Calling America - The Statue of Liberty

The face of his mother, the body of his wife. The sculptor's that is. It's loaded with symbolism and coincided with a deterioration in relations between the United States and France.

Running to work I finally got around to listening to a superb BBC Podcast from the series In Our Time. The Statue of Liberty was the subject, and the round table discussion combined the historical context with philosophical notions of liberty.

I highly recommend it. Indeed, I recommend subscribing to the whole series. Exercise your mind as you run. Or kayak.

North West Inside Passage

OK, I screwed up.
In the podcast which has just gone live I talk about "the Inside Passage" when, of course, I meant the "North West passage".
Since the Podcast on has already been downloaded by iTunes users it's too late to pull it back off people's computers, even if this was possible. So my thanks to Richard Cree for pointing this out.
And my apologies for being an idiot!

New Podcast - Arctic Voice 2

This is Stephen Doughty, a member of the Arctic Voice Expedition. Listen to his Podcast and subscribe free here or download directly from the Podcast Library.

From June to September last year, the three-man kayak team attempted the first phase of their expedition. Kayaking the classic “north west passage" their goal was to listen to the people of the Arctic. In the first Podcast for March, Stephen Doughty tells what the Inuit had to say.

Listen to Arctic Voice 1 Podcast with Richard Cree before the expedition departed. Visit the expedition website.

Two Podcasts Each Month

I plan to step up to two sea kayaking podcasts each month. They'll go live around the first of each month and somewhere around the middle of the month.

I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep up the rate without Liz complaining that I spend all my time in the study, but we'll see.

North devon Podcast changed

It was good to see Rob McIntyre of Sea Kayaking South West at CanoExpo.
Rob had spotted a mistake he made while recording one of the first podcasts. He said the route to Lundy started at Hartland Point, when he meant to say Hartland Quay.
I've corrected this on the text page and will try to snip into the MP3 file when I have time. Unfortunatly, my mic lead broke at the weekend so I'm temporarily unable to record.

Many Podcasts - The Outdoors Station

One of the first people podcasting about outdoor adventure was Bob Cartwright. We finally managed to meet at CanoExpo even if it was for just a fleeting moment.
Bob runs the Outdoors Station and I've been sharing my podcasts with him here. He reminded me I hadn't posted a reciprocal link, something I'm correcting now.
The sheer number of Bob's podcasts, audio and video, is quite staggering. He also runs where he sells lightweight hiking kit.

New Podcast - CanoExpo

This is the first time I've put a Podcast live from a location other than home. I'm still at CanoExpo in the Midlands and I'm not set up to modify the main website.

However, if you'd like to listen to or download a 25minute report about what's happening here and what's new Click Here of Right Click and Save the MP3 file to your Desktop.

I'll make it available through iTunes when I get home.

Saturday - In Full Swing

It's busy. Really busy. I've just recorded a load of podcasts and will try to publish one on Monday based on new things I've found at the show. This is what it looks like here now.

CanoExpo Saturday pre-show

Saturday morning the event begins. I spotted two of my photos on two different manufacturers stands blown-up into huge posters. They look good!

Both were taken on the same shoot at the Falls of Lora for Justine Curgenven’s last DVD. I gave the shot of Cailean in his Rockpool to Mike Webb ages ago and the tiny image of Nick Cunliffe in a Valley boat to Pete Orton. Although Mike said “thank you” neither he or Pete told me they were using the images. So it was a nice surprise.

I’m particularly looking forward to getting my hands on the new Rough Water Handling DVD from Olly Sanders to see how the sots from the microlight work out.

Before today there have been a few grumbles that no retailers other than Brookbank are at CanoExpo. Why? Well, here’s the official reply: “This event is organised by Brookbank Canoes and Kayaks. A small number of other specialist retailers will be at the show. Other canoe shops are not involved with Canoexpo this year as the concept of the event is different to other shows you may have been to. If this year is a success we will look at how we can involve other retailers in future years.”

So while wandering around the hall, if you find an item you want to buy, you drop it in your clear plastic bag and pay for it on your way out through Brookbank’s tills.

A day ticket is £8 in advance and £10 on the door, and there are concession rates for families and both days. It’s particularly geared to white water rather than sea although there ought to be enough to keep me interested.

CanoExpo Preparations

Friday afternoon at CanoExpo near Coventry in the Midlands of England. Otherwise known as the deep south.

Lots of people with spanners assembling stands. Lots of people bustling around. I hear 800 tickets have been pre-sold with many more people expected over the weekend. So if you've coming, come early.

My two talks, Canoe Boys Then and Now, and Across The Arctic Circle seem to have had their titles merged in the programme, so it appears two lads paddled from Glasgow to the Arctic in 1934! Oh well, we'll clear that up.

Thanks to everyone who messaged me about my Mum. I struggle with words when it comes to personal stuff, but the thoughts are really appreciated.

Here's a brief video of what this cavernous hall looks like. Bloody freezing here with the doors open!

Canoe Expo This Weekend

It has been a strange old week. It's now early Friday morning and I'm about to head to Glasgow airport to meet Richard, Gordon and Morag to head to this weekend's CanoExpo event. It should take my mind off things.

If there's wi-fi I'll try to blog from there.

My Mum died on Monday. We cleared most of her house Tuesday. She was cremated and interred Wednesday. Thursday we flew back to Glasgow. Things happened fast.

But in the end I'm not sad. If I can have as full a life as she did until the great age of 84, and then if I start to get sick, as she did, then I'd like to push-off too. This thinking was already established and our plans laid. Which is why I plan to leave my job at the end of this year. Yep, 2008 is going to be memorable.

Still Here

All of us. Liz, me and tothetithe astonishment of the doctors I'm getting to know too well, so is Mum. 

Temporary Interruption

Plans suddenly thrown into chaos. Us in Paris; a very sick Mother in Spain; and driving licenses and documents in Glasgow.  Result? A late night booking flights and airport hotels and (probably) a mad dash through Europe tomorrow.  So sea kayaking thoughts take a back seat for a while.  That's life.  And what comes after.

Paris. France.

Talking politics in a Parisian cafe with good friends from Santa Fe, now living here, who looked after us while we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.  Missing the snow in the Highlands though...