Someone sent me a free ticket to this year’s IPEX (International Printing Exhibition) at The NEC. I hadn’t been for years, so I thought I’d take a look to see what’s new in the world of printing. Driving into the NEC I was immediately intrigued by these cut-out crowds, randomly placed outside the halls. With no obvious branding, I scoured the massive exhibition for their source. It turned out to be Agfa, who’d run them straight onto foamex using their latest flatbed digital press. Coincidentally Jeni from Milestone’s Dad was on the stand and he kindly gave me a demo. It was certainly one of the most interesting things I saw and a clever way to subvert the whole trade show thing.
Elephant Parade at More London
Last week I popped up to town to enjoy wine and nibbles at a Stirling University Alumni gathering. What motivates us to go along to these sorts of things I’m not really sure. After all it’s a bit of a schlep to More London, on the South bank next to Tower Bridge. Invariably they’re full of complete strangers, so it’s not about catching-up with old friends. The opportunity for some informal networking is part of the pull. But I think it’s really about revelling in a bit of University nostagia. Spending four years in a place from the age of 18 you get a certain attachment to it. I think it kind of becomes part of your identity. Therefore meeting up with fellow Stirlingites is perhaps good for the soul. If that’s the case then I can’t help feeling that we could do more to enhance the full Stirling experience on the night. Instead of fine wine and canapes we should have had Thunderbird or Buckfast Wine straight from the bottle. Or deep fried mars bars washed down with pints of Heavy. A big cut-out of the Wallace Monument in the corner would be a nice touch. (Anyone who’s been to Stirling will know this impressive landmark dominates the landscape in that part of central Scotland). Anyway, despite the refined surroundings we all got into the Stirling spirit and I look forward to the next one.
This year we avoided the carnage of Beaconsfield fair and instead paid a visit to Carter’s Steam Fair in West Wycombe. We had been tipped-off by Richard Collins that it was a retro delight. And he wasn’t wrong. There were genuine Victorian steam powered rides through to 50s and 60s classics including the incredible ‘Wall of death’. The sixties sports car merry-go-round caught my eye as well as my two year old’s. He spent ages debating which particular vehicle suited him best and then chickened out altogether. The choices were an E type Jag, Ferrari, Lotus, BRM and a Vespa. I pondered the selection. They must have been the coolest choices of the day. I wondered what the choices would be on today’s version of the same ride. And would any British cars still make the line up?
In line with our CSR policy at Milestone and good old fashioned credit crunch thrift, my husband Paul and I have created a recycled and reclaimed vegetable garden at home. Even the greenhouse was a hand-me-down from our Creative Director Peter Wilkinson. Much of the other materials like bricks and timber for raised beds, seed trays and pots came from Freegle or from colleagues and neighbours. Much as I like the new Innocent Veg Pots, I thought it was high time I fuelled my office lunchbox with my own organic produce. And, already peeking through the potting compost in recycled newspaper pots are tomatoes, beetroot, rocket, kohl rabi, fennel, carrots, broad beans, cucumbers, lettuces, chillies and more. Visitors to Milestone may well be able to take home their own veg pots if this lot comes good. Watch this space.
Lunch in the making...
For chilli growing tips visit Ian and Paul’s blog at www.ilovechillis.com