For our mountain walking club back home in Wales, I’ve been playing around with the idea of creating a T-Shirt inspired by a Raven, and the sounds it makes, which a friend nailed it by saying ‘Cronc’. I am really fond of Ravens, mainly because they’re always flying around your head when you’re up on the Welsh Hills, and I recently learned an interesting fact about them, that Vikings used to carry them in their boats – or Drakkar, because, apparently, Ravens can’t land on water. So, whenever the jolly old Vikings used to head off to find new land, they would release the Raven from it’s cage, the Raven would shot up to the sky – had a good look around, and search for land. If it couldn’t see land, it would simply land back on the Dakkar, or if it did see land it would fly towards it, and the Vikings would follow, and discover new land. Very good those Vikings were I tell thee.
So, here’s my first play at the design;
The mountain in the background is Tryfan. If anyone has any comments, please feel free to throw some my way. I hope this T-Shirt works, I’ve got in touch with a friend who has an awesome company back home in Wales – Peris & Corr – an eco-friendly screen printing and textiles company, enquiring if it’s possible etc, so stay tuned to see how this one turns out!
Over the weekend, Me and Regi went over to Brussels for a long weekend. My favourite artist – John Butler Trio – was playing there on the Sunday, and one of Regi’s friends lives there, so we decided to combine a trip of epic proportions. And that’s what it was. We had a fantastic time, and it was lovely to meet Nadia, and be spoilt by her lovely cooking and hospitality.
We (thankfully) booked the Eurostar over, left London at 7am, and got into Brussels at around 10am local time. The journey was pretty awesome, there was a lovely morning mist, and the sun was a-blasting.
We went for a wee tour of Brussels, and headed down to the Grand Place. Here are two panoramic I took of the beautiful square;
We then headed over to see Manneken Pis, the famous peeing fountain boy, today he was wearing a sweet little costume. Apparently, he’s dressed in a different costume, several times each week. Gotta be warm I guess;
Brussels is known for their fries, so we just had to get some, Nadia knew of a pretty awesome shop that sold some good ones, so off we went. The sauce I had on mine was called Andalucia I believe. It was really quite good – a bit spicy, but I’d recommend it.
We then went for a wee walk, seeing some cool Street performers ‘n that. Came across a nice few streets, and some cool looking old Chapels, which Brussels is full of.
We managed to find the Canal that runs through Brussels. It was a beast of a thing, and unfortunately, full of rubbish. It’s a sad thing that I think.
John Butler was just awesome, live they are phenomenal. I saw them a few years ago, but now they’ve improved so much. John seems so much happier in the new band, and it really showed on stage, that they were having a great time. In front of us throughout the gig was this crazy old German dude with amazing sideburns, just going crazy to John, he was very drunk – and out of beat with everything. Hilarious he was.
We walked North, to see the Atomium, and also came across the Chinese Pavilion. The Atomium itself doesn’t really do anything for me, an odd looking thing I find. The Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower on the other hand were amazing buildings. They really were. The Japanese Tower is 80m high! I would have loved to go to the top, but unfortunately, it’s closed on a Monday.
After that, we just chilled, saw some more pretty buildings, ate some more fries, waffles, had some Beers, and hung out with Nadia. It was a really great trip. Good times.
My favourite artist, John Butler and his Trio has just released his new album entitled ‘April Uprising’. It’s such a fantastic album. I love every single song on it, from the awesome e-bow intro on ‘Revolution’, to the kick ass, bad ass ‘Close to You’, the epic Claw-hammer Banjo’ing in ‘Ragged Mile’, the epic outro of ‘To look like you’, and the fantastic jam they have at the end of ‘Johnny’s Gone’.
My version comes with 2 bonus tracks, ‘Gone’ and ‘Only You’. Both great, I love ‘Only You’ more than ‘Gone’, that’s because I’ve head ‘Gone’ many times before I think. John’s rapping on ‘Only You’ got me so in the mood today, whilst taking a wee walk by the river, I started to dance, and groove – this is London, I’m allowed to do this sorts of things now.
Next week, we are off to see the awesome Trio in Brussels, I seriously cannot wait to hear some of these tracks live.
Here’s the first verse to ‘Ragged Mile (Spirit Song);
I will run,
Yes I will roll,
I will climb your mountains high,
Through the valleys of deceit,
Through cold winds of denial,
And though you fear the cold dark,
I’ll be right here by your side,
‘Cos until you know just who you are,
You’ll never know I’m near not far,
I’ve caught your falls I’ve helped you rise,
I’ve damned these torrents from your eyes, I know.
Because my iMac is so amazing, simple everyday things such as looking at photos is just simply awesome. I love iPhoto, so I decided to take a quick look at some old photos I had, and came across this, an 11 photo panorama view of Glen Coe, unstitched, so off I went to stitch them together. I think it came out quite nicely.
Edit; I’ve just remembered that I also took a similar panorama when I went to Scotland with my Girlfriend this last Winter;
Waw, check out the difference in colours! Isn’t that incredible!?
Last night, I went for a wee night walk up Moel Eilio, with the intention of taking some pictures of the moon, as it was a blasting full moon. The walk itself was quite nice, a little bit of snow still up there, so I had some fun in it.
I experimented a bit with different settings etc at the top, and manage to take a few nice shots of the skyline;
The moon was extremely powerful, and it was a brilliantly crisp night. I noticed, as I look over the sea that I could see the street lights of the East coast of Ireland, probably Wicklow. I’ve never seen them like this before, and the long exposure of the shot really captured it well me thinks.
I want to share with you all, how awesome my gf is. Back in September, on our Scotland Adventures, Regi bought with her this awesome, awesome biscuit called ‘Tatranky’. I instantly fell in love with it. It was a chocolate one if I remember right.
After she went home, she sent me some lovely packages through the post, and one of them contained 3 different Taranky’s for me to try, a chocolate one, Peanut, and Hazelnut (the pic on the bar was a bit vague, I thought it was Apricot!). I had to choose a favourite. My Pete it was a hard choice, all three are pretty spectacular. I chose the Hazelnut one.
(For those of you out there, who doesn’t know what this biscuit is, it’s a wafer covered in chocolate, and between the wafer’s there a filling, in this instance it was similar to Nutella. Good times :) )
For Regi’s Christmas visit, she bought me over with her 18 Hazelnut Tatranky’s, 3 packs of 6, oh they were good, I took them out with me when ever we went walking, and they disappeared pretty damn fast.
But!! On her visit over last week, she bought with her a massive, nicely wrapped gift of about 20 Tatranky bars – all 3 different flavours! Seriously, words can’t describe how happy I was – the UK doesn’t make anything like this, these bars taste so awesome – and they are such good mountain food! She’s the best girl, ever. xo
My lovely girl came over to see me over the last week. We didn’t do any mountain walking this time round, because we were both visited by the Goblin of ill health. We went out for some nice walks on different beaches though, and I managed to take a few snaps here and there.
We stared the week by heading down to Pen Llŷn, Aberdaron and Uwchmynydd. This is right at the tip of the Lleyn, at Uwchmynydd, the road comes to a dead end, where you can see a beautiful view of the coastline, and about a 2 miles offshore, Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), a major centre of pilgrimage back in the day.
I love the rugged-ness off the coast down this way, if you ever come to Wales, be sure to head down to the view point, tiss nice :)
We headed up a wee small Hill called Moel Tryfan, once visited by the great man Charles Darwin (click here to read it being mention in his letters), where I took this pic of the dusk skyline;
It’s a lovely spot – located just North of a little village called Fron, from here you get amazing views of the Nantlle Ridge (my pic here taken from Nantlle), and all the way up the valley towards Snowdon, and if you look North, you can see the whole of Anglesey. Behind the little hill is an awesome quarry – Moel Tryfan Quarry – where they filmed a few scenes of ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’, (awful film) where back in 2002, I came up to the slopes of the quarry to watch them film the action sequences, and shouted ‘Angelina! ‘ – where she gave us a wave back. :) Good times.
We went to one of the most beautiful beaches in North Wales, a wee place called Llanddwyn – an amazing place where you can see pretty much all of Snowdonia’s ‘real’ Mountains (real only applies when there’s some snow on them), and is very rich in legends.
On the Island, there’s a lovely light house, wild horses, lovely walks, just an amazing place to go. It was also the home of Santes Dwynwen, the Welsh Patron saint of lovers.
On the way back, I spotted a large grey blob on the rocks – it was a seal!! Oh he was awesome, I never knew that Llanddwyn was home of some seals too – he was a bit too far for me to take some good snaps of him (Regi got some great ones) but there’s a wee pic below of Regi with the rock they were chilling on down below.
The lighthouse at Llanddwyn;
And Regi with the Seals;
I managed to take a picture of the nice sunset, overlooking ‘Yr Eifl’ from Aberdesach;
It was the best having Regi over for the week. She’s the best. Ever. I’m getting a bit scared about how awesome she’s getting on in her Welsh – she’s now even starting to correct me in my mutations etc! It’s crazy!! But I’m extremely proud of her, Welsh isn’t an easy language to learn – so I’m told, but Regi is picking up like it’s nothing.