Tuesday, December 19, 2006

For Those In Peril On The Sea

A neighbour dropped this Christmas card round today. It's one supplied by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) and helps raise funds for this outstanding organisation. A very pretty picture for sure, but especially poignant today. Cornwall, and the residents of Mousehole in particular, are remembering the crew of the Solomon Browne lifeboat that went down with all hands attempting to rescue those on board the Union Star cargo ship 25 years ago to the day. As part of the reflection on this disaster, BBC2 are showing again the documentary that I referred to in an earlier post that had us signing up as supporters of the RNLI.

Beach Bum's 94 year old grandfather was on the blower tonight. Think salty, slightly pickled Sea Dog and you get the picture for he's a man who spent his working life at sea. Having towed Mulberry harbours to the beaches in Normandy, shot down a Stuka on the way back (not usual for a merchant tug), lugged the first oil rigs to their moorings in the North Sea and still found time to check out most of the bars along the French coast he's had an eventful life.

Not that long ago, he casually referred to the "second time he was shipwrecked" - like you do. Not a man of many words, it took some time to piece the facts together. Back in 1932, he was a young sailor on the Watford, a collier lugging coal from Montreal to Sydney, Nova Scotia.

A hurricane was blowing offshore and they ran into a storm off Cape Breton. The ship was well and truly pummeled onto the rocks.

Several of the crew died but, by all accounts, the locals mounted an amazing rescue attempt and (fortunately for Beach Bum) winched the survivors, including Sea Dog, off the ship.

My uncle tracked down this picture of the beached ship after the storm had passed. Fate, luck, divine intervention - take your pick - but Beach Bum can't help but ponder how tenuously our existence teeters on times past.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Take a deep breath...

Some heavy breathing ...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Donavon Frankenreiter Is Not A Beach Bum (He Says)

DF is coming back to Cornwall which is a good thing. He's a new album out don't ya know? He muses, however, "I listen to so much music and I pretty much feel comfortable singing all of it, so I didn't want to come across as a guy who does nothing else but sit on a beach with an acoustic guitar, playing around a fire."

Dude?? What gives?? I've worked hard to get to that beach and bum around. Don't knock it or I'll make fun of that tea cosy you call a hat.

There's a prize going here - so pay attention! Something has been on my mind lately, what's left of it. Despite hearing either Donavon Frankenreiter or his, arguably, more famous pal Jack Johnson in just about every shop with hip aspirations going, I still enjoy his eponymous 1st album. Ok, so I'm a bit of a day dreamer and Sea Nymph says his music gets in the way of our love. She says I get so far away when I'm listening to his stuff but like, it don't matter - isn't that what chilled music ought to do? She doesn't understand the resonance of the vibe. Let me explain.

Last summer, I was heading home from the beach in my dune buggy. I was just reaching this bend in the road when the brakes failed and the vehicle starting free wheeling down the dual carriageway. Buggeration! I'm shelling past this bloke in a convertible on the outside lane. "What'cha know about brakes?" , I yell! "Swing on down to the footwell and hammer on that peddle!" he hollers back. It makes less than no sense to me, but "whack, whack" and the brakes are back.

Well, call me papa, call me Al, call me anything you want but even in extremis, I've a great eye for faces. Comes from being a social butterfly, I guess. The convertible is now speeding onwards past me, this great hairy happening of a dude waving ciao. I know that tache, it's the Frankenreiter himself! Wow, what a moment. Then I woke up and had my cornflakes something more healthy.

Right, I'll dispatch One Pair Of REALWIIIINGS to anyone who can tell me which song from the album isn't mentioned above. NB Beach Bum's Realwiiings review - I did warn you.

PS no alcohol or nefarious substance was involved in the creation of this post, honest.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Into Indoboards?

Like the Chinese water torture, the slow, slow drip of the same sales pitch repeating itself can weaken the will of the strongest. At least that's my excuse. I need one to justify the fact that I'm seriously considering getting one of these Indoboards.

I think it was a mailshot from SAS that caught my eye a while back. They were offering one of these balance training boards as a raffle prize. Hmmm I thought. Bit of a gimmick. Then a randon comment on Life's A Beach takes me over to the Outer Banks and Surf Mom's blog where she gives the Indo a thumbs up. Well maybe, I'll check out their website. Perhaps I was too hasty. 

And then it was trudge, trudge round Truro today with Nippers and Sea Nymph - mostly spending money on other people's Christmas presents. (And they left the anchovies off of my siciliana pizza.)  Then I spot this this blue Indoboard winking at me from a shopfront display. "You want me, you want me" came the sirens call. "Work out on me twice a day and you will balance like a Jedi Master!" I give in. If it's all a load of cobblers, please tell me before I ask Santa for one this Christmas.