Monday, March 28, 2016


              Peter                  Bratislava              spring  2016

From 2004 I lived for a year in an apartment in a two floor house with a garden on Zvolenska street. It is one of a handful of streets named after cities, that some how have the feeling of being in the countryside. After a week of living there I came home one day to find my apartment flooded, I was ankle deep in water and from the wet ceiling I quickly realised it had come from my neighbours above, so I went upstairs and knocked at the door and that's when I first met Peter. Over the following months Peter taught me to speak Slovak on evenings around a fire in the garden. He spoke no English but he could draw which helped me to understand some things better. He was married and had two boys aged three and ten and a small dog, they all lived packed into a small two room apartment. The garden was a great advantage and in all seasons and weather we sat outside and talked about books and history or of his boys and what he imagined for their future. We grilled sausages and drank beer and my vocabulary grew.

Purely by chance I met Betka, Peters wife in the city last week and she invited me to visit them over easter, so yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening sitting under the old walnut tree in their garden, it felt as if ten years had passed in just a few months, the garden looked much the same but Symon was now thirteen and Matko twenty.  As we swapped stories in the fading light around the fire, I was once again reminded of how quickly time flies.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

the small things

My father used to phone me twice a year, to remind me that the clocks went either forward or back one hour. He talked about time in relation to its content, and what we do with it. I remember when I started to draw, his words of encouragement were that I should look at something more closely and see what it is and to spend more time looking than drawing. When I said to him that I wanted to take photographs, he smiled and said that pencils and paper were cheap, so I had better get a job and save up for a camera. He believed that if you wanted something, the time it took and the work you did to achieve it, were of greater value.

a gift from nature

                                                  full moon               christmas eve              2015

The love you feel for someone does not come only from your heart, just like the trees and birds or the oceans and stars, that love is also a gift from nature, and it too is timeless and mysterious. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016


                                                                                           Bratislava       2013

he waits,
his big hands fumble with the small mobile phone,
they are late,
he smiles.

we worked together 50 years
we meet in this basement every friday afternoon
we drink wine
we argue about politics and history
we boast of our children's achievements
we talk with pride about our grandchildren
we laugh together
we raise a glass for the departed
each year our number decreases
but we are friends
our friendship is a gift

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

for Sarah Kane

                                                                                                Bratislava           2004

we met in the street
I asked him what he was reading,
he said he had fallen in love with Sarah Kane.
we walked and talked about art and love.

she was English
she was innocent
she was fearless
she could dance
and she could fly
she was tortured
and she wrote about love
and about human survival.

we walked past the old Stein brewery,
I saw the heart on the wall
we smiled at our luck
he hid behind the book
I took the picture
we said goodbye
I haven't seen him since.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


                                               Bratislava           spring     2016

"if you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable"


Monday, March 21, 2016

random or with meaning?

                                                                   Bratislava          summer          2014

I very rarely photograph someone without asking permission but early one morning a few years ago I photographed this lady and her dog by the small lake behind the hospital in Ruzinov, I don't exactly know why I took the picture, I guess there was a quietness to them, they looked so peaceful and lost in thought it was as if the years together had brought them a connection and understanding. Recently I moved to the neighbourhood near this lake and a few days ago I was cycling past and actually saw the same woman and dog, I wanted to stop but then I thought, what will I say; that three years ago I took a photograph of you without your permission? No. Instead I made a print of this picture with the idea that as I now cycle by there nearly everyday, I might see them again and offer her the print in the hope that she might like the memento. Again I don't exactly know why but seeing them made me feel happy and I don't know if its random or with meaning, I do know that I also have that same question about many of the photographs I take.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

for my parents

                                                            Bratislava             spring               2016

Happy anniversary Barrie and Margaret married this day 53 years ago. I wonder if that is why today is such a beautiful day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

how we look at things

                                                             Bratislava            summer             2015

There is something about how we look at things and what we see that is unique, we see colours differently, abstract patterns on wet pavements reveal images as individual as we are, the shapes made by clouds as they dance gracefully across the sky, ever changing. Something is here, then it is gone, maybe we capture its essence in words and photographs in paint or in song, or perhaps just in memory.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

time the revelator

                                                  Sered            2013