Skip to main content


The lack of light and heat through the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere means we just have to accept being indoors more. I quite like this time especially having an open fire and getting a big jumper on. Also post Christmas there are usually some good books to be read. 

2013 was the year I rediscovered poetry, which took me by surprise, triggered by a visit to Hull and reading Philip Larkin's work for the first time. Since then I've got my hands on a 20th Century Poetry Anthology, Philip Larkin Collected Poems and a book called What W.H Auden Can Do For You by Alexander McCall Smith. These have all helped me to understand the power that can be packed into a few short stanzas. It has come as a revelation to me that a poem can help interpret the world around us in a similar way to photography, suggesting layers of complexity and providing alternative readings of the everyday. I like being thrown an idea or concept that becomes a new framework through which to see life, which is more or less what I try to do with photography. 

The title of this blog entry is a reference to a poem by Larkin called MCMXIV, his being 1914 in Roman numerals, mine 2014. Although he wasn't born until 1922 he would have felt the huge impact of the First World War as he grew up and so I understand this poem to be about everything changing in 1914. I've thought before that we are often fascinated by the era just before we were born, a place out of reach that our parents talk about but we can never experience. So one hundred years after the start of the First World War, here is Larkin's poem read by him:

If you are interested here is my previous Larkin related blog post:

Home Is So Sad

Here is my own first stab at writing a poem as an adult and not under duress in an English class:



Popular posts from this blog

A Lovely Pair of Pins

I knew the expression 'pins' referring to legs but had to Google what the Cockney rhyming slang comes from. It looks like 'pins & pegs', but there are some great alternatives like 'bacon & eggs' and 'dolly pegs'. I think I might start trying to incorporate more Cockney into my everyday speak, I do have London roots but they are more South  (Saff)  London than East London, where I think it originates.  Anyway this is all to illustrate a new picture that sits quite neatly with an older picture. So brogues, legs and a sea view from my two main muses. This might be turning into a set...  Oh by the way the top view is Morecambe Bay and the lower image is from The Wirral looking across towards Wales. The North West of England is a beautiful place, with some stylish residents. 

Liverpool Periphery

L1 City Centre L2 City Centre L3 City Centre, Everton, Vauxhall L4 Anfield, Kirkdale, Walton L5 Anfield, Everton, Kirkdale, Vauxhall L6 Anfield, City Centre, Everton, Fairfield, Kensington, Tuebrook L7 City Centre, Edge Hill, Fairfield, Kensington L8 City Centre, Dingle Toxteth L9 Aintree, Fazakerley, Orrell Park, Walton L10 Aintree Village, Fazakerley L11 Croxteth, Clubmoor, Gillmoss, Norris Green

Hold Your Hair In Deep Devotion

At last after a week of being indoors, I walked into the light! I went solo and had a photography day in Liverpool, just what the doctor ordered, as they say. I'm a bit out of words at the moment and was going to include a Philip Larkin poem, but I've been thinking that Alex Turner is my modern day poet hero and this is my favourite track on AM, tucked away at the end. He's in his twenties and yet the words suggest a time before he was born, filling my head with images and memories. I've included a link to the track if you want to listen to The Arctic Monkey doing their thing whilst taking in my pictures... UPDATE Well since writing the above it has been pointed out to me that the song is actually based on a poem by John Cooper Clarke, which makes sense of the time frame (being written in the early Eighties) and the fact that I responded to the lyrics like a poem. Apparently Alex Turner first heard it read by his English teacher whilst at school. So mayb