Book Slam, Bethnal Green

We are gathered in York Hall, Bethnal Green, to be ‘KO’d by the power of words’ as the booming voice of compere Doc Brown tells us, the echo resonating around the school gym style room. Filled with tables of chattering people, munching and drinking whilst they soak up the literary genius of performers, the night is centred around a boxing ring. Literally, it’s a slam. Tonight it’s the opportunity of ‘book nerds to meet the boxing hards who used to beat them up’ – and those book nerds come out victorious.

Opener and bull running story teller, Bill Hillman’s set is dense and colourful with words, but less easily eloquent than other speakers, which is not to take anything away from the quality of his prose. » Book Slam, Bethnal Green.

Milliner Doing It For Herself

As Martha Sliter said ‘ A piece of magic is a hat.’ Able to transform an outfit and an attitude, adaptable and always available, eminently practical or purely decorative, a hat is an important yet oft forgotten element of dressing. But it shouldn’t be. Especially when made by milliner Rosie Olivia.

A Decorative Arts Degree from Nottingham Trent University and early training and jobs at the millinery companies Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones and Victoria Grant, have set Rosie in good stead, but it is her creative eye and a contemporary approach to something often considered an old fashioned accessory that has seen her succeed.

Read more at Belle About Town


Hadrian’s Wall: Roman discovery in Britain

Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles across northern England, and was once the northern most frontier of an empire which ruled a quarter of the world. I find out more about life up here with my very own Celt to guide.

Standing with our backs against the ancient wall, wind billowing against us, we’re asked to try to imagine the scale of the Roman Empire, by Gambax, our guide Celt.

It’s difficult to imagine the size of the empire. To escape Roman rule one would have to go as far south as the Sahara, and as far east as Baghdad. As well as an extensive empire, they had wealth that would rival that of both China and the US combined. A quarter of the world’s population were ruled from Rome. These people knew what they were doing.

Save Blue & Green Tomorrow!

Blue & Green needs your help

This crowdfunder will determine if Blue & Green Tomorrow will continue and thrive… or fade to black. We only have a short window in which to save the magazine. We want to remain as a thorn in the side of the reckless and unsustainable, while also being a raucous voice for the responsible and sustainable. But we desperately need your help to do that.

What is Blue and Green Tomorrow?

The online publication Blue and Green Tomorrow is the UK’s most widely-read and fastest-growing sustainability magazine for investors and consumers. Since 2013, our growth has been rapid and we now need crowdfunding to survive the next four months while our underlying business model starts to pay off.

Our aim is to encourage our readers to buy from and invest in sustainable companies – those that balance the needs of people, planet and profit. We simplify sustainability, both the individuals and organisations working in it, and amplify their work to the largest number of possible investors and consumers.

Every day we write 18-25 articles on how to invest sustainably, travel responsibly, shop ethically and use cleaner sources of energy. Our most popular articles explain climate change, simplify investment and profile individuals and organisations that are leaders in sustainability. Articles that explore the rapid decline in bees, polar ice and forest cover are perennial favourites.

Blue & Green website

We also produce 12-14 in-depth guides each year on all aspects of sustainability.

Guide Bookshelf 2014

Founded in 2010 our readership has quadrupled in the last 12 months, with 76,283 unique readers per month in June 2014, up 43% on the previous month. We are growing fast, and want to continue this growth long into the future.

Our readership growth

We need our friends and readers’ help to survive the next few months

Four years since we first stepped onto the foothills of sustainability, Blue & Green Tomorrow is at dire risk of falling silent.

Running a free magazine for the last four years has taken its toll on the founders’ finances – we have literally put everything into making Blue & Green Tomorrow as big and noisy as it is. The truth is, we’ve finally run out of money to create the impartial content we provide free of charge and will have to stop this month.

We’re four months away from being financially self sufficient, with some incredible deals in place which will finally make us viable over the next 12 months, but we’re not nearly close enough to continue without our readers’ financial help in the short term.

We really want Blue & Green Tomorrow to be an impartial and raucous voice for all aspects of sustainability. We still have ambitious plans to be the loudest voice for sustainability – but can only do so with your help.

Every day we promote individuals and organisations doing good and helping make a more sustainable planet. They will lose a loud voice without our coverage.

How this funding will make a difference

We have big and ambitious plans for the money you pledge. We want to reach 250,000 readers in the UK and 250,000 readers overseas to spread the message of sustainable investing and living.

It is in investment we can make a real difference. For every dollar of GDP, $26 dollars is traded financially (data and image courtesy of De Spiegel).

GDP versus financial trade

Unsustainable, unethical and irresponsible investment and financial trade has shaped the world we live in today and today is shaping the world our children and grandchildren will live in tomorrow.

We want our readers to take seven sustainable steps in 2015 creating 3.5 million actions, from moving their money to more responsible banks, investing more sustainably, switching to renewable energy at home and at work, buying more fair trade, travelling responsibly, voting for a party with sustainably policies and backing a sustainable venture on

We need to rebuild Blue & Green Tomorrow as a scalable, fit-for-purpose website. We need it to be optimised for tablets and smartphones, with apps available on all mobile operating systems. We want to offer Blue & Green Tomorrow anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Time really is running out for our blue and green marble of a planet and we need to reach more readers quickly. That means promoting our website and e-newsletter to even more investors and consumers, encouraging more people to invest and spend sustainably. 

We want to continue paying our graduate journalists a living wage, to give the young people most affected by our current unsustainable economic activity not only a start in their career but also an opportunity to frame the debate with their own future interests at heart.

That’s what we’d do with the money you pledge.

Please help us today, or Blue & Green will fade to black in September 2014.

How the money breaks down

Money breakdown

The rewards

Are for both individuals (blue rewards) and organisations (green rewards), you can secure a heartfett thank you printed in every guide for as little as £12, an invitation to our “We made it party!” as a supporter or articles and promotion in Blue & Green Tomorrow. Here’s a small selection of the rewards:

£12 reward  £52 reward  £104 reward  £520 reward  £1560 reward

What the industry says about us

“By launching Blue & Green Tomorrow, Simon Leadbetter has done more than anyone else in the British media to promote a proper understanding of sustainable investment.” Clare Brook of WHEB Group

“You are an original, fresh and high quality voice for Sustainable Investing at a time when we had all but disappeared from the financial media.” Peter Michaelis of Alliance Trust

“Blue & Green – a new and credible force in the sustainability space.” Claudia Quiroz of Quilter Cheviot


The Watanabes – Draw What You Like EP


With weary vocals and rolling melodies, an indie sensibility from yesteryear and more than a nod to a love of folk, The Watanabes release their new EP Draw What You Like

This is their third major release, since their formation in the late noughties. Based in Tokyo now, the multicultural band drew initial inspiration from Toru Watanabe, the slightly troubled and over nostalgic protagonist in Haruki Murakami‘s novel,Norwegian Wood, but their name was really a homage to the region where two Brits on guitar and vocals, an American keyboardist and a Japanese drummer all met to start the ensemble.

Catchy choruses and floating pop verses combine on these five tracks to make an easy listening autumnal set, with acceptance and desire, drive and futility, happiness and struggle all infiltrating the album and infusing the listener. This was my first introduction to The Watanabes – and I’m intrigued to hear more.  

Released worldwide as a digital download on 29th September 2014.

We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed


Menacing and brooding, as propulsive as ever I keep It Composed is the first track to be taken from We Were Promised Jetpacks‘ forthcoming LP Unravelling. It’s dark than before. Assured and strong, although always quivering with fraught emotion, this is a powerful and reactive track that demonstrates the impassioned perfection and talent of the Scottish band.


Cassandra Jenkins – Rabbit


It starts with a crashing cymbal and ends with moonlight twinkle. In between, on Rabbit, we find a gentle halcyonic rolling wash of guitar and precise yet eerie keys, perfectly placed percussion dissipating into Cassandra Jenkins‘ bittersweet tones that tell tales of a queen and a king that seem somewhat disillusioned but tinted with hopefulness. There’s a languor to proceedings, at least to start with, before a teasing frivolity and back and forth gasping vocal scales. Rabbit has just the right amount of production at the touch of co-writer Sam Griffin Owens – not so much lo-fi but genuine.

The song is dedicated to Jenkins’ goddaughter in memory of her parents’ now deceased pet rabbit and comes with the following note: ‘After Rabbit passed away in 2004, her body was sent to North Carolina to the teenage taxidermist, Amy Ritchie. She returned to New York beautifully preserved with one peculiar detail. On one side of her face she bears a neutral expression, and on the other a beguiling smile.’