Thursday, August 31, 2006

Your Oceans Need You!

Despite running the risk of turning into a bona fide tree hugger I want to point you in the direction of another worthy cause to consider. Greenpeace are running a "Defending Our Oceans" campaign that is entirely laudable and deserving of your support.

Coming from a part of the UK where raw, untreated sewage can still be poured from large towns directly into the sea, I have tended to make donations to most excellent groups like Surfers Against Sewage that deal with, for me, very local pollution & environmental issues.

Greenpeace has a global reach but we all share the same seas and the same concerns. Yeah, and there's always the cool wallpapers too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Endless Bummer?

I was flicking through "Surf Movies Tonite!" - a book of surf movie poster art - and like a kipper that repeats , the Endless Summer artwork is given a couple of pages. The way this movie still gets mentioned from time to time, you would be forgiven for thinking that it's something worth watching.

Quick synopsis - two Californian surfers take boards and travel the world checking out some superb - and at the time unspoilt - surf spots circa 1965. The dudes involved, perhaps unfairly, look like everyone's stereotype of a WASP. Seeing them boarding planes wearing blazers with long boards under their arms is sort of compelling in a weird, disturbing, Austin Powers kind of way.

As a period piece, it has its merits I suppose. I tried going with it but was really turned off by the lines like, "Being good Africans, they threw rocks" and the generally condescending (I'm being polite) comments about the "Natives". Wonder where these guys are doing today? Hopefully not working on foreign policy for Washington.

Riding Giants instead then, OK?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pass The Pasty

Beach Bum had a serious run in recently with the bacterial twins, Sam and Ella, that made for a whole lot less beach and a lot more bum. I just started eating again after 4 days on a liquid diet so it's appropriate that this new post focuses on something more solid.

Yes, I'm talking about the magnificent Cornish pasty that you might have expected to have made an earlier appearance on this blog. For surely, what better way to revitalise the energy levels after a day's surf stuff? This is food perfectly designed for eating on the hoof, food that you want to stuff your face with," get down yerself", when the mega-munchies set in.

There are all manner of different fillings these days. I am, however, a trad steak pasty guy myself so I'm not tempted by the exotic variations now on offer. My idea of "different" for a pasty is chucking on a bit of HP sauce. Anyone spotted some really whacko pasty fillings out there? Do tell.

Anyway, for those of you in exile, in need of a pasty fix or just plain curious to sample this unique wedge of life you can order some of Cornwall's finest from the dudes at

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mad Marlin & Sashimi

I listed "The Old Man & The Sea" as a favourite read some time ago under Beach Bum recommends. There's the style and pared down craftsmanship that Hemingway brings to his writing. Yip, plenty of top drawer literary stuff that those more qualified to criticise can edumacate us all about. Personally, shallow Beach Bum that I am, I have to say that Santiago's culinary techniques with fish is what really sticks in my mind. The old fisherman ends up eating a lot of raw fish. He wishes he had brought some limes aboard his skiff and that he'd had the foresight to evaporate some seawater down to salt - all for extra piquancy. I love my sashimi too and could really identify with his thinking there.

And then, of course, there's the humongous marlin that he struggles with throughout he story. So when I spotted a newspaper clip entitled "The fisherman, the marlin and a narrow escape", I had to read on.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Man Down

Microsoft have made available this blog writer that - supposedly - allows you to post to your blog and do all manner of cool stuff. Well, if this scribble turns up where it's supposed to then it will certainly smooth out the fiddly bits of blogging.

Apologies for the total lack of beachy, wavey, surfy stuff here .. I know, it depresses me too. Beach Bum has been laid up with a gammy knee and has thus had more time to fiddle with his PC.

One plus was the realisation that a blog equivalent of a scribble pad would be handy, if only to spare us all this sort of post. MSN My Spaces here I come ...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Perfect Pizzas At Poldhu

I love beaches, I love summer and I love Cornwall. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that everyone else “up country” does too. So the population of Cornwall at this time of year swells significantly. This is good for the tourist industry, on which the county has perhaps a rather unhealthy dependency, but bad for us Beach Bums that like less crowded beaches and less cluttered breaks.

Fortunately, we have the Lizard, where the chances are, you can still find coves not crowded out entirely by sun scorched lobsters and their ilk. And so it was, late last Tuesday afternoon we found ourselves heading round to Poldhu Cove to work off some seriously tasty luncheon downed earlier at the New Yard restaurant at Trelowarren Estate.

There followed the usual bucket & spade thing with the kids. Sea Nymph almost got a hair braid but it was late in the day and the girl was packing up. Our Nipper got some sandpapering on the face as he managed to get dumped off his bodyboard right up the shingle shore. Beach Bum caught some late afternoon sun in the beach chair and all was well with the world. The munchies set in.

Fortunately, Poldhu has its own most excellent beach cafĂ©. Don’t expect the Fistral Blu experience here- this is the beach equivalent of a roadside diner but none the less impressive for it. In fact, I fear such establishments will eventually get a makeover and end up looking like most every other “commercial” beach front eatery. But listen, the thing is, the place does tastedelicious pizzas. Italian bases, toppings sorted on site and within minutes, you’re sitting back smiling. Don’t know what’s in the mushrooms though. That night Beach Bum and Sea Nymph both had some seriously psychedelic dreams…

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

No More Heroes Anymore?

So asked the Stranglers way back in the late seventies and as the grumpy old man here begins to morph alongside the Beach Bum, I often ponder the same question when I look at some held up as idols for kids these days.

Let me point you in the direction of some real heroes that need your support. A little intro first...

Beach Bum & Sea Nymph were recently on holiday in Scotland and kids finally bunked away, we were sitting tucked up in this imperial sized monster of a bed with the TV on, channel hopping.

We started watching a documentary about the Penlee lifeboat disaster and I don't think we exchanged another word until it was over. Tragic, gripping, heroic, poetic - words fail to grapple with just how poignantly this tragedy unfolded.

Back around Christmas 1981, the Solomon Browne lifeboat launched out of Mousehole to respond to a distress call from a freighter dangerously close to the rocks off Land's End. The sea conditions that night were, frankly, the stuff of nightmares. The waves were so high that the helicopter charged with an initial rescue attempt was in danger of being clipped by the breakers.
The crew were all local volunteers. We often talk about how "you couldn't be paid to do a job like that" but watching the program, there was something hauntingly transcendent about these men and their sense of duty. To leave family and friends ashore and venture out in a lifboat under such staggeringly attrocious conditions was both confounding and inspiring.

That night 16 in total were claimed by the sea - from the freighter and the entire crew of the Solomon Browne.

I'd usually complain about how the scandalous it is that we live in a country where we can spend so much on other people's wars and yet we have to fork out of the public purse to keep such valuable services afloat. Well, blah, blah, blah .. this time, I just don't care about the politics. I went to the RNLI's (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) site and simply joined up as a member.

Do the right thing and join up or make a donation here.

National Nippers Championship: Day 2

Day two, the sun shone through, and the events rolled on. Someone clever had organised a medal ceremony so that everyone taking part took something home, not just the winners in each event. I know one little boy who took his medal on holiday and wore it for the best part of a week ... that's motivation for you!