The doors of Brick Lane: London

I enjoyed a weekend in London recently and decided to take a trip to Brick Lane in East London. I’d seen a television programme that week that was all about the history of the East End. I wanted to see it for myself – so went along to explore.

There was street art everywhere I looked. I went snap-happy with my camera and loved every moment. Here are some of the amazing doors I found!

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How do you measure up?

Discovered in Antwerp in Belgium.

I was just minding my own business and taking a little visit to the toilet when I walked in and saw this.

Okay – it made me laugh – out loud. It was quite tricky to concentrate while standing there.

Which one to stand at?

Europe… According to the British

Britain and Europe.

You thought that they were linked? Clearly the Brits disagree…

It’s all very mixed up.

The UK (or is it Great Britain? Or Scotland? Or Wales?…. England even?)…. They don’t really feel like Europe. Quite often you hear the UK media refer to ‘over in Europe’ as though the UK itself is not part of it.

Well it makes sense. We (Brits) are ever so glad to have the ‘English’ Channel to keep us and them far enough apart.

Here’s what the Brits really think of the rest of Europe.

When Eurovision Went So Very Wrong

Creating a TV show which goes out LIVE to hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide is quite a challenge – It’s not surprising then that there are times when it can all go – very wrong.

Here’s a little video showing some of Eurovision’s more embarrassing moments…

Minipop Invasion

What are Minipops?

Well, they’re tiny cartoon versions of people and characters.

The minipops have taken the internet by storm and are becoming increasingly popular. The fantastic images showing the cartoon version of last year’s Eurovision acts were created by Ben Morris in 2011.

Clearly being incredibly popular, Ben decided to create new ones for the entrants in this year’s Eurovision. If you know what the people look like then you will agree that they truly are amazing!!!! So true to life.

Ben got the idea to create the icons after attending the 2010 contest in Olso. He said “While admiring one of the official merchandise stalls outside the Oslo Telenor Arena, I had the notion of creating a range of Eurovision mini pop icons”. Ben had already created icons for the cult TV show Doctor Who. You can the whole story behind Ben Morris and his ideas here on the ESCInsight site.

Ben now has quite a followingThe minipop icons have their own Facebook page. It’s worth a look, for sure.

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Last year, Blue represented the United Kingdom in Eurovision. Following their photoshoot for Attitude magazine, Ben Morris decided to undress Blue for their own ‘stripped’ Minipop picture. Take a look at the video showing how they were made below. Amazing stuff!

Eurovision Semi Final 2

Less than a week to go! Eurovision Season is starting…

The second semi final for the Eurovision will be on Thursday 24th May.

Here are the entries (in order) for the second semi final.  I have said a little about each one. In bold are the ones I hope to qualify.

Serbia: 7/10 – This man knows how to do well in Eurovision. He represented Serbia-Montenegro in 2004, coming 2nd and then wrote the Serbian entry in 2008, coming 6th – as well as hosting it in Belgrade. Watch out…

Macedonia (FYROM): 8/10 – This lady has a voice. What a belter! Effortlessly sung. I think it will get a LOT of Balkan votes.

The Netherlands: 8/10 – The Dutch have a terrible record in qualifying – 2004 was the last time they made the final. I hope this gentle song about childhood memories takes them through. You’ll remember the Indian headdress – that’s for sure.

Malta: 6/10 – 1980s throw back. This is performed by a guy who needs to wear looser clothing.

Belarus: 6/10 –  Their 9th entry and one which won’t do particularly well. I liked it to start with, but have gone off it.

Portugal: 8/10 – Typical Portugal – anthemic and possibly not gonna make it through the semi.

Ukraine: 8/10 – This has grown on me. It’s very West End ‘Lion King’…

Bulgaria: Zzzzzzz. Possibly the second worst entry.

Slovenia: 10/10 – My personal favourite! This gentle ballad builds to a fantastic finish. The 16-year-old has a great voice. I LOVE it!

Croatia: 4/10 – A dull Balkan ballad. Zzzzzzz.

Sweden: 10/10 – Whoah! Time to wake up. Something different in Eurovision. Loreen does some contemporary dance with martial arts moves in this attention grabbing number. Brilliant. I won’t be surprised if we’re in Stockholm next year.

Georgia: 5/10 –  They qualify every year – I don’t know how. This probably will – but it’s not great.

Turkey: 8/10 – Another grower. After seeing this guy in Amsterdam, I love it. Ahoy there Turkey. See you in the final…

Estonia: 10/10 – A gentle ballad, sung by a handsome chappy. Estonia deserve to do well with this. But, there are a LOT of ballads in this semi.

Slovakia: 5/10 –  It’s a bit Bon Jovi – which is a little odd.

Norway: 9/10 –  Sung in English; written by a Swede and sung by an Iranian/Norwegian. Recipe for Top 5. They are recreating Sweden’s 2011 entry though…. blatantly.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: 6/10 –  And again – another Balkan ballad. Zzzzzz.

Lithuania: 5/10 – A dull end to the night.  Not great. This won’t be bringing the prize back to Lithuania. Sounds like Wham!

Which 10 do you think will make the final?

Watch the songs from Semi Final 1 and read my comments here.

Those Russian Grannies

Russia could be on the brink of winning the Eurovision Song Contest.

This year it was not a 20-something girl in a short, sparkly skirt who won over the Russian voters – but a group of six gorgeous little grannies, Buranovskiye Babushki – and I love them!

This is my favourite one! She is the star of the show… (Just so cute).

To make them even more amazing, they beat off fierce competition from the Russian superstars, Dima Bilan and Yulia Volkova . Dima had previously achieved 2nd in the Eurovision in 2006 and then went on to win it in 2008. Yulia was no stranger to Eurovision either, having competed as half of t.A.T.u in 2003, coming 3rd. They were the act to beat…

And boy those Russian grans beat them to a pulp.

I don’t know what I enjoyed more – Watching the grannies sing and dance on stage or seeing the facial expressions of Dima and Yulia as the cameras swung past them as the winning song was performed. TV classic!

So, now Russia are second favourites to win the whole contest in just over two weeks in Baku.

Do they have what it takes?

Take a look at their performance in the Russian National Final.