Authenticity and validity of voice; thoughts about “The Last Whites Of The East End” and Newham

Last night BBC1 broadcast the documentary “The Last Whites Of The East End”, focusing on the London Borough of Newham where I’ve lived for the last few years. The central premise of the documentary was “…the decline of the traditional cockney in a borough with the lowest white British population of anywhere in the country”. Pre-broadcast coverage had been eagerly picked up by right leaning tabloids in the UK and by right-wing websites across Europe and the US as that premise rather neatly fits into a common narrative where white natives are characterised as an oppressed minority. Continue reading

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Just Around The Corner, Atlanta Georgia, USA.

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I reckon I can just about recall the best burger I’ve ever tasted. It hadn’t thought about it until this week, but when my mind turned over its recollection, I could remember it precisely; March 1992, Atlanta, Georgia. I’d just … Continue reading

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Yokel D-I-Y: Top 5 Painting Tips

Painting. Probably the first – perhaps only – DIY task that most of ever take on in our homes. Yet it is one that we all think that we can do innately without any prior forethought or planning, to the point where the very concept of it being a profession that we might hire seems ludicrous. Well, the joke’s on us and that’s why professional painters and decorators secretly hate us and our amateur daubings. I’ve been painting in my own, typically shambolic fashion for over 15 years and here’s what I have learned the hard way (it’s a list because, y’know lists) Continue reading

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How We’re All Starring In Downton Abbey Now

So last night in one of my trademark streams of barely comprehensible bile I Rage-Tweeted;

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Yokel D-I-Y: Plastering. Is. Hell.

There’s no easy way to say this; we fought plastering and plastering won. Of all the tasks that we’ve either attempted or become reacquainted with, plastering is probably the most soul destroying, back breaking, time sapping and catastrophically messy one on the list and thank god it is over. There are some plus points and lessons learned though; mainly around knowing your limits.

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Yokel Plumbing; Copper Pipe and Compression Fittings

I was never a fan of Mario particularly; I was always more of a Sega boy myself. If it came to a straight out fight, I reckon the combination of Sonic & Tails could happily see off Mario and his idiot brother any time. Despite that, I’ve enjoyed the process of learning basic plumbing, from the laying of kitchen drainage I recently wrote about, to the more involved art of copper pipework that I’ll discuss in this post. Plus you get to use chunky tools too, which is always a bonus. And you don’t need to grow any form of moustache, unless you really want to (knock yourself out, it’ll neither help nor hinder progress).

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Yokel D-I-Y Heroes: No.1 PVA

I suspect – 7 months in to this project – that you can estimate how big a period restoration anyone has undertaken, by simply asking them how much PVA they’ve got through. Additional questions include “How much horsehair have you ingested to date?” or “How often – on a daily basis – do you now pick your nose?”. All three questions point to the same basic premise; the walls of old houses can be tricky beasts to tame (and generate a load of dust when fixing).

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