Editor's Welcome

September 2018

Written by the editor Saturday, 01 September 2018

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Sometimes things look good on paper but lose their sparkle when seen in the cold light of day. The empty hotel swimming pool in a glossy travel brochure inviting you for a dip, compared to the crowded reality, or the much-hyped winter wonderland promising reindeer rides, compared to an emaciated donkey with strap-on antlers limping through slushy puddles. The more impressive the object of desire seems on paper, the greater the disappointment potential. The greater the expectation, the bigger the fall back down to reality.

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August 2018

Written by the editor Monday, 30 July 2018

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I'm not a football supporter. My wife is not a football supporter. My four-year-old daughter – who can hoof a ball over a five-foot fence – is not a football supporter. Through a general lack of interest in the competitive game, I'm ashamed to say we all missed England's opening match of the World Cup, which is apparently an important footballing event. But as the nation's hopes were raised, and as Tunisia and Panama succumbed to the prowess of Kane and Co, so too did the three of us succumb to the excitement of the prospect that football could be coming home.

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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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