Monday 25 February 2013


 Octopuses have appeared a few times on this blog in a metaphorical role. But as well as playing the part of symbolic monster of the deep and representing fear on and off the water, they also feature in my kitchen.

 These eight armed cephalopod molluscs are fascinating creatures and over the next few months I hope to upload several posts about them. Before going into details though, I wanted to show these photos. That the octopus is a beautiful creature in the sense that all living beings are possessed with beauty goes with out doubt, however the octopus also harbours the kind of aesthetic harmony that in another context would merit a design award.
I caught this octopus over the summer (I never buy them) and, after six months in the freezer, cooked it up the other day. Preparing an octopus for the table is a three part process (again more on this at a later date) and these photos show stage two, the creature having been boiled in water for 90 minutes.  

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Winter waves

On the Mediterranean coast the wind has been winter's trade mark element, howling round the houses, wrenching tiles from roofs, sculpting the dunes, polishing the sky and combing  wave crests in to high bouffant quiffs. After years of observing the show, patterns emerge, familiar waves types particular, I suppose, to all shores with generally tideless waters, shallow sandy bottoms and limited fetch.

But what never ceases to fascinate is that for all the similarities no two waves are ever the same. Herein seems to lie the key to some profound reflection on life and the universe but due to feeble intellectual powers it remains forever just out of reach.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

The Beach Bar

The tale of storing Onawind Blue on land is lengthy and tiresome. Causing angst in various degrees she's lived in the communal garden, under a bridge, on some wasteland padlocked to a chain-link fence and in a passage way leading to the beach. Briefly she was an honorary member of the local sailing club. But her minor fame, uniqueness and stunning looks weren't sufficient to conserve her place on the sand and when a motion for her to pay up or move on was seconded she was hoisted onto her sorry trailer and trundled on the streets once more. 

However, the opportunity to build, open and run a beach bar at the same club arose. I dug out all those bits of driftwood and rope I'd been saving for years, built the bar, furnished and stocked it and then, needing an iconic centrepiece, rolled OB back in from the street, washed off the grime and set her up with spotlights inside illuminating the masts against the night skies.

And so while I poured beers, peeled potatoes, grilled fish, flipped pancakes and mixed G&Ts she spent the summer being decorative. Her hull remained dry for months but she was under my wing and at busy moments I would shoot her a glance and feel her calming presence.

It wouldn't be true to say that I built and ran a bar and worked myself to the bone all for my boat but for the sake of romance lets say that it is.