Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
& may you achieve all that you strive for this year.


Friday, December 30, 2005

My new wetsuit

After freezing my nuts off before christmas, I have decided to buy a winter wetsuit.
My new wetsuit There is a slight drawback, though, in that i might be confused with a potbellied pig. I just hope there are no Vietnameese chefs on the beach next time I go surfing.

Dylan pointed out that if the suit had white panels on it, instead of black & blue, there is a danger of me being confused with a baby Orca,

and being harpooned by a rogue Japanese whaling fleet.

My new year's resolution? to try to look more like a seal, or at least a walrus.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Duw A Wyr

Discovered a real Gem today. Duw A Wyr, "a radical and radiantly beautiful album from the 24-year-old Welsh singer Lleuwen Steffan, built around liturgical vocal music, with saxophone improvisations eliding(sic - gliding?) in and out of the voices.

Duw A Wyr is distinct from its predecessor in two crucial respects. It's warm music, which Steffan sings as though singing love songs, and it's music that was first sung by working people. Where Officium used canons and plainchants sung by the educated European elite in the fourteenth century and filtered them through a rarified Nordic mist, the source material for Duw A Wyr is richly melodic, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes in pain, sung into folk history by proto-socialist miners during the Welsh religious revival of 1904-05.

The miners had dirt under their fingernails, and their eyes fixed on a better world, and—even though you won't understand the actual words here unless you're a Welsh speaker—you can hear these things in the music. (The synergies with Congo Square are marked, but probably shouldn't be overstated. Bad though their lot was, the Welsh miners were infinitely more fortunate than the slaves of Louisiana.)

As a double bonus, Duw A Wyr has considerable in-the-tradition jazz content—a tradition that pianist Huw Warren (who also produces, wonderfully, with a masterful sense of space) and saxophonist Mark Lockheart have of course been adept in transforming since both played with Loose Tubes in the '80s.

They delight as accompanists, and also on two purely instrumental duets, the slow burn to passion of “Maracesh” and more meditative “God Only Knows.”

Steffan herself, blessed with a voice of archetypal Welsh beauty—simultaneously heavenly and earthy, a true soul whammy—is primarily a jazz singer, and she brings the slides, slurs and blue notes of her early formative influence Billie Holiday to the material, where they fit to perfection. Music born in the valleys, but bound for Zion."

My brother brought it in to work for me to listen to, as his mate, Chris Byatt, had been raving about it over Christmas. It's a truly haunting album, subtly different, and with a deep deep soul.

I was suprised to discover that the keyboard player was Huw Warren, my ex-wife's previous boyfriend, and a guy I have bumped into often in the course of my life. It's good to see that he has found his niche in life, doing something unconventional, and following a path he loves.

Just read another review, which compares Huw's playing to that of Kieth Jarret. N.B. NJB

Saturday, December 24, 2005

51.5695 N 4.032 W

If you are reeeeeeeeealy bored, you could type in:- 51.5695 -4.032 to google maps , (+51° 34' 10.20", -4° 1' 55.20" to us nautical types) and you can see where my abortive attempt at the Heavyweight Surf Championship of Larkspur Drive was held this morning. (if you click "satellite", you can see a sat image). Amongst peeling 3/4 foot surf, and in the company of only three other diehards, I gave it my finest 3.5 minutes..........

Can Fat Men Surf? (two)

can fat men surf?

No would seem to be the answer.....

Friday, December 23, 2005

He's coming..............

you know he is................

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The ghost of Christmas Past

My memories of Christmas as a kid seem quite different to the Christmas's experienced by our kids today. My presents consisted of two or three major presents from mum & dad, and a pillowcase of goodies from Santa.

Typically, I remember having a plastic Action Man type figure, in the guise of a Knight. I had the Black Knight, and Martin, my brother, had the Silver knight. these came complete with a horse, and fully detachable armour. we had hours of fun jousting, suiting up, and having mock battles. Other major presents would be a "Lego" set, Meccanno, or Action Man. One Christmas, I had a multi-weaponed gun, and was distraught that it was not a genuine "johnny seven", like on the TV. Martin remembers a second hand bike, with different colour tyres on the front and the back.

The pillowcase would typically contain a "selection box" of chocolates, a pack of pencils with my name embossed on one face, a pack of playing cards, a "Giles" cartoon annual, a Beezer or Topper annual, a jigsaw, a pack of chocolate money, some satsumas, a colouring book and perhaps paints, a torch, a tennis ball, a "power ball", some smarties or jelly tots in a long tube, maybe a box of soldiers or an "airfix" model, some socks, handkerchiefs with my initial on, a "slinky", some dice, and maybe a board game.

We would then have presents from our Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, when we had Christmas Dinner. ( Swansea Dinner, that is, at 1:00 pm.) My Grandfather, Hadyn, bought me a plastic rugby ball one time, which was ruined by being placed next to the coal fire, and swelling on one side. I had a lopsided ball to play with all that year.

I think I enjoyed these gifts more than the snowstorm of presents our kids get these days. I realise that we are more affluent than our parents were, but the very sparseness of the presents made them seem more valued in those days.

Monday, December 19, 2005

NTL Gets it wrong

Contrary to reports in the media , I can exclusively reveal that I am romantically linked with David Beckham. I look forward to the opportunity to confront the alleged "Mrs Beckham", and put her in her place once and for all.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Stuff the turkeys, let's go surfing!

Well, I would do if there was any surf..........
Just been down to Caswell, and it is as flat as a witches proverbial. Ho hum. But there is good news! I don't have to make the whole 10 min trip next time, I just need to look up , and they will fill me in on current conditions, and even forecast the future for me, not something that even Gordon Brown can do with any sucess. It's 1' in Llangennith, giving the lie to the old saying "If its like this here, just think how big it will be in 'Genny!" (you know what i'm talking about, rob)
Just ferreted out a few worthy links, Gsd's surf reports links page, pj's forecast link, and the british surf org's links page.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

the joy of chooks

fume! fume! it's that time of year again, and peter thompson poultry have let me down on Turkeys. Why am I suprised? It happens every year, I guess I should have learnt by now. I suppose that it's the nature of being a poultry wholesaler to juggle the demands of retailers against the broad brush vagaries of poultry producers. Perhaps that is why we exist.
Zen & the art of poultry wholesaling.............

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bye Bye Dart, Hello Board.........

My early Christmas present is now on the way.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bye Bye Dart18

The time has come to bite the bullet and sell my Dart18. I have to face up to the fact that I hardly ever used it, and it was just costing money, year on year, to watch it deteriorate. Hopefully, Tim of F. Ley & Sons will get more use out of it. Bye Bye Stouffer.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Can Fat Men Surf?

Thanks to the lovely guys at
surfwholesale , we will soon find out.

It's all down to the wonder that is EBay. Some months ago, Dylan & I went Surfing at
Caswell Bay , and had a whale of a time.

Since then, I have decided to upgrade from a boogie board to a real board. This is when the trouble began. Questions, questions, questions. Do I go for a Foam, Epoxy or a traditional Fiberglass board? and of course the eternal questions, "is bigger neccessarily better" and "how big should it be".

Well, after some serious research on 'tinternet, with sites like, searching Ebay for prices, and talking to TheMalignantPixie & his lovely partner, SurfBunnie, I decided to plump for a fibreglass 8'4" Malibu board.

It looks like The
surfwholesale guys import epoxy "pop-out" boards from Austrailia, and sell them wholesale to Surf shops around the country, and have an interesting sideline of putting a few up for auction on Ebay. They also have an Ebay shop , where you can see thier full range. Some of the boards have a "make me an offer" button. I noticed that as well as the Epoxy's, they had two fibreglass Malibu's in the make me an offer section, and duly "made them an offer". Three days later, with much haggling, it now seems that I will soon be the owner of a brand new board, bag & leash. I can hardly wait.

We shall then find out if Fat Men Can Surf.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


That spawny get Dr Robert has just phoned to say he is off to Tignes, a ski resort in the French Alps, this weekend. This set me thinking of the time we spent a week Snowboarding there in the not too dim and distant past.
You can find Tignes here , or go to it's online site, at Tignes net. It's not a bad site, with some cool video's on the front page. the weather report seems pretty comprehensive, with a useful guide as to which lifts are open/ opening soon/ closed. I hope there is more snow for the weekend! (altough the panoramic camera does show a snowy lift top). Good luck Rob, Have a good one!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Amazon book reviews: White teeth

At last, Amazon have deigned to publish one of my reviews! you can read grumunkin's review here

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Venus and Mars are alright, tonight

If you are wondering what is the star shining brightly just above the one day old crescent moon tonight?

Its Venus.

The BBC explains it

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sick Note

It's about time that I submitted a Sick Note, to excuse my abscence of bloggidness over the last month. My ongoing battle with the medical community to determine why I am getting headaches, still continues. The headaches do seem to be diminishing in intensity and frequency, but I still have a permanent 2/5 headache, rising to between 3/5 and 4/5 at times. To say that the novelty has worn off, is an understatement.
I know I shouldn't moan, that there are people far worse off than me, and it will get better soon, however, I'M PISSED OFF!.
Shall I go into details? nah, maybe that's for a future post. Suffice to say they started with a 5/5 corker on 28th Oct, and are still here.........