15 August 2009


Sitting at this computer, blogging and visiting other blogs isn't all I do. Ever since it magically appeared, I have been a fan of Google Earth. Not only can you use this amazing facility to zoom around the world and focus in on particular places, you can also leave your own photographs that may or may not be specially selected for inclusion in Google Earth by the web photo hosting agency - Panoramio. I think it's fantastic that ordinary photographers like me can leave their own photo-illustrations of the world we live in, creating a kind of visual quilt that is gradually being stitched around our planet - becoming more complete with each passing day.
I have more than fifty photographs within Google Earth and Panoramio keep a tally of "hits" or visits. My most popular photo had its thousandth visitor this week. I don't think it's because it's a particularly good photograph - it's more the picture's location.
It seems that forty years ago, the guitar legend Jimi Hendrix visited Morocco with some friends. They flew from Paris to Casablanca and then made their way by road to the coastal resort of Essaouira. About two miles south of the town, there is a neglected stone-built royal pavillion. It is half swallowed by the sand dunes and the Moroccan government have let it fall into ruin - after all, feeding and servicing a large peasant population on the edge of the Sahara desert is understandably a higher priority. Anyway, legend has it that Hendrix visited the pavillion. With his troupe he sat on the sands of 1969 playing guitar and smoking joints till the sun went down before returning to The Hotel des Iles where Shirley and I stayed at Eastertime 2007.
There is so much mythology about Hendrix's Morocco trip - where he stayed, who he slept with, how long he was there. I don't think we will ever know the truth but I am sure that a good number of visitors to my picture from the royal pavillion northwards to Essaouira have been drawn there because of the "Castles in the Sand" legend and the belief that Hendrix once passed an afternoon amidst those dunes singing goodbye to the sixties. Just one year later he'd be dead. Here's the picture:-


  1. I'm sure I will be struck dead for saying this, but I'm not actually much of a Hendrix fan, but I found your information on Panoramio interesting - if I wasn't doing a million other arty things at the moment, I'd look through my pics of obscure places (like New Zealand) and see if I can get any on G.E...

  2. Following on from my previous post and the idea of a travelogue- your cultish 60s/70s music/counter culture travels from your youth would make an excellent read and an enjoyable write I'm sure.

    A kind of real life 'Full Circle' from expectant young man to world-weary retiree. A kind of non-Palin, pretension-free travel journal that is real to you and would be to others.

    I would of course expect a healthy royalty cheque now...

  3. Super photo. Very evocative. Did you hear Joan Bakewell's Hendrix track on Desert Island disks last week?

    Would this be your desert island photo?

  4. KATHERINE: I am sure that with your artistic eye, you could make some helpful additions to Google Earth.
    PHONE BOOTHS: Thank you for kindly offering to become my literary agent but I am not convinced that I want somebody who now rides the streets of Bangkok in pink taxis dressed in floral sarongs seeking ladyboys!!!
    HADRIANA Thanks for dropping by. I wonder what number Joan Bakewell picked and no...that wouldn't be my desert island photograph. I took it but only found out later the location's association with Hendrix. Pure co-incidence.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.