Friday, 26 June 2009

Jackson the man

The news about Michael Jackson is tragic. 

Last night's gig wasn't great! Strict new rules at Carters mean that you have to come off at 11.15pm, just when everything gets going. It also means that you have to start the set when there's no-one there, which is the worst possible scenario. Anyway we actually started okay despite the lack of numbers, but it never really got going. Many years ago I was in the audience of 2,000 as a speaker got up to deliver his first oration to so many people. He started by saying the following, "It's better to be a participator than a spectator. If I deliver the worst speech now, the person that learns the most will be me. So I have nothing to lose." I've held onto that thought. Last night would have been one of those occasions for me. The set up from the PA system clearly wasn't right. It really wouldn't have mattered how brilliantly we played - if the set up's not right the audience have no chance to get into it. And it's super difficult to play with confidence when you know it's not sounding quite right. We've delivered some great nights in the past - this just wasn't one of them!! Ho hum!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Rip Curl report - Jonathan Payne

- Rip Curl Groms comp was held last weekend down at Godrevy near Hayle, with a big

turnout from the Surf's Up! Boardriders. Harry T dominated, winning the u16 and u14 titles. Gabbi came 1st and Sophie 2nd in a small but competitive girls u16 entry.

The biggest entry was in the u12 boys, which was held over to the Sunday to

allow the older ones to have the bigger sets. This meant all the heats were

very close in a small 2ft swell. Alfie and Jake Woodward were unlucky to go

out in the first round. Liam had the best performance of the day coming 4th

overall in the final, with Max 5th and Rhys 7th getting to the Semis -

As we walked up to the green we could see one ball on the back fringe - the other was nowhere to be seen. Two drives on the par 4, 7th at St. Enodoc, downhill with a following breeze and both balls had travelled over 400 yards! Neither myself nor Stuart from the Cone Zone had ever managed that before. We found Stuart's ball over the back of the green in an unplayable lie. Seven shots later and he was picking his ball up from deep within the thicket! I managed a par. Funny old game. Stu's hitting the ball very sweetly these days. It's one of life's great experiences - playing St. Enodoc as the sun sets. Truly spectacular. 

Tonight we're taking the boys and some of the instructors around to Port Gaverne. Apparently there's loads of huge crabs and Lobsters in the gully. We'll need a long line!!!


The deck is coming on! It's massive - the boys are trying to finish up by Sunday but we have doubts!! But I really cant wait - we've got a lot of parties planned for the summer and the sweet sounds of Mahoustic may reverberate around the beach from time to time. We're playing at Carters tomorrow night - looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

I watched Wife Swap two nights ago about a fat lady who was married with a 15 month old daughter, never got up until 1pm and spent all day on the computer while her kid entertained herself..... and the other lady of the other household she was swapping with had OCD, had saved 10 years to buy this settee and would fluff it everyday despite never sitting on it! Clearly their lives couldn't be further apart. Both learned lessons and all lived happily ever after.

Whilst watching this programme I found myself identifying with the fat lady! In that she let her partner do all the housework, the cooking etc and I found myself thinking "you know what, that could be me!" Some how and at some stage, I'd turned into a lazy slob. Yesterday though, as the new website went live, I began to find some head space to do more things around the house. The last four weeks without realising it had been tough with so much going on. Now that all the projects are nearing completion, light is at the end of the tunnel and my shoulders are lifting.

So I got home, made my tea (Janey and the boys had already eaten) and then gathered the troops (Billy and Fin). We set about their bedrooms with boxes, hoovers, dusters - a pretty much top to bottom spring clean. They enjoyed it, I enjoyed it and Janey enjoyed it from the comfort of her seat in front of the telly. The boys have now got twice as much room and can now swing the cats without bashing their little fluffy heads on the walls! And then to the kitchen - surfaces cleaned, polished even. Fantastic - the mind is clear. "Where's the breadboard?" asked Janey. When a man cleans, he cleans. I am now resolved to do more than my bit, to keep my part of the ship clean and tidy. I have even gone as far as to clean out the minibus and hang up my clothes. I am on a mission!! The lazy Sloath is no more! 

Golf tonight - haven't played for a while. Looking forward to it! And then I'm going to make a start on Fins cupboard! Tomorrow is the living room.

Evan has been working like a trojan to clear the garden area of the beach house. I never knew we had so much land! Decking going in this week - once that's completed then all the big projects will be out of the way for the summer.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Saturday night was a triumph!! What fun - Andy and Gill's wedding went with a bang and we played our first wedding gig! We had no idea how it would go down, our first gig in nearly two years, but with a supportive crowd and one keen to get stuck in on the dance floor, we needn't have worried! Great fun to be playing again. The setting of the wedding was amazing too, on the cliff top at Hayle. Andy used to work for us many years ago - a totally solid guy and the bass player in the band. I was able to bring out my new Tom Anderson Strat - heaven in a box! I say new - it's ten years old, played in, and one of the sweetest things to behold. 

And then on Sunday (Father's Day) spent the whole day watching Billy playing in a footie tournament at Penair School in Truro. What a place that is!! The facilities for a secondary school were off the scale - fields as far as you could see, woods, astroturf etc - really impressive. 

Busy on the beach but not much surf. Lots of school groups going through the surf school. Still working on the web - so nearly there now. It'll be an ongoing project obviously but at least it feels like headway is being made.

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19th June

Some things fall naturally into place. A quiet day on the beach so myself, Mikey and Sam have been attacking the website online shop (going live on Tuesday) - one of those brain aches trying to get the processes sorted but after a good deal of time we're now cracking on. one step closer to the final goal.

The team enjoyed their Kelly session last night - all stoked. It's going to be a regular thing from now on - every Thursday they'll be put through their paces to help them with their own surfing. Toby's been on the beach all day - he knows some weird youtube sites! The Junior squad have just come back in - ripping it up. Kelly's very pleased with their progress - they've developed this very strong team spirit and competition between them (in a good way) - just keeps pushing them to the next level.

Also my new guitar arrived - well it's not actually new!! About ten years old, a Tom Anderson strat - wanted one for ages, not that my ability warrants it. An Argos special would suffice. But I do like toys and I like change. Nothing wrong with the current Gibson - not sure I'll use it at tomorrows gig. Bit nervous about that one - nothing worse than an average practice before a big one. The great thing about rock and roll though is that if it's not going well you can just walk off stage with a bottle of JD, flciking hand singnals as you go - now that is rock and roll.

18th June pm

What a great day!! The last week has been a complete headspin - so much going on that the brain ceases to function properly, like it's on overload. And I've spent a good few weeks not sleeping properly thinking about what needs to be done - many a night has gone by when I've found myself watching the news at 4am (news junky). But today working in the new office has been a revelation. I've found it to be really condusive to a good level of work. Jobs done today - website text, oh so nearly finished, garden cleared for new decking, general admin and important e-mails, nailed. Tonight I shall sleep really well. Which is a good thing - my recent performance at band practice was shoddy, a reflection of a lack of sleep. Vocally rubbish. There's only so many nights when you can go without a good nights sleep without it starting to hurt. Unfortunately my throat has always been the weak link.

Hats off to Janey - she is a person of great wonderment. How on earth she has the ability to work so hard I have no idea! During Julia's absence, Janey's had to do all the admin stuff with the able support of JD and Kit, and do all the family stuff at the same time. She's a legend. I remember when she had Post Natal Depression after the birth of Billy, as upset as she was (and my sympathies to anyone who's a sufferer) she still never missed a day's work. Totally dedicated to those around her, selfless in her commitment. Neither myself nor Janey have missed a day's work in 15 years - some record. Although I would have to be honest and say that it might be a different story if I was to go sailing in the morning! (read below). I should point out that this outpouring of respect has nothing to do with the fact that I've just bought a new guitar and Janey doesn't know yet! In my defence I have sold all my kitesurfing stuff as there's just not enough hours in the day for a new hobby.

Tonight we're starting our staff surf training sessions with Kelly - video analysis to help the instructors progress with their own surfing. They all seem well up for it. Training at the higher level never used to happen but now it's all the rage. When Kelly goes to the comps in support of our Boardriders team, it's as if everyone wants to get on board - but we've placed restrictions on Boardrider numbers this year to make the club even better for current members. hence the opening of the training room next week. Yippee.

Polly's in the garden taking photos of the stock for the web - only days away now!! Yippeen again. pat loves men.

18th June am

I should have known!! Went sailing last night - a race on a 30ft sailing boat down at Fowey. Brian who built our new office invited me down, so Billy and I set sail. Thing is I get hopelessly seasick - but felt sure that I could man it up. It is however, one thing that mind over matter simply does not work. I was fine until we got to the start line and then my responsibility of winching in the Jib took a turn for the worse. I could just about manage a gentle pull on a rope but the act of looking anywhere but to the horizon proved too difficult. Half way around and I felt sure that I could make the finish line without actually throwing up over the side. There's two stages of fear with sea sickness - the first is that you're going to die, and the second, that you're not going to die! It gets that bad! And all the time you're looking at the options - ie. could I jump off the boat here and swim in?

Leaving Fowey with Capt Brian at the helm and Billy as crew. Why didn't he get sick?

We returned to the harbour mouth with my food still within - and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That was until the sails came down and the engine went on. I have no idea what happened but the sudden change in motion affected me adversely and within about 5 seconds of the engine firing up I was in full chuck mode over the side. Nice. Shame really - I totally get the sailing thing, it's fantastic to be out there under sail, racing out to sea. I'm just not built for it. Never again! But thanks to Brian - we did well in the race and despite carrying a moaning passenger recorded one of his best results. And that included thinking that the start gun was the five minute warning - we had some catching up to do.

Back on dry land Janey and Fin were crabbing - caught some whoppers! And then as the bucket was droppped into the water and Janey went on rescue dive, she proceeded to slip over and bounce down the stairs. Very undignified! Landed one step short of the Fowey Estuary! Few cuts and bruises but she got up laughing. Well we were all laughing to be honest.

I'm working in the new office today - really condusive to getting loads done. I've been based in the shop recently and find it really hard to focus when people are coming in and out. Not that that's a bad thing - people coming in and out.

Band practice the other night. I sing and play rhythm guitar - I love it but I'm the weak link in the band. We've played about ten gigs in total over the years but have come out of retirement to play a couple of weddings - one of which is this weekend. Playing in the band is both the most terrifying and most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. And you have gigs that get an amazing response with everyone mixing it in the mosh pit and others where you'd rather be anywhere but there at that moment. Everytime is a huge learning experience. I learned from a very good speaker many years ago that you learn more from particpating than spectating and i take that thought when going on stage. no matter how it goes, it's good for me and I've taken huge confidence from doing it.

15th June

All go on the new website - launch this Friday. Looks great with lots of new features.

11th June

Where does the time go? Made the decision to deck the beach house garden today - not a small decision as it's a big area and will cost an arm and a leg, but it'll finish off the look of the office/ training room. It'll look amazing once it's finished. If you own shares in Lloyds, thanks for lending us the money for the wood! Oh and for the other subs along the way!

8th June

"Doughnuts, come and get your fresh hot doughnuts!" The timing was impeccable. Not a second after the bugler had finished his last note for the D Day rememberance - those boys know how to work the crowd. Down our alley stood assembled the young members of the forces, a crowd had gathered to acknowledge what others had given before and to those whose lives had been lost. The bugler played and then came the shout for the hot doughnuts. It was pure genius.

We worked it - no question. Every ounce squeezed from the show. And how I missed it come Sunday when it was all over - the buzz. We sold just short of 100 hoodies, which we were really chuffed about. We had no expectations after being drafted in at the last minute - but it was very positive for us in many ways. And I can honestly say I've never spoken to as many people over three days before. But the doughnut boys - we'll miss them.

Yesterday was a family day. We jumped in the car without a plan, the best of plans. We ended up in Looe, crabbing - just brilliant. Couldn't be prouder of the boys and the way they're turning out. The best of days.

4th/5th June


I think I must have spoken to everyone at the show!! It's been a real 'Apprentice' challenge for me (with the help of Mikey) for the last two days! Chatting to everyone, having a laugh, some top quality banter with everyone and anyone who passes our set up. We've had some classic moments - and I have to admit that I think we're actually quiet good at it - lots of happy smiley faces! I'll leave the stories for another day as I've got some stock to get together before tomorrow, but it's been really great fun. Done pretty well on the hoody front as well. We're there for free courtesy of North Coast Cabins - and it's worked a treat. And it's not just the banter with the show goers but the other traders. The Doughnut man opposite and his team are classics in every sense of the word - real wheeler dealers. 'Big Issue' we shout across the gangway whenever they go through a quiet patch! One more day to go - should be another busy one. Shame really, I'll miss it!

Child labour - can't beat it!

2nd June

Billy back on the horse - surfed all day Sunday and then after school yesterday. He did the Boardrider session with Kelly last night which he was so stoked with and then after dinner he asked to go out again. It's not like we're going to say "no"! Might be a bit tired for school this morning! Good to get the priorities sorted!!

North Coast boys putting in the big window.

Tar on the roof tomorrow and then we can move the office in - can't wait. Really pleased with it. Just deciding whether to keep the old skate ramp or go for the new one that's been kindly donated.

Lots going on - next week is a big one - lots of schools. Went up to the show ground yesterday, the stand is right next to the entance of the fairground - perfect position. Three days of mayhem ahead.

Arnie leaves us this week to work abroad. He's a good man. He was one of our first clients ever and it's cool that his life has revolved around surfing ever since. He used to be the skinniest kid, but no matter how cold he got he always hung in there. He's a bit bigger now! He's worked for us as an instructor for a good few years now and has always been a trooper, always committed and dependable. We wish him well on the next part of his life journey.

Sunset last night - one hell of a place

The best seat in the house!

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