Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nativity, graemsey island

A wild storm is blowing outside and this far north it has been dark for hours. All the children of the island perform a nativity. I had forgotten people did this it is simply wonderful.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Magical kebab caravan, Warsaw, Poland




   


The Air is dry ice, Walk back from the bar, where they had booked a whole floor for us. The models all go onto a series of wild clubs, they are good kids and the client is very sweet. Drunk but mostly very tired head for the hotel towering in the concrete distance. Real winter comes really early here.  Pass a magical kebab stand which is glowing in the mist and seems to be floating a few feet above the ground.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saint Paul's cathedral, Protest camp, London

Saint Paul's is like some demented rave, although the soaring majesty of the building is only added to. The bells are ringing out proud and hard drowning out the tribal techno beats. 

The protesters tented village butts right up to the steps. It looks very medieval, haggered canvas against the brilliant white stone.

Discreet police barricades hide under archways, containing too easily the sprawling encampment. I want to feel more but I don't. It just reminds me of Goose fair in Nottingham.

Someone once told me they would march the flocks through tar and then though sand to make a kind of shoe for their journey to market.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Butterfly,11eme





t
Through tired, too early morning eyes chance upon a giant enchanted butterfly.
It is part Skateboard and part heavy metal magazine.
The day is looking up.

Looks like a painting, 11eme

Saw the Gerhard Richter exhibition in london few days ago, uncomfortable feeling that I'm the only person in Europe who thinks his abstract canvases are not very good.

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the island, last summer, Scotland

Sunday, on the bridge.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Golden, Bescherelles northern france

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wedding on a boat, Paris

Monday, September 05, 2011

Storm gathering over Paris

Driving back to Paris, great beautiful clouds broil and churn in the sky ahead. This the last day of the holidays now back.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sandside beach, perfect light

Everything perfect, sea like glass creates a strange acoustic. You can hear faintly people on the other island far across the bay. They are here but not here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Son and Father, Graemsey Island, Orkney


I saw my fathers legs last night as he tottered slowly across the hall in his bizarre nighshirt.

Death cancer thin, ghost white, fragile and pocked with a swarm of pale scars. 
My father had been a very big man, a giant. In his youth he had played professional Rugby League for Salford. (Lancashire) Three English pounds for a win, one pound for a draw and nothing for a loss.

In novels I remember reading about hero's growing old and becoming tragic frail shadows but when your young it s not the part of the story that interests and now this is not a story in a book.

When I was sixteen I was captain of the team and thought myself fast and tough and thought him already an old man. That summer on a beach (maybe the last holiday when we were all really together) we ran a race across the gleaming sand, sort of a joke. I remember being shocked, then utterly mortified as he sailed past me at the very end. And for all the many years after, every time we would meet he would laugh and challenge me to another race.
But not this time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Graemsey Island

Orkney Islands, North Sea

Coming into land, everything is clean and raw, the sea like crystal, hard granite and bracken land .

Leaving Northern coast of Britain

Heading truly North over a blue black water.

Tiny two prop plane fiercely droning. Bobs and stutters.

Straight out into the North Atlantic and once more all from the real world seems to be sliping away.

There is still light.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mons, before the champagne district, northern france

The golden land seems to go on forever. The season has been too dry. The bails are already cut and stacked. Fantastical straw architecture, often so ambitious, reminds of an evening long time ago in England. Guy stopped the car and ran into the field. He said he always dreamed of rolling the great drum bails. I was so afraid some one would come and we would be in trouble. I think in this time I was always afraid. But he was so happy and he was right. A Long time ago.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bastille Day, River, Paris

Rented a small boat with close friends.
Made a picnic of champagne and foi gras.
The light beneath the bridges is very beautiful.
Sometimes everything is perfect.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fire, cat, Loup

Light the fire in the morning.
Prepare strong coffee.
The tattered sky gives up the first sun.
The black Cat and son happy in the old farmhouse.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rue Alphonse Baudin, 11eme

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Unicorn in Dalston, North london

Had forgotten the brutal raw energy of London (again). In Dalston Turks and Hipsters cohabit. Its truly impressive, there's things going on and clearly i cant keep up.  Edge.

The magnificent blue tiled mosque rises up onion domes and all. Probably be transformed into a fantastic boutique hotel in a few years time, the toast of the capital for a fortnight.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Royal Ascot, England

Off the Eurostar then fast down to Waterloo. Waterloo Station has become enchanted, throngs of finely dressed people buzz with excitement. Top-hats everywhere, like something from another time or Harry Potter. Another train to Ascot is leaving a surge onto the train where champagne is already flowing. The train is crushed impossible to move your arms, horribly hot but everyone is laughing, fragile ladies hats are protected, they are giggling. Pass fast through London suburbs then open English fields. At Ascot we are thousands moving through the station, and there is no one who isn't smiling. A torrential downpour arrive s from nowhere but it is just more amusement as all run squealing for cover. The racecourse is magnificent under a wild bright sky. We are so warmly received, drinks, the queen arrives in her carriage the stadium erupts.
Good food is served endlessly and the first race, frantic calls are made for tips, no source is too spurious. The afternoon passes so quickly and on the last race win almost 300 pounds, it is a magical and unreal end. We all drift, drinks in hand, hats at a more relaxed angle, lazily, contentedly from the stadium. And near the gates we realize the great singing has begun around the bandstand. Everyone is together flags have appeared, everyone is singing, everyone is together.

Never in my life have I seen such a vast mass of people all so utterly and completely joyous. And I feel so proud of this sceptered isle.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hotel Negresco shoot, Nice , the bay of angels




































The Hotel Negresco is a listed monument it sits in front of the bluest sea.
It is filled with priceless art from another age and also worthless art of the present. The owner, a wonderful old woman, has taken the entire fifth floor as her home. In the dining room of the michelin starred restaurant her table sits ever ready. Respect.

An ancient carousel has been dismembered to decorate the bistro. Every hour it springs to life, beautiful antique wooden horses dance above your table to a real fairground music box jangle whilst little scary dolls clash miniature cymbals. The waiters here must go completely insane.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Corner, Rue Saint Sabin and Rue Sedain 11eme

Bump into a gaggle of friends. Everyone is onthe street today, happy and excited.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The view from the edge of Bescherelles

 

















For the first time all this could be forever.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Parc de Feline, Northern France



















The roar is incredible, everyone rushes to the barriers. Beneath the woodland canopy two Siberian tigers begin to fight. They are huge and terrifying in action, rearing up eight feet tall. Their white, grey bodies like forest ghosts pale yellow stripes almost invisible. They circle and then again come together, a few children are crying everyone is tense and excited. It is truly fearful to watch. I can hardly believe what i am witnessing.

I realize Brune is tugging at me, she whines, "this is boring". She wants to go see the baby goats again. Everything is relative I guess, I am glad that I am not a baby goat in a big cat park.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Faraway, beautiful french riding stables

Caress the beautiful white horse,
The name of this tiny hamlet is too complicated to remember and magically doesn't show up on any GPS.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

View from studio Procter, 11eme Paris


The wisteria has exploded, the scent is heavy, dense flowers 
buzz electric with hungry insects. Entranced strangers are 
drawn into the courtyard to bear witness. If you touch the 
engorged blossoms they instantly disintegrate and drop like 
pink snow. Im using way too many adjectives.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Twelfth floor, Nyc

Headless, Nyc

Snake across the city in taxi after taxi.
Must be getting somewhere but doubts are creeping in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Empire State, Nyc

The heat of the day catches everyone by surprise. At my second meeting a crowd has formed around a broken cycle courier. They are crying that a taxi has hit him. He is not moving at all.
The citizens of new york are good they cover him with their coats, they collect his belongings that are scattered everywhere. They angrily force traffic to make way for an ambulance. I see one old business man chasing the taxi driver down 6th Avenue.
I am sad, it reminds me of when I held a dieing man in my arms, stabbed and bleeding fast. A hot summers afternoon on the french riviere, cars passed slowly (so they could watch) and I asked one gawping driver for his shirt so I could plug the holes, he just shrugged and pulled quietly away.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lost Cat, West 25th street, Nyc

Friendly and playful, hope they find AJ.

Pork Shop, 9th Avenue, NYC

Baby lambs and baby goats available for Easter.
This is where wolves must shop.
(What the hell are Cornish hens?)

Andy Warhol Monument, Union Square, NYC

The statue, lifesize, is made from highly polished aluminum, its pedestal is only a few feet above the ground. It catches the sun like a mirror, It has a curious effect on the people, they constantly touch its feet with reverence, nobody does not look upon it.
But after a while I realize they are just checking it is not a street artist, painted silver and pretending to be a statue. I quietly weep for Andy.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

New York City, view from the Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency


The open maw of the city. 
You could fall right in, it would swallow you whole, leave no trace.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Saoirse Ronan Shoot, Staten Island, New York

We drive far out of the city.
Strangest house, eighteen Peacocks patrol the gardens.
The shoot is fast, the team is perfect our delightful young star is sixteen years old, one day she will be a legend.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

View from the Standard Hotel, Nyc

Waking up at the standard, too early , still on Paris time, one whole wall is a gaping skyscraper window. Glass floor to ceiling. Makes you afraid to be too close the edge, but it is a good luxurious fear.  Just realized I can see the statue of Liberty.
The hotel is indeed magnificent, everything and everybody is sleek and arrogant.
The handsome young concierge refused to even look up as he checked me in yesterday, maybe it should be enough that he let me stay in his hotel.
I asked him a question, he shuffled off pretending not to have heard. I realized my jaw had tightened, I'm cranky/disoriented after the flight, I so wanted so much  to go over the beautiful designer counter and hurt him.

Landing Newark international, NYC

Yesterday A Magazine calls my American agents, a few hours later I'm on a plane again.
Tommorrow I will shoot a beautiful film star.
Now Manhattan zooms up , the sea is sparkling and friendly.
It's all becoming less and less real.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Percheron, Chateau Chantilly Northern France

We are in the kings stables.
The ceiling is 80 feet above us.

Oslo the great white Percheron enters.
Nothing seems real here, the cathedral vaulted carousel holds us out of time.

Wisteria, studio window 11eme

The first wisteria blossoms have bloomed. In a week this great tree that snakes from house to house will explode and here we will talk of nothing else.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Zeppelin over studio, 11eme

There is a massive Zeppelin hovering over the studio. I do not not know if this exciting or very worrying.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gallianos last show, Christian Dior , Musee Rodin, 7eme

It's crazy, police are running back and forth clearing the street. Everyone has a camera and a wild rabid look. The huge wooden gates of the museum are being manned like a fortress. Rumours keep rippling through the mob that he is here. I hand my invitation to a terrified (but immaculately dressed) young girl. I pass inside to the show were the atmosphere is a hundrefold stranger.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Under the sea under trocadero,16eme

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Still a magical city.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tree, Bescherelles, Northern france

Garden looks good, it goes into your head fills you up, makes you feel good.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bone House, Jardin des plantes, 5eme

Watching the beautiful intricacies of bone upon bone, this place never changes, even the temperature never changes. Its musty stability is so soothing.

You can come back in twenty years to pick up exactly where you left off.