Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Last Post..

..for 2008. This is my last 'paid for' lunch of 2008. For the connoisseurs amongst you, it's a quarterpounder with cheese and it was yummy.

See you next year!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Hunting Season

I have been out and about in the freezing weather that now envelopes most of Western Europe, and also here in London post Christmas Day. These 'in-between' days coming up to the year's end are often a time of personal reflection, an introspection of sorts, reflecting on the past year and what's to come. The onslaught of dire economic news coming out of the media almost on a daily basis has made me switch off the telly for a few days, turning instead to plying the streets with camera in hand.

I like walking the streets of London, or any city for that matter. I find it therapeutic and the encounters are interesting for eye and camera alike. For the task in hand I carried my Ricoh GRD2 set to 1:1 format.

Mind you, the great London sales have begun earnestly, on Christmas Day actually, to tempt one to make a purchase, any purchase by the ever shrinking value of the pound, which has incidentally, brought an influx of Europeans over to the shops here.

You will hear Italian and Spanish and a smattering of Americanism on the streets. Window sales signs of up to 70% price slash is now a common sight in most High Street store fronts. The bargain hunters are out for a final splash before mulling over the spend receipts in the new year.

I walked along fashionably conscious King's Road yesterday and noticed the crowd was less, no more jostling amongst shoppers in the frenzy. Turned left by Peter Jones into Sloane Street where the designers have their trendy outlets.

The Christmas lights seemed dimmer but no less grand this year. Passing by Gucci, I noticed there was a significantly long queue of smartly dressed customers waiting patiently in line in 2C temperature. Ahh, even Gucci's on sale. The doormen must be limiting entry into the store for fear of a riot of Amex-wielding shoppers perhaps running amok inside the posh store.

Early in the day I went down to Portobello Road, in Notting Hill for a stroll combined with coffee and croissant. It was also less busy than any usual Saturday morning but the overpriced antique stalls are still there. I walked into the Woolworth's there and contrasting with the Gucci on Sloane Street, there was also a queue but it was store clearing rather than bargain hunting. The Woolworth stores nationwide are finally biting the dust. They are closing. After over 100 years of being in the High Streets of practically every town and city in this country, there will be no more pick 'n' mixes, no more music CDs, and bargain stationery, no more Woolies.

This particular store was clearing out the shelves, even these are for sale. By next week, it will be shut. And many other High Street chains will follow Woolworths and the list is growing longer day by day. MFI, Whittard's of Chelsea, Zavvi, Adams.

What will 2009 bring? A lot depends on one's personal outlook. New opportunities will emerge, where old one dies. A new beginning or a closure?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Best news I have heard today! Price of crude now is $39.82 a barrel.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

World Photography Travel Workshop Launch

Updated : 18 December 2008

Here are some photos from our launch event last evening at Hoopers Gallery. Its a real pleasure also to have Metro Imaging on-board as one of our workshop supporters. A huge 'thank you' to all that turned up for the launch, we know its the Christmas party season, so a 'double' thank you is in order. The canapes were excellent as usual, thanks to the team (Helen et al..) at Hoopers.

16 December 2008

Andy and myself will be hosting a brief reception tomorrow evening at Hoopers Gallery (thank you Roger!) in Clerkenwell to launch our latest initiative, a Photo Travel workshop series, beginning with a 10-Day jaunt in the Sarawakian interior next Spring. More details here or click the image.

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Monday, 1 December 2008

Yoga + Chocs...hmmm

Box reads .."This collection includes 7 exotic chocolates, a yoga + chocolate guide book, healthy chocolate recipes, a suggested musical playlist and quenching yoga class, all in one box."

..tough choice, I say...

Meeting of GR-reat minds!

Last weekend, several brave souls from way and beyond ventured out into the freezing, damp and overcast weather of London to meet at The Bridge Lounge, a trendy pub restaurant overlooking Tower Bridge on Tooley Street (including me!). This was the 2nd (I missed the first one) meeting of the GR people : photo-enthusiast and users of the Ricoh GR/GX kind, a fringe and fetish-like group of compact camera users increasingly hard to find, these days..

The Culprit users!

Organised by Pavel Kudrys (Slovakian, founder of the Ricoh Forum) and Cristi, an avid Ricoh user and blogger at the Ricoh GR-Diary, this get-together was supposed to provide feedback to the Ricoh people of what actual users of their products think of their products, (albeit, a very small sample size, apparently the GR following is HUGE in Japan). Unfortunately the chaps from Ricoh Germany could not make it, but we had Frazer, the owner of Alpha Digital Services, the main distributor of Ricoh cameras in the UK joining us which was fantastic. For more from the day and forthcoming products, visit Cristi's blog.

The Culprit!

I blogged about the GRD 2 earlier here, here and here about what this little marvel can do. Although a small sensor camera, the handling is first rate and the performance from its fixed 28mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent) lens is superb for enlargements. It also shoots square 1:1 format in RAW, 4:3, and 3:2 aspects which is ideal for me. Best of all, its real slim and pocketable for everyday use. I never leave home without it!