Friday, 8 January 2010

The Hunter Gatherer

Comedian Arthur Smith (who we taught to surf many years ago) when asked on TV show Qi what age he thought was the best, answered age six. He said that at six you have no concept of your own mortality, everything is an adventure and you can stick your head in a bowl of custard and no one give a damn. Finley is now six (seven in a few days) and it is the most wonderful age. I love watching him. Billy is a bit further on. He's ten and he sees things a bit differently. He now makes the custard for Finley to put his head in and when Fin put's his head in, Billy makes sure he goes in good, real good!

Wailin teaches Billy to play the guitar, which is fantastic. And he's started to play it loads out of sheer enjoyment. I have to admire Wailin. He is an exception lead guitarist - and I imagine at home that he has a guitar in his hand all the time. I wish I had that passion. I go full bore at things and then move on to something else - jack of all trades and master of none. What it would be to be really good at something! Anyway Wailin's lad Elliot who's only a whipper snapper is quite unique. You watch him and you can see that all the time he's got music in his head. He's tapping his feet or humming - and that must be because he's been immersed in this passion. It's lovely to see.

I have to admit that I went to the shops yesterday for 'emergency provisions'! Not exactly panic buying, but as the hunter gatherer my man job during this cold snap is to ensure that the family is fed and watered. Came back with lots of goodies including two big Lindt bunnies!.. so it was well worth the journey. My dad asked me to get a few things (he lives down the road), I had no idea what to get him so I had fun trying to guess what he'd like. Prune Juice, Kippers, some yougherty shmogerty's.... it was all there! Should keep him going for a while!

School is back on today. It's a time to find out what your employees are made of - it's when you separate the men from the boys, when you find out those who you can truly rely on. I know that Wailin and Mike would get in whatever - fortunately though they haven't had to, as they've got a couple of weeks off. A well earned break. JD is on her way (as if that was ever in doubt!) - she'd also get in no matter what! Before Christmas we put together a list of jobs to get done over the Winter period and for the first time in years we're actually well ahead of the game. Which I think is why we're very relaxed at the minute. Do you live to work or work to live?With no big new projects this year we have the opportunity to focus all our energies on what we already have. That's the shop, the beach house and the surf school. We can work really hard at improving every area and that's like going back to our roots. We're looking forward to that. Last year was a busy one what with the shop and office build. Well worth the effort, but consolidation is our buzz word this year.

I was going to head up to the Moor for a bit of snowboarding, but I think that can wait until tomorrow when I can go up with the boys. With the current forecast, it's not like we're going to miss anything! With no wind and clear blue skies, this is a good place to be.

Just seen the boys on the beach heading out for a surf. 2ft and super clean. Probably warmer in than out. Inspired I was all set to join them but on my way to grab a board from the trailer got distracted with the offer of a Mochachino! Stuart and Amanda from the Conezone had popped into their shop just to check all was okay. Stuart's an ardent Burnley footie fan, so a bit gutted about losing their manager this week. Having said that, I think he's loving the fact they're in the Premiership and he travels all over to watch them play. That's dedication. Anyway, haven't made it in for a wave. I've been hitting the turbo trainer super hard this week, my legs are shot - probably good to have a rest day.

26 days 'til Bali! I hope by then that it's warmed up. I want to be here when there's extreme weather - I'd feel I'd missed out if I wasn't. "I remember when....." The most extreme we've had was in 1998 (?) when the roof of our house got blown off in a 74mph gust (we've got a wind gauge thingy)! We spent the night up in the loft space with buckets and tarpaulin sheets trying to keep out what we could. It was very wet, very cold, very dark and we were quite scared. Tiles were being ripped off the roof, and landing over the other side of the road. The forecast was for the wind to increase in the morning to 100mph but it swung to the North giving us some shelter and respite. And then we had some dodgy builder who patched up the holes with the wrong size tiles. "They don't make that size anymore!" he said. Hm, but surely they should lie flat! In the end we got one whole side replaced and a bit of the other. Great job!

It's funny how the smallest things can make you happy! I've got some good gloves - keep me super snug. But I lost one! Gutted, as they're brilliant for crafting snowmen! They've been missing for a few weeks. But today I ventured into the bottom of my golf bag and there it was. The missing item. Stoked! Might try them on my bike - it's the hands that feel it. You might think that having stood in cold waist depth water all these years, I might not feel the cold so much, have a bit if immunity. But I think the reverse is true. I'll do anything to stay warm. My biking get up is now very impressive (and not cheap!) - keeps me toasty. Might be why I didn't venture in the surf this morning. I was snug as a bug. Note to self - Must Man Up!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A Winter Wonderland

Oh yes! we now have snow! Good snow too - had quite a drop a few moments ago! Very excited..... as our the boys! School closed; toboggan runners, greased!

later.... just been to get some provisions from Tesco and the main roads are okay. Okay, until that is I came down into Polzeath. Turned into Trenant Close (where we live) and the Landy decided that gravity was more attractive. So I started to slide down the road - which was very scary! Got the heart going that's for sure, especially as the road just keeps on getting steeper!
The ABS was working overtime and eventually I pulled the beast into the kerb. Turns out I might not have engaged the 4WD fully - silly me!

Great website for seeing if you're about to get snow

These photos were taken up on the Moor. Got the Landy stuck twice... thanks Bill (Escape Surfboards) and family for pushing us out... twice! Misjudged the depth of snow the Landy could handle!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


What's going on?! We've got no snow! Well we had a bit yesterday and the boys school was shut - but not the thick white fluffy stuff that we'd been promised. It was cold though. My bike ride nearly ended in tears as my pinkies froze! But here, I have a masterplan. In France everyone in the Alps has snowchains and they get around fine even during big drops. How about next year the government subside the purchase of snowchains and then we wouldn't be so dependent on the gritters and ploughs. To quote the Meerkats, "Simples". Which reminds me - the Evian ad with those babies rollerskating - loving it!