Charlie Chaplin: iconography and the immigrant

I’ve just started reading Confabulations by John Berger, who died earlier in January this year.  Recently I’ve been reading almost exclusively on my Kindle (in a space-saving Marie Kondo-like spirit) but I decided to buy a hard copy of the book – it’s small, portable with a good-sized font, and illustrated with colour photographs and … Read more

Light and Love: a personal take on decorative lights

Today is the last day of the Jewish festival of light, Chanukah, (sometimes spelled Hannukah) which lasts 8 days and which this year coincided with Christmas. The Hebrew calendar is based on lunar cycles, so the dates of festivals vary slightly each year against the Gregorian calendar. The picture below is a scanned photograph of … Read more


This week I’ve been thinking a lot about warning signs and particularly signs of danger and our relationship to these signs. Which signs do I notice or pay attention to?  This has come about for a couple of reasons. A few days ago a good friend remarked she was surprised that I didn’t include any … Read more

Afro Cuban Music Night, April 2016

Back in January I wrote a piece on London’s monthly Afro Cuban Music Night and I thought I would provide an update with some images focussing on a few of the veteran percussionists on this scene.  I first met David Pattman, Hamish Orr and Patrick Cameron back in the 80s when the African and Latin music … Read more

Seeing hearts everywhere

A couple of years ago I wrote a short blog piece here called Valentine Shmalentine! which I thought I’d revisit today, not only as it is Valentine’s Day but because of the passage of time.  Since that entry Francino, the old man in the rainbow hat in the Bar Italia image, has died . Dini the … Read more

Candles, incense and ceremonies

I was reminded today of a photograph I took this time seven years ago. It was on a trip to Cuba with The London Lucumi Choir, and we visited the Rincón Sanctuary 25 miles outside of Havana. On December 17th each year the larger annual pilgrimage takes place and thousands of people visit the former … Read more

Omara Portuondo and senior glamour

Years ago – probably the late 1990s I was working at the BBC and I caught sight of Omara Portundo in the ladies loos at Bush House. I asked if I could take her picture and she kindly obliged. Her grace, glamour and style are evident – almost a surreal juxtaposition with the utilitarian, dull … Read more

frizz pics

Yesterday I came across this “before and after” advert promoting a hair procedure to smooth out frizz. The assumption is that the left hand side – the more matt, frizzy, untamed side is undesirable, and the right hand side is the object of desire. Having “embraced” my naturally curly and sometimes wildly frizzy hair (especially … Read more