Pauline and I went for a swim yesterday. I was massively reluctant to go. There was a freezing wind coming out of the east; the sea temperature is 8.5°C; there were waves that made swimming hopeless; the tide was out so we had to walk for ages till we got anywhere deep, BUT, as always, once you’re in, it’s lovely.
A small nugget of info. In U&F, the fictional town of Almacena is based on a real-life town called Olvera, in Cadiz, Andalucia. I was living there when I first got the idea for U&F, and the town became the main location for the story. I follow a couple of Facebook pages about the place, and today I saw that town has just appeared on a Spanish stamp celebrating rural tourism. In fact, it’s become the “Capital del Turismo Rural 2021”.
If you have a great memory for detail, maybe you can recall Underwood stashing a bag of clothes in the rocky seat of the castle? Well, you can see both rocky seat, and castle, in the pic (the building at the highest point). While fictional places like La Reina de Corazones and the restaurant Gerald referred to as “The Blazing Sausage” were loosely based on a bar and restaurant in the foreground area of the pic at at the bottom. In reality, there were no British pubs in the town, at least when I was there, I made that bit up based on the kind of places you find on the coast.
If you’d like a closer look at the place, here’s a recent YouTube video (07:41 length). It’s in Spanish, but you can always choose subtitles, or just look at the imagery: https://youtu.be/7h_PaDS1Zg4
Since last October I’ve been going sea swimming. I wasn’t keen at first, but my wife started going last summer and was forever singing its praises, so I figured I’d give it a go. At first, it was (predictably) hard to take. I could only stay in for about three minutes before I came scurrying out, desperate to get towelled off and into some warm clothes. However, I persevered, and now I’m a fully-fledged convert. We go in around four times a week, and on the days we don’t, it’s cold showers or cold baths, just so we don’t get lax when it comes to going into the cold.
And speaking of going into the cold, my newfound interest in sea swimming led me down a YouTube rabbit hole that led me to one Wim Hof. Maybe you’ve heard of him. I won’t spend ages writing all about him here, but in a nutshell, he’s a guy who strongly advocates regular exposure to cold as a health benefit. He’s a fascinating character, and can count me as one of his many fans. I’m currently reading his book, The Wim Hof Method. I recommend it. You don’t need to have a sea on hand to do his thing, a cold shower a day will do the trick just as well. Give it a go. You’ll like it … eventually 😁
“I say! What a splendid t-shirt!” … is what Underwood might say if he saw any of these items of U&F merch available at my Redbubble store. This design is “UF Classic Book Cover“, based on MJ Hahn’s cover for the 2012 edition of the Underwood and Flinch novel. It’s one of several designs you can find at Redbubble, and these garments are just a few of the tons of items you can find. Hats, bags, shirts, hoodies, bedspreads, shower curtains, button badges (mustn’t forget the badges), there’s something for everyone. So check it out, and get yourself a U&F themed present today – you’re worth it 🙂
The 12th episode of Season 3 of U&F Underground is now live in your podcast feed (subscription links below). This time, DI Redmond and DS Larry Beck visit the crime scene of a murder we witnessed earlier in the story. We also meet some new characters, including Claire’s boss, DCS Coleridge.
Episode 11 of Season 3 of the Underwood and Flinch podcast is now live in your apps, ladies and gentlemen. If you’re not subscribed to the podcast, you can do so using one of the buttons below. Enjoy 🧛🏼♂️
Happy New Year! Went for a swim this morning with Pauline and a friend. We’re getting used to it now so it wasn’t unpleasantly cold, in fact, it felt very nice once we were over the initial waves-slapping-the family jewels-and-tummy bit. Afterwards, we warmed up with cups of chai, and our friend brought some homemade biscuits. A great start to the day.
In other news, U&F S3 Episode 9 is now live in your podcast feed. If you aren’t subscribed yet, click on one of the buttons below and get stuck in. And here’s to plenty more (podcast) bloodletting in 2022! Huzzah!!!
Hey, being that this is the festive season and you may find yourself overcome with the spirit of giving, consider dropping by my tip jar at Ko-Fi and leaving a little something for your favourite podcaster (or me, even). All contributions are greatly appreciated 🎅🏼
The ninth episode of U&F Legion is now live exclusively at my Patreon page. Legion is the main story that follows on from U&F Underground. If you’d like to join me at Patreon, my advice is to wait until the start of next month, because Patreon charge you when you sign up for the month you sign up in, and then again at the start of every month thereafter.
The U&F podcast series is available at the US$3 pledge level. Yes, just $3 (or your local currency equivalent) for over 70 U&F podcasts, plus exclusive news podcasts and various other ditties. So make a note in your new 2022 diary to become a patron of mine on January 1st. You know you need it 😁