From Preston and the excitement of the Dull Men's Club outing we drove straight to Fenns Bank for an overnight in the new (life-changing) VW van and have breakfast with the wildlife on the edge of Britain's most southerly raised bog. I grew up[sic] here, and it has become an annual pilgrimage for us to partake in the isolation and contemplation this place gives. Not to mention some amazing bird watching. Herewith a selection of photos. Most speak for themselves, but of note is the remains of WWII Star Fish site - decoy bonfires to lure the Luftwaffe, and the photo with the red arrow is probably the saddest photo I've ever taken - as a young boy these fields were full of lapwings, vast flocks of them that darkened the sky. Today, this single individual who, although a speck in the photo, didn't seem to know what to do with himself and just wandered around, confused "Where is everyone?"
I was delighted, not to say, honoured to be a guest speaker at the recent “Delightfully Dull, Brillilantly Boring” evening, hosted by Dull Men’s Club at UCLA Preston. The evening was actually as far from dull as I am from accession to the throne of England. Now, that’s quite a long way. Dulluminaries present were Kevin Beresford, president of the Roundabout Appreciation Society – in fine form having partaken in the refreshments with gusto during proceedings; Richard & Mrs Gottfried who together have visited, played and documented 819 crazy golf courses around the world; Andrew Dowd who has visited every one of 2,548 railway stations in the UK. Not to mention Grover Click – park bench appreciator and Assistant Vice President of D.M.C. (the highest position attainable); a fine and illuminating talk by Dr Boredom aka Dr Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime. And last and by no means dullest Elliot Windmill, a trainee dullard who just wants to be duller.
Much fun was had not to mention illumination and refreshment. Oh and we sold a few books.
My nano 60 second short, Nuisance, has been selected as the UK entry for WMMC (World Minute Movie Cup) at UNICA, Czech Republic this 7th September. I am both honoured and excited. This entry cut to 60 secs from its original 90 seconds and is better for it. I then spent a further 2 days working on the sound. There was much to improve.
Anyway, I am not a wearer of football tops – this film required something bright for our insect to home in on. This being a Wrexham FC top, a signed shirt in fact from several seasons ago from when I was match sponsor. We lost.
So, two evil songbird-murdering, lamb-blinding, blood-letting, Novachocking bollocks-subjected, uncomprehended, stunningly beautiful crows caught in a Larsen trap high above mid Wales. What’s a man to do?… Enjoy your freedom guys.
So, another Sunday, another litter-pick. This morning, Ynyslas, with Beach Cleans 2018 group led by Philip Stallard. Today I was mostly picking forensically - where you delve into the high tide line and tease out all the tiny bits of jetsam from the straw, twigs, mermaids purses and other organic, meant-to-be-there debris. In order not to plunge into an irretrievable depression from the sheer scale of all this shite, your mind tends to wonder as to the provenance of it all. Today, among the myriad bottle tops and cotton buds, I found rather too many shotgun cartridges. Also, three combs, two fishing lures and about 500 yards of rope of varying thickness in lengths of three inches or less. I also found two ear defender plugs – clearly a matching pair, yet they had somehow been tossed across the oceans to land upon Ynyslas within a foot of each other. Today, Keri also found a bunch of Audi car keys, registration VX57 NMY. Most useful find of the day was Lance Corporal Evans seen displaying his military prowess in the picture below. Oh and the telly must have dropped out of someone's pocket as they walked the path along the river Leri – happy to return it to its rightful owner. From great height.
We are not powerless…
Beach litter-picking in a 40mph wind is a blast – literally. Great turn out today weather considered – and in two hours collected all of the crap you see here from what looked like a tidy beach.
Today I concentrated on the miniscule stuff trapped within the tidemark seaweed. Still managed a sack full including 70+ cotton bud sticks – all of them blue.
You meet some great people doing this: Aberystwyth Beach Buddies, Surfers Against Sewage, Llanidloes river cleaners (forgot what you called yourselves)
#plasticpollution #saveourseas #PlanetBeforeProfit #SaveOurSeas plus any number of hash tags. #goodjobidonthaveagun
Last chance to get out and about in the moody and mischievous skies of Montgomeryshire and the Cambrian coast with Hâfi Martinsdottir.
As many dear readers will know, I am president, founder, chief executive, member #0001 of long-running organisation “The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society”. In this role, I am honoured to have as esteemed member number 666 Mr Dave Bennett from Wilton in Wiltshire. Dave is a tub-thumping archaeologist collector of images of tall things. He is also a very fine artist and cartoonist. And when, from our many emailic conversations, he found out about another of my whimsical wastes of time “The Welsh Space Agency (W.A.S.A.) it seemed to strike something of a chord and he sent me the two artworks you see below – the second as a Christmas present. Dave, or course, also kindly gave us page 36 in my award-winning* book T.P.A.F.B. (Key Stages 1-4). For the second image, Dave valiantly approached his son Ben’s mate Griff’s mum for her version of the Welsh caption. He also then condensed this with a version from Google translate and it is near enough for me to tell you that it says “Oh my God look! Signs of civilisation”. And with this one cartoon, Dave neatly captures two of my obsessions, Wales in Space and of course telegraph poles. Due to it not fitting fully on my scanner, I’ve alas cut off his trademark “Benny” signature from the WASA image. Thanks Dave, I am indebted to you.
If you were to doubt, in any way, the problem our world has with plastic – a beach litter-pick is both catharsis and enlightenment. Two hours, a dozen or so volunteers and a truck load of washed-up rubbish – a feel good way to spend a Saturday morning. This was Tan-y-bwlch beach, Aberystwyth and had only been litter-picked a matter of weeks ago. The pile in the bottom pic was the tally after 2 hours. By end of the day on Saturday 450kgs had been collected. Breathtaking. Thanks be to Aberystwyth Beach Buddies for their organisation.