Saturday, 17 March 2012

To Sheff & back.

Is it worth it?

I like to think of skateboarding as a long term relationship. You have good and bad days, you hate it, you love it, you miss it when its not around, its there for you when you need it most, it hurts, you wonder why you bother. Why do we bother anyway? these days every slack jawed yokel can chuck on a pair of Janoskis, a wacky coloured 5 panel and play the role of 'skateboarder'. Thats a different rant all together.

Like all relationships short get aways are crucial, so when the opportunity came along for us to jet set off to sunny Sheffield for their premier of City of rats at Ash Halls shop Simple, Arran, Henry and myself jumped at the chance. I feel that trips like this are essential for the early 20's something skateboarder as we sometimes all need to get away, clear our minds and remind ourselves the reason why we picked up a skateboard in the first place.

We got a little skate in, had a mooch about, caught up with old friends, as well as making some new ones. It was so good to see such a friendly and thriving scene that took us under their wing and showed us how to party deep into the night after the packed out premier had finished. The shop itself was very warm and inviting and even has its own coffee machine as well as other drink offerings. Delightful. It was a really good couple of days, minus the hangover.

I guess what I'm trying to say is make that trip. Go somewhere else and keep skateboarding fresh. Keep meeting new people, drink, smoke, laugh, converse, share stories and take it all in. Because in amongst all this madness all we really have is each other.

Is it worth it?


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Time flies

So slow down abit?

Monday, 27 February 2012


From a lecture by Iain Borden, the director of architectural history and theory, delivered at University College London.

Let me begin with an urban nightmare masquerading as retail dream. Bluewater is a mega-mall shopping complex outside London, and a vast experiment in consumerism. A £375m, 240 acre, self-contained world replete with not only 1.5 million square feet of lettable space spread over 325 fashion shops and other retail outlets; there are three full-blown leisure villages offering multi-screen cinema, outdoor plazas, food courts, night-time bars, public art works and a rock-climbing wall. It is an internalised, predictable, controlled, safe and sterile arena. It is a place that suggests that we are only citizens in so far as we shop or consume. It is a place that suggests that we know what we want, and we know where to find it. Bluewater is a place where there are no surprises.

It's far from unique - merely an extreme version of one of the most powerful visions currently promoted for the future of the city: that the city is, above all, else a place to shop.

How can we offer a different view of the city? Where can we find practices and spaces that are less docile, less passive, more creative in their engagement with cities? For myself, this has taken the form of a study of skateboarding. Skateboarding is an activity that is culturally critical, and which above all is performed in direct relation to architecture and urban space. It therefore shows how there might be great potentials in cities and architecture that are as yet largely undreamt of by architects, planners and urban managers.

Skateboarding is not, of course, a purely bodily activity, devoid of social meaning and significance. Skaters are predominantly young men in their teens and early twenties, with broadly accommodating dispositions toward skaters of different classes and ethnicity. Despite its lack of real criminal activity, skateboarding has become increasingly repressed and legislated against, not by national or federal laws but by a series of local reactions aimed at suppressing that which is different (and misunderstood). Such laws add to the anarchic character of skateboarding, part of its continual dependence on, as well as struggle against, the modern city.

What then to make of this study of skateboarding? Where does it leave our understanding of cities and architecture in general? In the most general terms, we can begin to delineate an understanding of cities that does not focus solely on things, effects, production, authorship or exchange. The study of skateboarding shows how cities also involve various machines and tools, everyday spaces, imaginative experiences, city mapping social identities and urban terrains.

Cities do not always have to be the place of consumption and genteel civilisation like the shopping mall at Bluewater. Cities can also be composed of all the disparate activities that people do in cities. That is, they are cities of shouting, loud music, sex, running, demonstrations, subterranean subterfuges. They are the cities of intensity, of bloody-minded determination, and getting out-of-hand; they are the cities of cab ranks, boot sales, railway arches and street markets; they are the cities of monkish seclusion, crystal-clear intellectualism, and quiet contemplation.

What skateboarding, and all the myriad urban practices of the city tell us, is that we need to need to celebrate three things: different peoples, different spaces and different ways of knowing the city. We need to celebrate the people of different backgrounds, races, ages, classes, sexuality, gender and general interests, all of whom have different ideas of public space, and who subsequently use and make their own places to foster their own identities as individuals and citizens.

And we need, therefore, different kinds of spaces. Beyond the shopping mall and the piazza, cities need hidden spaces and brutally exposed spaces. And we need practices like skateboarding, all of us, whether we skateboard or not.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Mysterious World.

In 1959, Belgian WWII veteran and ex-fighter pilot, Col. Remy Van Lierde, was flying over the remote areas of the African Congo in a helicopter, when he spotted this giant snake. He estimated that this snake was between 40-50 feet long, and the snake took a lunge at his helicopter when he flew really low & took a picture. The photo was studied extensively & found to be unaltered. (Photoshop did not exist yet in 1959.) There are huge areas of the African Congo that still remains undiscovered to this day.

A prehistoric fossil of a 45 foot long giant anaconda snake was recently found in February of 2009 at a Colombian coal mine. The giant prehistoric snake was given the scientific name of "Titanoboa cerrejones". (This giant prehistoric snake could have easily swallowed a 6 foot man with no problem.) It's quite possible that the late Col. Remy Van Lierde saw a living"Titanoboa cerrejones" in the African Congo back in 1959. (He passed away on June 8, 1990.)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Sunday, 11 July 2010


I came back from camping yesterday, I went to stay few a few days in Weymouth, right on the coast. We went out onto this island called Portland where the views were amazing, I took some photos then edited them on my phone.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010