Fizzer and myself arranged to meet at 06h00 outside my flat in London. The phone call came at 06h15 and I was still asleep. I planned to get up at 05h30 so that I could be nice and ready when Fizzer arrived. That did not happen, my phone ringing at 06h15 woke me up and I was out of the door 10 minutes later with surf board under my arm and ruck sack and sleeping bag on my back. We hit the road and before we knew it we had arrived at Sunnyside camping village in Quintrell Downs, just outside of Newquay. We checked in and setup the tent, we then drove into Newquay. When we saw the sea the excitement was very hard to contain!! There was even some swell coming into Towan Beach (we didn’t know where Fistral was at this stage). We took a quick stop at Tunnel Vision surf shop where Fizzer managed to negotiate almost buying a board and then hiring one for nothing, we also had a chat with the owner and he was a real nice guy with an amazing shop and a nice little selection of boards. We went down to the beach, got into 3/2 wetsuits and jumped into the water. It was at first freezing and I thought maybe it was too cold to surf in, but actually after about 5 minutes it felt fine. This was the first time in the water with my new Dalhberg board and it was cool! The waves were probably too small for it (wave height was 1ft at best) but I got on loads and was happy with that! After the 6 hour drive and getting straight into the water and having nothing to eat, we headed to the Fish and Chip shop, we then headed back to the camp absolutely shattered and decided before heading out for a night on the town we would have a quick rest and get up at about 21h00 and go out. This did not happen, the tiredness with the adrenaline mixed in with some power paddling to get a 6’2 board onto a 1ft wave and only eating a pretty terrible fish and chips completely killed me, Fizzer was also the same as we woke up the next day at about 08h00 (after not much sleep in the night after the returning yobs came back to the campsite and decieded to try and do 20 ‘keepyupies’ with the football, which kept hitting our tent).
Surf capital Newquay –
The next day Fizzer’s buddy Davey came down from Wales. He is a long time surfer. We headed back down to Newquay where Fizzer bought a brand new locally shaped 7ft shortboard mal type thing which he is very happy with –
We headed to Fistral beach in the morning to find a decreasing swell. This was pretty much going to happen it was forecasted so we did not feel too down. I felt pretty stupid walking out there with a shortboard at first as everyone else was ridding either mals or in Fizzer and Davey’s case 7ft boards. That feeling passed when I managed to get a few lefties. The surf didn’t last very long because it was getting too pathetic so we went on a little beach recon mission for next time. We visited lots of beaches on the coast including St. Agnes (heart of the badlands), Perranporth and Sennen which is right on the tip of the South West. We then had a look at Lands End, the furthest SW point on mainland England. That night we had burgers and sausages on the BBQ and headed out into town for a quick beer. Here’s Davey and Fizzer in the car park at Fistral beach, ready to head down and RIP IT UP in that 0.5ft surf –
Monday and we thought we’d head back down to Sennan in the hopes of a little wave, there was only wind swell so we hired some soft boards and had some fun on them. The sea was so calm I did not bother with a wetsuit!!! We then did the 6 hour drive back to London, a superb weekend and some real potential for some killer surfing in the UK at some beautiful locations when there’s some bigger waves 🙂 Back to the WAM forecasts….
Here’s a little video with some highlights from the trip, it also includes a bit of Billy Corgan’s new album TheFutureEmbrace, if you like it buy the album……
Fizzer and Davey reckon they can see a 3ft set coming in –
Darkisly purpley blue with arrows all over the place.
I have surfboard, tent, sleeping bag, transport, campsite and attitude….all we need now is a wave, which is looking a little bit dodgy. There is no low pressure over the Atlantic this weekend, its all high and is making the weather in London about 30 degrees day in day out (which I can’t complain about really). Here is the group I work in. Mark, Matt, Dave and myself looking very corporate (maybe not Dave) on the roof of our building –
And here is the view of ‘The City of London’ from the roof of the building
The rocket shaped building in the middle is the Swiss Re Tower. The outdoor window cleaning device does not work because the two beams that the window cleaner robot is connected to are independent and are effected by winds that make the building move. A design flaw if ever I heard one. The building to the right of that is Tower 42, the tallest building in the City of London (not London as a whole). To the left of that the weird inside out looking building is Lloyds of London.
Rock on the weekend!!!!!
Billy Corgan, who has completed work on his debut solo album ‘TheFutureEmbrace’ has taken out a full page advert in the Chicago Tribune newspaper where he said “his heart” remains with his old band.
He wrote: “When I played the final Smashing Pumpkins show on the night of December 2, 2000, I walked off the stage believing that I was forever leaving a piece of my life behind. I naively tried to start a new band, but found that my heart wasn’t in it. I moved away to pursue a love that I once had but got lost. SO I moved back home to heal what was broken in me, and to my surprise I found what I was looking or. I found that my heart is in Chicago, and that my heart is in the Smashing Pumpkins.
”For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams. In this desire I feel I have come home again.”
Hurray!! I love the Smashing Pumpkins!!
Thanks to Down the Line Surf shop I now have a surfboard for Europe and I have the one I want (or very similar)!! I can really recommend Down the Line the guy on the other end of the telephone was actually pretty nice and helpful and not demeaning like those people at Dripping Wet Surf Shop in Australia or the indecisive ‘rent this guy a surfboard/tell him he can’t then offer to rent it to him for nothing’ at Storm Surf Shop, Tofino, Canada. –
6’2″ – 18 3/8 – 2 5/16
I do feel like I am cheating on my girlfriend’s younger sister though, although I will be back with her before she knows it ;). Talking of Australia, the weather here is very Australian like, it was 33.5 degrees today in London and 15 degrees in Sydney, that doesn’t happen very often!
My buddy Matt and I headed down to The Forum after work on Wednesday. We got there late for the door opening but it didn’t matter because Bill and Co. didn’t start until 21h15. I met up another one of my Smashing Pumpkin/Zwan/Billy Corgan friends Grant inside, who took this photo the next day (and also got BC to sign some of his stuff) –
Billy Corgan with Linda Strawberry (Copyright © Grant)
The show went down well, some of the songs are really good, some are not as good. I am not a fan of the drumming on the album, I like the sound of JC’s drumming style. It is ashame BC doesn’t have JC in his touring band. My favourite song at the moment is The CameraEye it really rules. The did To Love Somebody at the gig and Robert Smith was in the audience. Shame he didn’t come on stage to sing along.
Linda Strawberry (Bill’s keyboardist) wrote on her journal that she got a pep talk about how London shows are usually difficult. I agree with that after seeing how much more Billy seemed chilled out at the Paradiso show in Amsterdam for Zwan compared to the London Zwan show.
On the surfing front my Dahlberg Occy Roundtail has arrived!!!! It looks real nice and today I got some stickers for it and ‘cool water’ wax. This weekend is a real burner and I have spent it in smelly down town London (it really does smell bad Charmaine wasn’t joking when she said I would notice that London is pretty dirty compared to Sydney) its 30 degs this weekend and there’s a low pressure system heading onto the West Coast which is the size of the country which is no doubt making some nice little waves. Here’s a chart (green is 12ft, blue is 5ft and purple is no waves at all) –
I’ll do a comparison one next week, the current prediction shows some more low pressure coming in but not as big, which might be ok for the first time out.
If you’ve arrived here hoping to see Paris Hilton naked, I am very sorry to disappoint you but you won’t find what you are looking for, it’s not my fault that you arrived here neither, so sorry.
I recently noticed that the usage logs for the homepage of g2007.com had gone crazy, from the average 30 or so a day to just under 300 –
I thought maybe it was something to do with the recent include of the website on the Google Directory listed as ‘Life and times of Gary as he travels around the world and does things’ (nice one Google), but no, after checking the server logs something far more sinister was at work –
That’s right, for the past week or so it appears that if you do a search for ‘paris hilton naked‘ or ‘naked paris hilton‘ at google images http://g2007.com/blog/gary is the number one result providing you use the default moderated image result setting. The page where the image appears is available here, from where you can follow the rest of the story.
Back in London town once again. This is definetly full circle for sure now as I left the flat I live in around the corner about 15 months and 2 weeks ago. I am staying at my friend (and boss’) house in Shad Thames with their little baby Felix who is very nice and smiles when you look at him!
The good news is the SURF UK IS ON! I have purchased a surfboard, a 6’2,18 3/8, 2 5/16 Rodney Dahlberg Occy Roundtail, a shaper I am happy with and know is reliable. I spoke with a guy at Down the Line
surfshop who recommended me the board. I was apprehensive at first as I called for a 6’4 but they did not have any and weren’t expecting one for about 2 months. I told him my experience and weight and he recommended with the 6’2″ which will hopefully be a bit quicker in the water.
Here is a London landmark basked in glorious sunshine –
This is Shad Thames a nice little place with lots of places to eat and as Fizzer would put it, people with enema’s on their backsides –
I did some shopping down town for some very needed jeans, I ended up getting Sprout Surf DVD, Jack Johnson Single, Billy Corgan Single and a new work shirt. London is too expensive and its very easy to spend lots of money which is very annoying!! I still think Tokyo shopping is better…and more fun!!
Here is shopping central Piccadilly Circus, the only comparable part of London to Tokyo –
That is it for now….
I have pretended that I am a tourist in my own home town. It’s pretty good fun actually, you see a side to the town that you don’t see as a local. Here is the supposed birthplace of Willian Shakespeare –
Shakespeare was a playwright and poet from the 16th century. More information can be found about him here.
I went on the Stratford tour bus for free as my mum does the talking on the bus, here she is telling everyone about Shakespeare and the town –
Startford is also pretty popular with swans, a few years back there weren’t any in the town because the river was so filthy. They drained it with some machine and got rid of all the junk and now the swans have come back. Here are some baby swans, which are correctly referred to as Cygnets. –
On Thursday night I went out for a couple of cold beers with some of the guys. It was a long time since I saw the guys so it was pretty funny Jon, Si, Gin, Al, Kim, Neil, Barts and a few others were out. Kim says he preffered the ‘computer brewer’ when I had short hair. Here are Kim, Gin and Al sitting outside of the One Elm on a beautiful evening –
British Booze Culture
Later that night we went to a few other bars and Kim used a technique that he developed in the Congo and Amazon to entice Monkeys out of the trees but in town he used it to try and entice the ladies, sadly it didn’t work. We then saw the violence of Stratford-upon-Avon in full swing and the police roll up and execute some kind of zero tolerence policy. We went out the night after and saw this happen again, actually we were a bit too close for comfort the second time and I thought we were going to get restrained and arrested ourselves. I tried to take a picture on my phone and was told by some people (who I knew but didn’t recognise at first) that this was not happy slapping (a new disturbing craze in England).
So yes its time for a video!!! Here is some of the action from Thursday night, it contains Kim’s Congo whistle, police bust (which is similar to the one in Kings Cross Australia (see bottom of page) – funny how Gin is in both of these videos even though they were made 16000km apart) and a disturbing insight into what happens when you have a digital camera, a lot of alcohol and a shopping market that fails to implement the ‘one in front’ scheme. –
On a surfing note (as there always is one) The Independent Traveller has a feature by Alex James about a surf trip to Monte Velho, Portugal for £380 for three nights which includes flights, accomdation and four day car hire, details of the package are here, anyone interested in doing this or something similar in the summer?
Well that is it for Stratford-upon-Avon, next stop London, England….