Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Minack

The Minack theatre built into the cliffs near Porthcurno I. Cornwall. Will always have a pull on my heart. In the late 1970s and early 1980s I spent every summer holiday there. 
My intro to the theatre was through an old friend of the family
Lawrence and Gertie were coming to the end of their time managing the theatre and their final year was the 49th year of productions. Over a couple of summers I photographed the theatre and my pictures were published in the golden jubilee calendar of 1982.  
I returned that year and photographed the production of Shakespeare  The Tempest. Which had also been the first production put on in 1932. The new manager, who also was the director of the production, was an ex teacher and had brought the production down with a theatre group in Kent.  
One of the dressers was a colleague of his from his school. 

But that is another story. !!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas dinner.

There was almost a crisis in our house this christmas, It was possible that V was going to have to cook our christmas dinner.
Due to a curve ball thrown into my work roster it looked as though I was working on boxing day, the day when we were having our christmas dinner. 
Don’t ask why we were a day late that is another story. As I was not going to be there we realised that she had never cooked christmas dinner in her life. This job had always fallen to me. 

This also got me thinking about what I had learnt over the years cooking christmas dinner. The following are things I have learnt.

1 Christmas dinner time is the time that christmas dinner is served.
2 You will always have too much veg
3 You will never have enough roast potatoes
4 No-one ever wants christmas pud after dinner.
5 When carving the turkey ensure that it is breast side up.
6 No alcohol can be consumed until the correct cooking time for the meat         has been calculated.
7 Do not calculate the cooking time for the meat based on the price per             Kilo.
8 Everyone MUST eat at least one sprout.
9 Yorkshire pudding goes with anything
10 If cooking christmas dinner in an unfinished kitchen, in an oven installed         the previous day, ensure the guests include one child having its first               christmas, no-one will care about dinner.
11 Nothing is funnier than a one year old eating sprouts for the first time.
12 No-one will agree on what you had last year.
13 The starter will be forgotten about until just before the main course is             ready to be served. 
14 No one can agree what wine to have.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

04:48 22 December 2015

Starting a new project at the New Year is a recipe for failure! 

New year resolutions have become the subject of many jokes and are almost a euphemism for a failed endeavour.  How many diets, exercise regimes and 'new me' projects , are started in the post alcoholic glow of the new year, only to flicker and die into cold ash by the middle of January?

Far better to fall into the deeper rhythms of the year and take the winter solstice as cue to start a new project. The Solstice marks the turning of the year, the shortest day and the longest night, the deepest and darkest time of the year, everyday after the solstice is a day on the climb up to the heat and light of high summer. 

Starting at the solstice also gives some time to get into the rhythm for the project before the new year hits, with all its distractions.

These ten days get you through the death zone for a project when the first rush of excitement is over and the realisation of exactly what has been taken on starts to become obvious, push through these days and the rhythms  start to  become embedded and what looks like an impossible task becomes more manageable. 

It also helps to set realistic goals for any project. Far better to go for three times a week rather than every day. 
Set the target as 'every day' and the first time you miss a deadline then you have failed. Set the target as three of four times a week and the odd missed day has not poisoned the project. 

In the past I have done time limited projects with differing degrees of success. My picture a day between the spring and autumn equinox on Pbase was a success while others on Instagram have run for a time and then faltered as the inspiration fades or self set limits became inhibiting. 

The new aim for this blog will be for three posts a week. With a mix of new images, old images and more wordy posts with stories from my time working as a commercial photographer. 

I am not setting a time limit on how long it will last but my hope is to have a long run at this post rate. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Guest blog

For the first time I did a guest blog post for another blogger.

Where we we on holiday in the summer was a wonderful greek island called Symi. A British writer who lives on the island as a daily blog. At the moment he is on holiday and was looking for content, I made contact and a guest post was the result.

Symi Dream

Good fun and something I hope to do again.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Agia Marina Beach Symi

The last beach we visited on our short stay on Symi was Agia Marina. We got the same taxi boat as our trip to St Nicks. The cost was slightly more from memory.

Agia Marina is the most developed of the beaches and almost has a country club feel to it. There are green lawns palm trees and a restaurant that serves good food.

The beach is small and sandy, and the sun loungers are all on hardstandings. The cost of the loungers is the same as St Nicks but no discount for using the taverna. We sat in the shade of a tree and all day we had geckos running around under the loungers.

When we first arrived we had mixed feelings about the beach but the day was very relaxing and at the end we both agreed that it had been a good day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Agia Nicholas beach Symi

The next beach we visited was Agia Nicholas beach or St Nicks as it is sometimes called.

As we were staying in Horio we took a leisurely stroll down to Pedi to get the boat round to Agia Nicholas beach. We were the first customers for the boat and were told to jump in and off we went. the beach was deserted and we had the choice of all the sun loungers

Did not note what the boat cost was but it was not great. The beach is full of trees and has lots of shade.

We sat at the east side away from where the boats come in on the west.

There is a taverna at the west end near to the jetty. which serves a good lunch and at  similar price to the rest of the island.

There is a path round from Pedi which is about a half hour walk, its over very sharp rocks so best for good shoes. No road access so it's either walk or boat.

The beach is a mix of sand and pebbles with some rocky bits in the middle. There is also a small church at the east side near where we were sitting

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Marathounda Beach Symi

While on Symi in the summer we visited several beaches. Each was different, all were great for swimming with water clear as a good gin.

Marathounda Beach was the first beach we visited, as part of a trip across the island.

The beach is stoney with a small patch of sand at the north end near the path down to the beach from the road. The beach is one of the few on the island that can be driven too and is served by the taxi boats.

There is a small taverna and sun loungers with sun shades. We sat on one for a while and were not asked to pay. The taverna is small but good by all reports.

The only downside are the goats that run wild in the area. They will eat anything so it is prudent to keep a close eye on your bag, its not unusual see a goat nibbling on a hat or a towel.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Chatham Dockyard

We had a second visit to Chatham Maritime museum. The site is so large that It is more than a days visit. This trip was spent around the RNLI lifeboat museum. Then a short walk to the docks.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Thames Barrier

For the first time in many years I found myself down by the Thames Barrier.
It was a warm day and the fog was still hanging around. As the light was low the metal cladding on the bastions had a wonderful warm sheen.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Empty Lot at The Tate Modern

I had an afternoon up in London last week. After lunch at Borough Market I had a wander along the embankment and dropped into the Tate Modern to see the latest installation in the Turbine Hall. 

It was interesting and gave some nice images but it was by far from the best work that has been in the Turbine Hall. 

In my mind Olafur Eliasson with The Weather Project or Doris Saucedo with Shibboleth had the best installations in the turbine hall.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Round Symi Boat Trip

We had a strong recommendation to do a round the island boat trip on one of the boats that offer the trip. We were recommended to use the Poseidon and were pleased to see that the rep from the holiday company had arranged for us to easily book a trip on the Poseidon.
The boat trip departed from Yialos at 10.30am. We left our apartment in Horio with plenty of time and had a nice walk down the Kali Strata before the heat of the day built up. We found the boat and checked on how busy they expected to be for the days trip, before we wandered of to get a coffee in one of the nearby cafes.

We got back to the boat about 15min before departure to ensure a good seat. We ended up sitting on the front of the cabin under the sunshade. It turned out to be the perfect place out of the sun but with maximum cooling from the breeze, also as we were sitting with two couples we had already met, we were able to share the space without feeling we were encroaching on other peoples space.

The trip we were on was a five stopper. First a visit to the church at St Isidoros. For a swim and a walk around the church.

Next a stop at Seal cave. The seal must have heard us coming as it was not at home but we had a nice swim off the boat.

Then back on the boat and on to Diavates Island for another swim off the boat.

Each of these stops gave us about half an hour swimming time. which was enough.
The next stop was at Sesklia Island for a lunch stop and a much longer swim.

We could smell lunch being prepared onboard the boat as the smell of cooking and garlic was wafting up from underneath us as we sat on the cabin. Lunch was a mix of salads pasta and barbecue chicken, which was cooked by the crew on a barbecue which was lit as soon as we moored up at the pier.

After eating all we could and having had another swim it was back on the boat.
We were then on the run back up the east coast of the island. The only stop here is at St Georges bay this bay is only accessed by boat as it surrounded by steep cliffs which shade the beach in the afternoon.

We swam of the boat and then had coffee and watermelon.

Monday, October 05, 2015


The old town at the top of Kali Strata is called Horio. It is the area on the right of centre on this image The tongue of sea on the right is Pedi bay a short walk from Horio.

It is a maze of narrow alleys and steps. Some are so narrow that they are single file for people.

It is also at night, very dark. When we went out to eat in an evening we had to remember to check we had torches with us. We also had to memorise features on our route. one alley looks just like another even in daylight but at night it is worse To get from the top of Kali Strata to our apartments we had to 

1 Find windmill restaurant.
2 go right and across by the shop.
3 Follow the sign for the Sunrise 
4 stop and have a drink
5 keep on going 
6 diagonal across the open area
7 stay high at the next fork with the crushed figs on the ground.
8 keep the exposed bedrock on the RHS
9 down the steps
10 Turn left passed the house with the water bottles.
11 arrive at door

Looking up at Horio from our balcony. as you can see the lights are few and far between.


A spectacular sunset tonight.