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The Quest for Mont Blog 1

I’m sat in terminal one watching the human ants gather and scurry as slaves to the machines that take to the skies. Enter your data to get verified access to fly baby.

My bloging has ceased of late due to the pitter, patter of feet and the mellow drum joy, joy day to day living of my life. I couldn’t be happier by the way. I just haven’t sat down and wrote stuff out as much as I should.

I’m off to Chamonix to do some press for my Quest for Mont Blanc and collect all the equipment that is needed for this adventurous adventure across the Alps. I’m Trekking from Geneva to the summit of Mont Blanc this August and I’m doing it for the cancer research charity Trekstock. It’s a big challenge but I know I can do it and it will be amazing to stand on top of Western Europe to have a look around.

Never a big fan of travelling via massive tons of machinery thousands of feet in the sky, this flight was a breeze and I slept for a few minutes on the one-hour long flight and woke to this view from my window seat:

WINDOW-VIEW

So the main point of our 24-hour trip to Chamonix was to visit the Simond factory. Simond are one of the oldest mountaineering companies with links to the history of Mountaineering dating as far back as the 1820’s and engineering products since 1948. It’s a privilege to have them as one of our sponsors for the Quest for Mont Blanc. We were given a full tour of the factory and shown how equipment such as ice axes and carabinas are made which was a rare insightful experience to have had. We then checked off and tried on the items of clothing and accessories that are needed for the Trek and Climb. I felt like a hardcore Dutch football supporter in the amazingly bright Orange winter jacket that I will be wearing for the summit push, You wont miss me that’s for sure, Not too sure I will be wearing it for a any forthcoming shows though.

2.5-TONNES

AXED

I did some Interviews and we had some photos taken, then we had some lunch in Chamonix’s main town centre surrounded by snow topped mountains before heading back to Geneva to fly back to the UK. This was a quick in and out trip but a very important one to say the least. Some plans for music related things were discussed and being put into place of which I will announce very soon.

WE'RE-GOING-THAT-WAY

The Quest is not too far away so please let’s keep raising that dosh please.

You can sponsor me here from the link below at my Just Giving page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Archivethequestformontblanc

Many thanks

I am Dave Pen

MB1

FROM ICELAND.

There are no details, just photographs with names. I hope you like them.

A SPEEDING REFLECTION

A-SPEEDING-REFELCTION

VIEW

VIEW

THE BRIDGE

THE-BRIDGE

STONE COLLECTION POINT

STONE-COLLECTION-POINT

RIGHT OVER THERE

RIGHT-OVER-THERE

STAND

STAND

SHADOW LAND

SHADOW-LAND

FRIENDS FOR LIFE

FRIENDS-FOR-LIFE

INSIDE UP

INSIDE-UP

BETWEEN WORLDS

BETWEEN-WORLDS

CRYSTAL

CRYSTAL

MOTEL

MOTEL

SLOW TIME

SLOW-TIME

CLOSE TO LIFE FORMS

CLOSE-TO-LIFE-FORMS

JUST STARE

JUST-STARE

COLD MIRROR

COLD-MIRROR

SIGNAL

SIGNAL

BROKEN PIECES

BROKEN-PIECES

CLAWS

CLAWS

AS IT WAS

 

AS-IT-WAS

MEETING

MEETING

I MADE MYSELF SO SMALL

I-MADE-MYSELF-SO-SMALL

BEYOND

BEYOND

THE MAN FELL TO EARTH

THE-MAN-FELL-TO-EARTH

BEAKS

BEAKS

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK NOW

FOLLOW-THE-YELLOW-BRICK-SNOW

HANDLE WITH CARE

HANDLE-WITH-CARE

ON THE ROCKS

ON-THE-ROCKS

SEE YOU IN THE NEXT ONE

SEE-YOU-IN-THE-NEXT-ONE

AURORA

AURORA

I am Dave Pen

RUNNING UP THAT HILL – THE SNOWDONIA MARATHON

I’m not going to go through this blog mile by mile so to speak, that would take far too long and be too painful, plus I can’t remember every mile as most of them after mile 13 just turned into a long slow blur of pain, wind, water stations and jelly baby induced desperation.

To start with I was all over the place trying to get ready, I left it a bit late to sort my gear out, it was 8.45 and I was still munching on a bacon sandwich down in the hotel restaurant. I was leaving at 9.15 and that 30 minutes went like the wind, unlike I would. Running 26.2 miles of one of Britain’s toughest and unforgiving marathons that is the Snowdonia Marathon.

After I got dropped off at Llanberis where the start of the race was, I popped in the porta loo for a quick wee, being slightly nervous at running my first marathon my alone time of quick relief wasn’t helped by the fact that probably one of the last surviving wasps of the Snowdonia region had decided to give it one more shout of space invading annoyance by hovering around my head whilst I tried to aim straight. Not being a fan of wasps in any way shape or armoured form I quickly got out of there sting free and went out in the fresh air against a massive stone wall alongside other blokes in spandex and vests.

I hung around near the start line taking in the vibes and pre race nerves with my Dads mate Dave. My dad was supposed to run the marathon with his mate Dave but had picked up a knee injury and decided (very wisely) I might add to drop out just a few hours before the start. These two cats go way back and have run a stack of marathons between them, with my dads best time on Snowdon being a strong 3 hours 12 minutes.

I got interviewed by the local Film crew alongside Dave about why I was running the race so gave the Trekstock charity a good plug and mentioned that this marathon was part of a few endurance events in the build up for the Archive Quest for Mont Blanc taking part next summer. Not sure the plug made the final edited TV cut though. My Welsh is zero.

snowden

Now it was race time. The long 6-mile hill from the start of Llanberis was a nice challenge and I dealt with it well. From the top of Pen-y-gwryd the downhill was a joy and I cruised naively down like a young fawn bounding across the moors. At the bottom of this, the course went into an off road section which was quick with a high tempo and I was focused at watching every step along the rocky and stony path. I was having a great time at this point and continued to do so. All was going well when I saw the 12 mile marker, I thought to myself this would be a really good run if it was a half marathon, oh to dream, and thinking like that was a warning sign of what was to come. I came through the halfway point to smiles and cheers from my family, I managed to catch a glimpse of my little 5 month old daughter wrapped up with her little face looking a little like I was to feel a few miles later, a bit lost, confused and in need of some TLC.

So after the happy faces of support I started to notice things getting a lot harder, I just didn’t realise the next 10 miles would all be up hill. It just went on and on and on, every corner I could see in the distance I started to pray it would level out after that and it just didn’t, and it took no prisoners. I started to notice a runner who kept over taking me then stopping about 100 metres in front and walking until I caught up with him and over took him, for him to then run past me for another 100 metres to then stop and walk again. He did this about 5 times, which slowly just made me want to stop as well, and it finally did. I finally had to stop and walk at about 16 miles. From then on it was a test of how far I could run before I had to stop and walk for a bit. I carried on running at a slower pace after this and water stations became mental havens for me where I knew I could stop for a bit and drink what was truly the sacred water of the mountains. I have never tasted water so nice than on that Marathon, to the point of carrying a little sealed cup of the stuff with me for the rest of the race as a good luck token or something like that. I was getting a bit desperate.

I carried on upwards and upwards then came to part of the route called Walnfowr. I had been told this was a proper “Tough Bit” of the race. Everyone around me including a bloke on a bike just stopped to a walk/shuffle. I tried to walk for a minute, and then shuffle for a minute, and then walk for a minute and so on to slowly make my way up. As I was doing this I heard a chap behind me chatting about how once the race was over they would hit the local pub for a couple of jager bombs and some whiskeys, I looked behind me to see who this rock n roll speaking hard core geezer might look like and low and behold it was an old friend from my skateboarding youth days, Mr Dean Jones. I said “dean Jones” to him to which he didn’t recognise me to which I then told him it was I, Dave Penney, he laughed and said what the hell are you doing here? I said the same thing to him and we struggled on together for about a minute or so before his legs stretched just a bit further than mine and he moved slowly forward. What a random place to see an old mate huh? Brilliant.

I got to the top of Walnfowr and the wind was howling across the wide-open space of this bleak looking puddle filled summit. It was proper grim and incredibly hard to stay motivated. Even the jelly babies were quite un-inspired. I stopped for another wee and just let the wind blow me into a high grassy bank, the term “pissing in the wind” ringing like a massive siren of truth in my head, I had stopped caring by then and wanted this ridiculous challenge to end. I pushed forward and made it to the descent, which was tuff in the totally opposite way of the previous 2 miles. Not being able to quite stop yourself moving very quickly downhill after 24 or so miles is a strange, painful and testing feeling on the hips, legs, feet, and brain. Down it went across the fells, rocks and mud. I had to keep my concentration in tact so as not to slip or fall or slip which would at that point, really hurt. It was with joyous sound to then be told by a supporting stranger “come on, the end is just around the corner”. This was music to my ears so I stepped it up as much as I could and around a beautiful grey-concreted corner was the end. I gave it my all as the crowd cheered me and the other runners coming to the end with legs burning, tears in my eyes and a proper wad of snot hanging from my nose I made it across the finish line in 4hours 09 minutes and 21 seconds.

I took my medal (a piece of welsh Slate), another bottle of water and wrapped in a space blanket walked alone to a corner and had a little sob whilst scoffing more jelly babies. I was thrilled to have finished and have never truly done anything as hard as that before in my life. What a brilliant and ridiculous sport marathon running is and the support and camaraderie was superb. A proper bunch of nutters do this and I kind of felt at home with it all. My family all supported me on this, which were lovely and my Dads mate Dave finished at around 5 and a half hours which was great.

WIN

I ended the day in a nice pub drinking ale watching the SFC beat Fulham, followed by a couple of rums and a curry. I went to bed a bit tipsy thinking about the next marathon I have in December.

Why am I doing this?

I am Dave Pen

WARM MEMORIES

Here are a selection of photographs from over the summer whilst on tour. Warm memories.

 

BASTILLE

BEDTIME

BIRDBALL

CHEERS

DAZE-OFF

DON'T-GO

DONT-LOOK-NOW

FORGIVENESS

GIG

GIGGED

GIGGING

H---EY

JOY-JOY

LITTLE-FLUFFY-CLOUDS

LUCK

MACHINES-LIVE-LIKE-ORDINARY-PEOPLE

MASSIVE-ACCESS-ALL-AREAS-

MELT

NO-MORE-JUNK-MAIL

PILLS

REACH-OUT

SHADOW-PLAY

SINISTER-BUNNY

SUCKER

SUMMER-BUZZING

TENACIOUS-D---P TEQUILA-HIGH-RISE

THE-WOOD-BETWEEN-THE-TREES

THESE-GO-UP-TO-11

THIS-IS-NOT-A-PICTURE

WAKE-UP

WHITE-BALLONS

 

Saver Destroyer

I’ve been busy packing up copies of the new BirdPen Saver Destroyer E.P and Global Lows albums to send out across Europe. Hope the fans who ordered like what they hear. I think it’s a cool E.P and it feels good to get out material we have recorded a little while ago. tor interested folk The track ‘Goodnight from the Green Bear’ was Produced by Darius keeler with us and the drums were played by the Seagull. The artwork design was designed by myself and is a captured still from an Indian ceremony that I was allowed to film whilst travelling around southern India a few years ago.

Saver Destroyer Artwork

Also on the E.P is a cool Moody remix from my good friend Robin Foster. You can hear it below:

The Ltd edition E.P and Global Lows Album are available to buy from the BirdPen website shop here – http://www.birdpen.com/shop

Cheers everyone for supporting what I and my good friends create. I salute you all x

I am Dave Pen

The Quest For Mont Blanc – 1st Marathon Not too far away now.

September greetings everyone.
I’ve been training hard and pounding out the miles for the Quest folks. My First big challenge is The Snowdonia Marathon in Wales on October 26th. This is my first marathon and it’s not too far off now. The training for this is all part of the Quest for Mont Blanc and I will be taking part in many more endurance events before the final Challenge next August. As the final quest is 11months or so away I thought I’d really put myself to the test in the build up with some proper endurance challenges to get me tip top and fit along the way.

Events I am in before the final Quest are:
The Snowdonia Marathon.26/10/13
Endurance Life Jurassic Coast 10km Trail Run.7/12/13
Portsmouth Coastal Marathon.22/12/13
Endurance Life Anglesey Coastal Trail Marathon.18/01/14
The Grizzly.8/03/2014
These events should keep me busy then!!!

I am blown away by everybody who has donated to Trekstock so far so please keep the sponsorship coming in, anything you can donate all helps and as you can see I’m really trying to do my bit to help this great charity and it’s cause.
Here is the sponsorship link:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Archivethequestformontblanc

Many thanks everyone. Another blog soon
Dave Pen

Another Summer

Finally got a version of word again after the last update to the mind control made it all stop working, that notebook thing for the computer doesn’t work as well for me for some reason. Weird that as its all words after all isn’t it?

I’m sat in what was my little studio room and is now a half made room for a very small person and a storage space of stuff from my life over this summer. I don’t have long left until I will definitely need a new space to express thoughts and ideas. She’s still shacked up in the main bedroom for the next couple of months.

My coffee cup has a mallard on it and the coffee is lavatza, the same coffee Pollard insists on having for the tour bus. You can see him coming from a while away in the distance carrying a massive straw sack of beans before every tour. All hell does break loose when something happens to the coffee machine when we are away, HEADS DO ROLL!!

So now the summer is closing down but still the sun is shining. Is an Indian summer of the cards perhaps? How very nice for the sweat glands to keep clapping their hands in pure open pores celebration. The downside to all the heat and yellow and white light for me has been trying to run, it has lagged over me so much whilst trying to train to run my first marathon, draining me after thirty minutes with sweat pouring off me. I am sure once the winter is fully pitched and hanging on our bones I will think? ‘What was I complaining about’? Its now gonna be cold and damp for 6 months or more.

So the festival season is coming to an end and we’ve been back and forth all summer long, 2 left including the show in Warsaw of which is where I am finishing this blog right now on the 36th floor of the Continental hotel, this is the view at dusk:

Continental

 

And this is a list of how my summer went:

It was full of noise, heat, blown air conditioning units, cheering fans, grounded tour buses of ferry’s, upset stomachs, the history of Britain (almost finished), crap movies and films about football hooligans, singing fans, cushion throwing fans, champagne nights, watching the sun rise, hangovers from hell, running for trains (hung-over), pina coladas, breast milk, broken amps, guitar pedals with minds of their own, legos and nintendos, meeting jack black, watching three quarters of a crowd leave the gig we were playing as they were all there to see a teeny pop band, crying girls (because they were there to see a teeny pop band, not us), broken buses, going mad on the bus, reading books, DJ’ing at a camp site in the French Alps, coming home to find my lawn burnt to a crisp, Queens of the stone age, Amphitheatres, hummus in a can, singing Life & Death with Robin, needing more sleep, Athens to Barcelona, laughing, not eating enough, things I can’t remember, blah, blip, bang, crash, and a drop of wallop.

I have taken a fair few photos over the summer of which I will post up as another “photo” blog, quickly after you’ve read this one.

Whoever you are

I am Dave Pen.

 

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