A bunch of flowers

A second lockdown and five different types of blooms. Time for some indoor photography. READ MORE BELOW

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England’s second national lockdown has seen closures in an effort to keep people at home and curb the spread of coronavirus.

The M&S Foodhall here in Manchester – an essential store and still open – has a ‘pick and mix’ floral selection for creating your own bouquet at home.

I broke the rules and chose four varieties for their colours and interesting structures, perfect for macro shots.

Indigo Veronica stalks, cushions of yellow Goldenrod, fluffy Umbellifer and dramatic Sea Holly. Standalone beauties!

Miniature chrysanthemums

I also bought miniature chrysanthemums. Tap/click image for more flower photos

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Five modern buildings that will inspire you

Modern architecture is rubbish. Actually, I don’t think so. New buildings can be some of the world’s most innovative, striking and inspiring creations. Here’s five that have made a lasting impression on me and are worth visiting. I’d love to hear your nominations!

DOHA, QATAR (2008)

This Middle Eastern waterfront building combines clean lines with elements of Islamic design. It’s become a must-see in Doha for oozing architectural cool as well as the treasures it houses. Classy, photogenic and Instagrammable. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar


A building comprising of cubes, a great deal of glass and even an open window on the sky. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the space. It’s an unexpected feature of a city best known for its ancient history and genteel architecture. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE MODERN JAPAN

Visitors at the Museum of 21st Century Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan


This hunk of blue glass positioned next to Reykjavik’s waterfront is a centre for concerts and conferences. It’s a very impressive building to find in such a small capital city and is a photographically mesmerising from all angles. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE REYKJAVIK

Harpa concert hall, Reykjavik, Iceland


A contemporary place of worship but also a major tourist attraction. Its numerous domes and minarets make it stylistically the most traditional of these five buildings. But it looks shimmering and new while being very photogenic. TAP/CLICK IMAGE TO SEE MORE

Interior of Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi


A local building which first took my fancy earlier this year. It’s a faculty building of Manchester Metropolitan University, with a striking exterior which has many perspectives and alters in different conditions. Both the university and Manchester have their fair share of new architecture, which seems to delight and disquiet in equal measure. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE NEW MANCHESTER

Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Manchester autumn

Autumn. Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness. Beautiful leaves. Some years it’s left me cold. But this year it’s caught my eye here in Manchester. READ MORE BELOW

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My neighbourhood of Castlefield, set by the canal close to central Manchester, was an obvious place to explore. The trees are rich with colour and leaves have scattered into the water.

I contrasted this urban setting with a trip to Fletcher Moss Park, a delightful area of gardens and woodland in Didsbury, south Manchester. They didn’t disappoint.

This year, for whatever reasons, I’ve revitalised a passion for capturing autumn/fall. It might be obvious, but it’s good for the soul and absorbing, don’t you think?

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Five capital cities to explore and enjoy

Your first port of call in a new country is often the capital city. It’s the national hub, showpiece and population centre. It’s easy to pick world class cities such as London, Paris and Berlin. But I’m sharing five less obvious choices to add to your travel goals. As always, please share your favourite capitals!


An exciting yet languid capital city showcasing decades of Fidel Castro’s communism in a tropical Caribbean climate. Havana is less about stately edifices but the shabby chic pastels of its elegantly crumbling buildings. A photographer’s wet dream. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF CUBA

You must: Stroll around the back streets and take it all in.

Elegant crumbling Havana street corner, Cuba

Havana’s battered look is its greatest asset


The world’s most northerly capital city is a place of compact size and immense cool, with some unexpectedly dazzling architecture. It’s also a city where the magnificent Icelandic landscape is never far away. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE

You must: Take a trip up to the Perla Dome for some wonderful views.

View of Reykyavik from Perlan Dome

Reykyavik: Small but beautifully formed


This Arabian Gulf capital seems to sit in the shadow of its more famous, glitzy neighbour Dubai. But it feels more like a real, working city with all the benefits – a very pleasant seaside corniche, some modern high rises – and warm winter sunshine. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE

You must: See the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Go at sunset and after dark.

Skyline of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The UAE capital has an ultra-modern skyline


This undulating Caucasian capital sits in a spectacular spot and has an array of architecture and attractions. What I liked about it most was its energetic vibe and nighttime liveliness. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF GEORGIA

You must: Ride the Soviet era metro and take the cable car for sunset views

Mother Georgia statue in Tbilisi

Mother Georgia has a great view of Tbilisi


This five of the best is the largest capital city. Tokyo prefecture is home to a staggering 38 million people. If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, it’s a baptism of fire with its complex transport system, unfamiliar cultural norms and frenetic vibe. Just go with the flow and you’ll come to love it. Even I managed not to get lost. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF URBAN JAPAN

You must: Visit bewildering Shibuya and walk in the other direction – you’ll hear birds sing.

View of Tokyo's Shibuya district

Shibuya is an intensely urbanised area of Tokyo

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