Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brunch on the South Bank

Brunch on the South Bank
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK
Jeremy F called last night to see if we fancied doing something today. We still have too much sorting out to do around the house to want to take a day out but we settled on brunch on the South Bank first thing.
I did wonder whether anything would be open at 10am on a Sunday morning but in the end we needn't have worried; the Royal Festival Hall is reopening this weekend after its refurbishment and the riverside was already crowded when we arrived. We were in time to snag an outside table at Giraffe before you had to start queueing for them though and we indulged our hunger whilst watching and listening to a selection of the acts that were being laid on for the occasion. By lunchtime the whole area was packed with people and we were quite glad we had arrived early!
One slightly spooky thing were the statues of people just standing looking down which have been positioned on rooftops all around the area. I recall reading mention of it as some kind of installation art exhibit but it would do equally well as the opening scenes of a Doctor Who adventure; any day now the statues are going to leap from their vantage points and try to take over the world! (After last night's Who episode with the weeping angels - which was by far the most frightening for a while - I really didn't want to take my eyes off them!) If I remember in time I'll take my proper camera along and get some pictures of them next week.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dinner at Ping's

After the Party's Over
The table after we had finished eating.

Me, Ping and Uwe
This is me with Ping & Uwe

Simon and Matt
Simon (the chef) and Matt, his husband

And of course, my own beloved, Brett

Practice Photoshoot

Had some tuition and a practice shoot on the male nude at Urban today and it was a great learning experience. Spent some time discussing the problems you can encounter in getting good models and then looked at how to light the male body to show it off to its best advantage.

Unfortunately it was a bit of a scrum as there were seven of us sharing the space but I got a number of semi-decent shots out of it and know I could do a lot better if I controlled the environment.

We started working in silhouette which had lots of arty potential.


Then moved onto more traditional muscle shots



Finally Jonathan brought out a few props for the model to use which opened up a whole new dimension to the atmosphere of the pictures.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Farewell to New York

Farewell to New York
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
Brett and I at the edge of Central Park, New York, just before flying home.

The Abercrombie Chapel

The Abercrombie & Fitch store on Fifth Avenue has a mural running the height of the store's staircase and the ceiling over it; not quite a modern-day Michaelangelo, but I think there's a certain nod in his direction...

Abercrombie & Fitch Ceiling
Abercrombie & Fitch 2
Abercrombie & Fitch 1

Child at Play

Child at Play
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
This is me in FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue, New York. I'd just spent half an hour playing with some wonderful magnetic mecano stuff and was fighting the urge to buy a box to take home. I did grab the manufacturer's website details though ( so I can see if they sell it in the UK.

At the Rockefeller Centre

Prometheus in the Rockefeller Plaza...

Prometheus in the Rockefeller Plaza

... and some random gateway decorations, ...

Rockefeller Decoration

...and finally, the statue of Atlas.

Atlas at the Rockefeller Centre

Views from the Empire State

Chrysler Building 1

About the only decent photographable sight visible from the top of the Empire State Building is the nearby Chrysler Building, seen above through my telephoto lens and below in wide-shot.

Chrysler Building 2

Below is the view looking northward towards Central Park with the George Washington bridge over the Hudson River in the distance towards the top left.

Central Park from the Empire State

And here's the view looking in the other direction (south) towards the financial district, with the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River to the left of shot.

Downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge

Finally, to prove that we were actually there, here's Brett and me...

Brett with the Hudson River

Me on the Empire State Building

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Bunnies

Easter Bunnies
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
After spending the morning out and about in the freezing temperatures of a New York April, we headed into Chelsea for some lunch. Brett had found a recommended café/bar/restaurant in the gay guidebook that John Mc had given us as an engagement present so we went along and weren't disapponted. We had some lovely food, albeit in typically oversized portions (I cancelled my steak and eggs entree almost as soon as I saw the size of the chicken cesar salad they delivered for my appetiser!) The service was excellent and the place had a good, friendly vibe to it. I'd recommend it if you happen to be in town; the Food Bar on 8th Avenue between 17th & 18th Streets.

Here we see the staff enjoying the opportunity of Easter to dress up a little...

Pictures on Brooklyn Bridge

Liam on Brooklyn Bridge

High-Rise, Low-Rise

Brett on Brooklyn Bridge

Handwashing 101

Handwashing 101
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
On our walk around the southern end of Manhattan we stopped off for a warm drink in a Starbucks just off Water Street. Here's a picture of a sign in the toilets. I can understand that they maybe need to remind staff to wash their hands before returning to work, but I'm rather worried that they also feel it necessary to give step-by-step instructions about how to do it. It would seem that standards of parenting really are dropping if you can't rely on people having been taught as a child how to wash themselves!

Brett in Battery Park

Brett in Battery Park
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
Brett, somewhat over-exposed in this shot, waits for me to stop all the photographic mucking about in Battery Park, New York

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Brett and Tom

Brett and Tom
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
While we were in town, we met up with Tom, one of Brett's friends from his university days, who's now a writer/director in New York and has a play opening this coming June.

Times Square Overload

Times Square Overload
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
Times Square is just too busy to be enjoyed. Between the solid crowds on every pavement and the advertising covering almost every surface, you come away from it all thankful to have escaped from all the pressure, both physical and mental.

Central Park Scenes

Central Park Activities
Saturday morning we spent strolling through Central Park. It's a very popular spot for New York's joggers, cyclists and roller-bladers and we even saw a couple of roller-skiers!

Baseball Practice

More traditional pastimes were also going on and we spent a while watching baseball practice on the North Meadow playing fields.

Watchful Wildlife

There's also a large section of unmanaged woodlands where you can see quite a bit of wildlife.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Brett Sleeping

Brett Sleeping
Originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.
The trip over to NYC was quite pleasant - even with the three hour delay on the tarmac at Heathrow. We' had Club World seats which meant virtually our own private cabin we were so secluded. Here's Brett taking advantage of the flat bed that your seat turns into.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas at the Parents'

A couple of the better pictures from the Christmas Eve get-together with our old school friends first of all. Here are Pod and Phil,

Pod and Phil

and Sue and Kath.

Sue and Kath

And here's Brett and I enjoying Christmas Lunch with the family.

Brett and Liam

Agter lunch of course, you just have to have a stroll, so we had a wander around the park behind the parents' house. Here's my aunt Pauline with my mum and dad looking backs towards town.

After Christmas Lunch

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nativity Porn

Yes, I know; it's childish and immature... but you have to amuse yourself somehow whilst in the tea-break of your second Chorus rehearsal in three days.

Nativity Porn

If you can't see what I'm on about, ask yourself what that Wise Man on the left is doing (and whether the sheep should be nervous!!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dallas by Night

A couple of night time panoramas of downtown Dallas. Click on an image to see a more detailed version

Dallas Cityscape by Night

Dallas by Night

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New Camera - Day One

[As ever, click on a photo to see a higher resolution version.]

Get On With It
This one is Brett, sitting on a bench on Wimbledon Common early on a freezing November morning. (Enter what you think is going through his mind in the Comments!)

Brett and Tree
A warmer shot, a little later on.

The Sunday Papers
And finally, back home and enjoying the Sunday papers.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bah, humbug!

Bah, humbug!, originally uploaded by PhoenixUK.

It isn't even November yet and already there is lots of Christmas advertising on Oxford Street!

Bah! Merry fucking Christmas, soulless consumers, one and all!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Grange


OK, so above you have The Grange as seen from the cliff tops in Ramsgate. It's the building with the flag on. I managed to forget to take an external shot from within the grounds, but you get the idea...

You enter through this structure which leads you up to the porch.


Once inside you arrive in a double-height hall which unfortunately I don't have any decent photos of (my camera's lens just isn't 'wide-angle' enough to do it justice!). The main rooms of the house all lead off this hallway. Below you are looking from the Drawing Room into the Library,


And here looking back from the library towards the Drawing Room.



The above is a rather poor shot of about half of the Drawing Room, below is David setting the fire there on our first night and below that is Ping, later on that same night, taking his ease.



Here's the dining room; the table would comfortably seat ten.


Pugin was a devout Catholic, so if you are of a religious bent, there is a private chapel for you...


...not to mention you have a crucifix over the bed in Pugin's room and (not visible) a statue of the Virgin Mary!