This weekend I swapped the board for a horse and a farm as we set out for North Yorkshire. Yorkshire is about five hours drive North of London so it is a bit like driving to Cornwall but in a different direction (and on a much better road). I loaded the board into the car and the winter wetsuit just in case there was some time to head over to Cayton or Whitby for a Northern surf. I forgot the clocks went back an hour on Sunday so there was not time to do that in the end.
We stayed at Betty and David’s house with my parents and took a tour of North Yorkshire. I was extremely impressed by the ‘Honesty Box Parking’ at Masham where you could put 50p in for parking the car. It beats the £3 that you have to pay for parking at beaches –
Honesty is the name of the game
For lunch on the first day we went to a tea rooms where we had lovely food, I had the bacon and banana sandwich which was pretty mental but also quite nice –
Bacon and Banana Sandwiches!
We visited The Forbidden Corner which is a cool maze type place where you have to find your way around based on clues and also a drive around the Yorkshire Dales which are very pretty.
On the Sunday we had a ride on the old horse, here I am on it with the horse kindly being held by David –
Amateur Horse Rider
A lovely northern weekend!
And it will only get colder from here on in. The Global Surfari Surf Report was putting out 3ft waves with hardly any wind but short periods for the weekend. So it was with a 50/50 decision that we headed to the Welsh capital of Cardiff for an extended surf weekend where Davey was kind enough to put us up at his house.
As it is the end of October, the water is now beginning to cool down to a lovely 13.5C so I also got to buy a new wetsuit! I got the same one as Fizzer (but in a different colour) the Ripcurl Ultimate Fireskin 5mm, some booties, billabong gloves and a hoodie which I can choose to wear and not to wear depending upon my bravado.
We drove to Rhossili Bay late in the afternoon to hit the waves in my new wetsuit, didn’t really catch much because it was getting too dark and I was getting used to my new wetsuit, managed to get some cool photos though –
Fizzer (right), me (left) Heading Out (late)
Surfing isn’t all fast paced and about getting smashed around by a violent angry ocean in sometimes freezing cold seas. You only have to look at the amazing scenery in this picture to see that. I am pretty sure it is more than just a sport, looking around at the ocean, sky and coastline from the sanctity of the line is very peaceful and meditating and maybe explains why closing my eyes after a surf session I can still see the waves on the insides of my eyelids. There’s a thousand surf DVDs you can buy that will tell you the same!
We stayed in for as long as the sun would allow us. I could tell it was time to come out when I got hit in the face by a wave that I could not actually see because it was too dark! We then had to find our way back to the cars without any lights whatsoever, but it was so nice and snug in the new suit that I didn’t mind.
Another cool shot
And to get a sense of temperature difference between England and Australia surfing I give you this comparison –
13.5 degree C water – South Wales, United Kingdom
24 degree C water – New South Wales, Australia
I know which one I prefer! Can you guess which?
The next day I decided the water was still far too warm for a 5mm so I went back to my trusty 3/2 and wore the hoodie for good measure. This was a big mistake, I got some real nice waves at the beginning of the session but then ended up just sitting out back trying to get the strength and heat back inside me to attempt to ride some more waves. Eventually I realised that I was too tired and too cold to catch any more waves and should have gone with the 5mm! Nevermind! Here is a picture of all of us with ‘Big Blue’ the special board –
Davey, Andy, Big Blue, me and Faiser Chief
We retired to the excellent Kings Head Hotel in Llangenith for drinks and then headed back to Davey’s house for an excellent spag bowl and watched surf DVDs and films before passing out after what was a fantastic but cold surf weekend on the Gower, Wales!
On the way book I took a little de-tour to check out Stonehenge, somewhere I had not seem before (that I can remember). It is funny because from the pictures it looks like it is in the middle of nowhere. When it is actually no more than 20 metres from a major road, which probably isn’t very kind to the site considering the stones were put there approximately 5000 years ago –
Cold, Windy and Wet Stonehenge
If you use Windows XP, click here for a much more summery version, courtesy of Microsoft.
Well that’s it! Off to North Yorkshire next weekend, there might be some surf in Cayton or Whitby, lets wait and see!!
Newquay on Saturday 15th October –
Can you see the little man?
Worst Case Scenario…happening
The rocks on the coast here are potentially deadly, as I found out at Croyde when stepping on one! All these pictures are from the marvellous K-Fish website, so check it out.
Wonder what it’s going to be like this weekend, globalsurfari.com is putting me off actually……..
Hold the phones! The return trip to Australia via Singapore will be underway on February 14th 2006! So Sydneysiders keep 17th to the 28th February free for the wildest surfing/drinking/bbq’ing parties you can ever imagine!!
Better get packing!
Last weekend a group of us from work did the Nike 10k run in London’s Hyde Park. I did this run last year with Mike and Rachael in Sydney, Australia and dedicated myself to doing it again. The problem was I did not do any training for this one as I’ve mostly been doing swimming and so my target of getting into the high forties time wise was not going to happen. I did a practice run 5 days before but ended up hurting my leg (not psychosomatic) so was not really going to push to get a good time in the London run.
I ended up doing the run 1min 50secs slower than last year (56minutes 57seconds) which I thought was pretty good considering the lack of training. Here is a picture of me just before crossing the finish line –
You can watch the video of crossing the line here (about 11 seconds in). Notice the funny walk at the end, that is because I was worried my time would not be picked up (as it wasn’t last year) so I stepped over the special time reading machine in this comical manner!
My legs ache a bit now but I think its done them good! All the team who did the run with me all managed it and were happy with their results! Well done team!
If there’s one thing I’ll learn from the couple of days spent in Germany, that is that there’s no such thing as the Nürnberg Ring, a fantasy location that I had wanted to visit on my trip over. Apparently the Nürburgring is some 400km away. The reason for going to Nürnberg was for work and so I was invited to go over with Mark and Dave for the trip.
Here are Mark, Dave and myself enjoying some fish food (which I was sure wasn’t good to eat pre flying) at Stansted airport before taking off –
We flew Air Berlin who are probably the worst airline I’ve ever flown. They wouldn’t let you take a bag as hand luggage even if it was the right size if it weighed more than 6kg!! We boarded the half empty plane and flew over to Nurnberg. The next morning, early and before the working day had started we took a very short tour of Nurnberg and visited the towns best attraction; the castle. Here is Dave and Mark outside the castle –
I can’t talk about the work stuff really because that’s all corporate corporation stuff, but here is a shot of my German collegues having a fast paced game of that game where you have to smash the puck towards each other. This was in a rock bar somewhere in Nurnberg on my last night there which was great fun –
The flight back with Air Berlin was pretty funny. I got told by the overstressed checkin desk lady that the flight was to make an unscheduled stop in Leipzig (North East of Nurnberg) before continuing for London. I asked the sales desk if there was any compensation for such a diversion and landing 2 hours behind schedule, however, I was told “no”. I fell asleep for most of the flight anyway so it wasn’t too bad. However, on approach to London I noticed that it was a fairly foggy evening. I was concerned that the pilot was suffering from ‘get-there-itus’ and really became concerned after seeing the plane make some last minute adjustments as I could see the lights of the airport not too far away. The plane hit the ground hard and some people gave a little shriek, the plane then hit the ground again and came to a normal stop which everyone was happy about. Some child on the plane shouted to his mate sitting a few rows back “I think that was a crash landing!”. I was more nervous about the landing after recently watching this video of an MD-11 crash landing in a typhoon at Kai Tak, Hong Kong 1993 (do not watch if you are even remotely scared of flying).
Over and out.
On this day in History –
1793 – French Revolution disestablished christianity in France
1864 – Calcutta India, almost totally destroyed by a cyclone
1910 – Portugal overthrows the monarchy
1947 – First televised White House speech by Harry S. Truman
1966 – Partial meltdown of the Enrico Fermi nuclear reactor near Detroit, Michigan
1991 – First offical version of the Linux kernel version 0.02 is released
2003 – G2007.com is born sharing its birthday with Bob Geldof, Kate Winslet and Nicky Hilton.
So as a special treat, here’s a photo showcase of images you have not seen before from events in every single month since October 2003! Some are the photos are a bit ‘raw’ this is meant to make them feel more like a moment than an shot I thought about.
G2007; a pipe dream.
The text ‘a message from above and below’ comes from the PI linear notes
The site is mostly talking about computers and ‘The Sandwich Game’, an ingenious gave devised by Matt and myself at work.
Gin, Kim and myself head off to Madrid, Spain for a city break and it is not even cold and it was good fun!
Nothing really happens on the site in this month. The lull of not having anything to write about begins to kills the site off. I do begin the process of creating HotZoup, an application to read RSS feeds on your desktop. RSS is just beginning to take off.
I buy a digital camera!! The site gets some grapical content and I enjoy doing it all over again!!
Lights outside UBS Warburg in the City, on the way home with the camera!
I’m also doing crazy things like taking photographs of the computer screen on an ‘ipconfig /all’ setup (why would I have done that??) –
Getting prepared to go to India and not really thinking about Australia much, India is the first hurdle! I go to see Melissa Auf Der Maur with Dipti and APC.
Melissa rocking it up in London
I also go back to Warwickshire to meet my buddies for the last time before heading off to India
I go to the airport with my parents have an English breakfast with them, crush up my malaria tablets (still can’t swallow, this changes within the next two weeks) and the wheels of the plane leave the ground of England where I won’t return for another 16 months. I make some new Dutch friends and visit the Taj Mahal!
I work with my new friends and collegues in Delhi, India in our new office which we built from scratch
I stay an extra month in India, the hotel I stay in begins to remind me of the film ‘Lost in Translation’ which I have yet to have seen (in March 2004).
Friday after work is fun night, we play pool at a fun house on the NH-8 back towards Delhi
I arrive in Australia! I fly further away from India but it feels like I am closer to home. India was so different to here. This month was fairly fast moving, I moved into ‘someplace called Woolloomooloo’ and buy a 4WD Vitara with red wheels!
I make some new friends by moving in with them. I get slightly concerned by their alcohol intake when I meet them at a party one weekend on Bourke Street –
Lots of drinks and food with Jorid on Finger Wharf in Sydney
I also go to the Sydney Film Festival and see some great films, visit Canberra, take up fishing and look after Toni’s friends cat in The Rocks. I really begin enjoying not working, but am having trouble filling the time (this is all to change).
Sydney days just get better and better! We go on a boat trip in Sydney harbour for Chris’ 30th birthday, Karoke for my birthday, and see 3 gigs practically back to back!
I take this picture of Andrew outside Showgirls in Kings Cross, Sydney (we didn’t go in, Andrew is just posing for the camera pretending to come out)
I go to some gigs with Magnus and I take up surfing off the back of a dream I have. Magnus and Disraeli join me in purchasing surf boards! We have a day time activity to keep us busy! My buddy Matt also takes his cousin and myself up in a light aircraft over Sydney.
We take no lessons and have no idea what we are doing which is potentially lethal, but we are enjoying ourselves!
Andrew and myself go shopping to Glebe markets for a 70ies party!
Surfing becomes an almost daily activity, Wes organises a Sydney booze up for ‘talk like a pirate day’ and we go and see Bonnie Prince Billy in concert.
On the road to another surf destination with Magnus, Dis and his girlfriend
Brandom has to leave to start his job in Brisbane which was sad as he was a nice guy. Tiina, Rachael, Mike and myself go to Seal Rocks which turns out to be one of my favourite trips in Australia, and one I will make another 3 times in the hopes I will find the same amazing surf conditions (although I didn’t take my board!). The next 3 surf trips are not very good to Seal Rocks but that was not surprising as the first one was the best! The weather starts to get warmer and I’m having a lot more fun surfing in the warm months!
A surf trip to Palm Beach, Northern Beaches
My buddy Gin comes over from England and we do a tour up to Fraiser Island and end up staying on Coffs Harbour for much longer than we have wanted to. Bought some tents as a last resort but mostly ended up staying at Comfort Inn which was very competitve in value!
Gin and myself on Fraiser Island with our huge Esky which contain numerous cheeses and snacks that made all the bus people jealous.
Karine et Mark go on a round the world holiday and make a stop off in Sydney! It is also the build up to Christmas and New Years! Loads of parties and the treat of Lyly dressing up as Miss Santa Claus. A sad month as well because Magnus, Gin and Mark and Karine all leave
Karine, Mark and Gin at a Pizza place by Finger Wharf in Sydney, ‘stralia
My parents arrive in Australia on their world tour and we spend Christmas day near Shark Beach in Valclause!
New Years in ‘Stralia in spent in a bar very close to the Opera House where we watch the fireworks and generally have a really good time! Fizzer also arrives on the scene and I have a new surfing partner after the sad departure of Magus
The start of the new year and the return from ‘stralia gets closer and closer! Efforts are doubled in the surfing stake as the water gets warmer! I for the first time, go to a party where I am the only English person! The rest are ‘stralians (and French). You can tell it was an ozzie BBQ from the amount of meat and fish on the barbie –
True Blue ‘Stralian Barbie
A trip down the Hawkesbury with my parents
Andrew and myself make an unforgettable trip to the Sunshine coast, where I work out I can surf a shortboard! Yay!! So I go out and buy a nice 6’4 Dalhberg, just like the one I have but a bit smaller.We also do a lot more surfing, go to Tropfest, see Rufus Wainwright live, Seal Rocks and watch Shrek in 3D..?
Eddy and Fizzer at Tropfest
I have an unforgettable trip to Yamba, NSW where we all surf, eat great food and generally have a great time. We also go to Huskisson, which again offers great surfing (too big for me I would say) and a great camping experience!
Jenni, Mike and Rach in our house at Yamba
My last full month in ‘stralia! How quick did that go? I had to sell the stupid little car. We went on a boat trip down the Hawkesbury river, it was a really fun time.
Guys and gals on the river boat
The only time I cleaned the car was when I sold it! Unsurprisingly it had rust.
4 days spent in Australia, 7 Days in Japan and the rest in Canada, my leaving party in ‘stralia was a Mexican place, it was really good fun. If it wasn’t for the site I would not remember the name of it, luckly it does so I know it was Cafe Pacifico! That was a good night out!!
My last night ever on my one year holiday to Sydney, Australia and it was spent at home on Bourke Street playing jazz guitar with Chris
A week in Tokyo, a really fun city with lots of things to see and do (I want to go back)
Next stop was Vancouver, Canada where I had no idea how crazy they were about Starbucks! I made a new friend Keri and her family in Vancouver, thanks to the Gurjinator in ‘Stralia.
I left Vancouver behind and headed over to Halifax, Nova Scotia to stay with my cousins and tour the Maritimes! I also left Halfiax to return to sunny London, England.
On the balcony in the Maritimes!
Back to London to meet Mr Felix, Mark et Karines new little baby
After a very long gap in surfing, we had to get back in the game. Fizzer, Davey and myself went for a surf trip down in Newquay –
July was a pretty full on month. Helped Mark lay his new floor in his new house, felt the office shake as terrorists blew up the train station next to us and various other points around London, went to casulty after creating a 2.5cm gash in the top of my head from being silly on the underground, visited Marcus who is now off travelling the world in Bournemouth, bought an Audi A3 1.8 Sport which I love but not as much as the Vitara and went to Mark’s stag!
Ed and Si help build Mark’s flat
A date to remember
Lots of surf trips in August! The weather was fantastic and sometimes we even got a wave! We also went to the coast to see Marcus again and I headed off to the South West of France with the boys to hit Biarritz!!
Lets go surfing UK style!
Gin, Anders and Kim in Biarritz – nuts!
Another surf trip (hey its got to happen) to Devon this time. The best waves in the UK so far this year! Of course it was also Mark and Karine’s wedding in Nice. It was also the start of my undisclosed travel which I am sure will be revealed sooner or later!
Catch the Bouquet!
The end! A rollercoaster two years, lets hope I can keep the excitement up for the next two!!!!!!!!