Devon & London Life
A few years ago I retired to the old English seaport of Dartmouth, living in a listed building that dates back to Elizabethan times. My local pub "The Cherub" is the oldest building in town and dates back to 1380. Frances Drake and Walter Raleigh used to unload booty from captured Spanish galleons here and their crews probably drunk Grog and Porter in Dartmouth waterfront bars. Home of the Britania Royal Naval College for officers, including male Royal Family members, the annual Royal Regatta and haunt of yachtsmen, mariners, ex-navy men, artists and photographers. Dartmouth seems an ideal anchorage for an ex-deep sea diver who needs a billet ashore to hang up his helmet, or "hat" as professional commercial divers always call them. Devon has some of the most beautiful landscape and coastline I have seen anywhere on earth and Dartmouth is a gorgeous town with a plethora of good dining and elegant shops. I am exceedingly happy here.
I lived primarily in London from January 1969 until May 2007, apart from a year spent living in Narrogin Western Australia around 1991, some time in New Mexico in 2003 and constant overseas travel in my former profession.
London remains the most cosmopolitan, sophisticated, cultured, historically complex & endlessly fascinating City I have seen anywhere but Dartmouth is certainly the most romantic and beautiful and similar visually to many small Norwegian coastal ports that I knew through diving although far prettier and sunnier, with palm trees on the quay. All the pictures on this home site except those of Dartmouth are mine, except for self-portraits where I set up my camera, handed it to somebody else to press the shutter or used a timer.
I lived for 15 years about 300 yards from Regent's Park in the centre of Camden Town, the UK equivalent of Greenwich Village in New York, with amazing street markets, youth-culture, creative people and multi-ethnic street life. plus elegant Georgian terraces, in one of which I lived for a decade. A tourist magnet, the youth of Europe, the Commonwealth, Asia and Japan pass through Camden every weekend, seeking the bars, clubs, markets and great night-life. Camden "Rocks" and is such a Mecca for Fetish uber-goths, punks and style-junkies, that it is known as the "People's Republic of Camden" and busier at 4 am Saturday night than many towns at noon!
In complete contrast Dartmouth in Devon where I now live, has a timeless beauty of a different kind. I can see the harbour where "square riggers"still often moor, from my bedroom window and start every day with the sound of gulls, lung fulls of sea air, the waterfront of my beloved and ancient ocean in sight 100 paces from my front door. Add sunshine and it is close to perfection.