And so as the sun sets on another year i hope you
can all look back on 2007 with a sense of pride, that you have achieved what you
aspired to and that it shan't be passed off as just another year. No year
should. All around the world the atmosphere must be building, fireworks being
laid, beverages being consumed, all in preparation for an event that is rather
arbitrary really, the New Year should of course have been 9 days ago at the
solstice, but that is an accident of history i suppose, and we may as well use
it as an excuse for a party. James and i certainly will, man we've got some mad
things planned for tonight! Ooh if you could only know what great plans we have!
Firstly, i'd like to take this opportunity to with
my mother a very happy birthday. It cannot be easy being my mother at times, and
i guess this is one of those times, but she continues as such undaunted. Thanks
Mum, happy birthday.
Yesterday saw us slow down a little, unfortunately
James is a bit soft and has strained a tendon in his forearm, which made rowing
near-impossible for him over night. I came out of the cabin for my 8-9am shift
this morning and asked:
"how's the arm feeling?"
"Still the same, it's in bits. I'm going to try to
faction something up to help."
"You mean fashion something up."
"I know what i mean! Hold on, faction
isn't even a word is it?"
"Actually it is, it means....."
"Stop! I don't care what it means, i'm going to go
faction something up, see you in an hour."
So James set to work and an hour later his face
appeared in the cabin door, boyish delight was evident in his eyes. James has
successfully fashioned a gorilla grip-type contraption that we have called the
'Faction Glove'. We're back up to full speed now, which is great, and James is
so pleased with his invention (made using paracord and a broken ankle leash)
that he is thinking of marketing the Faction Glove and making his millions.
Just for your casual interest, here are a few
pieces of random information about life on board the good ship
We brush our teeth 5 or 6 times a day.
My side of the boat is the port (left) side, all
James' stuff lives on the starboard (right) side. (Please note the left and
right are there for James' benefit, he gets confused if i use nautical
We sleep on a sleeping bag, it's not cool enough to
James uses one more pillow than i do.
We pee into a 1litre jug inside the cabin and pour
everything out of the back hatch. James has a bladder like a school girl though
so sometimes has to go during his shifts.
I have just finished reading This Thing of
Darkness, and am now on The Lord of the Rings. James read the back cover of 7
years in Tibet for the first 3 weeks, and has been reading the
front cover of Mawson's Will since then. James has also brought an ipod touch
and has watched Transformers 4 times, Die Hard 4 three times and Harry Potter
Goblet of Fire once.
We each row 12 one hour shifts per day. My
favourite 3 are my first night shift and the first and last of each day. Dawn is
wonderful. I get most tired on my second and fourth night shifts.
I mentioned that i have taken to listening to music
at night and trying to learn some lyrics, which has brought about some
interesting revelations! Firstly i have discovered that for years i've been
singing the wrong words to nearly every song i know; the one that has amused me
the most is to the Queen song 'Headlong'. Instead of singing 'And you're rushing
headlong', i have been singing 'Get your Russian Hands off' since first
listening to Queen as an 8 year old! I can only excuse myself as when i was 8
the Berlin Wall was still standing and Russia was still the enemy!
I have also realised that almost all lyrics are
total and utter garbage. The nonsense that these people spout seems to know no
end. I have come across a couple of outstanding lyricists though, the rappist
M&M is quite exceptional, if a little angry; and Nirvana's Kirk O'Bain is
another whose lyrics are very impressive, though he also appears to have some
Listening to the infinitely inane lyrics of modern
pop artists, and having been tormented by music video after samey music video
while training in the gym i have come to conclude that 90% of pop artists fall
into one of 2 categories, dependent on their gender:
There's the "what i lack in intelligence, wit and
conversation i make up for in lack of clothes and my ability to 'shake-it'" type
of female artist; and the "yes i am practically a vegetable but i carry a piece"
Interestingly the female artists all have a
remarkable ability to jiggle in an identical fashion (faction), which was
thought to be a talent learned in youth until Beyonce went under xray for a
broken coccyx and it was discovered that in place of a pelvic bone she had been
born with a gyroscope. Further xrays of the femmes of modern pop showed that 90%
of modern female artists have gyroscopes for hips, which coincidentally had a
85% coefficiency with an IQ of below 85. Interesting.
Beyonce is one of those infernally stupid women who
has somehow become a role model for millions of young girls. The nail in the
coffin for Beyonce (in my affections) was when she was once asked by a reporter
as to the highly suggestive nature of one of the dance moves in a music video:
"oh it's not meant to be suggestive, i was copying an african tribal dance."
Genius, and what, Beyonce (if that is even a name) do you think the africans
were trying to portray? Simpleton.
All this talk of dancing etc sent my mind giddy
last night, and i laughed long into my night shifts. Dance is not the preserve
of humanity, many other species use dance as a form of communication too, in
fact the moonwalk, two-step and macarena were all 'borrowed' from the birds of
paradise of Papua New Guinea.
Dance performs 3 main functions:
Firstly there is dancing for dancing's sake.
Scientifically speaking it would be a physical manifestation of ones condonement
of the arrangement of different frequency sound-waves arriving periodically
in one's ear and stimulating vibrations in the tympanum. Simply speaking it's
liking the sound of something and it makes you move. This is the type of dance
that i display each and every evening as i row along bobbing my head to some
tune or other.
Secondly there is dancing as an advertisment for
one's suitability as a reproductive partner. This is as complex as it gets for
many dancers who see no further use for dance but as a bill-board.
Finally, and this is what kept me in hysterics all
evening, there is dancing as a form of social bonding, providing group cohesion
and conveying basic pieces of information. I found myself picturing a dancefloor
on which people were casually dancing away, enthusiastically but without
unnecessary activity, for everyone was in their own little bond-group and
comfortable in their surroundings. Suddenly, the eyes of two 'night club mates'
(people who are each other's best mate each and every friday night) meet from
across the crowded dance floor. Suddenly, as if struck by a bolt of lightening,
and without once losing eye contact with his mate dancer 1 starts to
gesture wildly, performing a series of exaggerated points and thrusts all the
while with a grin displaying utter ecstasy plastered across his face
as he nods wildly in the direction of dancer 2; This salutation thus
communicated illicits a similarly enthusiastic display of vigorous
self-flagellation by dancer number 2. Both men, seemingly delighted with
what they have corresponded in that period of no more than 10 seconds then
return to their comparitively sedate mode of dancing in their respective social
groups, but the social bond between them has been indefinitely
On that note, i bid you sing like no one's
listening, dance like no one's watching, love like you've never been hurt
and live like every day is the best day of your life, you will enjoy
life so much more for it!
Ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, a
very happy New Year to you all, unless of course you are Ethiopian, not that i
wish any ill upon the Ethiopians, they have quite enough on their plate (ahem)
already, just that someone forgot to tell them when Jesus died and they guessed
wrong: they celebrated the Millennium this very August! Hmm, i wonder whether
they had any problems with the millennium bug? That'd have caused havoc if the
country's computer went down, goodness knows what they'd do!
Happy New Year everyone, whatever it is you are