Tag Archives: benn street

Closing Doors

Way back in 2002 (back in the day) I hit the Algarve beaches for the very first time.  Me, Alex Faggotpants Clifton and a young Ryan Morgan from the neighbours in Benn Street.

The following year, it happened again, this time with two more bell ends tagging along.  It was late on a very sunny Sunday afternoon in September (2003) as I was contemplating the drive back to the airport from Praia da Cordoama that I decided to move permanently.  By November the same year, my house was sold, along with all of its contents that I deemed I could live without. I was back, surf board under arm and ready to live a little.

Today, I signed over the house I bought here in Portugal to a young Portuguese couple.  Like most locals, they are priced out of the market by foreigners with more money than them.  It felt good to sell it to them, knowing they will build a home and grow a family there – rather than have Johnny Foreigner use it as a holiday home twice a year.

Sure, I got less money selling it to locals – but it felt a lot better in my heart.

In those 17 years away, many of you reading this will have paid a visit, some more than one, a few – paid far too many, just couldn’t keep you feckers away could I.

There were many good times had.  Some monstrous bar bills accomplished, several questionable ladies kissed, ample scuba diving excursions and of course many many many waves caught and ridden, all with varying degrees of success and grace.  Above all else, a myriad of memories have been created and a multitude of friends made from more cultures than you could shake a stick at.

I used to scoff at people who would brag about how travelling will broaden you mind.  I have to hand it to them though – they are right.

There is always a lump in my throat when I get off the motorway and get closer to Sagres, a warm feeling, fondness, a longing. In Portugal, they have a word for it – Saudades.  It seems quite apt that the language can accommodate all of those emotions in just one word.

Years ago on my weekend surf trips to Cornwall I used to get a similar feeling, close to Truro on the A30 when you plug up that last hill before sighting the wind farms for the first time.

Almost two decades of memories have been made.  I owe that opportunity to two people and a very simple act of kindness.

A young Ryan Gurnsey who departed 20 years ago, and a not quite so young Indian lady called Sandhya Desai, who, seeing me struggle with the early departure of Ryan, simply took the time to ask me one morning if I was OK.  The conversation that followed kept me from failing, kept me focused and ultimately gave me the hunger to chase something new.

I wondered what song might sum it all up as I drove back to Faro Airport this afternoon. I racked my brains for something suitable but drew a blank.

As if by magic, a Tuuuuuuune appeared in my head (it seems all those nights stella’d up with faggot pants in the clubs wasn’t a complete waste)  I was home alone one saturday morning in Benn Street somewhere between 2000 and 2002 with no-one to play with.  I decided ‘Fuck it – I am going Surfing’.

Typically, Cornwall was a 4 hour blast but on this day, it would take me 8 ½ hours.  The track you are going to be treated to next was just cueing up as those wind farms came into sight with the sun sinking low behind them on a delicious Cornish Saturday evening.  The surf was shit by the way………

Goodbye Sagres old friend – I don’t know if I shall see you again.

 

 

So that tune – I had to dig hard to find it.  Put your headphones on and enjoy

 

 

 

Its time for a new door to open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mokele Mbembe

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear November Archives, Happy Birthday to me

Whoop whoop whoop, yahoo, yay yay yay – whatever  (as I am currently in the states, all the whoops, yays and yahoos are mandatory), fist bump, high 5 – fuck yeah!!!  Goddamn .

It’s official – on May 8th (say that out-loud in your best Geordie accent!) The November Archives turned 9 years old and is now officially in its tenth year of publication, something of a milestone I think.  Put that into a different perspective, my little blog has been around longer than the iPhone and will no doubt still be going strong when the iPhone has gone the same way as that old dinosaur The blackberry.  If you need help in perfecting the ‘May the 8th’ in Geordie, may I offer three little words as practise – if you can master these three words, it is fair to say you are fluent in geordie – repeat out loud, or better still, to someone else in your house or work place, or just stand out on the street and bellow them at passers by

Kawasaki

Photocopier

Conjunctivitis

You are now fluent my friend – go forth and converse but be careful not to get ‘yer teeth kicked in man!’

 

Lots has changed since I first sat in the Bubble Lounge down in Sagres and penned my first blog entry.  The bubble lounge is no more, replaced suitably by Warung.  The iPhone was born and has also suffered 6 reincarnations since its birth.  The whole world has become a place where people right now and for generations to come, are developing spinal damage as they constantly stare at their smart phone screens.  People no longer go to concerts and watch the gig for themselves but seem to prefer to concentrate on holding the smart phone above their heads recording the whole thing, for what I can only assume is bragging rights – the right to say that you were there and prove it.  This alone makes me gasp in disbelief.  There was a saying I heard years ago about ‘Woodstock’ that went something like this ‘ If you can remember being there – then you weren’t really there!’  Whats more, can you imagine the pain of watching a music concert in its entirety on a phone ?  These observations were made only recently in my life as I watched many of the iTunes music festivals that are broadcast live on the WWW. A sea of fans illuminated by their screens.  Of course, there are concerts where hanging onto your phone would have been impossible too – The Offspring and Skunk Anansie are two that I remember partially.

Sound Garden, The Pixies, Katy Perry, Jessie J, Coldplay, NOCEREMONY/// have all been on iTunes for free.  Of course, I wanted to be there for myself but never won the tickets – Yes, I did apply for free tickets for a Katy Perry concert, but equally too, I tried for the Pixies.

Most recently of course, I finally decided to spend a chunk of money on a quality car rather than the 300 quid junkers that I normally favour. This has caused some concerns when choosing a suitable parking place as I try my best to keep the body panels straight and dent free.  I like the comfort but the worry keeps me awake at night.

Bringing you swiftly up to date, I am currently in Florida and next weekend will be setting sail for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – a good two weeks of hard sailing lay ahead but man am I glad to be back on a sailing boat with their coffin sized beds and work spaces made for midgets – a great new adventure lays ahead and lets not forget, this will be my first time sailing across the equator.  Once I have crossed it, I will be able to watch the water go down the plug hole anti clockwise instead of clockwise.

I just bumped into a guy today that reminded me of Alex Faggotpants down in Kernow.  Some of you will remember Alex as my lodger from Benn Street but for those of you that don’t, look for an old programme on the tv called ‘The Brittas Empire’ and there, disguised as Chris Barry you will see Alex Faggotpants.  Faggot as he is more affectionately known by his closest Rugby chums, was a spitter for Gordon Brittas in looks and mannerisms so imagine my surprise today when I found another doppelgänger here in Fort Lauderdale.

At this point, some words of encouragement please – the missus is running a 20k next weekend, a quick hurrah for her, my sister is also clocking up the miles and Steve Brown has agreed to come and run the next Park Run (www.parkrun.com) so it will be a real gang bang for the next time I am in blighty, there will be me, Steve, Rue, Claire, Sis (still working on that one) and maybe even the missus if she doesn’t quit running the second she crosses the finish line.

For the more loyal readers amongst you, you may remember some years ago I ran a competition for the 20,000th reader to win a new 3 series BMW.  You may also remember an old flame of mine winning the competition but then being disqualified for making me change her name on the blog.  Well, Gary Lineke as I called her post op, won’t be running in this competition and I promise no more name changes ever but in an effort to break the 40,000 hits barrier before my 10th anniversary next year, I am offering 10 absolutely free T-shirts for the first 10 SUBSCRIBED users to leave a comment on THIS post suggesting why they deserve a T-shirt.  There is no catch other than you can only win 1 shirt per subscribed user – I say this because I fully expect Connor to leave 10 comments before anyone else even reads this, you can’t beg one for your significant other, they should subscribe too,  and yes, I fully expect Connor to get a shirt and the other 9 to remain in my wardrobe for the next 10 years.  They will be sent P&P free so even if you are all the way down there in S.A. over in Oz, NZ or the Nordics – you will get one.

 

All up to you – usual rules apply – I make them up as I go along.  Winners are required to send a selfie for posting on The November Archives of them wearing their shirts.

 

 

 

 

 


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