Monday, January 24, 2011


I've been desperately neglecting my writing and this blog in favour of this. I'll start writing again soon but until then, here's some food for thought...

(I'm a fiend for seeing pics like this and saving, no idea where they're from exactly but all robbed from other blogs around the interweb. If you should be credited let me know....) 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anonymous Online

Taking inspiration from Belle de Jour, RIH explores the world of anonymously penned blogs and their mysterious authors…

Belle de Jour’s blog, detailing her life as a high-class call girl, became a widespread sensation due to its controversial content and the mystery surrounding its author. Diary of a London Call Girl went from online blog to published bestseller and popular TV series, yet the blogger behind it all was unknown – even to her literary agent for six whole years.

Whilst Belle de Jour is one of the more famous examples of anonymous bloggers, there are many more unidentified bloggers in the blogosphere writing about everything from sex to sandwiches with varying degrees of popularity and anonymity. The reasons that these bloggers choose to stay anonymous are as varied as their blogs.

For some, it gives them a place to openly express their opinions. For others, it can build mystique or simply keep them entertained. Having maintained her anonymity for six years, Belle chose to reveal her identity via an interview with The Times newspaper citing a desire to stop hiding and a vindictive ex-boyfriend as her reasons for coming clean, but other bloggers haven’t always been so forthcoming…

Sex Sells

Belle might have been one of the first prolific sex bloggers, but there are plenty of contenders for her crown now that she no longer blogs.

Girl With a One-Track Mind intended to remain anonymous, and although aware of Belle de Jour’s notoriety, she presumed that that no one would be interested in the sex life of a non prostitute. Unfortunately for her, public appetite for unmasking sex bloggers was at a high when her first book was published under a pseudonym. Whilst some of the more gripping blog entries relate to how her life changed after she was unwillingly revealed, she has continued with her blog (although this may be due to necessity as she claims that she can’t get hired within her previous field following the revelations).

Sex at Oxbridge chronicles the life of a student at either Oxford or Cambridge University and, yes you’ve guessed it, her sex life. These brief details and just a few entries were all it took for her to become notorious, and so far, she’s managed to keep her anonymity underwraps.


We’ve all moaned about work but some people have picked a more public forum to air their views.

For anyone who’s ever been a waiter or been served by one, Waiter Rant – with its posts about rude customers, bad tippers and random conversations – is well worth a visit. Initially authored anonymously by ‘The Waiter’, Steve Dublanica eventually revealed his identity when he landed a publishing deal.

Billed as a blog containing ‘Observations and opinions on fashion, lifestyle trends and popular culture from an anonymous fashion insider’, Disney Roller Girl provides a glimpse into the world of fashion that may disappoint those expecting scandalous revelations. Instead you’ll find intelligent musings on the business of fashion, the latest trends and industry events.

‘XO XO Gossip Girl’

Gossip Girl might make it look glamorous but the reality behind gossiping in the blogosphere doesn’t always follow the same script…

In August 2008, a blog was created on Google titled Skanks in New York containing insults directed at Canadian model Liskula Cohen. These insults were supplemented by photos of the model with degrading captions. All entries were created by an anonymous user and in her effort to find out who created the blog and prevent further posting, Cohen sued Google citing defamation. Following a court order, Rosemary Port – an acquaintance of Cohen’s – was exposed as the blogger, motivated by a personal grudge against Cohen. The saga continued with Port claiming that she would sue Google for revealing her identity…

A lesson for anonymous bloggers everywhere, you may not be anonymous forever and what price will you pay for your posts? Or should that be, what price can you charge for your posts?

Monday, September 13, 2010


A one-stop-culture-shop, offering an edit of products currently available from leading museum shops, galleries, artists and designers.

Okay, I admit it. I am a complete philistine. But surely I’m not the only one who leaves museums craving some quirky something or other I saw in the gift shop rather than a tasteful piece of art to hang on my walls… Am I?

I used to think I was alone. But now I’ve seen the light. No, I haven’t joined some ‘Museum Gift Shop Addicts Anonymous’ group. I’ve been introduced to the wonderful world of Culture Label so I can indulge my love for museum shop goodies whilst presenting an intelligent and cultured facade inside museum walls.

Culture Label is an online store showcasing an edit of the products currently available from over 70 museum shops, galleries, artists and cultural institutions around the world. Among those whose products feature are the Tate, the V&A Museum, the Saatchi Gallery and Tatty Devine, to name but a few. The unique and fabulous products featured in their online store encompass everything from women’s fashion to children’s toys.

Their mission is to plant ‘cultural shopping’ in the mind of every consumer looking to find that perfect purchase. I don’t know if I’ve found my ideal purchase yet, but I certainly plan to have fun trying! Here’s a selection of my favourites to give you a taster of what awaits;

Philip Treacy's limited edition deckchair; A solar-powered waving Queen Liz; David Shrigly's unorthodox salt and pepper shakers; A reproduction old-school telephone from The Imperial War Museum; Special 'Wake Me Up' signs for the London Underground
However, momentarily putting shopping aside, Culture Label is an enterprise with a mission. The discrepancy between audience expectations and allocated budgets in these straitened times is an unfortunate reality which cannot always be filled by funding and sponsorship. To fulfil audience needs, museums and arts organisations need to generate income. By creating a platform through which museums can increase their income, Culture Label is also providing an excellent public service. For example, in just six months, they managed to double the Museum of London’s sales by 50%. Having begun life as a retail platform, Culture Label also supports arts organisations trying to generate income and plans to extend into areas such as mobile apps for those who can’t reach exhibitions and e-tickets whilst continuing to develop revenue streams for the UK arts sector.

So, shop away with your conscience clear! You’ll never visit a museum shop again. Although… I see the Caixa Forum in Madrid isn’t featured. Now there’s a museum shop – I mean museum – that’s worth a visit!

Find out more on the CultureLabel site. You can also find out the latest news on the CL blog and follow Culture Label on Twitter @CultureLabel.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ray Ban 'Never Hide' campaign (launched Spring / Summer 2007)

Big Fan. Huge. Love it.
Yup I’m that easy - an attention grabbing photo with a quirky caption and you have me at hello.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

14/4/10: Quirky Madrid

Visiting Madrid but sick of following those well-worn paths to the same old tourist traps? Here’s our alternative guide to the off-kilter gems of this one-of-a-kind city.

Visiting Madrid but sick of following those well-worn paths to the same old tourist traps? Every guidebook you read will mention the art museums, the palace, the bull ring and the tapas restaurant that only absolutely everyone visiting the city will know about, but what about the sights that make it truly unique? Here’s our alternative guide to the off-kilter gems of this one-of-a-kind city.

The turtles in Atocha train station

 Atocha Station's Tropical Garden

(Almost) as good as going to the Madrid Zoo, the oldest part of the city’s Atocha train station has been provided with an indoor tropical garden and nature habitat following its redesign by architect Rafael Moneo. At the front of this garden area there’s a pool which is filled to the brim with turtles swimming in the water, crawling on the rocks, or more often than not sitting extremely – almost disturbingly – still. Whilst their health is frequently debated (you may find yourself wondering if some of them might in fact be, well, dead) this hasn’t stopped people gathering to observe them whilst waiting for their trains.

Apparently all the turtles in the pond have been brought there by the people of the city so whilst this could be a case of ‘a turtle’s for life, but someone else can take care of it after Christmas’ it has, at least, provided otherwise neglected turtles with an alternative habitat in this landlocked city.

Chamberí Metro Musuem

Olde Worlde charm at the Chamberí metro station

Or as you might be tempted to call it: the ghost station. Located on metro line 1 between the Bilbao and Iglesia stations, the Chamberí metro station closed in 1966 when the Ministry of Public Works realised they couldn’t modify the platform to accommodate modernised trains. It fell into disrepair and then decay though the track that ran through it was maintained because of its position on the metro line.

In 2008, 42 years after its closure, the station reopened as a public museum designed in the style of the train stations of old to commemorate the metro’s past.  Entry is free and the station is open from 11am every day except Mondays. Whilst by no means a large place (the majority of the museum lies along the platform), it’s full of character, with old-style advertisements and original features giving visitors the curious sensation of being separated from reality and out of sync with the modern world. As the trains that whizz past get only a fleeting look at the station hopefully someone is looking out wondering if they just imagined you….

Cine Doré

Another restored gem of the city is the Cine Doré, one of Madrid’s first cinemas and still where the Spanish National Film Library’s archives are screened. Its three screens offer an eclectic line-up of films in their original language as well as seasons dedicated to a specific director or film movement.

The beautifully maintained main auditorium, with its connected cafe and bookstore, is the best place to experience the theatre but its rooftop bar comes a close second – outdoor screenings are held here throughout the summer.

The cinema’s website is updated monthly with their programme; film tickets cost less than three euros.

The ‘Heavies’ of Gran Vía
Punk rockers and 'political activists' (!) Emilio and José

Madrid’s principal street Gran Vía is celebrating 100 years of existence this year but nothing on this famous street has made a deeper impression, locally at least, than the infamous ‘Heavies of Gran Vía’.

The 41-year-old twin brothers Emilio and José Alcázar have dedicated the past five years to standing outside the Bershka clothing store on Gran Vía every evening. Why you ask? Well, Bershka occupies the site where their favourite hangout, music store Madrid Rock, used to be. To keep the memory of the store alive they spend every day on the pavement outside the entrance. Think David engaging in a benign protest against the global Goliaths of homogenisation – in this case Spanish clothing chain Inditex – and you’ve got the idea.

Now as much a part of the landscape as the famous Schweppes sign that looms nearby, the brothers have a facebook fan page and Madrid tourism are asking for tourists’ pictures with the brothers via their social networking sites. Weird yet wonderful, and only in España!