The #Futr of everything 2012

I was privileged to attend the Future Everything 2012 Festival this year. At the conference, there was really great talks and the line up was full of twists and turns. The best talks I’ve blogged about here, but its worth noting most of them were good.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a member of parliament of Althing, the Icelandic parliament, formerly representing the Citizens’ Movement, but now representing The Movement.

I didn’t actually see Birgitta talk but I was standing outside watching the #futr twitter feed. The discourse was fascinating as it seemed to blow up like a timed bomb. There was some pretty radical things been said and to be honest everyone was loving it. Certainly wish I had forced my way through the bodies and the heat into that keynote talk. Likewise I would have liked to have seen the Cooperative talk and Rufus Pollock as I’ve not seen him talk for the good part of a decade! Although it was great to have Rufus say hi as he did remember me even after all those years…

Interestingly there was quite a bit of corridor chatter about the changes in politics from the likes Loz Kaye who stood for the pirate party uk with my ex-flatmate (tim) and maria in the recent Manchester local elections. Theres a real feeling things are for the better.

Rohan Gunatillake

Rohan Gunatillake presents one of the most original talks you are likely to see this year – on how people are using technology to reinvent Buddhism. Rohan was recently named in Wired Magazine’s The Smart List 2012: 50 People Who Will Change The World.

Conservative, dogmatic and authoritarian… religion is the final frontier for innovation. And even though Buddhism has been the world religion most comfortable with evolving into each new culture it meets, it too is struggling to be of service and maintain its integrity in the face of the rapid changes of digital culture.

Not realising, I already knew Rohan from previous meetings while in London, it was great to go out to dinner with him later that day and have a good old natter in the Northern Quarter restaurant

When I first heard about the talk I was rightly skeptical, but what it boiled down to a talk about wellbeing, health and spiritualism of modern digital life. What got me was when Rohan pointed out if you turn off your phone, its not actually off. Theres still this space in the mind which thinks about what calls, texts, tweets, etc you might missing. And thats where he got me. Notifications and distrations is already something I’ve written about and why I love Gnome shell (although I made changes to make it more operating system like – couldn’t live without seeing how much battery life I have in minutes for example).

Anyway back to Rohan, his app buddhifiy is miss leading and like the start of his talk, I was a little put off being a non-believer but by the end there was enough good stuff for anyone to take away. I would love to get Rohan and Bobby together at some point. Bobby can learn a lot from Rohan about light touch apps and Rohan a lot about wellbeing.

Patrick Bergel

Animal Systems is a creative technology company. Their inspiration comes from nature – studying biological and social phenomena from an information-theoretic standpoint. They also build practical, accessible, large-scale applications, including a new platform to network many devices. At FutureEverything they demonstrate their system, explore the pre-history of computing and answer some important questions: for example, is a butterfly a barcode?

This talk was more interesting from a R&D point of view. The idea of using bird like chirps for machines to talk was actually quite interesting. Patrick even suggested it could be a way for the internet of things to communicate like how birds do. There was quite a lot questions about the secure nature of the communication to which patrick said, its wholy insecure but they might have ways to do security alongside the chirps. was only one of the things they had come up with and he kept making references to how unique butterflies. I think looking at nature for answers to some of our more complex problems makes a lot of sense and Patrick and Animal systems might be someone to watch carefully in the future.

Identity and Privacy Panal

They tell us to share. To share information and data, to share personal thoughts and insights, our opinions and ambitions. By sharing we circumvent the digital barrier and reappear on the inside as one of those in the know. We share to such an extent that we are all co-contributors of an encyclopaedic data-cloud of unimaginable proportions.

We like to believe that this digital tome is protected in some way. That entries are kept safe and more to the point private. But it isn’t, quite the opposite. Now, more so than ever before in the digital age, we are at risk from attack. So how is it now that we are supposed to stay safe online and are we foolish to believe we can continue living, working and sharing in an open digital existence?

The Identity and Security panel was decent with a bunch of experts pushing systems which had a more friendly face than things I’ve seen in the past.  There was a emphases that we’re skating on thin ice and it won’t be long before However nothing will beat TedXBradford where the air was literally sucked out of the room by the last speaker – Paul Rogers.

Net Neutrality Panal

Likewise the panels about producing a living and net neutrality were also interesting and somewhat noteworthy

Catalyst from Lancaster University was interesting for introducing everyday people to new technologies. In actual fact what i found interesting was the notion of making people consider there geeky side and join the much talked about classes of the hackers. Fitted well with my thoughts around the internet of things, diybio and producing a living, etc. Tools of change was the strap-line and the speaker Juliana Rotich was a perfect compliment to the whole project.

Juliana Rotich

Juliana is originally from Kenya where she spent her early life and schooling. She later moved to the US where she majored in IT and has worked in the industry for over ten years. She was named in the Guardian’s Top 100 Women in Technology in 2011.

She collaborated with the online community and co-founded Ushahidi, the Swahili word for testimony. Ushahidi is a web-based reporting system that utilises crowd-sourced data to formulate visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis. In Kenya it was used to map out incidents of violence.

Ushahidi then grew to be an open source platform that has been used in various situations such as the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Palestine conflict crisis, and the heavy snow crisis in Washington. As a Program Director she manages projects and aids in the development and testing of the Ushahidi platform.

I was also lucky enough to go to dinner with her along with Rohan in the Northern Quarter one night which was great, didn’t quite get a chance to talk as much as I would have liked but there were so many great people at the table and not enough time.

Bilal Randeree

One of the people around the table also was Bilal Randeree who was from Al Jazeera.

Bilal Randeree is Social Media and Online Producer for Al Jazeera English (AJE) based in Doha, Qatar. He works in the newsroom, using online tools and platforms for news-gathering stories from around the world.

He will be talking extensively about the Arab Spring and the role Al Jazeera played in documenting those events. He will also be looking forward into 2012, predicting what he hopes to see and what he envisages will actually happen both socially and politically in the Arab world.

Very good talk and reminder of the power of the stuff most of us are simply playing with right now.

Social Broadcasting panal

Chris Jackson from Metabroadcast address the key arguments for expanding content delivery to new media platforms, and look at ways to bring online properties into more traditional broadcast formats.

In the Social broadcasting panel I dropped in a few hints at perceptive media, saying we can stop thinking about broadcasting being from glass to glass. It was good seeing Metabroadcast as I’ve not seen them in a while. Certainly need to make the effort to see them and talk perceptive media once I’m in London again (which looks to be the week of the 11th June by the way)

Farida Vis

Farida Vis certainly got me thinking in regards my interest in data and algorithms.

Farida has recently developed an interest in open data and data driven journalism and some of this work (on the future of allotments in the UK) has been published on The Guardian Data Blog and elsewhere in the mainstream media. She is the co-author of the Data Journalism Handbook.

I remember tweeting something  about my interest in dating data and learning more about the habits of people. Heck I started thinking maybe I should do a PhD in online dating… So much to say and discover with all that dark undiscovered linked data!

Carlo Ratti

Carlo Ratti from MIT was wonderful as you’d expect. Sensing cities is a amazing project and has many things to say about sensing people in the home. It was a excellent end to a really good conference. Lots to take away…

The wireless for the conference was pretty ropey on the first few days but it became solid on the last day. I used my Samsung Tablet  to do most of my communications, deciding not to bring my laptop at all. Might do the same for Thinking Digital in a week, however its such a shame because the new battery last 7-8hours without turning off most things. Seems a real waste…

On Saturday I attended Larkin About’s Future Everything play day. Interestingly it was on the same time as Blast Theory’s I’d hide you which is a shame because I would have liked to have given it ago. Although people did look a little crazy running up and down the northern quarter wearing strange gear and a camera.

The Saturday afternoon and evening games were really interesting, but the one which stood out for me was 7 candles.

7:Candles is played in the streets surrounding Contact and across Twitter. A photo-based treasure hunt involving teamwork, candles and interpretative tasks.

Ok yes our team won, but it was a really interesting game and there was some great interaction over twitter. Also reminded me of parts of we dream the city.

Imagine XBMC with Leap…

Ever since the microsoft kinect was hacked to work with non xbox machines, xbmc hackers have been messing or modifying there setups to support gesture control. So popular was the idea of controlling media with gestures, even the BBC adopted this in the Xbox version of iplayer. However the limits of the kinect was being discovered by the XBMC hackers.

After the first rush for controlling media using your whole body, came the idea of using just your arm then finally just the hand. But the Microsoft kinect didn’t have the density to support this. Now leap motion have brought out their own kinect style solution.

XBMC users should love Leapmotion specially with driver support for windows, mac and Linux.

Supporting not only fingers but even pencils and pens too. all the things needed to really make the xbmc interface amazing.

BBC R&D/FIRM Research Fellow…

BBC R&D (the place I work) are looking for a Research Fellow to work directly on the Internet of Things…

What is the internet of things you may be thinking?

Well here’s the IBM Utopian vision.

The BBC is looking ahead to a world where human-friendly network-aware technology is the norm. In this world people will continue to tell stories. This project is about prototyping a toolset, which enables exploration and creation of experiences in that world. Working on this project you will explore diverse ‘Internet of Things’ scenarios by building iterative prototypes. The software and hardware extracted will form a reusable toolset enabling the BBC to become a leader in this area and potentially define new standards for technology and usability.  Ultimately, the BBC wants to understand how informing, educating and entertaining audiences could change.

This 1-year fixed post is for a Research Fellow to work within BBC R&D, MediaCityUK, with academic supervision from the University of Salford. The main focus of the project is to explore and develop a practical toolset enabling research into user experience/ HCI issues surrounding the “Internet of things”.

The appointed candidate will be based within the BBC R&D team at MediaCityUK (Dock House), and receive academic supervision at the University of Salford. The post is funded through the FIRM project (Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK), supported by a UK Research Council UK Digital Economy grant.

If your interested check it out here… be good to have you onboaed

RescueTime for Linux (beta)

I got Rescuetime installed and working on Ubuntu! Thanks to Joe’s comment on my blog post about Rescuetime meet Arya

After years of broken promises, missed deadlines, and disappointed RescueTime Linux users, we are finally preparing to launch the officially supported Linux version of RescueTime.

Up to now, the only option for Linux users was the open sourced version of the RescueTime Linux Uploader hosted here: While this have worked out for many users, we have always wanted to have a version of RescueTime for Linux that mirrored the functionality of our Windows and OS X versions.

If you want to take part in helping us test out RescueTime for Linux, read on!

I take it all back Rescuetime! And thanks a lot Joe for alerting me to the beta, thought you guys gave up on Linux

Even worked for the latest Ubuntu with Gnome shell…You can also download a Deb file for i86 or x64, making it so much simpler than the bzr file previously. Finally make sure you file any bugs and give feedback as it is a beta…

Love of the Self or Data sexuality?

Gary Wolf at Quantified Self 2011

When I read this article about the new breed of urban datasexuals I instantly thought maybe heck I might be one of them…?

The datasexual looks a lot like you and me, but what’s different is their preoccupation with personal data. They are relentlessly digital, they obsessively record everything about their personal lives, and they think that data is sexy. In fact, the bigger the data, the sexier it becomes. Their lives – from a data perspective, at least – are perfectly groomed.

Oh crap that sounds just like me… I find it very difficult to maintain things on paper and much prefer them in data because I can manage them much better. I assumed it was a dyslexia thing to be honest (it might still be).

The origin of the datasexual in all likelihood started with the humble infographic, which is a highly stylized and well-designed way to talk about all the data out there on Web. The infographic trend was followed by the data visualization trend, which made it even cooler to display data in innovative new ways. These data visualization tools eventually gave us cultural artifacts like Nicholas Felton’s annual Feltron Reports, which made the obsessive recording of everyday activities seem cool. From there, it was only a small evolutionary step to the whole quantified self (QS) movement, which promises “self knowledge through numbers.” QS proponents obsessively track every single bit of data about themselves throughout the day. The QS movement eventually led us to the embrace of data by consumer-facing companies Nike, who found a way for urban datasexuals to flaunt their obsessive data-grooming to the rest of us in a way that’s stylish and mod.

For me it stems back to my ideas of the information behind the graphics.

When I was in college, I got into XML because I loved the idea of creating graphics which are self describing and can alter depending on the data there based on.  Hence my love of Scalable Vector Graphics (w3c’s SVG specification). I was also a major pusher of SVG at the BBC for graphics and informational graphics but at the time browser technology was way behind.

Maybe this also reflects why my love of the idea of online dating via numbers, maths, science also really intrigues me so deeply?

The link up between the Quantified Self, personal data and sharing is so tight and also asks many questions. Questions which the early adopters and hackers are answering for themselves right now.

I remember my previous manager Miles Metcalfe, talking about the intangible of the semantic web… Somethings can not be quantified, at least in the ways were going about it right now. I would agree but we’ll have a good old go trying to do so. And from doing so we’ll have lots of fun, its when it stops becoming fun is the problem…

I’ll say it now… Data is Sexy no two ways about it… but the term data sexual does worry me a little along with quite a few of the commenters. Its Data Love but under the understanding that not everything can be defined or captured yet.


After the debate on Techgrumps 60 yesterday (listen to the last 10mins to understand) with Tom Morris who compares Data sexuality to something else which is certainly not pretty or nice. But the point is taken, what has this got to do with sexuality? Spicing it up with sexuality just confuses the whole thing and maybe makes those who love data into something their not. Data love is much better as a overall idea.

Pictures Under Glass and nothing else

Hands Manipulate things

Can’t believe I’ve not blogged about this epic rant about The Future Of Interaction Design.

Tony highlighted it to me and for once, we were in agreement… The future of interaction design is not glass interfaces and pictures/icons/pictograms under it

Theres some great examples of why pictures under glass doesn’t work…

Okay then, how do we manipulate things? As it turns out, our fingers have an incredibly rich and expressive repertoire, and we improvise from it constantly without the slightest thought. In each of these pictures, pay attention to the positions of all the fingers, what’s applying pressure against what, and how the weight of the object is balanced:

Absolutely the amount of gestures, positions and repertoire fingers can perform is dazzling.

Remember the saying for tricks, the hand is quicker than the eye

So what is the Future Of Interaction?

The most important thing to realize about the future is that it’s a choice. People choose which visions to pursue, people choose which research gets funded, people choose how they will spend their careers.

I could jump in with a rant about how certain companies are limiting choice but I won’t…

I believe that hands are our future…

Absolutely! 3 things pointing at the early future of the interaction…

  1. Printable circuits
  2. Conductive Fabric
  3. Squishy Circuits

Relationships 2.3 – Breaking up is hard to do?

Relationships 2x3

This time we tackle the difficult subject of how to split up in the best way possible.

So how did the rules & the game one go?

It went well, we started a little later than expected and once again my partner in crime failed to turn up (I’m pretty much fed up of her, so I won’t be doing it with her ever again). We had about 18 people again and the gender split was actually towards the female this time around.

The difficult subject of the rules and the game was dissected by the crowd and there was a interesting debate starting to happen around multiplication and uneven relationships. Unfortunately some of the debate was over powered by certain people. I didn’t do a very good job giving everyone a go. But alas we learn and next time I’ll be more cutting with allowing other people to voice their own views.

There was criticism that everything was setup for straight relationships. Although the rules and the game applies to heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Of course the purpose of the night was to highlight how stupid both books are, and actually how much money is being made off the back of these generic rules and tactics.

We never got down to the more thoughtful stuff (such as Real Social Dynamics) but hey maybe thats for another month.

This time around instead of seeking inspiration (as such) from How to loose a man in 10 days and he’s just not that into you (has a fantastic opening which points to why lots of women love the guys who treat them bad?) It will be the breakup artist and must be seen in full a complete history of my sexual failures (going to have fun showing parts of that one for sure)..

Of course you can join us and have your say by signing up for a free ticket on Eventbrite. Theres also more information on Eventbrite, Facebook and Lanyrd

Rescue time meet Arya


Rescuetime are meant to be working on a Linux version of their plugin but while we wait others are eating into their area.

We’ve already seen how Zeitgiest and Project Hamster could work together really nice. But this time theres another contender with some interesting ambitions…


Arya is a simple Gnome 3 Shell extension that adds up how much time you spend using each of your applications. It’s not very fully featured yet, but in the future it will hopefully be a useful extension.

Things to come

  • Pretty graphs to show app usage over time
  • Activity level monitoring to suggest when you should take a break

Sounds like something else I’ve heard before… right? Rescuetime…?

If I was rescuetime I would get my hooks into Ayra now and either support Rescuetime inside of Ayra or use the source code to create your own plugin…

I know its only Gnome3 but maybe like Unity App-indicators it can work across different linux shells?

Barber Boutique: Therapy for men

The Barbershop is the place men go for therapy. When I say therapy I don’t mean the traditional notion of therapy, its something much more subtle.

My barbershop called Barbers Boutique understand this very well. They aim to provide a place where men can be pampered in a way which is acceptable to the most alpha of males. Before I went to the crazy year of making love event on Saturday morning, I had my hair cut, a nail manicure and a neck & shoulder massage. Why? Because it was great to be treated like a king for a little while.

I actually added a review to Qype too.

The barbershop is a great place which is often overlooked in modern times.

It’s a great place to chew the fat with other men. When I went to hair stylists, I hardly ever talked to the woman who cut my hair. I’d chat about my family and theirs and that’s about it. The woman who cut my hair usually ended up chatting it with the other women in the salon, while I sat there awkwardly.

Barbers, on the other hand, are interesting guys with interesting stories to tell. On my visits to the barber shop, I’ve met a retried Army Ranger colonel, a musician who spent 13 years on the road in a jazz band, and a man who is the third generation in his family to take up the profession. Each of them had fascinating stories to share. And I in turn feel at ease to say what’s on my mind. There is conversation about politics, cars, sports, and family. Guys read the newspaper and comment on current events. In between the banter, jokes are told and laughs are had. And everyone is involved: the barbers, the customers getting their haircut, and the customers waiting to get their haircut. Adding to the enjoyment is that a variety of men take part in the conversation; young, old, and middle-aged join in the mix.

I think there’s a good argument that barbershops are among America’s last civic forums Where do people go today just to talk with others in the community? Coffee shops? Every time I go to a coffee shop, people are at their own tables minding their own business. The only other place that I can think of is a bar, but bars are now co-ed instead of being bastions of manliness. Graduate student, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, wrote an article about how discussions in traditionally black barbershops shape political ideas in the African-American community. She noted how political debate in barbershops can be vigorous and engages young and old alike. Unfortunately, white Americans are missing out on this experience. So, if you’re wanting to get your thumb on the pulse of civic life in your community, head over to the barbershop.

This very true for barbershops in the UK too. Theres no doubt about the conversations I’ve over heard in the barbershop are just great. I remember the first time I got involved in a discussion in Kellys of Bristol.

I was young and the discussion turned to computers. This is way back in the early 90’s when computers were still somewhat rare in most peoples lives. I had a PocketPC device and although I can’t remember the exact line of questioning or viewpoints I remember it was quite a lively debate.

Everyone my generation must remember Channel4’s Desmonds a classic barbershop and although it played up to stereotypes a bit, showed how vibrant the Barbershop can be. 10 years later, Barbershop once again tried to put across the unique nature of a barbershop for the world to see. Different characters rubbing shoulders, doing deals and push/urge/troll each other on. There is not doubt this is a man’s place for therapy… No matter how dysfunctional you may think this sounds… It might have something to do with Social proof, or the eyes of peers  but I always feel better about myself after a good haircut.

Its also worth noting the people who setup the barbershops tend to be very entrepreneurial in nature, hence why its great to hear the future plans for Barbers Boutique.

I look forward to the new Barbers Boutique… Although goodness knows how hard its going to be to get an appointment in the future…! Will it be the return of getting up at 8:30am in the morning to get first in the chair ahead of the rest? (Haven’t done this since I was a child being taken to the Beedo’s Barbershop in St Pauls, Bristol)

Fan Art on everything…

I love movies and decided a long time ago to hang them in my living room instead of the usual pictures.

However recently I’ve grown tired of the movie posters. There always too brash in my mind or don’t include the parts which are movie defining.

I got the idea a while ago to blow up Fan Art using Rasterbator and then replace my crappy movie posters with them. It might seem slightly cheeky but if I’m not replacing any of the attribution and I’ll happily point to where I got the art. I know Deviantart do sell poster sizes of some of the art but I quite like the rugged non-descript way Rasterbator makes Fan art.

So for my first piece I did one for Inception…

I used PosteRazor which is one of the most ugly linux apps I’ve ever used (but it does the job) and created a A2 sized poster out of some excellent Fan Art. Then bought an Ikea frame.

The result is…

Inception poster

And this is only the start… Not bad for the first attempt, although the line up isn’t right and I’m not so happy with the framing…

Certainly like the idea of changing the art around every once in a while too

Perceptive Media presentation at the EBU, Copenhagen


I really enjoyed my time in Copenhagen… It kind of reminded me of a combination of Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm. I had wished I had more time there for many reasons.

Copenhagen Archtecture

So what was I doing there? Well me and Tony Churnside were asked a while after that presentation at SMC_MCR by the European Broadcasting Union (they run the Eurovision song contest I’ve heard) if we would offer a unique look at a possible future for broadcasting. Originally we said no because the idea wasn’t fully formed (hence the early thinking) but it became clear we might have a demo which we could maybe show. That demo of course is still under-wraps and we hope to reveal it to the world soon enough (keep an eye on the BBC R&D Blog for more details). It was well received and it certainly got people thinking, talking and wanting much more. And yes it is Perceptive Media

EBU campfire reference

On top of doing the presentation and heading up a question and answer session with Tony, we got a good chance to see the rest of the summit and speak to many TV related people. Its amazing what our European public broadcaster friends are doing. Thanks to the always busy but super smart Nicoletta Iacobacci (who also uses troublemaker in her job title) from the EBU who was the one who invited us and made us feel very comfortable. Of course the amazing Mia Munck Bruns, who I had the joy of sharing my love for good cocktails with on the last night.

Cocktails in Copenhagen

We also got to see parts of Copenhagen but we were mainly in Ørestad. I could only see the one of the moutain dwellings  as talked about in the Channel4 documentary recently from a far, but it looked very impressive. And to be honest the architecture and design effort in Copenhagen was amazing… It was like walking through Stockholm or the pages of Inhabatit.

When we first arrived (our flight was 2 hours delayed) I had a massive headcold and couldn’t hear out of my right ear due to not flying well. But we walked straight into a session involving media study students and TV producers. It was run by Nicoletta and reminded me of when BBC Backstage invited the people behind UK Nova in to meet the BBC. The students explained there media habits and the TV producers tried to make sense of it all.

The thing which shocked me was the lack of twitter usage in Denmark. The students talked about using Facebook as we use Twitter. Google Plus never really came up ever. The 2/4 screens meme came up time and time again. And a few of the TV producers started getting irate why the students were treating TV like radio or as I prefer wallpaper.

They couldn’t understand why they have the screen on if there not watching it. Little disagreement broke out saying they should be watching what they broadcast. Well what followed was some ice words on both sides… As usual, as I’ve heard all my life. The students media habits were dismissed as early adopters. I asked if any of them created there own media rather than just consumed and shared? Very few did (maybe one) further indicating there not early adopters but just the norm.

Fantastic session along with

During the trip the EBU treated us to a series of lovely dinner including one at a amazing Opera Hall.

Opera House

Unfortunately the way to the opera hall was via boat which isn’t exactly great for me. But I made it even with Tonys teasing…

The rest of the conference was dominated by TV as you’d expect and there was some real interesting things from other public European partners including Äkta människor or Real Humans

In a parallel present the artificial human has come into its own. Robots no longer have anything robot-like about them. New technology and advancements in the field of science have made it possible to manufacture a product – a kind of mechanized servant – that is so similar to a real human that it can often be considered a perfectly good substitute. The Human Robot (HUBOT) have also given rise to new problems and dilemmas. Thorny legal questions have increasingly started to occupy people’s minds and are still waiting to be answered: Who is responsible for the actions of a hubot? Do hubots have some form of “hubot rights”? Should they be paid for their work? As an ever growing number of people form relationships with hubots, the boundaries between human and machine become blurred. When humans make copies of themselves, which are so close to the real thing they form emotional bonds, the questions arises – What does it really mean to be ‘human’?

Looks like one to watch for sure…

Great to experience Copenhagen and see that crazy bridge/tunnel to Sweden from the plane.

Islington wharf without water

GVA Islington Wharf sign in the lift

I have no words to explain what on earth is going on in Islington Wharf right now…

There was a problem with the water supply a while ago in April. GVA (the management agency) tried to fix it but something needed replacing which required the water to be turned off in Block B (125 apartments).  I was in Copenhagen when this happened so I came back and everything was the same as before, except when I turned on the tap to wash a glass – It blew out so quick it took the glass out of my hand and broke in the sink.

A few days goes by and its clear something is not right…

GVA Islington Wharf sign in the lift

I and others spotted and reported a massive pool of water in the ground floor stairwell. It seemed to be running down the inside of the stairwell. Anyway before long GVA posted notes saying they were having to turn off the water not during the day like before but during the whole day and night. This was about Thursday. then it was communicated things were still not right and that would mean another 24hours of no water. 2 days of no water!

And when I say no water I mean absolutely no water from any taps in the flat. Yes no washing up, no dishwasher and no loo flash water. Luckily I tend to have a jug of water in the fridge and my kettle was full.

Anyway by Friday (today) it was posted around that not only will the water be off but it will be off till Tuesday evening…!

I was moaning before, but till Tuesday? over the May bank holiday! Well thanks… What a wonderful bank holiday weekend most of the people in Islington wharf will have… Here’s what GVA left us all under our doors, on the forums and facebook.

Water for Islington Wharf


As you will be aware we have been working to try and resolve a problem with the mains water supply to the building. Following a review on site today and based on specialist advice we have received, we do not propose to undertake another temporary repair due to the risk of failure and health and safety implications if water should escape into the electrical intake room.

Contingency Plan

We have arranged for 3,000 bottles of fresh water to be delivered to site so there is 6 bottle of water by each apartment front door and there are spare bottles in the block B entrance. All other building systems will operate normally.  A full permanent repair has been authorised and this will be completed on Tuesday.  Our current information is that all residents will be able to return to their apartments on Tuesday evening.

Now bear in mind we’ve been told it will be fixed by a certain date a couple times before, I’m not feeling too confident about Tuesday evening.

To be frank I’m peeded off but I like many others haven’t really got anyone to blame or shout at. Yes we could shout at GVA or ISIS (the company who actually own the building and employee GVA as management agents) but its actually not there fault. They have been good (not perfect but good for once). Early in the week, we had a toilet in the caretaker office and a tap in the bin store to keep us fresh?

GVA and ISIS offered us the ability to stay in a hotel down the road near Piccadilly but for myself this is almost pointless. Instead I’m trying to get conformation about the costs, so I can head down to Bristol and just get away. And thats how I and maybe many others just feel like.

Its all the small things which you forget like water to brush your teeth, toilet water to flush, water to clean the dishes, water to clean our clothes. If the water doesn’t come back on Tuesday night, it will be almost a week without water. This is bad bad news and to be honest if you were in my position you would also be peed…!

Won’t even remind you about the state of our garden right now too…

The walls of our garden

The walls of our garden

Yes the wall fell down and there is now a massive 2 story drop into a carpark…

You can can’t help but feel like the whole place is falling apart…!


The water was turned back on Tuesday evening at about 5pm, and work has started to fix the 2 story drop down to the carpark. ISIS and GVA can count themselves very lucky they didn’t end up all over the BBC news site like this almost exact carbon copy event in Yorkshire. Although it was for about double the amount of people and they were much more organised and took advantage of the open web. No point in moaning about it on a closed Facebook group, nothing will change and your also playing into there hands because no one else can see the problem.