For Rob

One key thing that was an amazing constant throughout the Lucozade Challenges was that no matter what far flung corner of the world we found ourselves in, we always had an awesome, local guide to train us and look after us.

For the last challenge, yacht-racing in the Caribbean, we had this guy, Rob Brinkworth.

An Englishman through and through, Rob took great pride in telling us about the Stars and Stripes yacht we were to race, he’d been looking after the boats themselves for years. In the short time we spent on St Maarten, Rob educated us all in the ways of the 12-metre challenge, he made us feel confident enough to handle this multi-million dollar winner of a vessel and at the same time made sure that we respected his word and his skill as a fine seafaring yachtsman.

A fantastic teacher, I remember Rob expressing to us at the end of the week how much he had really enjoyed coaching us all in the science behind sailing and reminisced about his days as an instructor educating school teachers on how to sail, preparing them for a Summer of PGL (a UK institution set up for children to take part in activity courses, such as sailing). He had rediscovered his love of sharing knowledge and, as we left St Maarten at the end of the week, I sensed that maybe there might be change in his future.

Sadly, Rob died last week.

Struck down by an aggressive illness, his life was cut short before he could put any such plans into action.

I heard the news late yesterday afternoon. Al, one of the winners from the challenge, had stayed in touch with Rob after we left. After he told me I immediately started trawling through my files… The following video is put together from all the footage I took while under his tutelage.

Rob, this is for you mate:

While waiting for the video to export, I checked through my notes to clarify a few dates and I found this entry, the last one I made before we left the Caribbean –

Moleskine entry: September 16th, 2009

Race Day

“Later at the bar that evening, Rob tells us that today’s race was kind of a big deal for him. The night before he had called a meeting between our crew, the opposing crew and the race judge. They all agreed that the race today would be ‘for real’.
You see they race these boats day in and day out and could’ve quite easily made some decisions (that wouldn’t have been obvious to us), that meant they would’ve handed us the race. Rob, having trained us all week and seen how we respected the skill and the effort that went into it, insisted that this would be the case.

He told the rest of the staff that the race was to be exactly that.
No fudging it for anyone.

“Throw everything you’ve got at us.” he told them “Try and thrash us. If you do, it’ll be their fault. If you don’t, well then.. they’re awesome. Either way, these guys will not appreciate being handed the race and will know if you do…”

Wow. What a guy. I for one am very glad he called it like that because, come the finish line, yes we came second – a very close second in fact. But boy did we earn it.”

Good luck Rob, wherever you are.
Your friends, old and new, remember you well.

Operation Concrete

Operation Concrete, at its core, is a collaborative media project. It brings together the aesthetic and audio qualities of art and music around the power of the written word to provide the viewer, listener, reader, with a complete experience.

Operation Concrete is also, at its core, a fantastic experiment by good friend of mine, Rich Galbraith. I guess I’ve known Rich properly now since September last year when he was part of the team that ran the Nokia OpenLab event in Helsinki that I spoke at. Back then he was telling me about Concrete Operational, the book behind the project…

Germany Germany, a man who was free, a man who loved, now an instrument in their machine. They have turned him into the very thing he hates, what he and everyone he loved fought against, the world’s greatest celebrity, a tool in the subjugation of man.

.

But the memories of freedom and love remain, and he will fight and change the course of human history for the better, but at what end?

.

As humanity progresses and turns to face the eternal black of the universe, the questions of free will and fate, of love and peace, of the riddles of time itself will arise and Germany will be called upon. But is his will strong enough, his his mind ready to breach the void and provide us with salvation?

All of this aside, Rich is great guy and when he invited me to the launch party of the exhibition as a whole, I was over the moon. Alas, I will be out of the country that night and am unable to make it along.

However, I am in the country RIGHT NOW and fortunately enough, so is Rich. I caught up with him at lunchtime earlier today so he could tell me more – what I didn’t know, was that Rich had had the first of the limited set of project boxes made up with him…

It’s very nice… and I want one.

If you’re free this coming Thursday, November 26th. Get yourself along to Vibe Bar on Brick Lane in London’s Shoreditch from about 8pm onwards. Rich will be on hand to tell you all about the book, the bands and the art…

Be there.

Sounds of the Underground

My small obsession with all things London Underground continues unabated with this video pulled together of different shots I’ve taken in and around our fair public transport system.

I love it, I really do.

There’s so much interesting architecture to photograph and shoot that one can easily get quite carried away. Originally I intended just to make this video a bit like a scrap book; it’s ‘pages’ made up of all the out-takes and un-used footage that I’ve taken so far this month. But when I found the stuff with my old friend Basti, I had to whack it on the end.

Yes the audio is out of sync. It’s supposed to be. If you ever meet Basti, you will know that he operates on his own planet, in his own dimension, running by his own rules.

Time and space and all that jazz work around him, not the other way ’round.

πŸ˜‰

Team Awesome Christmas

Last night at the Team Awesome Christmas Dinner (no, really), Will decided to test out the camera on my N900. Alas – as is the case with most of my phones at the moment – it was already set to video mode…

The good news is, the end result was a rather impromptu entry for the NaVloPoMo πŸ™‚
(and uploaded just in time too)

Just Qik-ly…

This evening I attended the Nokia N900 meetup event in London town and, with my very own brand new Nokia N900, I managed to get a Qik video stream of the demo they gave…

It’s a bit dark and there’s no fancy intro, but I have no time to clean it up so I’m just going to throw it up raw.

The TV screen is a live TV-out from the device itself and the UI really is that smooth.

I’ll probably write up a bigger review for The Really Mobile Project at some point but in the meantime, I guess this is my vlomo09 entry…

Cheers.