I took a Virgin train to London, speeding through the yellow fields of the Home Counties to the West End. Butterflies always start to flutter in my stomach around Watford Junction as the farmland is replaced by proud Edwardian townhouses backing onto the tracks, and in places you can still see the blackened Dickensian underbelly of the old Victorian city. A quick flash of history, and suddenly Euston – the station that welcomes me to my native south. The excitement is instant: the people, the noise, the buzz…
The whole of London is red, white and blue! You would never guess that up until recently, any overt display of national pride in Britain was associated with political extremism. Fortunately we’ve reclaimed our identity with the double whammy of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic games. It’s OK to wave The Union Jack again, and believe me, everyone’s waving them. It’s been called the Union Jack since 1600 and I think the word Jack has a certain swagger to it, representing the British character: a cheeky kind of resilience, a spark of tenacity beneath our famous reserve. You might hear some apologists calling it the Union Flag, but quite why anyone would want to snip away part of our heritage when the Torch has only just arrived is beyond me.
You’re going to be seeing an awful lot of Union Jacks over the next few months, wherever you are in the world.
There was a sudden splash of dazzling colour in St Anne’s Square in Manchester. Under the stubborn grey shroud of the Pennine Cloud Blanket was a buzzing Moroccan market. As I wandered through the lamps and rugs, I tried to recall my haggling skills which I learnt in the Canary islands, and practised in Dubai. I soon found out that my negotiation drive had disengaged long ago, returning to the default setting which is Polite English. ‘What’s your best price,’ is a great start but you have to follow it up with some quick thinking if you want to nail a bargain and I failed spectacularly. Twice. And all this while sneaking these pictures. The market is in St. Anne’s Square until Saturday evening (May 5th.)
It’s funny how I don’t carry my digital camera any more, now that I can Instagram my flat grey iPhone pictures to look like I spent hours developing them in a studio in Hoxton. Click on any image to enlarge them.
Tales of the City
If you missed my previous post, The Vibes has been visited by a famous author! Click on the image on the right to find out more…
Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor
Tags: Art, Bazaar, craft, Culture, Freshly Pressed, Instagram, iPhone, Manchester, Market, Moroccan, Morocco, photography, pottery, Textiles, tour
These are close ups of lampshades from B&Q, fed through various apps, such as Instagram and Tadaa, with multiple filters applied in various combinations. (Tadaa is a more advanced, versatile version of Instagram.)
According to the mannequins in Harvey Nichols department store in Manchester, waxing your upper lip has taken on a completely different meaning. Rather than removing the hair, you should tease it into the curly points of a silent movie villain. Of course. Cheryl Cole will be relieved to hear this…
Categories: Design, Photography, Random, Vibe Monitor
Tags: Cheryl Cole, fashion, gender, Harvey Nichols, humor, humour, Instagram, lifestyle, mannequin, moustache, photography, random
Categories: Design, Photography, Vibe Monitor
Tags: caricature, Instagram, Mark, Neil, Panos, People, photography, Robert, South Park