Saturday, 28 January 2012

London Skyscrapers: The Shard V Tower 42

London's skyline has been evolving a lot this past year with new skyscrapers rising up from the old city. Once it is complete The Shard - London Bridge will be the tallest building in Western Europe at 310m (1,016ft), something I am itching to see.

I have followed its progress from a concrete stump to it's current state of near completion. It should be finished in May 2012, and as with so many things in London it seems, a lot is aiming to be snazzied up before the Olympics and The Shard will be a real eye catcher for the world to see!

I really like The Shard's architecture, the jagged pinnacle, and the ideas behind it, it is said to be inspired by the railway line it is next to and also ideas of the all the masts from the shipping that used to cover the Thames. It is very close to the river so it essence it is a bit like a ships mast rising out of the river.. (Yeahhh I know bit arty and cliche there)

There is a lot of focus on the new skyscrapers that are popping up over London, some of dubious design I think! I am really not sure if the Walky Talky fits in with London, but I love its roof top garden conservatory thing! It's top heavy though and I don't think it will age well, I guess we can only wait and see. Hey the Barbican is pretty ghastly, but I am fascinated by it's strange design and empty ghost town like qualities, when it is in the heart of the hectic City.

With all these new skyscrapers popping up I still have a fondness for Tower 42 though. At first I didn't think it was that beautiful but it's simplicity of straight lines and unique shape has really grown on me, maybe I just like it because it was one of the first skyscrapers, yet it still has something about it!

Tower 42 and the Shard are two of my fav skyscrapers in London, but I think the Shard will come out the winner when it is complete and I can't wait to geo up it!

I hope that the skyscrapers that came before the new leaders do not get swamped. I remember going to new York and thinking it's such a shame you can't really see the skyscrapers from the ground, all the tall buildings crowd out the views, and you had to go on a ferry to The Statue of Liberty to actually the see the skyline.

London will always have its mix of old and new though which makes it so unique :)

Anyone got a fav skyscraper?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Gay Rights Movement

This is a brilliant video by Ryan who I fully support in his quest to make a documentary on discrimination against gay people. I have watched Ryan for years making videos and he is truly talented and has put a lot of his money into making previous music videos. He created these for other people's enjoyment as well as his own and even put himself into considerable debt to make them, but Ryan is a person who will try to change the world however he can and at whatever the cost, be that through making his weekly gaysoftheweek Monday video, through a music video bringing people amusement and joy, or as he seeks to now, by producing a hard hitting, moving and essential documentary to combat discrimination against gays. 

Some of you may think ohhhh another gay movement , and might even wonder why I am talking about it too. Some of those who watch me on YouTube do not pick up on my sexuality, others do in an instant, I am gay and there are many things I have to go through because I'm gay. These have shaped me and I wouldn't want to be anyone else but I want life to be easier for future generations. Our generation is changing thank goodness and on YouTubeI know young girls have often left comments in the aura of "I'm glad your gay" or the such like. I think being a gay male online is good because of the stigma of men on the internet being predatory towards young girls, that our generation has now engrained in their minds. 

Anyway I'm moving away from the point, what I think is important is that as a gay man I do not just watch this video and then do nothing about it, rather it is my duty to spread the message and do something towards ending or limiting discrimination, to help those teens stop themselves before they slit their wrists because of gay hate. We have to face it, discrimination will always be around but we can dampen it and strike out the worst of it.

Please go and support Ryan, even if it is just by liking the video! 

There are many countries who discriminate against gays, put them to death, put them in prison or deny them basic equal rights. We need to change this!

Find out more about what Ryan is trying to achieve at SecondClassCitizens 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Who said you can't put a price on love?

My life is taking new paths, all of which I have to make and work really hard towards achieving (time to get the choccy out).., getting engaged is one thing, but getting both of us into the same country will be a challenge with visa's, and of course England only recognises a relationship at a marriage level between two men, unlike the USA so Mark and I have lots to talk about and planning to do..

Visas are not cheap either so we'll be saving lots too! They say you can't put a price on love... Oh yes you can! Be it in a visa form... and all the conditions attached to a visa like having enough income and savings to support your partner.

Of course my main priority at the moment is landing a job, and it is vital to me that I can stand on my own two feet and pay my own way and also do a job I enjoy.

I don't want to talk much about jobs as I'm rather superstitious and don't want to jinx things :D Are you superstitious? I often see a lot of signs in things that tell me things are right now to do this or something, yes I know I sound a little loony haha, but seriously I get quite a bit of deja vu, it's as if something in front of your face has been lifted and you can see another dimension... and some of it I have seen years before, but I still remember it..... One time I remember it feeling quite unsettling and I was unable to pin down the feeling it gave me. I still can't now, it was almost foreboding but had good in it too.

Things are changing around me as I move into the next stage of life, and I have been thinking I would love to get into creating a painting that will take me a while to finish, learning new techniques and with varnishes and sparkly stuff :D

I like my pencil portraits but moving into the world of work it will be nice to have something less technical to do in the evening, and I want to express true feelings rather than base an artwork from someone's face. Saying that, I will never give up the portraits, maybe they will adapt over time too :)

I have it in my mind that I want to draw someone who really inspires me, (my problem is always making the time to do these while I job hunt), I can see it in my mind, not quite like my work so far and I hope it will look awesome. Getting that idea down on a surface and executing it as I see it in my mind will be another matter. I'll have to make a few plans :)

I hope 2012 has been positive for you so far :)


Thursday, 12 January 2012


If you live in England I am sure you will have heard of HS2!

It is the new high speed rail link that was approved this week by the government and is going in between London and Birmingham, for which there has been serious opposition.

Obviously no one wants a big and loud train zooming along in their back garden probably vibrating and blowing the poor little birds out of their trees and I sympathise with those who will have to move and be compensated.

I am also quite environmentally minded having studied Geography at university and so I am concerned about the environmental implications of the new line as it goes through ancient woodlands and SSSI's, but I also love my trains and I have travelled on the German ICE (high speed trains) a fair bit too and they are brilliant.

They are expensive to use however and currently having my 18-25 Young Person's railcard is the only way I can afford to use the trains in England and once I turn 25 that ability will disappear and I am likely to be priced out of using the train which is my fastest and easiest way to get to London.

Not only is price a concern but the cost of £33 billion to build the new line and then the time it will take to build the new line! Around 12 to 14 years just to build approximately a 100 mile stretch! If it could be done in 5 that would be great, but that just seems a bit too long! 

The chinese would have one built in 2 years if not a year! Mind you we have health and safety galore etc....

It has been suggested that the money should be invested in the current network. This is actually being done by Network Rail with investment taking place at Reading, Birmingham New Street and many other locations, but for example trains can't go faster on my local line because it is too bendy. High Speed trains need long straight lines to go fast on and so new lines are certainly needed. 

I do think the country needs high speed rail, and we have lagged behind mainland Europe too long and it should make a large difference to the country, but I do hope the environmental impact can be minimised and I do hope the new line will pay its own way and not have to be heavily subsidised in years to come, because then investing in old lines would have been much more beneficial.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


I don't know where to start, what to write :D

Lets just say this has been something I have been thinking of for a while and planned in my mind, with a few phone calls to my dear friend Becky to have someone to talk to about it :)

I'd asked Mark to go out to Slough Gundy some time with me, we'd been there the last time i came and we swam in the river and jumped off the rocks in the height of summer.

Now it being winter, there was no one there and with heavy fresh snow fall we wound our way to the rapids and rocks, drudging our feet through the thick snow.

We took photos and at the point we stopped at last time I told Marksy I had surprise for him.

I blindfolded him, and made him stand still in the snow while i made a Jonny heart round him and placed candles in the snow and lit them.

I then took off his blindfold and gave him a platinum coated rose, he had given me one for our 1st year anniversary and he had never seen it as it was bought online and directly posted.... I wanted him to have one and me to have one too :)

Then I said a few words, told him how much I love him...... I always thought he was hot from the first few times I saw him on Dailybooth 3 years ago, and then getting to know him we have shared a lot, and i'm glad we didn't ignore the feeling for eachother or put the distance down as a factor to stop us :D..... I took the plunge and bought a flight over the Atlantic to see him (someone I had never met face to face but was my boyfriend with the help of Facebook, Dailybooth, twitter and Skype), in the summer of 2010 and we hit it off :) He's my best friend and noodle.... and then got down on one knee in the snow and asked him to marry me with the rose in my hand :) ...... HE SAID YES !!!!!!!!!!

Total surprise to him and i'm really happy :D


We walked back over ice streams arm in arm grinning and made it to the car where we drove back in snow drifts and snowy weather :D


No there isn't a ring yet, hehe, I didn't know what size he is, and a guy normally only has one ring, so we'''ll see :D


Meep meep :) I feel we are going to have SOoooooo many questions from people now hahaa :)