Cours Julien, Marseille  thinks of itself as the “Creative Quarter” of Marseille. There are several colleges plus numerous small bars and restaurants around the fountains (that are hardly ever running). The graffiti is agit prop art more than tag and usually the politics of opposition and revolution. People socialise at lunchtime and at the end of the working day. A place for a quiet dinner for two, lost in the crowd or for a game of cards.

This last Saturday the band Success played a free concert in Cours Julien: here are some photos. The rival attraction, that Eurovision Song Contest in a spectacular staging from Düsseldorf, seemed to hold its audience until the French performance, then the crowds came out for the local event, which was just starting.

Postcard of Liverpool

Souvenir of a quick walk around Liverpool waterside and commercial districts following an Aunt's 95th birthday party at suburban Maghull. We used to visit grandparents in Liverpool regularly when I was a child; in 1958, our family embarked from Liverpool docks on the Carmania, a liner of the Cunard Line, bound for Montreal and the USA. We came back on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth and then did another transatlantic trip a few years later on one of the last voyages of the Queen Mary.

I've not been around Liverpool for many years now; I find it's now cleaner and the trains don't run on the roads (meaning that the trams have gone). But Liverpool's historic origins are still prominent, a quintessentially English blend of showy civic monuments, commercial architectural exhibitionism and enduring philanthropic gestures.

Read more: Liverpool - February 2011

Evening shopping at Westfield shopping centre, West London

My recent photos of the roofs of Marseille have set me thinking: I have started noticing other interesting shapes around. Here are some pictures from an evening at the local shopping centre here in Shepherds Bush, West London. I like the colours and the shapes. People are there but they are dwarfed by the architectural drama of this huge temple to retail.

Broadcast Video Expo 2011

Here are some interesting shapes and colours: BVE (Broadcast Video Expo) is a broadcast television trade show and conference that is an annual opportunity in London for suppliers to show off their "toys for the boys" in the television industry. It’s a small world and shows like this offer an opportunity to remeet colleagues despite the shifting sands of the industry that works behind the scenes to make the magic on the screen. More than that, these are pretty events with lights, cameras, sound and action.

Roofs of Marseille

Marseille, that vast sprawling Mediterranean port of uncertain reputation even since Phoenician times, has roofs of many kinds. At its origins, Marseille is the archetypical Provence town composed of a number of villages built in a valley surrounding a fine natural harbour, but it has grown to be a city so vast that when viewed from the fortress church of Notre Dame de la Garde, the city sprawls to the horizon.

The roofs of Marseille show, in three dimensions, how the city architects have solved the age old problem of shelter. They are also showcase of the beauty of Marseille.

Here are views of the Panier and Vauban villages of Marseille.