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CURRENT THINGS & REFLECTION

START OF BLOG – Eleven days until I attempt to run two hundred and sixty eight miles in seven days or less, I’m feeling better and the cough has gone. It’s June and I’ve had the central heating on because the weather is grim and cold for this time of year and I can’t seem to warm up in the house, maybe I should get some carpets?

BLOG SLACKNESS and MUSIC – I’ve become so slack at using my blog, (I’ve banged on about that before) it seems to take me ages to upload photos I might have took from some various trip last year and to actually write a blog. Most thoughts I have tend to be lyrics and music so any kind of song writing/demo-ing has to take preference over pretty much everything else in time that fills a day apart from family stuff which goes at a thousand miles an hour with two very active, happy, sad, laughing, crying, screaming, cheering, emotional, beautiful little females. 2019 started very pro-actively and a load of new material has been recorded for a future project of which I’m very exited about it. It’s weird, conceptual and about something I’m fascinated about. Hopefully there’ll be more news on it soon. I’ve also just started writing some nice rough demos for new BirdPen material which leads me nicely into the next bit of the blog.

The BirdPen tour earlier in the spring was good and big cheers to anyone who came to see us out on the road. I’d also like to add a massive personal thanks to anyone that donated some money to us via merchandise, music or kindness following the news of Pledge Music’s disastrous, terrible, fucked up, stealing, bullshit collapse of the company. Of which BirdPen and many other bands have been financially shafted and had money that was pledged by the fans stolen! I sincerely hope a full enquiry is held and we all find out how and why this happened. You can read our full statement on the matter at the BP website here – www.birdpen.com

The Archive tour a few weeks back was brilliantly great and to have played three concerts of 3 hours each was a new milestone for the band. The rehearsals were very intense ( as always) and after everything ended I was left feeling quite exhilarated, celebrated and exhausted. I thought Tequila was my friend. We broke up, it was my entire fault but our affair has hit hard times and we need some space from each other. On a sobering thought I’m looking forward to the full tour this autumn fully celebrating the band being 25 years old visiting places we’ve been and places we’ve never seen! I’ll try and do a blog about it (yeah right, as if!).

Check out the forthcoming tour dates and get involved: www.archiveofficial.uk

RUNNING STUFF – I’ve notched up a fair few miles already this year and haven’t ran a race since last August, Last year I was happy to have reached running one thousand miles within the year and a friend joked that this year I’d get in fifteen hundred miles. No chance I thought! but now, I might get closer to that than I thought possible. This hobby of mine is expensive on all fronts, financially, time, and the stress on my legs and body…..but it’s what I do and when I’m not doing it, I miss it terribly and I don’t feel like me. I’m happy and fortunate to be fit and healthy and able to use my body this way and its a real buzz like no other when i’m out in the middle of nowhere. One day I will take up bowling though, hotdogs and beer ahoy! STRIKE!!!

With running, when I decide on a race/challenge it gives me real focus and something to work towards, hence why I chose to enter the Spine Fusion Race – A 268 mile race along the entire Pennine Way in the UK and to also enter the UTMB again. It was January, It was grey I needed something for the year, I needed to change some patterns in my life and in doing this and continually writing new material, everything has really given me the boost I needed for this years achievement goals.

Training had been going really well until a couple weeks ago when I got a bit ill which is so frustrating, ( Tequila chuck up and ill add ons perhaps? ) but it went to my chest and I had this quick annoying cough so went with the rule of anything below the neck, then rest, which I did. I’m not overly sure how much more training I can realistically do before attempting The Pennine Way. I’ve never ran more than 100 or so miles in one go so the thought of 268 isn’t overly computing in my brain if I’m honest, maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe not? I’m looking forward to it which is good but I’m not overly stocked about not being aloud to have a support team as I quite like friends and family being there to give me water melon, coca cola and crisps to raise my spirits, but I suppose it will bring a new dynamic to it all and I imagine the official crew involved will be great. There are cut offs along the way and there’s a seven day limit to completing the route, I hope the weather is kind and I make it over the Scottish border to triumph! It has to be good prep for this years UTMB I’m thinking and having already completed that course in 2017 I’m really looking forward to tackling that beast again and hopefully finishing again. That place has such a strong pull with its wondrous mountains, lakes, air and amazing atmosphere. It really is a magical place and a special event of which I’m proud to be part of again. I’ve even got a magazine doing a feature on me all about it and a race report but more news on that soon, you’d think I actually knew what I was doing!

SIGNING OFF – WOW, I actually did TWO blogs in a couple of weeks! The one before this was a load of photos I took when BirdPen went to China at the end of last year so have a goosey if you fancy.

This is where I’m at right now and I’ll see you out there yeah.

Oh and here’s me crashed out after getting home from tour with my youngest using me as a pillow.

I am Dave Pen

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WHEN WE WENT TO CHINA

I had the pleasure of playing two shows in China with BirdPen late last year in Shanghai and Beijing. It was  a wonderful cultural experience for us all. It really made me think, when you start a project with your mate in a bedroom and end up many moons later travelling halfway across the world to play the music you created to a thousand or so Chinese people, It’s well, awesome really.

I went for a mooch in both cities but didn’t have too much time so just snapped what I found interesting at the time. It was cold but great.

Xièxiè
I am Dave Pen

A HANGING TOWEL

AIR CONTROLLED

AMONGST THE VEINS

BLACK LINE VIEW

BLURRED CRACKS

BRICK DESIGN

CASED MEMORIES

CEILING

CORNER

CRACKS

CROSS OVER COMMUNICATION

DRYING TIME

EVERY DAY OF EVERY YEAR

EVERY EYE

F.B.M

FADING FINANCE

FALLING AWAY

FANTASTIC DOOR

FEAR FROM THE NEIGHBOURS

FUME DRYING

GODS

GUARD DRAGON

HI HONEY DID YOU HANG OUT THE MEAT?

HIGH TILES

I LOOKED UP AGAIN

I SEE A FACE

IT’S OVER

LAND OF THE GOLDEN SUN

LEANING AGAINST THE BLUE

LEFT ON 01

LIGHT TEMPLE

RED SUN MATERIAL

MY OTHER CAR’S A BIKE

NEIGHBOURS

NO TRUMPETS AT SEVENTY

NOT LEFT WITH MUCH

OH SO…..

ONE IS MISSING

ORDERS

PUT POLES TO USE

RANDOM NUMBER

RED & PEACH

SPIRIT LIGHT

STAY SAFE WORKERS

STRAWBERRY’S HELP

THE CLOWN KEEPS LAUGHING

THREE SETS

WALL

WINTER REACHING

WIRE TIME

BLUE NEON AT NIGHT

BLUE SIGN

DOWN THE BUND

VEGETABLES ARE GOD

I LOVE YOU

I LIKE THIS ONE

LIGHT SAIL

ONE MAN IN THE WINDOW

V’S & W’S

RED RULES

I LIKE THE COLOURS

RED STAIRS

UNDER THE CONCRETE SUN

UNITE AND REMEMBER

SKYWARD 

WORDS

LONELY

PAST & FUTURE

REMINDERS

RED FLAG

GOLDEN BEAM


SEPTEMBER IN SAN FRANCISCO

Back when the sun was shining brightly in San Francisco I took some photographs.

COLOUR SLATS

BLUE WATCH

CROSSINGS

DRAG

EMPTY SHELL

EYE ON THE ALLEY

FINS

GREY-BLUE

GROWING OLD

NO ONE

WIRED ARMS

IT’S WHAT HE WOULD HAVE WANTED

SAND SHADOW

LIGHT ABOVE

CLOSED ACCOUNT

SUNSET CAGE

IN WIRE AND DUST

FOUR ON GREY

BRIDGE IN THE MIDDLE

FORGET DIGITAL

GOLDEN GATE LIGHT

LIKE WAX

SEASONS REPEAT

SOFT CONCRETE

WALL OF SOUND

STRONG CORNERS

WELCOME

NATIVE

COMMUNICATION COKE LINES

WIRED

Cheers.

I am Dave Pen


4 DAYS IN NEW YORK

Hello people out there in internet blog land, I hope you are all well. Here are some photographs I took whilst visiting the United States of America in September this year. The first selection is from New York. Yosemite National Park and San Francisco will follow soon. I Hope you enjoy what I thought was worth taking a photograph of.

As always I’ve named them all.

Love and Snaps

I Am Dave Pen

ALL RIGHT

AS I CAME OUTSIDE

BALCONY VIEW

BEHIND THE LINES

BETWEEN THE LINES

BIRTH YEAR

BLUE SHAPES ON GLASS

BLUE WINDOWS

BRICK & METAL

BURN THEM ALL

COLOUR AND LIGHTS

ELEVEN FORTY ONE

EXIT IN REVERSE

FADED DISTANCES

FROM THIS SIDE

GLOWING EMPIRE

HUMAN AND GREEN TUNNEL

ICON

JOINING

LATE NIGHTS 4

LIGHTS IN THE DARK

NEON MIST

NO DIVIDE

OLD STEPS TO WIFI

ON TOP OF EACH OTHER

ORANGE NUMBER

ORANGE SKYFALLS

ORDERS FROM THE RAIN

ORDERS ON SIGNS

OURS & THEIRS

PLAYHOUSE INCLUDED

PROTECTION

PUSH FREEDOM

QUESTIONS

SO MANY DREAMS

SQUARES

STAIRWELL

STRENGTH IN STRUCTURE

THE PEARL

THE RED PLACE

THE WINDOW OUTSIDE

THREE AND A CRANE

TOGETHER AT NIGHT

VIEWING WINDOW

WAITING ON RED

WATCHER

WATER FROM THE PAST

WILL NOT STOP

WING

WIRE AND BLADES

ZUUL’S PLACE

I Am Dave Pen


IT WAS WORTH THE 60 MINUTES

Been a while, back seat in the corner next to the window as always. No table and all seats facing forwards this time so it’s got potential to be the mute seat. Conversation in the front three rows is flowing about food, I’ll stay quiet for now as just ate a ham and cheese sandwich.

This morning before leaving for our first show in over a year I went for my first run since breaking the sub 24 hour time in my last event and attempt at running one hundred miles, 22 hours 58 minutes was worth the two blisters. I picked up no other injury’s and I’ve now fully recovered after a couple weeks R & R. I feel even closer to the South Downs way after that mammoth task. The Alps still remains a challenge and I’ve a couple months of training before getting back there to attempt the TDS race, tag lined the UTMB’s wild sister so that should bring a fair bit of effort out of me, my legs and my mind. I’m strangely looking forward to it as always.

Meanwhile back in the van….

We are on route to our first BirdPen show in over a year, a festival in Belgium so I have positive buzz notes floating about as it’s always such a welcoming country for us.

Mikes been banging on about some Norwegian cheese we should all try, Jacobs at hand but he lost the knife so we have to try and tax one from somewhere.

Nibble nibble then, in a bit again.

Monday morning, thoughts and reflection from the van:

The cheese was nice but there’s been way too much bread intake and not enough cooked things over the last few days on this trip. Arriving somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the dark to an unlocked guest house with nothing inside doesn’t really bring warm comfort or sunshine vibes to seven slightly weary men who’ve just spent almost 13 hours in a van. The towels finally turned up and mine smelt like Rover the Labrador had dried himself and slept on it after a dip in the local stink stream, which was nice. More bread and waiting around awaited the day.

Arriving on site the lovely organisers had arranged a nice big television for us backstage to watch the world cup competition of kick ball. We scored six and they only scored one. More waiting, watching more kick ball and mooching about filled most of the rest of the daylight hours with a  grey school diners meal thrown in for an attempt at stomach comfort.

I think for the first time in my life I might have enjoyed the setting up and packing down/ loading the van than I did the actual gig. I’m kidding of course ( or am I ? ) but the show had its problems as it’s been a while and with new setups and bits of tech, things can take a little while to bed in I suppose. It got better after the glitches and sound problems thankfully and the crowd were tip top as always in Belgium so cheers to you all for being there and being cool.. It’s good to be back but there’s work to be done from our end.  Our Sundays evenings accommodation saw us stay in a quirky guest house with a huge porcelain chicken on the stairs and a massive long tap in the bathroom. I finished the night eating Crisps for fucks sake.

Here’s that really long tap.

And here’s me thinking about things with the chicken.

It took another twelve and a half hours to get home.

Carry on.

I am Dave Pen


A WALK AFTER THE DENTIST

After some bad news from The Dentist I strolled 11 miles around parts of Southampton, taking in Bitterne Manor, Northam, St Marys, Ocean Village, Holy Rood, The Town Centre ( Old and New ) and The Bright Glade. Most of the photographs are just observational stuff really. I enjoy things that can seem ugly to some people, old frames and windows, elements of construction, junk, rubbish and things you see when you look down at the floor. Some of the places I walked past and explored brought back memories. I spent alot of time skateboarding in Northam when I was younger, my brother had his 18th birthday party at the Colporters Rowing Club which ended up with two bunches of very drunk teenagers having a right old punch up in the carpark over a dispute about someone’s ex-girlfriend, finding the family brick at St Marys and after pulling an all nighter with friends, the not too distant morning rum and coke memories of time spent in The Admiral St Lucas Wetherspoons at Ocean Village.

Spending time walking around town took my mind off from the dentist’s talk of drilling, removing crowns and expensive work on root canals.  I enjoyed mooching and snapping pics in the grey gloom of January the 9th 2018.

All photos are owned by me.

I am Dave Pen

ANSWER THE QUESTION

LIGHTS OUT FOR GREY SKIES

VACANT LOT

WATCHING SILHOUETTES

UNTITLED

NOTHING

ON THE OTHER SIDE

MIGHTY MILLBANK

JOIN HANDS

CONTINUE

AS IT WAS

ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO ADD

RING BRIAN

CLOSING DOWN

FRAMES

HANGING AROUND

ARTFUL WASTE

FILLING THE CRACKS

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE

ALEXANDRA RISING

68 – PICK A MATE

A LOST GIFT

FAILED TO COLLECT

FREEDOM IS OUTSIDE

LIFE UNDER THE SURFACE

HISTORY

MISSING IN ACTION

OLD TIDES

SURRENDER 2018

URBAN AUTOGRAPH

PEOPLE INSIDE

SEND ME SOMETHING

OLD & NEW

SLEEPS FIVE

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

WHERE DOES IT GO?

STICK TOGETHER

PARK, SIT, EAT & WATCH

WORKING

TELEPHONE BOX BOOK SWAP

RETIRED

INSIDE A WETHERSPOONS

GROWING

FUTURE RUST

LOST MEMORIES OF WINTER

MOTTOS DIVIDE OPINIONS

MY BROTHERS 18TH BIRTHDAY PARTY WAS HELD HERE, CHAOS ENSUED

ICE T’S LEGACY

FOLLOW SUIT

DON’T DO ME IN….

CLOSE IN THE COMFORT

BRITANNIA GASOMETER

ARE YOU LOVING IT?

ARRIVED IN..

HAVE A SEAT

GROWING TOGETHER

HOW MANY YEARS?

REMEMBERING HOME

UPGRADE NOT AVAILABLE

HOW CAN YOU LET ME ROT?

HAVE YOUR SAY

MEMORY STAIRS

CURVES

GREEN LIVING

BLUE TUESDAY

ALWAYS

ABOVE THE REST

AIMED TO PERFECTION

BRUTALIST BEAUTY

BELIEVE

FAMILY SUPPORT

HANGING BASKETS

PROPERTY LADDER

SHOE TREE

THE BIRDS AND THE ANTENNAS

SAFE LIVING

CHRISTMAS IS OVER

THE END

Hope you enjoyed this 11 mile trip around town.

I am Dave Pen

 


THE TOURING TOURIST

Here’s some photographs I’ve taken whilst being on tour of things I’ve found inspiring, beautiful, ugly and interesting.

All images are owned by me, hope you enjoy them.

A BEAUTIFUL MESS

ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?

COLOUR WINDOW

COMMUNICATION

CZECH CHURCHILL

DESIRED APPETITES

DO NOT SCALE THIS WALL

FROM THE WINDOW

GAZ

GET TO THE POINT

HOTEL OBSERVATIONS

I WILL KEEP WATCHING YOU

IT DOESN’T STOP

IT’S A PHOTOGRAPH OF SOME CHILLI’S

LIVING

MORE LIVING

MADE TO MEASURE

MODERN RAIN

MODERN TIMES

MUM, THERE’S A SCULPTURE OUTSIDE MY WINDOW

NATURE REGULATE

NOTHING HERE

OLD CRANES

ONLY TO OBSERVE

OPEN YOUR ARMS

RISE ABOVE

THE RISING REFLECTIONS

SAFE PLAY

CABLES

SIDE ROAD

SOMETHING SINISTER

SPECTRUM +

SPECTRUM –

STRIPES

THE BAR OF MANY MEMORIES

THE BLUE DOOR

THE EXORCIST

FUNFAIR OF CONSTRUCTION

MOON

UNDER THE BRIDGE

WALK THE WALK

WHAT’S HAPPENED TO PINGU?

A STRIP OF HOPE

YOU CAN GO ANYWHERE

YOU MAY PASS

I am Dave Pen