Sunday, 31 August 2008

Say 'Ackee & Saltfish'

I'm not really one for getting all blurry eyed about weddings, but last weekend was an exception. The reason why? Well one of my bestest friend's (yes, that is a legitimate word in my world) tied the knot with her beau, and for me, it was if our lives had formed a full circle. Sitting at the reception listening to the obligatory speeches, the prevailing image that sprung to my mind was of me and my mate Nads sitting on the floor of my flat on a Saturday night, downing a bottle of Stones Jamaican Ginger Wine, while singing the single girl blues. "Keysh" she'd cry, "Are we ever gonna find anyone who’d want to date us, much less marry us?" Well the way things are looking at the moment Puds I really can't see it" I'd respond, revelling in self-pity. This episode which happened around seven years ago serves as a reminder that although we often can't see it at the time, our life circumstances are ever-changing. Interestingly enough, it has also highlighted the fact that being coupled up is not the be all and end all of a woman's existence (damn you fairy tales for filling the minds of little girls with all that knight in shining armour nonsense). Am I happier? Yes, I'd like to think so. But in no shape or form have my problems dissipated, they've simply changed formation. Whereas back in the day I'd spend many a tear filled lonely Saturday night fearing that I'd end up an old spinster. Now I expend those hours worrying about the fact that Rich and I are struggling to get on the property ladder in an economic climate that is severely depressing. Or failing that I fret about Khy’s entry into the school system next year - will he get into a decent school? If not, will this signal his plummet into teen violence, gangs, and all the scare mongering stories we read about in the Daily Express on a regular basis? Gosh, my list is endless, but for now it’s not about me, it’s about my dear newlywed friends. Congratulations my darlings, you made my day. 

Friday, 29 August 2008

Prepare to crash land


Am I the only one looking forward to the new 1TV2 reality show - CelebAir? The idea is to get a bunch of cough, cough "celebrities" to train as Air Stewardesses working on the ground and onboard an actual plane to battle it out to see who will be the ultimate hostess with the mostess. Sounds absolutely dreadful doesn't it?  In the most spectacular 'let's pull for the oxygen mask' kind of way. Which is exactly why I'll be watching come next Tuesday. The show will be hosted by Angelica Bell, and confirmed contestants include Chico from X-Factor, Tamara Beckwith, Lisa Scott Lee, Lisa Mafia, and  Mica Paris. Now Mica, why? How does the owner of one of the most amazing set of pipes this side of the Atlantic end up being a camped up trolley dolly, even if it is merely for entertaiment purposes? But alas, that is the cruel nature of the music industry, they swallow you up and then spit you out. I ain't mad at ya Meesh, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. So make mine a Pimms with lemonade luvvie!



Thursday, 28 August 2008

Pride's September issue


New issue in stores today. The issue is dedicated to careers and features Erkyah Badu on the cover rocking a seriously delicious Afro - loves it! 

Estelle begs America: Pretty Please (Love Me)



On September 12th Estelle releases the forth single from her Mercury award nominated album 'Shine'. 'Pretty Please (Love Me)' is a sixties inspired ditty produced by none other than Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley fame. Check out my girl doing her thing in the video promo. The swinging sixties homage has also been captured in the video via the styling (loving the lime green top and  cream pants), as well as the Motown-esq recording studio set up. Rumour has it that the album isn't doing as well in the US as it is in Europe, which is quite surprising considering the amount of publicity the West Londoner is receiving across the pond . Now come on guys, support the cause. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hey it's me, you know, the wotless blogger!



Okay, okay so I'm guilty yet again of letting the pressure of  work deadlines get to me, hence my lack of online presence. It sucker punches me every month. Despite my best intentions, meticulous planning, and initial positive mental attitude,  around the 2nd week of every month you can almost guarantee that I will revert into a sweaty, jittery, bad tempered, mess. Poor Rich. I don't know how he manages to put up with me. I could go into the myriad of reasons why my work life is so routinely chaotic, which basically boils down to mis-management, but I'll leave that for another post. 

So what have I been up to? Well the last time I posted which I believe was on Saturday the 16th August,  I arrived home following a hair appointment from hell,  when my hairdresser proceeded to chop off two inches of my hair much to my horror. Inside I felt like one of those snivelling, snotty nosed, hysterical black girls on America's Next Top Model during makeover week, as I sat in the leather swivel chair watching my locks fall by the wayside. Instantly I went from being a giggling, self-righteous onlooker to a fully certified of said sorority. But I had to firm it. I felt too shame to put on the water-works so  had to fake an half arse smile through gritted teeth instead. So a welcome distraction from my hair-horrifics when I returned home was Usain Bolt's remarkable 100 win at the Beijing Olympics.  And from that day I went Olympics crazy and was hooked. I basically didn't want to leave my house. Jamaica did me proud as I predicted with sterling efforts from Bolt, Veronica Campbell (winner of 200m), Shelly Ann Fraser (winner of 100m), Melaine Walker (winner of 400 m hurdles) and the Jamaican 4x4 men's 100 m relay team. There's been much speculation as to how a small island of less than 3 million can churn out such world class talent, but Shelly Ann couldn't have put it better when she remarked during her BBC post race interview "Ah di yam and banana produce di top three". She's so right. Plus of course the efforts of the fantastic Jamaican coaches who are instilling the ethics of discipline, hard work, and self belief in their young proteges and the world is finally seeing the results. Roll on 2012.

So the Olympics ended and I decided that maybe I need to get a bit of a life. Signal last weekend when after much dossing out on the sofa I reluctantly agreed to get my glad rags on and head down to Amplified for their third installment of the hugely popular Prince VS Michael Jackson musical showdown. It was a lovely night although the Prince selector could have destroyed MJ in the slow jam round... Huh? Didn't get it. 'The Most Beautiful Girl in the World'? What about 'Adore', 'Ssh' or 'If I was Your Girlfriend'?N'eer mind, a fun night was had by all and everything was in good spirits. Above are a few pics from the night. And if you want to find out about future Amplified events visit www.amplified-online.co.uk

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Fastest Man in the World!

Bolt of Lightning in Beijing

Who's been watching the Olympics? To be honest I've barely been tuning in due to the time difference. But this should all change today due to the fact that my favourite event - track in field - is now in full swing. About this time during the tournament my every move is planned according to the sprinting schedule. Oh yeah, and at this stage I also tend to reject my British-ness and embrace my Jamo roots to the maximum. 

With this current world class Jamaican squad, can you really blame me? I sat and watched 22 year old Usain Bolt complete his 100 heats in 9.92 seconds yesterday with great finesse. The cocky so and so even had the cheek to ease off during the final couple of yards. If he continues to perform this way during the next round, he should nab the Gold, but with the 100m final you never can tell.  One shouldn't rule out fellow-Jamaican, Asafa Powell who was in the same position as Bolt in the last Olympics but buckled under pressure during the final. And Tyson Gay is much more experienced than both of his Jamaican rivals, and the Yanks tend to have nerves of steel when under the kosh. The finals take place today, may the best man win. 

Side-note: For a fascinating look at why so many world class sprinters tend to be of Caribbean or African American heritage cop a look at Colin Jackson's documentary The Making of Me which aired on BBC1 recently. And Check out Usain's 'stroll on the track' below for a piece of sprinting magic. 


You Dunn Know

If you've yet to peek the pics of Jourdan Dunn in the current issue of i-D mag, then  here are a few snaps. Dodgy fringe aside, I think she looks lubbly...










 

Friday, 1 August 2008

Back to UK Blak


Any child of the 80's will remember Jaki Graham. Big hair, an even bigger smile, with a lovable Brummie accent, she was a frequent presence on the pop charts with her easy breezy soul ditties such as ‘Mated’, ‘Round and Round’ and ‘Breaking Away’. Then in 1986 we noticed a sudden change. Ditching the girl next door image in favour of red lips and red latex, a more seemingly confident Jaki emerged in the video for her single ‘Set Me Free’. And what a choon it was… well at least it seemed that way at the time. Okay, so in essence it was incredibly cheesy, and what I mistook for confidence now screams awkwardness and slight desperation. But nonetheless Ms Graham we salute you being one of the most successful black female vocalists this country has produced, paving the way for the Mica's, Gabrielle's and Beverley Knight's of this world. 


It’s so interesting to look back and watch the likes of Jaki perform and note how different they are to today’s crop of singers who seem so at ease with the whole concept of celebrity. It’s quite heart-warming to see how unsure and vulnerable she looks, almost as if she stumbled accidentally into stardom, opposed to plotting and planning every step to red carpet and MTV glory since the age of 5. *Sigh*. Oh how I miss the eighties, we all seemed so innocent then. 
 

Def Comedy heads to Blighty


After years of watching fuzzy copies of ‘Def Comedy Jam' borrowed from friends who picked up bootleg copies from places like 125th Street in Harlem, the popular comedy show heads to the UK for the first time. Def Comedy Jam is responsible for launching the careers of many comedians we know and love today including Dave Chapelle, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac and Chris Tucker.

 Rap mogul Russell Simmons, who created the show, is scheduled to come along for the trip to introduce his new breed of comedy stars, which includes Patrice O’Neal, Capone and Tony Roberts. In traditional fashion, tracks will be spun by popular New York, DJ, Kid Capri. The hip-hop pioneer says, “Def Comedy Jam has introduced some of the greatest urban comics to the American audience. I’m proud to discover talented, new comedians who are ready to take the next step in their careers. The comedians we’re bringing to London are my favorites. I promise you, they will blow the house down!”
 
Judging by the popularity of comedy events in the UK I’m inclined to agree. The tour will commence in Manchester on Tuesday 16th September, followed by a date in Birmingham on the 17th, winding down at the Brixton Academy on September 20th. Tickets are priced at £33.50 for regional dates and £34.50 for the London date. Visit www.livenation.co.uk for further details.

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.