Tag Archives: London

MoonWalk 2017: I wore my bra with pride…

Breast Cancer, it’s horrible, so how could I refuse to do my bit, get my moobs, along with my spare socks, stuffed into a bra , and walk a marathon overnight to raise some dosh for charity? Plus Mrs P has already done 3 (marathons that is, including a running one – she’s a toughie…). Time to man up, stick my chest out and get marching…

I’m not quite sure what black fur bras indicates about my predilections for sexy lingerie, and damned itchy it was too. How do the girls do it every day…? But here we are at the beginning, full of positive energy and slight nerves, given that I had done no training whatsoever apart from walking the dog…

15,000 women on the night (plus some men – not many, but a few plucky ones) Many, many, many bras on show and all of them decorated but functional. That’s a lady queue below – you know what for – one of the distinct advantages I had on the night being a bloke…

 

And we’re off! Decent pace and no rain. All smiles and chatter for the first few miles… (girls gossiping whilst walking, it comes naturally). Lovely support from good friends – Great to see you Sus and Jenny, “wooohoo!” (that was the tone of the evening…)!!! And we are still going strong by mile 10.

 

By mile 16 blisters are arriving, chit chat has faded, and trudge-drudgery has set in. Thank heavens for hot chocolate at Sloane Square plus a few swigs from my hip flask. The restorative powers of Brandy mixed with Grand Marnier are remarkable…

OK, I look a bit knackered at mile 25. But full of joy at mile 26! The end in sight, and an overwhelming feeling of relief… that I could get that damned itchy bra off at last!

So that was my first marathon: 8 hours of blister inducing walking, trussed up in a bra, surrounded by gaggles of women who didn’t stop chattering until the dawn chorus took over. Not bad for a Saturday night!

(I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored Mrs P and me. Your generosity helped push us over the line. If you read this and you would like to contribute – we all know someone who’s suffered from this cancer – then don’t hesitate to click on the link and do your bit. Thank you!)


The Best Martini in the World, Dukes Bar, London

Now I’m rather partial to a nice glass of wine. But Roger goes whizzbang for a Martini. So to celebrate his birthday, Mrs Roger invited us to pay our respects at the home of the Martini in London, and drink the best at Dukes Bar in St James under the tutelage of Mr Alessandro Palazzi.

It is always a delight to learn from the hands of an expert, and Alessandro is an enthusiast, a connoisseur and a virtuoso. And Dukes Bar is the quintessential place for a Martini. This is where Ian Fleming came to drink, and Bond would have come to relax. Alessandro would have been behind the bar.

His secret of course is to have the best ingredients. Only the best London dry gin, English vermouth, and lemons from the Amalfi coast. Alessandro advice: Shaken, not stirred, is of course Bond’s take on a Martini, but the classic would never be shaken – the ice would dilute the alcohol. Bond was a rebel after all…

Now Mrs P’s favourite Martini was a Strangway – elderflower infusion, so…. lady…; but I think I enjoyed the Vesper the most: 3 parts No 3 Gin – frozen, 1 part Potocki vodka – frozen (Polish vodka – Fleming based Vesper on a real Polish spy, so Polish it must be…), 1 part Lillet Blanc, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters. A heady drink for an intoxicating character. Delicious. Deadly.

And the result? Much enthusiasm from the audience, and I haven’t seen Roger wobble quite so much on leaving a bar since he was a student… Bond, of course, would have remained ice cool…

If you get the chance, go to Dukes Bar, and indulge in the heady drinks of the Cold War: https://www.dukeshotel.com/dukes-bar/

 


But which ones to choose…?

Right, I need some help. We have a club competition coming up this week. A prestigious cup, no less, is on offer. The Bedwell Trophy, for the best panel of 4 images. And my problem is which 4 to choose….

Obvs they need to be themed, and I’ve gone for “Long Exposure at More London”. But I’ve got 5 images, and I can’t make up my mind. I only can take 4. Above is ‘Shard 1’, below is ‘City Hall’, I think they top and tail quite nicely…

But then there’s ‘Skyline Shard’ which is a good scene setter:

Finally, I have two more abstract-y images. Do I go with both, or just one…? They are ‘London Office Block’ and ‘Reflection’:

So, which should I choose for my 4? Anyone care to help me out? Have a vote below for which image to leave out?

(Remember to check out more of my photos on Instagram: thomaspeck or twitter @Peckster68)


Sharp lines and chiaroscuro in London and Rotterdam!

I have been having some fun converting  pictures! With the expert help of my friend Noel (check out his website here) I’ve been experimenting with luminosity masks, superior selections, and 8 minute sky exposures. Dramatic and I love it! Here’s London, looking sharp…

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And give me a Dutch bridge and this is what I do to it:

 

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Perhaps the most photogenic city for modern architecture however is Rotterdam, see below. And it’s got a fine modern art museum. Noel tells me his wife tells him that the shopping is superlative too. Excellent. Mrs P will have something to do on our next weekend away whilst I get on with the image making!

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London, Bikes, Nudes. Ah yes, it’s Saturday afternoon…

Now if I were in Germany I would expect this sort of thing. After all, the English Gardens in Munich is a traditional nudist spot, and a fine place for a beer too, of course. But in the middle of London…, just next to the Tower…, on bikes… It’s all a bit…, shocking!

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I was in town to take photographs of something completely different, and I heard a commotion – drums, whistles and so on, (this girl was having a good blast on hers…), and of course I wandered over to see what was going on.

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A demo, no less, and for some reason everyone was naked. It was raining, of course. But that didn’t put them off. Hey, if you’re going to get wet it’s better to have your kit off, I say! And it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, because we’re British and we are used to the rain anyway.

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This guy at the front of this tandem was rather half-hearted in my view. His rear companion had got the idea – shoulders covered, balls out.

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Bloody hell – here’s Eve looking for Adam! You can tell it’s a bit nippy though… I never did work out the link between bikes and nudism. And I don’t really see a logical link. It all feels a bit uncomfortable to me. Just like this chap below. I leave you with his bag metaphor, which sort of summed up a typical Saturday afternoon in London town…

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London shimmers with colour and light!

Now I’ve always associated Son et Lumière shows with France, but I think the Brits are catching on. London recently got all lit up, and the crowds loved it!

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Oxford Circus looked amazing with this colour cloud hanging above it. Shimmering colour shifting made it alive, extra-terrestrial! From the extravagant to the delicate: Dresses made out of strings of light. I loved this exhibit. And so did everyone else – the scrum in front of it was enormous – I had to use my tripod to beat people out of the way…

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I remember King’s Cross as a drug den and red light district (not that I partook of either…). Now it’s wall light painting and light diving sculptures. A spectacular improvement, obviously…

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Even the passers-by did everything to get lit up!

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Lumiere London – a huge success. It’s going to happen again next year for sure. Those French ways are crossing the Channel and we’re bigging them up in London. It just goes to show when you’re tired of London, you may well be tired of Life, as old SJ used to say…

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Pop goes pube!

I love a bit of POP. Whaam!!! “I’d rather drown than call Brad” and a Campbell soup can. And right now the Tate Modern is going for all out with The World Goes Pop, and I must say, in my rather British way, it’s all a bit porno….

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On the other hand who cares? It’s colourful and jolly. It reminds me of dear old Kenny Everett, fake boobs, long legs, a beard and “it’s all in the best possible taste”. And it is. Very Pop-py.

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Be ambivalent, stay cool, manufactured art has taken over the gallery, such is Pop. It’s all a bit of fun. Don’t take it too seriously! Have a good gawp and shocked withdrawalists can get over to the National G for serious stuff. It’s all a laugh, innit?!?!

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From Thin Lizzy to the Beatles…

I haven’t been to pub gigs for years, and now I’ve done two in two weeks (see last post). Just like London buses!

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This one was for charity (Streetchildworldcup.org) and instead of Irish folk and Thin Lizzy I was back in the 60s with  The Crap Beatles. (That’s not necessarily an ironic band title…)

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A good chance for a singalong you might think. After all everyone knows the songs… But surprising how rocky and hard core the classic Beatles songs can be when stripped back to guitars, bass and drums.

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The evening was made by the antics of the singer. He’s clearly in the wrong band. He’s got more in common with Roger Daltrey or Freddie than either Lennon or McCartney. His voice isn’t quite the same, but posing is his forte…

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A night impossible to forget… And some money raised for a good cause. That’s probably my last pub gig for some time. Get me back to the O2!

And colour crashes in!

And colour crashes in!


Spraypaint arty wildness in Shoreditch

“I need a photograph of the hedgehog in Shoreditch. You can’t miss it, it’s massive…”

Well, I’m not one to turn down a chance to get out the camera, and hey, this is almost a commission! So I head off to Shoreditch and get searching for the ‘hog. But this is Banksy’s back streets, so my eye gets caught by the wonderful graffiti and now I’m firing off shots in all directions…

Black tears

Black tears

Big nose

Big nose

Balaclava and shades

Balaclava and shades

It’s like an outdoor art gallery, full of colour, weird perspective and eyes that follow you everywhere. And this all on a dreary Saturday morning with the drizzle mizzling (come on Spring, hurry up!)

I'm watching you...

I’m watching you…

No, I'M watching you!

No, I’M watching you!

These two were hilarious – they stood there for ages reading the sign…

Be useful

Be useful!

This is of course trendy London. Uber-cool. Not necessarily my most natural haunt, but I do my best to fit in. (Not hard – 10am on a wet morning, the place is still deserted…). Red Indian isn’t feeling the cold however.

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Club Row

Naughty, naughty

Naughty, naughty

Grrr

Grrr

Scrummy Vietnamese lunch at the Boxpark Shoreditch (google it – fantastic idea) as I wait for the rain to clear. But hang on, I’ve forgotten something. What about the ‘hog? Where’s the prickly little blighter gone…? Hang on, What’s that? Aha! O yes, definitely a ‘hog, and blimey, he IS massive. Big as a double decker bus. Well, it is London…

Double decker hedgehog

Double decker hedgehog


Leica lusting

Leica shooting takes practice. Everything is different. Focus, hold, framing, timing – the whole lot. It feels unique, and it takes getting used to. All the more reason to cash in on a birthday gift and go out with John from the Leica Akademie, and shoot Soho.

The decisive moment...

The decisive moment…

Would I have taken this shot with an SLR…? Possibly. But enjoyed it as much. No. This one just feels such like a Leica shot, slap bang in that Leica tradition. Pre focus, set aperture and speed. Wait for the right moment and squeeze the trigger.

One for the wife.

One for the wife.

Rangefinders are fun. Framing can be tough, but they’re light, and you don’t look like a boastful camera geek with a massive lens stuck on the front. Slightly more subtle, refined…

The Stones are everywhere (awesome at the O2 on Friday!)

The Stones are everywhere (awesome at the O2 on Friday!)

The quality of the Leica image is superlative. It’s those biting lenses, in this case a 35mm Summicron. (My kids can’t believe you actually have to focus it yourself…. at that price it’s not autofocus?!!)

Window mannequin

Window mannequin

Mmm, does anyone actually phone from a box anymore? Or is it just advertising space for hookers?

Mmm, does anyone actually phone from a box anymore? Or is it just advertising space for hookers?

John had brought along a real treat. The brand new BW-only Leica. My lust knew no bounds. So the last pic is with the borrowed BW M9. I really really really need to win the lottery…

Hey, Maccas friends. May the Guardians be with you!

Hey, Macca’s friends. May the Guardians be with you!