Sunday Papers Live

A Sunday with absolutely no plans is my idea of heaven. It is a day spent lounging, reading the papers, listening to Radio 4, eating a decadent lunch and if I can face it, a walk. So, imagine my absolute delight upon discovering that this perfect Sunday existed outside of my house. Even better than that, imagine it being within a three minute walk of my house! Last Sunday I no longer had to imagine but simply enjoy, thanks to the genius’ behind Sunday Papers Live.

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Held at the beautiful Cecil Sharp House, SPL (as I shall refer to it) is an all day event in which each section of the broadsheets is presented by a speaker, with the stunning hall decked out as an oversized living room filled with sofas, cushions and blankets. I would recommend coming early if you want to snag the perfect (and most comfortable) seat.

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The hilarious Steve Cross acted as compere for the day, ensuring all speakers were welcomed to stage with rapturous applause. Robert Rowland Smith  presented his psychoanalysis of ‘The Donald’, concluding that what he seems to lack is the super ego. Robert also led the philosophy walk, a gentle gander to Primrose Hill, where we stood and discussed everything from Socrates to gender equality, to stress, which I learnt is simply ‘the inability to adapt’.

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Bruce Parry covered the travel section, with a fascinating talk about his discoveries of other cultures, particularly egalitarian tribes. He admitted to everyones amusement that his first screen tests were terrible, informing the crowd that being told to ‘act natural’ produced the exact opposite.

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Interspersed between the speakers were the fantastic Sons and Sons, in charge of the crossword. This was no normal crossword, as on our papers there were no clues. Instead the clues are acted out on stage by the comedy pair. Upon completing the crossword, participants are encouraged to run directly to the stage, paper in hand, for the chance to win a prize. I can honestly say I haven’t moved that fast for a longtime. Sadly I was not victorious.

Naturally, this being my new perfect Sunday, it had to contain two of my favourite things, booze and food. These were both in generous supply from Bloodshot Vodka who make a mean Bloody Mary and award winning chef Tom Hunt serving plates of slow roasted lamb shoulder and vegetables spiced with dukkah, barberries and chermoula. There is a dining room at SPL, however we ate at our seats, not wanting to miss out on a minute of the action.

State of The Nation was described as ‘Question Time meets Cage Fighting’ and it did not disappoint. The audience yells out topics / current affairs questions and the selection of panellists each have a few minutes to stand on stage and talk. By far my highlight on the panel was John Sweeny (alongside his dog Bertie) admitting he was too pissed to be on stage whilst making very valid points about utilising the right to vote.

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After we had calmed down from all this excitement, there was a pub quiz hosted by Sons and Sons. We managed to cobble together a team, including a man my sister had met at the bar and a couple who happened to be sat at our chosen table for the quiz. We were absolutely disastrous. Coming in third place, we were offered redemption and extra points in a game of egg drop. I would like to add at this moment, five extra points were on offer, however our team managed to convince the host to make it ten. Stacy (my new best friend and team mate) ran to a table with all assortments of ‘pieces of crap’ and wrapped our egg in foam tubing with two balloons on either side. This egg drop was our only chance of victory. All the teams went outside and I stood with our precious egg on the balcony, hoping as I let it drop. To our amazement (and the irritation of the other teams) our egg survived the drop and we won the quiz, proving that street smarts really do trump intellect when it comes to the most ridiculous of quizzes.

Sadly, I will have to wait until September for my next perfect Sunday out but until then I guess my living room will have to.

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“Say it loud, say it clear”…

Last night I joined thousands of Londoners to protest Theresa May’s lack of condemnation of President Trump’s Muslim Ban. I met a group of friends and together we bundled into the crowd. The atmosphere was electric, from the more humorous chanting “You can’t build a wall / Your hands are two small!” to the less “Shame on you Theresa May!”  as well as witnessing all types of people coming together to stand for what they believe in.

I am not a hugely political person but I do believe that no person should be singled out for any reason based on his or her sexuality, race or gender; that is why I felt compelled to join in.

The world stage feels like a chaotic mess right now, but huddled in the cold, chanting and talking to everyone around me, my gaze and camera only being met with smiles made everything feel a little less overwhelming for a second. I have to confess I didn’t take a huge amount of pictures as I struggle between the need to document and the desire to experience what is happening in the present moment. However, here are my favourites and if you wish to see more, I recommend checking out the Facebook page  for the event where lots of wonderful photographers have added their images.

 

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London Shell Co. A Day In The Life

 

I met Harry and Leah on a beautiful summers day at a friend’s lunch. They burst in like a whirlwind with a bag of fresh oysters and more Riesling than I thought humanly possible to drink. Between shucking and drinking, they told us about their plan to open a pop-up restaurant on a boat, serving seafood paired with wine. Being an unashamed opportunist, I told them if they ever needed pictures taken, I was their girl.

Two boats and many evenings later they have found a home aboard the Prince Regent and I cannot recommend a more delicious or fun experience. I have shot for them on many occasions but my all time favourite was spending the day documenting every detail. Armed with my trusty Bronica, we set off to Billingsgate at some ungodly hour in the morning. We spoke to fishmongers, drank cups of tea and ate bacon sarnies. We bombed it back in the van to the boat where chef Tim prepared for the lunch service. At lunch excited diners embarked, ate and drank to their hearts content as we floated along the canal. We docked back in Camden and after the last tipsy guest left I took a portrait of this amazing brother and sister team, beaming with pride at their well-deserved achievement.

So I strongly recommend that after reading my post you visit https://www.londonshellco.com and book in for an unforgettable experience.

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