The Erotic side of London

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Feature


From the 19th to 21st of November the erotic atmosphere reappeared in London, as one of the most controversial festivals was organised in Britain’s capital.

Thousands of people visited the Olympia Exhibition Hall in Kensington where the Erotica Festival took place.

Although it has been accepted from a big part of the British society and the press has treated it nicely, for years there has been a debate raging as to whether erotica and pornography are one and the same.

Erotica followers insist that while it is adult oriented, erotica is mainly a form of art.

“My definition of erotica is if you take a chicken feather and tickle the top of your girlfriend’s leg then that is erotica. Pornography is when you use the whole live chicken! That’s the big difference and we are the erotic side not the pornographic side,” said Savvas Christodoulou chairman of Erotica Limited.

Mr Christodoulou’s company is the brains behind ‘Erotica UK’, an exhibition that lets the ‘artists’ show case their art.

One of the main characteristics of the Erotica festival is that it is a big market rather than an artistic event.

It is a form of business, with the difference that it focuses on more intimate aspects of human relations.

The event, which is aimed primarily at women and couples, has been running every November for 14 years.

The visitors are encouraged to celebrate or re-kindle their relationships with goods and services aimed to enhance their love lives.

World’s Biggest Sex Shop

It is actually a big market where one can buy from sex toys to erotic paintings and also attend special workshops like erotic massage or dating coach.

“Don’t forget when the show is on for the 3 days we are technically the biggest sex shop in the world,” added Mr Christodoulou. “Back in 1997 people were reluctant to buy sex toy because they were situated in sleazy back streets. We made it into an open area with a light environment so people were able to buy products.”

Going the Entertainment way

But it seems that even the sex industry is not recession proof. Over the last couple of years the festival has seen a dip in crowed attendance, with only around 60,000 people turning up this year as compared to 82,000 in 2006.

The decrease in the number of visitors is also related to the use of Internet. According to Mr. Christodoulou: ‘’People are coming at the festival, see the products and then they go back home to buy them online.’’

In order to counter this problem the organizers are shifting the focus more on the entertainment, with famous burlesque artist Dita Von Teese leading the various acts on show.

It is very obvious that the next few years the festival will move from being a market place to entertainment as an attempt to attract more visitors.

Mr Christodoulou also confirmed that they are in negotiation with a famous pop star to appear in next year’s festival. He also added that it is important to keep reinventing the show in order to keep it fresh.

Following a month of announcements about the various budgetary cuts, the last thing the British taxpayer wanted to hear was more money being taken out of their pocket.

Unlucky for them though that’s exactly what they woke up to today, when Chancellor George Osborne confirmed to the BBC that England would be dishing out around £7 billion to help the sinking economy of the Republic of Ireland.

Osborne’s announcement is a puzzling one considering the amount of money they are proposing to loan to Ireland is similar to the amount the Government want to save this year.

So then why hand out the loan when you clearly have a financial crisis of your own?

Need to help Ireland

Prime Minister David Cameron defended the decision to bail out Ireland saying, “We export more to Ireland than we do to Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. Our banking systems are linked, our finances and economies are very linked so of course we stand ready to help.”

As the Guardian very rightly pointed out in an article a few days ago, a stable Irish banking system is crucial to the UK.

Not only because Ireland is its fifth-largest export market for Britain, but also because state-backed banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have loaned up to £53 billion to Irish companies and individuals.

So if these debtors default on their loans then the UK could soon be where Ireland is today.

It’s the Euro zone’s problem

However, despite the obvious reason to bail out Ireland, the Government is being criticized for helping a country whose economy aids the Euro.

Conservative backbencher Douglas Carswell told the BBC: “We shouldn’t be paying to help keep Ireland in the euro. If we are going to pay to solve this crisis, we should be helping to pay Ireland to quit the euro.”

Experts like the Telegraph’s Daniel Hannan believe that Ireland is where it is because it gave up its individual currency and joined the Euro zone.

Chancellor Osborne though responded by telling the BBC, “Ireland is our very closest economic neighbour. I judged it to be in our national interest to be part of the international efforts to help the Irish.”

He also stressed that Britain does not want ‘to be part of a permanent bail-out mechanism for the euro’.

Realisation of a Blogger

Posted: November 12, 2010 in General

It is not suppose to be this hard!

For the last 10 minutes I have been sitting in front of my laptop staring at a blank white screen with the cursor line blinking constantly, taunting me, mocking me with every blink.

Writing is suppose to be easy, writing my thought down is suppose to be a piece of cake!

Then why is it that every time I sit down to blog all my thoughts, opinions and comments go rushing out of my mind.

All I am left with is that damn mocking cursor blinking away.

After the 15th minute passes without a single word on my screen I start to wonder, “What is the point!”

Who is really interested in my thoughts? Why should anyone care what I think of?

With my self confidence shredded to threads I decide to give up and hit the sack and then it dawns on me…

I have over 200 words on my screen telling me exactly what I think of blogging!

So I end just as I started, blogging is not suppose to be this hard, and you know what it is not! All you need is a first line and the rest just seems to follow!

Around the World in 5 hours

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Feature

From the bustling streets of New York to the Land of the Rising Sun in under 5 minutes. No I am not Superman, I am just a fascinated visitor to the World Travel Market

Picture By: Laura Geisswiller

 

Staged annually in London, the World Travel Market is a hot spot for anyone associated with the travel industry or a travel enthusiast like me.

Launched in 1980, the travel market has grown in popularity as the years have passed, with over 24,000 people landing up at the ExCeL arena in London for the 4 day fair.

For those who belong to the industry the fair is a fantastic place to hobnob with their peers and make some valuable contacts.

However, for a general visitor like me, the travel market is a one stop shop for deciding the best destination for your next vacation, as well as soaking in some culture from around the World without even getting on a plane.

I spent my afternoon sampling some fine Caribbean rum while chomping on the word famous Belgian chocolates.

But most importantly I spent my time meeting delegates from all around the world who were present to promote their countries as a potential winter get away.

Overall the fair was a experience I am glad I had, even though it involved me traveling all the way across London, and I would definitely advise you catch it when it returns next year.

The rhythmic beats pumping out of his room are a dead give away of just what is Lorenzo Perrelli’s passion in life.

“Music is part of life, it is something everyone has and is born with. It is an expression of life,” explains a very enthusiastic Lorenzo.

Surprisingly though Lorenzo is not a member of a band or a budding Disk Jockey (DJ).

Instead the 25 year old is an International student in the journalism programme at the University of Westminster.

“Music is not a job it’s a hobby,” explains Lorenzo when asked why he didn’t make his passion his job.

The Rome native loves all sorts of music but has a particular soft spot for club music.

He has done some DJ-ing in his spare time and fondly remembers a graduation party he performed in with over 200 people.

After a hard day of classes he likes to unwind by locking himself in his room and mixing some tunes on his turntable.

Journalism over Music

Despite a burning passion for the tunes Lorenzo decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a journalist.

“As fun as it is the music industry is not the most stable a job prospect,” said Lorenzo. “I love to travel, I love sports, I am interested in politics so Journalism seemed like a natural fit.”

However, Lorenzo is confident that despite the rigours of journalism as a profession, he will maintain his passion for music.

“You always have time for thing you love. Music is like a part of me.”

The End of Owen Hargreaves?

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Sports

You got to feel for England football player Owen Hargreaves. The Manchester United midfielder lasted just 6 minutes in his first match since May, before limping out with a hamstring injury.

This is the latest setback for Hargreaves, who has made only 39 appearances since joining the Red Devils from Bayern Munich in 2007.

The 29-year-old has had a history of knee trouble and underwent surgery in 2008 in a bid to cure the problem.

But the latest injury has left experts questioning whether it’s the end of the road for the Canadian born player.

While there is no word on just how long the injury will keep him away, this cannot be good news for Hargreaves, who just has one year left in his contract.

Speaking to Manchester radio station Key 103, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had this to say, “We took a gamble with Owen but he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster. He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable.”

If this does turn out to be the end of Hargreaves, then England would have lost one of the few players who can hold their heads high based on their performance in the last two World Cups.

Tiger loses top spot to Westwood

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Sports

Tiger Woods has finally lost the Golf world number one ranking to England’sLee Westwood after a staggering 281 weeks.

Westwood took over the top spot from Tiger after a string of quality and consistent performances over the last few seasons.

The 37 year old is only the first European to reach the summit of the rankings since Nick Faldo in 1994.

Westwood is also only the 13th man to claim top spot since the introduction of world rankings in 1986.

Losing the top spot is the latest blow for Tiger, who has had a miserable 12 months.

The 34 year old has gone though a well-publicised sex scandal, a multi-million dollar divorce and as a result has seen his form on the golf course decline drastically.

However, speaking to the BBC his successor refused to count him out just yet, “I’ve learnt never to write Tiger off. I’ve seen him play at his best and I’ve seen him play with a broken leg when he won the US Open a couple of years ago.”

According to an article in golf.com Tiger is not Westwood’s only problem. A win at this week’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai could see Phil Mickelson or Martin Kaymer snatch the top spot from the man once known as ‘the English Tiger Woods’.

But Westwood has in the past shown that he is up for any challenge, raising an amazing 265 ranks to land at the top of the mountain today.