Thursday, 26 May 2011

The People of Sierra Leone - a series of photographic portraits.

Just a short entry today to let you all know that my third photo book is now complete and available to see and buy from my 'Blurb' bookshop.  This book is a series of portraits that I took during my year in Sierra Leone.

Click HERE to go to my Blurb bookshop.

Despite a decade of civil war the people of Sierra Leone were always so friendly and positive. Here is just a small selection of those photographs in my book - Enjoy.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Morocco Friends Reunited.

Mount Toubkal - Morocco 2010
 Another lovely weekend spent enjoying the English countryside and the company of a group of likeminded friends who met on a walking holiday in Morocco last year.


It was our second reunion since the trip to Morocco last September and this time we headed to Kent for a catch-up, a walk and to enjoy the local hostelries in that area.  The age range of the group goes from early twenties to early eighties, but the shared interests of walking, the great outdoors and travel transcend that age gap and a very pleasant weekend was had by all.  Most surprising was to learn of the musical talent within some of our group and an evening of piano playing was one of the last things I expected of the weekend - how are we going to top that next time!

Over the 24-hours we were together we covered quite a few miles and saw many beautiful aspects of Kent and East Sussex and I have posted just a few of the photos I took over the weekend.

             Thanks for a great weekend everyone.

A radio mast!

A real tree!

PS - Something that I was surprised to see during our walks was the radio/telephone mast pretending to be a tree - I’m not really sure why it was designed in this way, as it neither looks realistic or blends in with the local surroundings.  It actually looks more like a dead tree that has turned grey and may fall to the ground at any moment, rather than anything natural or attractive. Does, whoever erected it, expect local wildlife and birds to make their homes in it............?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

OMG - The Wall.

Thirty years ago I was stationed on the outskirts of London which gave me access to some of the best entertainment in the world.  I was lucky enough to see Freddie strut-his-stuff as the front man to the legendary Queen and, on another occasion, I head-banged for two hours solid as Status Quo worked their way through their iconic list of chart hits.  But, due to work commitments, there was a band that did eluded me - I missed seeing Pink Floyd performing ‘The Wall’.

Whilst I would not count myself as a massive Floyd fan, I have regularly listened to and enjoyed their music over the years and I have often dwelt on the thought that I wish I had seen that performance all those years ago - a unique opportunity missed - one of life's tick-boxes left empty.

Well that is what I thought - but last night I had the chance to do put things right.  It was the 6th night of Roger Waters performing ‘The Wall’ at the O2 in London and what a performance it was........ 

The message behind the music was as strong and as alive as ever and the visual backdrops had been brought right up to date as the fallen of recent conflicts, both civilian and military,  were also remembered whilst the audience were also reminded of just how good Pink Floyd’s music is.
Even though it was only Roger Waters performing last night from the original Pink Floyd line-up, and the other band members were not present or even mentioned, the performance was amazing and I can now say I saw ‘The Wall’.

As an after note, during the last part of the show, when The Wall comes down, there is an image of a piece of Banksy’ graffiti projected onto the stage backdrop.  Last year, when I was working in Palestine, I saw a very similar painting on the wall near a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, also by Banksy  -  it is one of his paintings of a young girl with some balloons.  I don’t know why, but seeing that same graffiti last night at the concert completed some kind of loop in my life......... 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Me, me, me!!!!

I find it very strange that someone would accuse me of using this blog to only talk about myself - right from the very start that has been the whole point:
“This blog will be the link to my current journey, what am I up to now, where are my plans taking me and......well anything else I want to get off my chest.”
- A quote from my very first blog entry.
I have actively avoided putting details of other people on here, after all there is such a thing as personal privacy and I wouldn’t want to upset anyone.  I have mentioned a few people on here in the past, but usually as a public "thank-you" or because they have been a positive influence on my life.

Most of the ramblings on these pages are just that, ramblings.  If people want to read them and follow my adventures, then that is great and you are welcome to come along for the ride. However, like TV, everyone has a choice through use of the on/off one forces you to view what is broadcast on there, or on here. So be warned: there will be more of me, me, me!!!!

Today marks the 8-months-to-go point before I shed the green skin and step out into the big, wide outside world.  It will be in January 2012 when this blog should take off; a circumnavigation of the UK and then chasing the sun around the world, wherever the winds, tides and my fancy take me.  Until then, the pace will be a little more gentle (apart from the Thorpe Park adventure).......but please do stay tuned.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Helter-Skelter, Topsy-Turvy, Roller-Coaster!

First of all my apologies to the regular visitors of my blog, but it’s been a hectic period with a topsy-turvy, roller-coaster of emotions and happenings; but I’m back with a vengeance, so stay tuned-in.

Even though I haven’t been putting on any new entries over the past few weeks, I can report that I have now had over 800 ‘hits’ on this blog and over 500 on my website - so thank you all for your support -  maybe we can make it to the thousand mark on here soon?  Oh by the way, welcome to my visitor from Latvia.......whoever you are?

 At the top of my blog page you will see the phrase “adopt a helter-skelter style of life” and recently I was challenged over just off to Thorpe Park it was to see if I had the stomach for it.   

I’m pleased to say that I do still have my stomach, and its contents, although I am not convinced I have my marbles anymore after agreeing to go on every one of the challenging rides there.  

Something else I’m not convinced about are the words “helter-skelter” being the most apt words to describe these rides; the combination of sheer acceleration, hanging upside-down at high speed, continuous corkscrews and the weightlessness caused by all that, certainly makes more expletive words spring to mind than helter-skelter!!! 

Whilst I do not have any photos to prove I went on the are a few pics I did take whilst there.......and I’m pretty sure 5 years have been taken off my life in the process.

If you haven’t been to Thorpe Park; go!  It does make you feel alive and it gets the adrenaline pumping around the body and will make you realise just how much your body can endure (if you survive of course).  Although the queueing and overcharging did tax me to the full - it was a great day what’s the next challenge?