Oh So Gran Canaria


These weeks keep on blitzing past and the path to my project seems to be even more rocky. It is hard to stay motivated and on it when there seems to be so many hurdles in the way.

I have not yet met anyone that doesn’t think the whole thing is a real goer and yet I can’t seem to get to meet the corporate men who hold all the purse strings that would be willing to back it. Still, I will not let it lie and I am determined to keep plugging away until someone eventually says yes and gets as enthusiastic as I am about it!

I now have much of the collateral I need to present to the potential sponsors and an advert that could be placed to see what the response would be so we are good to go in that regard. Lets keep fingers crossed to see what turns up next, you know what they say….all good things comes to those that wait!

Last weekend saw a few of us heading over to Gran Canaria for a few days respite in the sun. The purpose was to mourn the passing of singledom to a dear friend and that meant some celebratory british drinking. Now, those of you who have never visited this Canary Isle will not know that it has quite a rep for homosexuality. Not a problem generally and not a problem now other than the fact that several of our party were heterosexual and single and hoping for a spot of fun!

We arrived on time late Saturday afternoon and proceeded to head to the beach area to grab some food and a few drinks. We treated ourselves to a very very grand meal with Tom (one of the smaller members of our party) ordering a T-Bone steak that was every bit as big as him! The food was delicious even if we had to immediately top up the kitty we had just contributed to. The next stop after a tremendous walk (“I know this area and I know a shortcut, follow me”) was a bar with a guitarist/singer playing live. Now this poor fella was on a hiding to nothing given that we had in our party of 9 at least 5 members of various rock bands! This Spaniard was doing his level best but lets face it, he was dreadful and his classic slurred mix of spanish/english, blending like rock and jelly with his heavily over distorted guitar sound made for a very humorous evening! We headed for bed a little worse for wear but happy.

Next morning the guys went straight for the jacuzzi and surprisingly, mint absinthe! Now, anyone ever had that stuff neat? Well, my throat only just survived. We headed across the road for some well earned breakfast and then onto the “Jumbo Centre” to hunt out the “Glory Hole” bar. Luckily it was closed so we decided on a three hour marathon of crazy golf culminating in an easy win for yours truly with a devastating score of 50 for 17 holes! A truly amazing feat all told given the abuse and heckling being received as we slowly became more and more sun burned!

After more beers/rum/shots etc we decided to return to base and prepare for an epic evening. We went and grabbed some food at a livelier area on the front before being harangued by the Best Man to visit the “criminal area”. Off we set in taxi’s and arrived to a fantastic and tumultuous welcome from the 400 touts waiting for our business. Man those guys hassle hard! We decided to form a tactical defensive wedge and ran the gauntlet of abuse like “You Germans” and headed to Molly Malones, a haven of no hassle and 2 for 1 pints! Unbeknown to us, it was also a karaoke bar. Our night was complete. We trundled home, minus several members who had either bailed already or who were headed off for seemingly more debauched times. We arrived back at our base and decided to chat in a room and drink the vodka and rum we had purchased earlier. Needless to say the night of debauchery had by our two colleagues resulted in legging it from heavies in a rip-off bar which promised much but only delivered mini bottles of champers for £50!!

Our final full day was mostly spent strolling for 5 miles along the beach looking at the wonderful sights thrown our way by nudist beaches and the gay centre of the island. What was perhaps more interesting was that within only a few minutes, our party had become quite sanitised to the visuals and continued unbroken with our conversations even though we were seeing things we generally have never seen in our lives on this scale!

The evening past gently into night and more food and more beer and we headed contently to our beds knowing we had had a thoroughly brilliant time full of laughter and camaraderie that only guys away can seem to manage!!


Q peeking out a winner?


IPhone Sunset


Grants and Funding….


Have you ever had such a great idea that you are driven to see it through to the end? Well me neither until now….

Here I am, after having a busy week doing things I shouldn’t have been and now I have spent a solid day researching and getting no-where, I kinda wished I had stayed in my snuggly bed!

On Friday last I spent the morning taking ‘condition’ photographs of a local hotel for the owner. This was a simple but time consuming job that simply meant shooting each room from every aspect, inside and out so that images could be lodged with a lawyer as to the current condition of the premises. All this means that absolutely no processing could be done and that each image was available at max resolution.

This job was finished by Tuesday and then we hot footed it to our gorgeous friends up in Twyford in Bucks to finalise our plans for our VW T5 Conversion with Lyall and Dan from  Three Bridge Campers. Those guys are genius and we just can’t wait to get our “Poppy” back ready for full on Camping! We will post her new look when we have her back in May!

Yesterday it was up to Focus on Imaging in Birmingham at the NEC to see what was new in the world of photography. Interestingly, there were many new models and kit on show but for once, I wasn’t hankering after too much! I did get the opportunity to meet the new President of the Royal Photographic Society, Mr Roy Robertson. It was a pleasure to have the chance to discuss the future of the RPS after I had encountered so much negativity and darn-right rudeness from certain levels within the Society in recent weeks.  Mr Robertson gave up 30 minutes of his time and a cup of well earned tea to discuss his vision and aims and although we didn’t agree on everything, I have no doubts that under his leadership, the RPS will thrive and grow and start out on the path it needs to tread in order become the force it really should be during this most golden of hours (pardon the pun) of photographic history.

The show itself saw me briefly consider my coveted latest desire, a 400mm f2.8 monster lens, but I easily dismissed the idea due to cost and upcoming van conversion. Everything else on offer was not necessary or not of high enough priority. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III seems interesting to me but mostly only for the new focusing system and that in itself is not enough to warrant the £2k price difference between my current 5D II and the newer model…yet!

Today I have been trawling the interweb for grants, corporate sponsorship, and general ideas on how to take my latest project global (or at least national). I need to raise around £35k to complete the project and then a large amount more to take it around the country in a series of exhibitions and finally to print in a large format book. Finding somewhere for advice, assistance and support immediately sounds relatively easy until you encounter that oft difficult word, detail. As soon as you apply for an Arts Council Grant (who, incidentally, have been extremely helpful) you realise how much detail you require and I, currently, do not have all the necessary information to hand. It will likely take many months to get to the right plan to take this forward which is massively frustrating as I really just want to get on with the art itself, the taking of the pictures.

I have long realised that to get the volume of subjects I need will require extensive press advertising and therefore cost and I have already constructed an advert ready to print, I just need the funds available to take the next steps!

One thing is for sure though and that is when you know you have an idea that is worth pursuing, you shouldn’t just let it die because you encounter immediate difficulties. It is just a symptom of the old adages that nothing ever comes easy and all good things are worth fighting for!

Django the new and gorgeous Puppy in artist Jill Preston's world!