On the Road to Galveston with the New 93Q Houston

“I miss fucking walk-in wardobes,” the missus says slamming her hand on the steering wheel. As a former resident of Houston, I had asked what she missed most. No one could anticipate that repost, but that’s what makes my girl the best. It was an hours drive to Galveston, at some point we got punched into local radio. The New 93q, a guy named Joey had called into the station. DJ: What’s up Joey? JOEY: Well I took this girl out on a date last week, I thought it went well but she’s not returned any of my calls, not replied to any of my texts. DJ: Where did you take her? JOEY: To the gun range. DJ: Does she listen to the show? JOEY: Yeah. DJ: What’s her name? JOEY: Carra DJ: Ok Joey, stay on the line we’re going to get Carra on the phone. The DJ plays Think a Little Less by Michael Ray. Two adverts for McDonalds are played after back to back and an advert for Mattress Firm where a woman describes how all she wants to do is come home from work and lie down.…
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Club Quarters Houston Hotel Review

Currently rated #58 out of 501 Hotels in Houston on Trip Advisor, the missus spent four nights there at around $90 a night. About: Club Quarters Hotel, Grand Central is one block from Grand Central Terminal, in the heart of New York City. Breakfast: Not free, not free NOT FREE!! When I asked at the front desk where the breakfast buffet is the girl behind the desk looked at me like I asked her to explain the Duckworth and Lewis Method. The breakfast in the bar isn’t anything to write home about unfortunately. Tried the Grits, which is like Tesco value porridge with melted cheese. Service was good though. 3/10 Toilet Paper: Pointed? Yes it was, well done Club Quarters. Not velvet or scented but no complaints from my cheeks. 7/10 Shower: Oh yes, good pressure, nice and warm and included a small slab of emergency carbolic soap. The shower head held firm. 8/10 Bed: Missus didn’t like it, too small apparently, she’s the bed expert. But she did say you get what you pay for. But let me tell you about the radio alarm clock. You can charge your phone on it and…
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Mutton Bustin at the Houston Rodeo

“Alright alright alright” – Wooderson, Dazed and Confused. Packed in like cattle on the tram to the Rodeo, the guy with tattoos on his face and neck gives up his seat for an old lady of colour. She’s befuddled as to why her normally subdued regular commute has suddenly turned into sardines. “I know what this ya’ll, this here’s Rodeo traffic.” She says, then laughs to herself. Such a thing called Mutton Bustin exists. Kids aged 5-6 are placed on the back of a sheep called Lamb-orghini, or The Woolley Bully, and cling on for dear life as the sheep runs to the other end of the pen. I turned to George DeMontrond, an acquaintance and tour guide for the missus and I, “Do kids get hurt doing this?” I ask. “Sure, I’ve seen a kid break an arm doin’ Mutton Bustin. But ya’ll break an arm playing soccer won’t you?” George says. I like George. He wore bespoke fitted Ostrich tan leather cowboy boots. Studded. He had a Golden Eagle cowboy hat, 10x. The quality of the hat body used to make a hat is the main factor that determines the…
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Look Up! Houston Skylines – Scrapbook

“Houston we have a problem.” Jim Lovell – Apollo 13 At the cashpoint in a local 711, downtown Houston. I feel the eyes of a curious local, hispanic descent, schlubby and with dried mud on his Adidas sneakers, investigate me up and down. I didn’t catch his name but I’ll call him Hernandez. His other half is at the other counter, she’s portly and her skin’s bad. I didn’t catch her name but I’ll call her Bella. Hernandez finally folds and pipes up. “If you don’t me askin’, where you from?” “Cambridge,” I say plaintively. This answer didn’t satisfy Hernandez. “Cambridge, England.” I add. “You can tell.” He grunts. I’ve judged Hernandez on his muddy trainers, on his resigned countenance, on his portly other half. Hernandez is miserable, and angry. But as an ambassador of the UK, I feel obliged to reciprocate with small talk. “You live around here?” I ask. “Just up the road.”  “What’s it like living around here?”  “Shit.”  Bella gets served, she hands the bag to Hernandez and they leave together without saying goodbye. I bought four oversized tees and some crispy M&M’s and leave.  
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Look up! London Skylines Scrapbook – Edition 2

Hells-bells it was cold in London today. Made the mistake of going out in a shirt and jean-jacket. Don’t give up the knits yet people, London will find you out. Again these shots are taken around Marylebone and Kings Cross, waiting on trains. When the warmer weather comes I’ll wander out a little further. This camera is so good (Nikon D300) I feel momentarily invasive zooming into peoples windows on the top floors. I half expect strangers to tap me on the shoulder in passing and ask ‘what the heck you doing taking pictures? My bird lives in the flat‘. To which I’d have no rebuke. But London is irresistible in so many ways. It doesn’t share that same architectural uniformity that many parts of Paris has. The French refer to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées  as “la plus belle avenue du monde” (“the world’s most beautiful avenue”) but aesthetically it’s dull as fucking dishwater. Final thought. Completely tangential. I was thinking about the two words, Sorry and Thank You. A.A Gill advised, ‘apologise regularly so it doesn’t build up. Do it like laundry, every Friday’. But then Elton John would tell you that ‘Sorry…
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Hotel Lowen in Zug Hotel Review

Hotel Lowen am See Zug is rated #4 out of 8 hotels on TripAdvisor. The missus and I check in there a week or so back and here’s a match report. ABOUT: The four-star hotel and brasserie is conveniently situated in Zug’s quiet historic center, on the shore of Lake Zug. A 40 minute train ride out of Zurich, and a 10 minute walk from the Zug train station.  Hotel Löwen was the first hotel in Switzerland to provide its guests with the luxury of electric lighting. It’s managed by the Christoph Ruckli as of March 2015. Brekkie: 8/10 An orgy of fruit, cheese and the waitress Antoinette will take your order, without writing anything down and deliver it to a tee. Astonishing woman, fantastic memory. There’s fresh juice, cereal, baby pancakes, the lot. Well, I say the lot but there’s no black pudding and I noticed that soap-sud after taste on the coffee cup. But look, you won’t go hungry and you can bring your own cup if you’re a picky wanker. I did. Shower: 8/10 Yeah awesome pressure on the shower, and the heat is intense. Little tip, don’t go…
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Look Up! London Skyline – Scrapbook

Walking around London earlier, getting lost. I passed the Scala up by Kings Cross. I remembered playing there about 10 years ago – talent show for channel four, some X-Factor Music audition show. On the panel was Lily Allen, who every man on the planet wanted to bang. We got through, four yes’s, as they say. We left the venue, got to the van, found a parking ticket under the wiper. I think we even got a congestion fine on the way back to Essex. Didn’t matter. That was a good day. Got knocked out in the next round though. Mum cried.  
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Look Up! Parisian Skylines – Scrapbook

‘Over a Dog‘ – Marvin Udall, As Good as it Gets. Just spare a thought for the poor missus on this one. I’m walking around with her camera, taking a picture of everything that moves. Or in this particular scrapbook, things that don’t move. Somedays she’d wait patiently, others not-so. One day we walked down a side alley off Champs-Élysées and we saw a dog take a shit against a tree. This aroused my scatological sensibility and I screamed orgasmically, telling her to hold me coffee as I grappled with the lens cap, “He’s not pissing on a tree, this dog is shitting on it. Arse pressed on the bark! LOOK!!” I missed the shot. Like 99% of the worlds population the missus found the experience of me trying to capture a dog shitting on a tree, utterly unedifying. You can take a man out of VIZ but you can’t take the VIZ out of the man. We walked over 30k that weekend, I can’t tell you where most of these were taken. I guess within a 30k blast radius of our hotel near Rue Du Bac.  
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K+K Hotel Cayré Paris Hotel Review

Currently rated #218 out of #1794 hotels according to Trip Advisor. For €288 Euros, for two nights, the missus and I checked in and here’s the match report. ABOUT:  Housed in a historical Hausmannian building, located in the heart of Paris’ cultural centre of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and in close proximity to the Latin Quarter, K+K Hôtel Cayré is situated just a short distance from Paris’ most iconic sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral or the world-famous Louvre Museum. Breakfast: 6/10 An additional €16 euros and they had no brown sauce or soya milk. That said the eggs were good and creamy. Sausages were small but plentiful. Juice freshly squeezed, Grapefruit, Orange and Multi Vitamin. Cereal was served from a vendor; muesli, cocoa crunch, cornflakes. Service was amiable. Shower: 6/10 Tricky one this. The heat was good, no denying that. The pressure lacked vitality, although I wasn’t jumping up to meet it. Simple tap mechanism, I have to say I enjoyed this shower and the gel provided smelt reassuringly expensive. Toilet Paper: 10/10 They really turned up with the toilet paper. Quilted and pointed and with an abundant supply. Bed: 8/10 The…
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The Cyprus Scrapbook

  ‘Well looky what we have here.’ – Biff Tannen, Back to the Future Hey ya’ll. Just a quick update, I’m struggling to find the time to spin all the writing plates at the moment. I’m doing a lot of freelance work for other magazines (paid work) which has to take priority. The writing will return, but for now you may find photography posts rather than editorials. These are all pictures of my various journeys, for your viewing pleasure.  
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