Costa Brava, Spain

Empuriabrava. Sounds like a special edition Fiat, feels like Southend on an August bank holiday. Only it’s the end of the season and most homes are empty, the streets dead except for the occasional pill-popper and bar-hopper making their way home, to…

Slumming it in the South of France

At the start of this trip I imagined I’d be posting updates and pictures with the usual frequency, if not daily then certainly every couple of days. Turns out that travelling with somebody new has all sorts of unexpected but…

Chamonix via the Auvergne

Gimme Shelter on the portable speaker mixes with the cheering of a soggy crowd through the open window as a new wave of runners cross the finishing line, and for a moment it sounds as though The Stones are playing…

Just another Motorcycle Trip

Motorcycle parked at the start of a rutted trail in rural England

It’s been ages since I had a good long ride (actress to bishop) so as the kids head back to school I’m heading south with everything an expedition needs: bike, tent, and a keen novice. That’s right folks, there’s somebody mad enough to come with me on a three week camping trip that optimistically aims to take in France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain before looping back to Blighty for a shower and detox.

Tempelhof Airport, Berlin

People play, cycle, and relax with BBQs at the end of runway 09R

When Albert Speer, Architect of the Third Reich, drew plans for Hitler’s »Welthauptstadt« he had no idea he was about to create a collection of time capsules on par with those of London, Paris, or Rome – cities whose historical significance he sought to eclipse by creating a new World Capital. And they say Germans have no sense of irony …

Bajan Helicopters, Barbados

A white and blue helicopter is being refuelled on a sunny helipad under a blue sky

Another fascinating tale of Caribbean corruption, studded with gallery-class photos and backed up by dozens of creditable sources? Hardly. Just another sad story of a once thriving business now gathering turds and weeds in one of the world’s most popular holiday capitals. Probably safe to say this one’s off the cruise tourist circuit.

Berlin: Imagine a City & Stasiland

Welcome to Book Club. Followers of this blog will have noticed a theme developing over the past few posts, and to be honest if you find historical dereliction a worthwhile subject for photography you will sooner or later come across…

Stasi Correctional Facility, Hohenschönhausen

A concrete watchtower stands behind a concrete wall on the corner of a residential street

In 1960 my grandfather was abducted by Communist secret police for speaking out against the state. Locked away in a correctional facility that didn’t exist, in a district that wasn’t on any maps, regular people who gave voice to popular opinion were methodically tortured and in some cases killed by civil servants in the name of democracy. Fast-forward 53 years and I’m standing in a cell with my camera, trying not to believe what a former inmate is trying to tell me.

Paddling the Magna Carta

Flooded car park sign

The worst floods in 22 years have transformed historic Runnymede into a giant lake, complete with waterfowl and fools in small yellow kayaks. Many local residents are taking to the open seas in an effort to get the shopping in, and one or two just want to take their minds off the looming clean-up operation. I join the latter set, snatching a chance to paddle some public footpaths and see the area from a new perspective. Quick mooch over to The Runnymede Hotel? Be rude not to.