I was covering an event for the Ham & High newspaper at the weekend, and found myself standing on Hampstead High St, chomping through something delicious from Gail's, while the Bethnal Green Big Band blasted and trumpeted their way through the hits on Oriel Place. After a month away, and a week or so getting back into the swing of things the message on this balloon seemed to sum up the moment very well.
Not that I've been entirely idle you understand, and since my return have had the pleasure of brushing quite nearby the actual shoulders of, amongst others, Nick Ross (interesting new book on crime), illustrator Denise Doran, the Marc Bolan Fan Club, there were theatrical exploits with Steven Berkoff, I photographed the photographer Dorothy Bohm and hung with the nice people at Camden Arts Centre.
Spent the evening at the Jermyn Street Theatre because I was taking production shots for "A Victorian Eye" by Rory Fellowes and starring Nigel Dunbar (pictured).
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to win 2nd prize in this year's Art In Marylebone photography competition. The prizes were presented by the actress Olivia Williams, and here she is holding my photo which I took on Church St on St George's Day 2013. The judges said all sorts of nice encouraging things about the use of light and how it was a good example of classic street photography.
Most of all a major hat's off to Mick and his friend who after giving their permission to be photographed, simply ignored me and didn't play up to the camera.
In other exhibition news... earlier on in the day I popped down to see Caroline Kha's "The Tourist" at the dalla Rosa gallery in Clerkenwell. It includes re-written postcards, maps and works which depict some of the more "unvisited" places on our globe, volcanic islands and mountain ranges. It's really interesting and also, the gallery is a great space.
It's not every day that the only form of transport that you can take to work is a boat. In fact, it's never happened to me ever before, not until last Saturday that is.
I was lucky enough to be working at Hurst Castle just off the south coast and practically opposite the Isle of Wight. Building work started here in 1540 or thereabouts on the orders of Henry V111, and it was modernized during the Napoleonic wars and again in the 1860s when the armored "wings" were constructed. It was manned again during WW2 with coastal gun batteries and searchlights, but now it has a more sort of relaxed tea room vibe, it has some fantastic views and a museum. Most under-rated museum ever. I recommend.
There are now 15 separate channels of security camera action to enjoy on the C2.
15 cameras on one bus.
Oxford Street shoppers quite clearly "Enjoying the Colour of Summer", BTW this year the colour of summer is grey and not yellow and green as the window display might suggest.
Sometimes, when talking about our local MP, people often comment that they find it odd that Glenda Jackson, a double Oscar winning actress, chose to leave that life and instead become an MP. I don't find it odd at all. Certainly she would have given Dench a run for her money had she stayed in the acting profession - can you imagine her as a bristly and wise M? But Glenda decided otherwise, for whatever reason, and the truth is she could have been anything at all, she probably could have been David bleeping Bowie if she'd set her mind to it, but instead she decided to become an MP, a post that she's held since 1992. On Saturday she was back on patch supporting the fire crews at Belsize Fire Station which is under threat of closure in the brave new London Safety Plan, she called the fire service "vital" and was against any such closures, especially at Belsize. Glenda's retiring at the next General Election, I can't imagine that she'll be content knitting booties for very long - I'm wondering what's next?
Whitewebbs Transport Museum in Enfield might not sound like the most exciting place in the world, but guess what? It kind of is.
I was lucky enough to be asked to do a magazine shoot about the museum and on some of the volunteers who keep the place running. So on a rainy Monday morning in May, I took a train, to the arctic circle of North London i.e. Outer Enfield and spent the morning taking photos of their collection of vintage cars and bikes. Here's a photo of Malcolm who edits the newsletter in the drivers seat of an army car from the 1940s. I thought we'd exhausted all photo possibilities until we emerged from one of the buildings and I noticed an old entire train carriage parked at the edge of the site ,"Yes, would you like to see our model railway? It's inside the carriage" asked Malcolm. Evidently there was so much more to see here than my time would allow, I wish I'd known about the railway sooner, I might have seen if it would get me back to Highbury, the little tiny toy town version. As I walked up to the gates to leave I asked Malcolm what was in the old police box in the far corner "Time machine" he shrugged.
Where do you start? Seriously? Especially after all yesterday's excitement of Brian Coleman up in front of the beak!
This morning's assignments began with the writer Michael Bond, who, rather sweetly, turned up carrying his own Paddington Bear. He was unveilling a statue of himself and said bear, which is made out of flat sheet metal (the statue, not the bear). Michael's statue is just a breath away from Paddington Green and near a new cycle track that crosses the Harrow Rd underneath the Westway. I got some lovely shots of Michael and his beary friend with his statue, and when it started raining I lent him my brolley, it seemed the very least I could do for the man who invented Paddington Bear. Once the immediate statue excitement had died down, I couldn't help but notice that there were suddenly a whole crowd of leather clad bikers gathering on the other side of the road. Who were they? What were they doing there? and Why had they all shown up at the exact same time? About 100 bikers, complete with vintage bikes had arrived to pay their respects to the place (currently a car park, soon to be another enormous building) where they would meet up as little biker teenagers in the 1960s. Before the car park, a church hall occupied the site and that's where they'd all meet up, and because there were originally 59 members, it was known as the 59 Club. We chatted, I took photos, they showed me their bikes and their badges. They were brilliant. I've got the organiser's email, I think this should go in the newspaper.
After that it was off to the canal cavalcade in Little Venice.... barges and narrowboats moored up on the banks, and more boats on parade in the basin, the Lord Mayor of Westminster doing the official opening, blue sky, cups of tea, Punch & Judy, a very, very English afternoon out. Except now they have drag queens driving one of the barges. Seriously.
London based photojournalist, interested in pretty much everything.