Roxette Concert, Beijing

Roxette, Beijing 2012

Last post of the year.

I was sorry to read of Marie Fredriksson’s passing on the 10th December. Apart from their chart hits (which aren’t always a real reflection of a band) I didn’t know much about Fredriksson or Roxette.

My wife however, who is younger than me, is a big fan. So when I heard that they were doing a tour including China, I got some tickets for the Beijing show.

In my mind’s eye, I imagined a nice cozy venue, but it turned out to be a huge stadium, which was absolutely full. With a long lens, this was as close as I could get. Anyway, it was a good evening, as they went through their songbook – and my wife was able to sing along to all of them (which was unexpected).

Greek Columns, Ho Chi Minh City

Greek Columns, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2009

Some cities are about bicycles, some are about cars and others are about motorcycles. Ho Chi Minh City is in this later group. You see whole families balanced on top of one machine, farmers carrying produce to market and sometimes Greek columns – probably for a Greek restaurant- carried on the back of a motorcycle .

There is was a book published on this theme “Bikes of Burden” (by Hans Kemp), but I think it spawned quite a few imitators.

River, Vietnam

View of River Through Clouds, Vietnam 2009

On the road at the moment – so this strikes a chord. I don’t enjoy flying, but I do enjoy looking out the window. I believe Julianne Kost (a well-known Adobe person) is the same – I enjoyed a book of her aeroplane window photos.

When I was young, I used to watch aeroplanes flying overhead, wishing that I was on them (this was the 70s – they were probably quite nice). Here I wish I was on the ground, walking through the jungle.

Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong 2010

For almost the first 30 years of my life, I didn’t travel very far at all. What is even worse, was that my best friend from university lived in Hong Kong and every time we spoke, I would imply that it would be nice to visit – but I never did!

Which is all a shame, since now it is one of my favourite places to visit when I have any spare time.

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong 2010

Before I went there, my mental picture of Hong Kong was of skyscrapers and densely packed humanity. While this can be true, there are also dense forests and steep, rocky hills which overlook the development below.

Grocer, London

Ragbir, Ealing, London 2003

Sometimes, life fits into phases. My London phase was marked with frequent house moves and fleeting acquaintances. But for a time, Ragbir ran my local shop and we quite often had little chats as I came in to buy odds and ends. He e was a laugh. And then one day, he said he’d had enough of early mornings and was selling up. Another family bought the place, but it wasn’t the same.

Morris Men, Wokingham

Morris Men, Wokingham 2017

This is an example of a “found” photo, I was walking to the supermarket, when I came upon these men dancing outside my local pub. The UK can be like that – nearly everywhere is.

If I were to give this a little more time, I would like to bring the sky in a little more, since it was twilight and it would give a truer impression of what it was like.