Monthly Archives: July 2011

UK Swingers

Back from a day of activity – had a dive this morning with a young fella of just 11 years old, superb skills and fearless – when I was his age, I may have been the same but without the superb skills!

Tried to find some surf this afternoon but no joy, the west coast was a little heavier than I was willing to brave – so I now have eaten a ham & feta sandwich and have a bottle of EA red , express chilling in the freezer.

As for the headline of todays posting, it bears absolutely no relevance to the post at all, I was just curious to see how many hits I get with that in the title – expect more random headlines over the coming weeks.

Last night and almost completely unprompted, I had a flurry of new subscriptions – I like it when that happens, but first a few corrections.

The reader in Pensylvania ( I hope I spelt that right) is actually called ‘Sharon’ not Michelle as previously stated, please all wave and smile while facing west and say hello to Sharon.

Then of course, there is Trusty (or maybe that should be rusty) Old Lex in South Africa – she has subscribed but it doesn’t look like she has confirmed the system email that was sent, shame on her !

So the newbies…….

Max in Leiceter, UK – How come it took you so long?

Susan & Angela from Rugby, UK – these two are the subscribers I have known the longest (almost – Steve gets that award!)

And last but by no means least – The wonderful Mush George down there in Bristol (I actually typed ‘Bristol’ with a heavy west country accent)

I have quite a motley crew growing now – maybe its time to create a subscribers photo album ? Your thoughts are appreciated.

I did get one step closer to settling into the way of life here today.  I got up late (very important that one) went for a dive, came home mid afternoon and took a nap and then woke at 6pm and headed to the beach – if only the surf had been more favourable, I would have been surfing until sunset.  Tomorrow I have nothing planned apart form heading to the old house and clearing it out, I may even take on the vegetation with a machete to make it look a little tidier.

Thats all for now, just left wondering how many hits I will get for UK Swingers




Live from Norwich – It’s the quiz of the week

Finally yesterday the wind dropped.  I can’t imagine how mind bending that must have been to have that howling for the last 2 months – It was driving me crazy after just one week.  I took advantage of it well and headed out with my two big boards on the roof.

Tonel first stop but really nothing much happening there so I headed out of town towards Amado.  Picked up some rather splendid tunes on the way out of town, The Verve – Sonnet had me smiling on the road out of town closely followed by ‘Sound and Vision’ – David Bowie, topped off with an old Roxy Music track – Over You, I was enjoying the drive, baking hot sun and the wind in my hair.  I even had a little Siouxie and the Banshees and The Wurzels before my jaw dropped at Amado.

The must have been over 100 people in the water! Not a superb wave either, I watched for a while to see what kind of carnage would ensue and sure enough, they were dropping in and running over each other – did I want to hone my 9 month unused skills amongst this little lot?  Not bloody likely mate, I would have killed someone.

Bordeira next stop and as usual, it was a big mess.  In all honesty I have never had a good surf there, I really don’t know why I bother checking the place.

Next stop Barriga but in all honesty it looked like very hard work for an out of shape blimp like me

By this time, I had stopped singing and decided to head back to Sagres and checked out Tonel again – A quick check on the tide timetable told me the tide had just turned and was now on the push – certain it would improve in an hour I decided to go and sit on the beach. Baking in the sun, I paid close attention to the surf and sure enough, around an hour later, there was a useable wave to I squeezed into the spak suit and went for a paddle.

Being old and wise, I knew that I was way out of shape for bigger swells so the metre high stuff at Tonel would be a good start.  I must confess though, the extra belly I am currently carrying meant that I had to ask for help to close the wet suit up!

Anyhow, turned out to be a very good call, I had close to 2 hours of fun before I got so tired that I kept missing my feet – enough – call it a day.

I tried to repeat the experience again today but this time I wasn’t so lucky.  At least I got to sit for a few hours in the sun while i waited.

Tomorrow morning it’s back to the hotel for some discover scuba diving with the kids, last week I was confronted with 13 of the little feckers.  If I get that many tomorrow I am going to limit it to just 10 me thinks.

Moving on, I read that Amy Winehouse is dead. No details as yet but there isn’t a bookie in the land that will take a bet against drug related death. It was inevitable many will say and the national press here in Portugal are saying just that. I do wonder though, as did John Peel when Cobain blew his face off, if I could have helped in some way, spent some time with her and helped her out of her problems, changed her life path a little. A truly magical voice without any shadow of a doubt , now no more.  I am sure we will be wondering in the years to come, exactly what kind of music she would be making.  I often think if Cobain were alive, what would his style be now, 15 years after the Nirvana scene.  Maybe Mr. Grohl offers a little insight to that.

I too was shocked to hear about the recent events in Norway.  I have a couple of friends up there.  On my first visit to Norway some 12 or 13 years ago, I was surprised at just how open the norgies are. Almost a self policing nation where crimes were unusual and people very trusting.  Last time I was in Oslo about 2 years ago now, I spoke to my friends there and they told me that many of the population were against the new immigration policy.  Why? Since immigration had been relaxed the society was beginning to see crimes that they had never seen before, rapes previously unheard of, violent crimes too.  I am expecting to read in the next couple of days that this nutter is saying just that – he didn’t agree with the immigration policy so he decided to murder many of his country folk, don’t quite see the logic in that!  Home grown terrorism – it must be so hard to detect for the authorities.

Now, moving swiftly on, lets talk about subscriptions again – there are a few readers out there that still haven’t subscribed.  I made it as easy as possible so that even women can do it (apart from Karen Thornham in Oz, she needed 2 attempts) so there is no excuse Susan.

Hello to my avid readers/subscribers

The ever so beautiful Lana Bos

Steve Brown

Verity McCoy ( the first one to subscribe – shame on you Lana)

Karen Thornham

Lexa Timothy (South Africas finest Chef!) Hey Lex, I wonder if you can link your page to mine and vice versa?

And that other American lass, I forget her name, I think it could be Michelle

But enough for now, my Sagres Bohemia is getting warm, and that my friends is as serious a crime as buggering the Queen




P is for ……………….?

‘Portugal’ of course – and also ‘Problems’

Nothing here is straight forward and it is beginning to take its toll on me.  I am almost at the point of despair with the bullshit and the locals ability to do fuck all and get away with it – it is no surprise to me that their country is in such financial dire straights.  I find myself now constantly asking if this is where I want to base myself and potentially spend the rest of my life – At the moment, it is a resounding ‘no way’.  Added to all the bullshit, the wind has been blowing hard for months now so I can’t even go and surf.

I did finally manage to buy a bike today, one that is the right size, so that my knees don’t knock my teeth out when I am pedalling.  Added bonus was the bike shop that I chose to visit was also so very close to the local DHL office that were holding my Mac charger that was posted last week. Apparently DHL do not deliver to post office boxes – something new in the school book for me then.

Emergency call last night from the dive school – their compressor wouldn’t start – something of a serious issue when you need compressed air to work.  Did manage to get it running though and this morning also found a mail order supplier in Portugal that held the spares so they should be here within the next couple of days – but remember what ‘P’ is for ?

Tomorrow morning I plan to cycle to the light house on the point, a good 15 k round trip, should be completely fooked by the time i get back. After that, now my trusty Mac is again in tow and taking charge, my studies can begin in earnest, revision notes and all.

For the first time in many years, I have also decided to sell one of my boards.  Don’t panic, its just the old Sementé – it’s pretty beaten up but I might get a few dollars for it – do i really need 4 surf boards?  I don’t think so, especially when I may have to get all of them on the roof and back to blighty later this year, so I could soon be a 3 board family.

Dilemas are upon me again – to sell or not to sell.  I am certain that I don’t want the tie of a house here any more, its easy and relatively cheap to rent so I should just do that when I want to come here – your thoughts are appreciated – I suspect the eurozone is in for a kicking some time in the coming 2 years.

I will leave you with those thoughts for now




Basque Country

Safely landed in Portugal this morning.  The drive I have now completed 5 times, I can now do it without a map !!

One thing that always stuns me is when leaving the southwest of france for Spain’s Basque Country.  That is always my favourite part of the drive, always catching it at first light or early morning – it is so beautiful, it makes my nipples go hard.

But let me get back to France for a second.  I managed to pass through the whole country this time without activating any speed cameras, last trip I managed 3, the 2nd trip only 1. France is a big country to cross but I wanted to share a little something with you, the british motorist.  Ok, they have a sensible 80mph speed limit but the toll roads are a killer – 125€ in tolls, just to cross France, and before you cry ‘the fuels cheaper’ – it ‘aint my friend, it is comparable with the UK!

I got a couple of tolls in Spain too but it is worth the cost to see the views.

So I am now home for the summer.  Not much has changed of course but things are about to begin changing. Some of my long term friends here are getting ready to clear out and return to Germany.  These guys have been here for almost as long as me but they are suffering the same frustrations as me, bullshit politics and stupid people – it wears you thin in the end. I had a good chin wag at the beach bar today with one of those friends, she is ready for the off.  Sure, it has been an idilic 6 years for her, but she is now completely over it – strangely enough, it appears we are both feeling almost exactly the same things.

I whiled away the afternoon today making a very special ‘thing’ that from this point on shall be called ‘The tricolore’ like the french flag.  A couple of years ago while at the beach I burnt a small triangle of skin between my shoulder blades – it was a small area of my back that i couldn’t reach with my own hands, flexible as I am, so today, i purchased the raw ingredients of ‘the tricolore’ and sat and stitched them together to produce my personal back sunscreen applicator, or PBSA to give it its full technical name. Photos will be added soon. Sadly though, the 3 colours of cotton i used for the stitching represent the Bulgarian flag rather than the french one – but tri-colour it is!

The apartment I have rented for the summer is the kind of place that encourages you to go to the beach.  Now, there is small, and there is blatantly taking the piss small – I think the owner got the broom cupboard and the apartment mixed up.  Will be even more fun when Lana gets here – talk about living in each others pockets !

The beaches are of course still beautiful but it is blowing a hoolie at the moment so not so much sun bathing, more like sand blasting.  Mustn’t grumble though, the breeze takes about 10ºc off the temperature but the sun is still as wicked – and of course a little bit of breeze keeps the mozzies at bay.

So tomorrow is officially my first day of chill – nothing planned but a full lube up with hawaiian tropics and a few hours in the sun, maybe even a dip in the water, and thats all, 6 pack of Bohemia is already chilling in the fridge, all thats left now is to upload the photos so far for this summer.




Road Trippin’ AGAIN!

In fairness, it has already started, with a little ‘warm up’ between Rugby and Brussels in the new ‘1 grand’ motor – which performed perfectly on my little jaunt.

So tomorrow or wednesday, I start again with a longer trip from Brussels to Sagres – a full 24hour spaz mode, cruise control locked on just above the speed limit.  I am now looking forward to my summer off, surfing, scuba diving, sun tans and of course studies.

It is also good to know that a new subscriber has joined the ranks, Karen Thornham, all the way out in Australia so I really can boast a worldwide audience now, albeit only 5 of you but we now cover the UK, South Africa, Australia, America and also an American in Europe.  I tried to blag Maja into signing up too so I could claim Scandinavia, but it never happened – maybe Mr & Mrs Oliver-Watne could help out with that one?

I am now expecting a flurry of good writing as I get back to my roots a little more and away from work so be sure to stop by regularly, or better still subscribe and get an email when things have been changed.

Enough now, its time to buy a new xbox power cord

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