Experience collectors 
Greetings from Wales...
This particular holiday is coming to an end. I’m going to need a rest.
The family holiday started with a humiliating and painful motorbike accident. Due to the kids being released from summer camps in different countries I took the Triumph Tiger and my Wife took our donated VW Sirocco. As I’d arrived in Wales the night before it was a short 50 yard ride to pick up my lad.
I pulled up a steep dirt track and could see his new friends sat around. Some playing cards, some packing. One lad admired the bike mentioning his dad also rode bikes. Then there was a brief but lovely reunion with my son. Masses of walking, late nights and little sleep had left him exhausted. But we set to consolidating his gear into my panniers.
While I finished up I failed to instruct him how best to get on and off the bike and it slowly tipped over as he got comfy. Unable to turn, it pinned my leg under with me facing the wrong way. With a full tank, panniers filled with tech, tools and radio gear, the bike must have weighed in excess of 300 kilos.
My lad, luckily had simply stepped off. There is a little aluminium tap in my Hepco and Becker panniers which are designed to carry water within insulated walls. The tap was the focal point of all that weight and had pierced my armoured boot, pinning me by the metal ankle cup that saved me from a very nasty injury.
This fluke puncture wound made it impossible for me to pick up the bike. My lad had a go but he has the physique of a long distant runner and rarely lifts anything heavier than a game controller. After twisting my knee in some very unnatural positions I could feel the tap digging deeper and my knee being torn with my frustrated wrenching. There was nothing for it but to get my son to walk over to the hut and ask for help.
I will admit that I was a little disappointed to have gone so rapidly from cool motorbike dad to helpless old man trapped under his bike. But the two extra lads managed to rotate the bars and lift the bike the inch I needed to remove my foot. I was then free to right the bike, laugh it off and thank the boys.
We (slowly this time) mounted the bike and rode north west with perfect weather. I limped for a few days but still managed to join in a rounders match, swim in an estuary, climb waterfalls, explore a castle, enjoy a barbecue, sing and tell stories around a camp fire, walk an ancient drovers road, sample local ice cream, support local bookshops, metal detect and play the tuppenny arcades on the seafront.
Check out the picture caption on this image.
As a former professional photographer you would think the rise of AI imagery should worry me. Not at all. It’s way too late for that. In fact this prompted me to try out MidJourney and create the image at the top of this email. I’ll drop a supporter post out with more info and examples of my experiments. At the bottom of this email I have included the four options derived from using just the title of this dispatch as the A.I. prompt.
The more systems that go online allowing people access to this kind of creative process the better it gets. Of course there will be disruption and abuse and I have talked about this kind of tech for years in relation to the death of stock photography. But I love how accessible this new creative process is and am looking forward to seeing how it develops. Especially now it’s within everyone’s reach.
My friend Mr Bingo (an artist that uses his hands and is currently #AIFree) sells a print version of this GIF.
The seven day recap of my Californian motorbike adventures is complete. Here are all 11,500 words:
Part one - Escape From LA / Part two - Still Escaping LA / Part three - Road Movie / Part four - Rattle Snakes and Double Takes / Part five - Between Fear and Reason / Part six - Milk and Beans / Part seven - Back to the beginning.
As is the tradition, new supporting subscribers here can have a shoutout if they like. So please welcome Cole Moreton, who was introduced to me in a tweet from Nick Garnett. Cole is a professional storyteller and has the books to prove it. This is his debut novel, The light keeper. One of many books he has written.
Also on the topic of Cole Moreton and a nice intro to this section, he has a great short story podcast you might want to check out called Can we talk?
Something I very much look forward to when in Wales is a sing-a-long around a fire. I’m not afraid to say that although I had not heard the song for decades I was really pleased that at one point in the night, well into the wine and ale, we exploded into a rendition of Gang-gang-gooli.
The song was originally devised to be something all scout troops from around the world could sing without having to learn any individual language. Wikipedia goes some way to exploring it’s origins and can’t confirm that Baden-Powell had anything to do with it. It looks like the Scandinavian Scout organisations championed the song and gave it a boost till it became a global hit 40 years after it’s conception.
I’ve been mostly drinking local. Spot the odd one out.
Perhaps it was the fact we were not on an official beach. Or that we were only there to have a swim and I didn’t give it enough time. Either way it might well be my most pitiful attempt at metal detecting ever.
Possibly because very few people visit these normally submerged shifting sands. Or perhaps dropped stuff disappears deep enough to avoid detection. Anyway. All I found was a bottle cap. Not even an interesting one. It was off a bottle of bud. I didn’t even photograph it before it went into the bin. You have seen one before. I still enjoyed sweeping the detector across the sand. Even after I realised there was little to be found. I took nothing bar a rusty bottle cap and left nothing but scruffy sand mandalas.
Wish I hadn’t recently bought a webcam as I’d be rushing out to get this…
I bought this bag as a gift.
It’s a quality, lightweight, well made backpack. Cotopaxi who make it, fund sustainable poverty relief and this bag was made from repurposed or recycled fabrics. Here is more information on what they are about.
If you like writing or drawing on your iPad then I can recommend this screen protector. <- (Amazon link)
It adds just enough friction for the stylus to feel like pencil on paper. I’ve had mine on the iPad Pro for almost a year now and it’s still like new.
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