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Showing posts from June, 2018

Grenfell Tower One Year On: the black and sodium hours

Awake to watercolour-clear morning, broad-brushed by faded amber conflagration seen from the kitchen window. But through the lost, the black and sodium hours of the night, cries for help, desperate supplications shot skyward into the never-silent hum of the North Kensington sky, and the arrhythmic beating heart of Community watch helplessly the monolith shed its murderous skin, unshackling souls taken too soon. ❦ In the early hours of June 14th 2017, a devastating fire broke out in Grenfell Tower, North Kensington. The final death toll was set at 72. From the early hours immediately after the fire into the following days and nights, it was the local residents and community groups who coordinated the relief effort; ordinary people responding in an extraordinary way. That day at work, I will never forget the sense of relief at seeing all of my students sat there in front of me, some of whom I knew to live in the immediate vicinity of Grenfell Tower. A

Atay Maghrebi: Hendrix Myths on The Road to Sidi Kaouki

The ubiquitous and the disparate: the eclectic mix of ingredients that make the Atlantic Coast at Sidi Kaouki strangely beautiful. The familiar washed-out and salt-tinged ocean air coloured the sky, lending it a soft pastel-blue light as I sat and tried to recall what I had been doing the day before. I hadn’t been feeling one hundred percent since eating a weird tasting kefta   tagine in a Marrakech establishment (that shall remain nameless), but I was beginning to feel little more like myself after a few days of freshly cooked food at the Atlantic Hostel. As I sat on the sofa at the highest point of the roof terrace, my red Moleskine in my hand, I spotted to my left a pile of blankets and thought nothing of it. That is, until it started moving and a young man who looked like an Amazigh version of Captain Jack Sparrow emerged, greeted me in French and stumbled down the stairs. ❦ After a few coffees, I went searching for some light breakfast and a short walk away f

Yel Değirmenleri, Bodrum

"And you fall from the sky with several flowers, words spill from your mouth in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt - sweet..."  –  Reginald Shepherd. After a week traversing Istanbul and the small city of Konya in early April 2018 , I took an internal flight and headed to the coast in Bodrum. On my first evening there I had noted the direction of the sunset as the whole of the sky became flooded with a beautiful orange light. A couple of the days later, I walked up to what I could see was the highest vantage point in the vicinity by the Yel Değirmenleri , a group of 18th-century Greek windmills. The windmills are in a terrible state of repair with one Tripadvisor user lamenting it as a "waste and insult to the [city’s] past." In almost any direction, the location commands views over Bodrum Bay or Gumbet Bay, and is perfect for capturing sunset over the landscape and Aegean Sea. Playing with the manual settings on my Nikon D3300 (don’t ask