Red Nose Day 2011 was amazing!

Working on Red Nose Day 2011 has been one of the highlights of my professional career; to be part of something so big, so wonderful and so much fun was an incredible experience.

Leading such a talented, diverse and dynamic team in for such an important project has been a real privilege and to see all of the hard work, sweat and tears come together so beautifully in support of the UK’s biggest night of TV and biggest fundraising event has been a joy to behold.

RND11 has been incredibly special, and the memories will stay with me for a long time to come!

Shaving my head for Red Nose Day!

Red Nose Day 2011 was an amazing experience for all sorts of reasons – not least because I felt so privilege to be part of something so amazing – and contributing to the best Red Nose Day ever.

As well as working with my team to make sure that all of the technology ran smoothly, I also raised £1500 by offering to shave my head – I was amazed to see that so many people were interested in seeing me bald, and the money just kept rolling in.

Many thanks to those who sponsored me; here is the picture evidence for those who didn’t believe that I would do it – many thanks to Zenon Hannick for shaving it for me – in front over 100 people in the Comic Relief offices!

What does 2011 have in store?

2010 seems to have gone incredibly quickly, and a lot happened – I got elected, made it through my first Comic Relief campaign and moved-up to Enfield to name just a few highlights!

However, I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be even more hectic and much, much busier; roll on the New Year!

My letter to the Enfield Independent seems to have upset Labour

Despite the obvious and overwhelming public opposition to the Tube strikes currently blighting London, Enfield’s Labour Council refuse to acknowledge the negative impact that they are having on our residents.

Instead of reconsidering their position, they have chosen, through Councillor Ozzie Uzoanya, to return to the tribal politics of old and try to position the dispute as class war.

He is missing the point; my concern is not with politics, but with the people of Enfield. They deserve better than a Labour administration that puts the needs of its union comrades before theirs.

What have we done to our planet? We must learn from the BP Gulf Oil Spill disaster

What have we done to our planet? We must learn from the BP Gulf Oil Spill disaster

As each day goes by, I get more and more concerned about the damage being caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the images of destruction that I see reported on the news are amongst the scariest things that I ever seen on the news.

Firstly, let’s not forget that 11 men lost their lives in the fire that led to this spill; whilst it is important to consider the economic impact on the USA and beyond, we have to remember that these men died just doing their jobs and the suffering of their families mustn’t be forgotten.

The Horizon off-shore drilling rig exploded on 20 April 2010 and over a month later, thousands of gallons of crude oil are pouring into the Gulf of Mexico with all attempts to stop the leak so far having failed.

This is the worst environmental disaster in American history, and possibly the worst’ in human history and leads to one question – when are we going to take seriously our need to eradicate our dependency on fossil fuels?

Satellite image of the BP Horizon oil spil in the Gulf of Mexico

As long as we continue to extract oil from increasingly difficult to reach places, we will sustain the risk of major environmental catastrophes like this.

President Obama was right to ban new drilling around the American coast, but this is must be just the first step in what must be a concerted effort by governments around the world to encourage companies to invest seriously in alternative forms of energy.

Our current reliance on oil leads to inequality and conflict all around the world as we fight for control of dwindling supplies of ‘black gold’. Even without the inevitable ecological disasters that ensue, the continued exploration for oil generates a human cost that we must now consider unacceptable…

As the oil slick threatens hundreds of miles of US coastline, so it should threaten the continuation of oil exploration near human settlements.

It is time for us to get serious about looking at other forms of energy.


Why is everyone either asleep or applying their slap on the Tube?

On my journey in from Southgate this morning, I observed that more than half of the occupants of my carriage were fast asleep and that half of the rest were applying their make-up…

Personally, I wouldn’t ever dream of sleeping on the Tube for fear of someone painting some obscenity on my forehead!

(Actually, I once saw a photographer taking pictures of sleeping commuters on the Victoria Line. I didn’t stop him, as he looked like he was on official business.)

However, it does make me wonder if some people are actually building sleeping time and beauty time into their commute? If so, perhaps London Underground should make the seats a little more comfortable? Or even consider installing sleeping carriages for those who really that extra 45 minutes of REM?

I had previously assumed that these incidents were opportunistic, but having seen one woman sleep in the same seat over a period of a couple of months, I realise that these are not random occurences!

I think that the productivity gains to be had from letting people have a little power-nap on the way to work could be significant; surely there’s a piece of research waiting to be done?

As a chronic insomniac who has survived on about four hours sleep since my teens, I’m slightly envious of those who can fall asleep on command, and actually build it into their routine. A very useful skill in certain professions, I’m sure!

While I admire those who use their commuting time so effectively, I will stick to watching over my sleeping fellow passengers, in some admiration of those women who manage to apply a full face of make-up despite the bumpy ride and fascinated audience.