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September, 2014

A very landlocked birthday

By September 24, 2014 Thoughts
You know you're a surfer when you get surf birthday cards and related presents

You know you’re a surfer when you get surf birthday cards and related presents

Today, I’m celebrating my birthday. I would love to be in the sea but, having a midweek birthday when everyone is at work (including myself) has made it impossible this year to get to the coast.

Since taking up surfing, I try and do something on my birthday that kind of relates somehow. Last year, I went to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham with my best friend. This year, I have got two new surf DVDs to watch which I will be settling down with later. I don’t know anything about them but they both feature some amazing surfers, such as Tom Curren, Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater and John John Florence.

I had been hoping to catch up with the latest stop on the ASP world tour, but a lay day has been called, so it’s something to look forward to tomorrow.

I have been amazed at the number of messages I have had today – not just from my friends and family, but from the surfing community too. My favourite is by far the one from my fab Twitter friend @seasidedolly who sent me a pic of Kelly Slater’s bum! Very thoughtful and funny :)

I have also had a lovely present from my landlocked surf friend – a fab memento of Mawgan Porth and a gorgeous bracelet courtesy of Cornish jeweller Disco Beads! Even my birthday cards this year have had a distinct surf feel too them – from the amazing artwork of  Claire Britcliffe to an iconic big wave scene from my mum. My friends and family know me so well!

But its next weekend when I’m really going to celebrate with some surf related activities. I’m trying stand up paddle boarding for the first time and, I’m stoked to be attending The Wave’s screening of ‘Beyond Sight’, the story of blind surfer Derek Rabelo and his mission to surf the notorious (and dangerous ) Pipeline in Hawaii. It’s funny, because both of these events will be taking place in landlocked locations!

In a couple of years, I have got a big birthday to celebrate, and I’m thankful that it’s on a Saturday! No prizes for guessing where I will be and what I will be doing 😉


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By September 17, 2014 Escape, Thoughts

I’m feeling truly blessed after an amazing weekend in Cornwall to celebrate the wedding of one of my fellow landlocked surf friends.

I have only known my friend for a few months, so I was stoked and honoured to be invited to share her special day. It really was a wedding with a difference and the amount of detail and thought that went into it was truly amazing. The whole thing reflected the happy couple’s love for Cornwall, and the bride’s passion for surfing.

Wedding collage 2

The detail

Following a blessing and vow reading on Mawgan Porth beach, it was back to the rustic and perfect setting of Retorick Mill for an informal reception. It’s a favourite of the bride and groom and the marquee and barn areas were decked out in fairy lights, bunting, and surfboard shaped display boards. There were sweets and ice cream (courtesy of a Roskilly’s ice cream trike), and the most amazing afternoon tea with locally sourced produce thanks to Scott the chef from The Park in Mawgan Porth.

Wedding collage

That’s entertainment

Bude-based band, The Claze treated us to 2 hours of acoustic covers. I sat transfixed as they sang song after song injected with some hilarious moments (their announcement of afternoon tea and the speeches were priceless and I wish I had recorded them!). But it was the first dance, a beautiful, spine tingling rendition of the Foo Fighters’ ‘Times Like These’ which reduced me to tears.

Those tears of happiness were soon swapped for tears of laughter when it was time for the guests to try their hand at surfing. Not the real thing (although a very close second) , but a surf simulator. Think bucking bronco..but with a surfboard. Needless to say the kids were brilliant, the adults less so and there were some hilarious results. Ranging from lasting only 2 seconds or unable to even stand up on the board in the first place…I won’t mention any names 😉

By night fall, there was even more gorgeous food, the second band, Rudi’s Message were in full flow with their ska hits and Retorick Mill was ablaze with fairy lights, candlights and a huge firepit. There were blankets and marshmallows, and a sound system which took the guests into the early hours.

Kirsty and KellyThe aloha spirit

Words and pictures alone can’t even begin to capture the amount of love, laughter, joy and emotion of that day. The aloha spirit was well and truly alive and the next day, the bride shared her love of surfing with some of the guests through surf lessons with KingSurf. It took me back to my first lesson with those guys and the sounds of whopping, laughter and hollering, and the sights of plenty of shakas been thrown around was amazing. Me and my hubby joined them and got some really sweet rides which I captured on my Contour Roam.

No words

This amazing celebration of love was truly one of the best days of my life, the kind you want to bottle and keep, and I don’t know how to thank the bride and groom enough for inviting me to share it with them.

So, Kelly and Carl, I simply say ‘mahalo’, Hawaian for thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respects. It’s a beautiful word and to me, with its many meanings, says so much more than thank you.

I wish you both a wonderful future together and many more happy times in your favourite place in the world :)

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Last days of summer

By September 6, 2014 Thoughts
Chapel Porth sunset - image courtesy of Philip Male via Flickr cc (CC BY)

Chapel Porth sunset – image courtesy of Philip Male via Flickr cc (CC BY)

I have had some fantastic surf sessions over the past few months, despite an injured shoulder and prolonged flat spells. I have enjoyed beautiful sunshine, long hot days, surfing with friends and post-surf ice creams!

But now the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling, and despite the warm weather over the past few days, there’s a definite hint of Autumn in the air. I love these 3 months leading up to Christmas. Despite the dark nights and mornings, frosts and generally crap weather, I look forward to my birthday, Halloween, Bonfire Night, my wedding anniversary, and Christmas. But since I started surfing, I love Autumn even more.

Autumn collage

Top left image – ‘Autumn…’ courtesy of cadillacdeville2000 via Flickr (CC BY) –

Yes, the sea is a lot cooler, but the beaches are a lot quieter and the conditions are better. We can wave a temporary goodbye to flat days, and say hello to some of the best surfing that the UK has to offer. And with a good winter wetsuit, thermal rash vest, boots, gloves and a hood (for when it’s really cold), there’s no reason not to stay in for as long as we do in the summer months.

There’s also nothing more satisfying after an Autumn/Winter surf than a hot bath, hot chocolate and a thaw out in front of a fire.

But some remnants of summer remain and next weekend, I’m off to Cornwall to celebrate my landlocked surf friend’s wedding. There will be a beach ceremony, surfing, ice cream, heaps of laughs and loads of fun. It’s the perfect end to the summer and I can’t wait!!

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