Well, I knew (deep down) that I'd got away with surfing in Lanzarote rather than been ready for it. Back home it took a small onshore day at Sennen to put me back a peg or two. I paddled out (the cold! the cold!) and had a nice chat with Darren and Jacs, but that was as good as it got. My pop up has become a stagger up and it happened on only one wave. Yes, One Wave Wade, that's what they call me these days. I wish I could say it was a rock 'n' roll wave but it wasn't. It was small and didn't last very long. Soon enough everyone else paddled in, which gives a clue as to how good the conditions were, but I stayed in the water, paddling about, vainly trying to catch a wave and each time I did so aggravating my sore neck even more. Finally I gave up and now rue this lacklustre session considerably, for the electric shocks in the left hand are back and I feel, quite frankly, rubbish.
Merficully I am crossing the county line for work tomorrow and will be away for a few days. Yes, I will be miles from the sea. Excellent. No temptation. Then, next week, I travel to Chamonix with my younger son Elliot. We are undertaking the Tour du Mt Blanc, a 105 mile hike around a mountain that I climbed (and beneath whose summit I camped for a night) back in the days when I was strong and full of vitality. I figure I've done one or two surf trips with Harry and it's only fair to put some time into young El, a lad who loves mountains but who isn't so enamoured of riding waves. Prior to yesterday's surf I'd have said I was fit enough for this trek, which will take about eight days; in fact I'd have said "Sod the sea urchin spikes in my feet, I'm hard enough for that there 105 mile hike so bring it on and I'll do it barefoot with a fridge on my head if you insist", but now, replete with electric shocks and lying supine (almost) with a knackered neck, I'm not so sure.
The worst thing is that as a consequence of the waves in Lanzarote and yesterday's surf at Sennen Cove I have an insight into the rest of my surfing life. Chances are that it'll be full of fear. Then again, my mate Andy was telling me about a professional rugby player who returned to the game after spinal surgery, and I've always thought rugby players are a bit soft, so, loyal readers, I will see you in the water on the next double-overhead day. (I might be the one who's sinking, but never mind - I'll still be there!)
Pictured: Harry and Josh about to paddle out at small La Santa. Oh, to be back in Lanzarote! With a healthy neck, a strong body and full of vitality... [Those days are over. Ed.]