London, soft, grey and cool

I arrived in London on Tuesday night late, and after catching a bus, a plane, a train, a tube and a cab, I’m in a hotel in Kensington Square, in a tiny but clean and bright little room with real internet and a real window that really opens, looking out onto a square full of trees, with leaves changing to all colours of yellow and reddish-brown.

Kensington Square

It seems I am graced with Fall wherever I go; St. Louis, Philly, Barcelona, and now this last lick of it in London. Leaves, leaves, Bill would be so pleased. It’s not cold here- just cool, damp and grey. London grey.

My interview with Oliver Thompson was mostly conducted around a photoshoot by Natasha Bidgood. I had contacted her a couple of weeks ago after seeing and loving her earlier shots of Ollie’s band Rubber Kiss Goodbye. She turned out to be just the sort of person I love to work with and work near, as is Oliver- low-key, well-organized and focused.

I was excited when I saw her winding up a camera, I said, “REAL FILM!” and she said, yeah, a few rolls- she had some gorgeous vintage Kodak black and white she wanted to try out in addition to the digital shots.

Oliver Thompson and Natasha Bidgood 2

For the four hours of the interview and shoot, Ollie played, fooled around with pedals, and treated us to a few previews of new stuff from his band Ollie Forrest. I asked questions as we went along, took notes.

Natasha Bidgood and Oliver Thompson by Kate McKinnon Nov 2013

As you can see, they are both adorable- she’s got a great ’60s look about her and my hair was once again inspired to grow longer.

I’m sticking around London until the 1st, to catch the last Ferry show (or at least that’s my current plan) and then on home to Tucson, then St. Louis then…the whirl continues. I’m happy to be well. I’m working like a fiend in every crack possible, but still trying to take advantage of the exciting places I find myself. I’m going to the Tate Modern before I leave London, that’s for sure, it’s on my Yeslist of museums that allow photography and don’t hassle people who seem too interested in front of a painting. Plus, they have a Paul Klee exhibit on.

Today, though, I’m staying in until I write up yesterday. I have to catch it before it fades.

Ollie and Natasha Nov 2013


The classic scene, looking at shots in the screen of a digital camera, an image that feels like home to those of us who seem to go from shoot to shoot in life.

Back in the days of real film, we’d be gathered around Polaroids, waiting for them to develop.
Humorously, Natasha shot a few of those as well, and I loved her even harder.


5 thoughts on “London, soft, grey and cool

  1. oooooooh, beautiful leaves. and Paul Klee, aaaaaah… lucky girl!
    Have you been hassled because you seemed too interested in a painting? that’s odd! One can never be TOO interested in a painting. In addition, isn’t that what musea are supposed to be there for? Enjoy your stay and the Ferryman’s show!

    • You know my position on this- some museums are simply run by people who have lost the plot and who are not particularly keen on the public beyond taking admissions fees, and want to restrict real interaction with the work to the usual suspects and privileged few. Same as it ever was.

      Some other museums, however, seem to grasp that their function extends beyond collecting admissions fees and keeping the Great Unwashed as far as possible from the work.

      I have a museum shitlist and a museum yeslist, and a list of museums that are worth going to even though they are run by Culture Fascists.

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