Category Archives: Personal News

One for the “Bucket List”

As part of my 50th birthday celebrations I was privileged to go for dinner at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant the Fat Duck in Bray. I don’t know what Frances did to get the reservation, but I suspect threats of physical violence … Continue reading

Thursday, May 5, 2011 in Personal News, Reviews

What to Get for a Photographer’s Birthday

With my half century finally upon me, my wife Frances has excelled herself by commissioning a most wonderful cake, celebrating my photographic passion! This is well up to the standard of “Bear in a Porsche“, from a few years back… … Continue reading

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Personal News, Photography

Death and Service

My brand new iPad died today. One minute I was taking notes on it. Next minute, dead as the proverbial fat bird with a big beak, or the Norwegian Blue (lovely plumage). There are three theories which fit the available … Continue reading

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 in iPad, Personal News, Thoughts on the World

Season’s Greetings

A very warm “Merry Christmas” and best wishes for 2011, from all at Coppertrees to all the followers of my blog. Andrew Continue reading

Friday, December 24, 2010 in Personal News, Website & Blog

Cuba Photo Notes

“Photographer’s paradise” is probably putting it far too strongly, but Cuba does provide easy access to a great range of material in almost every genre: fashion and international sports might be a bit of a challenge (unless you bring some … Continue reading

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Cuba Reflections

I’m safely back home with a load of photos to process, so this is just about my last post on Cuba. There’s probably one more to come on the technicalities of photography there, but I thought it would be good … Continue reading

Friday, November 26, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography


I’ve heard it all now – a flamenco version of “Smoke on the Water”! Richie Blackmore would approve. Excellent. Continue reading

Thursday, November 25, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

An Uncomfortable Vision

I took this picture almost on auto-pilot, and was immediately torn about whether to keep it, or delete it. Was I guilty of exploiting the little girl? However, what happened next was interesting, and a tale worth telling. Another tourist … Continue reading

The Last Post?

Back to Havana, so I’ve managed to catch up a bit. However, even this took visits to two hotels to find one with working internet service! I hope you enjoy the mega update. This will probably be my last update … Continue reading

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Economic Anomalies, Part 2

Two observations from the last few days: Cuba has two currencies: the Convertible Peso, used by tourists and businesses which interact with tourists or trading partners, and the National Peso, used by Cuban Nationals for everyday activity. The buying power … Continue reading

That’s a Big Box!

Shot of the day for Monday. Everyone else in the party was shooting over this little fella’s head at the cathedral, but I happened to glance down. Bingo! Continue reading

Character-Full Trinidad

It’s about 50 miles from Cienfuegos to Trinidad, along the coast, which takes over 2 hours on a very bumpy road. However the drive is worth it. Trinidad is a very pretty town: different architecture again – based on two … Continue reading

Hasta La Revolucion

OK, this isn’t very PC, but who cares! Michelle spotted me at the top of the old tower in Cienfuegos and got me to wave. I think this matches the hat. I am, of course, making a list of people … Continue reading

Sunrise on the Palacio

This is the Palacio de Valle, a great piece of architecture inside and out with strong Moorish influences. It’s also home to a restaurant, one of Cienfugos’ finest, where we ate after our long drive from Vinales. That has to … Continue reading

Getting Wider?

Frances always says I’m getting wider. I hope this doesn’t give her too much evidence. Continue reading

Economic Anomalies

It’s odd what economic anomalies are thrown up by a struggling economy. Before I came to Cuba I was told that I should bring soap as a gift/tip, so I’ve spent months systematically stealing hotel soap. However, the only people … Continue reading

A Diffraction of Photographers

I’ve found the right collective noun for photographers: it has to be a “diffraction”, because they do have a tendency to spread out from a point. Like setting a group of small dogs loose in a wood full of squirrels… … Continue reading

Monday, November 22, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible

After Vinales internet connectivity became more and more of a challenge. The Hotel Jagua in Cienfuegos was elegant and well-equipped, but very poorly stocked and staffed. One of the things they were out of were the tickets for computer use. … Continue reading

Valley View

Another shot from yesterday: the view from my hotel balcony at the Hotel Los Jazzmines, a panorama stitched from 5 shots. Scary fact: the TIF file generated by the stitching software was 148MB. That’s the downside of steadily growing image … Continue reading

Friday, November 19, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Mixed Fortunes

The update I wrote at about 7am yesterday turned out to be incorrect – the mist in Vinales Valley suddenly cleared, and we got some very good shots in the early morning light, with wisps of mist still visible. I’ll … Continue reading

Cool Cab

This doesn’t need much explanation. Forgive the slight camera shake, but a 1950s Ford Consul does vibrate a bit. Who cares! Continue reading

Thursday, November 18, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Bolting Horse Cart

I wanted to use the shot of the old guy with the cigar to illustrate my main post, but this was arguably yesterday’s shot of the day. The buggy had just become trapped on the edge of a building while … Continue reading

Going Guerilla

After a long and slightly boring drive through Western Cuba, we’ve moved to Vinales, a wonderful valley between two ranges of low, rounded mountains known as “Los Organos”, because Spanish sailors thought the eroded limestone looked like church organs. Vinales … Continue reading

Just In Case You Thought I Wasn’t Photographing Any Cars

Lots of pictures of cars, so it’s difficult to choose a favourite at the moment. Here’s one which worked, showing the Capitolio (a copy of America’s Capitol) reflected in the bonnet of a nearby taxi of ancient vintage. The foyer … Continue reading

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Shaun of the Dead

Yesterday we went to visit the Necropolis Colon, Cuba’s largest cemetery (and effectively their national cemetery). It’s an interesting place, and I think I may have generated a couple of atmospheric shots, probably best in black and white. While I … Continue reading

Faded Grandeur

The end of my first full day in Cuba has left me feeling a little sad. You often hear the phrase “faded grandeur”, but never have I been anywhere where it’s so markedly and consistently appropriate as here. This is … Continue reading

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

The Cuba Travel Blog

Well I’ve reached Cuba safe and sound, and I’ve decided to undertake an experiment, writing a travel blog, with daily observations and hopefully at least one decent photo. Whether or not this works depends on my self discipline, the availability … Continue reading

Monday, November 15, 2010 in Cuba Travel Blog, Personal News, Photography

Lots of News

Quite a lot of news… Migration of our web sites and email to the new hosting server is almost complete. See previous article/rant for some of my findings. After some initial frustration with my hosting provider (WebFusion) when I discovered … Continue reading

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in My Publications, Personal News, Photography, Thoughts on the World, Website & Blog

Legislative Stupidity

Observations on the stupid “anti-photography” laws introduced in Britain in February 2009 Continue reading

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 in Personal News, Photography, Thoughts on the World

My Grand Circle Tour

My “Grand Circle” tour of Southwestern USA: what worked, what didn’t, and how to avoid sleep deprivation and scurvy! Continue reading

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 in My Publications, Personal News, Photography