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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The Galleries Lafayette dome is just something you don’t expect to see in a department store. I think only the French have the audacity to pull off this type of architecture in a store open to the masses. In it’s own way, Galleries Lafayette is a church to the religion of shopping. Crowds of people flow in and out like the ebb and flow of the tide. It’s like the building breathes in people, gains sustenance from the cash in their wallets and then coughs them out again, clutching branded plastic bags of merchandise. Most people in the store are tourists, of course, but don’t let that stop you from exploring is floors and marveling at the decor. Unless they’ve rearranged the floor, you can’t get dead center under the dome but you can get pretty close.

The Galleries Lafayette dome ceiling in Paris, France.

The Galleries Lafayette dome ceiling in Paris, France.

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It’s been a while since any Mobil Regular flowed through these pumps. Their rusted, worn appearance contrasts with the spruced up former gas and service station behind them. Google Maps now lists this (at time of writing) as “Miss Vickie’s Emporium”. It was closed on the Sunday afternoon in March when I passed through.

Mobil Regular gas pumps outside of Miss Vickie's Emporium, Smithville, Texas.

Mobil Regular gas pumps outside of Miss Vickie’s Emporium, Smithville, Texas.

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