8 November 2014

Finally got up about 09:00, straight to breakfast and then painting. The skirting boards in kitchen and lounge, and the lounge cupboard doors. Soup for lunch then a snooze. Afterwards, fitted the double glazing film to the bedroom and bathroom windows, leaving the small window in each so that we can open at least a bit. Completely killed the draught and no condensation. We finally had everything tidied away again by about 19:00.

In between installed Yosemite. Hopefully it will fix the sleep/wake issues I’m still getting despite replacing the MacBook Pro.

Really liking having a log stove, at least while on weekends here. Reminds me of our old lounge when I grew up – the smell, the little fire maintenance tasks, the unique heat they give. Put some chimney clearing powder stuff on which we found behind the stove. Woo, blue flames! Bought some glass cleaner online.

Watched a little Gardners’ World – I like Monty’s dog, Nigel, best – and then some online videos, and then a little more of the Lego Movie.

Tired all day, catching up from the surf trip.

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5 November 2014

Back from Croyde after a very smooth drive home, fireworks going off in towns along the A361, M5, A303 and A34. Good to drive my car proper distances, 350 miles in all. R was marking history papers on and off and we had good music playing. The miles fell away and nearly three hours before we first stopped, near Andover. The 2003 Bora tdi got 55 mpg at national speed limits.

Found my joy of surfing once again when I bought a bodyboard. Before that, when playing on the inside, shooting along the waves without standing, things are quicker there, more vital, the water inches from the face. So after a couple of years deliberating (am I giving up?) I bought a new board, a grey topped yellow Science Mini Rig, not so mini at 42.5 cm. from Tiki in Braunton. Viper fins were the ones that fitted me best. Tiki leash (free) and socks for now. Strange to see a screwdriver piercing the soft flesh of a brand new ride. Also got a Tiki travel bag which they gave a big discount on. Sorted.

Back at the break soon after and it was a world of difference. No longer caught inside Croyde’s relentless white walls, a few rudimentary duck dives, some strong kicking and there I was out back on a five foot day, surprising R with my presence.

I had to wait around a bit for some fin cramp to release, helped by slipping them off and back on, and then I was in action. The steep faces of the waves no longer daunting, a few quick kicks and I was scooting diagonally down at great speed, surprised again to be skimming over the surface rather than part immersed in a boiling cauldron of white. Instinctively I leaned into the face instead of flying too far in front. Then, having too much fun, I forgot to let go to get back behind the wave, and pushed into the shallows, carried so fast, almost sideways.

On that one wave the surf trip was transformed. I flopped about in the small waves a silly grin on my face and belly giggling. More! It was toward sunset at the end of our Tuesday/Wednesday weekend though, so only time for a few more fast ones, but content to leave it there, the spark reignited, the bug recaught. It felt good on that Mike Stewart board, submerged in the mighty ocean, the end of the day glow between Lundy and Hartland.

I’ve heard of skiing to your door but this was surfing to our door, the high tide only meters from the steps to the Atlantic apartment. When not surfing we’d enjoyed the direct views across the beach, the famous Croyde Bay. We also had a front row seat to the annual removal of the lifeguard hut:

Croyde Lifeguard hut dismantled

And of course after each session the hot tub and sauna! Such a treat to be able to warm the body through to the bones and relax in that post surf glow, soon to be joined by friends. We can’t afford the flats high season but in the off-season there’s no place better. Ridiculous views from that jacuzzi, world class.

So the Science is rinsed, the wetsuit washed and dripping dripping into the bath, and my body feels good after the all over workout that is surfing. I’ll be keeping my magic carpet board for the smaller days but I now feel like a bodyboarder.

Scrap book: Azores Surf Trip

October 2006 found Derek, Francisco and I far into the Atlantic in the Azores. The conditions weren’t the easiest. The main beach on the north coast had huge rollers preventing us from paddling out:

So we sought shelter, finding a secret spot along the coast. Probably not a secret, just a half-hour hike down the cliff (and a killer post-surf climb back up). Derek made the most of the seclusion:

Overall I found it a strange island, often misted up, and away from the towns very rustic. On one tour we ran into these fellows:

Scrap Book: Tunnel Visions

Five years ago, April 2006, we were regularly heading to Croyde Bay to surf. Francisco, Trevor and I had just bought identical sized mini mals from Tunnel Vision in Newquay. Doug had his new bodyboards. Things change and we haven’t been to Croyde in a long while, and none of us have these boards any more. Trevor is back in the UK having been in Australia a few years, Francisco is in California and Doug is probably moving on in the summer. I was surprised to hear you can surf in Italy. Croyde was never really good for us, usually huge walls of white. It was only when we headed round to Putsborough that our surfing picked up. There’s talk today of a reunion session next month…

Scrap Book: Mexico Weekend Surf Trip 2006

While staying in California three of us took a weekend surf trip down to Mexico. The first night we stayed in the crappiest campsite, a car park basically, just somewhere to sleep before heading further south:

We drove all the next morning in the intrepid VW. The sign says ‘What have you got to risk?’

After a crazy bumpy track we arrived at the crazy bumpy Campo 4 Casas hostel, right on the cliff over the surf spot:

We surfed that afternoon and next morning we headed back north, looking for a sweet spot:

With armed checkpoints:

We piled back over the border late on Sunday all Mexico’d up

110227 Yogi/Surfer’s Path

Back to the yoga with a delicious Sivananda session first thing. That routine really ticks all the boxes for me. This morning I was really feeling the sickness of the last couple of weeks and breathing with it. I felt energised and relaxed through the day, even though health hasn’t fully returned. Spending an hour or more on the mat is different from any other activity. Changes happen, things are learnt, just by gently watching and stretching.

Surfer’s Path magazine is full of wonderful images. Here are a few from the March/April edition that just arrived, as two surfer friends come to Europe for a visit from California:

Random Photo – Custard Point Mini Mal

So I am missing posting a daily photo already, so I’m going to select one from iPhoto most days.

The first random photo is my very first surfboard, a Custard Point Mini Mal bought in 2002. Back then, Custard Point boards were made by hand in Newquay, but now, like many, are Made In China. I really liked the colours of this board, and it was a great size and shape for my introduction to surfing. I sold it when I moved back to Hampshire and thought I was quitting surfing. I don’t think you can ever quit surfing once you have enjoyed the thrill of a wave. I rode this mainly at Widemouth Bay, my old local spot.

13 January 2011

“I desire therefore I am” would be more accurate than “I think therefore I am.”

David Bohm

Read an article with highlighted quotes from a Pilger-Assange interview:

And despite the pressure the website has been under, reports of trouble at WikiLeaks are greatly exaggerated, he claims.

“There is no ‘fall’. We have never published as much as we are now. WikiLeaks is now mirrored on more than 2,000 websites. I can’t keep track of the spin-off sites – those who are doing their own WikiLeaks . . . If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, ‘insurance’ files will be released.”

The contents of these files are unknown, but, according to Assange, “They speak more of the same truth to power.” It is not just government that should be worried about the content of these files, however. “There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp,” he says.

The attempts by Washington to indict him should worry the mainstream press, he adds.

“I think what’s emerging in the mainstream media is the awareness that if I can be indicted, other journalists can, too,” Assange says. “Even the New York Times is worried. This used not to be the case. If a whistleblower was prosecuted, publishers and reporters were protected by the First Amendment, which journalists took for granted. That’s being lost.”

Read an article about the late surfer Andy Irons’ hectic life:

Whatever treatment Andy received, John Irons says it helped. “Did it change his life? Yes. He was amped to get back on the tour. He was refocused and ready to go.”

Kelly Slater recalls a conversation with Irons from around 2007. “A couple of years ago, he had an awakening in his life about things,” says Slater. “We had one real deep talk. He said how excited he was to be feeling everything—to be feeling his emotions and understanding them. For him, that was a new lease on his life.”

BUT IF IRONS WAS ON an uptick in 2007, it didn’t last. His erratic behavior returned in September 2008, when he went missing during a World Tour contest in France. He surfed badly in one heat and then failed to show up for the next. He finished the year 13th overall but decided not to compete in 2009. “We encouraged Andy to take a year off,” says Billa­bong’s Naude, “because he had lost the desire to be on the tour.”

Irons told friends that he’d almost been dropped by Billabong. According to Mike Reola, a friend and co-founder of the clothing company Lost, Irons said that “everyone at Billabong wanted me gone when I was off tour” and that “Paul Naude was the only one who fought for me.” Irons also told friends that he took a substantial pay cut.

His wife has blocked the release of the toxicology report for six months.

Back to work after a week in the Lake District. Wading through a thick inbox this morning, and this afternoon finishing off the last of the K/Bohm dialogues from 1975. This final conversation is about desire being the root of the self, and how we desire to be free of desire once we see the relentless problems it causes.

The introduction of the shoulder stand on day 13 of the 28-day yoga course. Put a shoulder stand in a yoga sequence and it will change everything. A very subtle yet powerful effect. I look forward to practising more. I’m coming back to full health now.

C found a place to live in Alresford, looks like. It’s sharing, but with someone who is working in London weekdays. We enjoyed a snooping session on Google Maps, looking for the house numbers on dustbins, ahead of a real visit on Saturday.

The WordPress postaday2011 topic for today is: What are you looking forward to this year?

– a bit of surfing
– a lot of yoga
– some long walks
– space
– skiing?
– reorganising the flat
– a new bathroom
– healthy health
– My brother’s wedding

Get closer to your favourite film stars – surf in their shit

Peer deeply into the pristine ocean and you will see it is murky and grey. Waft aside the plastic bags floating past at Paradise Cove, wade into the ocean at Surfrider Beach, and you may glimpse traces of the matter that has gripped the coastal community: the effluent of the affluent.

At Broad Beach, whose beachfront homes have housed the likes of Redford, Spielberg, De Niro, DeVito and Stallone, workers struggle to erect a barrier to stop the might of the Pacific Ocean carrying off the contents of their septic tanks. For in the twin capital of detox and Botox, whose inhabitants are so removed from humanity’s grubby charm as to represent a distinct life form, one bodily function remains to be conquered: defecation.

via Why septic tanks are a washout in Malibu | From the Guardian | The Guardian.