Thursday, 18 December 2008

A Slovak Spectacle

Back in 2001/02 Rachel and I lived in Bratislava, Slovakia. Rachel was the editor-in-chief of the local English-language newspaper and I worked as a photographer and copy editor for the same paper. While we were there our good friend Tom stayed with us for several months while he researched and wrote a travel guide to Slovakia. I followed Tom around for a day with my camera so people back home could see what life was like for us in Bratislava. This is the first time I have stiched a movie together from stills, so the result is a bit shaky. Some might call it quirky. Music by Paberky Marko Cermaka. Please leave comments if you feel moved to do so.

A Slovak Spectacle from iambrianjones on Vimeo.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Tessie 199? - 2008


When Rachel and I were living in Mexico City in 1997/98 we adopted two cats - whom we named Monster and Tessie. Both cats have lived with us in our homes in Mexico City, Brooklyn and London with a few stints at my parents' house in Haddonfield, New Jersey, in between. Two years ago Tessie was diagnosed with heart disease, a condition in which her heart was so enlarged that there was not much room for her lungs. The veterinarian's prognosis was that she would suffocate within a few months. Luckily she lived much longer than that - and with only mild discomfort until the end. On 3 December 2008 Tessie died at home with me, Rachel and Monster by her side. I would like to share with you a few photos of our beloved Tessie:


The two cats used to hide together when they sensed danger.

Such a noble profile!


Tessie used to like sitting on black bags.


Her favourite song was Danny Boy. Rachel would start singing and she would jump up on the bed and listen intently.

We were always greeted by Tessie when we came home.

Here she is minutes after her death.

This and the next few photos are of me digging her grave at Lally and Cecil's house.



Here she is in her silk shroud.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Winter bike ride at sunset

On Sunday December 7 Mark MacNamara and I rode in a train to Cheshunt and then cycled back to London along the river Lea. It took us about two leasurely hours to cycle the 15 or so traffic-free miles. It was cold, crisp, and dark when we got back and had a pint at the Dove on Broadway Market.

Over there

Trio at sunset


Underpass at sunset


Mark on Lea


Sail barges

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

I Voted Today


My civilian absentee ballot arrived today. I voted for the electors for the candidate (yes, not for the candidate himself) that I felt would be the best one to move into the White House in January. Click here to see the full post with photos.


Remember that in America we don't actually vote for a candidate, we vote for electors.



I am happy with my choice but wish I had a viable third party to choose from, one that at least stood a chance at winning a significant number seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.


This is supposed to be a secret ballot - so don't tell anyone who I voted for.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Brompton World Championships - 2008

This weekend the Brompton World Championships were held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. A Brompton is a folding bicycle made in London and is considered by many to be the best of its kind. It's of very high quality and folds smaller than other bikes with the same wheel size, making it a very useful bike for urban riding and international travel. It's so easy to fold it up and take it on a bus, train, taxi, or airplane. I should also mention that it's a lot of fun to ride too! I have been riding a Brompton for four years now and often take it with me on trips within the UK as well as abroad. For the complete post with photos click here.

This first photo is of my trusty two-speeder and was taken at the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park while I was on my way to meet the busses which took us out to Blenheim Palace.

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This next photo is of a Brompton that has been folded up.

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On Saturday, Brompton organised a casual ride out to their bicycle factory in Brentford. This is Will (the managing director of Brompton) wearing the official world championship jersey at Horse Guards Parade in London.


On the way out to the factory we passed by several famous London landmarks.





Unfortunately my batteries ran out before we made it to the factory - but one of the other photographers who was there, Marcus Jackson-Baker, has kindly let me use his photos here. In the first one we see one of the mechanics assembling a Brompton. Each Brompton is assembled by one person and this particular worker can assemble 22 bicycles in a single day.

A bike assembly station

And in this one we see one of the workers brazing the frame together.

Brazing a main frame

On Sunday morning Brompton organised two coaches to take us out to Oxfordshire for the Brompton World Championship race. About a hundred of us met at Victoria coach station at 8am. Who would have thought that you could fit 50 bicycles in one bus: with Bromptons you can!

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This year the race was officially sanctioned by British Cycling and the rules set by Brompton were very specific on the dress code:
All participants, both male and female, must wear a suit jacket, collared shirt and tie. Shorts and three-quarter length trousers may be worn if preferred, though sports attire (e.g. Lycra shorts/leggings, tracksuit pants, etc.) is not permitted.

Here is a selection of shots of participants in their chosen outfits.

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I placed 171st in this year's race. I think I could have done better if I hadn't been photographing from my bike during the race. I never did stop, mind you! My goal is to jump 100 places in next year's race (time to start training!).

These are all the bikes waiting to be unfolded by their respective riders at the start of the race.

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Here are the riders crossing the start line on their way to unfold their bikes.

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Here they are unfolding their bikes.
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And they're off!

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. . . towards the palace . . .

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. . . then up the hill . . .

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. . . then down the hill . . .

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. . . then up another hill. The winning Spanish team speed by . . .

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And a few shots of the other competitors.
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This is Piers Benton, winner of the junior category.

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This is Blenheim Palace.

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And here are my new friends from Curbside Cycles in Toronto, as we did one last lap before catching the coach back to London.

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Click here to see a photoset of all my 80 favourite photos.

Follow this link to see a photoset of the rest of the photos from the weekend. I feel these photos are good but not my best work - but I have put them up so my new Brompton friends can see pix of themselves.

Visit the Brompton website to see the all the results from the race.

To find a Brompton dealer near you visit the Brompton website.

To see more of Marcus Jackson-Baker's photos from the factory day go here and follow this link to read Marcus's blog post about the Brompton World Championship weekend.