Kathmandu is a diverse city with all its noise and pollution, its poverty and its culture. The most striking thing about Kathmandu is its abundance of life, people carving out an existence under sometimes difficult circumstances. In Kathmandu for instance there is a load shedding system on the power. Electricity is off for fourteen hours in any one specific area then comes back on for only six on a circulatory system. Also in the winter water because of the frozen reserves in the mountains, is at a scarcity and then tap water not even drinkable when available. Despite this Kathmandu is rich in myriad ways, not rich in the sense that the people have very much (in the way of money or possessions), they have very little. What I find in Kathmandu is that people because they have so little are in fact noticeably happier – there is still a sense of community, everybody shares what they do have and mostly everybody smiles – there is a level of happiness we could only aspire to in the west.
My first trip away this year was in January, to Carcassonne, France. I had decided that I could not feasibly take any more photographs of Liverpool and needed to book flights, and I had always wanted to see Carcassonne.
I was talking with my sister about the trip and she reminded me that our aunt had a panoramic photograph of Carcassonne on her living room wall when I was young, which I would have seen on one of our family trips to Holland when I was a child, which is where she lived. It amazed me how deeply rooted our desires are and how much our childhood dictates to our adult life, even without our awareness; I was oblivious to the origin of my wish to see Carcassonne when planning the trip. I must have seen this image of Carcassonne when I was about eight; had generated the desire to see it and then filed it under ‘must see one day’ – and then forgot it. Carcassonne became the second location on my bucket list of places to see and photograph.
Carcassonne did not disappoint any. The old city is a medieval concentric castle and the terms ‘mystical’ or ‘fairytale’ are worthy descriptions of this picturesque town. A concentric castle is one with walls that surround a central keep in concentric rings and which in turn are surrounded by a moat. The streets are cobbled and the interior of the town has a market square with innumerable restaurants and bars that cater to thousands of tourists from all over the world, in the summer months. In January however the story is very different and the streets were deserted making for excellent photography. Carcassonne is quite near the Pyrenees and in the Languedoc region of France. The temperature was -2, when I arrived but the skies where clear for almost the whole time. This is a selection of the images I took.