and care over their contribution – following the molecule lines that were projected against it – trying to make it meaningful.  At one point I did consider pouring black paint over one section that a lady had spent a significant amount of time crafting. And then, when her anger and hatred of me got the better of her and she stormed over and challenged me as to why I would do such a thing – my answer was going to be – “your anger and hatred and the memory and despising you harness right at this moment will last longer than the crap swooshes and characters you just spent 20 minutes working on – which would of been forgotten.  That is MY ART”.

But alas, I wasn’t quite brave enough and anyway, her boyfriend or companion was over 6 foot tall, rugby play wide and looked like he worked in the city and would of made mince meat out of me for upsetting his girl – friend or not. That would of been HIS ART.  And I didn’t fancy that.

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We stood around and had yet another lab cocktail.  I read the invite again just to be sure what it was we were actually suppose to be doing.  It read:

“Drink a cocktail made by ABQ London, splash some paint on a massive canvas full of drug molecules with a few others and take home a piece of it.”

Ok, so more cocktails – more splashing and dashing.  By my 5th cocktail I was not only getting pissed – but creative.  Which was soon ruined when I tried to make the white paint run through the splash of red paint – which was left looking like a bit of a congealed mess.

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At times the canvas was full of creative types -men and women of all ages – either pre-post or with a lab cocktail in hand whilst styling and filing shapes and symbols onto the paper – which was what the event was all about – people adding their own creative dimension to a large piece – which would be taken down and made into individual smaller pieces.  These 30 individual squares would then be given to each person as sign of their involvement in the bigger picture.

We never did get our individual piece. However, I enjoyed the event, the painting, the splashing and the dashing (back to the cocktail bar for another hit).

Here is how we got on…

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Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast for 05 Dec 2015

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Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast show from the 5th of December – a day that is Bathtub Party Day! The show includes another Who Is The Voice from 7am; Play Your Celebrity Cards Right with Dickie & Feather from 8am and the final I’m A Celebrity Update of 2015.

Pick of The Number One Pops is after 9 including the years 1960; 1970; 1980 & 1990 or 2000 (depending on which decision is reached).

Kyra Cross is looking after your texts, calls and emails and you can check out the SFM website at www.sfmradio.com.

How Darth Vader – May Have Sounded!

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Star Wars the Force awakes is due out in cinemas in under a week.  As well as their own promotion team going in to overdrive- there are all sorts of starwars-ized pictures, parodies and pop songs.

 

How Darth Vader MAY have sounded….thank the deathstar for James Earl Jones!

 

Now you can really feel the Force! by creating your own Star Wars name – including Jedi names and Sith names.

You can generate random names, or choose Star Wars names based on your own name.

http://starwars.namegeneratorfun.com/

Star Wars Parodies

 

 

Santa Paws Comes To Kent

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Staff and animals at the Brands Hatch Battersea Dogs and Cats centre are getting into the festive spirit by inviting animal lovers from across Kent and the surrounding areas to join them for some Christmas fun at their countryside centre.

The Santa Paws event features a snowy Santa’s Grotto, which will be open for children to meet a special guest from the North Pole and lots of craft activities including making Christmas tree decoration and creating purrfect presents and gifts for your pets or, you can make presents to donate to the animals of Battersea.

As well as all that there’ll be christmas music, frosty cakes and loads of refreshments – as well as the opportunity to meet their countryside cats and canines up close!

Santa Paws is taking place this Saturday 12th December from 10.30am – 2.30pm.

Standard admission fees apply. Find out how to find them.

Global travellers’ destinations 2016

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Brighton Beach, 2015

If you haven’t ever caught the train down to Brighton to eat fish & chips on the pier, 2016 is definitely the year to do it. Because TripAdvisor has announced the world’s leading destinations for 2016, according to feedback from millions of TripAdvisor travellers – and Brighton has been named sixth trendiest holiday spot on the planet.

Top spot was claimed by the somewhat sunnier and arguably slightly more glamorous resort town of Tulum, Mexico. Other trending destinations include Cartagena, Colombia, and its Caribbean beaches, and Portugal’s second largest city, Porto.

And while you might struggle to justify a trip a two-week holiday in Mexico this summer, there’s really no excuse for failing to make it down south in the next 12 months. If you haven’t been, it’s time to tick Brighton off your bucket and spade list. Start planning your 2016 summer hols now.

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India, 2015

 

Global travellers’ choice destinations on the rise in 2016

1. Tulum, Mexico (+74% booking interest YoY) Las Palmas Maya, £92 per night

2. Cartagena, Colombia (+49% booking interest YoY) San Lazaro Art Lifestyle Hotel, £87 per night

3. Porto, Portugal (+39% booking interest YoY) Moov Hotel Porto Centro, £36 per night

4. Gatlinburg,Tennessee (+67% booking interest YoY) Zoders Inn & Suites, £74 per night

5. Moscow, Russia (+27% booking interest YoY) Mercure Moscow Baumanskaya, £46 per night

6. Brighton, United Kingdom (+60% booking interest YoY) Artist Residence Brighton, £123 per night

7. New Delhi, India (+28% booking interest YoY) bloomrooms @ Link Rd, £38 per night

8.Banff, Canada (+43% booking interest YoY) Rundlestone Lodge, £104 per night

9. Lima, Peru (+33% booking interest YoY) Hotel Vila Santa Miraflores, £51 per night

10. Foz do Iguacu, Brazil (+34% booking interest YoY)

John Lennon – Imagine…35 years on

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35 years ago today John Lennon was assassinated while walking into his home at the Dakota building in New York City. 12 years later Mark Chapman gave this creepy interview to Larry King.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

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One of the newly arrived kittens.  Many kittens and puppies come to Battersea because breeders have been unable to find homes for them.

Situated in South London, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is the oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats in the United Kingdom.

Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats – none of which would be possible without its team of over 1000 volunteers who help at Battersea’s three centres, in roles including dog and cat socialising, gardening, admin support and giving talks in the community.

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Bonnie on our meet and greet!

And so it was on a cold November morning that I met up with Monday Matters reporter Bonnie Britain for a coffee and light breakfast with the Battersea team.

Bonnie first spoke to the Operations Manager Carly Whyborn about how they cope at this time of year with the influx of unwanted pets and Carly spoke of the need for foster families.  To foster a cat or dog means helping to prepare them for their permanent homes by getting them used to a domestic lifestyle and handling by humans or monitoring their recovery following treatment by their Clinic team.  You can find out more information about being a battersea foster family by visiting either the dog foster page or cat foster page.

There were just so many wonderful animals at the rescue centre that both myself and Bonnie could have taken one or all of them home.

Battersea used to have a policy of not rehoming any animals just before Christmas, as families would often want one for their kids – but upon getting it realised the dog or cat needed more attention than they could offer – or was more expensive than they thought.

However, this has been changed as it was deemed unfair to the animals and their potential owners – just because it’s Christmas.  Plus, there are a lot of people who may be older or single who don’t have a family who live nearby and would love to re-home a pet – just in time for Christmas.

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Jason asks Hooch – the Dogue de Bordeaux, how he’s finding not having a proper home at the moment  – he said he was finding it “rough”.

The rescue and rehoming centre has recently launched a campaign in which they are asking crafty supporters of the home to make and donate dog bandanas so that these scents can be sprayed on the bandanas and the soothing smells can linger with the dogs as they move around their kennels.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tyson has spent over 100 days at Battersea Old Windsor and is one of the many dogs in Battersea’s care who would benefit from a comforting bandana. The fun and excitable four year old loves to be outside exploring but 12246693_10153260915193443_8376998241883413331_n.jpgbecomes stressed when returned to his kennel.

Bandanas for small, medium and large dogs would be gladly received, in any colour and print material, so dogs like Tyson can remain happy and calm while they wait for their new forever home to be found.

Sewers are invited to use the pattern available.

Whilst at Battersea myself & Bonnie heard how over the past year, they have seen 21 dogs come through its doors that have been used for breeding then abandoned.  We were told how Battersea is urging people not to buy puppies from breeders.

Many dogs are sold through well-known classified adverts – online and print, so unsuspecting buyers have to just take the sellers word for what they’re getting. They may think they’re buying a Shih Tzu, but more often than not, that cute fluffy puppy, turns into something completely different.

12291197_10153100450076230_8151491576403214176_o.jpgThe majority of the 21 ex breeding bitches dumped at Battersea’s gates were bull breeds and the average cost of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is £300-500. So if their puppies were sold for that amount their unscrupulous owners could have pocketed as much as £126,000 between them, and £6000 each.

After spending time with the dogs, our guide Francesca Vitale took us to the Cattery which was opened 5 years ago by the Duchess of Cornwall and cost £5 million. Something that I was unaware of, but Battersea has been rehoming not only dogs but cats of all ages and sizes since 1883 and have found homes for more than 200,000 felines. A great achievement for the charity.

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Rehomer Ros Davies with Matilda – an elderly cat who has been waiting to be rehomed

Bonnie spoke to full-time member of staff and rehomer Ros Davies about her work and met some of the cats waiting for a new home.  Ros said that in the run-up to Christmas rehoming slows down but they get a large number of cats through their doors.

Please help support Battersea by visiting their online shop.


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Oscar Pistorius: Murderer

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South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has accepted the State’s appeal and changed the conviction that was handed down to Oscar Pistorius from manslaughter to murder.

Eric Leach spent just under 30 minutes reading the unanimous ruling which was agreed upon by all of the five judges.

Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training.  Of course he should.  He killed Reeva because he was angry and because he felt he could.

The Supreme Court ruling comes as a relief to many people who thought Oscar had evaded justice and literally ‘got away with murder’.  Pistorius had given unconvincing testimony at his trial with him being referred to as a ‘poor witness’.  Many, including me, watched the trial at times with disbelief as Oscar’s defence team trotted out one questionable expert after another – it really  was nearly laughable – but it wasn’t, because a young woman was brutally murdered on valentines day by the very person who should of protected her.

Anyone, and there were thousands, who sat through the court case was left in no doubt that Oscar was an angry young man who always got what he wanted and was prone to violent outbursts – usually, but not always vocally.  It seems he was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off.  Unfortunately, Reeva Steenkamp took the full impact of his explosion.

 

Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp

So, how did he manage to get off with it first time around?  Well, like most, if not all justice systems around the world – money and the ability to afford the best lawyers seem to have played its part.  Had Oscar been a black poor kid and Reeva been the same – this wouldn’t of even been a footnote in history and Oscar would be serving a life sentence in some unforsaken prison – where he would be unknown and forgotten about by all but a few close relatives.

The UK court has a system of juries which has its positives when faced with straight forward cases – however, can fall down when things are complicated and be swayed by good witnesses or defendants.  No system is, or can be, the perfect system.

I hope that the Steenkamps can now feel some sense that justice, from their home country, has finally came down on their side.

Saturday Breakfast Radio Show Kent

Saturday Breakfast Radio Show Sittingbourne Kent England

Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast show includes Who Is The Voice from 7am; Play Your Celebrity Cards Right from 8am and our I’m A Celebrity Update.

Pick of The Number One Pops is after 9 including the years 1968; 1978; 1988 & 1998

Kyra is looking after your texts, calls and emails.