Prompt and punctual Paloma Faith, Shepherds Bush Empire

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I went to a concert by London chanteuse Paloma Faith last night, playing at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. Paloma was prompt and punctual emerging on stage at the appointed hour. Wonderful.

Paloma Faith, concert at Shepherds Bush Empire

Starting the show shrouded in ostrich feathers, Paloma led us on a merry dance through a series of stunning sequined stylings.

Performing songs from her album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?, some courageous covers (Sexy Bitch by Akon) and classic ballads, Paloma kept the audience enthralled with singing full of character, emotion and charisma. She also proved to be a nifty, kooky dancer, partly slapstick, full of gusto and divinely delicious diva dance poses.

Paloma Faith, concert at Shepherds Bush Empire

Having started wearing a yellow catsuit (not many women can do lemon like Paloma) topped off by a shower hat covered in sequinned Carmen Miranda fruit, she changed into a black fabulously flowing frock with a fan hat and finished in voluptuos red Jessica Rabbit gown with mother-of-the-bride netting fascinator.

Finishing the show with the torch song New York, she left the stage as a true diva, individual, unique and adored.

Paloma Faith, concert at Shepherds Bush Empire

Vania Fernandes at Cafe Madeira, Vauxhall

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I went tonight to see 2008 Portuguese Eurovision singer Vânia Fernandes singing at a cafe in Vauxhall.

Vânia Fernandes, singing in Madeira Café Vauxhall

Cafe Madeira is one of Lambeth's many Portuguese restaurants and cafes - some of which I've visited before - with Vania performing to help raise funds for her native Madeira following recent flooding.

A baby christening party was in full swing at the cafe, so spirits were high when Vania took to the mike.

She performed several fado songs in a typical fado style, looking very fetching all in black, and entertained the crowd who were singing, dancing and clapping along.

I'm happy to report that Vania also took the time to coo at the baby who was being christened.

Sadly, she didn't perform her Eurovision song, Senhora do Mar - despite a middle-aged lady shouting at her to do so.

Vânia Fernandes, singing in Madeira Café Vauxhall

Vania happily posed for photographs after her performance, and minutes later left the building, while we were being entertained by Alexys and his accordion and his fun dancing songs.

Click here to donate to flood relief in Madeira

The Stationery Club

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I went yesterday to Stationery Club, a sort-of book club for those who like stationery. Yesterday's theme was notebooks, and it was all very interesting. I brought along my two lovely notebooks which have a map of Barcelona and a map of Milan on the covers.

It started off a bit English, no sign to say who they were, newcomers welcomed with bashfulness, and a sort of sense of being a bit silly.

But things soon heated up to a rather furious debate about Moleskins and votes on the best type of notebook - ruled, plain or squared paper, ring bound, stapled, glued binding?

I abstained from the voting - because I like all stationery - but it was heartening to see how animated people could be about stationery.

I also brought some notebooks which I have made from spare envelope paper and lovely map covers to do some 'market research' and see people's reaction to them. Happily, those that saw them were positive and enthusiastic, so it's off to etsy and folksy I go.

The People's Republic of Cork

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today is St Patrick's Day, the day I and millions of others celebrate being Irish.

But! Being from Cork is even more important than being Irish. Cork, or The People's Republic of Cork, is Ireland's independent capital, with the rebel spirit leading us on.

I took these photos in Cork several years ago for a photo-essay on the "People's Republic of Cork". People from Cork, and further afield, wearing People's Republic of Cork t-shirts, a trend embodying the city's unique spirit.

See the full set of photographs here.

Eoghan, from Cork, People's Republic of Cork
Eoghan, from Cork

Tina, from Cork, People's Republic of Cork
Tina, from Cork
Peter, from Cork, People's Republic of Cork
Peter, from Cork
Pierre, from France, People's Republic of Cork
Pierre, from France
Luis, from Portugal, People's Republic of Cork
Luis, from Portugal
Elaine, from Offaly, People's Republic of Cork
Elaine, from Offaly
Barbara, from Cork, People's Republic of Cork
Barbara, from Cork

Aerial photography

Monday, March 01, 2010

Whenever I fly, I always try to get a  window seat. I love seeing the earth from above, a whole different perspective on the world. I hope for clear skies, so I can take photographs, even with my modest camera.

I've taken more than 250 pictures over the past few years, and I'll be uploading the best of them to flickr for the next few weeks. There are about 150, so I'll just do one a day!

First up is an amazing shot of mountains in Russia, taken during a Tokyo to Paris flight 3 years ago.  I love the sense of wide open space in this.

Keep an eye on my From Above flickr group for upcoming photos

Russian Mountains, from above