Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The last desolate coast

On Saturday I went down to Essex, for two reasons; to see my father and to visit the sea shore and gather such material that the time might grant. We went to Tollesbury, on the very edge of the coast some 70 miles East of London.

I have been before. It was the need to connect that impelled this visit.

From the Tollesbury village it is about 5 minutes by car to the water's edge, now grandly called a marina. Fishing boats moored or quietly decaying or being perhaps refurbished with all the paraphernalia of fishing and sailing is littered everywhere. Each item makes its own picture. I selfishly gathered material, a few drawings and many pictures.

Thence out of the harbour, up through the village, stopping at the bread shop for two iced-buns and out onto the coast abutting the farm of John Seabrook.

On the farm we walked along the sea wall, fabricated from bright rusted iron sunk deep deep into the land to hold back the sea. This deserted small area of Essex coast where the occupying Romans would sink their amphorae into the mud to collect the sea and evaporate it into salt. The water was to high to collect the shards of their pottery which are so plentiful at low-water.

The light was flat a leaden sky spread flat upon choppy sea and May-green corn land. Wind from off the sea chilled us and made re-gaing the car a pleasurable moment.

The last special place.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Happy Monday, check your diary

Yesterday when visiting my father in the badlands of Essex I saw this not five minutes walk from his house. Truly, the Only Way is Essex.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Wunderlust Magazine Interview

To be published soon

World According to.... Tim Baynes

Mountain/desert/jungle/ocean which are you?

Ocean – some of my best drawings are done on the water

First travel experience?

1970 - a 40 minute trip on a hovercraft with my Uncle, a member of the BBC Engineering Club

Favourite journey?

My first trip to Istanbul

Top 5 places worldwide?

Japan, Seattle, New York, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong

Special place to stay?

W Hotel Mexico City – you can lie in a hammock stretch across the bathroom, shower and look out on the city all at the same time.

3 items you always pack?

Moleskine Notebook, Pilot pens and a date stamp (dating my drawings is my OCD

Passport stamp you're proudest of?


Passport stamp most like to have?


Guilty travel pleasure?

A visit to the local post office

Window or aisle?

Aisle, easier for the washrooms as I get older

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

Someone who opens a conversation, tells a good story or talks about themselves and then shuts up

Best meal on the road? Worst?

Dim Sum in Hong Kong, Worst? : Anything Korean (sorry Korea)

Most surprising place? Seattle and its beaches

Most disappointing?

I have never been disappointed by anywhere I’ve been

Where do You NOT want to go?

There are No no-no’s on my list

Who/what inspired you to travel? Microsoft – they gave me the opportunity to work with sales teams across the world – I am very grateful and privileged.

Any travel heroes?

Evelyn Waugh (his wonderful observations)

Lawrence Durrell, reading any of his work is like sitting out in the hot sun

What do you listen to on the road?

Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar to be ‘back home in Blighty’ and any House/Old School to be back with my daughters

Any song take you back to a particular time or place?

When love takes over (Kelly Roland and David Guetta) reminds me of Ibiza and a couple ferociously arguing on a beach very early one morning

What do you read?

Waugh, Durrell and Poems by Thom Gunn

Is there a person you met while travelling who reaffirmed your faith in humanity?

Air crew and cabin staff across the globe.

Anyone who made you lose it? My first strip-search in Canada (I mean my first strip search, which was entering Canada J)

What's the most impressive / useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

‘Arigatou gozaimasu’

What is your worst habit as a traveller?

Always trying to open up a conversation then wanting to close it down when I have had enough (!)

Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?

A game of name your five favourite movies and why, then books, then poems, then music tracks

When and where in your travels have you been happiest?

That 10-second moment when you cross the threshold of the plane home and the cabin staff give you a tiny smile (now you got me in tears)

What smell most says 'travel' to you?

My purse of Euro’s they were stored in a damp drawer and smell musty

Given a choice, which era would you travel in?

Today please. Thank you

If you could combine three cities to make your perfect metropolis, what would they be?

Tokyo, Rome, Sao Paulo

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The end of year show

There was a large crowd and lots of chattering talent at the De Montfort (Leicester) Art Foundation Show 2011.

It was another one of those proud father moments and happily my enthusiasm for Bron’s final work was un-dampened by the wine having run out before my arrival. As ever, at a really good show, other people’s work fascinates and inspires me, so I walk away (to a meal at Chicken Nandos) with a few good ideas – to incorporate in my printmaking work.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fran's Tea Garden

Cycle chum Ricardo and I have one particular route for a monthly ride that takes us past one of the most wonderful teashops in the county of Buckinghamshire and the World: Fran’s Tea Garden. Fran also, I might add, offers a wonderful range of chutneys - not to be missed if you are in the area of Denham on the Grand Union Canal.

Only a short while before these pictures were taken I narrowly escaped falling into the canal having hurriedly braked to give some walkers the greater benefit of the towpath!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


I was lucky enough to go to the open of Fragments on Thursday evening at The Circus Gallery in Marylebone High Street.

This exciting show was introduced by curator, artist and stitcher Adriana Paice and poet Ri Pierce-Grove. They gave an enchanting talk about their collaboration. These talented people have created a series of digital textiles which respond to attention by whispering poetry to you as you pass each work. The pieces are very inspiring filling me with the beginnings of an idea for my show in October. THANK YOU BOTH

Full story is here: www.adrianapaice.com

Fragments of the work

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The quest for great coffee continues!

Just off the Tottenham Court Road, a minute's walk from Fitzroy Square, is the wonderful The Old Dairy Cafe, 35 Conway Street. Wonderful espresso, great service and reasonable prices.

Here is the link http://www.theolddairycafe.com

Monday, 9 May 2011

Martyrs on the Hill

Up the hill to Amersham on a fine Saturday afternoon. Walking on a path, through sown wheat up Amersham Hill to the monument erected in the 1930's to commemorate the 'Amersham Martyrs burnt 100 metres from the spot where the delightful '30 edifice stands. Larks in the air and clouds scud across the sky.

From the Amersham web site
The memorial was built to commemorate the Martyrs who were burnt at the stake in 1521. The Reformation had some roots in the Amersham. Prior to the Reformation, Lollards were condemned by the Church for such actions as reading the Bible in English and meeting and developing their own ideas.

As punishment and to deter others, 6 were burnt at the stake high above Amersham, so the flames and smoke would be seen by all and act as a warning. The daughter of one of the martyrs was forced to light the fire.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Driving in Dresden

We caught up with close friends Chris and Liz, part of which included a photo tour of Dresden from where they have just returned. When they are out and about both have a keen photographic eye and this picture caught my imagination!

I of course visited the website and downloaded this picture of happy employees!