LAS VEGAS TURNAROUND – 24th to 29th October 2016

As you fly across the world the awesomeness of our planet unfolds before your eyes. They need a “take a moment” video on planes. Saying to people – STOP!!

Do you realise that you are floating 35,000 feet in the air in a big metal tube. Step outside of it and you are history. The sea scrolls past below like a sheet of leather. With the sea, the clouds and the land below just take a moment to reflect on what is below, around  and may be above you. Even as the plane jolts and rocks as it slices on through the turbulence the drinks and pretzels are flowing. The thunder and roar and shudder of landing over there are some passengers clapping with relief. Safe. I’m safer up there than crossing my high street.

Caesers Palace from Flamingo Road.

Vegas feels like a once is enuff sort of place. One casino is like any other after a while. Big, loud, busy, engulfing, overpowering, exaggerated……. walking around The Strip in Vegas feels as if I am swimming through an endless shopping mall. The dictionary of consumption. Vegas hits me as a place about things. Anything and everything in any shape, size or colour. The people too. Piped music to the streets catches you as you walk. Then you are humming the tune. There is a homeless guy smoking and hidden in the shadows of a wall by Caesar’s Palace. Not much has changed since the Roman days. The skyscrapers stand like glittering pillars from a Roman city. There are many people begging for things. Lots more homeless people catch my eye as I walk around. Its the same in so many major cities across the world. That’s the same picture of have and have nots that I see In Brighton or London.

Many, many people walk around – in and out buying things. To go on top of the things – on top of things they already have. Maybe they store their old things in a cupboard to make way for MORE new things. And the grass is always green on The Strip. But then its fake grass.

Why can’t I find a bookshop?

Why can’t I buy a Bible on The Strip.

THE WYLAND GALLERY.THE GODDARD GALLERY.THE KUSH GALLERY. THE MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLRY.I found my peace in all of this. Art galleries with no music. I can be at a slower, reflective and creative pace. Each time i get a few minutes with the gallery staff informs and inspires MY creativity. David Wight creates some stunning glass pieces. Looking at the David Wight video of his work, shot in idyllic countryside, makes me think. I would love work in such a beautiful space. I want….I want…. I….. Then I realise that I am already there. My creativity is me and wherever I chose to be it.

VEGAS HITS

In Britain you can’t smoke in public places. I love that. In Britain you have to pay for a plastic carrier bag. For years I’ve carried my own to save plastic. In Vegas you can smoke in the gambling areas – not eating areas. You can recognise that change of smell – old and stifling as you walk past the machines. Heaven for smokers, gamblers and casino bosses. The power of the casino bosses speaks.

BRITISH ACCENT.

The casino receptionist is from London, her mother is from Whitechapel, family in Ruislip and Swiss Cottage. An English accent is nothing special here. I hear it all around me. The woman in front and the one behind me in the Starbucks line too. The British are already here.

REAL PEOPLES’ STORIES

I love that side of my life whether at home or travelling. Listening to, speaking to and sharing our stories with people I have never met and may never again.

 George in the antique shop. The roads, drainage etc on Main Street are being updated so he and the shops around his are all moving. The works will take a year. But in his shop I saw a colourful glass fish. Same design but smaller and just like one my mother owned. Connections across cultures, countries and miles.

 Sue in the antique market. We talked while I was buying my vinyl. She was born in Bournemouth. Left for Spain when she was 3 years old and lived in Puerto Rico. Her father almost moved the family to Jamaica. She met the rappers The Sugarhill Gang and showed them around when they were in Puerto Rico. They remembered her 30 years later.

 Samuel – we share names. He is from Kenya and we spoke of Faith, aspirations, greed both for things and self, treating people with compassion and dignity. He is saving and has a plan to open a hotel in Kenya.

I’ve seen, walked around and photographed the city. I saw Caesar’s Palace and can tick that off my list.

Now let’s leave the city for The Hoover Dam – one more to tick off my to do list.

K

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