Thursday, 12 January 2012

Ordinary Londoners - No 24 in a series

And this is Paul, who works in Hobgoblin Music, and part of the charm of the place. I asked if I could take his portrait - "only if it is in black and white" - my pleasure to oblige. He was making quite a good noise come out of the concertina. Fascinatingly it was invented by Charles Wheatstone, a Victorian inventor more famous to me for the Wheatstone Bridge (an ingenious way to measure electrical resistance). They don't make them like that any more.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ordinary Londoners - No 23 In the series

I've been very lucky over the years, at the Three Wine Men on Sunday I got to meet Oz Clarke, my wine hero. His attitude drew me into the world of wine - to quote from his website "Wine is all about pleasure, If it doesn’t give you a buzz, there’s no point to it.". His books about supermarket wine hurrrumph years ago made the journey accessible, and when I had the resources and the fortune to experiment more, I trusted his judgement more than anyone else.

Let's raise a glass to a champion Londoner, cheers Oz!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Ordinary Londoners - No 22 In the series

Danny Bent, ordinary Londoner. Yesterday, I told you how he is now trying to raise £1,000,000 for charity. Today, A bit of his background.

He's a teacher, who decided to volunteer to teach in India. He told his class he was going and one child asked how he was going to get there; he remembered teaching them about the need to choose "Green" options, and heard himself say he was going to cycle there. Which he then did, raising pots of money for Action Aid along the way. I came across his story in his book "You've gone too far this time, sir", which is an incredibly inspiring read.

As I've said before, there is no such thing as an ordinary Londoner, everyone has a story, everyone is special and you set your mind to something it is astonishing what you can achieve. If reading his book makes you think, I'd like to do something different, then why not be inspired and join him?

Friday, 20 February 2009

Ordinary Londoners - No 20 in a series

Shot with Olympus E520
The eagle eyed among you yesterday spotted a cove in a topper, that individual is Ray Frensham, today's Ordinary Londoner.

A Screen Writer extrordinaire, Victorian Stroller,blogger, Londoner and all round good egg he is just the sort of person this series set out to showcase: there is no such thing as an "ordinary" ordinary Londoner.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 19 in a series

Shot with Olympus E520
Josie Firmin is one of the artists behind Cosmo China and a Londoner to her core. It's not that often I get useful recommendations for pictures and places I hadn't heard about, but Josie gave me two - the Hunterian Museum (three days ago) and another - yet to appear. We chewed the fat for a while about living in the centre of town (I used to many years ago), how things have changed and yet remain the same.

You can see examples of the prodigious talent of the Cosmo China artists on their flickr pages.

The Ordinary Londoners Series is here. See where on London Daily Photo Map

Friday, 10 October 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 18 in a series

Shot with Olympus E520
James Michalos is responsible for the music and lyrics of the London Revue - did I mention yesterday that you need to go and see it if you can?

James teaches singing at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and his love and fascination for London comes through loud and strong in this production. Also, if - like me - you enjoy Musicals you will be fascinated by the way you can identify influences in the work from an astonishing range: from Rice & Webber through Gilbert & Sullivan, Bernstein, even Flanders & Swan and Sondheim. What's more, he does it well.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ordinary Londoners, No 17 in a series

Shot with Olympus E520
"I'm not a politician or a sociologist - I want to tell a story. The horror is within." The words of James Watkins, Londoner, writer and director of Eden Lake, a new film for which I attended a screening, I took the portrait during a Q&A session afterwards.

The film is not comfortable; if you have any quantity of squeam, you may be better avoiding it. But I think it is one of the best British films made over recent years for many reasons, not least because it makes you think. Written before the recent increase in newsworthy knife and gun crime it is now ferociously topical and confronts violence head on - just where you hope you will never be. From its start it suckers you into thinking you'll be watching an ordinary schlock horror film but there are masterful little touches that turn it onto a different track and create moral ambiguity that involves you in the plot. Think "Deliverance for the 21st Century, made in England" and you're pretty much there.

It's released on the 12th September, certificate 18. I'll leave you with another quote: "If you can't be thought provoking in a horror movie, when can you be?"

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 16 in the series

Shot with Olympus E520
Allow me to introduce you to Mike, a doorman at the Ritz and a Londoner through and through. Born in the East End, not a flunky, but a real human to welcome - you can see it in his eyes.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Ordinary Londoners, No 15 in the series

Shot with Olympus E520
When I was walking through Trafalgar Square last Saturday there was a festival of all things Korean (why do I suppose it was arranged pre BoJo?) when I came across Andy and Mikyond in Korean costume, who were getting photographed with the public. I looked at the way they were talking and realting to people, and I knew they were Londoners, sure enough I was right. I love my city.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Ordinary Londoners, No.14 in a Series

Shot with Olympus E510
Meet Sancha, one half of the driving force from the Arts Regeneration project, Gallery 491 that featured yesterday. It's people like this that make London the great place that it is.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 13 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
Today's Ordinary Londoner is Kais, a Bangladeshi, 21 in London studying law, and helping out in Express Packaging here. When I asked him what he thought of London he said "boring". What can I say? Kais, get a blog.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 12 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
The newest Ordinary Londoner is the demure Fanny. Her story starts in California, the current chapter is several years studying History of Art in Cambridge. She has taken London to her heart and I came across her selling her own hand made valentines in a market in Hackney. Do have a look and tell me, would you not be happy to receive one of these? I do hope that she did well.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 11 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
Today, I would like to induct Chris Paraskeva in to the ranks of Ordinary Londoners. Chris is a trader in Camden Passage, Islington and has been for the last eighteen years. He is a real Londoner in that he makes London both his home and his living. In days gone by, he would have sold bric-a-brac, these days, we call it antiques. I'll show you more of the market tomorrow, in the meantime, have you noticed I've added the ability to rate my pictures with a single click?

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 10 inthe series

Who do you think you are, David Bailey? (Recognise the line?) I conceived this series to create portraits of the people that make London the place it is. This time I think I may have stretched the boundaries of "Ordinary" still further than I did with Daly Thomson. Yes, this is David Bailey, the photographic legend. If you are not familiar with his work here are some links to images 1 2 3 and to more background information 1 2 3.

I met him as part of the launch of the amazing new Olympus E3, more about that over hte next few days.

Oh gosh, I hope he likes this portrait.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 9 in a series

Game on! Courtesy of London Open House I was among the first to go on a tour of the 2012 Olympics site, and I had the privilige of meeting Daley Thomson, Olympic gold athlete and all round good guy. He has associated himself with these games from the very beginning and has put his efforts into helping sport at the grass roots. This is a Londoner we can all be proud of.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say a few words to those who don't think these games are a good thing, First, consider whether your view makes you the sort of person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Then consider the simple fact: when the games are over and done with, you really are going to look very silly. Nothing personal, but I'm sorry, it's true.

Mr Geezer has been doing some stirling Open House coverage, my small contribution is tomorrow.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 8 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500
Akram, here, was part of a London Fire Brigade team who had just demonstrated the way they cut people out of cars. It was fascinating to see, and pretty fast, it didn't take much more than 10 minutes to do, all the while explaining what was happening. But, overheard from a lady with a few screaming brats <<"eastendaccent">> Well, you would have thought they could have prepared better and done all this beforehand <<"/eastendaccent">>

Akram really is one of my ordinary Londoners: originally from Afghanistan, now in Ilford Fire Station, he is one of the brave people who might just save your life one day. That's an Ordinary Londoner.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 7 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500
Part of the excitement of living in London is who you will meet next. Through the pages of this blog, I'd like you all to meet Mark Wydler, artist, musician, carpenter and all round good guy. I came across him as he was building a timber superstructure to a car at the Treatment Rooms (see last week). Asked what he liked about London, he told me that it's because in London you can be and do anything you want. How true.

Check out his art here.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 6 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500

In spite of recent furore over Cash for Honours changes since 1993 mean that ordinary people's efforts can be recognised by the system, so meet Dame Gill James, MBE, Assistant Librarian and all round good sort. She has worked tirelessly and selflessly for our community for years and years, and is a worthy and popular recipient.

You can nominate someone for an honour here.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No.5 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500
Say hello to Ray from Chingford. A bus driver during the day, his heart is always on his Triumph 750. He's been riding around to the Ace Cafe since before there were speed limits on the North Circular.

See where: London Daily Photo Map

Friday, 22 June 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 4 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500
How much do you enjoy your work? Let me introduce Claire, who adores her weekend work as a "meeter and greeter" at the London Wetlands Centre. During the week, she's a civil servant - I don't know how she feels about that. She loves the way that anything is possible in London, and hopes to earn enough money to be able to buy a better pair of binnoculars for bird watching.

See where: London Daily Photo Map

Monday, 11 June 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 3 in a series

Shot with Olympus E500
Let me introduce Nova Hughes, who kindly let me take her portrait outside Cellar Door, a trad jazz club that will be worth a LDP visit in the future. Born and bred in London she loves its diversity, the music and theatre. She's a singer, and will be performing there again this Thursday 14th (free entry!). Listen to her singing on hermyspace site and you'll want to be there, too.

See where: London Daily Photo Map

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No. 2 in the series

Shot with Olympus E500
You want to know how much people enjoyed the ballet last night? This is how much. Meet Lucy Smith, who lives and works in London, as a Policy Researcher, and thinks London is an altogether great city to be in.

See where: London Daily Photo Map

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 1 in a series

Welcome to "Ordinary Londoners", a new series of portraits and stories.

Meet Len. An ordinary Londoner, born nearly seventy years ago in Kings Cross, he's been a shoe repairer ever since he started work at 15. For the last thirty years he has had a shop in Woodford. He also told me the story of the man and the woman who came into his shop with the handcuffs that wouldn't undo, but I can't repeat that story here.

It's worth knowing he's here if you need your shoes repaired properly - there are very few left as talented as Len any more.

See where:London Daily Photo Map