Monday, 30 April 2007

crunch time

Your knowledge reaches into the very bowels of King's Cross: We are impressed.

Throughout this week-long bloggerview your spirit, your knowledge and your creativity have been tested... not to mention your typing skills. You have proven yourself a worthy candidate, and to this effect, we would like to offer you the esteemed position of BloggerKX.

Your first official duty will be to attend our CreateKX partner event, at the Big Chill House on Tuesday 1st May, from 6.30pm. This will be a valuable opportunity for you to investigate what those other KX creative people are up to. I may even join you in a cocktail.

Well done and good luck!

Always raises a smile

My favourite place in King's Cross? Well, there is only one place which is always guaranteed to raise a smile. It's that pavement stone in Cartwright Gardens on which Camden Council have etched an image of a dog with a steaming poo behind it. Why does it make me laugh? Well, apart from the steam on the poo (a little bit too much detail there!), there's the fact that this notice is totally ignored by Camden dogs. In fact, I think they seek it out... perhaps in dog land this is the symbol for a lavatory?

Anyway, that paving stone amuses the same part of me which giggles at Carry On films. And, by the way, did you know that Kenneth Williams was born on Bingfield Street just off York Way? I think there should be a special 'Mmmmmmmmatron' festival to celebrate him this summer.

Question 7

A timely allusion to The Gossip: The sound of a fat lady singing signifies the end of your interview.


One last question to determine our final decision:

Question 7

Beth's pits aside, what is your favourite place in King's Cross?

Sunday, 29 April 2007

A visit to the pits of KX

What is the one thing I always said I'd never do until I ended up doing it?

Er, answering a bloggerview question two days late!!

Then there's a fair bit of stuff I thought I'd never find myself doing until I ended up doing it. For instance, I never thought I'd find myself standing outside Superdrug in Camden taking a photo of
a picture of a woman's armpit. But then since I've started appearing in this blog, I've found myself wanting to share moments of local discovery. So for those of you who appreciate the 'sod the establishment' flaunting of armpit hair, enjoy the fabulous Ms Beth Ditto above the Electric Ballroom...

... with her armpit in a starring role...

Now, from a personal pit perspective, I'm still in two minds about whether or not to throw away my Gillette Venus. Along with all the other characters, there's a Beth Ditto inside me somewhere too. But she's competing with the fragrant world of Cath Kidston where ladies definitely shave their armpits. Perhaps a compromise can be reached through a Nigella approach. I reckon she does shave them, but she doesn't worry if the intervals between shaving occasions are infrequent enough to allow for some visible regrowth.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Question 6

As createkx personified I cannot be seen to be taking part in mob culture. or listening to disco.
However, as Sean would assert - never say never...

Question 6

What is the one thing you always said you'd never do, until you ended up doing it?

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Clowning Around

What would I put in the time capsule?

The red nose of one of the clown doctors I read about in this morning’s Metro. Those doctors are based in Pentonville Road and I want to be one! Perhaps I can be... some years ago I did do some clown training with the excellently-named and inspiringly-foolish Didier Danthois. I have been inducted in the ways of the red nose.

Oooo, I’m having an idea, Miss Create. Why don’t we organise a flash-mob in the British Library forecourt where everyone has to wear a red nose and roller skates and dance to a
disco anthem?

Will you come?
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Question 5

If London is your heartland, and King’s Cross is the epicentre, I am curious as to what would be at its core.

Question 5

If you had to put one KX object into a time capsule, what would you choose?

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Multiple nationality disorder

Great pic you used in your last entry, Miss Create. Is that you spinning your wheel there?

You ask me what the best prize I have ever won is. My Dad always used to say that he had won the best prize in the Lottery of Life by being born an Englishman
. This comment used to drive my (normally apolitical) Swedish mother crazy.

I do think there’s something though in what he identified about prizing the riches of a cultural background. I have lived in some amazing cities in the course of my life: Lagos, Moscow (in the incredible Dom na Naberezhnoi), Stockholm, Dusseldorf and now in my beloved heartland London.

I love London and Londoners because of our diversity. Everything is all jumbled together. And King’s Cross is a brilliant epicentre for all that. Sacred & secular. Filthy and fragrant. Light & dark. Happy & sad. Frivolous & serious. Old & new. Clever & obtuse. Quiet & loud. Green & grey. Grand & grotty.

On these streets, I can be every ‘me’.

And that’s definitely a quality prize in the Lottery of Life.

Question 4

So we’ve established your predilection for spicy food and young boys. Moving onto your personal skills…

Question 4

What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Do scented wheels add extra personality?

Charles Schwab said, "Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower." I think I'm a little like the fragrance department at Selfridges...

And worry not, Miss Create, I’ve been managing my personalities for some time now and my inner Ringmaster has some excellent tactics for ensuring that only one character is at the driving wheel at a given time. Today I think it's Immodesty...

So who would Immodesty dine with?

Well, as we're on the subject, I think I’d have to pick someone else who does multiple personalities. So I’m going to pick the delicious* Mr Daniel Radcliffe (NB not in character as the personality connected with King’s Cross

And I wouldn’t cook. We’d eat out at the superb Great Nepalese in Eversholt Street where Gopal Manandhar and his charming sons would serve us tasty exotic cuisine.

* Mr Radcliffe's precise deliciousness to be confirmed when I have (quite literally) inspected him in the flesh.

Question 3

Most interesting response, Candidate. Although we do hope you have the necessary where-with-all to keep your multi-personalities in check: who knows what carnage may occur if you let loose Lily, Nigella and Anais simultaneously.

Our next blogerview question will further investigate what kind of personality flicks your switch, and how much of a domestic goddess you really are:

Question 3
If you could cook dinner for one individual from KX past or present, who would it be? And what would you make?

Monday, 23 April 2007

Disco Diva

I SURVIVED THE ROLLER DISCO! Not just survived it, but enjoyed it. In the accurate words of one of my fellow skaters, it was "lots of sparkly leg warmers, 1970s attire... we mostly just fell down and laughed." And I got to wear my beloved GLC headband with impunity! I am definitely going skating again. I really want my own pair of skates, especially since this morning's interweb investigations have revealed that you can buy scented wheels. How fab!

Right, less of the blueberry scented wheels... better get back to the blogjob interview. You ask, Miss Create, for a similarity between me and King's Cross. I remember you mentioned the 'dust, diggers and diverse expectation' in your first post...

Dust: Today, a lady came round to quote for cleaning my home. I spent an hour before she arrived cleaning and tidying because I was embarrassed at the way the dust had collected into huge tumbleweeds on the floor. Despite my efforts, the lady arrived and (a la stereotypical mother-in-law) wiped her finger along the dusty bookshelf. Thus the deal was done. Fro
m next week a hired domestic goddess will be hoovering my sofa cushions. And, on reflection, I think I'll send her details over to the Powers That Be in KX - the area could do with a few domestic goddesses armed with antibacterial floor wipes and a few squirts of Mr Muscle.

Diggers: I spent the last couple of years learning how to be a miner, initially mining my Self for my own potential at the Institute for Arts and latterly helping others to dig into themselves in my work as a creativity coach. So my life is pretty diggerly. Much like it is round the the back of King's Cross Station.

Diverse expectations: One of the things I love about KX is that it has such diverse expectations of itself. Just try asking a local resident, a commuter, a local businessperson, a tourist and a property developer what they think of and want from the area... Being me is a bit like that. And I don't even need to ask around. Inside me there's a rabble of voices clamouring to be Lily Allen, Mary Poppins, Anais Nin, Immodesty Blaize, Nigella (how cool is Nigella's cupcake logo! I need a logo... calling all young KX designers... get your submissions in now to be the official Blog KX logo designer), Cath Kidston, my mum, my grandmamma, Elizabeth Clontz, my old English teacher, Karen Leeder and the girl at the Roller Disco with the fingerless lace Madonna gloves. It ain't easy to manage that rabble, but then it never gets boring either. Much as with the diversity of King's Cross.

Question 2

Thank you, candidate, for offering such an informative answer.

Providing you are still sufficiently mobile to use a keyboard following your foolhardy Friday night jaunt to Roller Disco, I expect an equally enlightening response to our next blogerview question.

Question 2.
I would like you to talk about a similarity – flagrant or less fragrant – which is shared by both you and King’s Cross.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Why not?

'Why me?' you ask.

Why not?

OK, I'll get to the list of my most wonderful KX-y attributes in a moment. For now, I just want to linger on 'Why not?' for a moment. Isn't this a great question?

I'd heard it a million times, but the first time I really heard it was a couple of months back when I was sitting in the cafe at the National Theatre for Caroline Natzler’s writers' group meeting (this was back when I was actively working on the KX-based novel that currently languishes inside the hard drive of my computer...). The group was having a pee break and I was guarding bags and manuscripts whilst simultaneously earwigging the conversation at the table next to ours. I couldn't quite make out what they were talking about, but from the tones of the voices I could tell there was an atmosphere of general stagnation and low energy.

Mumble, mumble, "problems with the set design", mumble, "just too big", mumble, mumble, "not going to happen" and so on and so forth.

Until all of a sudden, one chap who hadn't been saying anything just burst out with:

"Why not?"

They all looked at him and a ripple went through the group as they adjusted their negative world view to a world view of POSSIBILITY. Why not indeed?

All of a sudden the whole table was fizzing with energy and solutions and potential.

And I woke up to what a great question that is.

A blog: Why not?

About King's Cross: Why not?

A straight answer to your original question: Why not?

So... why me then? Well, I’d allege that I've got a soup├žon of KX street cred as, on and off, I’ve lived, worked and played around KX for over ten years now. I know the fragrant bits, the less fragrant bits, I got my marriage licence at Camden Town Hall, I've worked with the kids at South Camden Community School and the hip creative sorts at St Luke's, I've grown tomatoes on a balcony in Somerstown and I’m going to the Roller Disco tomorrow night. If I survive I’ll be back for the next step of this blogerview…

Wish me luck!

And the search is on...

So. CreateKX has decided that we (royal not plural) need a voice for King’s Cross.

Not just any voice.

We had an idea for a blog which not only sings the praises of this vibrant, oft misunderstood
locale, but also gets beneath the surface to find the beating heart and the soul of KX. What’s going on? Who’s doing it? Why and where? And so on.

CreateKX can provide ‘a’ voice: CreateKX is an independent company, run by KX dwelling/working people, in order to motivate, inspire and grow the creativity of the area, and ensure its place as a “centre for international creative excellence”. This is an ever-mounting challenge, since “one of the greatest development and regeneration opportunities in Europe” is about to let loose – in the form of dust, diggers and diverse expectations - on our doorstep. Not to mention those 45 million people passing through the new St. Pancras International every year, come this November.

CreateKX aims to ensure that the regeneration of the area doesn’t damage but re-energises KX’s creative component. And we want creative people to want to live, work and play here. CreateKX uses it’s voice in a way which organisations must, in order to fulfil their essential function; acting as a “champion” and “enabler” and “signposter”.

But this is not the right voice for BlogKX. The voice of BloggerKX must represent and inspire, but also needs an independent view, as well as exceptional eloquence and excellent, all-pervading insider knowledge of just what goes down in KX.

So, to source this precious gem of a blogger we are whittling down thousands of potential diamonds in the rough, until we find the perfect candidate. So, read on while I grill the next contender in our own personal online 'blogerview' for the illustrious role of BloggerKX.

Question 1.
Why you then?

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