South Beach Miami

Colony Hotel Ocean Drive, South Beach I think this picture of the Colony Hotel at sunrise is amazing and not just because I shot it (print available here). I’ve been many times to shoot pictures at the tennis tournament on Key Biscayne, just south of Miami, though I always ended up in some cheap and […]

Downham

There’s a subtle perfection about Downham, and throughout the stunning May of 2018 I’ve intended merely to pass through (on my way to Bolton-by-Bowland or the Trough), only to get hijacked by seasonal subtleties of light and texture that won’t let me go until I’ve done it some kind of justice. On sunny summer days, […]

Picasso: Challenging the Spin

A ‘combative encounter’ with Picasso(le) and grovelling art-speak. The National Gallery’s exhibition Picasso: Challenging the Past provided London tourists and many people in Britain with a chance to view a substantial body of work by the celebrated Spaniard for the first (and perhaps only) time. I’m not Picasso’s greatest admirer and I went to this […]

Goya

Francisco de Goya I’m tempted to state that anyone even remotely inclined towards artistic expression will know the pain of compromise, particularly if working with (and in) the media or on commercial commissions. But this is perhaps less true now than it ever was, and here are two of the reasons why: Firstly, to know […]

Salamanca

A while ago I had an idea for a (grown-up) younger person’s novel, about the ghost of a Priest from the Spanish Inquisition, who – for his sins – had been condemned to tread unnoticed amongst buildings from his own time, until one day he meets….(hey, the idea’s too good to share). But where to […]

Andre Agassi

Ode to Andre: An essay, which grew out of a review of Andre Agassi’s Autobiography, ‘Open’. I first saw Andre Agassi play live at the French Open, in 1987. I was keen on becoming a tennis coach in those days, and I already knew about Andre. So when I saw he was scheduled to play […]

Doctor Jack & Calcutta Rescue

Doctor Jack Preger and  Calcutta Rescue remembered. Doctor Jack Preger has a slightly twisted sense of humour and I hadn’t been in Calcutta long before I was on the receiving end. Driving through the city in what was then a twenty six year old Jeep (and for all I know, Jack’s original four-wheeler is still […]

Missionaries of Charity Calcutta

Shishu Bhavan and Mother House in Calcutta / Kolkata remembered Like many others, it was Malcolm Muggeridge’s book about Mother Teresa, Something Beautiful for God, that inspired the first of my two visits to Calcutta, and on the first visit I booked a flight to Delhi because it was a cheaper option than flying direct. […]

Jimmy Connors

I thought tennis was a game for pampered wimps, until the day I saw Jimmy Connors play, on a school trip to a local tennis tournament. With a mile-high chip on his shoulder, and groundstrokes to thump the opposition with, Jimbo left an indelible impression on my cocky, working class sensibilities and pretty much changed […]

Northern Soul: A Top Ten

Ten all-time great Northern Soul records. A personal Northern Soul top ten. I haven’t listened to some of these Northern Soul tunes since I was in my teens spots, preferring as I did to keep moving, though it’s good to hear them again. There were so many truly great Northern Soul tunes (many of them […]

Yorkshire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to do and see, in Yorkshire and the Dales. This is just the beginning of a list of worthwhile places to visit in Yorkshire and The Dales … 1: Bolton Abbey Being honest? I’d rather be somewhere else. Usually. But for reasons that you need not share. 2: Skipton This […]

Lancashire Travel Guide

Ten of the best things to see and do in Lancashire 1: Clitheroe Best town in Lancashire by a route march. Good cafes, eateries, pubs, a baby castle and generally a great market town atmosphere. 2: Sunrise over Downham Downham is impressive at any time of day or year, but sunrise is something to treasure. […]

Northumberland Travel Guide

Ten of the Best Things to do in Northumberland 1: Sunrise at Holy Island Of all the things to do in Northumberland, sunrise at Holy Island is perhaps the most spectacular. But you won’t be guaranteed one like this…  2: The walk to Dunstanburgh Castle, …from Craster. And the best time to see it is […]

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Manchester Travel Guide

Ten of the Best things to see and do in Manchester 1: The Northern Quarter The sell-out (or buy up) of the Northern Quarter began some time ago, so expect changes as more of it is swallowed up by those who simply must take ownership. Until the people who’ve made it what it is move […]

Malcolm Muggeridge: A Man for All Seasons

Meetings with Malcolm Muggeridge remembered. In my youth, I turned on the television to find Michael Parkinson interviewing some gnarled old chap I’d never seen before. Another guest shortly appeared, singing the praises of America and how generous the people were to him, a ‘poor Englishman’. With an uncanny likeness to my mental picture of […]

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral This main image of Durham Cathedral in some of its glory is a few years old, and it was languishing in a box of transparencies until I discovered that, owing to major repair work to the weather beaten sandstone, Durham Cathedral is now wearing an ugly chef’s hat around scaffolding, and is off […]