Saturday, 30 December 2017

Wicker dam

Well this is typical of Britain. We used to do things well. Sheffield steel was the envy of the world, people would queue round the block for the chance to buy a nice nylon shirt from Marks and Spencer or a brand new Vauxhall Velox.

And now?

Now we try to keep lake water in place with a pair of wicker fences. 

It is this sort of woolly thinking that could lose us our Empire. You mark my words.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The tail end

The tail end of another year. Finally the days are getting longer. There's just by a minute or two extra to start with, but the improvement gathers pace through January.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Special Treat

It's no good.

I have scanned and scanned these special treats displays. 

I have yet to find one named "Avoid Christmas"

Friday, 8 December 2017


Here's a popular thing, this placing stones on top of stones.

I wonder. Was it ever thus? Did Neanderthal caveman and cave woman do this in their spare time? If you had walked this beach twenty thousand years ago, would you have seen this sort of thing?

Answers on a scrap of Vellum, please.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

One of those things

Every now and then I see something that merits a picture.

Moustakallis restaurant is just excellent. We've eaten here lots of times. The owner does indeed have a Big Moustache.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Old tech

Yesterday, here is your shiny new computer.

Tomorrow, it is in the skip, covered in leaves.

Strange how your new computer is no faster than any of the others you have owned and thrown away.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Bank of England

Have a look inside the Bank of England.

There's no gold. Where has all the gold gone? We sold it all and we can't afford to buy gold any more.

There is only piles of paper (and we can print as much of that as we need).

Does a bank need gold anyway? Does it even need paper? Maybe the Bank of England could just contain a computer with a number inside it.

Then we could make the number anything we want.

Monday, 20 November 2017


Just imagine living somewhere that was like this* every single day. Would it be wonderful, or would you pine for grey drizzle or a light frost?

*The Akemas peninsula, Cyprus.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Sale Day

There is a sale on at the local archaeology site. Buy two columns and get one free.

Monday, 13 November 2017


In a novel attempt to widen its appeal:

The Greek Orthodox church has introduced Happy Hour.

Sunday, 12 November 2017


Here's a lesson.

You can't build a large structure using gravel, plaster and hope.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Once upon a time politicians were pillars of the establishment. We held them in high esteem and accepted their leadership.

Times have changed.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Monday, 6 November 2017


Well, here's an honest statement from the world's first trillion dollar company. 

I wonder how much tax they pay?

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Friday, 27 October 2017


Here we have a student on the Estate Agent training course. She is facing the ultimate challenge. 

How to best describe a pile of stones and a tree with no local services.

Thursday, 26 October 2017


It is a strange continental thing, this painting your trees white.

Is this supposed to protect the tree from the strong Mediterranean sun? 

Does it just make them look pretty? 

Is it, perhaps, to mark out the road in rural areas with no street lighting?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Orthodox architecture

Greek orthodox churches seem to come in two varieties. You often find splendid examples with smooth stone facing and elaborate painting inside.

However in rural locations the structures are much simpler.

Something you will not find is large stained glass windows. This is an island that spends a lot of time keeping the hot sun out, rather than letting the light in.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Family Bakery

Hmm. The bread has been on the shelves here far too long. I think we will buy our lunchtime perquisites and comestibles elsewhere.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Morris, dancing

OK, it is actually an Austin A55.

This wonderful 1950s delivery van is living out an honourable retirement in rural Cyprus. Long may it rust in peace. Except it's so dry there that things tend to fade rather than rust.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Mediterranean colours

There is something very Mediterranean about this Terracotta colour, much used for Olive Oil containers in that region.

Friday, 13 October 2017


I'm glad I complained when we got to the hotel. I was able to get us upgraded to a better room.

Thursday, 12 October 2017


Our favourite hotel is proud of its eco credentials, but I suspect the grass lawn is getting ahead of the new lawnmower replacement.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Unfinished projects

A striking feature of the Cypriot landscape are the ubiquitous unfinished projects. Clearly quite a sum of money has been spent here, but work has come to a halt and all the construction equipment has long gone.

You see estates of villas where the roads, kerbs and lighting are all installed but there are no buildings. Why are there so many unfinished projects, where did the money come from, and why were they abandoned? 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Monday, 9 October 2017

Building standards

Cyprus is a land of architecture and antiquity. If you go searching for odd little rural details there is more than enough to fill your lens with the odd and the obscure.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Warm welcome

What is this?

I will have to ask the nearest Expectation Management Operative.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Monday, 4 September 2017

This is just plain wrong

What were they thinking? 

This can't be right. I bet if we went to France and tried to sell English champagne they would be all over us like a cheap suit.

Saturday, 2 September 2017


This weird modern right of passage has finally reached our town.

You and your betrothed engrave your names on a padlock, attach it to a bridge and (I assume) you throw the keys in the river as a sign of undying commitment.

If you don't have that sort of  commitment, then the humble cable tie is equally acceptable.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Hipster belt

Well beyond Uranus and Pluto, we find the Hipster belt where the planets orbit in eccentric circles and are more in touch with their inner beard.

Monday, 21 August 2017

We happy few

Ah, we English. We happy few, we band of brothers.

While Trump winds up a nutcase in North Korea, we are Morris Dancing in the street. 

In August. 

In the rain.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

On progress and beverages

Alas, progress has brought us the modern coffee shop and every high street is full of them. 

We gladly join the back of the inevitable queue to be served slowly and overcharged for strangely named coffee and a foreign biscuit by an intense young man with a Captain Haddock beard. 

I fear this same progress will ruin the lovely British tea shop soon.

Pictured: A Butter Betty with Grimshaws

That will be eight pounds seventy five pence please.

Monday, 14 August 2017

The vital peg

Once upon a time it was difficult to start the average family car. There was a special procedure in winter and a different method in summer.

You needed to pull out the Choke knob just so far and no further. You also needed to have a plan if this method failed to start the car. You needed to know when it was safe to push the choke in, because doing this too early could cause the car to stop in the middle of the road.

Worst of all, you would not wish the choke knob to spring back into place before you were done with it. The safest approach, and the universal one, was to pull the choke out, and fit a peg behind it to prevent any such problem.

It is nice to see these old traditions still upheld at classic car shows.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Mobile Home

Watching the canal as the narrow boats go by - at slightly less than walking pace.

Monday, 7 August 2017


I always suspected the neighbours were up to something in their garden shed with its smoking chimney and strange nocturnal smells . 

One day it exploded and all that was left were these part filled bottles of moonshine. Naturally we didn't say anything. Were British.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Back in the fiftes

Back in the nineteen fifties Britain was in the grip of post war austerity. Everything was in short supply and the government tried hard to raise the national morale in every way possible.

Clearly the 1953 Coronation was a great opportunity to lift the people's spirits, and this was the ideal event to showcase the new Television network. So the Coronation was the first National Event to be televised. 

However there was a problem. 

Industry was instructed to turn all the melted down Spitfires back into aluminium saucepans and wrought iron railing. Thus there were no materials left over for the emerging TV aerial business. This is why many of the earliest aerials were in fact made of wood.

This is a rare remaining example located close to Alexadra Palace.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Look out

To appreciate architecture, you must first learn to look up. To capture some forgotten nook or cranny you need to keep your camera with you.

So if you spend your time looking down at your smartphone and staying connected, you may actually be missing a lot of the world, actually.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Down tools

Lord and Lady Ordure faced a rebellion when they sacked Old Seth the under gardener. The remaining staff downed tools and went on strike.

Monday, 10 July 2017

After the party

The morning after Bill and Ben's* coming out party.

*You need to be a certain age...

Friday, 7 July 2017

Oh dear

Lord and Lady Goat-Botherer were devastated when Seth the much put upon gardener finally had enough and left without warning.

His parting comments written to his employers on the old wheelbarrow full of manure were not, however, repeatable.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Hove too

This is Hove. 

Not Brighton.

I am told that the proper name for this town is Hove-Actually.

"So you live in Brighton?" 

"No, Hove actually"

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Brighton observed

The bandstand on Brighton sea front attracts attention almost all day long. 

People get married there in the morning. People take selfies at sunset. And after dark, it lights up. Good value for money, all in all.