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The Last Post

Bugler On The Tower Gate

The Last Post

The bugler stands in silent remembrance on the Tower Of London Gatehouse. We remember, we thank, we grieve, we wish it had been the War To End All Wars. We regret. We must change.

Bugler On The Tower Gate

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ShareMondays2018 – The Deep Shadows

Shadows On The Wall

ShareMondays2018 – The Deep Shadows

I went to the Tower Of London last Wednesday, to witness the commemorative sound and light display, Beyond The Deepening Shadows: The Tower Remembers by Designer Tom Piper and Sound Artist Mira Calix. Yeoman Warders, members of the armed forces and a team of volunteers proceeded to light the installation, gradually creating a circle of light, radiating out from the Tower as a symbol of remembrance.

Lighting The Torches It was so evocative, eerily beautiful and a thought provoking tribute to those who fought and died during the First World War. With an estimated 40,000 visitors watching on Wednesday evening, I felt lucky to have a view and was delighted to be able capture some images, so that I could portray the emotional impact that this event has had on me.

Deepening ShadowsAs the Yeoman Warders directed the many volunteers to their areas, I couldn’t help but think of prisoners of war, paraded in line, heads hung low, their steps measured and cautious. Under spotlight and the wavering flames of the torches, shadows appeared on the Tower wall. They could have been the shadows of lost soldiers. Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et Decorum est came straight to mind:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Shadows of RemembranceI felt like I was looking down into those dreadful trenches, transported into the past and standing witness to the extraordinary sacrifice of so many. The music was hauntingly beautiful, an extra dimension to this evolving installation. You can download it free HERE to hear the words of war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets to a Soldier in this specially commissioned piece of choral music.

The Deepening Shadows Of The TowerSet against the backdrop of the Tower with it’s own history as a palace, a fortress, a prison, a museum, with the walls covered in so much of the symbolism associated with wartime, this was a stark reminder of the tragedy of war. I want to say a personal thank you to the Historic Royal Palaces, the Tower Of London and all those involved in the production from it’s conception through to the final note, the extinguishing of the last flame. I was moved to tears.

Bugler

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The Sound Guy

The Sound Guy

The Sound Guy

When you go out to listen to live music, whether in your local pub, community centre or at a big arena, there’s more than just the musicians at play! This is Bern, he’s one of the volunteer interns who have been trained to play their parts at the Fiery Bird in Woking, as a sound or lighting engineer, stage manager, production crew, front of house for example. Bern isn’t new to sound engineering, running sound for The Loft in Basingstoke, assisting at various local open mics and for his partner, singer-songwriter Celia Barrett, at her performances. My hubby, Simon, has also been training with the new sound desk at Fiery Bird. I’ll stick with my photography, or “magic camera” as Celia refers to it! I just loved Celia’s reaction to a quick edit I did of this image using my phone and Snapseed. She shared the image saying “Bern takes real pride in getting the best sound for musicians and this photo reminded me that we should never forget to thank the Sound Guy. Thanks Bern”. Actually, it was the most liked image from the entire Acoustic Sessions set that I posted to Facebook. The Acoustic Sessions are a new, regular music night, hosted by Claudia Stark, local singer-songwriter and long time member of The Phoenix Cultural Centre (who run Fiery Bird). This and a monochrome from the sequence I shot of Bern were my favourites from the night too. Just something magic about the rim light from the simple desk lamp! I shall post the muted-colour image for this week’s WexMondays as a thank you to all the hard-working sound guys out there at music venues across the country.

The Sound Guy

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ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love

My little brother got married on Saturday! I have a new sister and she’s lovely. There’s really nothing else that comes close to this as a photo-of-the-week for me. That includes photos of birds and butterflies, I’ll have you know! All of them truly beautiful but THIS is the beautiful moment that I HAVE to share with you all this Monday, the looks of love and happiness as they shared their first dance. What more can I say really! Just that I’m so thrilled for you, Robin and Mo, I’m still buzzing from your wonderful WedFest and very happy that our family has grown once again.

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ShareMondays2018 – CAPTION COMPETITION!

Cian with parakeets in Hyde Park

ShareMondays2018 – CAPTION COMPETITION!

Three…two…one…GO!

Firstly, I must thank Cian for agreeing to let me use this candid image I captured of him, covered in parakeets, in Hyde Park on Friday. I hadn’t met Cian or his family before! If I am planning on posting recognisable images of complete strangers, I try my best to actually speak to them, get their permission and just explain what I am using them for. It’s a great way to start a conversation with people. Sharing a bond with wildlife is another fantastic ice breaker!

I was in Hyde Park, for some nature therapy, after a London Hospital appointment and followed the sound of parakeets toward what I assumed was a roost. Just through the trees a shady glade was filled with people, parakeets, laughter and smiles. Everyone was chatting and sharing bits of fruit or birdseed to offer up to the equally chatty parakeets. Hyde Park itself is a wonderful oasis in the big city but here, in this little glade, it was almost as if I had been transported out of London and into a jungle paradise. Here, within the city that never stops, where people are always in a rush, tempers are frayed and patience is just a card game, we all stopped and lost track of time.

I have so many different potential titles that I decided to throw it out there and see if any of you can guess any of mine! So here’s my challenge to everyone on WordPress and those also taking part in ShareMondays, Wex Mondays and the Fotospeed challenges. Gold stars to anyone who guesses correctly!

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ShareMondays2018: Sing

Hazel O'Connor

ShareMondays2018: Sing

The brilliant Hazel O’Connor, performing with Cormac de Barra, at the Farncombe Music Club on Saturday Night. She’s singing Rebecca to her lost but unforgotten friend. It was so very moving! I’m also entering this into this week’s Fotospeed challenge.

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Under The Spotlight

Julia K performing with The Diamond Hearts

Under The Spotlight

My dear friend and muse, Julia K, performing with her 80’s music band, The Diamond Hearts on Saturday evening. So much emotion conveyed in her performances! Her passion for the music she performs is palpable. The Diamond Hearts capture the hearts of their audiences wherever they perform! This high contrast mono is my entry to this week’s Fotospeed challenge. I hope that everyone out there is as entranced by Julia as her audiences (and friends!) are! If you would like to find out more about the band, or make a booking for an event please visit The Diamond Hearts

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L’Amour Looks Something Like You

The Masked Musician

L’Amour Looks Something Like You

You came out of the night,
Wearing a mask in white colour

Kate Bush from the album The Kick Inside

The mysterious, masked musician performing with the band Cloudbusting – The Music Of Kate Bush at the sold-out 40th Anniversary show, celebrating the album The Kick Inside. I promise to unmask this special guest in a write-up about this amazing concert that we went to on Saturday night. For now, I will add this piece of mystery into the Wex Mondays and Fotospeed photo challenges.