Thursday, 30 October 2008

Once in a life time?

© Magnus Andersson

Certainly the first and probably the only time in my life that me and my car end up at the front of the queue as Tower Bridge opens to let through a tall boat.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Safety first

I like reading instruction manuals, I really do, but despite what you were thinking when seeing this water proof case for my Canon, this is not - I repeat not - a life jacket...

© Magnus Andersson

There are flies on the windscreen

© Magnus Andersson

Its holiday time for me, but I'll attempt a picture or two....bonus points for knowing the band lyrics behind this blog title. I had to pull over just to get the shot. A bit of flash might have helped.

This happens to be a wasp, but hey, they are more useful than you'd expect. Check out last nights Autumnwatch on iPlayer (1st episode, but only if you live in the UK).

Friday, 24 October 2008

Denied treatment

© Magnus Andersson Luke and his mom Nicola, moments before he tears of his obligatory oxygen supply, which took his mum 20 mins to apply.

This is Luke, he is 5 years old and suffers from Down's syndrome. He cant walk or talk like a 'normal' 5-year-old. Not that his mum Nicola would treat him any different. When she was told about his condition the GP said 'I'm sorry to tell you but he has Down's..." Her response was - Sorry for what? He is still my child no matter what!

© Magnus Andersson Nicola tries her best to apply the much-needed oxygen mask - a daily struggle which takes 20 mins. Within 5 mins Luke has ripped it off his face because to him, the tape needed to hold it in place hurts his skin.

Ever since then she has faced numerous obstacles in bringing him up, including reducing her sleeping pattern to a maximum of 3-4 hours per day as Luke is dependant on having additional oxygen 24 hours a day (as applied by his totally devoted mum Nicola).

She's also suffered people's ignorance in the street when they accuse her of mistreating her son for 'forcing' him to wear one of two oxygen masks. Her life revolves only around Luke. Luckily she gets help from her own mum Linda, but its still a massive sacrifice that she makes.

© Magnus Andersson Nicola consoles Luke after he (successfully) ripped off the more efficcient oxygen mask, which was replaced by this one.

Did she get upset when she learned that Luke's consultant - who had deemed him fit for a crucial injection that would benefit his health enormously - was replaced by a new consultant who simply said no? You bet she did.

© Magnus Andersson Mum Nicola kisses her son after he gets exhausted of switching oxygen supply.

Nicola reckons she is just one of many mum's in similar situations where their childs' health is jeopardised by the economy of health care politics.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

He's been robbed

Tomorrow we're hoping to photograph this robbery victim. Yup, you read that right - he is still alive!

These are the x-rays that the Met Police have released. It happened in November last year and a 17-year old has now been found guilty of attempted murder and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Incredibly, the victims recovery has been good and he is now back in school!

The 15-year old victim was offered to be flown to
USA to appear on NBC News but turned it down saying: "I don't want to go because I've got school to go to."

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Dorset revisited - unstable cliffs

© Magnus Andersson

My girlfriend and me had a fantastic holiday in Dorset in late September. It was supposed to be a little treat to myself for my birthday, which happened the following week. We drove down from London on a Tuesday and came back on Sunday. Initially we made the mistake of staying in Portsmouth, in the middle of a Lib Dem party conference. I'd avoid P'mouth anyway, but during political conferences its just full of suits and we stayed in a shit hotel, so it was double bad. We rectified things by relocating to Lulworth Cove instead though.

© Magnus Andersson

Its called the Jurassic Coast for a reason. Everywhere you can see these (above) compressed geological time lines, millions of years of Earth's history sticking up around the coast.

This is Lulworth Cove itself in the evening sun, tiny little place where we found a great B&B in an old stone house run by a couple who moved down here after finishing their careers in London. They warned us; 'Once you move here, you don't want to live anywhere else'. I can understand them. The natural beauty is second to none in the UK.

The weather was properly Brit-summer-nice so we spent most of our time rambling the hills and coastlines, from Old Harry Rocks, Swanage, Durlston to Lulworth and Portland Island (below, click for bigger size), where they also had a brand new spa in which my girlfriend treated me to a much-needed full body massage. Thanks!

© Magnus Andersson

It was also amazing to see the huge amount of birds of prey that they have here. I didn't bring my SLR as I was on holiday, but lets just say that my girlfriend got bored as I stood fixed with my binoculars watching peregrine falcons, barn owls in mid day, a multitude of kestrels, buzzards and all sorts flying above us! I would go back for that reason alone. More pictures below, click on the for slightly larger sizes.

But what's up with the dangerous and unstable cliffs?

Barn owl in the middle of the day. © Magnus Andersson

Me looking for the elusive peregrine falcon after having seen one some time earlier.

Evidence of a meal interrupted, possibly by us. Poor Mickey, eh? Watching birds of prey hunt is awesome though. © Magnus Andersson

Close to Old Harry Rock. © Magnus Andersson

One of many lighthouses on Portland Island. © Magnus Andersson

A little self portrait (shadow). © Magnus Andersson

Stone sculpture of Earth by the coast of Durlston. Notice the curved horizon. Gotta love the barrel distortion on the SD850IS. © Magnus Andersson

The King of Corfe Castle - forgot to ask his name, but he was a very friendly fella. © Magnus Andersson

Climbing the enormous hills around Lulworth Cove. © Magnus Andersson

What's this warnig sign about?! © Magnus Andersson

Apparently he lives around here and doesn't like the tourists much. © Magnus Andersson

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

"Sometimes I rhyme, sometimes I dont"

No picture today, becuase I need to moan.

As implied in the title of this post, sung by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco (easily the best band in the world), on 'Woodgrain', I have been out of sorts lately. I've had another birthday, terror, shock, yes, a big one.

But there's also been some trouble at work which has really put me back. Its affecting my photography, its affecting my sleep and its affecting this blog.

The story is so long that I cant tell it all here, but it relates to my pension payments which were supposed to go into my account since 2006. Turns out the money only left my bank account into, well, nothing.

When this was discovered, my salary was adjusted without asking me. Turns out that I am now NOT eligible for the new toughly-NUJ-negotiated-pay-rise plus three month back pay
that everybody else will benefit from. Only because I was paid back my own money that was lost due to company incompetence in the first place.

If any NUJ staff reads this, please advise. Jeez.

Friday, 3 October 2008


© James Nachtwey/VII

It is 3 October and TED and James Nachtwey annouce their big story: Extreme Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. Boston Globe's The Big Picture has a selction of images here and you can see more here.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Into the night

© Magnus Andersson

Tomorrow (Friday) will be a long day. I'm supposed to start at noon but I might even get called in earlier if something happens. The day will (potentially) finish at 7am on Saturday morning. That's 19 hours. During the day is normal work, but from 9pm me and one of the reporters are heading into the night until the next morning.

But I'm not complaining, I'm really excited about it actually. I cant say more than that at the moment because it might just turn out to be a non-starter, but it has got potential. And I'll be working in a stab vest...scary and exciting, huh?!