KULTURE KIOSK

Paris: Memoir from the Past

Posted by in Culture, Travel

INTRO Paris is always a good idea – Audrey Hepburn You can’t really have a travel or culture blog and not feature Paris can you? And if I know anything about travel writing, it is this… I could blog about Cardiff and Shenzhen with all my heart – and as regular readers know I love those cities – but I also know Paris will easily eclipse them in terms of visitors numbers. A-list cities are like rock stars. You can write about them until you’re (French) blue in the face…read more

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Manila: Transport – More Fun in the Philippines?

Posted by in Transport, Travel

This piece was originally written in 2013 at a time when the Philippines was being battered by a storm from the Pacific. Fortunately this did not affect the capital where I was, but Manila also needed a lot of work. Let’s start at the beginning and a big thanks to my friend and journalist in the Philippines George Buid for the updates. ARRIVAL The Philippines are in the midst of a tourist drive. With their colourful and quirky ‘more fun in the Philippines’ campaign and slogan attracting a lot of media…read more

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Birmingham: Out of the Blue

Posted by in Culture, Travel

INTRO Quick note here, this is one of the hardest blogs I’ve done but as one of the biggest cities in the UK you can’t leave Birmingham out of the equation. It’s a pity that during my time there, like Manchester, several key places to visit were closed. PEN MUSEUM – CLOSED CHINA EXPRESSION GALLERY – CLOSED ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM – CLOSED until 2022! Not only that but I spend several visits trying to locate the city’s iconic Selfridges building only to find the mottled pink, and black blob…read more

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Remember That Flight

Posted by in Culture, Travel

1 COURT LINE Luton – Barcelona – Luton It was the 70s, and airlines were getting funky with their colour schemes. Across the pond America’s Braniff flew planes in anything from Orange to Olive. At home Court line opted to do similar, with 3 tone pink, green and in this case yellow/apricot and orange. It was a Tristar (two engines on each wing and one incorporated into the tail). It flew me (and my family) from Luton to Barcelona then went bust. 2 TWA London Heathrow – Los Angeles I…read more

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David Sylvian: The Sound Atlas

Posted by in Culture, Design, Music, Travel

Writing anything at all about David Sylvian is extremely difficult. So much has already been written and a new level of vocabulary is required, perhaps words that don’t even exist. A body of work that is manicured, stark, at times terrifying (think Tallow Moon or The Rabbit Skinner) and strangely engrossing. It’s often said Sylvian has provided the soundtrack to one’s life so herein lies my personal history (though I hope it is identifiable to you the reader). I should add this is a long read some 9,000 words or…read more

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London: Nostalgia in the Now

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

THE NOSTALGIC FACE OF A NATION AND THE CITY Nostalgia hangs thick in the air of the UK and especially with London. When I return to my spiritual home (Heathrow) literally a city within a city, a Vatican for avgeeks, I find British Airways are not only still flying the jumbo but some are in retro colour schemes recalling 1983 (Negus & Negus designed red union flag fin) and ’85 (Landor’s dark blue fin replacing the red and coupled with the BA ‘to fly, to serve’ crest).   Even the…read more

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London: In Search of Croydon

Posted by in Culture, Transport, Travel

FOXBASE ALPHA My new home base lies somewhere between Heathrow and Gatwick; the two busiest hubs for aviation in the UK. However before those two got off the ground so to speak, the main London airport lay not far up the road just outside of Croydon perched by Purley Way. It is kind of what Templehoff is to Berlin. It’s a further walk from Croydon’s economic centre than I thought. Nonetheless as it was a glorious and strangely mild winter day, why not? The first sign is one of those brown…read more

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Guangzhou: In Search of Old Baiyun

Posted by in Culture, Transport, Travel

URBAN ARCHAEOLOGY It may not be as famous as Kai Tak but Guangzhou or Canton has its own ‘old’ airport and although aware of it, I didn’t know it was so close to town! Not too far from the central train station and even closer to the station that will be built to replace it. Guangzhou like Hong Kong is a city in constant development. Unlike Kai Tak however the site of the old Baiyun airport (the present airport retains the name even if it is in Huadu district) has…read more

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Hong Kong: In Search of Kai Tak

Posted by in Culture, Travel

WISH YOU WERE HERE What is it about absence, the cult of something long since passed or a site that is no longer there that so enraptures the more inquisitive souls of our species. Is it nostalgia? A longing for a forgotten time and place. Or does this line of enquiry encroach on the more arcane worlds of ‘dark tourism’ and ‘psycho-geography?’ Whatever the reason, this exploration of a legend among airfields begins at the end. In 1998 the lights along the harbour runway at Hong Kong’s former airport Kai…read more

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Alphaville: From Germany with Love

Posted by in Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

BROTHERS IN ARMS *This blog contains affiliate links. So you’re young though not necessarily forever young. You’ve got a great singer who can sing and write songs in English. You’re signed to WEA. Your first single is massive, you have the world at your feet, everything seems to have fallen into place with considerable ease and then… this happens…  …and as the ultimate nose rub they’re on the same label and would in time prove bigger in your own country. But band comparisons are nothing new; U2/Simple Minds for example….read more

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