Photography reminds me that, despite all its difficulties, this is still a beautiful world: A set of my favourite photos of 2013 is here. It’s been an eventful year in Parliament: my colleague Douglas Carswell provides a good summary. Great forces continue to work themselves out in our economy, society and political system: Parliament appears to be rising slowly to their challenges. I look forward to 2014. In the meantime, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
I dived down to Cornwall this weekend to see my father and mother, completely forgetting a proper camera. Charlestown nevertheless looks good enough thanks to Pro HDR on iPhone: St Austell Brewery stands next to my old school, Poltair. This photo brings back memories of many happy days spent learning surrounded by the smell of hops and malt.
Flowers at RHS Wisley 2, a photo by stevenjbaker on Flickr. I thoroughly recommend the stunning gardens at RHS Wisley. Don’t miss the heather if you go soon and do take the best camera you can: here’s why.
On 8 June this year, my friend Jake Simkins was killed BASE jumping in Greece. I attended his funeral this afternoon, where I agreed to share this photo from our skydiving trip to Portugal in 2009: In a world of near-universal anxiety and neurosis, Jake chose to live life fully. A poem by Jake was read this afternoon which ended: It’s a pity that I can’t sit just here, And think about my death of fear. Jake leaves behind a wonderful […]
Beth and I just returned from our summer holiday – a week in West Cornwall. Even for someone born in St Austell, we were a long way west. The Penwith Heritage Coast was the heart of Cornwall’s hard rock mining industry which extracted tin, copper and arsenic in particular. With other employments including fishing, farming, smuggling and wrecking, Cornwall was a tough place in the nineteenth century, when tin mining there peaked and declined. The sunsets over the sea were particularly […]
Each year, the good people of High Wycombe weigh the Mayor, the councillors and the MP to check who is gaining weight at taxpayer expense. It’s a magnificent idea but strangely my Westminster colleagues seem reluctant to institute the tradition on Parliament Square. Unfortunately, I put a little weight on in my first year, it turned out. Here’s me making the most of being booed as a pantomime villain after the fateful cry of “and some more!” Happily, the weight […]
Blogging will be infrequent until the new year at my wife’s special request. I’ll be finishing my constituency work today and then taking Christmas off. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this shot of St Lawrence Church West Wycombe at night. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!