Category Archives: UK

e q u i l i b r a r

[ 18:49 saturday 4 august 2018 – near broxbourne, hertfordshire ]

seated on the grass at the edge of a lake. droplets of water fall from my hair and run in silver trails down my body. my breathing is quickened from the exertion of swimming. even at this hour the sun is fierce, settling towards the horizon in a cloudless sky. above me willow leaves shake and rustle gently in a half-hearted breeze. the edge of the lake sparkles with a thousand azure damselflies, clasping the reeds that poke and sway above the water, each one pointing its body identically towards the sun in mysterious alignment.

this year i’m working as intensely as at any point in my life. one project has been particularly demanding. to keep myself in balance i’ve been trying to intersperse work with other activities. sometimes if there’s a gap between meetings i’ll throw the kayak in the water and paddle up the canal and back before starting again. or after a long stint at the screen i’ll bike up to hackney marshes to a curving section of the river lea, then swim against the current as hard as i can with the water weeds rippling at my belly. the lake where i’m sitting now has become a favourite escape at weekends. within an hour of closing my front door i can be here, far from the city, plunging into the dark water with not a soul in sight.

alongside these local escapes the year has also been punctuated with travels further afield; some for projects, others purely for pleasure. the spring brought trips to montenegro, helsinki, chamonix, cornwall and the basque country. summer took me to california, paris, warsaw, corsica and (again) cornwall. the next few months will see me in berlin, sailing with dad in cornwall, granada, california (again), gdansk and my very first visit to china. more and more of these journeys are in the company of alejandro, who’s been brightening my life for a year and a half now.

the strategy has worked wonders. most days i feel energised and ready to face the challenges ahead. on the occasional days when i feel weighed down, all it takes is a smile or laugh from alejandro to lift my spirits again.

time for one last swim, then i’ll head home and resume battle.

: c :

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u n i o n

tomorrow voters in britain will choose our destiny in europe. for all its flaws i’m proud to be part of such a noble project as the european union. a community of diverse nations joining together to advance a shared vision of european civilisation. a union whose differences are settled by negotiation not war. a union that sets civil rights, workers rights and environmental standards higher than its members could individually. a union that gives its citizens the freedom to live and work anywhere in an entire continent. a union that removes barriers to trade within its borders. a union that speaks internationally with the force of the largest economic entity on the planet. a union that celebrates diversity, tolerance and openness.

the first 50 years of the union were the easy part. it was a time of optimism and wealth. the next 50 years will be infinitely harder. the world is a darker place. every value on which the union was founded is under attack. if it is to survive and continue to advance its ideals the union must evolve, and must do so dramatically. everyone who believes in its ideals must be ready to fight for the necessary changes. the siren calls to abandon the project are a perilous illusion.

tomorrow i shall cast my ballot for the uk to remain in the union. i hope that many others will do the same.

f o t o s : london, margate & finchcocks, september-november 2014

bazelgette’s 1860s northern outfall sewer where it crosses the river lee near my house plus a rare glimpse inside his cathedral-like abbey mills pumping station from 1868 complete with huge 1930s control panel; sulaiman with his new camera; gentleman bikers in becton; patrick in his studio; late summer sun at old ford lock; twilight and melancholy in margate; baroque keyboards in paladian splendour at finchcocks (thanks sam).

camera: rolleiflex 6008i
lens: rollei distagon el 1:4 50mm
film: fujichrome provia 400x
scanner: nikon coolscan 8000ed

m a d r o n w e l l

[ 22:31 friday 25 february – haggerston road, london ]

last march i spent a few sublime spring days in cornwall. the sky was clear, the air soft and filled with birdsong, the hedgerows bursting with fresh shoots and blossom. i made a small pilgrimage to madron well near penzance where i’d been just once before, more than a decade ago. one feels a sense of magic there. it’s easy to understand why so many people have considered it blessed through the centuries. here’s the film i shot.

: c :