Never any time to write this blog anymore. Woe is me.
Woe also was a bloke called Phil back in April. Somehow this bit of mindless surf rage passed me by when it happened. Yesterday I was chatting to Steve Bough, once of Wavelength and now of Wavelength again, and he mentioned it. "Google Bude surf rage and see what you think," said Steve. "It's outrageous."
And it sure is.
Trouble is, on one of my rare surfs the other day I heard of similar grief at a break up the coast a bit. I was at Sennen, and a local told me of a load of aggro perpetrated by not one but two people who'd say they were locals too, at their spot, on some poor hapless beginners who found this very public and accessible place, donned wetsuits and had the temerity to paddle out and try and catch a few waves.
Guys, do you have to? I mean, do you want to be like the non-dude in this footage? Angry. Stupid. Intolerant. Mean-spirited. Selfish. Petty. Thinking you're big but just being small.
That's my view anyway. Feel free to cast me from the water next time I'm there. As to when this will be, it will be a while. A summer of sea swimming has given me a painful ear infection. Also, and by way of returning to a perennial theme, I've yet again lost my confidence when surfing. My metal neck, my serially-broken ribs and my shoulder-devoid-of-cartilage just make me think that in a dynamic environment like the sea I'm going to get injured. The result is paddling for waves but not really wanting them. The result of this result is ending a session with no more than a couple of waves (usually quite nice ones), as if a part of me has beaten another part of me, against that part of me's better judgement.
In other news, I had a day of hiking with writer Philip Marsden last Friday. Philip proved a fine guide to Rough Tor and other places on Bodmin Moor. No wonder, for he has a new book out, Rising Ground, which admirably examines what our collective (and individual) sense of place is, with the emphasis on Cornwall. This I'll be writing up for The Telegraph, who also ran this piece on SUP the other day (I am really not that fat, honest; I had to wear a lifejacket, rubber band, all that jazz). A run of Telegraph pieces continues with something on the Barnabas soon and this Saturday I will be researching yet another: chessboxing.
Yes, chessboxing. Twelve rounds in which I will alternately box and play chess. The winner is the first person to knock out his (or her) opponent or win by checkmate. I've asked (a) that no one hits me on the head or in the face - the neck wouldn't take it; (b) that no one hits me on my right shoulder - it'd be agony, and (c) that no one hits me on my left lower ribs - they'd just break again.
Maybe, when all is said and done, I should concentrate on the chess side of this assignment.
Pictured courtesy of Christopher Pledger: this was actually my only fall. Except for the second fall when I tried to emulate Jason Bergin and do a flash turn. That much is true.