The Lifeboat Station Project

Great news. I haven’t had to use a lifeboat yet.
But, disclaimer: I’m writing this on a sunny June afternoon while sitting in my study in Cape Town.

Still… got to start somewhere, right?

The Lifeboat Station Project is, in the words of The Lifeboat Station Project:

… about the lifeboat volunteers, for the lifeboat volunteers.

Photography has been in Jack Lowe’s blood since he was a young boy. Aged 8, he received a Kodak Instamatic camera from his grandmother, a turning point from which he’s never looked back.

The earliest seeds of this project were sown in Jack’s childhood, when his love for lifeboats began. Much later in life, after a career in photography, Jack found himself searching for a change in direction — something that would take him away from sitting in front of computers all day!

He considered what he felt most passionate about and wrote these words on a piece of paper:

That scrap of paper — along with a lot of thinking, dreaming and planning — led Jack to the idea of travelling to all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland to photograph them, in order to preserve a vital aspect of our island nation’s culture for generations to come.

And there’s a twist! Jack works as the Victorians used to, making the photographs on glass from his mobile darkroom — a decommissioned ambulance called Neena.

Neena! Get it? Brilliant.

So yes, this is photos of lifeboat stations and their crews, ‘togged through one of those olde worlde cameras and which will be eventually sold in aid of the charity.

That’s the Whitby crew (including the infamous “Whitby 2“).

And here’s Ilfracombe:

At the time of writing, Jack has visited 105 stations (but none of the 5 on the Isle of Man). He has 133 to go, and will only finish in 2021.

Finals Day

This is another prewritten post, so I don’t know who is challenging for the 2018 World Cup. In fact, at this stage (the tournament kicks off in about 3 hours), even Google is unaware:

And you know that if Google doesn’t know, then neither does anyone else.

8 years ago, it was the final of the World Cup in South Africa. And, while it wasn’t held in Cape Town, I still think a quota photo of the stadium is somehow appropriate. After all, one of the semi-finals (I believe there’s one of them happening today?) was held here:

I actually took this in December 2009 – on the night of the draw for the World Cup in South Africa, after a busy night on Long Street.



Remember Alright from 1995? You know, Oxford (or was it Wheatley?) band Supergrass riding the Britpop wave with a pearly king banging out the staccato intero on a seaside upright piano (was it in Portmeirion?) before the boys were towed around town on a double bed?

Of course you do.

That was all so long ago, but now Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has given us a much more mature sound with Walk The Walk.

A great, bass guitar-driven pseudo funk offering with gliding strings in the middle 8 and featuring an interesting video set at a poker evening.

It’s good stuff, and it’s my Quota Video for today.

National Lakes

I got sent an email. It read:

National Lakes is a new band featuring Black Hotels singer and songwriter John Boyd.

And there were Facebook and Soundcloud links attached.

Given my favourable opinions of the Black Hotels (you’ll have heard them here, here and here), I wasn’t going to give this one a miss.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

So much of The Cure in that music. So much of… er… The Black Hotels in that voice: the gentle yet precise annunciation.

Lovely. Nice work, John Boyd.


I promised, not so very long ago, that we’d make a return to Muse’s back catalogue with the song that I didn’t share that day. And here I am, and it is. (Truth is, I’m writing this post immediately after I wrote that post as part of my scheduled blogging while I’m on holiday, but please don’t tell the purists.)

Mercy then, with all the electronica, rock’n’roll and soaring vocals of Bliss, but now with added piano and a flash of a Pincushion Protea at 1:07.

This video demonstrating the difficulties inherent in attempting to mentally reprogramme android women should be a slautory warning not to try this sort of potentially dangerous science.

The android protagonist in this case is played by actress Elle Evans who can also be found playing the blonde girl in Robin Thicke’s rapey song Blurred Lines, the commercial success of which, when compared to Muse’s effort above, says ever so much about the sad state of the world we live in.