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Tom
London, England
An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about threats to liberty in Britain
Interests: liberty, travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
That's a helpful tip. Thanks. A £2 penalty is a LOT cheaper than the Flexiplus and the customs and passport checks are relentlessly Socialist so maybe it IS a waste of money.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Home again at THE LAST DITCH
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The laws built on the pretext of dealing with money laundering have done a lot of damage to relationships of trust such as yours with your clients and mine with mine. Free market economies (like all positive enterprises) depend on trust. I worked in Russia and witnessed first hand the economic limitations of a society where trust is scarce. You can duck and dive as an entrepreneur in such a society but you can't build reliable institutions. The state now seems to start everywhere on the assumption that everyone not working for it is a crook, which tells you more about the mentality of those attracted to the parasitical life in government that it does about the mostly honest general population.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2017 on Another boat burned at THE LAST DITCH
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Today, I let another part of my old life go. In a pleasant conversation with a lady from the International Bar Association, I explained that I did not plan to renew my subscription of more than 20 years. I had only been maintaining it out of nostalgia for the days... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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Last night I attended a splendidly jolly 65th birthday party but today I am finally winding down after all this month's excitements. . An email came in from the Felsina winery in Tuscany authorising (in fact rather charmingly encouraging) the publication of some of the shots I took there. My... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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After a simple but decent breakfast at my Holiday Inn Express in Dijon, I set off in relatively cool air. I decided to try to do the whole journey with the roof down. At 24º Celsius that made sense but by 11.17 am when I stopped for fuel it was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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I arrived at Cusago, just outside Milan last night in an oppressive 36ºC. I woke this morning to find there had been an enormous thunderstorm. The atmosphere was lighter, the air was cooler and it was not the sweaty chore I had expected to load the car. I breakfasted in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
No, it's just one of those places that stands on its dignity too much. The staff at the hotel in Florence were, as they often are in truly great hotels, easy and friendly without being impertinent. The receptionist here was a bit snooty. He didn't offer to help with my bags as he route-marched me to my room in 36 degrees Celsius. Also he resisted my diagnosis of the defective internet in my room for thirty minutes before replacing the failed wifi router, assuming that a man of my age would be digitally incompetent! He walked me condescendingly through all the measures I had already taken before complaining. A stupid waste of hard-to-win customer goodwill.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2017 on Wine and song at THE LAST DITCH
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The final critique session yesterday was a revelation. I have been on many photo workshops but have never seen such progress in a week. Valeria, an Italian lady (and an authentic character who has raised smiles all week) had brought her new DSLR camera – her very first. She began... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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Last night I decided to make the effort to go out after all. I was glad that I did. Our whole group was invited to the home of Paolo and Tiziana, a local couple who are friends of some of our teachers. They made us welcome to their beautiful home;... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
Thank you kindly, Yes, it is a church near San Quirico d'Orcia. It's much photographed, I imagine and it was hard to get a "look" that was distinctive.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2017 on On the bus in Tuscany at THE LAST DITCH
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Considering how selectively I shot in the previous day's blazing heat, I was happy with my "selects" for the critique yesterday. After class we adjourned to a restaurant where "Suzie" the chef had agreed to a pasta making demo / photoshoot. The area set up for the purpose was ablaze... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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After morning class yesterday (critiques of photos from each of the fourteen photographers on the workshop) we were bussed to Montepulciano. The idea was not so much to shoot the moderately pretty town, but to find some lunch. The midday sun does not make for attractive cityscapes. I chatted with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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After our morning class today our sensei showed us some of his shots. One was of your humble blogger earnestly plying his photographic craft on the Ponte Vecchio. Image courtesy of Joe McNally / @joemcnallyphoto Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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We hit the road on Monday morning. We hit it slowly because the bus driver's lean and hungry look did not signal, like Cassius, that he thought too much, or perhaps at all. He was taken by surprise by road works that had been going on for days, by Monday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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Our workshop proper began on Sunday morning with a pre breakfast portrait shoot on the street outside our hotel with Natalie, our traveling model for the week. This was followed after breakfast with critiques of past work. Sensei took a look at four or five images from each of us... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
I agree. I just wish my Teutonic lane discipline was rewarded with German speed limits. You can't see it in the cut off version in the blog banner, but in the original of that photograph I bear the shield of the Teutonic Knights!
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2017 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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No apologies necessary. I had a great day and will take the other route back, stopping off at the Museo Enzo Ferrari.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2017 on Florence at THE LAST DITCH
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You and me both. I figured that, as the relentless censorship algorithm of Facebook let it stand (identifying blue paint as clothing, I guess) I could venture it here.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2017 on On the Road Again [NSFW] at THE LAST DITCH
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Today was the first of two full days in Florence. My photo workshop begins this evening and I am looking forward to meeting up with friends from previous such events as well as making, I hope, some new ones. I had breakfast with the organiser, photographer and film-maker Liza Politi.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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I took the coastal option to drive to Florence this morning. It was a little disappointing. It's not that the scenery was not pleasant, but rather that from the autostrada it was mostly obscured by the brutalist transport infrastructure oddly favoured by one of the world's most stylish nations; home... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
One there one back? That’s an option
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2017 on Dijon to Alessandria at THE LAST DITCH
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To hell with Google! I would rather verify your teenage memories! Italy doesn't seem to make too many concessions to modernity, except of course in advanced automotive engineering.
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2017 on Dijon to Alessandria at THE LAST DITCH
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Today was bliss. The sun shone. I drove with the roof down on France's great roads to the Mont Blanc tunnel, stopping to drink in the scenery a couple of times. Rising up to the tunnel entrance cooled me down, as did the tunnel itself. Then it was out into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
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Even I am tired of politics now. Everyone is, except perhaps Arlene Foster and her merry band at Westminster. I saw her speak about Brexit in London before the election and she didn't strike me as the monster the Left-Liberal Establishment is portraying. In fact she seemed quite Auntie-ish –... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at THE LAST DITCH
But that’s from before young voters were born! Irrelevant!! Everyone indoctrinated in Western unis knows that prehistory begins in the 1980s when everyone was racist, sexist and homophobic (and would have been Islamophobic too if they had ever met any Muslims).
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Hope for the future at THE LAST DITCH
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