Make Matalan Pay Up

29 July 14

Posted at 3:52


This is Moya. On 24th April 2013 Moya was seriously injured when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. 1134 of her colleagues lost their lives. 2400 were like Moya injured, many will never work again. Moya was a garment worker in one of the five factories housed in the Rana Plaza. They made clothes for Western retailers. They made them for a pittance soWestern retailers could maximise their profits. The result was unsafe working conditions and this terrible tragedy. Most of the 20 plus retailers who sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza manufacturers have made payments to a compensation fund to help the survivors and the bereaved families. MATALAN a British Company has failed to make the payment of £3m they are required to inder a compensation agreement. Yesterday their managemnt said "we are feelimng the pressure but have not yet decided to pay".

Feeling the pressure??????? Think of the pressure Moya felt when her leg was crushed. Think of the pressure she and her family are under without work in one of the poorest countries in the world. Then think hard before yopu ever spend a penny with MATALAN. They have now just 48 hours to pay or the funds will never reach those it is intended for. This tragedy happened 15 months ago.

Boycott Matalan, urge their management to think again, comment on their Facebook page .

I went to Savar last year. I met rescuers, survivors and the bereaved. I visited the site. This short film I made tells more  Twenty Days Later


Come on Matalan PAY UP.



28 July 14

Posted at 10:31

Tarifa 1

Tarifa is the southern most point in Europe, just 15km away from Morocco across the Straight of Gibraltar. It is the point also where the Med meets the Atlantic.

Tarifa to Tanger

It is a gateway from Europe to Africa with ferries going to and fro regularly.

Tarifa Street

It's not exactly a Pueblo Blanco like the towns I've mentioned previously but I guess it once was. The historic quarter is somewhat dwarfed by understandable development to cater for holiday makers and some industry. Having said that the development is sympathetic, not high rise and so far not excessive.

Tarifa Street 2

We spent a few days there staying a couple of kilometres out of town at Cortijo El Pozuelo.

The Garden

Cortijo El Pozuelo is a haven. Set amongst a group of smallholdings on the edge of the beach this one has been converted to a bed and breakfast with a difference check it out  cortijoelpozuelo

Tarifa and the area around Cortijo El Pozuelo in particular is a centre for kite surfing

Cortijo El Pozuelo

When the Levante blows the skies are filled with kites on the end of which are surfers of every level from novice to expert

Kite Surfing 3


Kite Surfing 1


Kite Surfing 2

From Cortijo El Pozuelo there is a boardwalk that runs all the way alongside a stretch of magnificant beach to Tarifa and they even provide you with bikes as a B&B service

Tarifa to Morocco

Here you can see Tarifa, it's lighthouse and in the background Morocco.

The Beach


Morocco Sunset

Above a view from further up the coast at La Duna, the setting sun picking out the Mountains of Morocco.

below La Duna earlier that evening.

La Duna


Oranges and Lemons




Conil De La Frontera

21 July 14

Posted at 6:42

Arriving in Conil after a few days in the mountains was something of a culture shock.

Conil De La Frontera

Conil is a pueblo blanco for sure. It is also a beach resort. It is where the folk from Seville and Madrid come to be by the sea. It is also where the young from those cities come for hen and stag dos!

Stag Party

But that should not put you off. Somehow young families, older familes, clubbers and stag and hen dos and every type of person in between rub shoulders and do their thing harmoniously. There are around 350 bars,restaurants and clubs in this fairly small town. There are miles of golden beach which near the town get well occupied from late afternoon until sunset (curretly around 9:30 pm) but you can always find acres of space after a walk along the shore.

The Beach

If you are feeling energetic before dinner you might walk to the watchtower about a mile and a half along the beach.

Conil De La Frontera watchtower

Not the most popular idea though!

If things get hectic in Conil (and they can) you may take some respite a short drive away in Verger.

Verger De La Frontera

Conil appears to be dominated by the Spanish it is as though it is their sercret resort. Verger though has a smattering of other European visitors - not enough to be obtrusive.

Verger De La Frontera

You may be lucky enough to find the locals at work. How many Spaniards does it take to deliver a fridge freezer to the third floor? In this case eleven and the job is not yet complete.

Wind Turbines



Farewell Grazalema

19 July 14

Posted at 3:31

We left Grazalema on Friday to head for the Costa de Luz. On the evening before when the sun was going down we took a hike up to the dam that overlooks the town. And indeed ensures its' water supply.

The Dam

It took about 30 minutes to reach the base of the dam then just a case of climbing the steps.

Dam from Above

Lokking down not a good idea if you suffer from vertigo.

Behind the Dam

Behind the dam it was more tranquil and a fair few degrees cooler than down in the town - still pretty hot though even at 8 in the evening.

Grazalema from the base of the Dam 

Looking back from the base of the dam to Grazalema. I will come back here again - probably earlier in the year so it will be possible to walk some of the treks in the surrounding mountains.Although I'm still miffed that we won't be here on Monday for the annual bull run (for someone who spends their life at the moment doing research I dropped off regarding this trip!) On Thursday evening (well the early hours of Friday) the fiesta leading up to the bull run commenced with the opening of the funfair. I had a little play using long exposure and rear curtain flash to record the movement. Might have done better had I not been consuming Rioja for most of the evening!



Bumper Cars

Bumper cars


All the fun of the fair.


Alas No Vultures

17 July 14

Posted at 5:34

As promised yesterday evening I set off to Zahara de la Sierra to photograph Europe's largest colony of Griffon Vultures. The route I chose from Grazalema was the most direct but also no doubt the narrowest option with the most hairpin bends. Fortunately I appeared to be the only vehicle on the road.

Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra was another Pueblo Blanco. However on the way there, across crags and mountains, and in a scout round the area I spotted not a single vulture. Wrong time of day? Who knows. Howver I did enjoy the magnificent views on the return journey.

Lake Zahara

The lake from Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara 1

The sun going down brings the grass to life.

Zahara 2

Even more so in this image.

Back in Grazalema this morning I did come across a flock of birds - not exactly a colony of vultures..


...but what I think is called a murmurations of starlings. I did actually spot a solitary vulture too high to photograph with the lens I had with me this morning.

Tomorrow I'm off to Conil de la Frontera - via Cadiz



16 July 14

Posted at 3:41

Arrived in Grazalema 24 hours ago. A very nice town situated in the centre of the Sierra de Grazalema nature park.


Grazalema - this is a view I took last night on the way up a tricky path to a deserted ruin of a Hermitage overlooking the town. More or less in the centre of the photo is the main municipal building and police station (three arches).

Town Square

And above is my view of that same building as I sampled the local breakfast this morning. A few things have struck me since arriving and spending time wandering the streets and sampling everything that is on offer here. What strikes straight away is how clean and orderly the town is. Although something of a tourist destinantion this time of year the tourists are relatively few and predominantly Spanish. The town has its industries, wool and leather goods, honey and a few factories. There is little evidence of Spain's infamous unemployment here but there again a complete absence of employess anywhere who are not Spanish (unlike many of our towns). Another thing is the total absence of global/American chains - not a Starbucks, McDonalds or KFC in sight - how refreshing!! There are though a wealth of traditional local foods and beverages on offer - and if you don't like that you had best go 50 or so miles East to Marbella et al where you can savour Little England, Holland and Germany serving their own favourites under in the Spanish sunshine. Personally I'd prefer to hang around here.

Sweeping The step

An old lady sweeping her step earlier today - everyone here seems to have a pride in their town.


There are plenty of pet dogs around but no evidence of them left behind on the spotless streets (again refreshing).

Pueblos Blancos

The town is a striking example of many white housed towns perched in the mountains in the region. They are known as Pueblos Blancos.

Bull Run

Grazalema is famed for a number of ancient festivals. This bronze depicts one the Fiesta Del Carmen Y Lunes Del Toro De Cuerda. Which I believe translates loosely as Bull Running Monday and is held on the third Monday in July - which happens to be in five days time. The town is preparing for it now with steel gates ready to mark off the routes for three bull runs that will be held throughout that day. I am thinking of coming back here to witness it - will have to see. Well I'm off for a siesta now before venturing up the mountains to Zahara de la Sierra where I hope to find a large colony of Griffon Vultures to get some snaps of.


Glastonbury 2014

04 July 14

Posted at 10:06

After a break of two years I was back at Glastonbury this year arriving in good time on the Wednesday, along with around 100,000 early birds. At least it was dry and sunny on the first day!

Sunset Day One

I spotted this bear at sunset on the Wednesday - I assumed  he was either looking for or trying to avoid James Hetfield!


On the Thursday the party starts to get going although the official line up is still 24 hours away


These folk are getting relaxed with some yoga in the healing fields.

Then it is Friday and I'm off to the Glade to see Alabama 3

Alabama 3

and what a great start that was albeit somewhat early

Rev D Wayne Love

Alabama 3 Rev D Wayne Love

Biggles Wartime Band

quickly from the sublime to the ridculous with Biggles Wartime Band

and as I left their set I bumped into this old fella..

Michael Eavis

Michael Eavis


Rudimental were for me one of the highlights. Unfortunately their set ended abruptly when a massive thunderstorm resulted in power being cut from all stages

Sunshine After The Rain

Sunshine came after the rain resulting in this natural phenomenon. I wonder how many of these guys captured it...

Music Photographers

Well I didn't have a press pass so had to be content shooting bands from the crowd. Despite torrential rain through the whole of their set I got a few nice images of

Gabriel Winterfield 

Jagwar Ma on the Park Stage

Jack Freeman Jagwar Ma

Jack Freeman

Gabriel Winterfield Jagwar Ma

Gabriel Winterfield

Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma were one of my favourites this year, saw them twice. My other highlights were Arcade Fire, Jungle, Rudimental, Bryan Ferry and Alabama 3 and Kasabian. Although I rate them highly I was a little disappointed with Elbow.

And then of course there was Arcadia which seems to be creeping closer each year to where I pitch my tent.

Arcadia Spider

The Spider - Arcadia