Happy Chappies in Real Nappies

I saw on Twitter that there was going to be a “#realnappyflashmob” meeting at The Betjeman Statue in St Pancras International Station at 11am today (Wednesday 11th December 2013) so I popped on down to find out more.

photoTurns out this was a gathering organised by Real Nappies for London – raising awareness of and encouraging take up for washable nappies. This is not something I had really given much thought about but there are some horrific stats:

  • The UK throws away 8 MILLION nappies a day into landfill
  • Nappies account for 4% of UK Household waste
  • A nappy for a new born will be changed up to 12 times a day
  • Household waste doubles when there is a newborn in the house; trebles if there are two


But can re-usable, washable nappies actually be a viable alternative? Are they convenient? Apparently, you get used to the routines and they can be washed in a machine at normal 40degree temperature; Are they cost-effective? Yes, over the full months of use. Do they work? The kids seem happy, the parents seem convinced and they are quite a fashion accessory!

SLP_0180-X2And who knew that local councils offer incentive vouchers? and at least seven North London Boroughs have a scheme in place? (including Islington Council representatives (pictured at the gathering today right) and, thankfully, my borough, Camden). Apparently giving out over 11,600 vouchers since 2007 has saved 7,000 tonnes of disposable nappy waste and this saves London taxpayers £1M! Now you are talking my language as someone who lives and works in London but does not have any children…

I was impressed by the commitment of this group – evangelising without patronising, doing their bit to save the planet and practising what they preach. Here are a few more pics from the St Pancras part of the day: http://samlanephotography.smugmug.com/St-Pancras/Real-Nappies-for-London. Wishing you all the best!


Find out more about the Go Real National Campaign or visit Real Nappies for London 


Christmas is coming


I had a really interesting project last week… to take some photos of the Christmas Decorations that are going to be on display at a fantastic London venue, but actually before they are put up (so that the images could be used in some promotional material that will also be on display and it all matches and co-ordinates).

So, off I set out into drizzly Buckinghamshire to a small unit tucked away in the countryside to drop in to see The Christmas Decorators. The dressed tree in the reception area was fabulous and as I travelled upstairs it was great to see that pre-decorated trees were already stacked up and ready for delivery.

My fabulous host Clark had already created four decorated and LED-lit garlands for me to photograph which looked amazing. I saw over 30 boxes of baubles (each containing in the region of 500!) and my host explained that there was going to be 4,500 feet of garlands – each about 9 foot long surrounding the venue. It’s going to look great! I am told it takes around 15 minutes to do each one with an array of gorgeous baubles… and then two nights to put them up! The LED lights mean that the whole display can run off just one 13-amp plug and will cost just 19p per month on power. All the garlands – which come rolled up before they are “fluffed” – are fireproofed and made at their factory in China as are the various sizes of baubles that are also shatterproof.

So much detail and effort goes into these which can be months in the planning yet a key few weeks of actual prep and installation. And then of course people want everything out again by 6th January. I have a huge admiration for all those involved in the business of corporate and residential Christmas Decorations – have a fab Christmas!

Christmas is coming

Meeting an Olympic Legend

I was the tender age of ten when iconically bald and fabulously talented swimmer Duncan Goodhew won Olympic Gold in the Moscow Games in 1980. He was a legend then, and, as I discovered, is still – completely – a legend now.

Southeastern railway continued their fab idea of naming their Highspeed Javelin Trains after sporting heroes and today, Monday 10th June 2013, Duncan Goodhew MBE graced St Pancras International Station‘s platform 13 with his enigmatic and humourful presence.


He is gentle and the perfect professional. He is fab in front of the camera – bringing his Duncan (from Thomas the Tank Engine) book along…


…and amazing with children – who loved his medal!


He is known for his support as President of BT’s Swimathon and he’s also a keen supporter of Variety, the Children’s Charity for disadvantaged kids. Alongside being a dad, devoted husband and a thoroughly nice bloke too.

More photos here: http://smu.gs/11RswRw

Meeting an Olympic Legend

Rude Graffitti

During a gentle walk from Tottenham Court Road back to St Pancras I began to spot a felt tip pen graffiti “artist” spreading their words of wisdom around Camden. This tagging style is not my favourite, but there was something mildly amusing, if a little risque at times…

If you are sensitive about swearing (aka “cuss words” for my American chums) then please look away now…

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Nuff said really…

Rude Graffitti

St Pancras Brick by Brick…

I’d seen on twitter that the Lego version of St Pancras International Station was on display in Waterstone Piccadilly – so I was itching to see it in real life.

From what I gather it is a tie up with the launch of Brick City (which has St P on the cover!) and Warren Elsmore, the author, is actually the guy that made it.


Of course with 180,000 bricks it is pretty darn impressive!20130519-142058.jpg

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I felt a little critical when I was pointing out errors such as there’s no retail on the lower concourse, Searcy’s Champagne bar is in the wrong place, the Sir John Betjeman statue is missing etc… then I remembered: 180,000 pieces – give the guy a break!!!

I did like what Waterstones/Octopus publishing has done to encourage the kids – they added some additional characters to the exhibit and challenge you to find them… (Hint: Buzz was in the training room). Worth checking out and I think it is there until 2nd June…



Check out Brick City Book on Facebook and follow Warren Elsmore on twitter…


St Pancras Brick by Brick…