Tuesday, November 30

Boot Camp

Recently come back from an unusual experience at ARTTS International in Yorkshire. A film and theatre school in a converted pig farm (farmer committed suicide). Students go through a year long intense regime of training run a film director famed for working with Olivier. I was only there for two days but we found the experience emotionally draining. We were filmed doing a range of on-camera presentations while the trainers gave us feedback. It was a rewarding and surprising experience. I guess it's good to be unsettled from time to time. More on Artts here

Tuesday, November 2


Thanks to Paul Bond at the BBC in Bristol for putting me onto Mayang's Free Textures. A site providing a wealth of high quality images.

Monday, November 1

The Other Presidential Elections

In Ukraine voting has been taking place in their presidential elections.

Mr Yushchenko (pictured before and after poisoning) is the only real opposition to the Moscow supported Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Yuschchenko, who would like stronger links with Europe, claimed he was deliberately poisoned last month. The authorities deny any involvement but it has become one of the talking points of the election (BBC). My lunchtime conversations in Odessa suggested that it was a who-done-it story with a sympathy vote likely for Mr Yushchenko. But at the same time his health is seriously in question.

The opposition claim there have been attempts to provoke violence, while the authorities accuse the opposition of plotting a revolution. The media too is under a huge amount of pressure with corruption never far away. Top Media, who I was working with, offer legal support to broadcasters.

Ukraine is in a valuable strategic position with a key port on the Black Sea and oil pipelines running through the country. Oil & territory may be at the heart of this (and other current struggles). I can see that the effort to bring democracy and decent behavior into the situation is desirable – but also expedient if it means a more western facing position.

Voting has been very close. The result is to be decided by a run-off on 21 November.

The opinions expressed on this site are those of Mark Waddington and not his employer. If I have made any errors or published anything unfairly please bring it to my attention and I will make corrections if appropriate.