Need for Speed/escapism

Dont get me wrong, i like my ‘chick flicks’, but my favourite movie genre is action and, more specifically films with plenty of car chases and explosions…..and a big dose of vengeance….and maybe a political point made too.

I am a big fan of the Bourne films, I also like the Fast and Furious franchise and classics such as Bullitt.

So I was quite excited at the prospect of watching ‘Need for Speed’. It would have been a brilliant film, had they not used a woman with a fake English accent to play the damsel in distress (why do all Americans think we all sound like members of the Royal family) and a man with an uncontrollable eyebrow and a sore throat (deep husky voice) to play the wheelman.

It was a classic example of how poor casting can wreck a film.  

However what they lost in bad acting, they made up for in amaaazing cars.

It was a very welcome distraction from the mundane trials of life (such as the tax man, the f***** tax man, an even worse Government and the fact that despite weeks of good weather, the one weekend we choose to camp at a music festival the mother of all thunderstorms is forecast).

If we pretend we are a family of mud loving hippos, it might  still be an enjoyable experience.

This blog is for Unicef, a charity that exists to protect vulnerable children world-wide, including those in warzones such as Gaza.

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Angel in Angelina?

If only more celebrities could ‘make a difference’ like Angelina Jolie. So much high profile talents waste column inches on attending fashion shows, polo events, high society drinks parties and soirees, when they could be joining the campaign on climate change, fronting up the lobbying campaign against international cases of persecution or show-horning Jeremy Clarkson into a Nissan leaf. Fame is power but unfortunately fame for the most part falls upon the shoulders of those who haven’t the foggiest as to how to use it for common good. They seem to be more obsessed with making more money, as if they had graduated from the level of giving a f*** about the world.

I would like to see Kate Middleton do more humanitarian visits and follow in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law. Although i am not judging her as I am sure the palace have her ‘leashed’.

I am sure there are many celebrities who do ‘their bit’ behind closed doors but so much more can be achieved when you ‘do good’ in public because it puts the cause into the arena of the public psyche. It is almost as if Angelina delivered on her promise to God, when he/she was dishing out the long legs, cheekbones and pouty lips, that she would put these assets to good effect for the world. I’m sure God is shaking his head at Kim Kardashian and also cursing himself for overdoing it in the bottom department.

The Independent’s Rosie Millard is right to suggest that  Angelina Jolie is changing the world, after she was photographed with Hague in a meeting with world leaders to discuss rape in conflict and how to tackle it. Keep up the good work Jolie and lets hope your fellow celebrities are watching you and thinking ‘now why didnt i think of that?’

This blog is for Unicef.

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the people’s fashionista

I am a big fan of social enterprises, those that benefit other people and support fair trade as well as the bottom line.

I received some combat trousers from Next the other day and was shocked at how appallingly made they were. The stitching was all jagged and frayed and the material was flimsy to say the least, you could almost picture the sweat shop that it came from somewhere in Asia. When you hear on the news that they are making record-breaking profits, you have to wonder about their profit margins.

People Tree is a company that offers fair trade fashion. It is obviously more expensive than Next but the cotton it uses is thicker and softer, the quality vastly superior and their ethical credentials excellent. Their catalogues feature pictures of the people in India who make the clothing and how People Tree are ensuring they get a fair deal and work in good conditions. It is not just marketing spiel, they really do care. However, their designs are just not for me. I have tried to wear a few of their dresses and they just make me feel fat and old – never a good combo. So I tend to stick to their two piece sets as I find these more flattering. I wish they did shoes, as I have yet to find a good fair trade shoe label.

Children’s clothing is slightly better with the range of fair trade brands, with Frugi being my favourite. From time to time Marks and Spencer sell products using Fair trade cotton, but this doesn’t extend across their range.

I think fashion still has a long way to go on ethical trading, which is why I am more comfortable hunting for items in charity shops than flicking through the sale rail of a high street brand.

Kate Middleton has been commended for supporting the British high street but I would like to see her using her profile to raise awareness of fair trade and wear brands that promote the social enterprise business model. She would be doing far more good this way – Baby George should be dressed ethically too.

I am blogging every day for UNICEF – cluck here if you can support the campaign.

Thanks for reading.