Editor's Welcome

July 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 30 June 2018

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If it's going to work anywhere, then it will work in Wanstead. That's a phrase I find myself saying often when in conversation about new events, initiatives or projects planned for the local area. It's said with a certain amount of bias, given this publication thrives on the success of what is a vibrant and proactive community. And it's become something of a cliché in the lexicon of Wanstead Village Directory speak as I find myself praising the responsiveness of Wanstead folk to new things more and more. But clichés are clichés for a reason. And this one has big names like Art Trail Wanstead and the Wanstead Fringe to prove those reasons are real

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June 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 June 2018

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It has long been debated whether arachnophobia is something that's embedded into us as a species or whether we learn it from our culture. Research published by neuroscientist Stefanie Hoehl from the University of Vienna at the end of last year – which monitored pupillary dilation in six-month-old babies when shown images of spiders – suggests the former is to blame. It means the fear and disgust some of us feel when we encounter these critters could actually be a hangover from a survival instinct that evolved in ancient times. Whether true or not, it's a good study to quote when explaining why someone else needs to remove any eight-legged visitors from your home.

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May 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 28 April 2018

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An art teacher once asked my A level art class what the purpose of frames were. Aside from secondary functions of protection and usability, the primary purpose of a frame is, of course, to complement and enhance the image it surrounds. Like a newborn baby clothed for the first time, the beauty emanates from that contained within.

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April 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 31 March 2018

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For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learnt to talk and we learnt to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need do is make sure we keep talking

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March 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 03 March 2018

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There are two words I try hard not to overuse in this column and in this publication: 'local' and 'community'. I have to try hard because those two words – which combine seamlessly to form a perfect descriptor for so many elements of a... local community magazine – are all too easily devalued when used too liberally. Like a mischievous child saying sorry time and time again or newly-weds continually declaring their love, the power of certain words can decline with repeated use. In order to convey sincerity, we must choose our words carefully.

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February 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 03 February 2018

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If you drop litter, you are a 'stupid, selfish, thoughtless yob'. So said gallerist and club owner Alex Proud in his column in The Daily Telegraph a few years ago. Proud explained this was his 'knee-jerk reaction to litter', but went on to analyse some litter-related facts and concluded that his gut reaction was correct. Barring an overflowing bin and some litter-spreading gusts of wind, it's hard to imagine any valid reason for unwanted items of packaging to be on the street (not that overflowing bins are acceptable).

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January 2018

Written by the editor Friday, 29 December 2017

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Waiting for a bus is like waiting for a bus. You wait for ages and then one or more comes along; you board, tap your card, take a seat, wait for your stop and get off at – or near – your destination. It's a simple process, but one that, for many, offers so much more than getting from A to B. Especially when A is the bus stop near their home and B the bus stop at the hospital, for example. A lifeline in an almost literal sense. And while TfL refers to them as 'bus spider maps', when you look at an overview of bus routes in a given area, they can have a vein-like appearance – they truly can be the lifeblood of a community's infrastructure.

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December 2017

Written by the editor Saturday, 02 December 2017

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It's easy to add a festive twist to just about anything. From a monster under the bed becoming a thoughtful gift-giver to a carrot finding love during the holiday season, advertising creatives (on behalf of John Lewis and Aldi in this instance) are masters of Yuletide spin. Here at the Wanstead Village Directory, we strive to add a similar dose of Christmas spirit to our publication at this time of year. But compiling an editorial plan for our annual Lillies of Wanstead-fronted December issue does not require a multi-million pound budget, nor does it require a heartstring-tugging soundtrack... or any carrots for that matter. There's never any shortage of local seasonal events to highlight or festive artwork to display.

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