Posts Tagged With: photography

Postcard From Bishop’s Stortford

Airmail letter bishop's stortford

It’s funny going back to your place of birth, secretly hoping that it still looks like the place you left behind, and your house hasn’t been replaced by a Tesco or Starbucks. I was relieved to see that nothing much had changed when I returned to Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire after more than thirty years. Give or take the odd PVC window frame, and a rash of Ground Forced gardens, it was exactly how I remembered it. I have a lot of happy, hazy memories of growing up here, and we moved away ‘up north’ when I was eight. Relocating to Cheshire was like a cold shower compared to this sleepy, sunny market town in the Home Counties. We went from Cider With Rosie to Wuthering Heights on a one-way ticket. This short film is a tour of my childhood…

Press Quality for HD and watch in fullscreen.

The video features the track Since I left You by The Avalanches, my all time favourite song, which samples old soul band The Main Attraction and Rose Royce, amongst others. It’s a burst of sunshine, and makes me happy every time I hear it.

Categories: Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Spring in the Park

Escape from the City!
Swan Heaton Park Manchester
daffodils heaton park manchester
Heaton Park Welcome Sign

I’m first from the starting gun when the sun comes out and we hit the nearest park, desperate for ultra-violet rays and proof that flowers are actually growing. I know I said we’d be stopping off at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (see previous post) but there’s the tiniest crease in the fabric of space and time which takes us from the kaleidoscopic colour of Park Güell in Spain to… Heaton Park in north Manchester, England.

Caution Horned Livestock Warning Sign

This is yet another chance for me to wave the Union Jack – this time, while sunbathing. Culture shock, maybe, but I suggest you grab your sunglasses and get a load of this: it’s a Scottish Highland Cow. Or bull, as both male and female have horns. Also the oldest known registered breed of cattle. I wasn’t expecting to come face to face with a horned beast (not on a Wednesday afternoon and certainly not in broad daylight) and was kind of hoping for something more like an ice-cream van.

highland cattle heaton park manchester
Heaton Hall has been here in one form or another since 1684, and the grounds were designed in the style of Capability Brown, England’s finest landscape architect in 1839. It’s the largest park in Europe.
Heaton Hall Column Manchester
Stone columns Heaton Park Manchester
swan lake heaton park manchesterStone pillar Heaton Hall Manchester
The funfair was in town…
Fairground Ride Heaton Park

Fairground ride heaton park manchester
There’s a beautiful boating lake, with an island in the middle, full of ducks and geese and swans.
Goose grooming itself heaton park manchester

I tried to make this one look like an old postcard from the 70s, partly because the brightly coloured train which drives around the park is like something out of The Magic Roundabout.
Heaton Park Train
flowers heaton park manchester
mark leaning on stone pillars heaton park

If you liked this, then my previous post from Park Güell in Barcelona will completely blow your mind…Get some colour!

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gaudi Wonderland – Park Güell, Barcelona

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona

‘A fool or a genius, time will tell,’ said Antoni Gaudi’s tutors as they handed him his degree. Spain’s greatest architect is famous for his gothic psychedelic style which predates the colourful extravagance of the sixties by decades. Park Güell, so named because it was based on the English Garden City Movement, was definitely a work of genius: an undulating pleasure garden of vibrant colour and form.

Gaudi Fountain Park Guell

Gaudi Mosaic Roof Park Guell Spain
Park Guell Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Sala Hipóstila Park GuellGaudi Turret Park GuellWe stayed in Sitges on the coast, just outside Barcelona, and ventured into the city for a Gaudi expedition and shopping at Desigual. You have to take two escalators up a mountainside until you reach the summit which boasts sweeping views of the city, with the Sagrada Familia just a toy on the horizon.

Speaking of toys, Park Güell is like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. A panorama of spiritual symbolism and gingerbread houses create the ideal environment to relax and enjoy the view. I listened to a busking violin as craftsmen repaired broken tiles, which betrayed the real age of the place.

After the tourists have gone and the sun starts to set, the park starts to feel magical, and you can almost see through Gaudi’s eyes. Influenced by Moorish architecture, Gaudi was a visionary, a Modernista with perhaps a penchant for mushroom tea…

Palm Trees Park GuelI was fascinated to see how Gaudi recycled unwanted ceramics, or trencadis amongst his mosaics and made something beautiful out of damaged and discarded materials. It’s incredible to think this place is a century old.

gaudi mosaic collage

Gaudi actually lived here in the park in this house which was intended to be a show home: Park Güell was originally supposed to be a housing development for rich aristocrats! I wonder if their names were Dougal, Florence and Zebedee?
Gaudi's House Park Guell Spain

Gaudi Tunnel Park Guell
Sala Hipóstila Roof Mosaic Park Guell Spain Gaudi

To see Gaudi’s work first hand is to be immersed in the colour of Spanish culture, joyful, flamboyant and bursting with energy.

Up next: Barcelona – The Sagrada Familia.

Categories: Design, Photography, Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Shopping Patterns

drawer and wrapping paper collage

patterned paper collage

pastel display collage

I went shopping and took these iPhone pictures and stuck them together in collages. The first image is from House of Fraser and All Saints, the second is Paperchase and the third is from an art shop.

Categories: Art, Design, Photography, Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Neon London

Ed's Diner neon sign london

Cafe illuminated sign london

Singin' in the Rain West End London Neon Sign

Bar Italia Soho London Neon Sign

Liberty's London neon sign

Wizard of Oz London West End Neon Sign

Palladium Theatre neon Sign London West EndOn my recent trip to London, I managed to grab some shots around Soho and the West End. Theatre Land is currently booming, with increasingly lavish productions competing with each other. This part of the city has the most character, and sitting in a Soho cafe, you can watch the world go by. All life is here, and Old Compton Street is almost like a film set, bustling with extras and rickshaws.

There is an urgency here, to see and be seen. I just wandered round casually taking pictures, and spotting celebrities. David Walliams strategically positioning himself under a spotlight with a leggy blonde outside the Palace Theatre, and Ian Brown trying to look mean and hard while waiting for a bus. Things must be going well if he’s getting the bus! No wonder the Stone Roses are reforming, so they can all afford Day Savers…

From Ed’s diner to Ronnie Scott’s jazz bar, this is a melting pot, embracing diversity from Chinatown to Oxford Street. There is still an air of notoriety and a sense that anything could happen. Eulogised by Marc Almond and mentioned in Brecht’s Mack the Knife, Soho retains some of the romance of the sixties when gangsters owned most of the property and Carnaby Street was buzzing just round the corner.

Ronnie Scott's London Neon Sign

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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