Blogger Interview: Pete Stean from the Londoneer.org
Next up in our blogger interview series we keep things a little closer to home and speak to Pete Stean from the Londoneer. Without further ado….
Hi Pete, thanks for chatting to us. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well I moved to London some 23 years ago now and it’s beginning to feel like home. I’m originally from Dudley in the Black Country – I’ve been living that fact down ever since! I worked for many years in ICT (I still build my own PCs and have been using linux for some considerable time) but spent about ten years as a Civil Servant until quite recently – I used to work for the Department for Communities and Local Government, primarily in the Digital Inclusion/Engagement field but most recently I worked on the establishment of Local Enterprise Partnerships and the new Enterprise Zones
So you’ve lived in London for a good while now; How has London changed for you over the years?
Well it’s centres of attraction has certainly moved – when I first came here the most exciting places to be were Camden Town and Earls Court. Now Shoreditch and Dalston are in the ascendant – when I first came here you wouldn’t venture into those areas after dark if you could possibly help it, and certainly not on your own…
Can you share some of your favourite places to visit in the city ?
I really don’t like tourist traps – there’s a lot more to London than just the banks of the Thames. Some of my favourites for 2012 have been the Horniman Museum on Forest Hill in South London (which probably has the world’s largest collection of taxidermy), the Cinema Museum in an old hospital building around the back of the Elephant & Castle, and Fulham Palace – a beautiful set of old buildings that used to be the home of the Bishop of London. It has fantastic formal gardens.
When you are not in London, where do you like to go?
I like European travel – Lisbon, the capital of Portugal which I visited at the height of the summer, was a revelation and you really can’t go wrong with Germany. I love Bavarian towns and cities and if my German was fluent enough I’d certainly consider living in Berlin.
Your main blog is at Londoneer.org - How did that come about?
Back in 2007 I went to an early version of a social media conference – an ex-BBC journalist, Euan Semple, was extoling the virtues of blogging. I was so inspired that when I got back to London that night I set up the Londoneer.
Tell us one thing about you we might not know.
I’m a singer – with a break of a few years back in the late 90s I’ve been singing since I was a little boy. I’m currently a bass with the world’s oldest LGBT choir – the Pink Singers. We celebrate our 30th anniversary this year, but the choir’s history goes all the back to the protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
What is your travel itinerary looking like for 2013?
At the moment it’s quite sparse as I’m not gainfully employed other than running the Londoneer, and international travel can be expensive (if anyone wants to offer me a paid position I’m all ears!). I am planning some trips down to the southwest of England however as I have a friend who lives in Bath. Despite having passed through on several occasions I’ve never really explored the Roman aspects of that city, which I’m looking forward to doing later in the Spring.
You are a prolific photographer – Could you share a few of your snaps with us ?
I take hundreds and hundreds of snaps every month, but I’m particularly proud of a few shots I’ve taken over the last year
What advice could you offer for aspiring travel photographers? Are there any bits of kit you would recommend?
f you’re travelling just ensure that you have your chosen camera with you at all times (even if it’s your smartphone) – you never know when that must-have shot is going to come along.
If you’ve got a discreet camera I always recommend charging more batteries or battery packs that you think you will need, and the same goes for memory cards – the more the better.
How can we find you online ?
Everywhere – I use just about every popular social media platform going.
The Londoneer site itself is here. http://londoneer.org
The fan page for the Londoneer on Facebook is here. https://www.facebook.com/
This is the Londoneer Twitter account. https://twitter.com/
On Google+ my profile page can be found here. https://plus.google.com/
If you have a mind to, you can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest.
Wow – great stuff Pete! Thanks and we hope to speak to you again soon.Scott on Google+