Brunch #10 – 4 February 2017

Hot on the heels of the January brunch, this was whipped together very quickly – thanks to Bethany, who I’d mentioned the date to when she couldn’t make the Dec or Jan dates, the Delaunay Roundtable occurred – second this year, 10th since it started. A delight and inspiration as always.

Bethany producer – Kerilyn innovation consultant – Marg UX research and design – Jill operations


The month’s travel tips were sparked by Bethany’s forthcoming trip to Finland for work. The one that stuck in my mind is getting to the Faroe Islands by helicopter! And for those who prefer to travel by foot, a half-marathon. I’m can’t say I’m a massive fan of running but having looked at the island site, it sounds like a brilliant place to run around. Wow. I still dream of a job filming 360 videos for a selection of tourist boards. If anyone asks, you know where to find me.


Nothing came up this time, bizarrely, or perhaps I was distracted by my fruit salad in a silver goblet (LOVE). I can’t believe I wouldn’t have mentioned Taboo. I confess that I didn’t really know who Tom Hardy is before the series. But I’m a huge fan now. It’s a weird series, full of strangeness and sometimes you don’t know what’s going on. But what fascinates me is the treatment of the East India Company, the world’s first multi-national? It ruled India before the British gvt did. Hugely powerful, terrifyingly cruel (slavery), wildly successful (trade) – it’s a dark and fascinating chapter of British history. After dismissing it for weeks, and only delighting in Tom Hardy losing money (spent £10mill, recouped 8 to date), the Guardian has finally realised what it’s about.


O Magnum Mysterium – “a quiet song of profound joy” – lots of versions by choirs, this one the Utah Singers. How relaxing.

Reminds me of Miserere Mei Deus, which tops my “calm down” soundcloud playlist. This is a Cape Town Youth Choir version.

Alva Noto – Xerox Machine is another kind of soothing, of the industrial white noise variety.

Here mixed with piano with Ruichi Sakamoto

This all came up talking about Marg’s sound collages and field recording adventures – the latest, a pylon.

Imogen Heap has had another mention. I confess I don’t know her work – I have now looked at so many links, included blockchain – music and blockchain were two words I never thought I’d see together. What an original person she is. This is so sweet and lovely and this stop motion video for the Listening Chair is so cute!


Marg’s ‘sound collage’ – adventures in micro sound with Jez Riley French kit.

Marg also does beautiful visual collage – and I have only just discovered the pinterest, rather randomly

Bethany does voiceovers! Must get a link


Capoeira came up as an elegant alternative to smashing a punchbag after a long day.

Learning a language? Busuu gives you 10 mins a day practice and native speaker correction. Looks great.

Marie Kondo is a delightful, funny, organisational gem – I was sold on the ‘spark joy’ concept.

My top tip for hair – Percy & Reed. Their grad stylists are affordable (£60 seems a fair London price sadly) and it’s a beautiful place. Spitalfields.

Unruly’s House of the Future sounds fascinating but I can’t find a link. Unruly offices sound like a fun place to be though.

Car hacking – well, if it can happen toilets and fridges

Nesta, innovation foundation for the UK – and they do loads of video for anybody interested in potential work

Until next time, stay beautiful xxxxxx


Brunch #9 – 14 January 2017

The brunch digest – so overdue!!  Forgive me ladies.  It was a joy to see you all – Lesley it’s been way to long! Hopefully this brunch will go some way towards that familiar feeling of knowing wonderful people and not seeing them for YEARS.

First Sat every month, with increasingly last-minute reminders 🙂

I’m trying to make the a list of links in the hope it will come out quicker.  We shall see – you all talk about such interesting things I can’t help researching and rambling on about all sorts…  I ended up leaving out all the interesting politics chats we have – politics stroke comedy. Crazy time

Karelle camera– Lesley edit– Jill operations– Sian p/d


Ostrich pillow to beat jet lag and enjoy desk naps and for general good vibes hilarity. I’ve have a beautiful j-pillow on loan. Looks very weird, feels very comfortable. Sleeping in economy is now possible!

Karelle’s spent 3 weeks in Japan so if you’re going, you know who to ask for tips!
FILM/TV worth watching

I discovered The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt around Christmas and the making of the Pinot Noir promo had me in stitches. The best thing on Netflix.

The Crown was also excellent – not period drama dull, but a beautifully shot, well-crafted drama of historical interest. Big budget and it showed.
La La Land got a mention too – apparently not just musical glitz.
Hunt for the Wilder People is a brilliant indie. Fun, clever, great visuals. Genius.

Lo and Behold – Wim Wenders on the internet and artificial intelligence is quite good, worth a rainy afternoon.

Black Mirror last ep – I watched the first two, and the second ‘Nosedive’ is horrifyingly close to the bone. The blackmailing/fight to the death put me off but apparently the last ep of Black Mirror is excellent

Can somebody please start an invoice chasing service
What is the law with payment of invoices, and the right to charge interest? 30 days

For some professions, agencies exist that guarantee payment (they pay you and chase the client for payment). Others just take a slice and you wait as long as it takes.

Office culture and politics is always an interesting topic, and some of us have had the crazy experience of working for psychopathic personalities. I’m pretty convinced that in the future, if humanity hasn’t destroyed itself completely, ‘office life’ will be a museum exhibit that people shake their heads in wonder over, a bit like feeling the texture of East Berlin blue jeans. Shudder.

This author is interesting on office behaviour.

In a culture of more takers than givers, where extroversion is prized above all, the Quiet Revolution is making waves. Ignoring introverted people just doesn’t make sense anymore.

Confidence, for everybody but especially for women who seem to have it set on low in a work context, is another interesting subject. I interviewed these two lovely ladies a while ago – the Confidence Code is worth a look.



Not to be confused with business, this is about work done by ‘us’.

Karelle shot FT Squared’s Undiscovered Japan for the Alpha Grid. As this digest is SO overdue, I’ve now watched the robots in old people’s homes and it is a delight. Well done Karelle!

If you need anything cut together brilliantly, Lesley editor is now freelance



Health – therapist recommendations Acupuncturist: Hamano Sensei; Japan Natural Clinic; 59 Brewer St W1F 9UN.  Massage Therapist: Lorna Mays (works Tues and Thurs) – book online

MoneyMad Fientist is well worth a look – there is much to be said for creative freedom that financial independence can bring!


And finally, the usual data mention. This is about privacy – does it matter? An excellent analogy I heard recently (and traced back to 2013) is that everybody knows what you do when you go to the loo, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to close the door! Cory Doctorow.

Is it just old-fashioned to be afraid of the all-seeing Alexa? And even more wary of Google Assistant (for they have the hardware, the software, and our information is increasingly in their hands, through email, browsers and now at work). Who knows what the future holds – I hope mine holds an Ostrich Pillow somewhere along the line J


Till next time lovely ladies, stay beautiful and endlessly inspiring.   XXXXXX

Brunch #8 – 3 December 2016

BRUNCH #8 – 3 December 2016

‘Twas some weeks before Christmas, and the freezing weather had not yet hit, but it was probably cold and windy, I can’t quite remember the weather as I was off to Durban that very day, shorts and flip flops in the case.

Fresh and delightful around the Delaunay table were Miranda, Jill, Kerilyn and newcomer to the gathering, the lovely Janka, editor.

Diving in to our multi-faceted conversation (in no particular order), reminds me of how fantastic, talented and inspiring you all are.

Happy New Year, and very best wishes to you and yours, for a very good, healthy and happy year – no matter what comes our way!

Next breakfast less than a week away #9 – 14th Jan, same place, same time. Email me if you’d like to come (one day I’ll figure out a calendar button)

Sian xx



No media-related chatter is complete without VR flavour, and although this is now way out of date, Janka alerted us to a fantastic-looking event – VR Summit (6 Dec). Looks like VR Royalty and I hope to be at the next one, thanks for the heads up!

Saw/heard/experienced a beautiful piece by Visualise at VRLO – simple piano in a beautiful City church, it was all about the binaural sound. With the sound coming from the room, it felt like a completely natural experience, as natural as anything can feel in a pair of giant goggles.


Now, I don’t know how I know this, so you may need to ask further direction, but the very interesting-looking Future Laboratory, may be getting into video production. Sorry to be so vague! Janka was this from you? Kerilyn?

Getty Images too commissioning long form – again I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it’s very interesting looking at the Getty library – now looking after BBC Motion Gallery, Bloomberg and Nat Geo.


I may be the only person who didn’t know this, but sad news of the Searching For Sugarman director’s suicide

Post-brunch, my Christmas break featured a lot of film and a couple of box sets. A Moody Christmas was excellent off-beat Christmas entertainment, neatly done. And The Crown, which I thought I wouldn’t like, is excellent.


Uber – friend or foe? Well, that depends on how you feel about data use in general. This story’s been brewing for a while, since Uber evolved into a big data company, now a whistleblower/lawsuit claims there’s more to it than making our lives easier. Go figure.

The Cloud. I mean, who thought of this term? Who? There is nothing light, fluffy or ecological about the data centres required for massive computing power. The big ones suck more power than a village! Microsoft is experimenting with Project Natick – underwater data centres – early days, sounds dangerous to me (bag humbug)

Post-brunch, this is an intriguing and beautiful visualisation by the NY Times – Duck Dynasty vs. Modern Family TV maps.

I really must read this book – Who Owns the Future . Mentioned by Jill a few times now. Although it’s 2013, and three years seems a very long time with the way things are flying around these days, I think I would find a lot to like in there. The concept of ‘Siren Servers’, companies making fortunes out of our data that we give away for 10% off our next purchase, and the fact that Facebook is actually a big data company, and as for Amazon… worth a read to say the least.  And yikes, check out this 2016 update, CIA predicting social uprisings using same super computers – Sirens indeed.


Happily, the tech and the terror is soon swept away in the conversation. Like VR, no brunch is complete without a mention of Babies, the documentary. A delight introduced to us by Kerilyn many months ago. Cameras at baby level, no schmaltz. A treat. When your job entails watching this, you know you’ve hit a sweet spot. Be sure not to say a word if you’re taking your driving test (see below).

Nesta has now re-branded itself as an ‘innovation foundation’.

And back to babies, Imogen Heap for Cow & Gate, a song made to make babies happy.


If you’re in fair Germany, check out Janka’s brother’s Munich urban arts gallery/museum! I don’t understand a word I’m ashamed to say, but the museum video looks great, I’d love to go.

I was going to say closer to home, but seeing as though it’s over, it’s definitely further than Munich. London’s Hayward Gallery/Vinyl Factory’s Infinite Mix in a disused building was amazing. If it’s every repeated, run to it, or if there’s ever another Hayward Gallery/Vinyl Factory colab. I loved this – Cyprien Gaillard’s 3D plants, they look alive. Doesn’t look as good without the specs – funny that. The venue was lush. The Store, 180 Strand is uber slick, good vibes. Sitting on a £40k sofa was nice. It’s opening again in Jan but once the ‘luxury flats’ or whatever go up in front of it, the River view will be gone, so not sure if it’ll still be 5-star. Worth a try. Good coffee, nice people.

Tower of London ceremony of the keys is a top outing. Other-worldly, steeped in tradition and history, not too long and brilliantly bonkers. Here Marg’s sound collage of the event – who needs photographs.

Miranda’s South American holiday sounds absolutely incredible. I’d never thought of a tour before but what a great way to have grand adventure without having to do heaps of research and pre-planning. Homestays sound awesome – but altitude sickness does not. Spectacular Iguazu Falls and butterflies sound incredible. I’m feeling quite boring now with my London-Durban-Estepona beaten track (triangle) of late. Mmmm time for an adventure this year?

Jill has a top tip for the best café in Rome, with coffee so good you’ll have a hangover if you have more than two, but I clearly did not spell it anywhere close to correct, as Google returned zero results. Whhhhat. Maybe it’s that much of a secret. Jill you’ll have to fill us in!


Nobody likes to talk about this kind of stuff, let alone do it, but that’s what I was going home to do (before packing shorts and flip flops) – write a will (shudder). It’s a gruesome task and the only reason I share it here is that there seems to be a little ‘disruption’ in the will-writing sphere. You can now do the (highly unpleasant) online, where it’s not only cheaper, but much more flexible. I used Your Will Be Done (£20 + £25 if it’s complicated and needs a solicitor, and you can change it without charge as your circumstances change throughout life).

Top tip if you’re being put through a driving test – do not admit to having a good job, and for wardrobe, think hard-up chic. If you look like you can afford it (again and again), you probably will fail. What’s this, corruption in the UK? I am shocked to the core. Not really.

So we were chatting about how safe (or otherwise) South Africa is, and when talk turned to the popular London past-time of scumbags nicking phones and laptops out of your hand (as you stand looking for the Uber driver, or sit working at a pavement café). Or another technique of pushing an open newspaper in your face. Watch out ladies – it had happened to 3 out of 5!







Brunch #6 – 6 August 2016

On the brilliantly sunny, first Saturday of August 2016, Jill, Kerrilyn, Liz and Sian sat down to brunch at the Delaunay – the sixth in the series! We talked about all sorts as usual – work, wardrobe, robots, music videos – what a great way to start the weekend.

4 ladies, 2.5 hours = that’s quite the word count, so I’m trying a list to keep it all as brief and sane as possible. Looking at it like this makes me very happy – what wonderful ladies you are, what great information and inspiration.


We are so much more than the companies we work for, but here goes…

Liz works at Mirriad, which places products in existing films, and clever things with data tracking.

Kerilyn is an innovation consultant with Doblin an off-shoot of Deloitte

Jill’s at the 7th Chamber, influencer marketing

And I’m at Premier – arts entertainment culture PR and then some. Acquired Dubbs, for anyone who remembers Dubbs…


Liz told us so many fascinating things and I learned two new words:

Blueboxing is when a space is created in an existing scene of a film or TV show, where a product can be placed. The product is usually shot on its on, so that the angle and lighting can match exactly.

Mezzanine is the file that’s somewhere in between low and full res, so that you can work with it without needing to hire a barn in Utah to house your data.

Some amazing people I’ve discovered recently – – incredible data viz work – video, interactive and getting into VR, based in Dalston. What’s with the .io domain? is an Evernote linked blog, did they retro-fit it to make Pistachio, or is pronounced Fieldio? The mind boggles. (so I looked it up of course – British Indian Ocean Territory. Who knew?)

Robots – where will it end? Elon Musk is worried. And then there’s the robot that kept on escaping. They had to kill it.


The Babies movie gets a mention the third time! It’s a good way of explaining what Kerilyn does – extensive research of the ‘user’ helps with coming up with innovative products (baby food***).

According to Doblin, there are 10 types of innovation – including customer experience, products, business models.   One of the methods is customer interviews – go to peple’s homes, talk to them about their habits, photograph everything… Design thinking… Only by understanding how people use current things can you innovate.

Question is, is innovation in a corporate setting nuts enough?

This is fantastic – TED NPR TED Radio Hour – Failure is an option

Jill mentioned a guy she stuied who had the idea for a FB before facebook – he was too early to be taken seriously. Outliers, forerunners – sometimes it doesn’t help being too ahead of the curve.


When you deliver a series of ideas you’ve been paid to come up with, after months of in-depth research, and the client does nothing with them.***

When a client insists on their way even though you’re the expert. What did they just pay you for?

When a client wants to do something that you know will defeat the purpose – be rejected by the audience, but they insist, because they are the client. It’s like going for surgery and insisting on wielding the scalpal yourself.

When a client dictates layout of a design, saying what should go where and you think why, what a good idea – let’s get rid of all our designers and let the clients do it!

Reminds me of an Ai expert I met this week – she’s teaching machines to summarise large tracts of text and then suggest design and layout.


Gogglebox – 7.9 on IMDB – I would NEVER have believed I would love a TV show about people watching TV. It’s beyond words.

Speaking of weird, here’s the C4 remit

Which gives us good and bad. Gogglebox is a roaring success, After Dark (Liz worked on it I believe but could be wrong. Seven Days was axed but was the forerunner to TOWIE etc. (see above about it not helping to be ahead of the curve!)

As for Naked Attraction – I think I’ll wait for somebody else to fill me in. Can’t think of anything more stupid than picking your partner for naked body reasons. Let alone watching it on TV. Surely you can imagine what people are like naked?


For those who don’t know, the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms is a term for the four biggest consultancies (who also do accounting and auditing). Ever heard the saying, ‘the accountants are taking over the world?’ Well, it could be true. Not the accoutnats per se but theBig Four are in every aspect of our lives, from small thigns to large. Cyber Warfare/ They’d be there. Where to BBC? They are there. Google innovation? They are there. What are we going to do when climate change really takes hold? They’re working on it. They made the subscription-based model Premiere Pro is using. And who’s going to be working out how to change regultions post-Brexit? Big four. Governments don’t have the expertise – it was ‘outsourced long ago, if they even had it to begin with.


Republican or Democrat brain quiz*

David Badiel on US elections

James Corden – Michael Obama carpool karaoke


Hunterian Museuem if you fancy looking at dead hands in jars (in which case you’re probably a Democrat*)

Prince Charles cinema – an oldie, and a goodie. Independent!

Regent Street cinema


Mubi – good encodes and good films

Night Manager – amazing book (le Carre), great series with excellent performances by Hugh Laurie and Olivia Coleman. Tom H has a lovely smile, and uses it (too) often. Well worth a watch.

OK Go – music is secondary to the brilliant videos they create… Upside Down & Inside Out and their Rube Goldberg machine inspired This Too Shall Pass. The Writing’s On The Wall and the aerial view I Won’t Let You Down.

Thanks to Jill for all of this – it came via mechatronics, a subjec she loved (and third new word of the day).

Finally, do watch Eye in the Sky. It’s great. And only read the Wired article afterwards to avoid spoilers.

COFFEE (and coffins)

Coffee with coconut oil – surprisingly good and nourishing feeling. Planet Organic does it – try it!

An oldie and a goodie – the Moka pot. The designer loved it so much (as do millions), he made it an urn for his ashes.   Cute story. Reminds me of Ghanaian coffins. Not coffe

Aero-press – coffee nerds

Nespresso – too easy and too good. Except insisting on George Clooney still fronting the ads – turns him from sexy bachelor to dodgeball cheater. Idiots.

WARDROBE! (and comedy, naturally)

Target – coming to London in our dreams. But wait! I am doing these links in Durban and they ship to South Africa – surely London?? Here’s the SNL Target lady

J Crew and Wholefoods so overpriced here – and Anthropologie – if something if $118 it’s £118 – are they saving on replacing four chracters, just doing the one?

Anthropologie does, however, have long-lasting t-shirts. GAP t’s seem susceptible to moths, and coming up big – a small is big. Maybe this happens if the sample is made by mistake, then everything comes up big.

Brunch #1 – 7 December 2015

Ladies thank you all for braving Desmond and clearing space in your busy lives to come. I will send invites to the January brunch soonest – although it’s hard to think about anything except the mad rush to the end of the year and the old NYE conundrum. It’s my last day at work so I plan to party like it’s 2016 already.
Jill thanks so much for those interesting references – I’ve been reading up about Victoria, the one-take film and it’s on the list. Miranda I wanted to chat to you more about the £50k film financing thing but as always, just not enough time to talk about everything. Dheerna here’s the link to that hilarious Taiwanese on the tube incident. Having lived in Taiwan, I found it pretty funny (you’ve got to laugh at the sheer stupidity of people).
And last but not least, one of the tube posters we were talking about. SOMEBODY needs to invent a proper print campaign for this. I mean
Hope you’re all having a lovely week and will send out the next invite soon!

Brunch #2 – 9 Jan 2016

BRUNCH DIGEST – Jill, Karelle, Marg Sian
We talked about Salgado – the man (including man and wife team, although he gets all the credit while she lays the groundwork), and here’s the Wim Wenders film
We also mentioned a recent film about Loneliness – I saw a poster, I’m sure. Or was it a review in the Guardian? Was it a TV documentary? It was certainly in my peripheral vision but I can’t find it. Unless it’s a story of suicide featuring a boy in a Sonic the Hedgehog outfit? Yep that’s a fail
We talked about Brooklyn being shot in natural light – what a dream.
Again, Victoria came up – a thriller with a lot going on, shot in ONE TAKE. Unbelievable
Powerful and quirky Hungarian films featuring DOGS!!! To be watched in canine company with caution – cue the howling. Karelle would love to meet Murphy sometime soon!
Now this I had never heard of but it looks lush. 80s, techies, corporate world. I want to watch it all NOW! Halt and Catch Fire
On the subject of whiskey, the film Angel’s Share came up. Unlike anything else on the list, I have actually seen this. A Ken Loach beauty with ‘real people’. Entertaining and a must for whisky lovers. Some interesting bits about the production from the prod co – why oh why the tiny impenetrable font we’ll never know.
Now on to other bits and bobs
For those who don’t know him, Nick Broomfield pioneered the director-monitors-sound look. He’s prolific, some amazing stuff, some less amazing (I for one am not a fan of bumbling-Englishman approach so perfected by Louis Theroux, although it must be said it gets results).
For those who don’t think of daring political satire when they think of Nando’s, here’s another face to this weirdly successful brand (I say weirdly successful as in Red Bull – they sell chicken/dodgy energy drinks after all). This foresaw the insane xenophobic ‘riots’. This takes on Mugabe issue
Credit to Google for finding this. I searched go pros in hula hoops fruit cut out duo, and the gave me this. Of course now I remember it’s for COS. Misread my notes as cos. Would loved to have been at the casting for this one! Must be listened to for the FOLEY!!!!
This could only have come up during conversation about They Will Have To Kill Us First. I’ve got Syrian rappers “there is”. I’m not sure if this is it?
And speaking of Vice, can’t let the day go by without Crufts on Acid. Except it turns out it’s not Crufts. It’s a lesser show. And quite long. Is this a “don’t”?
Some tips for short film fests. There’s Virgin shorts, which I’d never heard of, and wonder if they’re still going – I have a feeling there’s going to be a growing demand for shorter films in coming years, just when we thought they were nothing but very expensive business cards. What’s news though is Nespresso shorts. Jill mentioned it, perhaps working with them? Doesn’t seem to be in public domain yet. I’m a HUGE fan of Nespresso (guilty pleasure if ever there was one), so look forward to more news. I do think they should get rid of the wonderful George Clooney though – the ads don’t have quite the same ring when you know he’s going home to Amal.
And last but not least, a top tip after Marg scored audio recording equipment – USE FREECYCLE!!!! It’s easy, just got to be quick and prepared to collect. I got soooo much stuff for my previous flat, hardly had to buy a thing 🙂
Look after your lovely selves and see you at a brunch table in March

Brunch #3 – 7 May 2016

Ladies thank you so much for coming. It was a delight.
A very quick round-up of various things we talked about, a few notes and links – would love to linger longer over the descriptions but then this email will linger in my inbox far too long.
Next brunch 1st Sat in June – I’ll send the email round at some point soon!
Diving in with bizarre story of being able to pick up sound via visual vibrations alone –
Not quite as bizarre as the TV show Jilly mentioned. What a story. Japanese TV show (Nasubi) guy was kept in a flat and entered competitions to survive.
We talked quite a bit about sound – welcome Annie J and innovation – welcome Kerrilyn J
But before then, Annie’s is running (helping run) the excellent sounding Herne Hill Film Festival.
Celebrating two new jobs – Marg at Hugo & Cat and me at Premier May both jobs be a delight – fingers crossed!
Innovation… what is an innovation consultatnt, we wondered. Kerrilyn works here Doblin, innovating, some of it based on the principles of “Design thinking” , possibly invented (if not championed) by places like IDEO and also the at Stanford is worth a look. In the spirit of truly understanding the user/customer/audience – i.e. person, Kerrilyn was going to watch the Babies documentary – the opening of the trailer is hilarious
Note to self – “Never ask, ‘Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.” Ecclesiastest 7:10 (one translation of it anyway – nice and blunt J)
This is in the context of the Garden Bridge and Thomas Heatherwick’s questionable designs (apart from the cauldron). Don’t get me started!
Jill revealed the dark out of encoding for audio – Adaptive audio at Netflix. Fascinating, and reassuring that they’re on the case.
Post brunch chats included
Total Recall for VR
United Nude – amazing heels
Like a glove leggings
and Fun…
Dutch Flowers exhibition at the National Gallery is worth a spin – small, free exhbition in room 1, oils from Dutch master style on mahogany, so they look clear and crisp – flower paintings in vogue circa 1700. And here’s a crafting tip that gets rid of the dregs of nail varnish and makes a unique vase out of a bottle – who knew.
Take care of your lovely selves – Karelle hope Thailand is great!!
Sian xx