Local Mum of one Ryan Wenstrup-Moore is celebrating after reaching the finals of the MAD Blog Awards, a national awards programme celebrating the fast-growing world of parent blogs, for the third year running.
Ryan’s blog, Transatlantic Blonde is one of just five finalists in the Best Beauty and Fashion Blog category of the MAD Blog Awards, beating more than 3,000 other blogs nominated in the awards.
Ryan said: – “I started writing a blog to keep my friends and family abroad involved and up to date with my life in Scotland and it’s grown from there. I started a weekly fashion post over a year ago after I began working from home so I’d have a reason to get dressed in more than just pyjamas. Just because you’re a Mum doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. It’s wonderful to know that people enjoy reading what I write, and I’m really excited to have reached the finals of the awards for the third year in a row.”
Blog readers around the UK have until March 26th to vote for their favourite blogs in 15 categories at the MAD Blog Awards website, and the winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in London this September, sponsored by parentdish.co.uk. The Best Beauty and Fashion award is sponsored by TK Maxx and the winner of this award will receive a fantastic £500 shopping spree.
“The MAD Blog Awards are the biggest and most exciting awards for parent bloggers in the UK, and we are so proud to be sponsoring the awards for the third time this year. The quality of entries this year has been phenomenal, and we can’t wait to see more from these talented writers,” said Tamsin Kelly, editor of Parentdish.co.uk.
“There are more than 5,000 parent bloggers in the UK today, with a combined readership of almost 1 million people each week. Mum and Dad blogs represent an influential and exciting voice, and the MAD Blog Awards celebrates the very best and brightest blogs in the community,” added Sally Whittle, founder of the MAD Blog Awards.
Ryan’s blog Transatlantic Blonde can be found online at http://transatlanticblonde.blogspot.com
Readers can vote for Ryan’s blog in the MAD Blog Awards at www.the-mads.com
A-list actress Brenda Blethyn has teamed up with singing icon Dame Shirley Bassey to ask women across Scotland to put their best foot forward for Barnardo’s Shoe Appeal starting Saturday 16 March.
The dynamic duo have joined the mass shoe de-clutter event, aimed at encouraging people all over Scotland to free themselves from their unworn or good condition shoes, and help raise thousands for the most vulnerable children.
We need shoes that will cover every occasion; to protect from rain, sleet and snow; that finishing touch to an interview outfit; or even finding the perfect ‘baffies’ to relax in.
Brenda Blethyn OBE, star of the hit TV crime drama ‘Vera’ and ‘Mary and Martha’, said:- “As a confirmed shoe-devotee, this is a great opportunity to donate pre-loved shoes and help children and young people throughout the UK. Dame Shirley Bassey and I share a strong desire to support Barnardo’s and the Shoe Appeal is a fun way to do just that.”
The double Oscar-nominated actress, and Barnardo’s Ambassador has donated a stunning pair of gold sandals worn on the red carpet.
Fellow celebrity Shoe Appeal signatory Dame Shirley Bassey, a Barnardo’s supporter, said: “Like most women I have shoes that I certainly don’t wear anymore. By giving them to the stock appeal, it’s given me the perfect chance to clear out my shoe rail, donate the forgotten footwear and support a great cause. I’m urging everybody to ‘step up’ for the Shoe Appeal and donate their shoes to Barnardo’s.”
The international singing star has donated ten pairs of her favorite footwear, including elegant Emporio Armani sandals, glamorous chunky cowboy boots, peep toe Stuart Weitzman shoes and vintage style TTxTT evening shoes.
Companies, retailers and individuals are encouraged to donate; please dig deep into your cupboards, lofts, and dust off that shoe rack! All proceeds go toward supporting disadvantaged children in your area.
All profits from the charity’s stores go towards helping Barnardo’s services to support and transform the lives of vulnerable children in local services.
Sodexo Prestige and Hampden Go Fairtrade Bananas
Hundreds of free bananas will be handed out at one of Scotland’s most popular stadiums by a Scottish catering giant to show its support for Fairtrade farmers around the globe. Hampden football stadium will be giving away over 500 pieces of the sustainable fruit to delegates attending its various corporate events and conferences during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from February 25.
The move has been dreamt up by Sodexo Prestige, which also provides catering and hospitality services at venues such as Perth and Hamilton Race Courses, Aberdeen Football Club and National Museums of Scotland. Austin Tilsley, Scotland regional director at Sodexo Prestige, said: “We partner with some of the finest venues in Scotland and were determined to do our bit for Fairtrade Fortnight. Now every delegate attending a meeting or conference at one of those venues over the fortnight will get a Fairtrade banana on us. It’s a bit of fun, a tasty snack and a perfect way to get people to think about where their food comes from and to focus on the excellent work of the Fairtrade Foundation. Everything we do at Sodexo Prestige is about using locally-sourced, sustainable and in-season produce as widely as possible. Obviously we can’t buy locally-grown bananas, but we can make sure those we do buy help the poorest farmers around the world. We already use a range of Fairtrade products across our venues, including sugar, coffee and tea.”
Fairtrade Fortnight runs to March 10 and aims to promote the issue of world poverty, encouraging people across the UK to think about where their food comes from and help support smallholders in the developing world.
A total of 10,000 bananas will be handed out by Sodexo Prestige, which partners with 17 top class Scottish venues and more than 50 across the UK. It also provides catering for The Open Championship, one of the world’s biggest golfing events.
Parent company Sodexo employs more than 1000 people across Scotland, providing catering and a wide range of other services at scores of sites, including council buildings, government offices, courts, schools, colleges, as well as many businesses. The company, which operates globally, has outlined its long term sustainability goals in its Better Tomorrow plan, a worldwide sustainability strategy taking it up to 2020.
James Bennet, Head of Brand and Out of Home at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “In 2013 Fairtrade is challenging businesses to go further for Fairtrade producers. We are pleased to work with Sodexo Prestige on a number of initiatives that drive sales of Fairtrade goods across their sites and raise awareness to their consumers. Over the past few years in line with its Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo Prestige has actively engaged with Fairtrade. We look forward to continuing this in the future and across 2013 driving more significant producer impact. “
Operating under the BS8901 Management System for sustainable events, Sodexo Prestige implement a number of practices designed to ensure it acts in a sustainable manner. Initiatives include ensuring all baked goods are made on site or sourced from within 30 miles; using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients where possible; and consolidating deliveries to minimise food miles.
Hard Rock Rising is a battle of the bands competition and they are looking for the next big band . The worldwide competition is coming to Edinburgh at Hard Rock Cafe in the city’s George Street they are looking for bands/artists from all over Scotland to take part and new talent can win music equipment valued at around £6,000 as well as shoot a music video and embark on a world tour.
Any artist interested can register on the Edinburgh Hard Rock Cafe Facebook page, where fans will decide who can move on to the live performance rounds. Registration ends January 21. Once the favourites have been selected they will perform at The Hard Rock Cafe in front of a panel of judges at the venue who will then decide who wins and will then be representing Scotland and be up against the winners from all the other Hard Rock Cafe’s participating throughout the world. The winners will then be narrowed down to a Top 25 and a panel of judges will decide the overall winner.
More than 12,000 bands entered Hard Rock Rising and nearly one million votes were cast by fans around the globe in 2012 with the Edinburgh event being won by local group The Asps.
The overall winner of the competition will play a world tour in cities including Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Chicago and Honolulu, arranged by Hard Rock International, as well as record an album with Hard Rock Records.
Entries must be received by 21st January 2013.
For more information or indeed to enter please follow the links below:
May The Best Band Win!
Glasgow based rock band Sixth Avenue Traffic are headlining a big gig on Christmas Eve at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in the city.
Chris Thompson (Vocals), Chris Gould (Guitars and Vocals), Kirsten Stevenson (Bass) and Jordon Lang (Drums) are finishing off a huge year for the band, from playing Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands in Edinburgh back in March to releasing their debut EP Whisper, Smile and Wave to a packed house at the Classic Grand. Playing a major gig at King Tut’s 2012 rounds off a busy and successful year for this great band.
Here Barry Dickson interviewed them about the past year, Christmas Eve and what 2013 will bring for the band and their ever growing fan base.
To find out more about the band go to:
The Avenue Shoppping Centre in Newton Mearns this weekend hosts its first vintage event in partnership with Oxfam Boutique. The event will run from Friday 30th November until Sunday 2nd December.
As well as showcasing vintage clothing, accessories, jewellery and homewares, the event will also feature homemade jewellery and headbands from local fashion student Iona Sinclair. The Avenue will become centre of all things fashion!
Michelle McCabe, Centre Manager at The Avenue, said: “If you’re desperately seeking the perfect Christmas gift for your nearest and dearest – but you’re still at a loss about what to get – then come along to our vintage event for a range of special gift ideas, from jewellery to homewares.”
Oxfam Boutique will host a special launch night for the vintage event in the Avenue on Thursday 29th November from 7pm till 10pm. It is an inredibly exciting opportunity for all those interested in vintage or one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.
The Avenue, which is open until 7pm every Thursday, is home to 44 different retailers. Stock includes books, clothing/fashion, mobile phone, perfume and health/pharmacy items.
The Avenue Shopping Centre offers shoppers an alternative to sprawling trolley-dash shopping culture with a comprehensive range of outlets offering a warm and welcoming shopping experience conveniently located on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre.
For further information about The Avenue log onto www.avenueshopping.co.uk.
An event to increase the awareness of Huntington’s Disease (HD) will take place this month at Firhill Stadium, the home of Partick Thistle F.C, in the Alan Rough Suite.
Huntington’s Disease is a condition described as “a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems. It typically becomes noticeable in mid-adult life.”
The event will take place on Friday 30th November 8pm – midnight, organised by Annie MacKenzie.
It is billed as “Rock Around The Christmas Tree For HD Awareness” and will feature some of the best up and coming musical artists from Scotland, including Sixth Avenue Traffic, The Cosmanauts, Honeybadger and Ded Rabbit. There is also a buffet and an auction to raise funds.
Annie MacKenzie explains prejudice against those with Huntington’s Disease due to misunderstandings can be very hurtful to sufferers.
She said: ”Most sufferers stop going out due to being accused of being drunk which is very hurtful for them, our event’s are now giving them a space to feel part of their communities again, they all know we find a safe environment, friendly people and we are all together for HD awareness, that empowers people who suffer from HD to change their own attitude towards their ways of coping, helps their families feel less stressed and we all know music is a good healer for anyone who suffers from high levels of stress.”
Annie has previously organised many other fundraisers to support sufferers and families of sufferers of HD.
Commending those who help to create the event, she continued: “We always thank all the bands who play at our event over and over again for their kind free contribution not only has band members, but they guide us through the process of planning a live music event and of course our wonderful team of volunteers with who we all share one thing in common: we are all from HD families, we all know the impact HD has had on our lives and we all push to make huge changes so the next generation do not have the same amount of upset and stress as most of us have to cope with on a daily basis.
“There is also a CD called Carry On which is a compilation of 20 tracks that have all been donated (play-list to be released just before the 30/11/12) by 20 of the bands who have played at our past HD awareness live music event. The track Carry On was written by a Glasgow based band called The Coffins (who are also appearing at the fundraiser). The lead singer attended our last gig which we held at the Woodstock music club in Dunfermline, he asked me why the need to be HD aware and by the time I finished telling him it had such a huge impact on him that he went home and wrote the song.”
Tickets for the event can be purchased for £8.00 in advance by calling or texting 07706080367 or at the venue on the night for £10.00.
For more information go to: http://www.liveforlifescotland.webs.com/
Intrepid artist Phillip Gray is holding an exhibition later the month to raise funds the The Hope Foundation in conjunction with Breeze Art Galleries.
Phillip Gray, whose artwork is coveted by many celebrities, including Dolly Parton and George Bush, will display many of his works in the two-hour exhibition, including a brand new exclusive painting of the Scottish Highlands landscape as requested by Breeze Art Gallery. This piece will encapsulate the country’s wild nature and will be for sale during the exhibition.
Phillip Gray, a self-proclaimed extreme artist, creates landscape pieces which will be on display at the exhibition. His inspiration comes from the most extreme and harshest climates known to man, including 20,000ft up Mt Everest or the North Atlantic seabed. When asked about his art, he claims it is a form of expression designed to push his thoughts to extremes.
He says: “My extreme journeys into the unknown bring new challenges that push the boundaries of my mind body and soul. Voyages of discovery, sometimes dangerous, are a stimulus to drive me forward creatively and explore new worlds of emotional expression.”
Phillip Gray will also be giving a live demonstration of how he works to guests of the event. He builds on a feeling of his surroundings to create his amazing pieces. One of his most recent pieces include a landscape of the volcanic eruption in Iceland back in 2010. This stunted travel plans for many Europeans, but Phillip only saw the excitement and potential in thsi situation.
Philip added: “The contrast between fire and ice inspired me to paint with a wider palette and freed my imagination to create paintings that are both science, yet somewhat surreal too.”
Breeze Galleries are very excited to work with Phillip in order to raise funds for such a great cause. Proceeds will go towards The Hope Foundation, a charity close to the artists heart supporting children in India and the Philippines. The Hope Foundation, based in Kolkata, provides education, healthcare and general support for children without parents.
Bob Corsie, founder of Breeze Galleries, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Philip Gray back to Glasgow, especially as he will once again be providing us with a live demonstration. Philip’s work is stunning and visitors to the exhibition will no doubt be captivated by the massive, colour filled canvases, which seem to pull those looking at them right into the heart of the landscape he is depicting.”
The exhibition will be on November 18th, between 2-4pm in the Breeze Art Gallery in Frasers, Glasgow. For an invitation to the event call Breeze Galleries on 0800 1300 345 or go to the Breeze Gallery website here.
More information on The Hope Foundation and what the charity does to help orphaned children can be found on their website here.
The Christmas Shopping Festival, sponsored by Hamley’s Glasgow, will open in Glasgow on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
The event will feature over 60 exhibitors, including a unique shopping area, food and drink village and a Hamley’s Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Grotto for children’s entertainment.
Some of the exhibitors will include Candy Creations, Forbidden Planet, Johnston Art, Louise Scott and Therapy Hair & Spa.
Some exhibitors will be running masterclasses and workshops to show customers to the best they have to offer.
The event promised to provide “a unique shopping experience and family day out where you can do all your Christmas shopping under one roof!” It will be the first of it’s kind to come to Glasgow.
The Christmas Shopping Festival will also come to Edinburgh on the 8th and 9th December, which will include festive cooking demonstrations on top of the numerous exhibitions. Chefs include Mark Greenaway, Jason Wright and Paul Hart.
The Festival will run from 11:30-16:30 in the Royal Concert Halls, Sauchiehall Street, this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available on the door, or through the website. Tickets cost £5.00.
We are willing to bet you that you will come out of the cinema after watching this film and head straight for the nearest music store, or download the music immediately from iTunes. The film, Searching for Sugar Man, is a documentary, but having already won the Special Jury Prize and the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary at this year’s Sundance Festival, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, as well as winning second place at the Tribeca Festival, you know that it has to be special. And it is.
The story is true of course, but it is one which is barely believable, even when the film draws to a close. (And you will not want it to end anyway). Sixto Rodriguez, a singer songwriter of Mexican descent, lived in Detroit and sang in less than fabulous bars there, including one called The Sewer. Two record producers, Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, signed him to make his first album called Cold Fact in 1970 and a second album Coming from Reality followed which was produced by famed music producer, Steve Rowland. But neither of these amazing offerings became a hit in the US, despite the fact that all three of the record producers worked with many huge stars, both before and after working with Rodriguez. It fell to the South African market to buy his records, and he became a musical legend there. His songs, in the words of one person interviewed in the film, were ‘the soundtrack of our youth.’ This was the South Africa of apartheid, of oppression. His songs appeared to speak directly to the people at the heart of that struggle, and they simply loved him.
The music is sort of Bob Dylan but better. It is quite mellow, but with enough lyrical twists and turns to engage you. And in our view his music is better than Dylan in many respects, principally that you can understand what he is singing.
In the opening sequence of the film you might think that you are on the Pacific Highway in California, but this is not possible as the car is driving on the left hand side. It is only when you are told that it is Cape Town that you realise the film is starting on a different continent with staggeringly beautiful scenery. This proves to be a world away from the streets of Detroit.
There are some unanswered questions, including the destination of money earned from the sale of the records, but we think it is just as well that those areas were left unexplored, at least for the time being. The intrigue and mystery might easily have been compromised, and a great film spoiled. But the team behind it knew what they were doing.
It is the work of Director, Malik Bendjelloul. Based in Stockholm, Malik Bendjelloul has been directing documentaries for twelve years, primarily based on musicians. In 2001, Bendjelloul directed the first ever documentary about German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. He has also made a documentary series about the history of heavy metal as well as some single documentaries, collaborating with such iconic artists as Björk, Sting, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2 and Kylie Minogue. Last autumn Bendjelloul directed a filmed concert with Prince.
Bendjelloul has also worked as director and creative producer for Swedish Television’s international cultural weekly show Kobra, where he made short documentaries covering a wide range of stories. Among the subjects were the First Earth Battalion – the American army division who tried to teach their soldiers to walk through walls; and a profile on Alfred Merhan, a man who has been living in Charles de Gaulle airport for 18 years and who became the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s THE TERMINAL. Other subjects have included the controversial story of British pop band The KLF burning a million pounds, and a film exploring the rumours surrounding Paul McCartney’s death.
He had worked on Sugar Man for a long time before meeting up with the Producers Simon Chinn and John Battsek who helped complete the film. Bendejelloul said:- “In 2006, after five years making TV documentaries in Sweden, I spent six months travelling around Africa and South America looking for good stories. In Cape Town I met Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, who told me about Rodriguez. I was completely speechless – I hadn’t heard a better story in my life. This was five years ago and I have been working on this film more or less every day since then.”
The producer Simon Chinn has already won Oscars and other plaudits and you will possibly know him for his most recent films Project Nim and Man on Wire (the latter did win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance). It became Rotten Tomatoes best-reviewed film of all time.
In 2005, Chinn established his production company, Red Box Films, to produce MAN ON WIRE (taking inspiration from Philippe Petit, who kept his ideas for future projects, including his high wire walk between the Twin Towers, in a red box under his bed) and it currently has a slate of projects – including feature documentaries, feature films and television dramas – at various stages of production and development.
We loved it, and we are struggling to tell you about it in too much detail since we really do not want to spoil it for you. It is the story of Rodriguez, an American singer, his music and his life. Maybe that is all you ought to know before you storm the doors of your nearest cinema from 27 July 2012 when it is available on general release. Then sit back and prepare to be amazed by the story of a singer songwriter who was bigger than Elvis in South Africa.
Searching for Sugar Man opens in the UK today 27 July 2012
Photo © StudioCanal