written by Penfold on 10th April 2007
Sorry website buggered up.
Go read a cross blog.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as I stop surfing...
Sorry website buggered up.
Go read a cross blog.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as I stop surfing...
I once dipped my toes into the seething lava pit that goes by the name of 'online dating'.
It began when a friend cordially invited me to a barbeque, listed an Ark-worthy cast of couples for the evenings company then spritely added 'you should bring a date'.
Needless to say I missed out on the Bridget Jones experience and spent the evening lolling in a pool of solitary dispair. My only company during those dark hours was my laptop and it's connection to the world wide web...
It wasn't long before I started to browse some dating websites and was surprised by the amount of seemingly sane and pleasant looking ladies that had signed up for this madness.
I won't dwell on the outcome of the half a dozen or so dates that I went on - some were good, some very bad and some definitely verging on the ugly.
I have since decided that this is not a path I shall be treading again!
However, I have come away with a few good 'e-friends' and I'd like to introduce one to you now. She may not take away my Dad's crown but she'll have his shoes if he doesn't keep a close eye on them!
Here's Smash with a load of old cobblers...
Some nights I sit in front of this computer and my mind stalls.
I think my timing belt is slack or I need some new spark plugs.
But the thought of someone visiting the site and having nothing new to read is too much to bare.
So inevitably I continue sitting and staring at a screen filled with letters and symbols until I start typing. Just to see what comes out.
During the day I sometimes dwell upon the nights blog, in between hitting walls with hammers and screwing lumps of wood together with screwdrivers.
I may consider some anecdotal tale that might amuse -
such as the time I was partially run over over by a police van whilst stumbling around in the night,
stark naked, my tiny mind frazzled by a cocktail of hallucinagenic pharmaceuticals at a huge hippy gathering in a forest somewhere near to the mystical portal that is Stonehenge.
Luckily the vehicular damage was the least of my injuries during the chaos and mayhem. I also managed to retain possession of both my socks,
one lens of my spectacles, a zippo and my cashpoint card.
Then I think 'maybe I don't want my mum to hear about that'.
It's my birthday coming up. Next Tuesday I shall be a year from turning 40 which is when (I've been told) that life will really start.
So I have a year of treading water, nonchalantly passing the days awaiting the turmoil of real life.
I've also heard that 'surfing is real life' and 'the rest is just details!' so obviously this will be when my surfing career will blossom - I'll get picked up by a sponsor and whisked off around the world being photographed surfing perfect waves under perfect skies, drinking perfect drinks served by perfect ladies wearing perfectly tiny bikinis (because that's what surf pro's do - didn't they tell you?).
This would be assuming that clothing and accessory manufacturers suddenly stopped requiring 20 year old six-packs you can stack cd's in and blond tousled hair that has a follicle count based on America's national debt figures as a basic requirement for an ad campaign. They would need to focus on the mature individual, a discerning creature whose probing mind could see pass the surface of youth culture and develop a business relationship based on lateral thought and an encroaching bald patch.
Why can't middle-aged, slightly balding men, carrying a couple of pounds of sensibly positioned thermally insulative complex-carbohydrates get sponsored?
A mini fuelmyblog widget as promised (instructions here)...
The code is
<img src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/fuelmyblogmini.png" border="0" /></a>
That's it from me - if you want entertaining then go see what my father has to say about a strange thing...
Well it was only a matter of time before someone tagged me. I have to give thanks to the lovely Lizza for tagging me with the challenge of naming seven tracks or albums that have been playing in my life recently and then naming seven more victims to carry the torch.
In the car I've had Ray Lamontagne "Trouble" playing non-stop for months. It seems to fit my state of mind perfectly right now.
When that's not on it's Finley Quaye "Maverick a strike".
At home on the stereo it's been Madeline Peyroux "Careless love" or Nitin Sawhney "Spirit dance". On the computer single tracks that come up a lot are The Cat Empire "days like these", Lowell Fulson "reconsider baby" and anything by Xavier Rudd (esp. "to let").
Well that was seven. I could go on for ever about music and bore the proverbial mammaries off the lot of you. I shall refrain for now and leave you to check out the blogs of the following 'taggees'... may they rise to the challenge and give you some music for thought.
First up is Lucy - what is the beat that goes around that head of yours?
Next is Sophie - are you allowed amplified music up there in organic land?
Then Kevin - I have a feeling you need to get away from the computer and put the stereo on!
Now it's the turn of Beachbum - who I know will have some interesting choices...
I think Rachie should lets us know what is on in the background when wrestling wildlife into the barbeque pit!
I'm wondering if Heather likes anything that wasn't on American idol!
And finally the Pirate Queen herself, because I have a good feeling about her choices.
Okay - so it seems that I may have been slightly sidetracked on the widget making front and been less active on the rubbish writing front.
Obviously time to amend that imbalance with something intellectually stimulating to bemuse the populous.
AD was having a rant last week - as he does most days - and to be honest I can not post 99% of what he says as it is, was and always will be complete filth. There is no act of sexual depravity that has not been verbally probed into our collective sub-consciences with little or no lubrication. We are all ruined. I feel so soiled.
But he veered slightly off his normal tack and started on the vegans of the planet.
I have been there myself for several years - foraging nuts and twigs in the forest so that ickle furry creatures may live to be killed another day but I fell off the wagon into a giant bacon baguette and have been lolling there amongst the fragrant strips of crispy delicious fried flesh ever since.
I can't quite remember the cause or the main content of his soliloquisation, needless to say it was verbose and crude but the punctuation was "...bloody vegans - get a bleedin' sausage in ya!"
An expert opinion very well expressed I thought...
Incidentally if nobody sends me a 'guest blog' in the next 24 hrs I will be forced to post another of my fathers inane babblings. Don't say that you haven't been warned.
Inbetween working and talking trash we did come up with a plan for the next 2 weeks that involves much surfing and being at the beach.
So tales of much watery misbehaviour coming soon...
I noticed that a few people were having 'size' issues with the spicypage widget so I made a mini one - feel free to use it on your page.
Make sure that you swap the blog name and also change the ID number to the one for your blog - XXXX marks the spot! This number appears at the end of the URL when you are signed in at spicypage and you go to your blogs page (not your profile!).
<img title="vote for YOUR_BLOG_NAME on spicy page" src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/spicybutton.gif" border="0" vspace="2"></a>
I expect I'll do a few more at some point so keep checking...
Feel free to vote for me in the mean time!!
I got an email from Dean at you surf tubes pointing me at his new site.
It's youtube with nothing but surfing - it is fantastic - I could spend all day there... I've posted a nice film from New Zealand - check out the retribution for the drop-in artist...
I've been doodling a few more widgets in my spare time(!) which I've sent to Kevin at fuelmyblog
for their upcoming design competition. I thought that some people may want to use them for their sites so I've cobbled together some code for you to paste into your blogs.
Remember - you need to have your blog registered with fuelmyblog and you need to paste your complete URL into the code over where it says YOUR_BLOG.
If you feel inspired by any of these to produce your own then send them directly to Kevin!
For the Jules banner use
<img src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/jules.png" border="0" /></a>
For the Jules widget use
<img src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/jules.jpg" border="0" /></a>
For the Dirty Harry widget use
<img src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/goahead.jpg" border="0" /></a>
For the Jim widget use
<img src="http://www.papersurfer.co.uk/images/comeonbaby.jpg" border="0" /></a>
Oh and if you happen to click on any of my widgets on your way past then that would be grand...
A wise man said to me recently - "money can't buy you happiness - but it can buy you a better class of misery".
Actually I'm not sure how wise this man was or in fact whether he was a man or not,
but it was definitely somebody and I'm fairly sure that was what they said - anyway I digress.
The point being - money can't buy you happiness but it can put you in a comfortable reclining seat with a cocktail in your hand whilst heading towards the Caribbean at 40,000ft. Obviously this may not make some people happy, but for those people there is obviously no hope.
Maybe the well known phrase or saying should say that 'money can make happy people happier and miserable gits more miserable and git-like'. Or maybe 'money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you happy friends that will be willing to pretend to be nice to you if you buy them a nice dinner and a bottle of Perrier Jouet'.
Well, today was payday and I'm fairly sure judging by the smiles that envelopes full of money are good things to dish out on a friday afternoon and I didn't forget to say 'thanks for popping in...'A little Herbie and John to peruse to...
The award for crap accident at work today unfortunately goes to me!
Not content with merely falling over a badly placed scaffold board and hitting the deck I have managed to injure both my wrists in the process. Luckily the one with all the skin missing is the one that hurts the least...
So I'm typing with 5 fingers and one thumb. This may take a while...
I thought I should introduce some of my staff as this may give an indication as to the madness I endure every day. First up is...
It could be worse - I could have a real job.
I'd like somebody else out there in the blogiverse to send in a guest blog. Please.
In order to encourage this I have constructed this beautiful certificate to award to the first person to send me something more post-worthy than my father's usual blend of witty banter and insightful social comment.
I also quite like the idea of doing a 'Blog Swap' at some point (where we write posts for each other for a day) if anyone is up for it...
Unfortunately I have no other offering this week so go directly to the spy who loved me...
Do not pass go
Do not collect 200 pounds (or 392.743 dollars or 294.502 euros)
Ok. I hardly ever drink - but tonight I popped round to my new neighbours house (my old home)
to say welcome to Cha and they made me drink loads of Casal Garcia and eat too many monkey nuts.
So I am a little tipsy and unable to sort out my guest blog or the forthcoming competition. This, I'm sure will create an added air of tension and suspense for the upcoming items and I'm not sure drunken blogging is the way forward so I shall say goodnight...
Peco desculpas - vou escrever mais amanha...
My counter stopped. Does this mean that I am all alone in the blogosphere? I've been trawling help forums and reinstalling bits of code that I know are fine.
I even installed a whole new counter - that doesn't work properly either. Nuts.
I googled 'my counter stopped' and found many a post similar to this one. I should have just copied and pasted one of them straight in! Of course none would have bitched about 'sitemeter' and glitches in the system with the same bitter flair that I am about to. But wait - I shall rise above it, say nuts quietly to myself and listen to a bit of Ray...
Maybe watch some surfing - 'September sessions' or 'Broke down melody'. A can of Strongbow and some hot food. There's no need to smash my computer into tiny pieces and send vile emails to the non-helping help lines...
Inhale - I am calm, exhale - I am peaceful, relax - I am at one with universe.
Tomorrow I shall be posting another festering portion of nonsense from the depths of my fathers constipated brain. I shall also be anouncing details of a competition I'd like to run entitled 'Blog off Dad'.
So shutdown day. I got up, went to the loo, brushed my teeth, booted up my computer, made a cup of tea, read a few emails, made some breakfast, answered a few comments on the blog, rang my dad (yes - we do actually like each other), worked on a few graphics...
Do you see a pattern building here?
For a brief moment I got the same feeling I had when I spent a year building up to giving up cigarettes. With one small difference - my computer isn't bad for me. I like it for good reasons - it is an instrument for creativity and relaxation. For communication and stimulation. Sure it can get tedious, frustrating, cause bouts of insularity and antisocial behaviour. But what's wrong with that? If you think we should all be out there playing in the park then stop reading this blog and get out there yourself (unless you have wifi and you're already in the park then I apologise) (and if you are in the Park with your laptop then keep an eye open for muggers - it's a dangerous world out there in the 'outside').
So in a mild protest to shutdown day I have endeavoured to spend as much time in front of my monitor as possible catching up on a few blogs, tweeking mine and discovering radio.blog.club (see below - very neat) I shall be using that more in the future.
So I wish I could say thet I spent shutdown day catching beautiful waves and surfing out of my tiny mind but alas it was not to be. Needless to say the surfers at work (who strangely seem to be in the majority) have been discussing a small excursion later in the week - hurrah.
Incidently, I've been outside several times recently and it was most rewarding as an experience. Last night I sat on the balcony of my new house (when I say house - I mean the next ten year project!), with a bottle of wine and a lovely lady watching the sunlight drifting across the hills. Then we drove past my old house smiling at the life that was being breathed into its walls by the new residents. A strange week I've had - slightly marred by the brain full of snot - but pretty good nonetheless...
Well there are a few minutes left before shutdown day and to be honest I'm glad I have an excuse to turn this thing off. I love it. I hate it. I hate it a lot. I love it more. It becomes my entire life at times and that surely is wrong.
So tomorrow I shall spend the day doing earthy things like knitting muesli tank tops, fashioning sandals from tofu and making tablemats out of recycled carrier bags (thankyou Sophie for that horrendous idea). I would love to go and throw myself in the sea but the remnants of man-flu are still apparent. What I shall probably do is lodge my arse into the sofa and stay there until Monday morning when the joy of work shall be upon me again...
I have bag guilt. Every time I go to the supermarket and go shopping without taking some carrier bags with me I feel bad. Not only am I single handedly destroying the planet with my 'mucous footprint' but my carrier bag collection is taking over the universe. It's exponential. Like bleedin' tribbles. It started off with a single bag full of bags next to the fridge - now I can hardly get to the sink to do the dishes. Obviously this is a very difficult time for me right now.
If I was a good person like Lucy I would buy one of her bags and sort this mess out. But even if I start now - what do I do with the old bags? Is there a Bagsterminator? Can I call the Bagbusters? How can I appease the bag guilt quotient that I've already accumulated? There must be some somebody. Surely there is a helpline out there for people like me...
This time I really do have nothing to say (sorry Lizza)- I have produced enough mucous in the last 24 hrs to drown an elephant and used enough loo roll to deforest it's entire natural habitation.
So my sincerest apologies to the elephant community - I didn't think it would go this far.
So today I have decided to plug one of my favourite sites fuel my blog and also plug myself. If everybody clicks on the flames EVERY DAY - I will be very happy. Go on - fuel my blog you know you want to. Thank you.
I have man-flu. Sniff. Having aquired my work ethic from my mother who would let me have time off school only if I'd contracted a class 'C' or worse tropical disease or had suffered severe arterial damage resulting in 25% or above blood loss - I have bravely soldiered on.
I have a piece of loo roll permanently wedged into my left nostril and have taken 3 times the recommended dose of industrial strength Lemsip. My throat and mouth are numbed with some kind of drug ending in 'caine' that may or may not have been purchased at a pharmacy. However I am home now, I still have all my limbs and have only hit my hand once today with a large metal object, so all in all a successful day.
If at any point my blog posting seems to drift into nothingness it is probably due to me slipping into some kind of life threatening fever. Or choking to death on a small piece of slightly snotty tissue that has shot down my throat during a coughing fit and lodged itself into my oesophagus.
Well, Monday comes round again and the energy levels are low but I'm feeling quite mellow. I've had alot of emails in the last week requesting more nonsense from my dear old Dad. To be honest they were all from him - but I must bow to the masses. So if you want it you've got it - don't say I didn't warn you...
The jury is still out at my end...
The line up of contributors looks great and it's good to see a few familiar names up there. Congratulations!
...and remember - just because my post didn't get in doesn't mean it's rubbish and you shouldn't buy it!
In fact quite the opposite - you should buy multiple copies and give them to friends, relations, neighbours and complete strangers on trains.
Even 'window-lickers' at bus stops.
This is my sons first venture into the world of Photoshop.
It followed a brief discussion about why his neighbours in the tiny Portuguese village that he lives in might get a tad irate if he daubed the surrounding houses with the contents of a spray can. His 12 year old friend (who obviously has nocturnal sun parking facilities in his rear end ) suggested that Dylan practice his graffiti skills on the local walls - I have suggested that he stick to virtual graffiti unless he wants to practice his 'getting a jolly good shouting at by his friends rather shouty dad' skills.
This was the result and as his father I would imagine that everybody agrees it is of an unusually high quality for a child his age and we should now speculate about his obvious leanings towards genius levels in his mastery of the digital arts. Well - maybe not - but we liked it and maybe one day he will reach genius levels like his uncle Tiggz!
Oops I seem to have gone surfing again... tra la la
I have nothing to say. My mind is blank. Maybe it's bloggers block.
I was considering writing about the time that I met a bloke in a pub who had never heard of Led Zeppelin, which although a strange and disturbing fact and at the time filled me with a feeling that somehow this signified the end of all things it also led me to think that maybe there are people lucky enough in this world who have never heard any music by Rick Astley or Kajagoogoo (come to think of it I quite liked them. Oh God.).
Which then led me to think about the diversity of people and their individual tastes on this planet - which of course then followed on to the endless permutations and combinations possible for the existence of life and evolution of sentient beings across the entire universe - how we may all be connected and disconnected in equal proportion and how the balance of the universe and our own personal equilibrium are all intertwined in a fascinating and complex pattern of disorder. Or not.
Like I said - nothing to say.
Sometimes we all make decisions that we regret. Today I shall mostly be regretting my decision to publish another episode of 'My Dad is a bizarre and wonderful creature that will never be fully understood with the current state of medical science!'
So with no more introduction and without further ado I shall direct you towards my 'guests' page where you will find
Apparently Portugal is a world leader in green energy, they are one of the few countries in the world that actually export electricity from renewable sources. I'm not a huge believer in statistics supplied by the state or the media but this could well be true - there are a huge amount of wind turbines across the region that I live in and more are coming online every day. This, coupled with the hydroelectric plants that are fed by the numerous reservoirs across Portugal - the country could well end up with a minimal carbon footprint.
Also, it seems they are soon to be hosts to new innovations in the use of ocean forces. At the moment huge wave generators called 'Pelamis' are being assembled in the docks at Molho Leste near to the world famous break of Supertubos. When complete they will be shipped north to Povoa de Varzim (50 km north of Porto) to be installed 5km from the coast. More here. Also, a prototype tidal generator called a waveroller which is bolted 12m below the surface on the sea bed is to be trialed in the Peniche area (possibly between the Peniche headland and the Island of Berlingas). More here.
From what I can gather neither device will have a major impact on any waves that reach the shore. If however at any time our surf breaks do come under threat due to the development of green energy surely we have to accept it and find other places to surf - the consequences if the process is hindered may well be worse...
As for the windmills in my mind - there's not a lot I can do about those...
just keep singing along tra la la....
Saturday afternoon and I'm sitting out back at
Praiainha thinking - "this isn't so bad - a bit
small and onshore but could be fun!"
Then a real set came through. It was at this point that I wished I'd
stayed lodged firmly in my sofa watching Little House on the Prairie,
drinking camomile tea and eating fairy cakes...
My heart leapt into my throat, pounding furiously as a wall of blue rose across the horizon, I paddled as fast as I could towards it turning my head briefly to see Olly eyes like saucers doing the same. Just ahead it started to break, luckily the slight onshore took the bite out of the lip and we both managed to get under and out back. Olly turned to me and said in a bright voice
"It's quite big then..."
I caught three waves on saturday. The first 2 were tentative drops across lumpy faces ending in a turmoil of foam and confusion. The third opened up beautifully, I found my legs and drove off the bottom and sped down the line - I could see the lip starting to reach up and tucked down to drop into the barrel that was opening up in front of me. Too late - the wave lurched and threw the lip across my face relieving me of both my contact lenses in one go. Suddenly I was blind. I took the only appropriate action available. I panicked and fell off.
Spat onto the shore I then shuffled blindly up the beach and across the busy car park avoiding being run over to get changed and find my glasses, feeling very small and beaten.
Sunday morning. I was having a rather strange dream - I was in an Italian coffee shop ordering what looked like a rather delicious slice of choclate cake when I turned to see an ex girlfriend standing next to me. She was sporting a neatly trimmed goat beard. She pointed at her chin and in an accusatory tone said "Have you seen this? I hope you've been to the doctor!!" At this point my phone rang and woke me. My father was calling to tell me I didn't have to get up as it was the weekend! Arse. (Dad - please read this)
The sunday evening session was altogether different. No wind and the swell had dropped to head high or below. My mind started to clear and the focus crept back. I surfed until my legs gave way and my arms turned to noodles. Surfing is the perfect meditation - external chaos and internal stillness occassionally connecting to achieve a moment of near perfection.
It only takes one wave.
- the sofa has me in it's grasp at last - but only after a fine weekend
of surf and sunshine.
I feel like I've been run over by a big pink fluffy truck
I'm pretty much finished for the day so I shall shamble my way to my duvet and continue this story in the morning before heading back to work (nuts!)
Just in case this is the only blog you've read today then I'd like to draw your attention to 2 things. The first is, according to Alex Wade who heard it from Paula the surf Mom it is 'Blog against sexism day'. So I shall desist from my usual blend of Benny Hill meets Bernard Manning type rhetoric and stick to the cold hard facts.
I do think about things other than surfing. Honest I do.
But as the days have turned into weeks the memories of my last good session are drifting into the distance
If you don't stay on the learning curve it's very easy to slide off and lose your place. I've never understood how people can be weekend or holiday surfers and actually get anywhere. The only times I've managed to make any headway has been during times of no work when I can get in the water several times a day for a prolonged period. So even if the swell forecast for the weekend was more a manageable size (it's still looking fairly intense!) the best I could hope for is a good drubbing and to recap on a few lost skills. My head and heart are crying out for some surf but my aching muscles from a week of dry stone walling fun and general cement nonsense are singing a different tune. They are calling for vegetation implimentation and sofa skill enhancement. Both being areas in which I have great aptitude and knowledge.
But I can do that after I've caught a few waves...
Maybe I'll have to take Monday off too - after all you're only 38 and 11/12ths once...
came home from work this evening feeling the usual blend of
fatigue and relief at the end of another day without serious disaster
I showered and changed then sat at my desk to dwell on todays post.
Not me, I wasn't suffering writers block due to the angst ridden life that plagues my inner psyche or torturing myself because my prose is inadequate for the public domain.
My computer. It has issues with the outside world. It has error 619 issues. I don't know what that means, I don't want to know what that means - I have enough in my brain without knowing what error 619 is, was or could be.
Error 619 occurs when my computer can't be arsed to communicate with it's own ports and connect to the internet. Without the internet I am all alone. I am lost. Just a man making typing noises in a big steel box (see schrodinger). I restarted. Twice. Gave it my best Paddington bear stare. Nothing. Then for no reason at all the blinking blue LED's that signify a 3G connection came alive. So I can now upload a blog post that says absolutely nothing about anything so all pretty pointless really...
On a slightly less benign note - I am going to Peniche for the weekend and will be throwing myself in the sea. The forecast looks enormous so I shall no doubt get a thorough spanking. I can't wait...
Also if you are wondering what happened to the rest of the
site look here
It's a strange life. Well not strange for me, as I'm used to it, but most casual bystanders would find the whole thing quite bemusing I'm sure. I live in the middle of Portugal. There isn't a golf course or pint of Boddingtons in earshot. Ryan Air haven't found anywhere to land and the road-signs are still indigenous. Trees, mountains, rivers. Nature and that. Spectacular.Why am I here? That's not really the issue, the point of discussion is what the hell am I still doing here fifteen years down the line? It probably won't help to utter a prepubescent grunt and go and sulk in my bedroom, mostly as I don't have a bedroom at the moment. Well, not strictly true, I have a bedroom, but I seem to be missing a door, a couple of windows and most definitively - a bed. So, here I sit in my parents house, a stone's throw away - a 38 year old man living in his mum's house. Sad but true. Where did it all go wrong?