GO ON…YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!
Ok, so I’m doing a last minute workshop in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria from the 7th-11th July with the editor of BLACK+WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY Magazine, the lovely Elizabeth Roberts.
Elizabeth is not only extremely knowlegeable about the world of photography but excellent company as well.
Beautiful accomodation (http://www.hanhadjinikoli.com/english.php), a fantastic schedule, professional tuition and fantastic food and wine.
Oh, and a VERY reasonable price!
Contact me for details and a full itinerary at email@example.com
FAREWELL OLD FRIEND…
There comes a time in all our lives when we have to face facts.
This is my favourite t-shirt. My ALL TIME favourite t-shirt. I bought it on an interiors shoot for Tatler magazine around twenty years ago. The Vineyard in question was Martha’s. A great place.
We’ve been through some good times and some bad, but somehow we’ve stayed together.
We’ve been places together, seen things, met people and had some laughs.
Now, I like old clothes. I like my check shirts and my jeans faded. Worn in, but today I’ve had to make a sad decision.
Vineyard has got to be retired. It’s all gone a bit too far, even for me. Soon there will be more hole than t-shirt. It’s time to set sail for the great t-shirt graveyard in the sky.
So farewell old friend…and thanks for the memories…
THE MYSTERY OF THE SESAME SEEDS
I’m a fairly well travelled chap. I’ve been around, seen a few things, and I’m interested in stuff.
Particularly agricultural stuff…
I have, like the ghastly Sting, when the West wind blows, walked through fields of barley.
I’ve also, for that matter, walked through fields of wheat, sunflowers, onions, tobacco, potatoes and strawberries amongst other things.
The one thing I have never seen, let alone walked through however, is fields of sesame.
The things in the photo are Koulouri. They come from Greece. In particular from Thessaloniki. You see them for sale everywhere. Big ones and small ones. They are delicious. Soft and chewy or hard and crunchy. Flavoured with tahini and neither really savoury nor really sweet, they are dangerously addictive.
The one thing they all have in common is that they are all smothered in sesame seeds. The city of Thessaloniki alone must get through tons and tons and tons each day.
Yet, not only have I never seen them growing, I have no idea where they come from nor what a sesame plant looks like.
Think about it. They are, for example, on every single hamburger bun sold in the world.There MUST be huge swathes of the planet covered in sesame…but where???
Someone unlock this mystery for me…or to put it another way…
EATING MY WAY ROUND THESSALONIKI
We’ve been spending some time in Greece’s second city Thessaloniki. It’s a big, busy, bustling, vibrant place and I’ve rather fallen for it.
Like all big cities it has a few blemishes, but they all add to the feel of the place.
Amongst many things we did, I had a great day out with the lovely Esmerelda Makris who does the most wonderful market tours in the city
Esmerelda is also the owner of the Marmita cooking lab (http://www.marmita.gr) is the most generous of guides and knows her way around Thessaloniki’s blossoming food scene like only a local can, and I hope to be collaborating with her on some food and photography workshops in the future.
It’s a wonderful city, and one we will be spending a lot more time in in the future. I can reccomend a visit…and if you do decide to go, give Esmerelda a call, and for more information, check out Miltos Palaras’ excellent web-site www.enjoythessaloniki.com which will tell you pretty much all you need to know…
We wandered around all the markets…
…checked out the bewildering array of beautiful fresh fish…
…visited the cities oldest coffee roasters…
…passed stall after stall of olives and olive oil…
Went to an amazing place called KIRIAKOS (Aristotelous 24), that is one of the few places still left in Thessaloniki selling ‘Patsas’, a frankly terrifying stew of tripe, calves feet and sundry delicacies that, Esmerelda assured me, was the perfect hangover cure (mercifully, I didn’t have one, so was excused trying it!)
We wandered through parks and along elegant streets lined with orange trees and covered in graffiti…
…walked along the seafront at dusk past icon sellers and churches…
And we ate, and we ate, and we ate…
…and then we ate some more…and drank…
And it was all wonderfully delicious.
And finally (and most unusually for me) we fell in love with a hotel.
The Hotel Bristol is situated at the busiest crossroads in the funky Ladadika neighbourhood. Perfectly situated for the evening stroll along the front and surrounded by wonderful restaurants, it’s pretty much the perfect city hotel.
Wonderful, friendly service, lovely elegant rooms and, without a doubt, the best hotel breakfast I have ever had (and before you ask…no, they are NOT paying me to say this!)
2014 - HAPPY NEW YEAR (AND SOME PUPPY LOVE)
As you probably all know by now, this little chap was pushed under our garden gate in temperatures of -6c and left for dead just before Christmas.
He obviously has a fine pair of lungs as his agonised screaming was what alerted us to his presence.
The story has ended well for him as our lovely vet here in Bulgaria has, through a charity based here, agreed to get him re-homed in Germany. We will miss him of course as we’ve fallen hopelessly in love with him, but, being realistic it’s best for all concerned.
The whole episode has got me thinking.
I’m a photographer, and spend my time photographing things. From exotic sausages to fancy hotels all the way through to beautiful tourist destinations for world famous travel magazines. It’s very nice. I’m lucky enough to love what I do and enjoy my working life enormously.
Let’s face it though, it’s not exactly…important.
I know I’m sounding like an old hippy here, but the simple fact of saving this puppy’s life has made me realise that I don’t do much to help other people or to try and make the world a better place.
In short, I’m selfish.
I know that saving a cute little puppy is not the same as helping the difficult, poor family down the road who are annoying and slightly scary as well (and are quite possibly the people who shoved him under our gate in the first place) but by goodness, they could do with a bit of help…as could many others.
I’m not much of a believer in New Years Resoloutions - I’ve broken far too many of them down the years, but this year, inspired by Paxo the puppy (who will hopefully very soon be marching happily down a Strasse somewhere, munching on a bratwurst and cheering on Bayern Munich) I intend to do something. Something charitable that will do some good. Wish me luck, and keep me on my toes. I do not intend to break this one.
Love, peace, health and happiness to all of you in 2014…
and thanks Paxo.