Posted by: keepfishing | August 4, 2011

An update for Summer 2011.

An update. It occurs to me that on the few (and increasingly rare) occasions that I write on here, I barely talk about myself, or any circumstances that may be occurring. Indeed, I find myself a little loath to talk about such happenings as at present  they are invariably more dull than the times when they are in the public (well, small circle of interested friends) interest, as the Kenya posts were a couple of years ago.

However, its come to my notice that many of my friends scattered around the globe have much idea of anything going on with my life at the moment, and so, now that I have a fancy WordPress app on my snazzy phone, I thought maybe I would write a little update on my life.

So, to answer first the first question asked at parties, ‘what do I do?’

Well, for the last 15 months , I’ve been working for a non-profit organisation that brings together different practitioners on the north west coast of England and tries to improve coastal sustainability through integrated management. It’s pretty cool…I get to work in an office that looks out over the Irish Sea and if I’m good, they sometimes let me travel round Europe to work with other fun people who are also keen on making the coast awesome.

The view from my office window

This job has meant that I’ve kept up may slightly nomadic habits. Initially it was based in Wigan and I lived in ‘Manchester, but due to some coalition Government policy that makes me far too angry and frustrated to go into any detail about, it moved to a small village near Southport. So I now live in Liverpool.

Liverpool has a bad rep. When I learned I had to move there, I spat my dummy out, whined and spent most of my weekends after moving in Manchester. But guess what? It’s actually pretty awesome! I live right next to what might be the best city park in the country. Forget the Meadows, Sefton Park is acres of pure loveliness. And it rains much less than in Manchester, too. It’s also full of art galleries, great little music venues, a brilliant art centre/independent cinema and, despite some ludicrous imbalances public sector cuts, the council still manages to put on some great summer festival fun.

Those dots are dancers. On ropes.

Even in just the last 2 months I’ve been to a free weekend African festival in the park, a mindblowing music and laser show at the Liver Building and an openair vertical climate change dance show on ropes. It’s a fun place to be. Oh and we have beaches too. With statues.

What else is new? Well, in a week I travel to play Aussie Rules for Great Britain in the International Cup, which is nice. But seeing as I’ve only posted once on Aussie Rules in five years of playing, it probably deserves its own post.

And that’s enough writing for now. Questions? Ask away.

Posted by: keepfishing | May 3, 2011

The Bach on the Trees

This has been around for a while, but as I haven’t been posting for a long while, it has has to wait until now.

Anyway, whoever came up with this is an absolute genius. On a par with the bloke (or laydee) who had the Cadbury’s drumming gorilla idea. But it makes me wonder if our most brilliant minds of the generation are being siphoned off into making us buy stuff, and not being put to work on some awesome way to eradicate malaria, AIDS and get the whole world drinking clean water. I read somewhere recently (TIME, I think it was. Can’t be bothered to look it up) of a young programmer who was the project manager of the first team to develop the algorithms needed to make the targeted ads that made Facebook so rich, who left and complained that the cleverest maths brains were being wasted making people click things. Shame

Still, if this phone was available in this country and I had the disposable income to drop, I’d definitely buy one. And this advert would have made me do it.

Posted by: keepfishing | May 2, 2011

Beauty and heartbreak.

Via (and NPR), this is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

Posted by: keepfishing | January 8, 2011

This Year’s Gonna Be Ours

Sunrise at Loch Fyne

I’m a little late to the party, as usual, but here is the new year, and with it, predictable resolutions to write more etc. etc.

This song by Akron/Family, sums up much of what I feel about 2010. It wasn’t a bad year, per se. No-one close to me died, and I didn’t go bankrupt or anything, and there were several highlights (I never bothered writing up my 2010 review, maybe Iater), but it was hard. Long periods of unemployment, being forced to move house AGAIN, after only 2 months in the job, some significant sporting injuries…

I haven’t really felt settled for a while, which may largely be due to sulkiness on my part over having to move from Manchester to Liverpool, but I intend to be much more intentional  and make Liverpool a home in 2011. About a year ago, coming back from Kenya, I made a commitment to do less stuff on my own, and more things in community, so, in the words of the song: ‘Last year was a hard year, for such a long time, this year’s going to be ours’.

Don Miller reckons that it’s better not to share resolutions, and I mostly agree with him, so although I’ve made a list for the first time in my life, I’m not going to put them up here. But my overall emphasis is being more disciplined and deliberate with my use of time. And that intent manifests itself in a way that affects readers of this blog in that I intend to write a post at least once ever 7 days (unless I’m on holiday, in which case I will catch up), so by the end of the year, I will have at least 52 posts to look back on, rather than the paltry 24 in 2010.

This resolution is not so I can grow a readership or anything, but so I can improve my writing, which is pretty lame at the moment. In particular, I want to get better at communicating the things I’m passionate about to a lay audience. And this is the perfect place to start. So get ready for a year of posts on science, faith, climate change, marine biology and the interface between them.

Hopefully, 2011 will see more posts written better than this, and about more interesting things than this.

Did you know that this week saw the most expensive fish ever sold? You should! And if you keep reading next week, you will!

NB. Savvy readers may accuse me of stealing my song of last year from the ever-excellent Fuel/Friends blog. They will be right. But it doesn’t stop the sentiment from being true. Happy new Year!

Posted by: keepfishing | December 7, 2010

Picking Urchins from the Devil’s Teeth

You like short films, yes? You like the ocean, right? You like diving? You like sharks? Mola mola and sea lions? Good. Then this 10 minute film about a man who fishes alone for sea urchins off the coast of California is for you.

Via my new favourite blog, Deep Sea News

Posted by: keepfishing | November 8, 2010

Moby Dick with Nukes

Quite possibly the worst/best film since Deep Blue Sea?



Posted by: keepfishing | November 2, 2010

Kiwa hirsuta

A post formerly held by the frankly awesome coconut crab, there is a new leader in my ‘Favourite Crustaceans’ rank. I present to you, the yeti crab. Has anything ever been more aptly named?


Posted by: keepfishing | October 5, 2010

Becoming more like a Vegetarian

Recently, save a few sausages here and there, when cooking for myself, I have become functionally vegetarian. This is mostly because I’m cheap and I rarely plan my meals in advance – I impulse buy at supermarkets on the way home from work, get shocked for the bajillionth time about how expensive decent British meat is, buy some veggies and go home and make some pasta.

The photo above comes from a Huffington Post article on Mechanically Seperated Meat, or Advanced Meat Recovery, where basically all the crap meat is scrapped from from the bone in a high pressure sieve. I’m not posting this for much more reason than the gross-out factor – it’s not going to turn me vegetarian as I already avoid processed meat and buy local, non-battery meat when I do buy it.

But it does bring me on to my limiting factor when cooking veggie food- I have close to zero creativity. Anyone recommend a good recipe, or a good source of interesting vegetarian recipes that don’t overly rely on lentils and the wearing of hemp jumpers?

Posted by: keepfishing | September 24, 2010

Sit Down, Listen Up

Last night I was at the Barbican in London to see Josh Ritter end his European Tour. I’m nota music reviewer, so I wont attempt a review, but suffice to say it swiftly propelled itself to somewhere high in my top 5 all time gigs.

The last time I saw a band on stage so clearly enjoying themselves, playing around with the songs and having a great time with the crowd was Arcade Fire, back in 2007. And it was also the first time I’ve really enjoyed a gig where you had to sit down. Actually, it was my first sit-down gig. But I generally thought they’d be a bit staid and rubbish.

Anyway, if you haven’t heard of the master poet and songwritter that is Josh Ritter, remedy that now and listen to a song about secret bunkers, nuclear warheads and falling in love with a girl called Maria

Josh Ritter – The Temptation of Adam

Posted by: keepfishing | September 9, 2010

Kenya: one year on

A year ago today, I flew to Kenya to volunteer in a conservation centre on the coast. It’s hard to believe that was only a year ago, and yet it seems so recent. So much has happened since – unemployment, moving back in with the parents, a girlfriend, a job offer in North Korea, moving to London, finally getting a real job, moving to Manchester, breaking in to the Great Britain Aussie Rules team, moving to Liverpool….

Anyway, to commemorate the year, I’ve finally had a look through some of the pictures and decided to finally test the WordPress slideshow feature. 3 Months is a long time and a lot of photos can be generated, but don’t worry, I managed to filter down to a mere 135 (!). But the slideshow is randomised, so it shouldn’t be too boring. (Actually, the random bit may not work – if anyone knows how to do such a thing, please let me know!)

And if you’re midly nostalgic and want to read again about how I got woken in the night covered in army ants, the same day I got bitten by a dog, or want to relive the Fable of Honest Sammy and the diving mask, or want to hear the story of how laptop charger can be found in half a mile of pitch-black beach, you can click here to view all the Kenyan stories and whimsical musings (including the sexy moustache).

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