House of Bones (SOS)

In the same way as Casa Milà is better known as Le Pedrera (The Quarry), so Casa Batlló, another Gaudí masterpiece, has a number of alternative names in the local population.  Some refer to it as the Dragon House, referring to the scaly ceramic roof tiles and suggesting that the Gaudí cross and turret to … Continue reading House of Bones (SOS)


Contrasting Fortunes (Venezia 129)

Sunderland, where I was born, has a glass making history which can be traced back to 674 AD when the monastery in Monkwearmouth brought craftsmen in from France to create England's first stained glass window in the small Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter.  Glass remained a key industry in the town for over 1300 years, until the … Continue reading Contrasting Fortunes (Venezia 129)

Class in a Glass

A long weekend. So it rains. Heavily. J and I had planned a stroll along the seaside, maybe with a spot of kite-flying too to pander to our competitive instincts, and when we were ready to go it was still bright and dry. When we parked our car it was still bright and dry. But then … Continue reading Class in a Glass

West Once More.

It's almost a year since my work took me to the West Country on what was a rare English summer's day when I photographed Sam for my blog.  Yesterday was a bit of deja vu, as I was working just outside Bristol Airport at a hotel called Winford Manor.  With its beautiful tree-lined grounds it's … Continue reading West Once More.

Mesopotamia to Monkwearmouth

Glass. Something we largely take for granted; a material superseded by plastic in many uses, but nevertheless an important part of our lives.  Though naturally occurring glass was believed to have been traded in neolithic societies for its ability to produce a sharp cutting edge, glass making can be traced back to the cradle of … Continue reading Mesopotamia to Monkwearmouth

It’s just a rumour that’s been spread around town*

The City of Sunderland grew out of the merger of three separate settlements of Anglo-Saxon origin, although the fishing village that originally bore the name wasn't officially recognised until a century after the arrival of the Normans.  The name Sunderland probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon word soender, meaning to part or separate, and refers to … Continue reading It’s just a rumour that’s been spread around town*