19 November 2012

Digging In The Dirt


Don't talk back
Just drive the car
Shut your mouth
I know what you are
Don't say nothing
Keep your hands on the wheel
Don't turn around
This is for real

Digging in the dirt
Stay with me, I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt

(Peter Gabriel - Digging In The Dirt)


November 2012.


Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

I'm very sorry for not posting on my blog for two months... I've been too busy chasing skirts (and tight jeans)!
On a serious note, I've been working my ass off, even more so in the last two months than in the summer. I've asked for  and have been offered by my manager - the position of assistant shop manager of the coffee shop I work at, so right now we're both hoping that the HR department of the company's going to give me that chance to prove myself. It's gonna mean even more work to do, but it's a good way to start a career in gastronomy, which I've decided is what I'm gonna do with my life now that I'm no longer a student.

I'm going to spend time with family and friends in London from the 28th of November - 2nd of December. I haven't taken a whole lot of pictures recently but I'll be bringing my camera and hopefully will be back to my usual schedule of posting pictures every two or three days soon! I'll also check out your blogs again, but let me assure you that I haven't forgotten about your blogs - which I enjoy very much - but I've just been too busy. I even deactivated my Facebook account which I've had since 2007!

Speak to you soon, and I hope you're all doing great.

Dom.

19 September 2012

Sky And Sand


In the nighttime
When the world is at its rest
You will find me
In the place I know the best

And we build up castles
In the sky and in the sand
Design our own world
Ain't nobody understand

(Paul Kalkbrenner - Sky And Sand)



Good evening!

It's been one month and one day since my last blog post, and there's no end in sight as far as my workload is concerned, but things are going to get better next month! I'll be back to posting regularly again in a few more weeks. 

I've also got some exciting plans for next year. There's a good chance I'll be coming back to England for a few months and I'll also go on a road trip around Poland with one of my best friends in Hamburg, who grew up in Gdansk.

One of my American friends is staying in Hamburg for six weeks for some work experience so we get to do fun stuff on the weekends, and my mum's got a lovely new dog, a Collie named Abby who's only three months old.

New pictures coming soon. I'll comment on all those of your blog posts that I missed once I'm back to business as usual. 

Talk to you soon.

- Dom

18 August 2012

Sweet Little Mystery


Just that sweet little mystery that breaks my heart
Just that sweet little mystery makes me cry
Oh that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try

(John Martyn - Sweet Little Mystery)


Hey there... 

You might have noticed that my blog has been invisible for a few weeks. Let me explain the reasons.
I've never before had a more busy work schedule than the one I've had in the past few weeks, working an average of 30 hours at my first job and 15 at my second job. There's no end in sight either. 
Also, there were things in my private life that needed sorting out. 
I was involved in a car accident last year, and even though it's been more than a year now, the case isn't over yet, and it's been wearing me out because I'm not the person responsible for the accident. 
Furthermore there has been this woman I've mentioned in a few previous blog posts - one of my regular customers, the first whose preferred drink I remembered. We went out a couple times and we got along fantastically. Last Sunday, however, I found out that she thought I was in a relationship already... and that she saw me as a friend. She couldn't believe that a guy as nice and respectful as me was single. That's what you get for being a gentleman who treats women well? I'm not gonna lie... I'm disappointed. I still think she's a wonderful person, so I'd rather be her friend than not get to spend time with her at all.
Last but not least, I still haven't written and handed in my essays and papers for university, and the deadline is the last day of September.
I've been so uninspired I contemplated deleting my blog. I haven't taken a picture in weeks, except for some iPhone snapshots. I deactivated my Facebook account already. But I don't think I'm gonna delete this blog... because this blog has been like a diary to me for the past few years. All the places I've been to, the photographs I've taken, the music that's inspired me, the articles I've read... it's all there for me to look back on now and in the future.

I hope to be able to post new pictures soon, and please understand that I've been too busy to keep up with your blogs. I hope to make up for it soon. 

Have a good weekend.

- Dom

29 July 2012

Boomboxes And Dictionaries


I took a drive today, thought about you
I thought about a friend who passed
And how much we just went through
I saw the sunshine off the hood of a Cadillac
I thought about some things I'd say
And some that I would take back
I thought about how fortunate I feel to be alive

And if you're scared of the future tonight,
We'll just take it each hour one at a time
It's a pretty good night for drive 
So dry up those eyes, dry up those eyes
Because the radio will still play loud
Songs that we heard as our guards came down
Like in the summertime when we first met
I'll never forget, and don't you forget
These nights are still ours

(The Gaslight Anthem - Boomboxes And Dictionaries)



Mystery creates wonder and wonder is
the basis of man's desire to understand.

(Neil Armstrong)


Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)




I hope to be able to post new pictures soon. My two jobs are keeping me busy, but until I've got new photos that I want to share with you, I don't want to bore you with old pictures.


Let me share some blogs, photostreams and websites I discovered last week... 
On Flickr: #1; #2. The photography of Roger Weber. The cucumber cocktail. The amazing murals by Herakut. Mexican Fireworks, which is one of the best collections of photographs I've ever seen on the internet. Beautiful photographs of Canada's National Parks. A beautifully captured moment. John Bauer's illustrations. Great pictures of the Dutch Wadden Islands. A series of pictures of the moon. "Criminal Minds" has some remarkable quotes. The 99 best things about summer. An interesting article on Bruce Springsteen. Last but not least, three awesome motorcycles: BMW R75/5Honda CB350 (#1; #2), Kawasaki Z750.

Goodnight.

- Dom

26 July 2012

Old Haunts


So don't sing me your songs about the good times
Those days are gone and you should just let them go
And God help the man who says
"If you'd have known me when"
Old haunts are forgotten ghosts
Old haunts are forgotten ghosts

(The Gaslight Anthem - Old Haunts)




Route 66, Arizona.
June 2009.




It's only Thursday but I've already worked 30 hours this week - and I'll be working from Friday to Monday, too. Today was my only day off this week, and next Tuesday is gonna be my only day off next week. That's why I still don't have any new pictures to post here - I haven't even been able to enjoy the awesome weather this week. 

No matter how much I love doing what I've been doing for the past eight months - working as a barista, that is - there's gotta be more to life than this job... and my other job... and my archaeology studies. 


Some of my friends are married already, some have children... and they're not older than I am. Some of them are happy, others pretend to be. Either way, having a wife and children doesn't sound anything like me, at least not for another ten years. I don't want to settle down. I'm able to live out of a suitcase for weeks, and I would love to do it again. I'd love to get out on the road again, and see where it might take me.

I guess I'm looking for it again - for that belief I had when I was younger, before I got caught up in the working life... the belief that I could do whatever I wanted to do... the belief that I could go wherever I wanted to go... the belief that I could live wherever I wanted to live... the belief that I could work wherever I wanted to work... the belief in happy endings.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." 
I want to get more out of my life. For the rest of this year and probably the first half of the next year I'm gonna bust my ass doing what I do now, making as much money as I can possibly make, trying to save as much money as I can possibly save, so when I decide that it's time to leave, I won't need to worry about money. 


I'll definitely do something next year - whether that will be going to Canada on a working holiday visa and going on an extended road trip across the same country with friends or just going on that trip is a decision I have yet to make, but whatever I end up doing, it's gonna be awesome. 

Anyway, for the next few weeks I'll be too busy to take new pictures, maybe even too busy to post old ones, but one thing I do promise: On my next day off I'll check out your blogs and comment on all the posts I've missed.


Something I did enjoy was this year's Tour de France, especially because Bradley Wiggins has become the first British winner of the Tour. Click here to view pictures, click the following links to read what the papers, the French, and the Queen had to say, and last but not least, click here and here to read what the man himself had to say during and after the Tour, respectively.

The Gaslight Anthem have just released their latest brilliant album, "Handwritten". The song above, however, has been taken from their previous album "American Slang".

Goodnight.

- Dom

19 July 2012

Down Around My Place


The radio is busted, down around my place
Every tool is rusted, down around my place
Creeks and rivers dried up, down around my place
My woman's tears are cried up, down around my place

And I put my faith in you
Did you make that error too?
Bound to fail that he might show his grace
Down around my place

(John Hiatt - Down Around My Place)


Somewhere in Arizona.
June 2009.



18 July 2012

This Hard Land


Hey there mister can you tell me
What happened to the seeds I've sown
Can you give me a reason, sir
As to why they've never grown
They've just blown around from town to town
Back out on these fields
Where they fall from my hand
Back into the dirt of this hard land

Now even the rain it don't come round
Don't come round here no more
And the only sound at night's the wind
Slammin' the back porch door
Yeah it stirs you up like it wants to blow you down
Twistin' and churnin' up the sand
Leavin' all them scarecrows lyin' facedown
In the dirt of this hard land

(Bruce Springsteen - This Hard Land)


Picture taken near Kayenta, AZ.
June 2009.


17 July 2012

Long Time Comin'


Now I'm gonna get birth naked and bury my old soul
And dance on its grave
And dance on its grave

(Bruce Springsteen - Long Time Comin')


Cirque de Pougnadoires, France.
September 2011.




It's been three weeks now since the day my dog died. I'm not sad because he's dead, I'm sad because I'll live another 40, 50, 60 years without ever seeing him again. This recent event has put me into a contemplative mood.
I've thought about the choices I've made, about how I've treated people, about what I want to do with my life for the next few years. 
It's been five and a half years since my 18th birthday... It was back then that I set goals that I wanted to achieve in five years...

While I still believe that I've made the right choices as far as my working life is concerned, I've come to the conclusion that I've made some really bad decisions when it comes to girls. There have been so many chances to be in a serious relationship, but it never seemed right and I couldn't resist the temptation of other girls. I can't turn back time, I can't right the wrongs, but I can do it better next time. 
And that's just what I've been trying to do lately... there's this woman, Anna - she's a customer at my coffee shop... I know exactly what she's going to order, and her face lights up when she sees me, holding her lactose free Vanilla Latte in my hands before she's even reached the counter... I love seeing her smile... she's gorgeous... I enjoy the small talk... now I've got a second job at the place she works at (she's a medical assistant and I'm locating and sorting patient files) so I get to talk to her more often, and the next time I see her, I'll ask her if she wants to have lunch with me, and after a while, I might ask her if she'd like to go out for dinner or cocktails. 
One of my friends once told me from the bottom of her heart that she thought I was an amazing guy and that I deserved nothing but the best... and if what that girl said to me all those years ago was true, this might be it... it definitely feels right... and that's why I won't fuck it up this time.

Tomorrow's Stage 16 of the 2012 Tour de France includes Col d'Aubisque and Col du Tourmalet, and Bradley Wiggins, a British racer, is wearing the yellow jersey. 
After I came home from work, I looked through my archives from last year's trip and found the picture above. The river that flows through the gorge is the famous Tarn. Click the following links to see more pictures taken in the Gorges du Tarn: #1; #2; #3; #4.

Goodnight!

- Dom

Georgia Clay


Seventeen years old running on dumb luck
Spent the whole damn summer
Living in that truck
Them old tyres still covered in that mud
Like it sticks with me, in my blood

When life was nothing more than living for the night
Just trying to steal a kiss on a tailgate of that ride
Good old days don't wash away
Just like that Georgia clay

(Josh Kelley - Georgia Clay)



Another road, another photograph...
USA, June 2009.


Click here and here to view similar photographs.



14 July 2012

Photographs And Memories


A man he loves a woman
They marry and they raise a child
That's the way the whole world over
But there's too much life involved
Now looking out the window
At the skies that keep closing in
And deep down in their heart they know
The void will never fill

Photographs And Memories
That never fade as time moves on
And he becomes the hunter
And questions burn like the sun
And for the pilgrim 
The road is always long and sore
But for the love of the father
You walk it all and so much more

(The Band From Rockall - For The Love Of Alison)




The Alster.
Eppendorf.
Hamburg, Germany.
July 2012.



Have a good weekend.

- Dom

One Way Ticket


If I never see your face again
Or sunlight come to grace a dawn
Our passion's work would not take flight
Our strivings cease, our glory gone

They gave me a ticket on a one-way journey
But you offered me a same price return
I've never seen a flower that didn't shed its seed
To rise in spring out of the ground

(The Band From Rockall - One Way Ticket)


Alster, Hamburg, Germany.
July 2012.



10 July 2012

Over Me


Mojave Desert, California.
June 2009.


The Mojave Desert is an amazing place. The first picture was taken in Essex, the second picture shows Amboy Crater. For more information on this section of Route 66, click here. If you'd like to find out more about the lesser known sights of the region, click here

I left Las Vegas late in the evening, and because I wasn't successful in trying to find a cheap motel on the outskirts of the city, I decided to just keep on driving. By the time I exited Needles Freeway, it was already starting to get dark and I was really tired, so I pulled over on the side of Route 66. The next morning, I woke up early and took a walk around where I had parked my car the night before. There was an abandoned house nearby, and a bit of a junkyard. The light in the desert was incredible - the sun was so bright that you can barely see the power lines in the top picture... and that was only an hour or so after sunrise.

Click the following links to see some more of the pictures I took in the Mojave Desert (#1; #2; #3).

Blog post title taken from one of the songs from the Vanishing Point - soundtrack called "Over Me" by Segarini & Bishop. Let me share this epic performance by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band recorded in 1978, which would've been part of the soundtrack for that trip if I had found out about its existence three years ago. Click here to listen to some unreleased tracks by Bruce Springsteen. I reckon only a few of my followers know that I listen to house music - Yeah, I do! - and if you, too, love house music, I'd like to recommend the "Desert Drive" tape to you, which is available on SoundCloud. On SoundCloud I also found this amazing collection of African songs.

Last but not least, I'd like to recommend this awesome blog to you - beautiful pictures of Mother Nature always bring a smile to my face.

Goodnight.


- Dom

09 July 2012

Everything I Do


Look into my eyes, you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart, search your soul
And when you find me there you will search no more

(Bryan Adams - Everything I Do)


Auto graveyard near Canyon de Chelly, AZ.
Rolberto's Taco Shop, Mesa, AZ.
66 Motel, Needles, CA.
June 2009.




I love classic Americana... Route 66 or any other lonely highway, listening to folk music and rock 'n' roll, conversations with eccentric locals and other travellers, old cars... I even love the motel rooms - you arrive after a long day on the road, turn on the A/C, take a shower, watch a movie... and get some sleep before you find yourself on the road again, punching the pedal.

06 July 2012

Drive


Arizona.
California.
June 2009.


I don't care if it's a highway or a dirty country road
I don't care if I'm leaving or coming home
I don't know if it's the song on that too loud radio
I don't know if it's the smell of that burning smoke
Here I go

Headed out to nowhere like a bullet from a gun
Putting miles on me and the wheels I'm rollin' on
Slide on over baby and I'll take you for a ride
I just like to drive
Well, I just like to drive

Well, I love to feel my worn out boots stompin' on the gas
Love to see your bare feet tappin' on the dash
Love to see your hand, girl, swingin' in the breeze
And I'm done burning up a tank of gasoline
Smells so sweet

(Casey James - Drive)



05 July 2012

Summer Of '09


Oh when I look back now
This summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

(Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69)




Sausalito, CA.
June 2009.




It's been three years since I spent the months of June and July driving around the American West... Sausalito was one of the highlights. I loved that place... it's such a fascinating town.
My best friend and I have been thinking about going on a road trip around Canada (and possibly the United States too) next summer. I can't wait... by that time, it's going to have been ten years since I visited Alberta and British Columbia... 

I've got three long days of work coming up: seven and a half hours on Friday, eight and a half on Saturday, and another eight hours on Sunday. That's the only thing I don't like about my job - that I don't work Monday through Friday so I can have the weekends off.

Since I'm not going on a road trip this year, I might come home for a week to visit friends and family, probably in August or September. Until my friend Ollie crashed at my place last week, I felt at home in Hamburg and didn't miss London at all. Today was my day off from work, and while Ollie's been out of the house, I had time to think... and I realised how much I miss speaking English, how much I miss having a pint at the local pub (having a pint at one of the Irish pubs in Hamburg just isn't the same), I even miss having a fake fireplace in my bedroom... and right now... right now I'd love to get a veggie burger at Nando's. 


Speaking of travel, check out these posters from the golden age of travel...


Have a nice evening.


- Dom

Darkness On The Edge Of Town


Volvo Amazon.
Hamburg, Germany.
July 2012.


Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop
I'll be on that hill with everything I got
Lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
For wanting things that can only be found
In the darkness on the edge of town

(Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town)



04 July 2012

Wish You Were Here


So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell,
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in the cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here...

(Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here)


A question of perspective...
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA.
June 2009.




I'm done apartment hunting - I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks viewing flats around Hamburg, but I didn't get any of the ones I liked. Instead I decided to renew the contract for the place I've been living in since July 2011 for another year.

For the next few months, my friend Ollie, who used to play with me on my school's football team and who has come to Hamburg for half a year of work experience, will be staying at my place. We've already been out last Saturday and he loves the city, because it's much cheaper to go out all night in Hamburg than to spend just a few hours in a club in London. 

The weather has been awesome for the last couple of days as well, so I hope it'll stay this way and I'll be able to take new pictures on my next day off.

I'm off to work now... 

Have a good day!

- Dom

Thunder Road


With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair

(Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road)




Two highways in Arizona.
June 2009.




Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, and to everyone else out there who is a follower of this blog - have a nice day wherever you may be.

- Dom

25 June 2012

Ripple


There is a road, no simple highway 
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

(Grateful Dead - Ripple)


There's a land beyond the river
That we call the sweet forever

(Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird)






Ringo.

Two photographs taken on 35mm film in 2003 or 2004.

Digital pictures taken in 2010
and 2011, respectively.

A digital photograph and another
picture taken on 35mm film, 2012.



It was not so long ago that I thought that my dog, Ringo, would be around for a few more years to come, and hoped that he would pass away, peacefully, in his sleep… not leaving me with the choice to make that I had to make now - twelve years, one month, and fifteen days after Ringo was born…

In bold defiance of the many hot summers and cold winters that had passed in his lifetime, Ringo remained young at heart to the very end and continued to bring joy to my life… the youthful desires of his mind at times exceeding the physical realities of his age… running through the fields, chasing his green rubber ball, carrying his cuddly toys around the garden as if they were his own puppies…

On a routine check-up half a year ago, the vet diagnosed Ringo with a tumour, which, by the time it was discovered, had grown too big inside his nose to remove. Despite the fact that with every week that passed by, he’d breathe harder, he never gave up on being alive, right until that sad day when he was too weak to get up, which was when I had to have him put down and looked into his eyes for one last time.

It’s on occasions like this that sometimes I wish I could just believe in the hereafter, like so many other people do… a world beyond this one, a place where he’d be allowed to forever run through fields and jump across creeks and chase that rubber ball… free of all our earthly bonds, forever young and wild at heart. But I can’t…

Nevertheless, his memory will always remain… his dark brown eyes, his fur, the way he’d always reach out for me with one paw when I’d sit close to him. Time heals all wounds, so they say… but I’ll be working on this one for a long time.


And when your sorrow is comforted
(time soothes all sorrows)
you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)



I will miss you forever, my dear friend, and I will think of you – every day – for the rest of my life.


22 June 2012

Crazy Love


I can hear her heart beat from a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her that's where I belong
Yet I'm running to her like a river's song

She's got a fine sense of humour when I'm feeling low down
And when I come to her when the sun goes down
Take away my trouble, take away my grief
Take away my heartache, in the night like a thief

(Van Morrison - Crazy Love)


Saint-Chély-du-Tarn and Sainte-Enimie, respectively.
France. 
September 2011.




My friend from Teddington, Oliver, is coming to Hamburg next Tuesday, for half a year of work experience. He'll be staying at my place and I'm looking forward to having a few beers soon. On Friday, we'll meet up with some of my girl friends - one of whom will leave Hamburg on Sunday to spend a year as an au pair in Putney. What are the odds? 

Tonight's match Germany vs. Greece was awesome. Now I'm looking forward to England vs. Italy on Sunday, and hopefully England vs. Germany in the semi-final.

Goodnight.

- Dom