My Pen and Ink City Panoramas

A few years ago when I was going through a minimalist phase I did lots of simple pen and ink sketches, trying to capture faces, places and buildings in just a few black lines, by reducing everything back to its basic elements. Part of this project included a series of panoramic sketches I did of…

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…

Broken Syria

I took this photograph of a group of school kids on a bus a number of years ago when I lived in Damascus, Syria. I remember thinking how unsafe the shattered windscreen looked, but that the children were completely oblivious smiling, laughing and waving at me like mad. When I used to look at this…

The Sun Just Touched the Morning – Early Bird

I love the light first thing in the morning and wherever I am in the world I always get up early on one day so I can capture the moment either on film or in my sketchbook. Whether it be a sunrise over a beautiful natural wonder or people getting ready for the day in…

International Women’s Day – the battle for equality is far from over.

It’s been nearly a hundred years since the first women’s day was held – back then women did not have the vote and most women did not have the opportunity of an education or a career. Nowadays, however, some people question the need for International Women’s Day, as women in many countries are perceived as being…

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 the…

A room with a view

A room with a view is the pièce de résistance of any accommodation. Whether the view looks down to the city below, across the sea, out onto a busy street or over empty countryside, the view is something which can really enhance your experience of being in a room. During my travels, I have been fortunate…

Finding my sketchbooks and travel journals

I am over the moon with excitement… A few weeks ago I drove, with my family, across Sweden and Denmark, sailed the North Sea, and then travelled through pretty much every county in England, with the aim of collecting some of my old travel journals, sketchbooks and photographs (and visiting friends and family too). It…

Smoking shisha at Jabri House in Damascus, Syria.

Tucked away in a maze of narrow alleyways in the Al-Qaymariya area of Damascus’s Old City, is my favourite restaurant in the whole world, Jabri House.  Jabri House (or Beit Jabri) is situated in the courtyard of an old Damascene house. People come here to have dinner, drink a cup of coffee, smoke narghile or to play…

Children playing with toy guns celebrating Eid al Fitr

Back in 2002, I visited the small island of Arwad, just off the coast of Syria. I was visiting the coastal town of Tartous for the festival of Eid al Fitr, the feast which celebrates the end of Ramadan. The island was a frenzy of holiday excitement, and walking around the old fortress, I came…