It’s Time to Spend Spend Spend

It’s that time of year when people start spending money like it’s going out of fashion. What with Black Friday tomorrow and 31 days to Christmas, anything and everything you can think of has being reduced and it is almost impossible not to spend, spend spend. If I am honest, I actually hate all the…

Anchor Chains, Plane Motors and Train Whistles

Do you know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are? Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles. These are not my words, but those of one of my favourite film characters of all time, George Bailey (James Stewart) from the classic 1946 movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘.  When I embark on pretty…

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining (sometimes even two)

I have been doing a lot of sitting down this week – and no, it’s not because I’m lazy, but for two reasons; because firstly I sprained my ankle and can’t walk and secondly I have been working on three paintings to enter for a competition. What I have learned from this week is that…

Swedish Summertime – and the living is easy

One of the things I learnt about Swedish people in the three years that I lived there, is that they really know how to really enjoy the summertime. In a country that is cold and dark for much of the year, celebrating the sun is of the utmost importance. So come June, tens of thousands…

The dead cities of Syria

Scattered across the northwest of Syria, between Aleppo and Hama, are more than 700 abandoned settlements known as the Dead Cities. I visited these curious Roman and Byzantium ruins fourteen years ago, while I was living and working in Damascus. Little did I know at the time that Aleppo, the stylish and classical city where I was…

I am a camera… a nod to Christopher Isherwood.

“I am a camera with its shutter open, quiet passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.” This is one of my favourite quotes about observing people. It comes from…

Swedish Summertime – and the living is easy

One of the things I learnt about Swedish people in the three years that I lived there, is that they really know how to really enjoy the summertime. In a country that is cold and dark for much of the year, celebrating the sun is of the utmost importance. So come June, tens of thousands…