Happy 20th Birthday to Notting Hill!

NottingHillRobertsGrant Movie Poster

Iconic romantic comedy movie Notting Hill had its premiere in the United Kingdom on the 21st of May, 1999.

I moved to Notting Hill – the real place in London – in 2001, and the movie’s impact was everywhere. I’d be heading off to the laundrette with bags of washing, only to run into American tourists (and their long-suffering boyfriends!) searching my street for “Hugh Grant’s blue door”. While Portobello Road Market was always popular, things had got totally out of control, and they’d started assigning police officers to the exit of Notting Hill Gate Tube station to do some crowd control, and to help lost tourists with directions.

I’m not much of a romantic comedy movie viewer, but this one is special to me.

Nineteen Years

In light of the increasing number of  – and increasingly deadly – mass shootings in the United States, it is worth remembering today is the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High massacre. Sadly, things have only got worse since then.

When it happened I was in my final year of school, and the same age as the victims, so it had a huge impact on my generation. At the time nobody could think of anything worse.

America: gun control works! By the time Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into that school in Colorado, USA we’d already had it for three years.