Bon Om Touk – Traditional racing boats

Late November is the season of ‘Bon Om Touk’ in Cambodia when the Khmer celebrate the end of monsoon season and the change in the flow of the great Mekong river. Traditional wooden racing boats are re-painted and taken to the local rivers to race. Banned in Phnom Penh in recent years after a bridge collapse Siem Reap has been fortunate to be able welcome the racing boats back this year.

The below image was shot at Wat Athvea where the local artisans and monks paint the wooden hulls under the pagoda. This afternoons photo tour I was particularly drawn to the shadows of the harsh midday light and the vivid colours of painted decoration.

Take a creative photography escape on tour with me in 2016…

 

Oink!

Founded by Capt Giles, Oink! have been making a noise in the street food market for the last two years providing food to festival goers, private weddings and at live music venues across the South of England. From humble beginnings Giles turned a vintage horse box into a Oink’s mobile kitchen including pots of fresh herbs, their own allotment grown organic vegetables and the finest locally sourced pork. Oink are a great example of the current trend for locally sourced food combined with great character.

 

Passionate about grub with a menu that includes their own range of bespoke sausages, locally sourced spit roast port and scrumptious rosemary and nutmeg pork patties.

Oink! has three main tenants to it’s ethos:

1 – ‘Carbon free is the future’ – By off setting the costs of farming, transportation and cooking.

2 – ‘Local is crucial’ – Products sourced so locally you can even follow their four legged partners progress over at iSty!

3 – ‘Seasonal food is super’ – Growing food on their own allotment and sourcing from local farmers markets & local artisan bakeries.

Supporting new business that works with the environment and uses sustainable farming I particularly like food shoots that involve porky scratchings. May many more young businesses with an ethos like the above thrive. You can book Oink! for your event by visiting their website www.oinktheporkcompany.co.uk

Happy Vaisakhi

I went for a walk with my friends little boy who we commonly know as Pobbins yesterday. We weren’t expecting to be enveloped in the crowds of Southampton’s Sikh community who were celebrating Vaisakhi. An ancient northern Indian harvest festival that also celebrates the ‘oneness of all’ within the Sikh tradition; drummers, dancers, singers and a holy man swept us along the streets proffering delicious samosas and some of the warmest of smiles I have met since being back in the UK.

Pulse ~ a festival for the heart

I had such a wonderful response to my recent blog about the Secret Garden Party festival I thought I should treat you to some more festival wild things that are we humble humans in full summer bloom in thanks for your kind words!

Pulse Festival grew from a little idea to raise some cash for Southampton’s Children’s Heart Unit as two fathers shared their concerns over their children’s ill health from congenital heart disease. From little acorns come large oaks and this wonderful family festival encompassed all that is good about colourful festival people, the music scene in Hampshire and and our green countryside. Located at Sunnyfield’s Organic Farm there were pigs to pet, organic produce to nosh on and tractor rides to keep the dads … sorry kids happy!

We got to see our lovely friend singer, songwriter and guitarist Lucy Kitchen sing her blend of folky acoustic sounds including the beautiful ‘Blue Eyes’ and a haunting rendition of Lamb’s ‘Gabriel’ one of my personal top 10 ten favourite tunes.

Watching the Pulse people go by in their festival finery was a joy as ever and it was a pleasure to see so many happy families, daft dad dancing and painted faces. We didn’t stay for the evening as my daughter was leaving for three months travels the next day but I did round off my fun with a good jump around to Pronghorn.

One of Hampshire’s finest products of cow punk Pronghorn played Glastonbury this year and got this south coast crowd jumping and one little girl deciding it wasn’t quite her cup of tea…she’ll learn!

As day turned to evening a sunny shower freshened up the revellers and brought with it a rainbow. May it be a good portent for all of the families supported at Southampton General Hospital and may this little acorn of a festival grow into a sturdy oak. I believe the cash raised is still being counted but estimates suggest nearly £10,000 will be winging it’s way to the Heart Unit. A brilliant result, a beautiful event, do let’s have another!