Road to wherever

Pumpkins and Squash

I can honestly say I have never seen so many pumpkins and squashes in my life

The word ‘harvest’ has come up again in my blog, since the raccoon post, as it’s that time of year. The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, is known as a huge produce area, people will come down from as far away as Vancouver (400km) for the weekend to break for the weekend, and in addition to activities or just hanging out they’ll pick up huge bags of fruit and vegetables on their way home.

On our way to Osoyoos we passed through Karemeos, also in the Okanagan valley. I was astounded at the amount and variety of squashes and pumpkins, apples, aubergines and other fruit and vegetables there were for sale directly to the public, a huge farmers market.


I love the fact people are so obviously dedicated to this as a way of living, despite the fact these are growers who supply across the province (if not country) there were varieties of apples, onions, courgettes and aubergines I have never seen before. I also admired the spirit of the grower markets; the fact that the stalls were bigger than mini-supermarkets at home in London, the range of creative displays and handpainted signs created a sense of community.









Vancouver has great coffee, and great coffee shops (such as my favourite ‘Our Town‘ in Mount Pleasant – where this photo appeared on ‘Road to Wherever’ last year). Soup bowls full of rich coffee are served to customers, like myself, who sometimes over-indulge.

So I was in Our Town, with a sketchbook trying to get into the flow of drawing. It wasn’t forthcoming, when a couple sat directly behind me. While listening to their conversation, which may have been over-caffinated, I began draw. Their exchange was a little peculiar, I honestly have no idea if it was a first date, breaking up or perhaps  they were rehearsing a play. I also couldn’t really hear what he was saying – men talking at a lower frequency in a crowded place are hard to hear (sadly), but she was a bit fierce and really articulate – my favourite line of hers was “Don’t be pretentious, it brings me out in a rash” she then challenged him on his heterosexuality (twice) and they left together for dinner… quite happily it seemed.


I’m often amazed at other peoples’ conversations. London’s listing magazine, Time Out, has a section called word on the street – pieces of overheard conversations which are often quite funny / weird / ridiculous – if you like that kind of thing do have a look.

I think this particular conversation had a direct influence on my drawing!

An old Plymouth from the 1050's lies abandoned under a bar sign on the Crowsnest Highway to Hope
An old Plymouth from the 1950’s lies abandoned under a bar sign on the Crowsnest Highway to Hope

Passing Spotted Lake on the way to Osoyoos, I had heard it was unusual; a mineral rich alkali lake and a sacred First Nation site. Waters that been used for healing. On the first pass through, the sun had already gone down, the light was unkind – offering only a little definition, the lake also had one viewpoint from the highway, which was a shame, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to enter the site, beyond the gate, seeing as it was sacred.



Visiting a couple of days later everything had transformed, it was obvious the spots on the lake were mineral rich and ‘lakes within the lake’, if you see what I mean. The low sun picked everything up, and it was worth capturing, even with the lens flare as it appears above. After a dry summer most of the water in the lake had evaporated leaving the moon like surface you see here. In addition the gate was open, I could see figures on the lake setting something (that looked) scientific up. Although this didn’t grant me access, it did offer a sense of scale, looking at the figures on the lake I realised it was actually huge.




Pictures from the town of Osoyoos, in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

Osoyoos after sundown
Osoyoos Travel / Subway – Osoyoos after sundown
Osoyoos after sundown
Dairy Queen – Osoyoos after sundown
Osoyoos after sundown
Turquoise office – Osoyoos after sundown
Osoyoos after sundown
Husky Garage – Osoyoos after sundown

The harvest

And there he was, in Stanley Park, sitting at the top of a tree, gorging himself on berries as if on the stroke of midnight they’d never exist again. Like he was an extra in one of those japanese paintings with blossom trees, charming, beautiful, greedy and totally uninterested in us watching below.raccoon-2


Life Drawing

A selection of life drawings made while on holiday, if you’re in Vancouver and want to do this I can thoroughly recommend Basic Enquiry’s sessions. Three hours and $15 (currently about £8) is bargain.

life drawing-1 life drawing-2 life drawing-3


Around Hafnarfjordur – Iceland

I booked a trip to Canada – where I am writing from now. Looking for the most reasonable air-fare, the runaway winner was Icelandair, who run seasonal flights ending in October, If theres a transfer in Rejkyavik they offer a free stopover of up to seven nights. I have a good friend who sadly is about to return to Australia – but wanted to see as much of Europe as she could, so – and off I went with companion in tow.



Reykjavik, from Hallgrimskirkja
Reykjavik, from Hallgrimskirkja

I didn’t really book enough time (2 days) to go and see a lot and we spent a lot of time in Reykjavik before driving out to the area southwest of the country around Hafnarfjordur.


I’m drawn to this kind of place, I enjoy the bleakness, (for proof see my last post on Dungeness), it also has a rich otherworldly or alien quality and feels rich and mysterious.

It brightened up a little on the second day, this is what it feels like almost everywhere in the area.
The wet landscape can provided rich colours and a lot of atmosphere

We were heading towards the famous Blue Lagoon, for a late afternoon dip in the thermal waters and the weather was miserable. I posted on Facebook that it made the west coast of Ireland look like Barbados, I was only half joking. The afternoon before the Blue Lagoon consisted of parking, going for a long walk, getting soaked in seconds, returning to the car and hiding in a cave.

Hiding from the weather in a cave.

The Blue Lagoon is amazing, I didn’t take a camera or even a phone, I had made that time to hang out and relax, there’s something about taking photos that can get in the way of experince sometimes. Ironically it was the only time  the sun came out that day (briefly), when we were in the water and it didn’t matter.

On the coast, near the town of Grindvik

Having said all this, i think i need to be clear, I loved every minute of it. I have eight hours on my way back – If i can wriggle out of the airport I’ll go back and find something else to shoot.



I took a photo excursion with colleague and friend Eleonora down to Dungeness. It’s a beautiful place on the Kent Coast, but beautiful in a very eerie way. It feels very elemental – still, until we approached the sea, which growled below us on a steep shelf from the shingle beach.

The Nuclear power station at Dungeness
The Nuclear power station at Dungeness

It’s famous for a few things; there are two lighthouses, Dungeness crab, the artist/film maker Derek Jarman Lived there, there’s a huge nuclear power station right on the beach, it has a couple of abandoned villages, acoustic mirrors and is home to a range of species that don’t exist anywhere else in the UK.



Years ago I went there after breaking up with someone I had been with for a long time. It was an emotional time, and the environment was somehow apt to my situation. It felt really unreal. So, understandably, I was both curious and, to be honest, a little apprehensive of how It would feel to revisit. I can tell you it still feels really unreal as a place. Like it’s at the edge of the world, and it’s full of ghosts – it’s good to face your ghosts.


Dad, Little Britain, London EC1,

I took this photo on a road called ‘Little Britain’ in London while out with my dad.



Studio shots, Lonnie, July 2015

Lonnie Shoot- (8 of 15) Lonnie Shoot- (13 of 15) Lonnie Shoot- (15 of 15)

Barbican, London

A peninsula of light on London Wall
A peninsula of light on London Wall, EC1

Bexhill on Sea


British Summer – Margate

I’m a big fan of Kent, If you know my blog you’ve seen shots from Whitstable already. I also plan to go to Dungeness before Summers out – as it’s a beautiful – if a bit of a ghostly place. 

While there are some places I’ll probably never go due to tricky reputations, loads of of it is amazing. It’s hard to put a reason to why I like it. Its partly due to the fact that people are often approachable – and I find people don’t conform in quite the same way that Londoners do. It feels like people are themselves more here, less worried about how they appear. Classes mix better, there’s less snobbery, It feels freer, wilder and older, more traditional without necessarily being fuddy-duddy.


I’ve been to Margate a few times – and there’s even an old post of the seafront with a couple of friends walking by. But that was a rainy winters day. I was really pleased to see the seafront full of sun worshippers as our car turned the corner to face the beach. Theres a swimming pool right on the beach, I guess for younger and the less strong / more anxious swimmers, and I caught them there and on the beach itself (above) as the sun was descending. 2S4B4995

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