Sunday, July 31, 2011

Super Soul Sunday

Dave and I used to have a solid Sunday morning routine in our draughty cold house on the cliffs above the sea. 10am through until midday was Super Soul Sunday time: Big pots of coffee, poached eggs, newspapers, absolutely no work and the Reverend Al Green and lots of other great soul music blasting from the stereo. Whoever woke up first put the music on loud enough to wake the rest of the house. Guests crashing over on our sofa had no choice but to wake up and engage, and friends would come by for the morning bringing breakfast stuff, newspapers or music with them.

It's a damn fine way to take some time out on the weekend, so go get on i-tunes or spotify, or heaven forbid perhaps actually get some good old fashioned cd's back in your life and hunt down these tunes, the ones that influenced and informed the current revival and rehash of soul music that's all over the radio these days.

Right here, right now, An Tor Orth An Mor presents the Super Soul Sunday playlist for your aural enjoyment. Hallelujah!

  1. Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
  2. Martha Reeves And The Vandellas - Heatwave
  3. Al Green - Keep Me Cryin'
  4. Sam And Dave - Hold On, I'm Coming
  5. Martha Reeves And The Vandellas - Nowhere To Run
  6. Little Richard And The Disciples Of Soul - Inside Of Me
  7. Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons - The Night
  8. Tony Clarke - Landslide
  9. Dusty Springfield - Live It Up
  10. Gloria Jones - Tainted Love
  11. The Flirtations - Nothing But A Heartache
  12. Marlena Shaw - Let's Wade In The Water
  13. Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything Is Alright)
  14. Sam And Dave - Soul Man
  15. The Temptations - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
  16. Wilson Pickett - Land Of 1000 Dances
  17. Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up (LP Version)
  18. Ray Charles - What'd I Say (Parts I&II)
  19. The Hot 8 Brass Band - Sexual Healing
Get Some!

Image: Dave getting into the music sat on the workbench in The Pit one Super Soul Sunday a few weeks back, mug of coffee just out of shot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The World's best righthand point? I reckon so...

Dawn at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. Having run 5km in the dark to get there it was kind of annoying to find it breaking straight onto the bricks...

The 2011 Billabong Pro J-Bay has just finished up with South Africa's wonder-kid Jordy Smith coming out on top at his home contest. Every time I watch the World's top 44 surfers hacking into arguably the best right hand point break on the planet my jaw drops at how many turns they manage to cram in on a wave that is just too damn fast for mere mortals to even consider sticking a turn on. The first bit of advice I was given when I moved there was "don't even think about doing a turn, you'll just get left behind. Just take off and start going down the line as fast as you can..." Most of the contest was held in 4-6ft surf, pretty perfect size for Supertubes however the weather was grey, rainy and pretty strong onshore. It still looked heaps better than most surf spots do on their day of days though, despite the wind and rain.
It's set my feet itching, I'm trawling the internet for flights south right now...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Word Before You Go...

Teak Bridge, Myanmar (formerly Burma)


Packing antique heat, Ethiopia

Colonial Hangover, Sri Lanka


Gorilla, Rwanda

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ethiopian Highland Kids

African Sunset

You're in for a treat. A little while back I posted a blog with the ten top travel tips that I've accumulated and have served me well over years of hauling my sorry ass and a surfboard all over this big blue and green marble. I thought that this list was pretty concise and comprehensive, and then I got an e-mail from my friend Yvette which blew my list out of the water. Yvette is one well travelled lady who works in International Development, most recently for the UNHCR in East Africa but before then in South East Asia, and in between travelling for work her hobby is collecting cool passport stamps. In the past she's gifted me with solid gold nuggets of travel wisdom like this:

"Coconuts - the elixir of life, the saviour, the hangover cure, the life-giver. Any time you feel crap, drink a coconut and it will save your life. It's chemically akin to plasma and absorbs faster than h2o. If you need a blood transfusion and you have no blood - hook an IV up to a coconut, I'm 100% serious."

So here I've pulled together a selection of her photos and below for you to log away ready for next time you're getting ready to head off are her additions to the list. I strongly suggest that you take some notes:

"My tips are a bag for your cords and cables. A bag for your bras, undies and socks. Roll. Pillow case for laundry bag. Crappy phone (some countries won't let in smart phones). SARONG. Hard drive or iPad full of movies. EAR PLUGS. Steal the eye mask while you're stealing the blanket - you'll never sleep more soundly. Condoms. Stick your condoms and meds in the fridge. Don't fill your bag, 17kg max. Clothes that make you happy - you'll feel better if you look like yourself. No dark clothes - mozzies breed inside them. Toenail clippers. Notepad and pen fo sho. Board games for those days with no electricity (there will be many) ... backgammon? Social responsibility and a sense of the two way obligations and duties of the traveller. The Do No Harm principle. Norfloxacin - when it hits, you won't want to go to the chemist. A vocabulary that doesn't include the word 'do', or any variation on this, as in: "I did Thailand." A basic history. Courage."

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Kook

The hyper-creative Mr. Daniel Crockett has released the 2nd edition of The Kook surfing newspaper. An independent UK based surf publication with over 90 international contributors, The Kook is all about the creative side of what we all do. There are no paid advertisements and all contributors provide their creativity for free, simply for the sake and love of it, including some very high profile people in the wide world of surf - and some very low profilers.
I got in touch with Dan a while back about a photo project that I've been working on (2/3rd's complete to date) and it turned out to be deadline day. He managed to sneakily squeeze one of my other images in there for which I'm very grateful, prizes if you can spot it...

Please help to support independent, creative surf journalism.

Purchase The Kook through Dan's blog or website, or from selected discerning surf shops.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Art on Walls

Art on walls? I love it.

I'll put that in context: good art or poignant statements (not shite tag scrawls) in appropriate places is amazing and contrary to the opinion of many city councils can enhance urban environments. When I was at university in Plymouth I worked for a company called After Dark Media who organised the renovation of the skanky old underground bus station. Previously the concrete underpasses were the preferred hangout of the city's homeless and it was kind of an intimidating place once the sun had gone down, not to mention it stank of piss. But the council sorted the lighting out and it was transformed by a collection of graffiti artists over one weekend into a colourful, vibrant and engaging space. In the right place, and in the right context, why wouldn't you put art on the walls for everyone to enjoy?

Images: The assorted wall art of Barcelona, Melbourne, London, Oman and Morocco.