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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Flowers – Where’s The Love?

Covered in pesticides and flown for miles...How much love will actually go into your flowers this Valentine's?

Written by Zofia Walczak

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, case she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)
So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two randomly known friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, buy more about when Rob Wilson posted about his part as MacDuff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous.
Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals and Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of MacDuff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil war, as here, or to today’s world.

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005
Photography by Adam Levy

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, more about she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010000

So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two random friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, this when Rob Wilson posted about his part as Macduff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010001

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010002

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous. Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010003
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010004

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals and Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of Macduff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil War, as here, or to today’s world.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010006

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.
Do you ever get that hundred-heartbeats-a-second feeling when you see a piece of jewellery that’s really one of a kind? That piece you’ve got to have, drug now, before anything else happens, before another breath can be taken? I get this feeling, and I call it Frillybylily-itis.  The beautiful jewellery of London based designer Lily McCallin is a collection of forgotten treasures with a charm and delicate beauty that is hard to ignore. Each piece is created individually from recycled trinkets, charms, beads, or indeed whatever Lily can lay her hands on, to create a truly individual look that draws inspiration not only from the elegance of a bygone era, but indulges in a cheeky, modern aesthetic that never fails to bring a smile to your face.

blue_eyes

Imagery throughout depicting Frillybylily products, created and photographed by Lily McCallin

Frillybylily is showered with as much love in production as it deserves in wearing, and with a keen eye for hunting down the kind of pieces most of us would take a lifetime to find, Frillybylily takes all the hard work out of becoming a costume jewellery connoisseur. As each day passes and the contents of the high street seems to morph further into one tangled mess of the same drab, rehashed ideas, Frillybylily is a ray of light, a hope of salvaging some kind of pride and enjoyment in affordable but quality designs. What’s more, they come with the added bonus of appeasing the fashion conscience as McCallin is keen to utilise an eco-friendly outlook in her work. Her delightfully girlish website lists the recycled percentage of each piece so you can rest assured that you’re not only ‘doing your bit for the environment’ but are getting gorgeous jewellery and feeling wonderful for it in return.

train_bracelet

Each piece is layered with an array of intricate and interesting trims and touches from the naval graving chunky chains adorned with antique gems, to an experimentation with Perspex and fridge magnets that transports you back to the innocence of childhood and a fascination with all things sparkly. Don’t necessarily be distracted by the name, this jewellery is not simply frilly, there are also some standout, chunky designs that, if taken care of properly, will see you through season after season never failing to draw admiring glances. Any neckline would long for the Junglist Massive Necklace (pictured below), a menagerie of leaves, wooden hoops and overflowing crystals that wouldn’t look out of place if Tarzan’s Jane decided to finally add a little edge to her look. Charm bracelets are overloaded with a minutia of striking gold accessories, semi-precious stones and quirky one-offs in a colour palette that varies from the Japanese pop freshness of apple greens and candy pinks to a deep jade that emanates a mysterious allure.

junglist_massive

There must be something in the name, because Lily Allen was unable to resist a Frillybylily charm necklace, whilst the brand has been touted by Grazia, Time Out and has even had an exclusive line in Urban Outfitters. But there’s no need to worry about one of London’s best kept secrets getting too mainstream; Lily promises never to make two pieces the same, though if you are inclined to invest in a truly stunning and personal project, you can work together to create your own commissioned piece. These ventures are not limited to jewellery alone and with a foray into chandeliers, bridal accessories and a growing men’s range offering the same humour and eye for detail that characterises its sister collection –    Frillybylily could be a more permanent fixture in your life soon. Just don’t hesitate when you feel your breath quickening as you begin to covet her infectiously enjoyable work; once they’re gone, they’re really gone.

horseshoe
Do you ever get that hundred-heartbeats-a-second feeling when you see a piece of jewellery that’s really one of a kind? That piece you’ve got to have, website like this now, before anything else happens, before another breath can be taken? I get this feeling, and I call it Frillybylily-itis.  The beautiful jewellery of London based designer Lily McCallin is a collection of forgotten treasures with a charm and delicate beauty that is hard to ignore. Each piece is created individually from recycled trinkets, charms, beads, or indeed whatever Lily can lay her hands on, to create a truly individual look that draws inspiration not only from the elegance of a bygone era, but indulges in a cheeky, modern aesthetic that never fails to bring a smile to your face.

blue_eyes

Imagery throughout depicting Frillybylily products, created and photographed by Lily McCallin. ‘Blue Eyes’ necklace.

Frillybylily is showered with as much love in production as it deserves in wearing, and with a keen eye for hunting down the kind of pieces most of us would take a lifetime to find, Frillybylily takes all the hard work out of becoming a costume jewellery connoisseur. As each day passes and the contents of the high street seems to morph further into one tangled mess of the same drab, rehashed ideas, Frillybylily is a ray of light, a hope of salvaging some kind of pride and enjoyment in affordable but quality designs. What’s more, they come with the added bonus of appeasing the fashion conscience as McCallin is keen to utilise an eco-friendly outlook in her work. Her delightfully girlish website lists the recycled percentage of each piece so you can rest assured that you’re not only ‘doing your bit for the environment’ but are getting gorgeous jewellery and feeling wonderful for it in return.

train_bracelet

‘Train’ bracelet.

Each piece is layered with an array of intricate and interesting trims and touches from the naval graving chunky chains adorned with antique gems, to an experimentation with Perspex and fridge magnets that transports you back to the innocence of childhood and a fascination with all things sparkly. Don’t necessarily be distracted by the name, this jewellery is not simply frilly, there are also some standout, chunky designs that, if taken care of properly, will see you through season after season never failing to draw admiring glances. Any neckline would long for the Junglist Massive Necklace (pictured below), a menagerie of leaves, wooden hoops and overflowing crystals that wouldn’t look out of place if Tarzan’s Jane decided to finally add a little edge to her look. Charm bracelets are overloaded with a minutia of striking gold accessories, semi-precious stones and quirky one-offs in a colour palette that varies from the Japanese pop freshness of apple greens and candy pinks to a deep jade that emanates a mysterious allure.

junglist_massive

‘Junglist Massive’ necklace.

There must be something in the name, because Lily Allen was unable to resist a Frillybylily charm necklace, whilst the brand has been touted by Grazia, Time Out and has even had an exclusive line in Urban Outfitters. But there’s no need to worry about one of London’s best kept secrets getting too mainstream; Lily promises never to make two pieces the same, though if you are inclined to invest in a truly stunning and personal project, you can work together to create your own commissioned piece. These ventures are not limited to jewellery alone and with a foray into chandeliers, bridal accessories and a growing men’s range offering the same humour and eye for detail that characterises its sister collection –    Frillybylily could be a more permanent fixture in your life soon. Just don’t hesitate when you feel your breath quickening as you begin to covet her infectiously enjoyable work; once they’re gone, they’re really gone.

horseshoe

‘Horseshoe’ necklace.
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005
Photography by Adam Levy

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, illness she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010000

So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two random friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, when Rob Wilson posted about his part as Macduff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010001

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010002

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous. Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010003
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010004

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals and Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of Macduff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil War, as here, or to today’s world.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010006

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005
Photography by Adam Levy

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, order she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010000

So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two random friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, patient when Rob Wilson posted about his part as Macduff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010001

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010002

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous. Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010003
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010004

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration was not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals. During the later stages of the play Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of Macduff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil War, as here, or to today’s world.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010006

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005
Photography by Adam Levy

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, page she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010000

So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two random friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, when Rob Wilson posted about his part as Macduff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010001

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010002

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous. Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010003
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010004

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration was not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals. During the later stages of the play Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of Macduff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil War, as here, or to today’s world.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010006

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010005
Photography by Adam Levy

It’s not often that I will voluntarily submit to Shakespeare – which must be something to do with it reminding me of school trips where me and my best mate Aisha would generally be raucous to annoy the middle aged audience and then wolf whistle through the applause. (well, here she wolf whistled and I egged her on.)

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010000

So I don’t think I’ve seen Macbeth since I studied it for A-Level English. But I decided that attendance should be compulsory for a play that features not one but two random friends. I found out about this production through the miracle of communication that is Facebook, viagra when Rob Wilson posted about his part as Macduff. And then I noticed a very familiar witch in the publicity shots. Louis Brooke! Whom I’ve known since he was a precocious 17 year old that I looked after on a children’s camp. He went off to Oxbridge and then decided he wanted to be an actor. Rob’s path I know less well but I’ve seen him around at festivals as part of Lost & Found for many years and gradually made his acquaintance.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010001

So I thought it was high time I got me another dose of Shakespeare. As Rob opined, no rx Catford is only 15 minutes from London Bridge on the train. Why not? I caught the train down one evening last week and trotted along to the local Broadway Theatre, where a gaggle of school children were also in to watch the play that evening. Amongst the audience members there was also my mate Thom, whom I know from Climate Camp. Turns out his dad runs the theatre. It is a small world indeed.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010002

Macbeth begins with the famous witches, which for this adaption were played by three slippery boys – including Louis admirably togged up in torn basque and sporting a pearl earring. Throwing themselves around a spartan stage before falling on top of each other they were an engaging introduction to the production – which moved along at a cracking speed – and I enjoyed their thumping dance moves: the clumsiness a foil for their intuitive guile. Gareth Bale was expertly cast as Macbeth, but seemed not far from madness from the very get go, thereby making his descent into utter loon territory less vertiginous. Helen Miller’s Lady Macbeth was alluring enough to believe that dear hubby could never resist her scheming machinations, which were soon leading the terrible twosome into far deeper trouble than their vaunting ambition and guilty conscience could cope with.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010003
Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010004

I must confess that even now in my adult years I struggle with the language of Shakespeare, (possibly even more so than I did as a girl, when I was studying every last phrase). My concentration was not helped by the schoolgirls next to me, who started rustling papers and making notes to each other half way through. But the story really isn’t too difficult to follow and the cracking pace of scene changes snapped me back to the stage often enough. Louis reappeared several times as various ne’er do wells between reprising his role as a witch at intervals. During the later stages of the play Rob’s expressive face was perfectly suited to convey the sorry state of Macduff, who suffers the biggest bum deal of all. Of course the beauty of Shakespeare is that his stories are so timeless, and the political backstabbing and machinations of many centuries ago can just as easily be applied to the era of the Spanish Civil War, as here, or to today’s world.

Macbeth-Broadway-Theatre-2010006

This play was as enjoyable a rendition of Macbeth as any, and if you fancy a good dose of Shakespeare on a cold February evening you could do worse than make the trip down to Catford. Local it may be, but it was far from amateur. And if you live in South London, well, what are you waiting for – get down there and support your local theatre.

Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre runs until 20th February.

serenity

Illustration:  Serenity, help by Katy Gromball

Valentine’s Day approaches once again, help and where is the love?  Is the love in Clinton Cards?  Is the love in all those ‘must have’ Valentine’s gifts the glossy magazines are trying to suggest we need?  Is the love in flowers that have been flown thousands of miles, produced by underpaid workers with health problems because of all the chemicals used in their production?  Hmmm, perhaps not…

inadream

Illustration:  In a Dream, by Katy Gromball

There’s no denying cut flowers are beautiful.  I’ve never been a flowers girl myself, but I do see the appeal.  Flowers should be beautiful, natural, simple gifts that allow us to enjoy a beautiful bit of the outdoors indoors.  Yet most of the flowers that we buy in this country have a past that is neither innocent nor desirable.  It’s ironic that the pretty things we use to express our affection for loved ones can in fact be severely detrimental to the health and well-being of the people and environments that produce them.  It is therefore high time ethical flowers became the norm and not the slightly more expensive niche option.

lovelyplace

Illustration:  Lovely Place, by Katy Gromball

Flowers can either be grown in greenhouses, where maintaining the right temperature and conditions needs a lot of energy, or produced in countries with a naturally hotter climate.  The vast majority of flowers we buy in this country are imported from Colombia, Kenya or Holland. 

I remember studying the colonial history of France in Algeria at university.  The French colons made Algeria, where the Muslim population originally didn’t drink alcohol, into an important exporter of wine.  So while the natives didn’t have enough wheat because their land had been taken over by the French, the French were happily drinking wine with their cheese.  Perhaps the flowers situation can’t be compared.  But flowers take up enormous swathes of land that could otherwise be used for food production.   The fact that they are grown as a monoculture crop means they severely deplete soils and biodiversity. 

lovers

Illustration:  Lovers, by Katy Gromball

Moreover, flower production requires huge amounts of water.  Clean drinking water is an increasingly scarce global commodity.  Coupled with the extremely high use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in flower production, and the toxicity released into rivers because of this, there is clearly a huge problem.  Pesticides directly affect the health of the workers who are in contact with them, whether in greenhouses or outdoors.  Are cheap flowers worth all this?

So what are the alternatives?  Where possible, it really is best to buy UK grown flowers.  The UK  floriculture season lasts from about March to October, but most florists will provide for Valentine’s Day as well by using fairtrade flowers.  Below are a few ideas for online suppliers, but it’s probably best to research your own local area and find out which florists supply UK grown or fairtrade flowers.   If you know any good florists or suppliers in your area, please post links to them or give details in the comments section they’ll be useful all year round.

hurrah

Illustration:  Hurrah, by Katy Gromball

ETHICAL FLOWERS

Bella and Fifi, Bristol-based ethical florist.

Park Flowers,  Soil Association Organic certified flowers. 

Eco Flowers Delivered- “I love you and the Earth too”.  Delivered same or next day.

Bath Organic Blooms, Seasonal, organically-produced flowers from Somerset, delivered UK-wide.  Not for Valentine’s though as the season starts in March.

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Visit illustrator Katy Gromball’s online shop, for a truly beautiful and unique print to go with (or instead of)  flowers.

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3 Responses to “Flowers – Where’s The Love?”

  1. Pam says:

    Wiggly Wigglers, suppliers of worms and other wiggly things, have been selling locally-grown flowers for a few years now. The few times I’ve used them they have been really good, arrived on time and fab presentation as well as healthy and long-lasting flowers. http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk

  2. [...] methods of travel found. There is talk of a naval rescue for holiday goers. Beautiful exotic flowers and fruits that are destined for air freight to the West now languish in the refrigeration units in Kenya. As a friend predicted to me on [...]

  3. [...] [Originally written for Amelia's Magazine : http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/earth/flowers-wheres-the-love/2010/02/09/] [...]

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