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Random thoughts for the next steps.

Been way too long with too much happening but there was time and there is always time to get stuff done but Indidnt get everything done.

New releases in music and making videos and writing lyrics and reading emails about plans for more music have been a plenty. Lots of Sunshine and warm air mostly of which I dare not complain about. The new house has bathed in the stuff. I fear the cold months and must buy some new jumpers in preparation for cooler wetter weather. I don’t want to do this. This can wait.

Every training run has been tiresome and hard. I’m not very good at running in the heat but have been trying. My mind being a stubborn bastard and not giving in but also nagging me that the next 102 miles might prove too much. I’m worried about getting lost as have no idea of where I’m going and the thought of following acorns on signs doesn’t make me feel confident in any way. I will have a map but having experienced fog in the dark whilst running for over 15 hours things start to get a tad odd in the mind. I can still see the packs of black wild beasts with red eyes behind the wire fence up on the downs at 4.55 am pacing back and forth watching my every struggling step. I did finish through the pain and the recovery was long, the pain slowly eased over days, the muscles relaxed over weeks and the triumph will last for ever. 

We are always being tested by oneself, always wanting to do better but somehow sometimes slipping from the solid block we are all trying to build. 

I’m writing this on a freezing air conditioned train to the Capital. Heading to a movie premier called Anthropoid with the Kendal Mint Cake off the back of the song Life and Death. Never been to a film premier before but should be an entertaining evening with the people in entertainment, guess that includes me a bit right? 

Friends have been like the sea of late. Some calm and tranquil where as others have been stormy and lost crashing about like angry lion waves. I’m scared of the ocean.

I must get hold of the plasterer, must get things finished as things are to begin from the very start again. 

……….. Keep checking your screens……. As messages will be shown……Into your home.

I am Dave Pen



















































All photos taken in Shirley Southampton February 2016

I am Dave Pen


She sat opposite me, wearing spectacles and a shawl, she pulled the book from her bag. I couldn’t see the title of the book. As she opened the book I saw the first of the tentacles slowly stretch out. The woman yawned in appreciation of the tentacle and I could see she had no teeth, her empty mouth looked like a wet tobacco pouch, dark brown and sticky. She gazed at the open book and another tentacle released it’s way out of the page slowly moving towards her face. Her eyes fixed into the book and slowly they faded darker. As she slowly turned each page the book began to drip an oily liquid, splats fell onto her bronze buckled shoes all the while continually staring into the book. More tentacles came reaching out to her like skinny Medusa’s snakes. I lifted my feet onto the seat to avoid the oil getting on me, she sat zoned and serene. By now the book was a big slimy oily tentacle mess and yet she still just gazed into it, turning sticky page after sticky page with tentacles wrapped around her wrists and up her jacket sleeve. She then slowly took a deep breath and closed her eyes. The tentacles started to retract away back into the book and the oil reversed its way over everything until she was simply back to normal. She opened her eyes, stood up and walked away towards the park. I looked to my left to where my book was rested next to me. People born 1977 The Chinese Year of the Snake. I left it where it was and headed off home.


I am Dave Pen





It’s too hot
It’s too cold
I breathe in the breeze of dirty tunnel air
Can’t read printed words because of the motion
Hold my head because I’m tired
Lift my eyes from paranoia
Take a look around
Him maybe ?
Him maybe ?
Her maybe ?
Too much to think about these days
I just want to sip an ale, look at the grass and stand in my kitchen
Stop this motion
Stop the noise
The doors
The people
The announcements
Information information information
Irritation irritation
Think of the wife
Nice that
And the little one doing her thing
Two steps at a time up the towering escalators
So many peoples fitness for the day
I should stop moaning really
I wouldn’t have it any other way
Invalid ticket that’s bang on in date
I’m always running
I’m always late
Same clothes for days the weeks nearing completion
Making my way home
Station to station



I am Dave Pen


Peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, apples, lucozade, snickers, water, money, railcard, watch, phone, long sleeve top and my camelbak for it all to go in.

I usually only need a day of doing pretty much nothing before I feel I have to do something that gets the blood pumping and the brain firing. The hip injury I’d picked up somehow back in April has been rested over the last few months and slowly I’ve been pulling the miles back in over the last few weeks. Crossing part of the city to get to the route didn’t take too long, as soon as I was on the trail the chaos of the roads disappeared and my whole brain and body relaxed. The green tunnels began and I put one foot in front of the other and enjoyed the journey.


A few days after that run to Winchester along the Itchen way I kept thinking about where else I could go that isn’t in the city, what other trail routes are there close enough to manage in a day? The Test Way popped in my head, as I know it finishes in Totton, which is only a few miles from home and my dad has done it so knows the route. I decided with dad as support to give it a go. 42 miles. What I thought and still think is, if I really want to enter the UTMB, which is over 100 miles with over 30,000 feet of ascent and descent, then I must be able to manage 42 miles at this stage. My thinking is I try and enter the 2017 UTMB, which gives me about 2 years to get ready. Seeing as you need 9 qualifying points to enter from just 3 races means it’s not going to be easy in any way, it’s in fact going to be by far the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted…EVER! I don’t physically and mentally know if it will be possible but it’s something I have to try.


So Wednesday it was, after a skinful with friends on the previous Sunday I was glad to be feeling good with the aftermath of tequila, ale, rum and then sausage and chips on a park bench now in the faded distance of my head and stomach. Strangely I was feeling a little nervous as if before a race or gig. I guess the looming distance of near on 50 miles was the culprit of the butterflies. We left at 6.30am and drove to Inkpen in Berkshire where the route starts and or finishes depending on what way you are going. Now I’m not gonna write out the route place by place as to be honest I don’t remember all that sort of stuff very well. I can say though that some of the route was truly beautiful and running through metre high cornfields alone under the British summer sky was a highlight that brought on a wonderful feeling of content and thoughtful loneliness. The route was marked well in some places and not very well in others, in fact it wasn’t marked at all which caused me to add a few miles to the journey. Main roads made me stressed, as nobody really likes running with the traffic. I got lost quite a lot to be honest and getting lost at around 43 miles didn’t add to my tired mood. But then a giant rainbow appeared after a heavy downpour, I could see the start and finish so that helped ease the mind a bit and I had to smile, I didn’t find any gold though. I would have taken a photo but by this time my phone had died due to the battery drain of Strava and GPS tracking my route. I was out of contact for the last 7 miles or so and was slightly relieved to see Dad waiting with the car as I came to the end of the route.

wide angle

I learnt a few things on this run. I had to walk some of the way, which is part and parcel of doing such long distances for someone like me. Only the few elite can run non-stop and those men and woman are true athletes. I was very happy that I did manage to make it running and walking. It was hard at times but for most of the journey I was in a good place in my head, which is the most important thing when it comes to such long distances. The legs will hurt that’s a given but if I can keep my mind at ease then I stand a better chance. As much as I don’t like them, the 2 isotonic gels I took really helped. I couldn’t stomach chocolate very well though, the one snickers made me feel sick. Apples were very good which was something I’d never had before whilst out covering long distances. Having a support team was brilliant and cheers to my Dad for being at the different places with supplies and guidance, I think he’s gonna have to help quite a few more times over the next couple of years.

The legs were stiff for a few days after but nothing more than as if I’d run a road marathon so recovery was good. I burned around 7300 calories and was out there around 10 hours. Burning that many calories and being out there that long, both a first.

A week later whilst on a couple days off on tour I was in Switzerland so thought I’d try and get some miles under the belt up in the hills. I managed 24 miles with not much supplies and a lot of rain. But again I thought in my mind if I cant handle some of these hills then how am I going to handle running though the Alps?? Again my mind was in a good relaxed place and I realise it has to be to achieve what I want to do over the next 2 years.


On returning home from a recent musical jaunt to France and Switzerland I have entered my first 50 mile race along the South Downs Way and will attempt to enter the 100 mile race as well. These are certified qualifying races to enter the 2017 UTMB but they operate on a first come first served limited amount of runners basis. The races aren’t until next year, which gives me time to train and focus. I will have to run more qualifiers to stand a chance and then its potluck if you do get in to the UTMB. It’s one of the most popular trail runs in the world and entry is a lottery (for runners like me). We’ll have to wait and see.

This journey will take some time. Step by step. Onwards.

I am Dave Pen



Greetings to you all out there in cyber space land. I’ve have just returned from a very much needed rest of eleven nights on a Greek island, the time spent close to the ocean and in the warm sun was splendid.


Just before I left I was in the studio with Archive creating some new mad other worldly banging tunes. Prior to this we’d played our first festival of the summer in Germany alongside Mogwai, it’s always a strange feeling when you share a bill with other artists who have inspired you along the way. I wonder if this still happens to lots of other people in my situation? I hope so. The journey home ended up with me sweating it out and staring at a square on the inside of my bunk until my eyes slowly closed over the course of what felt like forty-five minutes.


The BirdPen latest album has been generating some good reviews and its great to see the LTD Edition versions of the gatefold White Vinyl albums available. Check it out:

White Vinyl

Bird and myself have been back into the studio, which we set up in the surroundings of the New Forest down here in Hampshire to start writing what will be our fourth album. It’s early stages but 9 new songs have been created in the first writing/recording session. We are due back in next month for session number two. No need to speak about what the concepts of the writing are about yet as ‘In The Company Of Imaginary Friends’ is still very fresh in the mind and I’m looking forward to getting out and playing the songs live again this Autumn/Winter.

I’ve been delving back into the twisted tales of the dark sinister minister Mr Jim Jones again lately. I read Deborah Laytons book ‘Seductive Poison’, which is a brilliant haunting insight into the world’s most famous cult leader and his followers of the Peoples Temple. The faiths he was preaching about in the early days were that of a pure world with no fear or hatred and to then end up a paranoid junkie manipulative mad ranting demon bringing the deaths of over 900 men, woman and children just reeks of mad sinister evil. I found a link to the final forty-five minute recordings in Jonestown but couldn’t really bring myself to listen through it all. It all really creeped me out for a Wednesday morning so I went and mowed the lawn instead.


We’re back on the road again this week heading back to Germany for the Southside and Hurricane festivals. Always some top acts at these two festivals so will in doubt have a mooch and lend my ears to a few.

Might shove some random poems up on here at some point soon too. I’ve been jotting down rhyming ramblings a lot lately and I should get them off my Phone and up on here.

I don’t blog enough these days either.

I am Dave Pen