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Blog archive: October 2006

Movie: “US versus John Lennon”


If you haven’t seen the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, make sure you do. If it’s the only film you go to see this year, go and see it. There isn’t any more important movie this year.

If you’ve seen that one, get ready for another documentary coming your way soon. There’s a new feature length documentary around town called ‘The US v. John Lennon’, and it’s a wonderful film, whether you’re a Lennon music fan or not. It’s an inspiring tale of another era, a story of a man who was absolutely re-writing the rules of what an artist and what a rock star can be. And at this time of conflict and crossroads, it’s just so timely to remember John and the anti-Vietnam movement.

Really superb archive footage of stuff like John and Yoko’s bed-ins and the wonderful people of America getting off their butts en masse and protesting at the White House. Excellent interviews with John’s widow, Yoko Ono, an inspiring artist in her own right, and an eloquent and moving source for all wisdom Lennonesque.

Listen, I’m an avid fan of online protest. I make MySpace friends with the right kind of people 24/7. But on-street protest – well, there’s nothing like it. The feeling of a real community on a march with a common vision is powerful stuff. And the impact of a million people in London’s Trafalgar Square in the 90′s actually turned around a major legal injustice, the Poll Tax.

So, go see. Especially if you’re too young to remember the sixties.

Green Drinks (with FREE cocktails!!!)

LA Green Drinks 2
LA Green Drinks 1

Green Drinks is an international network that was dreamed up by a Brit called Edwin Datschefski. There are Green Drinks meetings in 140 countries, from the UK to South Africa, Japan to Puerto Rico. In Britain, there are groups from Skegness to Tower Hamlets, from Stirling to Worthing, and everywhere in between.

It’s a totally brilliant concept. Get ye down to the pub with a bunch of like-minded eco-friendly souls, et voila! We network, we mingle, we find swap tips on how to make this a better world. Go see www.greendrinks.org for your local group.

I’ve just come home from LA Green Drinks, a fortnightly gathering of the great and good from LA’s eco-conscious community.

In the photo on the left you can see a very sweet lady called Nicole Bassett giggling at the camera. She is all about sustainable business practice, and is about to hear from a major organic fashion label about working with them on their corporate sustainability profile. Check out her brand new audio podcasts web site at sustainabilityinreview.com Barent Roth is the man in black standing by her side. He’s the Industrial Design Prinicipal at a seriously progressive sustainable design company grow-design.com

In the photo on the right, I’m with Jeff Hayes, a far-visioned guy who co-runs the-vector-group.com with his dad, and a corporate manager called Elizabeth Zampolli who helps run the LA chapter of Green Drinks.

And what’s more…. the bar where we met last night was celebrating its fourth birthday, so all the drinks were on the house! I cannot guarantee that will be the case at the next meeting in your area, but with that carrot alone, it’s certainly worth your while checking it out.

Raw food people come to town

Gela & Jimmy

Angela Stokes came to town this week with an American raw foodie chap called Jimmy. Angela (or Gela as most people call her) is a bit of a celebrity in the raw food world. She’s a British gal who’s written a couple of very successful self-published books about losing weight by eating a raw vegan diet. She’s currently on a book promotion tour of America, and is going down a storm. California is a serious hot spot for raw food officianados, whether they’re raw food vegans like Gela, or (perhaps a little scarily) raw food omnivores, like a chap I met up in Berkeley who was into eating raw fermented liver (don’t try this at home, whatever you do!!!).

To be honest, raw food diets are not my cup of tea, as you may well know from reading my many (cooked) recipes. I am a big fan of eating everything that’s natural and organic, all in sensible portions served cooked or raw to perfection for purely delicious and healthy eating pleasure.

However, I think Gela and the raw food movement as a whole are exploring an extremely exciting area for discussion, and that most people would benefit from having more raw fruit and vegetables in their diest, particularly in North America. I take my hat off to Gela for her courage and audacity as she self-funds her tour of the USA to promote her vision of health and happiness. I applaud anything that gets people connecting with raw ingredients, thinking about organics, and generally getting out of packet-culture and into cooking-culture.

Rock on, Gela!!!


New Home, “New” Furniture…

new home, new furniture

I’ve just moved into my new home, and it is truly lovely! It’s an old red-brick building in the very middle of Hollywood. Yes, that Hollywood, the one in California! Yes, I’m an English gal, and this web site is all about British organic food, but… well, that’s the beauty of the internet – I can write to you from ANYWHERE!!! Anyways, I moved into this classic old silent movie-era pad, and then… realised that I had no furniture. Oh no, didn’t think that through.

Hmmm, I said to myself. I suppose I should do what everyone else does and buy cheap disposable furniture from a well-known out of town big Swedish store. So I went there, twice actually, and wandered around the ginormous shop floor, looking at things that looked pretty nice from a distance, but had zero soul up close and questionable eco impact.

Sadly, I returned home, twice, empty handed and perplexed about wanting to have lovely eco-friendly furniture, and not wanting to spend a fortune on hand-crafted pieces.

And then… A-ha!!!! OLD FURNITURE!!! Of course. Of Course!!

So I went to a lovely little local owner-run shop thejunkmarket.com run by a sweet couple named Kerry and Nick, with an adorable new born baby girl called Lou. We chatted. We passed some pleasant time, talked about things. They sold me nice stuff, gently worn period pieces full of ‘prana’. I left feeling like the world is a sweet place full of the kindness of strangers.

The desk that I bought from them and am sitting at right now is scratched with the endeavours of its former owner, someone who inspires me in their absence with a life of creativity and activity. My new dressing table upstairs is from the 1920′s, with little old-fashioned curly details on the top that just shout out ‘vintage’ and make me want to wear a pair of clickety clackety heels and dance the Charleston. Not to mention the lovely new set of four chairs with wooden backs that were rounded by wetting the wood sometime in the early 1900′s and steaming it into a curve – a technique that’s simply wonderful but is almost extinct in this day of dwindling craftsmanship.

And you know what? All this vintage loveliness is the most eco-friendly way to furnish a pad. Double nice!

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