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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: liberty, travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
Time and again journalists interviewing members of the Leave campaign ask "what will Britain look like after Brexit?" If not satisfied with the answer (and as a matter of principle they are never satisfied) they say "How can you ask people to vote for something when they don't know what... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at The Last Ditch
I'm saddened by the standard of the EU referendum debate. I have never revered Godwin's Law but would happily agree that the next side to mention Herr Hitler loses. I wish we could talk to each other as adults about this serious issue. Politicians may think it safer to underestimate... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Last Ditch
His heart is in the right place but his videos badly need an editor. He might say the same of my posts (a job that Mrs P used to do) . Clearly one of the good guys though! Thanks for the steer.
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Trigger warning: This post is full of generational generalisations. I don't share the general pessimism of my age group about the millennial generation. The Misses Paine are millenials. They are serious intellectuals, hard-working women who want to make a contribution to the world they live in and generally fine human... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Last Ditch
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I know from the blogs I have been following during my purdah that the liberty-minded continue to despair and with good cause. Our government still knows no boundaries to its power and has no hesitation about interfering in the minutiae of our private lives. But there are some good omens,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Last Ditch
I gave up political blogging for selfish reasons. I felt I had said my piece, that's true. I was afraid of repeating myself, that's also true. But I found it stressful, was dispirited and was seeking to avoid personal conflict with those around me (i.e. most people in my circle)... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Last Ditch
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
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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
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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