Tag Archives: inspiration

Look what I found – Chris Green’s awesome ink drawings

21 May

In a moment of weakness I succumbed to the temptation to buy myself a coffee on the way in to work (I’m supposed to have given up coffee, umm).

But I’m so pleased I did, because inside The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs on Leather Lane I came across an amazing ink drawing of Kings Cross by an artist called Chris Green.  This is the kind of art I love – stuff with real depth and detail which at the same time reflects a delightfully wonky version of reality.

Chris Green - Shoreditch View

I found a bit of info about Chris and some more examples of his work over here: Student stories: Chris Green.


Believing in the importance of this more than ever right now..

16 Mar

Believing in this more than ever right now..

Source: Brittany Maki

Want to try something? Just do it.

3 Jan

I’ve spoken a lot (mainly over here) about how these days it feels as if it’s more possible than ever to learn new things, meet interesting people, explore your passions, set up a business, juggle a number of different projects and roles – that kind of thing.  And that more and more people are taking control of their lives and their careers and just going for it and trying out things they’ve always wanted to.  I think that it is all so wonderfully liberating and inspiring, and I love it.

As we enter 2013 it is of course the perfect time to be thinking about what you might change, learn, try, do in this shiny new, fresh year.  So I’m sharing the blog of a friend-of-a-friend of mine who last year went on a bit of a journey to identify what she’d like to learn, then went off and learnt it and has subsequently set up a business doing that thing part-time.  So head over to the post below for some lovely New Year inspiration.



“It is what you…

12 Dec

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it” – Oscar Wilde

I’ve a night to myself tonight, with nothing much to do.  Makes me think of this wonderful quote from my man Oscar.

Enchanted by The Ministry of Stories

1 Nov

“We believe in clouds”

I first came across the Ministry of Stories whilst on maternity leave and I was absolutely enchanted.  At the time, they’d just set up The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch – a fictional country run entirely by local kids.  At the Ministry of Stories – which is located behind the Monster Supplies Store in Hoxton (excited yet?), these kids spent time making their own passports, coming up with their manifesto and canvasing on the streets.  The result was some surprisingly sensible suggestions actually along with loads of totally bonkers and delightful thoughts and ideas.

It was so refreshing and inspiring to see kids being actively encouraged to use their incredible imaginations to create something amazing together.  In this film you can see how this project brought them to life, got them interacting with each other, enthusiastically sharing ideas.  You can see that it sparked their creativity, challenged their writing skills and allowed their confidence to grow.  A few kids even say that it helped them get ahead at school – success!

As someone who loves to write, but probably didn’t listen enough at school when it came to the technicalities – I think this is just magical.  Creativity is basically taking what is available to us in this world and arranging it in our own unique way to make something great – and kids are the masters of this as they are so amazed by the world and have no barriers or boundaries.  To learn something through being creative is to learn something that will stick.  So to teach children the art of writing through something as exciting as creating your own country is just genius.  What they learnt here from building ideas, working together, expressing their thoughts on paper and finding confidence in themselves, will stay with them forever.

The Ministry of Stories was set up in 2010 by Nick Hornby, Lucy McNab and Ben Payne.  It’s a creative writing and mentoring centre for young people in east London. They use storytelling to inspire young people aged 8-18, in the belief that writing unleashes their imaginations and builds confidence, self-respect and communication.  In its first year, over 3000 young people took part in their volunteer-led workshops and writing projects.

I was so inspired by this project that I’ve signed up to become a Story Minister.  I would love to be able to facilitate this kind of magic – both as a Planner and as a new Mum. I’ll be going to my ‘first briefing’ on the 16th November and if all goes ahead I’ll be given training and will then be able to facilitate workshops in my spare time.  How exciting!  I would encourage anyone who is inspired by this to volunteer – there are many different roles available from Marketing to Maintenance, Event Management and Administration.  And if you’re not aware of what makes volunteering so rewarding, I already blogged about it over here.

I will of course share updates on my journey to (hopefully) becoming a Story Minister.  In the meantime I’m hoping that someone from The Ministry will correct the spelling and grammar in this post!

27 Sep

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Dr Howard Thurman

19 Jul

I quite agree with Mary Poppins. For every job that must be done there is an element of fun, just find the fun and snap, the job’s a game!