Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kilburn Grange Park adventure playground

Erect Architecture | Architecture Today

‎"Children are perceived to be in danger outside their own domestic space, and to be dangerous to others if they roam unattended. Both children and public space suffer in consequence. Many children exist in a private cocoon of TV and video games, separated from other children, lacking the physical and emotional engagement which was once the norm. For adults, one of the pleasures of public space – the pleasure in watching the unselfconscious, exuberant games and even the dramatic emotional extremes of children at play – is significantly diminished. ... It was in this context that the London Borough of Camden developed a radical brief for a new adventure playground consisting of a play park with an activity centre to replace an existing Portakabin in a corner of Kilburn’s Grange Park..."

Great work

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anyone for rugby?

King Edward VII park, Willesden now has some tall goalposts suitable for rugby, Gaelic, Australian or American rules games. These are new goalposts, the soccer goalposts are still in place as well elsewhere in the park the soccer goalposts have been removed - presumably for the closed season (though women's soccer is taking place during the summer).

Willesden Herald 10 feelgood music videos playlist

This playlist has been specially selected for us by Father Hardiman, ably assisted by Mrs Haverty.*

* Mrs Haverty's moral right to be identified as ably assisting this has been identified. "This means you, Mrs Coffey". Ed

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interview with Mary O'Shea

Book giveaway and interview:
Willesden Herald New Short Stories 5 « Lane7

An interesting, lively interview and a chance to win the Willesden Herald collection of the 12 best stories of 2011

Guest party playlist by nonatomicbeat

If you're sick of the Willesden Herald's gaudy selections, here are some fresh airs. (See list)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stick your ebooks


Re: Amazon and Waterstones report downloads eclipsing printed book sales (Guardian)

Apart from the low pricing - the bestselling "ebook" cited is 49p to download - one factor not mentioned is that because these are online booksellers, it is natural for electronic books to be their default product. You probably could not get "an eBook for your Kindle"* from a high street bookshop. So it's not surprising when they find that electronic downloads are overtaking their sales of real books.

For high street bookshops, presumably ebook sales are zero. So if the electronic sites go over more to ebook sales, it might indirectly help traditional bookshops. Unfortunately, Amazon has the power like supermarkets to buy the market and force small local competitors out of business. But real books are not going to go away, ever. The sort of things being offered now are like the early digital watches: a backward step for the sake of technology, masquerading as progress.

People may be downloading cheap or free ebooks (though free ones are not included in the statistics above) but I have yet to hear convincing reports of anyone enjoying the reading experience with them. Reading is not something like laundry that has to be done as a chore where mechanisation is a help and a relief. It's a specific respite from technobabble, gadgets and the flim-flam of workaday life.

You can bet your life that people will always want to take a glass of wine or a cup of coffee (not delivered via a throwaway injector direct into the veins), a book and a part of their own day to devote to the mindful pursuit of reading a book.

Empanada Solero, Chiswick

* I think it is unlikely that any medium with such ugly words associated ("ebook" and "kindle" - as a device) will last. [Ed]

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Willesden Herald alternative Eurovision playlist

So far: Russia, Portugal, France, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom. More to follow. 

If you have suggestions for other countries, please add to the comments below and maybe they can go into the playlist. Thanks. Ed

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The rapture rap

It falls to the Willy to commemorate the latest landmark in the annals of religious stupidity with this specially composed rap warning about the man from Mars...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Steve's 10 tracks NOT to slash your wrists by

Apparently there is an album called "Tracks to slash your wrists by". So why not an opposing list?

1. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
You don't have to be tall

2. Eloise - Paul and Barry Ryan
You don't have to be cool

3. My Perfect Cousin* - The Undertones
You don't have to be intelligent

4. Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces
You don't have to be able to dance

5. Anthem - Leonard Cohen
You don't have to be cheerful

6. Angel Flyin' Too Close to the Ground - Willie Nelson and Shelby Lynne
You don't have to be with someone

7. For My Lover - Tracy Chapman
You don't have to be sane

8. The Harder they Come - Jimmy Cliff
You don't have to be rich

9. I Dreamed A Dream* - Susan Boyle
You don't have to be young and beautiful

10. Baby I Need Your Lovin' - The Four Tops
The defence rests

Steve Moran

* These ones are skipped in the playlist but you can view them by clicking the separate links.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playlist for the Queen's visit to Ireland

They're making Auntie Liz and Uncle Phil sit through Westlife tonight. By way of reparation for that atrocity, here's an alternative virtual Irish concert.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Around Willesden stadium


It really is dry here, the ground is like concrete and most of the grass looks dead.

This will give you an idea of what that expanse of ground looks like up close. It has been even drier but there was a little rain over the last few days. The pictures were taken beside Willesden Sports Centre car park with Capital City Academy in the background. The playing fields still have lush grass, so perhaps it is just a local drainage issue of some sort.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Announcing the next short story competition

New short stories by Roddy Doyle
The short story competition will reopen on September 1, 2011.

With a silly mixture of being gobsmacked, proud and humble all at the same time this is to let you know that the judge for 2011-12 will be none other than the great Roddy Doyle. So please start weaving more stories ready for when the submissions window opens.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Street shopping / "Freecycle"

If you're short of money, you can furnish a flat and get toys for your kids from the stuff left out by others. Here are a couple of items spotted on a walk this evening.

High chair, Bryan Avenue

Last Christmas, there were three bikes for various ages from toddler up, left outside one place. Keep an eye on this blog if you're stuck next Christmas. Furniture is quite commonplace but of course you need a big enough car or van to take it away.

Sideboard, Chambers Lane

This is quite a nice piece of furniture. It's a little roughed up in its move to the street but it's very sound otherwise. The handles and stained glass are all present and correct. It's nice wood too, not chipboard or anything like that, drawers and doors open nicely, put together with dovetail joints, clean inside. Outside is getting a bit dirty in the street and the back is bent out of place but surely fixable, no? It's better than the equivalent in your reporter's house at present!

Nick Grimes

Willesden sports centre

Nearly a panorama

Monday, May 09, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011