Indonesia reflections

Travel reflections after 3 weeks in Indonesia

If I’m honest, I felt nervous about this trip. “The world is unsafe” has been the media message of the year, like a relentless drum tapping heightened vigilance into my nervous system. It seems I let those suspicions in a bit, and felt an unusual sense of solo travel trepidation as my plane took flight to Istanbul (gunmen! ISIS!) before pushing on to Jakarta. 

It took a week at least before I fully let those fears go. With each interaction, they became weaker and less sure of themselves. Every broad smile, every open-handed welcome, every ‘hello miss!’ shouted from giggling kids emerging from homes in a gaggle to catch a glimpse of us – the foreign people. The fears were drowned out by the sunset orchestra of clacking cicadas and 90s Bryan Adams tracks blasting from old radios. They were extinguished by the echoing thump of torrential rains, the crack of twigs underfoot, the soprano calls of unfamiliar birds at 4am, the shared laughter at language misunderstandings, the silence. It started to seem like there’s far more peace beyond our green and pleasant lands than there is within them just now.

It’s been good to be out here – travelling across Flores not seeing another tourist for days. Out where the seas crash on black sand shorelines, where hot volcanic springs hit cold mountain waterfalls and dense rainforests stretch for miles in a tidal wave of deep green. Where 2016 was a good year because the rains came and rice crops were good and babies were born healthy. 

In these more remote Indonesian islands, most people smile on sight. They don’t know the word Brexit. They haven’t heard of Trump. Villages and towns work the same as they have done for centuries, save the screen shine of mobile phones. It’s been good to remember there’s a whole wide wonderful world outside our bubble. 

That world is changing, of course. People tell us that the weather isn’t always so predictable, but it’s ok for now because when it rains more than usual they just plant peanuts instead of rice. Luckily, on Flores, they’re mostly out of site from the big companies and government contracts. But on islands beyond the ones we visited ancient forests are being cleared and rare animals find their territories shrinking. This unruly planet is being forceably tamed.

While at the same time, we foreigners seem to be less at ease. In Bali a teacher said to me that she thinks my country is “agitated”. She said she sees it more and more in people who come here from the UK – a quickness to react, an expectation of threat rather than goodness, a readiness to reward cynicism. I recognise this in myself sometimes.

So here are the things I want to do in 2017: keep travelling to new places. Don’t let unfounded suspicions about the world take hold. Donate to the Rainforest Trust. And maybe listen uncynically to Bryan Adams once in a while.

And big thanks to Martin and Jen for being really great travelling friends – it was wonderful to share this trip with you!

Startupbus: why it’s better, together

It’s 1am and I am sat with my lap top in a bar in Cologne with my incredible teammates Claudia and Dave, working for the 3th night straight on our brand new company – PowerCouple.

72 hours ago, we didn’t know each other, and PowerCouple did not exist. We were just a group of people hopping on the StartupBus at 8am on a Saturday morning, barely prepared for the crazy roadtrip through Europe that would follow.

StartupBus redefines the word ‘crazy’. Normal things, like bedtimes, and mealtimes, and conversations that don’t resolve around coding and marketing, become a strange and distant memory. Everything becomes about the creation of a new idea – something new to offer the world.

You can read more about how PowerCouple will change your life right here. But the message is simple – it is better to do new activities with others, than to on your own. You’re more likely to stick. You’re more likely to feel better about what you’re doing. You’re more likely to let that thing change your life.

And I know this, not just because all the research says its true, but because StartupBus has been exactly that experience. At points, I’ve wanted to quit. The sleep deprivation and the heated debates and the impossible deadlines. At points, I’ve wanted to cry. Exhausted, confused, stuck. Let’s face it, at points I was throwing up into a bucket as a result of motion sickness while simultaineously trying to do a revenue projection calculation. There have been a million points where I could have held my hands up and walked away.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 01.08.58

But I didn’t, for one reason. My team mates and the other mentors who have put this thing together. They made me think it was possible to find to keep going and ride the next high . And because of that, we are in the finals tomorrow, and we get to compete with the best startups in Europe. And we want to win. And we think we can.

72 hours ago, we didn’t know each other.

72 hours later, and we’ve made something that is making a difference.

See. Together, we do more 🙂

Check out Powercouple on Facebook!

Why I hope Scotland votes no to independence and yes to the United Kingdom

Confronting the implications of a potential yes vote on Thursday is not something I feel prepared for. I sit here, in my flat in London, many hundreds of miles from Scotland, feeling the distinct sense that the world might possibly change this week, and that had I been paying real attention I would have known that and been more ready to speak up and make my case.

But, much like the rest of England, I wasn’t really paying attention. I knew the referendum was coming up — my mum who lives in Manchester has been talking about it for months. But here, in London, it hardly registered as news, that is until the yes campaign pulled ahead last week, and the Evening Standard finally started covering the political posturing north of the Borders, and all of a sudden we began expressing surprise at the prospect that we might well wake up this Friday and no longer live in the United Kingdom.

I’m not prepared for that eventuality. More than that, I feel wholly disempowered in influencing whether or not it comes to pass. Don’t I get a choice about which country I live in too? Don’t I get a say whether I call myself British or English?

Furthermore, should Scotland leave, I’m dismayed at what I’m left with. A country (what country exactly?) that has so poorly been able to articulate what it means to live in a United Kingdom, that the thrust of the campaign in Scotland is based on fear, scarcity and withholding. Not – ‘this is what you are saying yes to if you stay’, but ‘this is what we’ll take away from you if you leave’.

No more currency. No more BBC. No more jobs in financial institutions who will all flee over the border. No more free movement of people. No more Team GB.

Yes, they say. Take it all, they say. But while you’re at it, take the Westminster politics. Take being ruled by Etonians who have no idea what it means to grow up sharing a bedroom with their brothers or to have to save up pocket money to buy a cassette tape or to need a Saturday job. Take the media who confuse England and Britain in every bulletin. Take the London-centric politics and the austerity cuts and the consignment of the disabled and elderly to the scrap heap. Take it all, they say. We’re better off without you. We can do better.

It’s a debate I want a piece of — I want to have a hand in defining the nation I belong to. It’s a debate I want to have. It’s a debate that’s long overdue and largely ignored; here in London where property prices are raging and recruitment agents are calling. I want to shout about how that reality ends the second you get outside of the M25. I’m furious I don’t get a piece of this nation-defining debate, the affects which country I wake up in on Friday. I’m embarrassed that I sleepwalked through the point when there might have been the opportunity to do so.

And if I did? I would shout about how proud I am that my Welsh father and half English, half Scottish mother have taught me to see the world without borders. Have encouraged me to choose my own nationality. So my brother calls himself Welsh and I call myself British, if I have to call myself anything at all. How we all support Wales in the rugby and England in the football, except when they’re playing Scotland, when my mum slips sides with the agility of someone who knows deeply that these national allegiances don’t mean anything substantial — they’re all just tools we play with and laugh at and that bad people sometimes abuse, stirring up passions and fostering kinship in good times and bad, for better and for worse.

That’s my United Kingdom. A place where there is still an unspoken, very British, understated sense of a truly revolutionary idea — that national identities and ethnic identities and racial identities are all fine and good, but really and truly they’re not what really matters. They aren’t what counts. You can wave your football scarves and sing your anthems, but at the end of the day we can sleep in peace knowing they shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

I hope Scotland sees that. I hope Scotland enjoys the nationalistic passions and posturing, but sees it for what it is — real, but insubstantial. I hope Scotland can still spy the potential for a United Kingdom which says ‘yes, we might be of different nationalities, but that doesn’t mean we’re not better off standing under the same umbrella’. Not so much that we’re ‘better together’, but that we’re better for trying to be.

I hope they agree that that’s an idea it’s worth us all saying yes to – whether we vote on Thursday or not.

My Vic Falls journey in 7 shots

1) The soul balm calm of sunset on the massive Zambezi river. With a beer. And hippos.


2) Justice the game reserve guy at Chobe saying that if a lion charges us, he would “handle the situation”. Despite not having a gun. Moments later, we happen across a lion and its cubs eating a baby elephant carcass. Justice seemingly unruffled.


3) Loads of water crashing into a massive crack in the earth. Seriously cool. And very wet. And worth the US$30 park entry fee.


4) A friend of a friend taking me up over Zimbabwe in this rather dodgy looking micro light. You can usually only do this tiny propeller plane thing in Zambia for about US$150, so was very lucky to fly up on the Zim side for the price of a tank of petrol. And to survive.


5) The very UK civil service style immigration communications; complete with a ‘mission statement’ and ‘client charter’, complete with regal picture of ‘his excellency’ Cdr. Robert Mugabe. I very much liked the social media feedback mechanisms on this poster in Zim/Botswana border control.


6) The greenness. And the elephants in the road.


7) Realising this strange protected beautiful bubble of a place is virtually on the axis of four countries. Safe, friendly, expensive. Loved it. Miss it already.


Top six things to do in Norrebro

Norrebro is the Shoreditch or Williamsburg of Copenhagen. By day, it’s coffee shops, second hand clothes and furniture stores. By night, it’s students cycling between basement bars and sprawling out of indie cinemas, not to mention being the home of some of the best restaurants in the city’s very foodie food scene.

But as is often the way with off-centre neighbourhoods, finding and navigating its hidden gems isn’t always straight-forward. Here are six pointers on enjoying this part of the city.

1) Try the best coffee in the world

The original Coffee Collective up on Jaegersborggade is renowned for its precise and professional approach to coffee. And as well it should. Set up by two-time World Barista Champion Klaus Thomsen and World Cup Tasting Champion Casper Engel Rasmussen, the claim that this is the planet’s best brew doesn’t sound too outlandish. When we were there, creating a single coffee took one barista several minutes to perfect as he carefully poured a tiny trickle of hot water over ground beans, making sure that every granule got an equal amount of attention. These are people that take their coffee very seriously. And very tasty it was too.

To try for yourself, follow this map.

2) Find Hans Christian Andersen’s grave

The Assisten Cemetery is the Danish story-teller’s final resting place, keeping eternal company with Soren Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr, among a few hundred other somewhat less well known folk. On a sunny day however it’s more of a public park than a cemetery – a place where lovers cuddle up on benches and mothers run after their wayward toddlers. Indeed, the manicured hedgerows surrounding each grave plot makes them feel like mini gardens in their own right. In an area that’s known more concrete charm than natural beauty, it’s a little oasis that’s worth a visit on your way up to Jaegersborggade.

3) Eat salted caramel liquorish

Now there are other streets in Norrebro than Jaegersborggade, and we’ll get to those in a moment, but for now, let’s take a second to talk about caramels. Karamelleriat is Denmark’s first handmade sweet shop, where opposite the till two guys roll long lines of squishy liquorish through some kind of old-looking metal machine after cooking up the concoction in a copper pan over an open fire.  The result, they say, is deep, intense flavour lovingly crafted using ancient recipes. We just thought it tasted gorgeous, but to find out for yourself, hop on your bike and follow this map.


4) Bar hop on Blaagaardsgade and Elmegade

Aha, a different street! Blaagaardsgade and Elmegade are closer to the centre of town and, while in the day time they may not look like much, by night the pavements are packed with bicycles as a twenty and thirty-somethings crowd cosy into its lower-ground floor bars. We liked Escobar on Blaagaardsgade – a kind of rock/metal bar where big baked bean cans are used for lampshades and a stuffed seagull is stuck to the ceiling, accompanied by a useful sign in English telling us ‘don’t feed the bird’. For a more classy experience, there’s Malbeck Vinoteria on Elmegade for a candlelit little table vibe, or for every beer you can imagine there’s Olbaren (with a red neon sign saying ‘Ol’). And if you need a survivors brunch the next day, just go to The Landromat Cafe. Where else in the world can you get pancakes, scrambled egg, hummus, pineapple and greek yoghurt on a single plate?

5) Discover the next Noma

Speaking of food, Noma’s reputation as the best restaurant in the world has sparked a dining renaissance in the city. An army of ex-Noma chefs have now set up their own ventures to rival Reni Redzepi’s stalwart, with two of the best back up on Jaegersborggade. On one side of the road you have Relae, set up by ex-Noma sous chef Christian F. Puglisi, and then over the road you have Christian’s other venue, Manfreds & Vin, a small wine bar with around nine tables for two and an open kitchen. We tried Manfreds and the food was, frankly, incredible – we loved the chef’s-choice lunchtime tasting menu, which included small plates of fresh cod, poached eggs, roasted brussel spouts, and cabbage with nuts and sauces that made what seemed like very ordinary ingredients taste pretty extraordinary. It was 250KR (around £25) per person, and well worth every penny.

Find Manfreds here.

6) Visit the cinema

We were in town for Copenhagen’s International Documentary Film Festival, which meant we spent a lot of time traversing the city hunting down its indie cinemas. Two of the best were in Norrebro. First, the Empire Bio on a pretty side street of Guldsbergade has a couple of medium sized screens and a lovely cafe, with a big lobby to house the pre-film buzz. Then on Norrebrogade itself you have the more makeshift Theatre Grob, where the audience shuffle through the small bar and into a blank blank studio to watch movies sat on rows of fold down chairs raised by temporary scaffolding. Way more character than your usual Odeon.

To get to Norrebro, go to Norreport metro and walk over the massive canal (lake? river?) on Norresbrogade. Elmesgade is about a ten minute walk from Norreport, and  Jaegersborggade is a further ten mins walk away. Or you could just stay in Norrebro itself – we really liked Kerstin and Mario’s place which we found through AirBnB.

The trouble with writing about Kosovo

This year I went to Kosovo a lot.

‘Kosovo?’ I hear you say, ‘Why on earth would you go to Kosovo?’

Good question. After all, tourists aren’t really going to Kosovo. In most people’s heads, Kosovo is still a mash up of ethnic hatred and post-war reconstruction and memories of atrocities we’d all rather forget.

That war was however nearly fifteen years ago now, so it would be fair to assume that things in that tiny landlocked corner of the Balkans might have changed a little in that time. Which is why I went.

To be fair, I also went because the lovely people at the British Council and Kosovan Foreign Ministry paid for me to get there, giving the amazing opportunity to dash all over the country on a Political Tour and talk to all sorts of very important people so I could write about it for BA’s High Life magazine.

And having gotten just a little bit under the skin of the place (and, for the place to have gotten a little bit under mine), I met a guy who was the creative director of an incredible documentary film festival in the pretty town of Prizren and saw the potential for another story. So I pitched it to The Guardian, and lo and behold I was back there this summer too.

Which means I’ve been to Kosovo twice this year.

What I found out is there’s a hell of a lot of stories to tell about Kosovo. And very few of them have been told yet. I’ve tried to tell two of them – with varying success – for those afore mentioned publications. I’ve just written a 101 word summary about what I thought it was like there, which of course feels a bit one dimensional and a little glib and doesn’t quite do the place any sort of justice.

Which is what’s proving to be the problem. How can one person’s writing about a place ever do it any sort of justice?

A freelance writer I had working for me recently wrote a lovely blog about how all travel writing is a kind of process of translation. The writer sees and experiences a place, they do their best to learn all they can about it, and then they attempt to communicate all that that experience was within a 1000 word word-limit.

But every place is so big, so multi-layered, they can never really, fully succeed. They can give an idea, the beginnings of a sense of things, suggestions perhaps. They can offer attempts at insights which never quite capture but at least point towards the truth of the matter, or at least their version of it. They can add that to the body of all the other things that have been written and hope to add something new and authentic.

In essence, they can just do their best.

The trouble with writing about Kosovo however is all that and more. Because not only is there the challenge of writing an accurate version of the place, but there is also the challenge that because very few others are writing about it, there are so many versions to be written.

The version I want to write is about what it’s like right now. The young energy and the cool hangouts and the start-up creativity; the girls with fringes and boys with beards; the techno beat pumping from backstreet apartments. The guys running off-piste ski weekends and the club owners capitalising on the fact this very young population really just want to have some fun.

But there is another version. Like the 2000 people still missing and the mothers still hoping their sons will walk through the door.

Another friend of mine says you should never use the phrase ‘xxxxxx is a city of contrasts’ in a travel piece – that it’s such a hackneyed, well-worn phrase that it’s become meaningless. But in Kosovo’s case, it’s true. It is a place of contrasts. As Nathan Coley’s Pristina installation last year proudly proclaimed in light bulbs; it’s a place beyond belief.

Which probably means that until there are more people writing about it so you can aggregate all those different viewpoints, you should just go and see it for yourself.

And until then, here are some pictures of my version…

Kino lumbarghi in Prizren
Kino lumbarghi in Prizren
Serb Orthodox Decani Monestry
Serb Orthodox Decani Monestry
Snow in Brezovica
Snow in Brezovica
Big Kosovan Landscapes
Big Kosovan Landscapes
Newborn monument in Pristina
Newborn monument in Pristina

101 word guide to Kosovo right now

Young. The average age is just 25.

Macchiatos. Pristina’s Mother Therese boulevard is pavement café central.

Kosovo haz hipsters. Tingle Tangle cafe/bar is popular with skinny jeaned people.

Protests. Albin Kurti‘s Vetvendosjia party wants self determination. Hipster girls fancy him.

Conflict. Mitrovica is divided between Serb and Kosova Albanian communities.

Statehood. 87 UN countries don’t recognise Kosovo as a nation. It’s tricky for Kosovans to sort travel visas.

Culture clash. Youth mag Kosovo 2.0 cancelled their Sex issue launch party this year because of religious extremist gatecrashers.

Mountains define Kosovo’s borders. Once lined with thousands of refugees; now underused by off piste skiers.

Travel notes: things I noticed in Mumbai

This post isn’t really a post, just a collection of observations from 3 days in Bombay.

Squeezed onto seven islands, each with a hazy high rise skyline, bordered by litter strewn beaches and breakers. Battered old non-AC taxis and rickshaw rides through busy roads like a street car rally. The constant symphony of car horns of every note and tone.

The ladies only train carriage; a man wheeling his torso on a make-shift skateboard through the spaces between us, sat up straight, head high, shouting about the passport covers he’s selling. Three hijab covered women use me as an arm rest as they haul their bodies out of their seats, mascara-heavy eyes smiling. Hot hot sunshine.

Non-AC taxis in Mumbai - cheaper and more fun than their AC brothers.
Non-AC taxis in Mumbai – cheaper and more fun than their AC brothers.

Sweet small children with open faces who call you ‘ma’am’ or ‘madam’, asking you to buy a postcard or bangle from their ‘small business’. Respectful sideways wobbles of the head as you explain – ‘no thank you’. Colaba’s crumbling colonial homes on attractive tree-lined streets decorated with roadworks bollards and barriers lit up with fairy lights like Christmas.

Laburnam Rd in Mumbai, near the Gandhi museum
Laburnam Rd in Mumbai, near the Gandhi museum

Hazy sunsets on a deep semi-clean beach. Teenage b-boys attempt head spins and break dance moves in front of a friendly crowd of mostly girls.

Swish shoreditch-esque restaurants in bling Bandra, the Pali Village cafe, serving European fusion cuisine at London prices in a concrete candle lit room. The rip off Polpo – tapas not Italian. California calm Yoga House cafe – exceptional marsala chai tea while we surf their wifi. A Polish reggae band play a bad soundsystem in a hot rooftop bar. Calcutta based indie pop band Neel and the Lightbulbs wow us in The Blue Frog with their sweet story-telling and killer guitar playing. Dancing to Metalica in Totos – drinks served by middle-aged men in super mario outfits.

Bandra B-Boys
Bandra B-Boys

Endorphin-filled Old Monk rum making for freestyle dancing to Kanye West in our friend’s cool bachelor apartment, the projector pointing at an angle along a white wall as video ballet dancers strike angular poses. Girls in cocktail dresses, short skirts, hot pants; put together and manicured, hair quaffed, high heels. The men with beautifully symmetrical faces and elegant cheek bones, wide shoulders and tiny waists. Toned, tall.

People travelling in gangs. Kind old men keen to point you in the right direction, issuing repeated warnings about being extra careful in bustling old Victoria train station.The mind-blowing opulence of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, built for princes and maharajas, every vase, chair, painting each something from a museum or art gallery.

Suite used by John and Yoko at the Taj Mahal Palace
Suite used by John and Yoko at the Taj Mahal Palace

Litter everywhere. Plastic bags bobbing in the sea. The mangrove marshes used as washing lines for Bandra’s slum-dwellers, kids running around as mums hang out colourful clothes to dry in the relentless sunshine. More car horns. Heat. Mobile phone rings. Italian restaurants.

A serene temple up some crumbling stairs, passing women say outside their front doors to catch some evening air. Serenity. Small children from Rajasthan ask us where we are from then run away giggling. Bazaars of coriander and chillis and red onions. Spices and garlic. Antique doors, compasses, time pieces, car parts.

Food markets near the Chor Bazaar
Food markets near the Chor Bazaar

Being on guard and letting it down. More speedy rickshaws who don’t know where they are going – directing them with iphone GPS on streets you’ve never been on. Energy. Assurance and confidence. Frustration at a 5% growth rate. A city and people getting up late but on the up.

Why you need to look out of the window

So I’m on this flight from London to Tel Aviv. It’s a budget affair and frankly I don’t think I’m the only one whose adrenaline levels have gone through the roof in the fight to get on the plane, squeeze my somewhat oversized ‘hand luggage’ into the overhead locker and bag a coveted window seat.

As soon as the stewardess gives us the required permission, everyone unfolds ipads/laptops and plugs in ear phones, killing time til we touch down. I’m one of them. I’m looking at the clock and wondering how many episodes of Sherlock I can squeeze in before we actually reach Ben Gurion.

At some point over Turkey – and a good 4.5 hours into the flight – I look out of the window for, I think, the first time since take off. This is what I see…

1. The one that looks like snowy mountains

2. The one that looks like dinosaurs

3. The one that looks like a flying saucer

4. The one of the sunset

We were flying! Like, ABOVE THE CLOUDS!!

Is this not frickin’ incredible to us anymore? What’s WRONG with us?!

That is all.

Around the World in Street Art: My 7 Super Shots

Last week the Kit from the lovely Seek New Travel blog tagged me to participate in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots.

So here are mine. I’ve chosen a bit of a street-art/graffiti theme and stuck to the suggested titles in only the very loosest of ways.

1. A photo that…takes my breath away

This shot was taken in early 2005, a few months after George Bush had defeated John Kerry in the US Presidential race. It was my first time in the USA and I had hired a monster of a car to drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA. I’d never driven on the right hand side of the road before, or driven an automatic, so large portions of this trip were spent with me trying to navigate roads while not veering into the wrong lane while pumping the Chemical Brothers on full blast. Driving through the university town of San Luis Obispo I came across this stop sign and had to pull over the car to take a photo. As someone who thought Bush was a total imbecile, it was great to come to the USA and see that a whole heap of Americans thought so too.

2. A photo that…makes me laugh or smile


I found these patterns and paintings down several of the laneways in Jerusalem’s Arab quarter. They instantly made me smile – they seemed so fun and colourful. I asked one of the guys selling coffee next door to this one what they meant, and he told me they were there to commemorate that someone from that house had embarked on the Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca which all Muslims are required to make once in their lifetime. I loved that this was an example of ‘graffiti’ being used to celebrate a religious tradition.

3. A photo that…makes me dream

What you can’t see in this shot is that I’m staring at the London Olympic Stadium directly in front of me. I had honestly thought that at this point – July 2011 and a year before the Games – that the stadium would still be long off completion. But it wasn’t. It looked sorted. I was impressed and happy. Meanwhile, behind me is one of Stik’s biggest projects; a huge huge stick man painted on the floor of what was a bit of no man’s land in Hackney Wick. I was there with my friend Heather dancing the night away at a local art and music festival – I don’t think it’s on this year because of the Games.

4. A photo that…makes me think

I was working on a UN event called ‘Cartooning for Peace’ in 2006 when I first heard of Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, whose work regularly featured the image of Handala, a barefoot child with his back to us, silently watching what’s going on in his homeland. In 1987 al-Ali was gunned down in London; Ismail Sowan was arrested for his murder although it was never clear whether he was acting for the PLO or Mossad – both of whom he admitted working for as a double agent. The image lives on however – it’s painted here on the Palestinian side of the Separation barrier near Bethlehem.

5. A photo that…makes my mouth water

Slightly tenuous, but I was starving when I took this photo. I had just climbed to the top of Lycabettus Hill in Athens – everyone had told me there was a cafe at the top, but no one mentioned how expensive it was. By this point my stomach was really grumbling, but I liked that someone had bothered to draw the words ‘Antifa Hooligans’ on the stone slab – I remembered someone telling me once that this was an anti-fascist football song of some kind. The view was gorgeous, and here I was thinking of anti-fascist football songs. With a rumbling stomach.

6. A photo that…tells a story

This mural is right around the corner from my house and was painted way back in 1985 based on the Hackney Peace Carnival two years earlier. I love it because it has loads of energy – something which the area still has in bucket-loads. Here, Ray Walker’s mural show the community coming together against the bomb and the threat of nuclear war. There are a lot of things Hackney residents come together on here in 2012, but CND isn’t usually one of them.

7. A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

I’m not sure it’s so much this particular photo I’m proud of – it’s not like the composition or even the subject matter are particularly unique now. I do however like it for personal reasons. While at uni in Bristol we saw Banksy stencils and artwork pop up all over the city, so it was great to see how, ten years later, similar images of resistance and satire were finding themselves on the Separation Barrier between Israel and the West Bank. Quite a long way from the rat stencils he printed outside our local Somerfield.

And now it’s your turn…

Over to you:

>;;;;;;;;;;; Mums Do Travel


>;;;;;;;;;;; Taste of Slow

>;;;;;;;;;;; Hectic Travels

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