When I left Mexico in 2011, the city was making some effort to spruce up a few of its landmarks, historic streets and monuments, The Revolution monument perhaps being the best example. I rather hope they got around, or will get around, to fixing up the La Raza monument. It was looking very much the worse for wear the last time I ventured past. It had certainly seen better days, as shown in the photo below…
Over the last week, Putin’s given us Brits a twoferone deal. Another Russian exile has turned up murdered – this time strangulation rather than a nerve agent was the preferred method*. Then he sent in his secret weapon. Another blast of snow from Siberia. He’s proving to be a tough customer, is ole Vlad. But he does create quite the scenic conditions for a photographer. I haven’t really taken advantage of them, wandering only as far as the local duck pond, armed only with my iPhone. But still.
I’m ever so British when it comes to complaining. I could sit through the most dreadful meal in a restaurant, with the most appalling service, and yet when asked if everything is alright, I will likely smile and nod. I’ll pay my bill. I’ll leave quietly. But I most certainly will ‘express my dissatisfaction’. My expression of dissatisfaction typically takes one of three forms. In its most mild form, I simply take my business elsewhere. If I am seriously irked, then I move on to stage two and leave a review on social media. This is a pretty effective tool, especially when the type of business has plenty of competition Continue reading
Ranthambore Park, October 2017. Two canters full of safari passengers have found the park’s Holy Grail – a tiger sunbathing by the lake. Most people photographed the tiger. I photographed the people. And one chap perched himself precariously on the vehicle’s side railing to take a selfie stick aided photo of himself. Why? Lord only knows. Or Shiva. One of the other. I have a selfie stick. I resisted this new fangled technology for a while. But once I’d buckled and parted with a few farthings, I found they are actually quite fun.
How long ago was this taken? Well, I guess I’m 5ish in this shot. Minus my current age, 45. So about 40 years ago. Give or take a year or two. My grandparents used to take my younger brother and I on caravaning holidays in Kent during the summer. This photo pushes my memory to its limit. I have only the most vague recollection of that white Renault, but I know that I liked it. Not long after this holiday, my grandad bought a green Vauxhall Cavalier. That was the first car he ever bought from new, and would see him through to the end, which came in the summer of 1994.
I don’t know whether Stephen Hawking was really the world’s smartest person. But I’m pretty sure he was smarter than me. I don’t really understand the indepth mathematical equations he came up with to explain the universe. But I do enjoy dreaming about the stars, the universe and everything – and he helped. I don’t think he’d have been quite as famous as he was if he hadn’t been stuck in a wheelchair with a comical grin permanently fixed on his face. But I don’t care much how famous he was. I don’t quite know how he survived so long. But I bet on that question, Mr Hawking was probably as equally baffled as I.
This chilled out hound lives in Faro, Portugal. He pretty much ignored me as I took this shot. So I inched a little closer. An inch too close, as it turned out. The hound saw me off. From cuddly pup to killer in a flash. With a telling flash of his fangs. He is indeed a good boy. He did his job. And I still had my photo, so all is well. The dog is mans best friend for a whole bunch of reasons. Security is just one of them.
That’s Mrs P, strutting her stuff in the mid 30s celsius midday sun at the observatory in Jaipur. Signs of the time indeed. Why did I not think of that title for a post before? I rather miss India. I enjoyed it. This may come as a little bit of a surprise to anyone who read my opinions of India shortly after the holiday. You’d expect me to add a caveat, at least. But no, I shan’t. Pick any point of my life, a high or a low point, and I have only fond memories. Positive recollections of people I’ve met, lessons I’ve learned. Happy memories of places I’ve been Nothing negative lingers in the soft grey matter betwixt my ears.
Every once in a while, a town that is local to me will hit the national news. One of the most exciting events was back in the late 90s when a bunch of animal activists burst into a fur farm in Ringwood, releasing thousands of mink. Yay for the freed mink! Not such great news for the native wildlife that then came into contact with the mink. In 2011, Mrs P and I returned from the land of the narco, where grisly beheadings were the norm. Only for someone to behead a man across the road from our workplace. And just recently, a well off gentleman is an exclusive neighbourhood round the corner from mother was shot dead in a bungled Continue reading
They’re after my jobs, the ba****ds. Not the eastern Europeans. Nor the Indians. Nor the growing population of Latin American emigres. Those guys, up there. The machines. The dreaded, job eating machines. They are the new competition. And they are tough. Relentless. Remorseless. It’s a new world, and they are determined to make it their world. We feeble humans are having to adapt in order to compete. The 21st century resume will need to be reworked if we are to stand a chance.
The end of this month marks a year since the UK invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, setting in motion the two year countdown to our exit. How’s it going so far, you ask? Not so good. Brexit is best described as the undefined, negotiated by the unprepared to deliver the unspecified on behalf of the uninformed. It’s clear that the promises and benefits of the Leave campaign are undeliverable – but they knew that. We clearly do not hold all the cards. It’s clear that the progress of negotiations with the EU amounts to repeatedly kicking a can of worms down the road, for fear of the war of words within the Conservative Party turning in a government toppling revolt.
If I’m asked what to do, where to eat, and where to go in Mexico City then I’ll waffle on forever with a billion suggestions. If I have to narrow down my response to a single sentence with no more than five words? Go and see Lucha Libre. Is there anything more ‘Mexico City‘ than Lucha Libre? Methinks not. Food recommendations are all well and good, but the truth is you’re never more than a ten minute walk from a dozen damn fine places to eat. And the guide books and leaflets in hotels will list all the main tourist sites – there’ll be more than you can ever hope to visit. Sheesh, I spent six years trying and still have places to go.
I knew the story of Jennie Jerome, the American lady who came to these isles and produced the dominant figure of 20th century British politics, Winston Churchill. It transpires that we returned the favour – what goes around, comes around. Although I was, until recently, ignorant of the story. I shouldn’t have been. Twice we have spent the day at Minterne House and Gardens, in a small village in West Dorset. Not so far from our home in Bournemouth. It’s here that the story began, as a young Pamela Digby, the daughter of Baron Digby, grew up in the family home.
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The London market place, where time stands still. Years, decades and centuries pass it by. The produce and faces change, buildings come and go, but the location stays the same. The centre of the community. Those that idle and stop to stare stand out like the masts of wrecked ships in a raging sea. This is where you find the colours, sounds and smell of the city. Where new meets old and the latest fads mix and melt with antiquity. Where cultures collide and create a place in which the known world exists. Continue reading