My...

Roma… Ti Amo!

I just can’t get enough of Rome.

Every time I visit, I fall in love with the place a little more. It’s just, right, as a city for me. It vibrates like a city should, it is stunningly beautiful to look at from almost any angle, and goddam I’ve never eaten so amazingly well in any other city including New York, Paris or London, and many other well-renowned foody cities. Rome is just a fantastic place, to be.

So anyhoo here’s a few shoddy snaps from what is easily becoming my favourite city-break and holiday destination, Rome.

PS – Excuse the black splodges on the photos. Think my phone must’ve acquired some sand back at Macarelleta Beach, Menorca earlier this year in May.

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“You are not a number, and don’t fucking forget it!”

The above quote, paraphrasing ‘The Prisoner’, is from the musical genius Steve Mason (previously of The Beta Band) as he finished his incredible set at Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales this weekend.

Steve’s fantastic gig was one of a number of highlights over this spectacular three day music festival in the picturesque faux-Mediterranean coastal town of Portmeirion in North Wales, previously used as the setting for the slightly bizarre 60’s televison series ‘The Prisoner’ starring Patrick McGoohan.

For me the other great performances over the weekend were Beck, Kelis, Candelas, tUnE-yArDs, and a rare glimpse of the Motown legend Martha Reeves performing classics like “Nowhwere To Run’ and ‘Dancing In The Street’. Beck set the main stage and the whole festival alight on the Saturday night, with a set full of energy, musical brilliance, and humour.

I’d highly recommend booking up early for Festival No.6 in 2015. After this year’s blazing success, it is shaping up to be the best music festival in the UK, in a setting which is definitely second to none.

Anyhoo, here’s a handful of snaps (and a video snippet of Beck) from my awesome weekend at Festival No.6 2014.

 

 

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2013 Photos – Streetcars Named Desire

Quickly throwing up this handful of photos from the past year which are roughly in chronological order I think. There are one or two that I especially treasure as memories from 2013, but mostly just snaps either taken or sent to me. The Streetcars title is a reference to the Todmorden taxi firm that I used extremely frequently over the Summer, so much so that I eventually didn’t have to give my name or destination when I called them.

It is definitely, definitely not in any way at all a reference to the Tennessee Williams play, or the character of Blanche DuBois, which was so cleverly portrayed in the excellent Blackshaw Head Players performance of the play this year.

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Andy Kershaw – No Off Switch

I’ve recently been lucky enough to have had the privilege of maintaining and developing broadcasting legend (and newly resident in Todmorden) Andy Kershaw’s website. Andy is someone whom I admire and respect a great deal, and he is also a bizarre one-degree of separation from so many of my musical heroes such as Bob Dylan, Joe Strummer, and Neil Young to name only a few.

The website http://www.andykershaw.co.uk has been evolving from the previous incarnation built by publishing giants Random House to promote No Off Switch, Andy’s incredible autobiography, and I’m extremely pleased with the way it’s heading. It is most definitely a massive improvement on that first website built by Random House, in terms of both presentation and ease of managing content.

Recently, I’ve added the ability for users to  buy and download Audio Book and E-book versions of the No Off Switch book, using a plugin which handles both the payment transaction and the fulfillment of downloads extremely well. Not that other content delivery channels are any less well suited, such as iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon, but the simplicity with which the book can be sold directly in either format, is definitely empowering for any artist or author.

If you’ve not read Andy’s autobiography yet, I’d highly recommend it. As would the hundreds of 5 star reviewers on Amazon. Andy’s experiences as a broadcaster and journalist make compelling reading/listening, and his journey is both fascinating and inspiring.

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My 2012 In Pictures

This is a fairly random selection of photographs taken by me plus a handful received from friends over the course of 2012. They’re in chronological order from my January trip to Alpandeire, through to New Year’s Eve at The 3 Wise Monkeys in Todmorden, stopping off at various holidays and events on the way.

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Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend Car Rally 2012

May as well throw up these snaps from the Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend Car Rally while I have a minute. Think my favourite find was actually the random Honda C90 Super Cub Scooter that was parked up outside the rally venue. The extremely popular Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend is held annually on Calder Holmes Park in Hebden Bridge.

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Photos From Verona & Venice May 2012

Been so busy with web design projects recently that I’ve had little to even think about posting here, but I thought I’d at least throw up some Hipstamatic snaps from my recent holiday in the beautiful city of Verona. Also spent a day visiting Venice too, which was stunning but a little too busy with tourists to enjoy properly.

If anyone is thinking of taking a trip to Verona, I’d highly recommend you stay at either the spectacular Il Sogno di Giulietta hotel or with the lovely Elisabetta at the fantastic Corte delle Pigne which is easily the best B&B I’ve ever stayed at. If you’re eating out in Verona, you will unlikely to be disappointed wherever you go, but be sure to check out the Michelin rated Osteria La Fontanina, the chic Osteria Sottoriva on the medieval arcade that runs just by the bank of the Adige, and the sublime Hostaria La Vecchia Fontanina. Oh, and the fabulous Trattoria Al Pompiere is also definitely worth a special mention here too.

Ciao!

PS – This Guardian Travel article has some great tips on where to stay and eat in Verona.

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Photos of Rome & Ravello 2011

Been so busy with work the past six months that I didn’t have time to get these holiday snaps onto this ‘blog’. Mostly pictures from around Rome and the amazing Vatican Museum, plus a few from places along the Amalfi Coast such as Ravello, Maiori and Sorrento.

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Photos from Alpandeire & Ronda in Andalusia, Spain

Am just back from a very chilled out trip to Alpandeire, a small and very pretty Andalusian village high up in the hills above Ronda in Spain. With a population of less than 200 at this time of year, the village was hardly buzzing, but that was exactly what I was looking for, and I was extremely lucky with the weather which was both sunny and warm every single day I was there. Looking out of my window back here in Hebden Bridge today, I seem to have brought a little of the weather back with me.

And muchos gracias to Soph, Evie, and Alonso for being such wonderful hosts while I was there. Disappointed I didn’t get a chance to get up to see the finca and help out with the yurts, but I might get back over to Alpandeire another time soon to check it out.

So here’s some (typically Hipstamatic enhanced) snaps of my time in Alpandeire, Ronda, and also a few of the neighbouring village of Júzcar, whose buildings were painted blue last year to celebrate the premiere of The Smurfs movie!

 

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Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend Car Rally 2011

Despite not being particularly interested in cars, one of my favourite annual weekend events in Hebden Bridge is the Vintage Car Rally, which is organised by the local Rotary Club and held every August on Calder Holmes Park.

Here’s a handful of Hipstamatic iPhone snaps I took at the event on the Sunday 7th August 2011.

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