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Tom
London, England
Ex-international lawyer, ex-expat. Returned to London to enjoy his financial independence while pursuing his lost creativity.
Interests: travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
I worked on it for a while but writing is a lonely pursuit and harder work than I imagined so I have never completed it. Sorry!
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2015 on The abbey road home at The Last Ditch
1 reply
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The Navigator is a Roman Catholic. The "famous on TripAdvisor" breakfast at our B&B this morning was therefore not for him as he doesn't eat before Mass. I ate alone before we took to the road to head for the Abbaye St. Paul, Wisques. We had an open-topped motorised saunter... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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We skipped breakfast at our mediocre hotel on Saturday morning; reasoning that €18 each would buy a better frühstück en route. I drove Speranza out of Frankfurt onto the autobahn and we found a suitable place within 20km. We breakfasted Teutonically on rösti, eggs, sausage, bacon and coffee. Then the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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So this mad idea reached fruition. After a few beers and a schnitzel, the Navigator (for it is he) and I went to the Old Opera House and saw Bryan Ferry perform. The support act was a young lady from Berlin; musically-educated in London. Her name, implausibly, is Femme Schmidt... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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I had just one day at home after my Scotland trip before hitting the road again for my next adventure. I was on my balcony in a jolly mood with a friend after we had shared a bottle or six of good wine one evening a few weeks ago. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Saturday was our last day together as a group. We have been through a lot this week and have bonded remarkably well. Photographers are not natural herd animals but we have helped each other a lot more than I have experienced at other such events. At one very educational dinner... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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I have never spent much time in Edinburgh before. I love the Highlands and Islands and have always regarded this city as - at best - a staging post to the North. I may have been wrong. It's a jolly University town with lots of young people having a good... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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We stayed one night at Culcreuch. The next morning we had a tour planned at Glengoyne Distillery. However I had a problem. I had noticed the pressure was down in one of Speranza's rear tyres at the beginning of my tour and had put in some air on Wednesday. On... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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On Wednesday we hit the road again. The plan was to drive through Glencoe, stopping wherever Joe thought there was a good spot for a photo shoot. This meant that I could not race ahead in Speranza and meet up at agreed locations. I have driven through Glencoe many times... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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On Tuesday we were still in Fort Augustus and faced our first critiques. Joe McNally is a nice guy but unapologetically channels the New York photo editors of his youth on these occasions. I am not complaining. It's very largely what we are paying for on this workshop. He can... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Internet access has been an issue on this trip. Our hotels by Loch Ness and in the Trossachs had it in theory but the photos for my attempted blog posts would not even upload overnight. So let me catch up on the last few days, starting with Monday. Our first... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Our first photo shoot of the workshop was from the roof of an Edinburgh office building. It has one of the best views of the castle and also some interesting perspectives on the street below. I ventured a little long distance street photography, though it felt like cheating at such... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2015 at The Last Ditch
I learned to like it in Poland where it's called miód. The effects are interesting. You don't know you're drunk until you try to stand up and discover the true meaning of "legless".
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2015 on A day trip to England at The Last Ditch
1 reply
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Today was a day off between yesterday's lighting seminar and the week-long photo workshop that begins tomorrow. I have been watching the History Channel's "Vikings" recently and realised that Lindisfarne - where the show's hero Ragnar Lothbrok first landed in England and sacked the Abbey- was a day's outing from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Nothing enthuses me more than being in the presence of a photography "great" and watching him experiment in front of my eyes. I have nothing to report by way of travelogue today because all I saw was the inside of an Edinburgh hotel's conference room where Joe McNally was conducting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2015 at The Last Ditch
Speranza and I are off to Bonnie Scotland for ten days. I am taking part in two workshops with photography legend Joe McNally, whose work – if you don't know it already – you should really take a look at. You may have heard of his "Faces of Ground Zero"... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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In 2013 a new museum opened in Warsaw. We visited it today. It is a public/private partnership between the Polish, German and Norwegian governments and many corporate and individual donors. It is in a magnificent building standing in what was once the Warsaw Ghetto. It is understated on the outside... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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One of the Jewish members of our group evoked an embarrassed laugh this morning as we walked into the Jewish cemetery in Kielce. "Another perfect day; let's go visit some dead Jews", he said. It was dark humour to relieve the tension of an emotional week. At times, this tour... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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After all the death and despair we have reviewed this week it was good to be regular tourists this morning. We visited the Wawel, seat of Polish kings. We toured the Royal Cathedral, of which John Paul II was formerly the bishop. We enjoyed the largest and, in my opinion... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Auschwitz is the German name for Oświęcim in Poland. To the majority of its inhabitants before the Second World War, it was known by its Yiddish name, Oshpitzin. Because of the notorious concentration camp, Oświęcim's main industry is now - as the unpleasant jargon has it - "necrotourism". The number... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Museum-Memorial Site in Bełżec. We started our day in Zamość, visiting the synagogue there restored by the Foundation organising my tour. The Polish state has handed back such sites in the 1,200 places where there were Jewish communities in Poland before the Holocaust. There are now 10 places where Jews... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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This is not a jolly tour by its nature, though the people on it are mostly happy sorts. When we visit a site (like the Yeshiva at Lublin, pictured) we are glad it survives but sad the people it once served are gone. When we visit a death camp like... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Tributes to the fallen of the Warsaw Uprising on the streets after the recent anniversary I couldn't spare the time to drive on this trip to I am reduced to planes and coaches. I am touring Poland for the next nine days with an organisation called The Foundation for the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2015 at The Last Ditch
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Speranza took me last week to another place I have never been before. Cornwall. I know my home islands quite poorly, having spent twenty years abroad. If I had thought of Cornwall before, it was because of Rick Stein or Poldark or the dim notion that there was another set... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at The Last Ditch
The Mazda MX-5 is a fun car - a bit of a rip off in design terms from a classic Lotus of the sixties. My brother in law has one and it's at the cool end of my personal Cool Wall. I will never be able to cross France in one because I am too big to get in it, alas. I have averaged over 75 mph travelling through France in the last two days because of the higher speed limit - 130kph is just over 80mph. The roads are brilliant. While the French Government has overspent and indebted its citizens as yet unborn just as much, if not more, as the next social democracy, at least it has delivered some adequate infrastructure in the process.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2015 on En voyage at The Last Ditch
1 reply