Sunday, December 16, 2012

So much for snow...

My last update was me going on about the little bit of snow we get and the road system collapses. I was actually thinking or rather hoping that with the first sight of snow, we could end up with a white Christmas. Looking at the weather for the next week and it is looking pretty un-festive (weather-wise). According to the Met-Office we could see temperature in the double figures. What's that all about at the end of December?????

One more week at work and then we'll be heading down to Devon for a few days. It's going to be mostly jammed with family stuff but I'm taking the boards down so that I can sneak off to the beach for a bit of cold water surfing.

Talking of boards....just grabbed myself a spot of old-skool skateboard hardware. Oddly, as a kid I didn't have one of these (my mates did) but I instead had something made of a sheet of aluminium. An aluminium deck makes for a very smooth ride but I lost so many chunks from my shins when things went wrong.

The Shaper from Crayfish Films on Vimeo.
As part of my bouncing around the web I came across this classic piece of (modern) surf history. Well worth a watch and I'll let you come to your own conclusion.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

First fall of snow...

I love when England gets the slightest hint of snow and there is complete travel chaos. I say England as Scotland in places gets some proper snow and they manage to deal with it. Here it seems that the further South you go, the less able they are of coping with a mm or so of the white stuff. Woke up this morning to a very light covering of snow (resulted in a low level of excitement) and thankfully my journey into work was pretty event-free but check-out the news and look to the South and 2mm of snow closed airports, schools and roads. Apparently you couldn't pass a lamp-post that didn't have a car wrapped around it. Not a rant or a complaint but rather a simple observation.

Not really related to the snow but the cold weather has made we dream about sunshine, water and surfer. Bouncing around the net I came across this beautiful little movie .... very dreamy, cool and beautifully shot.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Crappy weather...

Well I'm now past the half-way point of my week off and I can announce that I have done bugger all. No real surf to speak of (so I'm not going to be driving to the coast) and the wind has picked up, so the cable park is far too choppy to be worth getting wet for.

In tech news, the new GoPro3 came out. I could quite happily pass on the gadget but I soooo want the lifestyle depicted in their promo YouTube clips.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Easily distracted...

Finding everything very distracting at the moment. Off to see the bone marrow folk in the morning for the last batch of blood tests to ensure that I'm still all good and healthy. The blood package arrived over the weekend and it looks as though the guy/girl I'll be helping is a Dutchie.... my bloods will head over to a doc in Amsterdam. This is all very cool.

The running and training isn't going so well though. I'm worried about getting a cold and screwing things up but I need to get to grips with things and hit the gym. I'll run that way tonight.

In slightly more random news, I'm starting to become very aware of the fact that this weekend is going to be the last wakeboarding weekend at the lake until April next year. I'm going to have to start hitting the coast again for surf. Oddly I haven't hit Woolly all that often this year and instead have spent more time at the lake. Although I'm loving this river surfing lark ... trying to think of the closest river that could make trying thins actually a possibility.

Don't forget to check my justgiving page out - click here

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Bone Marrow match...

Just a quick update to keep you in the loop. As well as deciding to run the equivalent of two and a half marathons in a single day (to raise funds for hospiscare - click here to support me) earlier this week, I have just found out that I am a match for someone who needs a batch of healthy bone marrow. Off to get the final session of blood tests done on Wednesday. Fingers crossed it just confirms the match and then I can get to helping someone out.

Getting my head about the run was distracting me already, so the very cool news that I could help someone with my bone marrow is mind-boggling.

Anyway, need to head over to Hospiscare to collect a training t-shirt and say hi to teh fab folk over there.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


OK, I like to push myself from time to time but I think this is going to be my biggest challenge to date. In May next year I'm going to be running from London to Brighton in under 15hrs. That's 2 and a 1/2 full Marathons or 5 1/2 Marathons in one go.
I've been running 1/2 marathons for a few years now (did the Great West Run about 5yrs ago as a challenge) but 13.1 miles is as far as I have ever run - in training I rarely run over 5 miles.

I'm not just doing this as a challenge but also as a way to help out Hospiscare. Hospiscare are the guys and girls who looked after dad through out his years fighting against cancer(s) and then the people who in his last moments of life helped us let him go. They will always have a place in my heart and an organisation I will always have time for.

My JustGiving site is here - nickruns100km

I'll let you all know how I get on and I'm even thinking of adding a few vlogs.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

...end of the Summer.

Bugger, so that'll be the end of the summer then. It's not been the sunniest one but it's definitely had its highlights.

Did the Cotswold Tri this morning, For some reason the weeds freaked me out a tad in the open water swim and it took me a few hundred meters to gain my composure. Still, even taking that faff into account I was pretty pleased with my 1hr 20mins.

Camped over night so I didn't have to rush with the early morning start. My pitch was close to the end of the lake and as a result I have a cracking view of an excellent full (blue) moon (see above). Another

Spotted this great little film on Vimeo the other day....well worth a viewing.

'The Strangest Thing'. A film by Nick Marchant & Matthew Wood. from The Strangest Thing on Vimeo.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The value of water...

I think sometimes we underestimate the value of water. I don't mean those stupid prices some people pay for bottles of water that have been packaged and transported half-way across the planet (when there is usually perfectly good water from the tap - I talking about the Western world/UK). What I'm talking about is the economic value of water - whether a lake, waterway, river, pond, canal or ocean, these bodies of water are huge generators of revenue. Globally the surf industry alone is estimated to generate over £13bn ($20bn) per year. You add in the other contributing industries/sports and you get an idea of the financial input water has to give. However, as our demands on water increase, so does the competition for it (use and not consumption). As yet, no one has put an economic value on their water. Maybe it's about time governments did. At lease that way they could then make sound economic judgements and cost/benefit analysis when making policy decisions involving water.

Should you agree, then now is the time to take e-action. Get the UK government to at least notice that water is a valuable economic resource and as such should be treated with the financial respect that other resources are given. Initially the result might be in a all-party discussion but ultimately it would be just amazing if this lead to new legislation being introduced to protect this valuable resource and revenue generator.

Sign the Protect Our Waves petition.

This guy hasn't surfed in the ocean for 6yrs now but gets his surfing stoke from North American rivers. I think it's brilliant and another demonstration of how we get our stoke in different ways.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Enjoy the water ...

It's summer over here at the moment but looking off the balcony you wouldn't really think so. We had some excellent weather the other week and at one point the lake hit the barmy temperature of 24'C. Wakeboarding and wiping out was actually a pleasure....shame it's dropped into the mid-teens again now.

Well, technically I'm on my summer break now but I'm not getting a lot done. Lisa is getting me involved with the little ones she's nanny for as often as possible. Yesterday morning was a swim and then lunch back here. Today I'm being left alone but tomorrow we're off to Blenheim Palace for a spot of jousting. Obviously we're only watching.
Once this weekend hits, there should be plenty of time to hit the lake, drive to the coast & even try a cable-lake out (think that's Monday). I'm sure we'll even get the mountainbikes out. Not forgetting my Sprint Tri in about 3-weeks.  Until then I'll just stay stuck in front of the TV watching the London Olympics .... come on Team GB.

Bouncing around the web this morning I spotted a great video link (via the lovely Finisterre people). Two guys enjoying the water as it should be done....enjoy.

A slight rant....

Almost got into a grump with a friend from work last night. Out for a few beers and she's still a smoker. Apart from them blowing smoke in my direction I have no objection to folk smoking but it's the idea that they think it's ok to drop their butts on the floor. As a vegetarian (her not me) I would have liked to have thought she'd have had more respect for the environment (make no mistake, I'm no hippy but have a healthy respect for the environment). She was neither concerned about the visual impact of the her habit (apparently used cig-butts are too disgusting and she wouldn't want to carry them about) or the longer term pollution - they don't actually degrade but rather break down into smaller particles & then enter the living eco-system. An estimated 1.7 billion pounds of cigarette butts gum up the world's waterways a year, delivering nicotine, heavy metals, benzene and other carcinogens, along with plastic fibers. No wonder many ducks and geese seem cranky. All that nasty stuff in those filters can also enter our drinking water supplies, where it can be tricky to remove (think of second-hand pollution). I'm sure I've mentioned this to her a bunch of times now but all she's done is offer her waste to me ... oddly, I wasn't up for that (yet). A couple of times a year I hit the beach with SAS to tidy up other peoples mess and when I'm on the beach on my own I'll regularly pick up the rubbish that folk leave behind. No wonder our coastline & oceans is in such a mess when intelligent people add to the chaos simply because of a simple lifestyle choice.

There are loads of options out there and a few years ago I even got my old dad a personal butt bin from the good guys at SAS. Still, there are other folk that offer a solution - Portable Ashtray Solutions.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Well, we had our 10th wedding anniversary party at the lake. The weather almost conspired against us but I think we got away with it (almost). Most of our friends and family made the journey to come and celebrate with us (thanks guys & girls).
A great time was had by all (even with the slightly damp weather) and the 4hrs of boarding and ringo's went all too quickly. A few folk found a new sport, some reminded themselves how much they enjoy skiing & others realised that being towed by a speedboat really isn't for them. The ringo's were great fun and with a few of the guys being towed, Tom & Chris were really out for blood ....only one of us took a tumble the entire day (congrats on that Tony).
The BBQ was a cracker and much beer & cider was consumed. The only lesser point was trying to organise folk & getting them on the lake on time .... organising adults is hard work - they don't listen :)

A brilliant weekend.

Later in the weekend when most of the guys & girls  had gone, Tom took me out in the boat, while Chris showed me how it should be done .

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A wet Jubilee...

Well, that's pretty much the Jubilee weekend done & dusted. Got to feel for the guys and girls who had their street parties on Sunday. Wow, it didn't half piss-it down ALL day. We popped out for the bun throwing and James May but after 1hr in the torrential  rain, even with our full wet-gear we were ready to head back into the dry.

Monday was the day we joined in with the celebrations and after a busy day of wakeboarding and generally making the most of the extra day, we headed to the Park for an evening of big screen entertainment with the masses (well, those masses that had bought tickets). It was actually a bloody good evening, with some great entertainment and a fab position in-front of the enormous TV.
The only down-side to the entire weekend has been waking up this morning with a disproportionate hang-over. I can admit that the box of Italian Pink Pinot Grigio was not a good drink choice.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Was that summer...

I think I'm finally shifting the virus that completely knocked me off my feet the week before last but if it wasn't for a little bit of sunshine I caught at the weekend I'd look a complete mess (as it is, I don't look as bad as I can ---- according to Lisa).

Last weekend was a cracker. Didn't have the energy to stay awake much beyond 9pm but a couple of days at the lake were worth the effort.

Off to the lake again later this morning. Still feeling crap and the sun seems to have vanished (rain clouds waiting to hit) but it should be a good session as the winds are pretty light. Lisa is also going to give it another go. She tried the year before last but found her slow progression frustrating.

In slightly related news, I have the Blenheim Tri next weekend. I haven't trained in 2-weeks due to having that bloody virus. I fear next weekend is going to be a painful one. I'm not even sure I remember how to swim!

One video that has been making its way around the net is....

A short film from the locals POV in Croyde, Woolly etc (well done Guardian).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Christened 2012...

Yay, not only is the lake all sorted for the anniversary weekend but I got wet for the first time this year. OK, it wasn't the best session and  there was no sun to speak of but the rain did stay away and the wind wasn't too crazy.

Another year older...

Had another (numberless) birthday last weekend. Charged down to Woolly in the hope of catching a few waves and sinking several pints of the wet stuff. Only managed 50% of the to-do list sadly.
The wind was far too brisk to make the most of the slight swell that was coming through. The BLU guys still put on their competition but they paddled out in some pretty crappy conditions.

Lisa and me (with Tilly the dog) sat on the beach (by Mill Rock) and watched the riders trying to make the most of the conditions. The sun came out and out of the wind it wasn't such a bad day to be on the beach.

The lake is now open and I need to head over to check things out, see who's riding (might even get in myself if the rain can stay away long enough) and book the lake for our anniversary party .... hopefully we can book it as planned, otherwise the weekend will have a significant part missing.

Oh yeh, almost forgot. The Reading Half Marathon went well. Not bad weather and by the half-way point the sun had come out and things had warmed up nicely (too warm for some). Out of the guys I was running with, I crossed the finish line second (1:46), followed by Westy, Pearce, Lisa and then Kim. As usual, Barney beat me but this time by only a minute or so .... either I'm getting faster or he's been eating too many cakes and is slowing down.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Almost April...

Bloody hell, my last blog entry was saying 'goodbye' to January and already we're looking April in the eye.

So in need of a drink or two tonight but as I'm running the Reading half marathon on Sunday morning, I guess I should stay away from the old falling down water for the next 48hrs. I should give a mate a ring and say 'lets go out and celebrate your birthday' but I just know I'd be in a right mess for the next few days. The last time we hit the liquor hard, I was a broken man for about 7-days.

2 weeks away from the office desk (will have to do a pile of stuff at home) and I'm looking forward to getting a bit of wakeboarding time in. Might pop to Woolie for the weekend and grab Lisa's play-board from the Pink Surf Shop. That way we could both get some wet-time.

Spotted this video the other day ..... thought it worth a look.


Must get the old camera out at some point. The point+shoot needs airing, as do the SLR's and fisheye ...... although I must remember how ££££ it is to develop films before getting all click-happy. Hopefully the sun will come out again later in the week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Goodbye January ...

Bloody hell, January seems to have dragged on something chronic. Struggling (as usual) to fight the need to hibernate for the entire start of the year. Don't mind the cold, it's just something about the season that gets to me.

Haven't surfed yet this year but next weekend I'll be in Woolly for a couple of days and I should be able to get wet .... looking forward to trying out my new Patagonia hood. Wakeboarding was on the agenda but as the weather turned (-5'C) I sort of lost the enthusiasm (shame on me).
For a bit of fun, Lisa and me had a blast on a couple of x-country segways. Wasn't too sure as to what to expect (I did think it was going to be a bit lame) but to my surprise, it was actually  a lot of fun. The standing position was completely alien to me and I wasn't too happy to start with the pulling to the left or right to steer, rather than turning like a bike to change direction but I soon got into it. The highlight or lowlight was confusing the gyro so that it couldn't work out what the neutral point was (I guess I hit too many rocks) and in my attempt to overcompensate for that I was almost thrown off the strange little machine.....excellent fun!

In other news, I'm having another tattoo done this weekend. Unless I change my mind in the chair it's going to go between my shoulder-blades. If I remember, I'll put a pic of the design up next time.