T-Mobile Dance Video advert at Liverpool St Train Station

The T-Mobile dance video advert shows the moment hundreds of commuters danced in Liverpool St train station.

I just love this video - it's one of the best viral videos I've seen for absolutely ages. Great example of 'flash-mobbing' / guerilla marketing.

It's odd though that the the media bods at T-Mobile didn't manage to get the video up on YouTube until at least 30 minutes after being transmitted on TV for the first time. Sloppy work, non?

I do think they missed a trick or three.

Watch and download the T-Mobile dance video advert on YouTube here:

Financial acronyms - BRICS and PIGS

Had to laugh this morning whilst listening to the Today programme as a financial analyst discussed the Eurozone and the impending rate cuts.

He made reference to the 'PIGS' [countries], namely; Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

Had not heard of that acronym before; only BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
Very good.

The sun always shines

I need cheering up this morning.

Gordon Brown...help

This photo on the front cover of today's Times made my day :)

(photo courtesy Chris Harris / The Times)

BBC Million Dollar Traders

Skipped my Pilates class last night on account of a work deadline but also because I wanted to watch the BBC2 programme 'Million Dollar Traders'.

Part of the BBC City Season, the premise is that eight 'ordinary people' are given a million dollars, a fortnight of intensive training and two months to run their own hedge fund.

Cash is stumped up by Lex van Dam, a hedge fund manager, so theory is that the contestants are pressured by the fact that it is 'real money' (*and not just 'fake' license payers' money they can fritter away at will.....).

Whilst it could never be described as a totally true-to-life reflection of trading - i.e. lot sizes too small and no real risk control system in place - I enjoyed it, thought it was really good TV and yes, it did provoke a couple of 'shout out loud at telly' moments.

And, oh yes, given that this all took place in the Summer of 2008 meant that it really was a baptism of fire.

Couple of observations:

  • I wanted to shake the girl who started crying: yes; I understand why you were, but I would never, ever advocate crying on a trading floor - regardless of whether man/woman. It's all politics and people will use that against you at some point. Better to go and hide in the loos and have a cry or wait until you're home.
  • The older guy who was described as having '&^%$ for brains'; could not bear to work with him. Totally infuriating and reiterates all the worst stereotypes about curmudgeonly 'older people'.
  • Not sure if the label 'ordinary people' holds up . I've got horrible memories of working with so called 'professionals' whose knowledge / skills leave a LOT to be desired.
  • For added verisimilitude, they ought to have nominated the youngest/most unsuccessful to go out for the daily coffee/bacon butty run.
  • The guy who was acting as mentor (*did not catch his name): respect. I liked his style and also his empathetic understanding that humiliating people publicly might not be the best way to motivate them.
Watch it here on BBC iplayer

*** UPDATE ***
The series has now finished and ended on what I thought was a pretty cataclysmic note.
Of the participants shown above, Caroline, the woman on the far right hand side (black and white dress) came out top, not least because of her totally calm, focused approach.

What struck me most of all though was the attitude taken by the other female participant, Cleo, who seemed to be on-edge, overly emotional and paralysed by inaction. In all, really a flip-side to the mental coin as demonstrated by Caroline.

I thought Cleo's comments about wanting everything to be 'perfect' were particularly revealing and I can't help but wonder if this is a problem which particularly pertains to women.
Is our desire for things to be 'perfect' and 'absolutely right' our Achilles heel?
I wonder...

If so, there is much to be said for a 'f**k it mentality' - after all; you can't get everything right and maybe it is those who try, or at least seize the opportunity, are the ones who will ultimately succeed?
I think so.

New Conservative campaign googles death for Gordon Brown

Shurely shome mistake?

A Google search for the name of the new Conservative advertising campaign
"Dad's eyes. Mum's nose. Gordon Brown's debt" suggests a rather more grisly ending for Gordon Brown.....

Kate Winslet Golden Globe acceptance speech

Call me bitter and twisted, but I can't help but feel that Kate Winslet's acceptance speech is the most mawkish and cringe-inducing since...well, Alexandra Burke's constant blubbing throughout the X Factor final.

Well done and all that..but really; it's all a bit O.T.T. and leaves me feeling vaguely sick.

Motown marks 50th anniversary

A perfect pick-me-up for a miserable Monday morning.

Shane Watson "How to Meet a Man"

Today's Sunday Times Style section includes an extract from author, journalist and Sunday Times columnist Shane Watson's latest book "How to Meet a Man After Forty and Other Midlife Dilemmas Solved"

Whilst I'm not yet in the target demographic, (*am still 'only' 33) I do think there are some universal nuggets of guidance which apply, regardless of age, not least the letting go of a dogmatic and draconian List of Required Attributes.

Even so, the whole concept of 'dating' and 'getting out there' scares me witless, even though (or maybe because?) I've been in a long-term relationship for nine years, not all of it very sucessfully.

Frankly, there are times I really wonder, should I ever become single, if I could actually be bothered with the whole dating malarkey. For one thing, I am far less tolerant and far more selfishly impatient than I was in my early twenties when time and endless romantic possibilities seemed to stretch out into infinity. It's just the whole process of trying to find someone which seems so soul-destroying; where do you meet new people? Or, more to the point, the right kind of people?

I'm not entirely convinced that online dating is the answer either. My younger sister who is 25 joined one of these dating sites 'just to see' a couple of months back and allowed me to share her logins so that I could help 'quality control' the responses. Frankly; they weren't up to much and, if anything, made me question the calibre of guys 'out there'.

Here are some unedited highlights - or lowpoints depending on your point of view.
NB: I have removed anything that is in any way identifiable; everything else copied verbatim.

Hi xxxxx, im pete, im fun and friendly man with a great personality and sense of humour and im looking to meet a like minded lady, anyway if you would like to know more feel free to get in touch and ask anything. i look forward to hearing from you, pete
Hi xxxxxx. I'm a guy that is just 'a nice guy' that is looking for someone to have fun with. Be it sailing/skiing in far away places, beach holidays in places where wow in the only word.
Hey xxxxx....blah blah blah....check out my profile....blahdy blah...would love to hear from you xx
Well good evening to you young lady:) How are you on this freezing day? I thought it about time i said hello:) I am sure the pleasure will be all mine :)
What have you been up to? Great w/end?
{rest continues in this vein}
Wow you are gorgeous! I guess you've heard that from all the blokes, but still it's nice to hear compliments

Not exactly inspiring is it?

Lily Allen's comments on drugs

Lily Allen hit the headlines earlier this week with her comments on drug-taking, saying the issue is "sensationalized" and that she knows people who "take cocaine three nights a week and get up and go to work everyday, no problem."

I feel I ought to lay it all out and admit that yes, I really CAN'T STAND Lily Allen for all her mockney cockney faked hard-girl attitide (-she's an ex alumna of Hill House, dontcha know), but I do think she raises a valid point about recreational drug usage....or at least the fact that some people do drugs and manage to hold down 'professional' jobs.

Now, my own stance on drug usage is this: I grew up in the early '80s and was part of the generation who watched Sammo take heroin in Grange Hill and yes, that did put me off.
At University, like most of my friends, I tried out the occasional spliff - was all part of the growing-up-process - but that is as far as it went. Certainly, when I left University and had the responsibility of a job, it did not even cross my mind to continue.
As for harder drugs like cocaine; well, that's just not my bag, nor is it for my own close circle of friends.

Still, that aside, I do know plenty of thirtysomething so-called professionals who do partake.
One in particular is my neighbour, whom for sake of expediency I shall call Cokehead Charlie.
Cokehead Charlie is (or rather was until he lost his job some time ago) a City Lawyer and had (has??) the biggest coke habit I know. Bank Holiday weekends were commonly all out benders with drug-fuelled parties lasting until 9am. (*not that I was invited...my bedroom backs onto his living room and I would have to near smother myself with a pillow just to get some sleep)
Frankly; he looks a mess - pale, skinny and just, well, 'haunted'. Not a good look. Seemingly, though, he managed to hold down a 'proper job' and did not succumb to a nasty, grisly death and so, fits neatly into that group of individuals Lily Allen describes. I'm just not convinced that's ok.

Reasons why I don't do drugs:

  • It is illegal: I don't want/need a criminal record
  • Unknown side-effects: who knows what these are ten years down the line?
  • Proven medical side-effects: cardiac problems / mental issues
  • Unknown cutting agents: washing powder etc...who knows?
  • Drugs make you boring
  • I have a bad enough time these days coping with hangovers...God only knows how/if I could physically/mentally cope with drugs
  • It is expensive: yes, I know prices are relatively cheap these days, but I still look on it as wasted £, much in the same way I do spending £ on pricey Starbucks lattes
  • I spend a small fortune on annual gym membership to keep myself in relatively good nick; why complicate this?
  • Altruistic reasons: the poor people who get suckered into becoming drug mules.
  • Too many responsibilities: in much the same way that these days I rarely drink during the week as I need to focus on work and have all my wits about me, I have not got the luxury of time to recuperate/get over drug usage.
  • The thought that I could get addicted and all the nightmare outcomes (nb Amy Winehouse)
  • I smoke and that is already one bad addiction I need to get rid of - can't cope with another
I'm not condoning drug usage, far from it; I'm just saying that a lot of so-called professionals do it. I'm not sure how you target them to make them stop; not sure if you can?

Anecdotally, I hear from a few friends that spot drug tests seem to be on the increase in City firms now that the recession has taken grip. A nifty way to get rid of employees without having to go through the whole rigmarole of making redundancy payouts. Come to think of it, that might just be the best warning yet?

Rachida Dati is still the best looking female politician

As a thirty-something singleton sans kids, I do not feel properly qualified to delve headlong into the furore over French Justice Minister Rachida Dati's decision to return to work a mere five days after giving birth.

Perhaps I'm naive, but I've always assumed that, in the event of some miracle, (i.e, that one day I should actually pop some out) I would continue working and somehow muddle along as my own Mother did before me. Part of the reason I decided to start my own business in the first place was so that I could lay the ground rules and not have them dictated to me....and anyway, the mortage won't pay for itself, alas.
Well; whatever.

However; I can't help but agree with Guido and think how utterly fabulous she looks. Wow.

Having worked in pretty much all-male environments for most of my employed life (*trading floor) , I've always been of the opinion that it is preferable to dress femininely and make the most of what you've got in a manner that is appropriate to a professional environment, as opposed to downplaying one's femininity and adhering to a uniform of drab trouser suit / shirt combo's . For me; this is why Dati's outfit just works so well.

So, why oh why, do our female politicians over this side of La Manche never seem to get it right?

Female politicians who have the x-factor:

  • Rachida Dati
  • Condy
  • any Italian female politician
  • La Palin (albeit in a late '80s power suit rut...if you like that kind of thing)

Jacqui Smith, Hazel Blears, Yvette Cooper et al: Sort it out, girls!

gappy historical knowledge

A few days before Christmas I took the chance to go into World's End Bookshop

If like me you're a fan of historical/autobiographical/military themed books and aren't put off by rummaging through piles of books stacked haphazardly all over the shop (literally), then this is definitely the place for you.

Amongst my pile of holiday reading were three gems by Giles Milton, including
"Big Chief Elizabeth: How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World"

I read this a few years back but it was good to find a copy I could call my own.
I cannot recommend it highly enough - read it!

I don't know whether it is because of the R4 history programme I've been listening to late in the evening as I get ready for bed, but I've come to the conclusion that my overall historical knowledge is very (very) patchy in places. I'm strong in some areas but do have what can only be described as definite black holes in others....thankfully though, nothing like those schoolkids who think the name 'Churchill' only applies to a dog in an advert.

So, whilst I might be able to wax lyrical on Aristotle's 'Athenaion Politeia', have a surprisingly thorough grasp of how Queen Victoria's grand-daughters married into European dynasties and of course an in depth understanding of WW2.....when it comes to plain vanilla, bog standard English History (let alone British...), I just don't cut it, I'm afraid.
Corn laws, spinning jennies, tithes - all wasted on a group of hormonal 14 year olds.

This, I feel, needs tackling in 2009. Any suggestions as to good, all round history books much appreciated.

everyone wants to be a madoff investor

And so the massive Madoff mess rumbles on...

What gets me is just how many Facebook groups have seemingly sprung up out of nowhere with hordes of individuals claiming to be 'Madoff investors' and seeking some kind of weird retaliatory cyber-justice.

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I'm wondering how many of these 'aggrieved investors' are for real and not just wannabees thinking that they can get some risk-free buy-in (excuse the pun) - i.e, at the very least, being perceived to have so much money that they could afford to join that set (or maybe just a neat way to get their Facebook friend quotas up?)

Oh well.

For the rest of us (myself included) there's always eBay.
How about a Madoff cap? Yours for only a starting bid of $6.

private eye cover 1227

One of life's little highlights is the thud on the doormat of my subscription copy of Private Eye.
The covers alone justify the subscription price...which is why I'm going to post them here as they come.

Farewell to Eartha Kitt

I couldn't help but think that one of the most overlooked items of news over the Christmas period was that Eartha Kitt had passed away. (17/01/1927 > 25/12/08)

I've started to listen to some of her music in the past few months on iTunes and have always thought that "Just an old fashioned girl" would make a fantastic accompanyment to a burlesque routine.

Here's The Times obituary and below...well, I couldn't help myself; it's a classic.

About This Blog

The life and loves of a 30something
female living in Chelsea, SW3, London.

Frank, acerbic and occasionally
batty forays into the realms of ego.

Get in touch: email me on
chelseasw3girl at gmail dot com

About Me

Work: Early 30s, own business, ex Investment Banker.

Personal: Single but co-habiting for several years. After a rocky patch, we seem to be getting on much better.

Likes: current affairs, politics, walking by the river, reading, burlesque, exploring, the countryside and lots of other random things besides. I like to straddle a wide cultural morass and enjoy delving into Private Eye as much as I do the latest brain-dead issue of Heat or OK mag (*dreadful, I agree)

Dislikes: bureaucracy, *uckwits, parking wardens, bad service, Alaister Darling, BS and ...oh, I could go on.

  © Chelsea SW3 Girl Blog 2009

Back to TOP