Babushka, St Michael’s Monastery


It is not unusual in Kiev to see Babushka’s begging for money on the street. Kiev has been struggling economically since the revolution of 2014 and does not offer the social welfare programmes that are available in many Western European countries.

If these women do not have family to support them, they are often forced to beg for money on the streets. They sit very quietly and are not intrusive so begging feels an inappropriate word, really. This woman sat outside St Michael’s Monastery every day and she was so quiet and so still, she almost formed part of the tableau on the exterior of the monastery.

Each time we passed her, we put some Hryvnia (Ukrainian money) in her cup and each time she gave us the warmest smile and made a sign of the cross. It was a small interaction but it affected me each time. Life can be so difficult for so many people but hopefully we helped in some small way.

West Pier, Brighton


I’ve not had chance to take any new photographs this week, so I’ve been going back through my photo archive and revisiting images from many years ago.

I took this picture of West Pier in Brighton in 2004, a year after two separate fires had ravaged the structure. The pier had been closed since 1975 after the company that owned it filed for bankruptcy. Since then, it had fallen into a state of disrepair but the fires really finished it off.

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