Saturday, 8 September 2012

India beckons!

I am on my way, not quite to Cambodia yet, although that may be just next year, I am now on my way to India, the visas are here, the tickets are booked, we have all the money we will need, we take off from Manchester to Kerala in one month, we will be there six weeks! I am a british citizen but my partner is Swedish, the internet Led us to beleive that the visa process would be long, drawn out and a pain in the ass. Not so! We went to Birmingham to hand in the forms in person, I had my visa in three working days and my partner, who had to fill in a non resident form had hers in five. Im sorry but I think that is great service, hats off to VFS for sorting it so well, if this is indian paper pushing well, bring it on, this was easy. The subcontinent will mo doubt be a challenge but one that I relish, I will be updating here and also pictures on and pictures, films and reports on Check it all out, I'm going to make it very entertaining. L.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I have been successfully discontinued!

I have been thinking about the atmosphere in corporate britain today, by corporate I mean any large company, any corporate structure with local, regional and national management heirarchies. The sum of my reflections is simple; as a low level worker you are utterly replaceable, they genuinely do not care about you. It makes no difference how good you are at your job, you are dispensible. At my place of work one complaint will result in one of the directors ripping our general manager apart, even though we have about three thousand people a week through the doors they seem to think one compaint is statistically significant, bizarre! Even though I have constantly excelled at my job I am no more secure than anyone, in five weeks I leave for India for a couple of months and I can not wait, I may come back here at christmas but we will see, I am soon to be successfully discontinued! L.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

quod me nutrit me destruit. ( what nourishes me also destroys me. )

Some things seem to be necessary: drink, drugs of all kinds and excess in general. While this is true only in moderation, excess in moderation, what a strange concept. Yet it is so, too much excess will in time destroy, too little excess will tire and bore. So it would seem we should find the right level of excess. The path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. (William Blake) quod me nutrit me destruit. (What nurishes me also destroys me.)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

This week

This week we will be getting out and doing some filming for, we are going to make a short documentary about a homeless man called Nathan, the angle will be slightly different than the usual run of the mill homeless documentary. While dealing with the issue we will be focusing on the person rather than the issue as a faceless whole. There are other projects in the pipeline too, we will be going to Sweden in a couple of months and London is on the cards as well. Watch this space.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hashish farm in the Riff mountains, Morocco.

I was recently in the Riff mountains in Morocco, this area until recently produced the vast majority of the hashish consumed in the world. In the last few years the relative lawlessness of Afghanistan has meant that they have taken over the title of the biggest producers but the Riff still produce massive amounts of the world's hashish.

Some of the most famous forms of hashish are produced here, King Hassan is one and Double Zero is another, these forms will cost you thirteen to fifteen euros a gram in coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

Anyway, back to the Riff. I was in a beautiful little town called Chef Chaouen, a few hours drive into the mountains from Tangier and from here I walked another couple of hours outside of town up into the hills where I was met by my contact. The contact is not what you would thinbk of as a drug dealer, more like a farmer really, which is actually what these people are.

We eventually arrived at a small building with an outdoor area, complete with table and a massive pile of weed drying in the sun; and two indoor rooms, one where hashish was made and tested by buyers and another where it was pressed into blocks and stored.

The business end first, I was offered two types of hashish, one known as pollen which is the press, unpressed hashish: light brown in colour and granular in nature; and the pressed form already shaped and wrapped in plastic wrap ready for swallowing and smuggling. These were both available for thirteen dirham a gram which was about one euro, or the other option was the creme de la creme of moroccan hashish, the King Hassan which cost about six euros a gram.

The deal done we now move into the first room where I am to get to make my own hashish. A large pile of dried weed is placed on top of a membrane stretched over a large bowl. This is in turn covered by another sheet of plastic and then I get to drum the top gently with two sticks, this first gentle beating will produce the better quality King Hassan or Double Zero hashish, later drummings will produce lower quality(but still very good) hashish.

In the other half of the room are a variety of people sat around a table, testing the hashish they have bought, as well as the Kiff, the traditional mixture of tobacco and weed smoked by so many of the Moroccan men for so many generations.

The hashish produced, known as pollen looks like this.

When I was done I was led out the back of the farm, to avoid people coming in, always discreet, and walked through field after field of plants before starting on the walk back down the mountains to Chef Chaouen.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis (All things change, and we change with them.)

It's been a while since my last post and as the title suggests, things have changed but others have stayed the same. Looking back on the early posts in my blog, I was not in such good shape at the beginning, events shape the man and I was seriously depressed; this has changed. The aim of the blog was to chart my progress to Cambodia and I will probably still end up there and will still have this as an aim but first I will aim to live elsewhere, maybe Spain, and to carry on travelling as often as I can.
I have a new job on the horizon now, working with a new website which will be arriving on the scene soon,, my job is to create visual productions, slideshows and documentary film for the site, about anything interesting and from anywhere in the world, it is going to be great and I'll get to train my creative muscles.