Wednesday, August 31, 2011


243/365 Dirt
Originally uploaded by clogsilk.
Via Flickr:
I took the opportunity this lunchtime to catch the Dirt exhibition at the Wellcome Collection - I work about 5 minutes walk away, it's been on since 24th March, so of course I waited until its very last day before getting along there.

They don't allow photography inside so I had to make do with a snapshot taken at the entrance to the building - I love this chap suspended from the ceiling!

The exhibition claimed to uncover the filthy reality of everyday life and used the British anthropologist Mary Douglas's observation that dirt is defined by its context (There is no such thing as absolute dirt: it exists only in the eye of the beholder.) The exhibition looked at six different urban locations to explore the subject of dirt, its threat to our health but also its necessity for our existence.

I couldn't spend long there but managed to pootle round the whole thing - of course I spent far too long looking at Snow's map of cholera and some fantastic analysis of weekly deaths in London by William Farr (once a mortality stats geek always a mortality stats geek). Apart from the street, London 1854, the exhibition covered the home, Delft 1683, the hospital, Glasgow 1867, the museum, Dresden 1930, the community, New Delhi and Kolkata 2011, and the land, Staten Island 2030. Fascinating and challenging stuff.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love cake?

46/365 Love cake?
Originally uploaded by clogsilk.
Imagine if you were unable to touch or kiss your newborn baby. This is an ordeal thousands of families, whose child arrives too soon, too small or too sick, are forced to go through each year. Indeed, as readers of this blog will know, this was something I and my family went through when our son James was born at 33+6 weeks gestation.

But you can help. By baking and selling cupcakes, you’ll be raising funds to help support families during what can be a very lonely and frightening time, and to provide a brighter future for their babies.

Some facts and figures:

• There is a shortage of 1,150 nurses to care for the 70,000 babies in need of specialist hospital care in England. Less than a third of units have enough nurses to meet minimum standards.
• Neonatal units are working way above recommended occupancy levels meaning there is no safety net for peaks in the number of babies being admitted to units.
• Families of babies admitted to specialist hospital care face a crippling financial strain on top of the normal costs of having a new baby.
• Over half of parents face the prospect of not being able to stay near their baby in hospital due to a shortage of overnight rooms for families.

Cake A Difference is the annual fundraising initiative from Bliss, the special care baby charity. Bliss offers guidance and information at a critical time in families' lives, funds ground-breaking research and campaigns for babies to receive the best possible level of care regardless of when and where they are born. Cake A Difference 2011 takes place from 14-20 February 2011. For more ideas on how you can support Bliss contact katiaw {at}

Go ahead, bake my day!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cheers Boris!

Goodbye Charing Cross
Originally uploaded by clogsilk.
My daily fare into work went up by 16% for one route and 11% for the other today. And what a great service we get for it too! NOT!

Still at least I get to snap shots of the London Eye on the way home.

Worth a tenner a day?