About Barrowboy

This blog doesn’t have a specific theme; it’s simply a place where I get to post my observations on a crazy world and the even crazier human race that seems to be in a headlong rush to destroy it. It’s where I can get some moans and groans off my chest and put on record a few sideways views about a travelling life. I hope it will generate some thought and some response.

A Barrowboy was originally a street trader in the East End of London – someone selling wares from a two-wheeled handcart or barrow that was pushed into the market each day. It was important to be noticed and to let people know what it was you were selling so calling out, bantering and developing a smart line in Cockney repartee wasn’t just necessary, it was essential. These days calling someone a Barrowboy is more to do with where he originates than what he does but, either way, I have some claim to the moniker [Monica James – Cockney rhyming slang for ‘name’]. My days working on a market stall weren’t that colourful but I have fond memories of the characters I met there even if the early starts on a Saturday morning were awful. I probably always talked too much but exchanging fast banter with fellow Londoners, who don’t suffer fools easily and can be very unforgiving, has proved very useful on occasion since.

I was born in Shoreditch in the East End of London, but longer ago than I care to share with you. My formative years were spent in Stevenage, where I worked in an architectural practice and learnt so much from Dennis Clark. He died suddenly in June 2012, leaving a big gap in my life, having never used the internet and no idea how famous he was. I studied at Kingston, which was a cool School of Art when it attracted me, a Polytechnic when it trained me as an architect and a University when I looked it up on the web. I’ve practiced in lots of places, but mostly in London and the Middle East. I’m still in love with the Sultanate of Oman but now divide my time between England, Sweden and Dubai. I’m married to Anna – a rare find indeed – a Swede with an infectious smile and a sense of humour.  Having more free time allows me to indulge myself in my passion for all things natural – conservation, birding and the natural world – as well as being a more frequent traveller and bon viveur, especially when it comes to anything Italian.

I’m not a blogging expert but love to write and I always fancied myself as a bit of a cook, too, but there are so many expert chef/bloggers that my offering to the blogosphere must remain, by necessity, comfortably general. I’m also an artist when I have time but a busy working life got in the way of that for the past few years. The plan is to make it a more significant part of things from now on.

© All unattributed images, photographs and words are copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission.

9 Replies to “About Barrowboy”

    1. Thanks, big guy, and great pics once again! See you here or in Scandi in afew weeks. The Long-billed Dowitcher has gone but we’ll rustle-up something.

  1. What a fantastic website! It’s great you are writing as well as continuing your art and photography. And, I’m very happy to see you continue to enjoy my home state.

  2. Bonjour,
    Quel écriture fantastique ! Je me suis vraiment plongée dedans dès les premières lignes. Je souhaite vous poser une question. Je suis en BTS gestion et protection de la nature et je recherche un stage qu’il soit en France ou à l’étranger. Peut-être auriez vous des sites à me recommander. Intéressée par les milieux humides mais aussi par tout le travail de gestion et préservation des habitats.
    Dans l’attente de votre réponse, je vous souhaite une excellente journée.
    Bien à vous.

    1. Hello Jessy – thanks for visiting and for your note. I think your English is better than my French so I expect you’ll be able to read this. I will send you a separate note about a possible way forward in your career.

      Kind regards

    2. Hello Jessy

      Apologies for taking so long to reply. Look at these websites; I know all of the organisations and they would provide a starting point in your search for an internship in conservation.

      I recommend that you speak to as many people as possible so that you consider your future aspirations with the aims of each of the organisations I’ve listed. I think that some may only be able to offer voluntary positions so you may also need to look for sponsorship. Ask your school/college/university of municipality about that.

      Good luck and please tell me of your progress.

      With best wishes.

      http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-wwd13-home2index/main/ramsar/1%5E26067_4000_0__ [pure wetland conservation]

      http://www.wwt.org.uk/conservation/ [wildfowl and waterbirds]

      http://v-c-s.org/wetlands_restoration_conservation [more scientific and technical]

      http://www.conservation.org/Pages/default.aspx [international conservation – general]

      http://www.iucn.org/ [wildlife conservation – general]

      http://www.birdlife.org/ [bird conservation]

    1. Alan enjoyed reading your various comments and would like to make direct contact with you, I am family related and and recognised your photo together with my uncle.

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