Monday, December 26, 2011

Ho Ho Hoping...

Apologies for being a day late - I was eating, drinking and being merry. I hope that all of you enjoyed a white Christmas/Winterval, whether white snowy or white sandy, and wish you a great final week to round out 2011. Spend a bit of time doing stuff that makes you smile.

Whether you're a regular reader, drop-in sporadically or have stumbled upon this by accident and not clicked away yet, thanks heaps for pausing to take a look. I hope that you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy producing it; there're a few plans bubbling away which I hope will throw up some content that'll entertain and keep you checking back through next year too.

Have a great week and see you January 1st.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wish I Was There...

It's the middle of December. Hand's up who'd quite like to be in Hawaii right now?

The (fully functional) mosaic tile ukelele was made by an artist friend of my housemate. It's for sale so drop me a line if you're interested and I'll put you in touch. Print by Hawaiian artist Heather Brown.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Letter of Thanks

Dear Mother Ocean/The Seven Seas/The Big Blue,

This letter is long overdue, because in all this time I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to say thank you.

Thanks for all the good times. Thanks for all the good waves.

Thanks for being so enthralling and for captivating me ever since I can remember, for being so full of wonder and living up to all of the hype. Thanks for always keeping a little back to keep me guessing though, wondering what’s still hiding beneath the surface.

Thank you for always being there, wherever I go; you’re always there when I look out of the window in the morning and you’re still there at the end of the day and I find your constant presence comforting. It’s so nice of you to give the sun a place to sleep at night.

Thank you for making the “sea air” and the positive ions that blow on the wind, keeping me cheerful.

Thank you for being so floaty.

Thank you for getting me from A to B so often, for allowing me to get around a bit and see other places.

Thanks for being so accepting, supportive and accommodating, but thanks also for scaring me. Whenever I get a bit too big for my boots you’re always there to put me back in my box and keep me humble. Sometimes you terrify me, other times you bounce me off the bottom, hold me under, pull my limbs in wrong directions and disorientate me, but I know that it’s all for my own good. I have enormous respect for you, more than I can articulate here.

When we have a bad day and don’t quite see eye to eye I know that more often than not it’s the wind’s fault, not yours.

Thanks for making my landings soft.

Thanks for dinner the other night, and for all those other times that you’ve provided me with something to eat.

Cheers for letting me wash in your waves. And for being such a good wake-up, I’d rather you than a cup of coffee any day.

I really like the way you’re always cool on a hot day and, most of the time, not as cold as the air in winter. You’re never as extreme in your temperatures and I really like that. On that note, nice one for regulating global temperatures.

Good work absorbing all of the carbon that humans release, I’m sorry that the job has fallen largely on you to do. I’m sorry too, on behalf of the human race, for all of the plastic. For what it’s worth I try to do my bit to remove the bits that I see from in and around you and I know many others do too.

Thank you for being there when I need a bit of quiet time to sit and reflect, for helping me to find the answers that I seek and not passing judgment on me.

Thanks for always being more interesting to watch than TV.

Thanks for all of the beach treasure, the shells and the seaglass and webbles that you make, the flotsam and jetsam that you carry to shore. Thanks for making sand, even though it fills my pockets and always ends up in my bed. It’s a nice little reminder that I always take away with me.

Thank you for delivering messages in bottles.

Thanks for being such a great horizon.

Thank you for giving me focus, drive and purpose. Thank you for giving me so many good memories.

Thanks for being such a good friend.

I appreciate it all more than you know.

Images, from the top down:
  • Quiet Sunday afternoon, Playa Garza, Costa Rica
  • Under the sea, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
  • Geographe Bay, WA
  • School of baitfish, Hawaii
  • Serenity, Sri Lanka
  • Playing with the waves, Cabarita, Australia
  • Sunset at Playa Guiones, Costa Rica
  • The infamous "Neptune at Horta" - better than TV.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Call me a pessimist, but...

Sometimes I just feel like casting off the lines, hauling in the fenders and getting the hell away.

I'll apologise here and now for following a none too chirpy post with one with a rather bleak outlook, but the timing is rather appropriate for this one and you can blame my piss-poor planning. I promise to publish something far more optimistic and full of sunshine next week.

You see, this weekend saw the politicians of the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for another seemingly doomed climate conference although you'd be forgiven for not being aware of that. The world is rather preoccupied with global economic woes right now and as such the fate of the planet that hosts us and our silly games of gambling invisible money seems to have slipped down the agenda. No habitable ecosystem on planet earth = no venue for our global economy. Seems to me therefore that it ought to be higher up the list of things to do.

Back in September, on or around the 27th, humanity exhausted nature's budget for the year. Earth Overshoot Day signifies the point at which we start using resources that the planet cannot regenerate or absorb the waste from within that year. It's the point at which we humans started spending more than we earnt in the year 2011 in an ecological sense, effectively living off an environmental credit card. Every year the planet can only absorb so much CO2, grow so many plants or support so many fish, however each year we use more than that. In 2007, the last year that data is available for, we used 1.5 planets worth of resources. Since 1966 humanity's ecological footprint has more than doubled.
All of this really, really scares me. I guess I'd be even more scared if I was a penguin or a polar bear though.

Jackass penguins, South Africa, some 1,600km from where their fate is being decided.

So how's about we all pull together and each try to do a little so that together we can achieve a lot. If not then perhaps I'll break the piggy bank and buy this little submarine so that I can visit the cities of the world in 50 years time when they're all underwater. It's quite expensive though...anybody want to go halves?

"It's not beyond possibility that warming will actually cause sea-level rises which could threaten the centre of London. The stakes are very high. We know these changes are happening – the evidence is incontrovertible – and if they go on, they will have catastrophic effects on the human race."

Sir David Attenborough
Broadcaster and naturalist (The last episode of Frozen Planet, On Thin Ice, will be shown on BBC 1 on Wednesday at 9pm)

£28,000 + VAT. Who's in?