Arboreal Oblation (Confeugo)

Before my trip to Genoa I downloaded a guide to Christmas events taking place in the city from the official tourism site for the city. To say it was comprehensive was an understatement.  I decided to save some trees and save it to my phone to carry rather than opt for paper, and perhaps this … Continue reading Arboreal Oblation (Confeugo)


Palline di Natale (Venezia 151)

On my recent visit to Prague I encountered a number of Christmas decoration shops, though to be honest they didn't have a great range of tasteful options.  Perhaps I was just unlucky, but it struck me that the Germanic countries and their former empire seem to place a lot more emphasis on the traditions of … Continue reading Palline di Natale (Venezia 151)

A Christmas Carolyn

Sometime ago I was talking to Carolyn, an old friend and colleague, about the challenges of spending Christmas Day on your own and the consequent trepidation that I was feeling.  As you would expect from such an experienced coach and counsellor, she wasn't going to let me get away with that for long, and we … Continue reading A Christmas Carolyn

A terrible affliction

Having successfully shoehorned daughter Megan and all her worldly goods in between the spider carcases that pepper her tiny room, it was time to say goodbye for another term, until we see her at Christmas and discover how she has really fared when having to share a house and look after herself.  (Nice curtains don't … Continue reading A terrible affliction


For many outside the North East, Roker Park refers to the former home of Sunderland football club, the ground being replaced by The Stadium of Light after 100 years of service in 1997.  There are houses now standing in its place. There is however another, and older Roker Park; a recreation park that pre-dates the … Continue reading Parklife

The Great British Bank Holiday (that isn’t!)

Public holidays in the UK tend to be known as Bank Holidays, a term which goes back to the days when the banks maintained very different operating hours to those which they do today, for whilst it is Good Friday there are branches open in some locations, an act that would have once been seen … Continue reading The Great British Bank Holiday (that isn’t!)

In a military style…

I've been shooting street portraits in Darlington once or twice a week for three months now, and remarkably I've never bumped into any of my subjects again (with the exception of the car park attendant at the college who can't escape).  Perhaps I've frightened them away to do their shopping in Northallerton in future! The … Continue reading In a military style…