31 January 2012

Just Like Fire Would

Neolithic blade.
Found near Bremen, Germany, in August 2011.

I found this Neolithic blade made of either chert or flint while I was working in field archaeology last summer. It took me a while to take a picture of it and post it on here. I'm not too obsessed with the Neolithic Period - my favourite subjects are the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and certain periods within the first millenium AD - long story short, I don't know much about the Neolithic. A date of something between 4000 and 6000 BC should be fairly accurate though. I found a similar one on this website... that artifact is bigger in size though, and better in quality. I believe that the manufacturer of the blade I found didn't finish his job, maybe because he had to move on to another place.
Anyway, the find I made isn't anything special, but I wanted to share it on here because quite a few people have asked me why I chose to study archaeology. Here's my answer: It has been my childhood dream to become an archaeologist, and while I'd rather keep my part-time job as a bartender and turn that one into a full-time job after graduation, it's been a great three years and I loved almost every minute of it. I certainly loved the work out at several excavation sites across Northern Germany. To find something that has been buried for a few hundred, one thousand years or even a few thousand years, something that hasn't been touched by another human being since that day the artifact was forgotten somewhere or got lost, is quite amazing - even if it's only a blade. 
Click here and here to see more pictures of finds I made at excavation sites near Bremen and in Bardowick, respectively.

Blog post title taken from the song by The Saints.

26 January 2012

Here I Go Again

No I don't know where I'm going
But I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
And I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time

Here I go again

Here I go again

Though I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I'm looking for
Oh Lord, I pray
You give me strength to carry on
'Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I've ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone

(Whitesnake - Here I Go Again)

Essex, California.
Amboy, California.
June 2009.

Of all the places I've been to, the desert of Southern California is one of my favourites. I can't wait to go back...

Click here to view another recent blog post featuring pictures taken in California's Mojave Desert.

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to visit Yosemite National Park before I needed to be back in Phoenix for my connecting flight to Newark... Thinking back, I would've preferred to spend more time in the South-West rather than spending a week in the New York / New Jersey - area. This amazing timelapse shows exactly why.

The next thing has nothing to do with this blog post about the American West, but it has something to do with photography, so let me share these stunning photographs of the Northern Lights from National Geographic's website.

Goodnight y'all!

- Dom

25 January 2012

Ghost Ships

Ghost ships are sailing on empty seas
The light that was in the darkness
It does not shine on me

Like an old man I run to find the shore
And the light that was in your eyes
Doesn't shine there anymore

(The Saints - Ghost Ships)

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.
July 2007.
Medium format film.

This is the only picture I liked from a roll of medium format film that I had developed recently. I've always loved lighthouses and of course the sea. Sometimes, I don't like the smell of it... most of the time I do. Isn't it funny that I've been living in Hamburg for three and a half years now but I've not yet been to the city's famous fish market?

I made an attempt at taking a self-portrait earlier today before I went to work. I took the last one in September while in France. Wasn't happy with the results... I'll try to do a better job on my next day off. I'll also try to finally get around to posting a picture of that fascinating find I made when I worked in field archaeology last summer...

Anyway, goodnight now!

- Dom

23 January 2012

Word Of Mouth

Now the world is getting older
there's a few things to be said
Do you believe the things they told you
do you believe the things you've read

There's a rumour on the corner
but it's always been denied
'Cause they don't want you any wiser
you're just toeing the party line

From the west side to the east side
from the north side to the south
You'll never get bad information
if you believe in the word of mouth

(Mike & The Mechanics - Word Of Mouth)

Joshua Tree National Park, California.
June 2009.

"A picture is a poem without words."

Apart from my job at the coffee shop, there's another thing that keeps me busy this week. I'm doing research for an upcoming presentation about the Stadtschloss and Neues Museum in Berlin. The former was demolished on the orders of the government of the German Democratic Republic, the latter was destroyed in World War II. The Museum was partially rebuilt and partially restored, the Schloss is work in progress.

One of the things I always liked about the American west are those old fashioned bulb signs and the slightly more modern neon signs. Here are some great links for those of you who enjoy the good old stuff as much as I do: Click here to see pictures taken in the Vegas neon sign museum bone yard; this link will lead you to a blog from the UK; Urban Remains sells what they call architectural artifacts; there is also a Flickr group; last but not least, click here to see some pictures taken by yours truly.

Here's a collection of stunning black & white long exposures. Click here to view photographs of the beautiful Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.

The blog Small Town Noir has been an enjoyable read while I had breakfast this morning. I love mugshots.

It's no secret that I'm a music lover, since almost all posts on this blog feature at least one link to a song. While I've posted links that lead to covers done by professional artists, I've never posted a link to a cover done by amateurs... most of them are just no good... recently however, I came across covers of two of my favourite songs and they're simply awesome: Free Falling (a Tom Petty song) and Ripple (by the Grateful Dead). In addition, I found this wonderful cover of a song by the Bruce Springsteen, The Last Carnival.

Have a great week!

- Dom

22 January 2012

Vanishing Point

1st photograph: Sausalito, CA.
2nd photograph: San Francisco, CA.
June 2009.

That guitar theme from "Vanishing Point" is one beautiful tune...

Even though I'm still planning a trip around southern Scandinavia and - in case the friend who wants to come with won't be available - a visit to Israel, I'm already looking ahead to what's coming next. 
It's already been two and a half years since my last visit to the United States, and on account of several invitations to stay at people's places, I couldn't help but think about possible routes. Route 66 - the whole length of it, of course! - is tempting. A coast-to-coast trip would be another option.
I've been to 24 States so far, some of them several times: Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming in 2003; Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia in 2007; Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, North Carolina and again New Jersey and New York in 2009. You see, the whole Mid West is still a blank spot on my personal map. 
What has always surprised me is that most Americans that I've spoken to have seen less of their own country than I have. 
Anyway, what I'm thinking about is renting a Dodge Charger for ten days and just getting out on the road, into the great wide open, driving all day listening to Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead.
Tell me, doesn't that sound nice?

20 January 2012

Solsbury Hill

Richmond Hill, Richmond upon Thames, UK.
June 2011.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night

He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen, had no choice

I did not believe the information
I just had to trust imagination

My heart going boom, boom, boom

"Son", he said, "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home"

(Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill)

This is my 300th blog post since I started "Running To The Light" in the late summer of 2009. I'm not planning to get cheesy now, so let me just say this much: Thank you so much for following my blog and for all the wonderful comments! I really appreciate it.

Back to business as usual now... It's been a busy twelve days since my last blog post, so here's a rather lengthy list of links I like. 

Tusen Ramundberget restaurant

Bicycles and motorcycles
Deus Triumph Bonneville; Honda CB550 Cafe Racer (this is one of the most beautiful custom motorcycles I've ever seen); Interview with Charley Boorman; Paul Brodie.


Bruce Springsteen's new single has been released this week!

A funny article about goats.

Aernout OverbeekeAndreas OhlundArthur Elgort; Jason Travis' amazing "Persona" - series; Jennifer GreenburgJoakim Eskildsenvintage photos from a Vespa trip around Europe.

New photos coming soon, weather permitting.

Have a nice weekend!

- Dom

08 January 2012

Signal To Noise

Send out the signals deep and loud

Man, I'm losing sound and sight
Of all those who can tell me wrong from right
When all things beautiful and bright
Sink in the night

Yet there's still something in my heart
That can find a way
To make a start

To turn up the signal
Wipe out the noise

Strasbourg, France.
September 2011.

Another picture that didn't make it into the original posts, the ones I published in September and early October. Strasbourg is a beautiful town. Click here to see an old drawing of Strasbourg. I love old drawings and paintings of cities almost as much as I love old maps of countries.

I still need to develop the 35mm film from my underwater camera, which I used when we stayed in the Gorges du Tarn for a couple days.

As I came home from work, my phone had just started ringing. It was Freddy, my classmate from London, who, along with my university buddy Domian, had come along on the trip to France. He'd just visited me in Hamburg in December, but he couldn't wait to further discuss our plans for another trip. We agreed to visit southern Scandinavia - Denmark, Norway, Sweden - this summer. Hopefully, nothing will get in the way of our plans. Like our trip around France, this next road trip will require thorough research to get the most out of our visit.

The song quoted above is one of my favourite songs by Peter Gabriel. I've said before that I loved the music of Genesis with Phil Collins as their lead singer more than their earlier songs with Peter Gabriel as lead vocalist, but as for Collins' and Gabriel's solo albums, Collins can't compare with Gabriel. Khan was first introduced to me by my lovely friend Rachel, when she played this album to me.

Goodnight, and have a great week!

- Dom

07 January 2012

Shinin' Brightly

Mosque, Hamburg, Germany.
January 2012.

Well, it's shinin' brightly
It's lookin' pretty right
From the early morning
To really really late at night
It's lookin' pretty good today
The dark clouds are rollin' away
Oh and it's shinin' brightly
And I think it's gonna be okay

(Bob Seger)

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas; even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

(Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi)

Have a nice weekend y'all!

- Dom

Against The Wind

Alster Lake, Hamburg, Germany.
January 2012.

It seems like yesterday, but it was long ago
Janey was lovely, she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio, playin' low
The secrets that we shared, mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
'Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove

And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

(Bob Seger - Against The Wind)

05 January 2012

Red Hill Mining Town

Roussillon, Vaucluse, France.
September 2011.

The village of Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre found in the clay nearby. Nowadays, mining is prohibited and tourism has replaced the ochre industry. 

One of the friends who joined me on the road trip around the south of France, Freddy, came over to Hamburg for a visit during the holidays. Of course, we talked about the trip, and I couldn't help but look through my archive again. I had a hell of a time down there. We all did. But I really needed a break from the monotony of what my life was like at that point just before we embarked on our journey.
Now, I'm really happy with my life and I don't need to go on a trip. However, I do want to go on a trip this coming summer.

Spain and Sweden are possible destinations. I thought about going on a road trip around England - visiting some of my favourite places over there - but as much as I enjoyed my stay in London last summer, I also realised that it's no longer my home. I'm not planning on moving back. I don't think I'll stay in Hamburg for many years to come, but I'll never go back to London. Places change, and so do people. I had only been gone for three years, yet so much had changed already. Restaurants and shops I used to know were gone and replaced by others. Friends have moved away, to Dublin and Newcastle, Oxford and Southampton, to France and Italy, even as far away as Australia and China. It just wouldn't be the same thing. London - and England - have always been a part of me. They played their part in making me what I am. Now, three and a half years after moving away, however, they seem more like a memory to me... and memories fade away, like rain, like sunsets, like tears. 

Anyway, why did I pick those two countries as possible destinations for a trip? There's lots of amazing architecture, beautiful landscapes and delicious food down in Spain - Barcelona, Bilbao, and San Sebastian are must-see cities.  
Up north in Sweden, there's beautiful girls, beautiful girls, and... beautiful girls. There's also beautiful landscapes, beautiful old towns and beautiful stave churches. I'm also interested in Scandinavian history. Last but not least, I attended a Swedish language course last year after the Hebrew class I had previously attended began to get too boring... and now I can't wait to use some of my language skills.

I haven't forgotten that I'm studying archaeology, so one blog post this month will focus on that topic - I want to show you a picture of something I found at the excavation site I worked at last summer, and I would also like to share some links to articles and photographs.

Apart from the memories, the other reason why I decided to upload an old picture despite the fact that I had yesterday off is the lousy weather in Hamburg... there wouldn't have been any point in leaving the house; it rained too much to take pictures.

Blog post title taken from the song of the same name by U2.

Have a nice day.

- Dom