Showing posts from June, 2014

Great city, great band, great time!

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I was about to visit Amsterdam for a few days, during which time I was going to see Pearl Jam, one of my most favorite bands.

Well I am now the other side of that trip so thought I would say a few words about how great it was.  First off, Amsterdam is an incredible city on so many levels.  It is beautiful to look at, I love the style of the architecture and the majority of buildings have avoided the hand of modernization.  Being on a network of canals means that you are never far from the water and the goings on that occur on and around it, I liked that a lot.  We stayed in Haarlemmerbuurt which is the oldest part of the city and known locally as 'the Pearl' of Amsterdam, a title it really does reserve.  It was incredibly quiet and had a village feel to it, while being only a short walk from the Jordaan and the city beyond.

The other thing which struck me was just how friendly people were.  In fact everyone we met were nothing short of lovely.…

Given to ride

I love boards, riding them, looking at them, or simply talking about them gives me a real kick.  Sometimes it's the graphics, or the lines that I like, but more often than not it is the fact that they are built for one thing, to be ridden.  Whether that is on water, asphalt, concrete, wood or snow, these things have a kinetic energy, it is this that gives them their allure.

When I look at a surfboard for example, preferably one that has seen a lot of action, been used and abused, travelled, I can imagine the waves it has slid on, the moves it has pulled, the spray the rails and fins have generated, not to mention the adventures it's owner has put it through.  This is particularly true of some of the used boards that I have picked up over the years.  They might be beaten, and have seen better days, but these are the qualities that make them special.  It is the history that they have that makes them more than the sum total of the materials that they are constructed from.  I look …

Pearl Jam in the 'Dam

Tomorrow I fly to Amsterdam for a few days, and I cannot wait.  I always enjoy exploring a new city for the first time, and love travelling, but this trip also has another element.  I am seeing one of my favourite bands, Pearl Jam play on Monday!  I am one lucky boy to have a partner who gets me such amazing Christmas gifts as this!

This is a band that has consistently been on my life sound track for over twenty years now.  I have seen them live just the once, at the Cardiff CIA back in 2000.  The new album, Lightning Bolt has a sound and feel that is reminiscent of the Ten era and there is not a disappointing track on the album.  All in all it should be quite a show, I am sure they will perform a lot of their back catalogue, plus the new stuff too and I am thinking that there will be a few hairs standing up on the back of my neck moments, fantastic! 

I am also looking forward to my stay in Amsterdam a great deal.  I have heard so many great things about it, it looks beautiful, so many…

Sliding Across Waves

At the risk of sounding horribly clichéd, there is nothing that can match the feeling of riding a wave, I mean really riding a wave.  It's a feeling that comes alive when I drop into a decent wave, large or small it doesn't matter, but it is the sense of doing something that precious few can do, less still really appreciate.

I love that sense of being committed to the wave that I get when the speed at which you are paddling, matches the forward motion of the wave, and it has you. That feeling of anticipation, trepidation, excitement and wonder all rolled into one.  Looking down the line to and taking a quick snap shot in and in an instant planning a route, taking the line that will allow for the most speed and the best moves, all of this information is computed in that instant just at the point of take off, before the ride begins.

Once taken off, the whole plan is executed and the only thing that I am focusing on is the wave ahead of me, nothing else matters other than the ride.…

The Surfing Life

I surf and I surf well.  I should do too, given the years or should I say the decades that I have dedicated to it, although that last bit does make me feel a tad old, but hey ho, it's just a number.

From the day I first began surfing, way back in '86, surfing and the culture that surrounds it has pretty much defined who I am.  Although to a lesser extent in recent years, due to constraints on my free time and the fact that I have developed interests in lots of other tings, in the past it has been my everything, and nothing would get in the way of its pursuit.  My entire life would be planned around the next swell, plans would be thrown out of the window to go surfing, school was missed, jobs and girl friends were lost and turmoil created at home and away in the name of riding waves.

Surfing immediately put a spell on me, it gave me exactly what I was looking for when I was a young teenager in need of a direction.  It opened up a whole new world of fun, excitement and possibility…

Lines, Curves and Soul

I am not a fan of super cars, I find many of them ugly trinkets of wealth that have the power and the price tag, but lack true style and for want of a better word, soul.

That said, I have a real soft spot for Porsches, especially the 911, old ones that is, and preferably those that were current from the mid sixties to the mid seventies.  During which period they came in some fantastic colours, they had the Fuchs wheels, were trimmed in chrome and the entire model range had small details that set them aside. The price tag, and indeed the speed and power mean very little to me, although admittedly, the race heritage does add to the attraction. There is something about the style of the body, the face and the overall aesthetic that I really do like.  From the earliest carnation, to the current model, the 911 has a look that is un matched.  For me the attraction is derived from the look of the car, which from nose to tail is perfect.

The 911 has lines and curves that give it a real sense of…