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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brent Council upside down sign

doɥs doʇs əuo, Brent Council Reception, Brent House
I can only assume that this is Brent Council's one stop shop sign for people who walk on their hands.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kensal Rise Library planning - last day for comments

From the Friends of Kensal Rise Library

Last update before planning comments close......

1. Thank you to all of you that have contacted Brent planning expressing your support for FKRL and those who have signed letters of support.
To those of you who have not yet sent your comments you have until the end of Monday 28th April to do so.
The link is:

For the best chance of retaining a library for the community, FKRL are supporting the application in the following way by stating:
Support planning application 14/0846
I give my support re Planning Application 14/0846:
1. For D1 community library and space
2. For FKRL to be tenants of the space
You can do the same and add your own words.

3. We have had emails of support from councillors from all three wards surrounding the library, Brondesbury, Kensal Green and Queens Park. Thank you to all those councillors for your support.
We have had a further email of support from Maggie Gee and her husband Nick Rankin who earlier in the week sent a statement of support. Both supporters and campaigners for the library since 1988. Thank you both for keeping Kensal Rise in your hearts.

4. We have also had support from Marika Giles Samson who some of you may remember was a very active campaigner until her move to Canada - and here is an excerpt:

Does anyone genuinely believe that FKRL has not done all that they have other than for the benefit of the community that they love? Does anyone really think that the decision that we are asked to support is motivated by anything other than a genuine  belief that it is in the best interest of the community? As far as I am concerned, the trustees of FKRL and the members of the campaign have earned all the credibility that they need to make this decision on the community’s behalf. We have no reason not to trust them, and every reason to support them.
Marika Giles Samson
Montréal, Canada
Formerly of 35 Bathust Gardens

5. Yes we have had to compromise but we are hoping that we will manage to have 2/3 of the ground floor (which is about 66% of the previous library space for those of you that like figures).

6. Looking forward to the day when our energies can go into planning an actual library and community space.

Regards and many thanks to the most important support of all - the residents of Kensal Rise and Kensal Green.

Margaret Bailey

Friends of Kensal Rise Library

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playlist for the results event

View from the back at the results event/launch

British Pathé's entire newsreel archive online

This is just one of nearly 90,000 newsreel films, recently uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé. It shows the aftermath of a V1 bomb attack in Walthamstow, 1944. This one is silent, unlike most of the films (I think).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Obama plays football with a robot

They also chat and the robot runs around and even hops on one foot. It's quite amazing. Afterwards he says the robots were "a little scary".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And finally...the skiing rabbit

The 2014 competition results and book launch event took place on April 16th in Brent Artists Resource Gallery. There are no plans for any further competitions at this time. Thanks to everyone who took part, sponsored and helped out over the years.

Competition accounts 2013-14

I want to make this quick, so I'm only going to use round figures here. The accounts are submitted in detail to the IRS as part of my trading company Object Tree Ltd.

The entry fee was £6 this year and all went through Submittable .com, which takes about a dollar per entry. I created the Southernmost Point poetry collection out of the proceeds of the competition, as well as the competition anthology New Short Stories 8. There were 381 entries, resulting in an income of just under £2,000 plus sales of books at the event of £70. Out of that take cash prizes £600, and two books including copies for authors and contributors, which came out at approx £400 each, all told. That's £1400 roughly accounted for. I also paid for my web server, which hosts the websites for Willesden Herald and New Short Stories, out of the money; that's another £270 (Webfusion VPS starter pack annual price). That leaves us with £400. The venue was £45, wine/water/nibbles £65, leaving us with £290. Mugs and p&p take us down to about £200. Although we're in the black this year, this can be balanced against losses in previous years, I think. Only ever wanted to break even and it appears I have done so, or a little better. So that's that. :)

P.S. The accounts for 2012-13 were published in updates under the Kickstarter book project* for that year. Actually I see we were in the black then as well. So that's good. I've spent a fair bit on software that I use and plugins for the WordPress site, which I probably haven't counted, so there's not a lot in it either way. For example I use three plugins from WooCommerce to run the online bookshop and they cost about £20 each. Etc. You can find other previous years' accounts by clicking the accounts tag.


* Copy of relevant text from the Kickstarter project introduction and updates, for ease of access and in case Kickstarter archives it away:

From Kickstarter project description/introduction:

Here is why we need the money and for what it will be used. First of all a summary and then the detail. I should explain that even though we only really need £400, to get that £400 we have to raise £800 here to cover the cost of the rewards, i.e. the books and mugs, plus shipping. What will we do with the £400? It splits into about £200 to publish the book and £200 to fund the authors' five copies each. That's the summary, now for the detail.
Background 1, entry fees: We had 340 entries this year, at £3.00 making a total of £1020. Less 10% PayPal commission, that left £918. Less prizes, £600, left £318. [Correction 30/3/2013: 340 - 13 unpaid = 327 @ £3 making £981 - 10% = £883, less prizes £600 leaving £283.]
Background 2, website: There were a few incidental expenses but the main other one was when the website had to move to a new server and I paid a year in advance to get the cheaper rate. Even if we hadn't moved, the cost would have been about the same, but we had to "ante up". With the new server comes the latest version of PHP, enabling the rebuilt WordPress-based New Short Stories website. That took away another £200. Together with other incidental expenses - the prize mug etc, somehow or another we are now down to under £100 in the kitty. [Correction 30/3/2013: Have found the difference in 13 unpaid entries (see above). Kitty actually down to under £50.]
To publish the book is not all that expensive, in fact £200 covers what we do, (we set it up for print on demand), but there is also the small matter of 50 copies to send out, five to each of the contributors to the book, plus three more due to friends for helping with the competition. Now that plus postage eats up about £5.50 per book, at cost. There's £290+ right there.

From Kickstarter project updates, in case they archive that away

A rough calculation shows that about £640 + £50 for books for the launch (if and when - see below) has been used out of £830 that I got from Kickstarter after they took their commission. All the figures here are approximate. I just want to get an overview on here, as it makes me feel better about it. It's a big responsibility.
The way I get that total is as follows (all approximate figures, remember): Contributor, designer and judge copies (total 53): £220. Mugs (turned out expensive at about £15 including postage) 12 x 15: £180. Book setup and proof: £100. Individual books x 27 for backers, including postage to me and onward postage from here (very approx. - might be more after some of the distant addresses): £140. 
220 + 180 + 100 + 140 = £640. Plus about 50 for the extra 12 books I added for the launch = £690. 
830 - 690 = £140 left over.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And the mug goes to...

Willesden, April 16: Charles Lambert announced the prize-winning stories in 2014 Willesden Herald short story competition.

1st prize goes to:
Ward by Nick Holdstock

Equal runners-up:
Postman's Knock by Angela Sherlock
Such is her Power by Joan Brennan

Thanks to all who came to BAR Gallery this evening and to everyone who helped out with the event. Read all the stories in New Short Stories 8.

Last night at Brent Artists Resource Gallery

Friday, April 04, 2014

Willesden Herald best stories, 2014

Short stories by

Joan Brennan
Gina Challen
Nick Holdstock
CG Menon
Dan Powell
Jo Barker Scott
Angela Sherlock
Megan Taylor
Medina Tenour Whiteman
Lindsay Waller-Wilkinson


Recent pictures

Event at Polish supermarket, Greenford Road, March 29

Funderpark XL, 3-21 April, Ruislip HA4 9PQ

Quote of the day and book exchange, Sudbury Hill station

£10 rail sale, vintage clothes shop, Queens Parade, Walm Lane, NW2