Irgendwo in den Bergen

So...it has been a while I'm afraid. It's mountain time of year again and I feel this one is going to be super-special. I can safely say I have never been to any space as beautiful as where I am lucky enough to rest my hat for the next five months. The Austrian mountains have a mood of there own...one which is changeable but always intense. When perched on the top of the mountains, the villages and towns below hideaway far below leaving an extensive landscape which appears to be any number of faraway places: sometimes the moon, sometimes the ocean but always the backdrop for a fairytale. I love more than anyone getting first lifts on a day off but have quickly developed a crush on last lifts. There is something incredibly magical and inspiring about knowing that your tracks will be the closing ones as you fly past the piste bashers in twilight.



In my final year at Uni a good friend and decided to runaway to Norway for a week. Whilst we were in Oslo there was a modest sized music festival taking place, which meant much of the city was plastered in the some of the most affectionately printed posters. One which I climbed a wall to rip off was Lykke Li's, who at the time I had never heard of. Fast-forward four months and there she is in Somerset...playing the Park stage at Glastonbury. Now here she is with Kleerup, who also hails from Sweden.

If this were in a film I would like to see it playing at the transitional time between night and morning when you have just left a club and just want it to be daytime or bedtime. Maybe you are feeling something bad. Or maybe it's just bittersweet?



Heard his remixes of Ellie Goulding's tracks then hunted him down on myspace. Hard to believe this talent comes from someone who has only spent twenty years here. Go listen loud. Brilliant noise and beautiful snap.

p.s....another musical delight that I was made aware of this evening courtesy of the BBC1 Concert for Children in Need, was the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey collaborating with Dizzee Rascal. This is the stuff dreams are made of....what an inspirational partnership demonstrating that anything really can (and does) happen.


Eden Project

Yesterday I visited The Eden Project site for the very first time and was completely overwhelmed by the whole experience. The Eden Project is an educational charity "conceived when the environment had dropped from the agenda and environmentalists had taken on the mantle of Old Testament prophets, doom-laden and jargon-heavy".

The site of the project is not only rich in vegetation but also education and inspiration. Most widely known for its space-age like 'Biomes', The Eden Project is more than just cultivating tropical plants. The vibe you immediately pick up on as soon as you enter the gates (where you receive a substantial discount if you have cycled or walked) is one of genuine positivity that we, as a team, can slow down and maybe even repair the damage caused by our over-indulgent use of non-reusable fuel. Instead of using scare tactics like many movements attempting to promote are more sustainable lifestyle, The Eden Project does not drone on about the dismal state our world is in, but instead focuses on positive, manageable ways of helping not only the future of our world, but our communities and personal lives as well.

Please check out their website, and if you head to the South West at all, then The Eden Project should definitely be sat near the top of you 'to-do' list.


Motto for the coming season...

This was a brilliant gift I received from a good friend at the weekend. Having spent last winter season both working in the chalets and riding the mountain with her in France, I feel it would be rude not to listen to her advice. (If any SD managers are reading this, I'm getting Vitirina transferred from Portugal for the winter so those taps will still be super-sparkly. Do not worry).


Hooper and Shaw

Remember remember the fifth of November...as a lovely day. A day that included a blustery visit to St Isaac where I stumbled across the most wonderful Print and Gift shop run by two Illustrators. The cosy little shop is rich in beautifully thoughtful sayings which appear on large limited edition screen prints and greetings cards, as well as intricate paper cutting scenes and an illustrated collection of friendly looking farmyard animals. If you find yourself nearby it is most definitely worth a visit...in the mean time, check out their equally wonderful website.


A little bit disconnected

Having spent a week away from home visiting various places and faces, I returned on Sunday evening and casually threw open the lid on my Mac to see what had been going on in the world only to discover that the bastards at BT had (apparently, for no reason at all) decided to cut our internet connection. Being familiar with the felling of being phone-less due to a long line of misfortunate hydro-accidents, pickpocketers and general carelessness, it shocked me to encounter such feeling of isolation and disconnection. I can only blame my current location and possibly the weather for these irrational emotions. I have spent much quality time over the passed week with people I care dearly about, so why should I feel like I am missing out on something greater just because I cannot write on their virtual wall, or send a pointless email just to spur a response that is not one fueled out of love, but which is purely reactive. My obsessive habit of checking in on the Guardian website to see if I have missed anything that is headline worthy also seems to be superior to picking a trusty old newspaper, or listening to the news updates on the radio which never fail to be broadcast on the hour, if not half way through as well. Surely an hour isn't too long to wait to here what is (or isn't) going on our there?

So, here I am...sat in a swanky bar in Truro, swigging their over-priced g+t's, whilst it howls with terrifying rain outside. Just so I can feel part of the 'real world'. The only thing 'real' about this situation is that I am going to get drenched as soon as I step back outside into actual world.


Zones 1 & 2

Saturday just gone by, I took a deep breath and ventured up to London to cram in as much fun and games as possible in three days...many coffee shops were frequented, much wine drunk, stomach muscles ached from free-flowing laughter and both ears and eyes were treated to some wonderful events.

The beautiful Ben Howard with his mesmerising, tonic-like vocals and insight years beyond his age. The intricate, effortless yet precise placement of his hands along his loyal guitar; never failing him in producing notes and tones with such depth it is as if there is a full orchestra hidden behind the curtain.

And the rather intriguing, ageless, musical genius that is Brett Dennen . This seemingly youthful guy sings of sleeping in the afternoon, becoming the noise in the night, trespassing in temptation and celebrates being alive. For someone with such a modest sized frame and voice, he more than successfully manages to engage the full attention of his audience and leave them with a rather warm, fuzzy, winter fire feeling inside.


Radio 3

Driving back from the beach today I stumbled across the Jazz Library on Radio 3 and immediately found myself enthusiastically patting the steering wheel in time with the honey like melodies of Stan Getz and Miles Davies. Having spent some beautiful, sun-soaked time in the afternoon with two close friends discussing our plans for the near and distant future, listening to Getz break away from his accompanying team of musicians made me compare our life calenders to the structure of jazz. Through all jazz there is a pre-printed structure for those who are playing to keep to. But it is those exhilarating four bars (please forgive my potentially incorrect musical info) in which the artists push past their music stands and throw caution to the wind, improvising...no....feeling and expressing through that small but precious period of freedom. Similarly, to date, the moments which in my life that have been the highest have been those that aren't written in the preconceived idea of what you are supposed to be doing in order to have a 'successful' life. You are only as successful if you are tapping in time to the rhythm of your own footsteps and following where they want to take you. Otherwise you can easily end up somewhere you don't want to be, not knowing how you got there or where the exit is.


The Coastguard Watch Tower

Having spent many holidays in Boscastle , the place never loses its sense of mystery and air of discomfort, which I think it is place youcan easily get drawn back to time after time. There aren't many places that get pummeled back to foundations by floods and re-built in exceptional time; who also have a Witchcraft museum, one of the most beautifully situated Churches peeking over the Atlantic and a Coastguard's watch tower that seems to mimic a miniature castle as if it was thrown up the coast by King Arthur.


Tate St Ives

Today I visited the Tate Collection in St Ives for the first time. In great contrast to its elder, more popular siblings, this more modest collection is one which presents its visitors with intriguing pieces of wonder from internationally known artists, local sculptors and unknown, but highly talented digital artists. The current exhibition "The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art" fills the whole seashell/lighthouse-esque building. Below is an image of David Nanoon 's, who is one of the featured artists  that I was particularly drawn to.


The Sum of Hours Wasted

1 hour: Friday night sat in traffic in central Bristol
30 mins: Saturday morning driving vverrrryyy slowly to Clifton
20 mins: Saturday afternoon queuing to enter carpark
30 mins: Saturday evening queuing to exit carpark
1 hour 25 mins: Sunday morning driving round Bristol in circles trying to get on the M5

Total: 3 hours 45 mins wasted sat in a car unnecessarily. Some people do this every weekend. I hope I have never have to experience it again. Next time I might cycle to Bristol (from Cornwall)...it probably wouldn't take that much longer.



Inspiration and excitement

COLE BARASH : one of the most publicized and talented snowboarding photographers of the moment, and only at the age of twenty-one. Not only are his photographs spectacularly wonderful images that make me want to start snapping away, they also get me fired up for the coming winter's snow time.

 this legendary rider who hails from Switzerland spends her days shredding powder and massive kickers with the guys: a gracefully aggressive snowboarder. Below she is photographed off the mountain by a wonderful photographer, Daniela Muller-Brunke.

SCOTT TRINDLE : another immensely talented photographer whose images provoke a moody, reflective series of emotions. The subjects all look lost in their thoughts and completely absorbed in their surrounding landscapes. Stunning.


The Simple Life

Hello again...it has been a little while, but I have been spending much time reading the next chapter. So far, it has been an extremely interesting one in which the prime character has been revisited locations and friends from times past which has provoked a mixed series of emotions to say the least. But the new Cornish settlement has proven to provide much comfort and security in a period of time which has not be particularly smooth and stable. Life in the most western part of the South of England is a calm and nourishing one with inhabitants taking great pleasure in the smallest of things which rub off anyone spending more than a few hours in this wonderfully charming kingdom. Looking at old sepia photographs of the miniature fishing ports shows that very little has changed over the last century, other than that the scenes can now be recorded and recalled in CMYK.


Time for new times

Yesterday was the full stop at the end of a chapter and today was the blank space before the next one...not really part of either but still necessary to distinguish between the two.

Tomorrow is the new chapter. It will take place in a different setting than the last, but the characters will still be recovering from the events that previously occurred.

When you are reading a book, you do not go back and re-read random pages, you carry on reading to see where the plot takes you. However, once the book has been finished and time passes it is then that you can pick it up again and dip into it, remember fondly why you enjoyed it the first time round. But only after some time. Not straight away. Time to keep reading.



I have recently been made to realise that it is frequently too easy to have great expectations of those close to us and forget that others outside of our everyday existence are often more than capable of surprising us with giant leaps of kindness. Over the past week I have witnessed many acts of pure selfless-ness, whether it is a person helping a complete stranger across the beach with heavy bags; or a very small french couple welcoming a couple of young women into there camervan in the middle of the night and driving them to safety; or just an extremely fortunate gentleman allowing his wealth to bring relief and comfort to those less fortunate. These are to name just a few (it has been an incredible week) but each has warmed me and let me believe that there are genuinely goldhearted people out there and even the smallest gesture from one person can make another feel like the luckiest person in the world at that very moment. 

It may well be because I live on the pessimistic side of realism that I believe that having sky high expectations can often lead to the path of disappointment. However, sometimes stumbling across an unknown road by chance can take you to a more wonderful place of honesty.

Not always...but sometimes.



"A truly sustainable city is a city where the least human energy and time is spent in getting things done. Then people have time for reflection and can once again act like human beings, not the robots they have been forced to become." Balkrishna Dolshi in this months Wallpaper* 

In September's Wallpaper*  magazine, Architecture Icon, Balkrishna Dolshi, discusses how both his career and the cities of India have progressed and evolved in the past 60 years. I have to disagree with his closing statement that suggests a City should provide time and space for reflection. To me, cities are squashed spaces of hedonism and haste where time is running away so fast that you are constantly chasing after it so as not to miss out on a single second. This is not necessarily a negative characteristic, more of a lifestyle choice. Those who desire time for reflection retreat to environments that are both physically and spiritually spacious and wholesome. What makes a city a city is its continual roar of happening. Whether it is the 8am commute on the district and circle line, or the lunch time squabble for that small patch of grass to lunch on, or the gaggle of workers slowly coming down off their office-high at 7pm with a cosmo, or the dull ring of tender, fuzzy heads getting the night bus home after a heavy night out. Yes, a true city should provide minimal space for thought and reflection to ensure the harsh reality of the inevitable robot lifestyle is avoided for as long as humanly possible.


Simon Clark

Whilst under house-arrest at Villa Theresa due to illness, I have stumbled across some treats via the only form of communication with the outside world: tinternet. Here are two gorgeous images by one of O'Neil's photographers: Simon Clark who is featured in this months edition of Cooler magazine

I love the overexposed, ethereal quality of these two images. It reminds me of boiling hot summer nights by the ocean when you get that heat haze over the water...
you know the ones where you can smell the salt water and gentle barbeque smoke and you can hear soft yet constant laughter and feel a bit hazy yourself after a couple of beers. 



Thinking of lovely things...

ben howard's voice
barranco longo aragonez
going home...very soon
english pub gardens
big waves that swallow you up 
fresh powder
laughing until tears roll
standing infront of bass speakers
fresh bread straight out of the oven
clean bed sheets straight off the washing line
drawing the first line with a new pencil
small smiles

long bike rides
running in the rain
those long sighs that end in a feeling of complete contentment.


Recent views

So, it is nearly time to leave the silly-hot Portuguese heat behind and return to unpredictable English "shall-I-take-an-umbrella" weather. It has been a colourful, calm few months, spending lazy days on the west coast and hectic weekends in Lagos and Lisbon. 
One thing that still baffles me is how the locals manage to spend their days carrying out everyday doings in forty degree heat whilst wearing cordrouy trousers, brogue shoes, long sleeved shirts and flat caps. They must constantly be at cup of tea temperature. Aah, Cornish cream tea...not long now.



It has been over a year since I graduated and I safely say that I have neglected the creative part of me. 
However, a very good friend of mine, Aurelia Lange, has been putting even more time and effort into creating beautiful imagery than ever before. 
Have a look at her website...it is wonderful.


Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann

"How strange Leo though, that they should have been involved in two bus crashes. Could that really have been coincidence or had fate been chasing Eleni? What if fate did exist? Eleni was frightened of only one thing in Latin America: buses. Not illness or crime or any other horror, only buses. And in the end the buses had got her, perhaps somewhere deep inside her soul she had known her fate.

On the other hand, Leo reasoned maybe it had nothing to do with fate at all. It could work the other way round. We might be so frightened of something that we bring it upon it upon ourselves. You're  standing on a ledge and you have a fear of falling, the fear makes you lose your balance. You're frightened of dogs, the dogs smells the fear and bites you. That makes some sense, but how does this apply to the bus crash? That would imply the existence of the paranormal. Leo couldn't stop himself entertaining the idea.

Was Alexandra right? Could God have been harvesting for heaven? Or was Eleni just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

His mind was racing, searching for as explanation or the inexplicable. Fate, telekinesis, luck, religion - now there  was no territory that he would not explore. He was like a leaf buffeted in the breeze, unable to find his way back up the tree that had given him stability."


Plans for the Autumn

So, only one month left until I am back in the real world again and I have started snooping around for fun things to do, good tunes to hear, and beautiful things to see. 
Here are a few of them...

Rankin Live at the Truman Brewery until 18th September...the man is a legend and the Truman Brewery is an amazing space to hold such an exciting exhibition. 

thelondonpaper HEADLINER: fink, doves, daniel merriweather, BEN HOWARD, dj yoda...yeah.

Telling Tales looks like a magic land. In Kensington


Four years later

"It is easy to love in memory: the hard part is to love them when they are there, in front of you"

from "My Father's Tears & Other Stories" John Updike



Next Summer

Next summer I would very much like to spend some time in Finland. I would like to travel around in a camper van (nothing too fancy, just the basics is fine) and pull up and pitch my tent in the middle of nearly nowhere. I would spend my days there looking for moose, befriending the moose, fishing, making supper Bear Gryles style, swimming in the lakes and maybe knitting myself a blanket to keep me warm around the campfire. 

If anyone would like to join me on my adventure, you have a year to book it off work.



Imperfect: damaged, containing problems or lacking something

Perfection is untainted making it protected and disadvantaged in the real world. Perfection may not contain problems but it creates them. 
Perfection sets an expectation of constant excellency, without flaws or hiccups. Imperfection is beautiful as it is honest and real. 


Possible Career Path

Having started thinking about what to do after next winter, I found myself reading this article in the Guardian. 
You can never have too many options can you? 
Unfortunately you have be over 26 years old, but it is definitely something to think about in the future. 
The view from your bedroom/office window would be pretty spectacular. 


Dear & Yonder

Dear & Yonder is a surf film made by Tiffany Campbell & Andria Lessler. 
There is one things that binds everyone involved in the production of the film: the ocean. 
Each frame of the film could stand as a beautiful image on its own. 
A waterproof camera has just made its way into my life and this film and the stills from it has inspired me to throw myself and my new olympus into the Atlantic on sunday. 


A Letter From Devon

I kindly received a letter from a friend back in Devon who told me how Vivienne Westwood spoke on the Jonathan Ross show about climate change and the peril that the human race is in...but she ended on this really positive not that we can save the world and it could all be such fun. I haven't seen my friend for a long time but here are some of the places she has been recently. I would like to go and see them for myself. And save the world...whilst having fun. Just like Vivienne Westwood.


Happy New 'Home' Day

"Cornwall is like being at the window and looking out of England" D H Lawrence

Not living anywhere in particular means not having a space to organise the things that I find, read, see, think, scribble and hear. This shall be that place. If you don't mind?