Finding Wales


Having the time and the freedom to just pick up sticks and roam is one of my joys in life. Time to visit places, which are in easy reach, but often escape that visit. Now having the privilege of a work-life balance to indulge there is no excuse. Wales in such a place, I’ve visited Cardiff on many occasions, spent time exploring the beautiful Brecon Beacons and ventured to Newport to visit colleagues, but her coastline has remained a mystery until now. My first steps are the Conwy Bay towards the Conwy Morfa, which shapes the south side of the estuary of her river. From members of the night fishing community standing patiently in cold waters to the long dog walks along unspoilt beaches my first steps are unlikely to be my last.

They Knew You Were Waiting

Friday night treat and a visit to the Louisana, Bristol to catch David Ford and Beth Rowley perform live. I must admit to a soft-spot for a songsmith and balladeer with the likes of Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, etc being a constant feature in my adult music collection. I make no apology for rating Ford in this league. I’ve been a fan since stumbling a cross his 2005 album I Sincerely Apologies by pure luck in 2007. Beth Rowley, I’d come across intermittingly given her Bristol roots and her debut 2008 album Little Dreamer. Class acts separately they have the confidence and talent to make the craft of song feel easy while poignantly striking at your very rib cage. Ford and Rowley wove their respected sets together perfectly. Ford providing instrumental support to Rowley’s opening set and Rowley joining Ford for a number of duets. Finishing off with their “none-encore.” A reduced to its bones version of George Michael/Aretha Franklin “Knew You Were Waiting for Me.” Based on last nights performance one can only hope that more formal recordings and releases are in the pipeline. Dates for the remaining UK tour can be found here.

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Amavel Vitorino

A photography I took while visiting the Museum of Aljude: Resistance and Freedom in Lisbon last week. Graphic composition by Paulo Andringa Caldeira of Amavel Vitorino a shoemaker from Mora, Portugal, made with the faces of political prisoners. Vitorino was arrested in December 1940 for making “unpleasant comments on the current political situation of the country and its leaders.”

Igreja de São Domingos, Lisbon

First dedicated in 1241 and was, at one time, the largest church in Lisbon the Igreja de São Domingos was devastated when a fire broke out in 1959. The fire, which killed two firefighters, took more than six hours to extinguish and completely gutted the church, destroying many of its paintings and statues. In 1994 the church reopened with the restoration work leaving intact many signs of the fire. The church was also damaged in the 1531 Lisbon earthquake and almost completely destroyed in the 1755 earthquake.

Its Architectural style is baroque (Portuguese term for a pearl) a highly ornate and often extravagant style, which flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the late 18th century. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture.

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