That 21 Pilots Song, “Stressed Out” made me think about the simpler times in my life. Upham Sunset is a view across the fields where I grew up. It hasn’t changed much. The house I lived in is off the frame to the right, behind the trees. The house was aligned east-west so I didn’t get to see the sunrise or sunset from my window. That didn’t bother my much, I spent a lot of time outdoors back then. This image is from July 2015, taken one evening when visiting my parents who still live close by.

Upham Sunset - July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

Upham Sunset – July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

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I saw this old BP Motor Spirit sign at the Cotswold Motor Museum. Perhaps this image stood out to me today as I was at the BP offices in Houston earlier this week. Their current flower helios logo is stateless unlike this sign where BP clearly lies at the center of the United Kingdom. I love the quote marks and the angular font. These enamel on sheet steel signs were common in the 1920s. At this time “BP” stood for “British Petroleum” in a nationalist or patriotic way. BP the oil company wouldn’t be named that till 1954. At the time this sign was in use, the company was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and “BP” was simply a product range that until 1917 had been sold under the Palm Tree Oil label. I’m not sure whether that name was supposed to imply the contents of the cans came from palm trees or if it meant to signify it came from the middle eastern deserts and evoke images oases and palm trees and camels and all those other desert images that only rich or enlisted Britons had actually seen in those days.

An enamel BP Motor Spirit sign from the 1920

An enamel BP Motor Spirit sign from the 1920’s at the Cotswold Motor Museum, Bourton on the Water, England.

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The Bomber Command Memorial was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 June 2012. Perhaps it was covered in a large white sheet and she deftly pulled it away like the waiter snatching the table cloth from under the table settings (but probably not like that at all). The memorial is a short walk from her back yard at Buckingham Palace but I suspect she was driven in a Rolls Royce – which was probably fitting given so many British WWII bombers were powered by Rolls Royce engines. 55,573 aircrew from Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other countries lost their lives serving in the command. If you take the 2,074 days between September 3rd, 1939 and May 8th, 1945 (VE day) that’s 27 per day or more than one per hour over the course of the war.

Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. It commemorates the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in WWII.

Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. It commemorates the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in WWII.


(All proceeds from the sale of this photo will be donated to the upkeep of the memorial)

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This Coldstream Guard was on duty at Buckingham Palace. You can tell he’s a Coldstream Guard from the pairs of buttons on his tunic. Apparently the Coldstream Guards are the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous active service. Curiously now, given their role in protecting the Queen, they started as a Roundhead or Parliamentary regiment in the English civil war between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists. Having fought and won for the Parliamentarians, their founder and leader decided to switch sides. They take their name from the village of Coldstream on the Scottish side of the River Tweed where the regiment crossed into England on their way to support the restoration of the monarchy, arriving in London on February 2nd, 1660 – or just over 356 years ago.

Coldstream Guard on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace, London.

Coldstream Guard on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace, London.

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Thought I’d channel my inner Cartier-Bresson and post a photo I took in Phnom-Penh that I call Boy with Jar and Stool. I’m the first to admit its not in perfect focus – it was a last minute grab shot with a manual focus camera, one of those moments that you catch perfectly, imperfectly, or not at all. I shot the image way back in ’92 so this little fellow would be around 28 now and in all probability has children of his own! My best guess is this image was taken close to Tonle Sap River bank by the Royal Palace. I’ve no idea where he was going but probably to join some family members.

A young boy with jar and stool crosses a courtyard in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

A young boy with jar and stool crosses a courtyard in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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