I’m in Melbourne for a few days and yesterday as I walked past the little City Square part of town, I noticed some brightly coloured trees. I was on my way to meet a friend though, so couldn’t stop to check them out. This morning, I went back to have a look at these amazing beauties that are brightening up the CBD – a yarn bombing initiative to draw attention to Melbourne’s urban forest plans, as far as I can work out. Whatever about the plans to preserve the city’s trees over the next 20 years (see, I did actually have a look at the website that was advertised on the trees, so their clever plan is working), these colourful tree cardigans and quilts have won me.
And it does get quite cold here in the winter, so I hope that they leave them on for a while – am sure the trees will feel quite naked without them. Good job, city of Melbourne – your razzle dazzle urban forest attention-grabber is fabulous!
I’m not really a big fan of serious new year’s resolutions. I have a few things that I tried last year that met with mixed success (see more movies, read more books, run more, lose weight, say yes to more things – in a good way – and so on). Then again, I look back on 2012 as a great year for me, as things came up along the way that I turned into on-the-spot resolutions and saw those through. If I was wedded to my 2012 resolutions, I would have felt like a failure because my September injury meant a fast and dramatic end to my running program; I would have forced myself to see movies that I didn’t like to fill the monthly quota I had set; I would have said no to doing things so that I could finish the books on my bedside table. Granted, that growing pile of books is now threatening to topple on my head in the dead of night, so reading more books is something I’m keen to do in 2013 – if only for survival.
My resolutions have tended to form more of a to-do list for the year ahead, which I don’t think is best practice resolution setting, but it seems to work for me (mostly). I try to make some small, everyday kinda commitments or goals and some bigger (or longer term) resolutions too. And like any good to-do list, the more I put on, the better the chance of crossing something off. Surely.
Anyways, a resolution that I’ve decided to try this year is a very shallow and simple, yet specific, one: wear more nail polish. Because I’m worth it. Really though, I never paint my finger nails as I’ve never seen the point of it when they chip so quickly when you’re busy doing stuff, but this year I’m starting in style. With the yellow, pineapple scented (yes, really) Sportsgirl nail polish that I gave my nieces for Christmas. Sure, I keep thinking I’ve got stickers caught on my fingers or someone has attacked me with highlighters, but these colourful nails are everyday sparks if ever I’ve seen them…
I’d never heard of the Color Run until my friend Anne asked if I’d like to join her team – when I checked it out online, I saw that it looks bizarre, crazy, colourful, fun and very very very different to a normal fun run. So, of course I’m in. They call the Color Run (American spelling – it’s really bugging me not to write ‘colour’, believe me) ‘the happiest 5k on the planet’.
According to the organisers, there are really only two simple rules: (1) you have to start the run in white shirts and (2) you have to finish the run covered in colour. I love their big picture explanation: “Runner/walkers begin the 5k at the start line like a brand new pristine coloring book. By the end, they look like they fell into a Willy Wonka… tie dyed… vat of colored goodness. We are the creators of an all new paint race phenomena!” Of course, they had me at Willy Wonka.
So, how does it work? Apparently, “each kilometer of the event is associated with a designated color: yellow, orange, pink, or blue. As the runners/walkers reach the Kilometer COLOR RUN Zones, they are blitzed by our volunteers, sponsors, and staff with COLOR. All products are 100% natural and safe. You can eat the stuff if you’d like (we have tried it and don’t suggest it, it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste). Of course, we save the best for last, ending the race with a color extravaganza of epic proportions.”
Basically, you run 5km and every km, people jump out and shoot or throw coloured powder all over you. This is the first time the run has come to Australia, after being rolled out across the USA. The first Australian Color Run is in Melbourne in November and we get our turn in Sydney in February. I’ve registered and, by the looks of the peeps in this promo video, better make sure I don’t have any appointments for the rest of the day…Let me know if you’re in Sydney and want to join in the colourful fun!
Pigeons often get a hard time – whether you mock them as ‘rats with wings’, or snigger as they rummage through school rubbish bins to try and salvage some dinner, they’re not exactly the most admired in the bird world. Except for racing pigeons – those guys are just amazing and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how they ‘work’. Anyways, a recent pigeon post on designboom caught my eye and I thought I’d share it here.
In a nutshell, German artists Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck (how’s that for a great name?) came up with a project they called “Some pigeons are more equal than others” during this year’s Biennale in Venice. In a daring PR campaign to make the pigeons ‘less offensive’ and more attractive to visitors, they took some of the birds from the Venetian piazzas into specially created booths and spray-painted them in different colours. Birds of spray, if you will. (Sorry.)
It’s an interesting idea and it definitely changes the whole look of the birdies. But, like ladies dressed up and fake tanned for a day at the races, the bright packaging will fade and true colours will be revealed before too long. And pigeons will be pigeons. Here are some of the photos – see what you think.
You can check out the designboom post here, with lots more photos of the multi-coloured pigeons.
This is the last short post from London – just wanted to include some of the more colourful photos that I snapped as we wandered around.
And to finish, the world-famous EverydaySparks photo of bumble bees in Holland Park. Well, someone contacted me to ask if they could post it on the Holland Park Facebook page – technically, that makes it world-famous!