Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Just west from Hastings, past verdant, rolling farm land and pastel beach huts along pebbled English Channel shores lies the sleepy seaside resort of Bexhill. It ain't half sleepy Mum, to say the least. Positively geriatric to be honest, but I mean that in the nicest possible way...in fact the town is renowned as a lovely place in which our unappreciated forebears can see out their autumn years in peace.

There was something almost creepy in the air down in Bexhill, no doubt encouraged by the bruised skies littered with menacing clouds. It is a lovely, lovely place to photograph however, its desolate stillness an art director's dream.

I can't deny my pilgrimage to Bexhill was in part based on seeking out the dreamy East Sussex places mythologised on Keane's Strangeland album. The 1935 De La Warr Pavilion (above) features in the record's art work, and the Sovereign Light Cafe, pictured below is the title of the album's lead single. Incredible how a number 1 album can be inspired from such seemingly dreary landscapes. Steven Patrick Morrissey said it best when it comes to evoking the essential Britishness of these desolate seafront views. Everyday is like Sunday. Everyday is silent and grey...sing it!

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Poor old Hastings. It has such a reputation for chavvism, drugs and benefit culture, not to mention an intangible weirdness about the place that no one (from London) can ever seem to properly articulate. True - its remote location, trundling transport links (just beyond a 'reasonable' commute to London) and cheapish property mean that a percentage of the population remain an unemployable blight on the landscape. The historic seafaring charm of Hastings remains evident in some parts however, especially in the Old Town and along the glorious aqua seafront past St Leonards heading west towards Bexhill. So its off I go to the edge of the English Channel as soon as this rumoured redundancy kicks in and its an artist's life for me...well for about 6 months or until I turn into Old Gregg.

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
— Samuel Johnson

"Why, Lady, you find no woman, at all intellectual, who is willing to stay in London. No, Lady, when a woman is tired of London, she moves to Hastings; for there is in London nothing that wallets can afford."
— Robert Smiths Tears

Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


The London School of Economics has an internationally renowned reputation, reinforced by its impossibly high fees (we're talking £54,000 for an MBA peeps) and vast range of respected alumni/guest speakers including Mr William Clinton and Robert Smiths Tears, who will no doubt be added to their Wikipaedia page (via some notorious expose in The Sun) in years to come.

My summer school course entitled 'Marketing Strategy' included the expected cufflink-and-suspenders sporting suspects and ego-driven type A personalities shuffling for Professor Chakravarti's humble attention all week. Nice people on the whole. Apart from being highly-remunerated capitalists looking to make serious ROIs or at least syphon a decent measure on their company's dime. Yes yes oh yay.

I'm attempting (and no doubt failing) to be humorous. I'm not going to discuss the course as you can familiarise yourself with the basic principles by purchasing a book on marketing fundamentals for £14.99 (£8.74 used) on Amazon. What I will remark upon is how lovely the rooftop view was and how delightful apt the waiters were with their natty bow ties, indecipherable accents and presumably, below minimum wages.

The Seniors Dining Room as they call it, in the shambolic Old Building had an eccentric ambience one would imagine from an institution with the history and reputation the London School of Economics cultivates. Ratty standard lamps, original paintings featuring old fellows and dusty old tomes on economic and social theory placed nonchalantly in the rickety old book cases completed the atmosphere.

I entertained myself by gathering the following statistical data on the demographic make up of my fellow student cohort :

British people : 0
ipads : 4
frameless-framed spectacles : 6
Doctors : 2
MBAs : 13
cufflinks : 3
suspenders : 2
business shirts : 17
embossed business card-wielding networkers : 4
straightie 180 masters of the universe : 18
rock n roll gunslingers from the hip world of media : 1

Conclusion? The UK economy is still f****d. Unless you're a banker. Get out while you still can peeps.