Friday, 30 December 2011

Little Man

I love this little man who lives with his family on an island in the Nile. When I met his folks, they lived exclusively from tourism. This includes allowing tourists into your own home. But my small friend decided that some places were out of bounds and cheerfully blocked the way to the living room with its wondrous collection of prayer mats.

His small act of defiance has stayed with me throughout the Egyptian Revolution. Hopefully, he and all his people will be able to find their way to a better, happier and fairer future in 2012.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Sahel Island, Egypt

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Santa Claus has been very good this year and given me a bag that I'd admired but never dreamed of owning. Also appreciative of his generosity was Alfie, my travelling bear, who quickly purloined it as his preferred means of transport.

Alfie truly proved his worth when we got stuck in a Jordanian desert following the volcano eruption of April 2010. While I fretted in my room, he was calmly relieving the hotel of its whisky supply. No matter where he is, Alf manages to lead a (somewhat disolute) life of his own.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Greetings from Amsterdam!

Amsterdam's favorite means of transport has been transformed into a festive decoration to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas filled with love, laughter and a great deal of happiness.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Staalstraat

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chance Encounter

In these days of euro crisis and cultural cutbacks, I'm constantly astonished by artists who think big rather than small, and use the entire city as both their canvas and gallery. These are works that you can see from the corner of your eye in moments of sheer wonder.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial. Click to enlarge so as to join this nicotine meditation

Friday, 16 December 2011

Magic Shadow-Show

"For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go."
(The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial Taken at the dress rehearsal of the Dutch National Ballet's production of Nutcracker. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


These hand-painted ducks are waiting for the tourists to return to Egypt and the Nubian restaurant whose walls they adorn. I do hope that they will be able to come back soon...

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Aswan

Friday, 9 December 2011

Glamour Gym

My local gym is cheap but none too cheerful with vile smells wafting from its antiquated plumbing. Fortunately, the company owns it has just taken over a glamour gym that had gone bankrupt. No prizes for guessing where I'm going now...

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

So Hipstamatic!

It's not often that you get the chance to buy a camera complete with four lenses for mere 79 euro cents. The Hipstamatic app is not only a great bargain, it's also a lot of fun with its crazy effects and old school wonkiness.

This photo was taken on a train; it's a portrait of my travelling companion and her spectral reflection.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Egypt on My Mind

As Egypt enters a new chapter, I'm thinking of my friends in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria. And I'm thinking of this little girl and hoping she will have a brighter future.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Etruscan Beauty

Last Sunday, I fell in love with this handsome, big-bellied pot at an exhibition of Etruscan artefacts. I would have liked to have taken it home with me. Of course, the question is then what would you do with it? Seeing that it contains the ashes of a woman who died some 2,600 years ago, it would make quite a talking point on the living room table: Who was she? What was she like?

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Home Sweet Home?

This week, I have been editing a text about old women who have returned to their villages in the contaminated area around Chernobyl. Apparently, they are more terrified by the thought of losing their homes than by the very real threat of radiation poisoning.

Perhaps there is something heroic about their stubborn defiance as personified by the jaunty step of this lady in red with her heavy basket of logs.
Photo: Viktor Drachev

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Perfect Balance

I've made an important discovery about Rabbit and Rat. Despite Rat being the smaller of the two, whoever sculpted them decided to make their noses at exactly the same height so that they can touch each other with infinite sweetness.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial Click to enlarge. For more information about Rabbit and Rat, see the previous two posts.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Rabbit & Rat Part 2

After escaping from a local auction (see previous post), Rabbit and Rat have been trying to find their place in my home. Not that they're had much of a chance. They've moved from the espresso machine to my computer table and have been introduced to other members of my personal menagerie. Will they settle down now? Or are they natural nomads? I think the latter.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial Ckick to stroke Rat's furry nose

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

I Am Therefore I Seek Beauty...

... which I found at a local auction in the form of these Chinese zodiac figures that were originally designed for a water fountain. After some nerve-wracking bidding (and a little help from my beloved) they are mine all mine!
Photo: Profoundly Superficial Click to take a closer look

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Submerged Treasure

A Byzantine mosaic submerged in the warm waters of the Eastern Mediterranean or the ocean bed off the coast of Ireland on a summer's day?

Photo: Profoundly Superficial Click to admire this wonder of the Celtic World

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Armed Conflict

For many years now, the Israeli-American photographer Judah Passow has covered the Israel-Palestinian conflict within Israel, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and Lebanon. He does not take sides. He simply records what he sees, which in this case was a young Palestinian clutching his weapons of war.

Photo: Judah Passow

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November Girl

... like a tragic heroine in a Russian novel.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial Click to make her acquaintance

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Karl Lagerfeld Is Living in Amsterdam...

... Just around the corner from my girlfriend, who's crazy about him. Should I be worried?

Photo: Profoundly Superficial Click to enlarge so you can practise ringing the bell

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bad Ballet?

A few days ago, I attended a dress rehearsal of "Swan Lake" where what could go wrong, did go wrong. The ballerina landed on her bum and the corps de ballet flapped around like a gaggle of demented geese. So were the dancers booed out of town? Not a bit of it! Every brave wobble was gently applauded as if to say: "Don't worry, we know you'll be alright on the night".

It was an evening full of love.

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Did She or Didn't She?

With the 50th anniversary of Breakfast at Tiffany's, much attention is focusing on Audrey Hepburn and whether she ever had a facelift. The medical opinion is that if she did, it must have been an extremely subtle one.

Whatever the truth, she got old and stayed beautiful. And what more can one truly ask for?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Order and Chaos

The crazy tree, the precariously-balanced potted plants and the building as stately as an ocean liner: here, order and chaos create a weird harmony on the streets of Cairo.

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Doggy dance

Photographing groups of people or animals is tricky because someone always looks the wrong way or starts yawning. But sometimes something special happens: a kind of group choreography where all the participants remain uniquely individual yet become part of an intricate line of movement.

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tree from the Dawn of Time

Almost 5,000 years ago, this scots pine was part of a mighty forest in Stone Age Ireland. Then it tumbled over and was preserved to this day by the local peat bog. I love its swirling ripples. They make you want to stroke it, which of course I did.
Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Goodbye Ireland...

This is Al and Jane's house, the place where we've been staying for most of the last two months.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Irish Art

In Ireland, even the wall of a barn is an artistic masterwork.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Surviving the Storm

Instead of curling up in the safety of his nice warm burrow,this bedraggled bunny ventured out into the storm in search of food. He spent at least an hour solemnly munching his grass in the pouring rain before lolloping off back home again.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial, Ireland

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Irish Weather

In Ireland it's either bright sunshine or pouring with rain. Sometimes the weather gets really manic and does both at the same time.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Puppy Love

Gun dogs on an Irish estate that caters to the hunting and fishing set.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Floating World...

... of seaweed in an Irish fjord.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial. Connemara, Ireland

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Holy Hotel

A few days ago I visited the Convent, a delightful Connemara guesthouse that used to be home to the Sisters of Mercy. It still maintains a certain ecclesiastical charm as is illustrated by this elegant little window.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Ireland

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Dog's Life

First we dragged Trudi up a mountain where she ended up covered in mud and extremely smelly. Then we rushed her down to the beach and dunked her in the ocean. As you can see, she polished up very nicely and is now ready for the next adventure.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Ireland. Click for some puppy love

Saturday, 20 August 2011

How to Hypnotise Yourself

Watch the endless permutations in the ripples of the ocean. It will make you high.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Ireland. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

It Dog

Everyone has a dog in rural Ireland. You'd look naked without one. Our It Dog is called Trudi, and we borrowed her from our friends Jane and Al. She accompanies us on beach walks and even comes when we call her.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Irish Riviera

This is the weather where I am right now. It's shite. But never boring.
Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Clew Bay, Ireland

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Nanny with a Camera

Vivian Maier led a strange and isolated life. She never married or had children, and worked as a nanny, moving from family to family as her young charges grew up. Towards the end of her life she was homeless. Yet she was a passionate street photographer, who found moments of great tenderness in the subjects she chanced upon.

Her work would have long been lost and destroyed but for a local historian, who discovered 30,000 prints and negatives at an auction in Chicago. Since then exhibitions have been organised and a documentary is in the works. So, for the outside world, Vivian Maier's life as a photographer is just beginning.

Photo:Vivian Maier,

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The New Woman

If you're in Amsterdam anytime up to 13 November, you might like to swing by the Jewish Historical Museum for the exhibition of photographs by Marianne Breslauer. She specialised in Germany's "New Woman" of the 1920s and early 1930s: adventurous, independent and sexy. I saw the show last week and it's fantastic.

Photo: Marianne Breslauer, Jewish Historical Museum

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

At the End of the Day..

... when the camels are tethered and the drivers take a well-earned rest.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial. Wadi el Gamel

Saturday, 30 July 2011


I'm very partial to a good camel. They bite, they spit and they look like sardonically witty maiden aunts.

They're one of my favourite animals. Along with manatees and sloths.

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial, Wadi el Gamel. Click to say hello

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Baroque Beauty

I spotted this Baroque beauty on the elegant streets of The Hague.

Photo: ©Profoundly Superficial. Click to enlarge

Saturday, 23 July 2011

They're Breeding!

My mannikins are breeding and have spawned this cute little chap. I like him. He reminds me of Chucky.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The New Girl

The latest addition to my collection of mannikin photographs, a Chanel lady in tragic decline.

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial, click to enlarge

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Message in the Fitting Room

This encouraging note was waiting for me when I was trying on some rather overpriced Paul Smith trousers.As it happens, I don't have a husband. And if I did, his credit cards would certainly be maxed out by now!

Photo: © Profoundly Superficial

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


In Egypt, the sun sets so rapidly that it moves before your very eyes. Then, suddenly, you are cloaked in darkness and the air is thick with djinns.

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Aswan

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Love Your City

Although her tulips are plastic, this little girl says it all: "Tend your city. Make it flower and smell sweet. The air will be fresher and you will create a greener, gentler and more beautiful environment for all those who live there".

Photo: Profoundly Superficial, Prinsengracht, Amsterdam