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The Grenfell Tower Tragedy

It’s been a very difficult week for a lot of people living in West London. A lot of people have lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower tragedy. And then there are the friends and family that have been directly affected in what has been a very tragic and upsetting event.

As a resident of the Kensington and Chelsea borough – and as a part time volunteer at Citizens Advice – I found myself – in some unexpected situations I could not have predicted.

This included interviewing (very briefly) Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, meeting an amazing filmmaker called Janey Ayoade who was helping a strong activist called Neville by filming his story. Briefly meeting Peaky Saku and his friends working as best they could/can to help. Experiencing Mustafa Almansur attempting to collate and lead a committee (due to the Council not being seen anywhere at this point), and hearing the name Ishmahil Blahgrove spoken everywhere I went (I haven’t met him)… but I think he is a brilliant speaker rising up against the mainstream media.

And then there’s the famous face of Lily Allen. Who I met briefly, obviously deeply upset and passionate about helping and using the voice she has to vocalise what she saw. Maybe (and I can only really speculate) aware of her status and not wanting to make the situation about her. The ‘dancing on the fine line of trying to help and intentions being misconstrued’ and taking a lot of flack from the media – one has to be a very strong character to take that on board. 

And then let us not forget the children affected. Ryan Faraji and Tina Faraji aged 6 and 8. Ryan who lost his best friend Yacob. A voice of perspective for his generation. Too young to understand how powerful his message is to the rest of us.

There is a lot to write about this event. But I will not write it all now. I felt as an independent blogger/filmmaker that it was important to capture what was happening, on the ground. Firstly, because I didn’t feel that the media were reporting it authentically. And secondly, because when these families and residents look back on this. They may want to see and reflect on what went on. One day.

I have noted a few names up there. People trying to help. Let it be noted. There are a lot of people not mentioned here trying as best they can, with whatever they can to help as much as they can. This does not take away from the fact that this event – has affected so many people and has been an extremely tragic and heart wrenching situation. And it will always be about those people affected.

Whether I have done the right or wrong thing with capturing these moments. Well. That is arguable and I questioned that myself. And to be honest I don’t know the answer to that. But I did it with the best intention. An attempt to create a ripple effect in the right direction. I felt it was the right thing to do – whilst the media are putting out heavily edited footage.

The trauma that residents are going through is and will be huge. An Iranian woman that survived passed out during an interview with the BBC whilst describing the event to a reporter (which Kimia Zabihyan who was translating at the time claims was never broadcast). Kimia related that the woman wanted her story to be told. Why? Because it was so shockingly traumatic – almost in an unbelievable way (as in – is this really happening in Great Britain today?) that she felt it was important to tell her story.

But for now – above is a ten minute unedited clip and pictures I took, through my eyes.

Unedited – so that. Well you can make your own mind up.

To all those who have lost their lives. Rest in peace. My thoughts are with those directly affected. I’m sorry that this happened to you.

Best,

Becki BXx

#westlondonstrong #grenfelltower

 

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MUSIC INTRO: ADIAM “QUIET DESPERATION” REMIX BY SYMBIZ SOUND
ADIAM REVEALS “QUIET DESPERATION” REMIX BY
SYMBIZ SOUNDEP2 QUIET DESPERATION OUT MARCH 25
ON UNIVERSAL GERMANY
Adiam reveals a remix of Quiet Desperation by future bass group from Berlin, Symbiz Sound. The remix will be included on EP2, out everywhere March 25th on Vertigo Berlin / Universal.
Adiam’s forthcoming release EP2 Quiet Desperation was produced by TV on the Radio?s Dave Sitek, who also produced her debut EP1 Dark Lake, released last October.
About Adiam:
Eritrean-Swedish singer and songwriter Adiam ingeniously mixes rugged post-punk and hip-hop attitude, electronic radiance, intelligent pop songwriting, and distinctively soulful R&B vocals into a unique musical amalgam of equally subversive and seductive authority. Her charismatic gritty-cool voice and memorable harmonies, combined with her often deeply personal, dark lyrics and Dave Sitek’s (of TV On The Radio; has produced for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, Little Dragon, etc.) masterful arrangements and experimental production create an unpredictable and unrivaled signature sound.
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FRENCH CONNECTION #STYLECHALLENGE + SKINCEUTICALS

“This is life’s ultimate cruelty. It offers us a taste of youth and vitality, and then it makes us witness our own decay.” Lisle Von Rhoman in ‘Death Becomes Her’

Hello! On the homepage is my #stylechallenge picture from the French Connection ‘From Sketch to Store’ shoot..  I’d appreciate it if you’d ‘like’ it on facebook HERE – had a lot of fun being a girl and trying on all the different outfits!

In other fashion and health news.. I was invited to the SkinCeuticals store last night in central London. To be honest it isn’t a skin care brand I was/am familiar with. I’ve been in my 30’s for… oh a few years now… and trying to pause the signs of ageing is of course…ever more important (shit, shit, shit didn’t think getting older would actually happen!).

The last time I asked advice from a skin care assistant she declared that I couldn’t be ready for anti wrinkle cream yet as I must have only just left puberty. But isn’t that the whole point of anti wrinkle cream? You want it to er stop the wrinkles before they come not afterwards? Isn’t it too late then?

I don’t know. It’s all so confusing! Is the answer to that. But that’s what I’ve been trying to do anyway.

When I entered the SkinCeuticals store and took a seat – my initial reaction when we were fed a talk on the effects of botox, etc was admittedly a bit freaked out. I am afraid of procedures like that.

So when they moved on to talk about their antioxidant cream I felt a little more relaxed. Ok. Creams. Good.

The idea behind their skin cream is that it is high in antioxidants. Apparently when we eat something containing antioxidants – our organs are the first to utilise the benefits. And our skin which battles daily pollution and the harsh chemicals of the world is the last to reap the rewards. The SkinCeuticals formula is meant to penetrate and feed the skin and protect it from ageing and SkinCeuticals claims to be “one of the only companies to provide scientific evidence to support its products’ claims”. Let’s face it – if you’ve ever stood in the aisle of Boots trying to choose a cream that actually does what it says on the tin it can feel pretty overwhelming..

So I went in for my skin dialysis – where I had to stick my head in a little box – that highlights if your skin has had skin damage from the sun. To be honest anyone would purchase the cream after that horrific experience. Honestly, I nearly had a heart attack – ‘what the hell is that!!’ my mind screamed as I was shown a picture of all the skin damage I had culminated over the summer. Damn you heat wave!!!! And I use SPF’s daily. So I was also a little surprised.

So SkinCeuticals have given me some lotion to try..

The Redness Neutralizer – which combats environmental triggers of redness…

The Phloretin CF which is a high performance broad action antioxidant which is meant to prevent premature signs of aging and correct existing photodamage…

And some Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection.

I will let you all know how I get on with these.

I suppose the best thing about ageing. Is that it is a gradual process. And I aim to stay in the preventative category for as long as I can..

I mean who’s to say… when I hit forty that I won’t have botox.. I mean I don’t know how I will feel when my face looks older. I don’t really know if botox is a good or bad thing.. I don’t know how I feel about it all.  Hopefully… I won’t give a… 

“She also considered very seriously what she would look like in a little cottage in the middle of the forest, dressed in a melancholy gray and holding communion only with the birds and trees; a life of retirement away from the vain world; a life into which no man came. It had its attractions, but she decided that gray did not suit her.”  A.A. Milne, Once on a Time

 

“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I’m listening to indie dance Suzuki Method.. they are produced by David Tolan (Delphic, Primal Scream) and Jim Spencer (The Doves, The Vaccines, New Order) and are made up of brothers and founders Adam and Glen Leishman, Michael Mathews, David Boyd and Ben Hounslow who came together during the Salford riots.

Becki Bx

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NOTHING VENTURED: LASER EYE SURGERY WITH OPTIMAX

(Above is a video I shot for Optimax) 

Beep beep “I’ve just had my eyes lasered!” my friend texted.. “it’s brilliant!!” she exclaimed.

“Awesome!” I replied. I was happy for her “You should so get it done!” she commented.

“Would love to.. but can’t afford it…” I answered back.

This was one of those periods of life where a self esteem boost was required. If it was going to happen at all, ever, the time was now. I was living in a rough area of London where the only available shops are McDonalds, Burger King and Lidl. I was in the middle of a bankruptcy and had been diagnosed with OCD and depression. Life wasn’t… really going so great. It would only be so long before I might cave in to the unhealthy advertising that was visually bombarding me. But I would not surrender… I would not be beaten down by circumstance!

And so… I sat down with my friend, a few philosophy books and some paper and crayons. The meaning of life.. I started to scribble. To be happy. Surely. How to be happy.. I continued. Feel better in oneself. I carried on. How to get there.

“Philosophy, art, politics, religion and bohemia have never sought to do away entirely with the status hierarchy; they have attemptee, rather, to institute new kinds of hierarchies based on sets of values unrecognised by, and critical of, those of the majority.. They have provided us with persuasive and consoling reminders that there is more than one way of succeeding in life.” Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

Oh thank god. I thought to myself. Accept. Embrace situation. I continued to write. To an extent. I thought.

I had only three things, a video camera, a laptop and a mobile phone. All of which I had won from various competitions.

And so I began devising ‘Nothing Ventured’.

Nothing Ventured is a strand that aims to look at the aspects required in order to live a happy ‘successful’ lifestyle and what that entails. With the help from the right places what can we achieve?

Sometimes.. we have to make our own opportunities in life. Whilst it is important to be grateful and content, I believe that opportunity can also lead to hope…and hope… hope is a good thing.

This first blog post is under the strand of Self Care and is dedicated to Optimax who have given me the opportunity to live life free of spectacles by sponsoring this video post.

“Opportunity does not knock it presents itself when you beat down the door” Kyle Chandler

Becki Bx

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VIDEO: Urban Barrier – London’s Largest Urban Art Show

I was invited down to Urban Barrier – London’s Largest Urban Art Show curated by Ben Oakley.  Above is a video of just some of the amazing artists that had their work on display… including Fret, Rowan Newton, Carne Griffiths, Ben Oakley, Ray Richardson and Asbo Luv…

Thanks to Yunioshi for their track Tanlines which is out at the end of March – listen to more of them HERE

Buy the art work or get in touch with Mr Ben Oakley HERE

Have a good weekend…

Becki Bx

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