Hamilton Peak, Washington

Just opposite Beacon Rock in Washington there is a turn to the left. Next up the car park and from there a mere 13km round loop through the falls up to the peak.

We encountered a bear cub, on the tough uphill trail however the views over to the Columbia Gorge and the return through the cool breeze of the forest were all worth it.

Here some pics from the route.

Why the love for rowing is constant

Even when you don’t row…

I’ve been away from rowing for the past few weeks, which is fairly unusual.

This British winter hasn’t been kind to us. From strong winds, storms, unusually low temperatures and rain, there been only a handful of days when I went out on the single scull.

Yes I rowed in Athens in balmy 16C in March but that was one of the few occassions.

Omilos Ereton, Athens

So having returned to London, we are finally seeing warmer and milder days.

On my first day back at the docks, I found myself snapped back to where we left things at.

An inspiration pointing chat by the head coach, followed warm chats by fellow rowers, picking up where we left off.

As always, the rowing community proved itself again. It’s open, warm and focused on learning.

Onwards to hoping for a much more rowable spring months ahead.

Athens underground overground

Athens is known for its grittier side. In 2022, I’ve discovered a newer slightly cleaner version of the city I knew from the 90s.

For sure, graffiti has exploded around the city and can be found in almost every surface visible to the eye.

Beyond the traditional football slogans, the latest street art is artier and talks to a new generation’s appetite to make a political statement.

From small notes, to IPAs, quirky logos, to beetroot cakes and fish tavernas, Athens is no longer limited by its suffocating random architecture but energized by a transnational vibe melting all that comes, goes and remains, in a true South Mediterranean crossroad vibes of its geography.

High skyline view spots of around Acropolis and the city of Athens

Every tourist and local love the view of Acropolis. The streets around the hill can get busy so here are some spots you can enjoy a cocktail, coffee, a romantic dinner or walk away from the buzz and hussle of the busy streets below.

Lycabettus Hill from Hill Athens Rooftop in Thiseio
Night View of Acropolis from the rooftop bar of the hotel A for Athens
Sunset view of Acropolis from the rooftop of Anglais bar in Monastiraki

Acropolis and Athens cityscape from Filopappou Hill. A perfect spot for walking amongst the trees, a short uphill hike to exclusive views over the Parthenon, Lycabettus and the city.

Golden nuggets of London

Some say London is paved in gold. That is not quite true. There are ways one can experience it and they are, in truth, golden. They are the walks, in a safe city, at all times of the day or night, revealing architectural marvels, historical corners, oral histories retold, under the bridge communities, housing estates, street art and corporate communes wrapped around a few blocks from each other. They may not always live in harmony with each other, but they certainly demand each others existence to enrich their own. This is not gentrification, or poetics of urban spaces but a slow crawl of inverted commas on concepts undefined, yet golden for their moment in time.

Just off Bank of England
The walkie talkie
A pub on the edge of the City of London
Backstreets of the Tower of London
Back off the Tower
Cable Street on one side, to Wapping and the city on the other
Street Art of what’s left behind
Lit Shadwell through the generations
Bird and the tower of canary wharf
Cable Street studios grafitti
Off to Limehouse
Rotherhithe Tunnel from above

Street Art eastend; comparison winter 2021 & winter 2022

2021 first and now

Brick Lane Street Art
Brick Lane Street Art
Banksy in Bethnal Green
Graffiti, parking, Chrisp Street Market
Lego, Trinity Buoy Wharf
Nutella sticker, Greenwich foot tunnel lift
Greenwich foot tunnel mask notice

2022

Brick Lane lady
Stickers et al, Brick Lane
Stenstil on pavement
Stickers and spray
3d Street Art, Brick Lane
Joker, Brick Lane
Shop shutter paints, Brick Lane

Partygate

Institutions first or government first, chicken or egg? That is the question.

Governments can dismantle institutions when they no longer cover their unaccountability.

At the start of the pandemic PHA was asked to minimise the covid spread and threat. Boris Johnson’s government shut it down and created this new entity to promote domestic policy unscrutinised.

What’s next for Johnson’s institutions in the context of the police investigation on partygate?

Will he call to defund the police, no pun intended.

The smokescreen saga continues.