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Showing posts from April, 2017

Goodbye to my partying girlfriend with a gangster dad

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The time has finally come to say goodbye to my old friend Daisy. She was taken away today by some Pikey Geezer employed to hitchhike around the country while pocketing the train fare.
Daisy is a 2013 Skoda Yeti 2.0 DCI 170bhp 4×4. She has full leather interior, an off-road mode, traction control, heated seats, bluetooth, cruise control, full alloys, and does about 50mpg. The engine is the one in the top-end VW Golf, and does 0-60 in about 5 seconds. Not one single mechanical issue in 4 years, and a full service history at the Skoda dealership.
She has served me well over the whole 4 year lease period, but has cost me £16,540 in rental fees and mileage excess/lease company recharges with nothing to show at the end of the term. I leased her because I reckoned she was tax-efficient, and I was in a financial position to easily afford her back in 2013. Shooting clothes in the studio meant that I picked up and dropped off gear regularly for a £20 fee using the car as a van. The rear seats cam…

Dereliction of Duty

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Ravensmount Care Home in Alnwick was forced to close a few days before Christmas 2015 after it was inspected, and subsequently deemed to be way below any acceptable standard required of such establishments. The same individual, described as a “property-baron” who was also responsible for the doomed Helme Park Hotel detailed in this post owned this establishment, and presumably is sunning himself in self-congratulatory glory, basking in his own self-importance while the poor old saps who relied on this place have been unceremoniously shipped out to other care homes further afield. I got the keys from the marketing agent, and visited on a sunny spring day. It’s less than 3 minutes drive from my little office along the A1068, and is a huge, imposing old building set back from the road on the Eastern fringes of the market town of Alnwick. I shot the externals first, using my 20ft pole to get elevated views. the rear was on a steep slope, and looked westwards over open countryside towards …

Abandonment

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I love doing what I do – I must, as I don’t earn anything remotely near the commensurate effort that I put into every single job – see my main website for many examples of beautiful work. There are the odd times however that I just want to turn around and walk away from a job. This was probably the most depressing job I’ve done in the last few years – shooting an abandoned, derelict country house hotel in County Durham.




Those of you with knowledge of the area will recognise it as The Helme Park Hotel near Bishop Auckland. It was apparent during my visit that it was being used as a squat by an individual who was occupying a small bedroom – and treating it like a total hovel – full of beer cans, drug paraphernalia, cigarette butts, take-away cartons, empty cans, Pot Noodles, as well as filthy clothes & towels. The place had no electricity or running water, so you can imagine the state of the bathroom.

I got there a little early, and got on with shooting the exterior from all angles. T…