Friday, 15 July 2011

Trail Blazers

Three of our Surf's Up! Boardrider - Elite Division in training tonight. I'd like to say that I taught them all they know but sadly that's just not the case - we can thank Kelly (Snoop Dog ) for that.

Here's Maximus...
...Tobimus, and

ps. need a bigger lens. "Janey!" "What?" "I need a bigger lens!" "Old Chinese proverb say - You don't get good shopping, you don't get no lens!" "I love you!" Birthday coming up, perhaps if I'm a really good boy.....

Getting earlier

7.30am surf this morning! Getting earlier. Only a few in, enjoyed a few good rides. Lost none of the magic!
Took some snaps last night. Busy, busy, busy in the water as the sun set. Counted fifty in the line-up. That's what happens following a poor run of surf - surfers come from everywhere.

Janey sent me off to Tesco's yesterday, "Fill the fridge" she said. So I did, turns out they had some chocolate mousses on special offer and now as instructed the fridge is full. Fin is stoked. Janey is not! Apparently I was supposed to buy stuff for tea! Poor instructions.

Had a school group from Newquay up to surf and chat about 'business'. A nice bunch. I was asked if I had one bit of advice to give anyone just starting their business. I answered, "Keep a close eye on the figures!" Something that would make my missus laugh a lot (or is that scoff!) as that's something I've never been very good at. It's probably the right message to send from my head, but my heart would say, "make sure you enjoy it."

Wailo sat next to me in the office doing the staff rota. If he scratches his head any harder he'll catch his hair on fire.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Not quite a dawny!

That was great. Not epic, 2ft with a very random 3ft set thrown in just to tease the surfing buds and keep you guessing where the next wave is going to come in! But great to get wet! Met up with a few of the Surf's Up! crew who were already in - Dee, Ryan and Luke and a few clients that I'd taught five years ago. The sun is shining and spirits are high. ps I got in about 8.30ish, I'm not sure that qualifies for 'dawny status', but I'm sure going to claim it.

Okay a few facts to keep everyone in the loop. There was a report last week that of the 700 homes in Polzeath, 400 are holiday homes! (I might check those figures). Holiday booking agents and caravan parks are reporting okay trade for the summer, most are nearly booked up but unlike normal years, there's not a mad clamour. And generally local businesses are saying that June was very quiet. As for Surf's Up! - the shop was down 3% in June but is some 230% up on 2010 overall for the year, mainly due to a fantastic April holiday period (thanks Will and Katie). Oh and of course Sarah, who's doing a great job. My sister is around with her kids at the moment so we get some really good outsider feedback about every department. Which is always good to have. Having said that, I think it's important that if you delegate, that you trust those people delegated to do a job. And we have. Was it the Facebook chap that said that the value of his company was in his top twenty managers - something like that. The surf school? The surf school appears to be ticking along nicely. We're in that ridiculous position having changed the company set up, that we'll be more profitable if we're quieter! Which is a nice position to be in during economically tough times, but shows the tax system to be completely flawed and negative. Let's not get me on that subject!! Let's not spoil the mood!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


If you read the blog yesterday re. the running, I went back and re-wrote it. I do that quite a lot as it goes. And I think it makes better sense now.

Surf's been pretty small the last couple of days - new swell expected in the morning, probably much to the delight of the instructors. They get a bit twitchy when they can't go surfing. Where there's a will there's a wave, that's what I always tell them. Of course most of the team have never seen me rise early for the dawn patrol surf and to be fair it's a distant memory. All snuggled up under the duvet - I can wait. Creating the largest surf school in the world put pay to the early morning splash. I prefer the sunset surf. But I did do it - it's a part of any surfers right of passage. And I did it just like they do it now - get in before work. Except that I used to do it up in Bude when I was starting out as an instructor. Having said that, you know what? I might just set the alarm for the morning and forgo the bacon and eggs. That'll surprise 'em!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Big Pond

Okay so I'm his Dad! It's quite hard to write about what Billy did today, without sounding like a complete idiot. However, I have the record books on my side. The event was the Cornwall County Athletic Track Championships over at Par, try saying that when you've had a few. The best that Cornwall has to offer. Billy entered the U11 800m, it's what he wanted to run.

The race started at 1.25pm and went as follows. The start was pretty crazy. One lad went steaming off down the track, Billy followed in hot pursuit. It just looked too fast to be sustained. Slow, slow, slow I urged Billy in my head. This was a race not a time trial. We had a plan, this was not it! But to no avail, the two continued at such an astonishing pace, completing the first lap quite a distance ahead of the others, On the bell, Billy was sat on his shoulder, looking focused and strong. Something surely had to give. This pace couldn't continue. Forty metres later and the other lad hit the wall. He dropped right off the pace leaving Billy now out front on his own. I think we all expected Billy to drop back to the pack too, but he did exactly the opposite, he stepped it up and got quicker. As he came down round the top bend and onto the home straight he was in full flow, sprinting with real purpose. He crossed the line as the others were just beginning the straight. The timekeepers checked their stop watches. "Two minutes 27!" came the shout. "Two minutes 27 secs?" They looked at each other. "What's the county record?"

"Were you going for the record?" Janey asked him later. "No, I kept thinking that big boy was going to put in a late charge!" He was indeed a very tall lad, but had Billy cared to look sideways he would have seen him about half a lap behind. Billy had retained his unbeaten running record but what I was more interested in is how his time compared to his peers around the country.

The Cornwall U11 record is 2mins 34 secs. Having researched on the internet the fastest time I can find throughout the UK whether it be club, county or event records, is two minutes 29 secs and that's the only one I can find in the 20's. He beat both and could have gone faster. He had plenty left in the tank. So what does that mean? That he's the fastest 11 yr old ever in UK? - it's a lovely if unrealistic thought, there must be a better time/s out there somewhere. No, what it is, is reassuring, that's what it is. When you live in Cornwall you can feel a bit cut off from the rest of the planet - this can be a positive thing, and it can be a negative. With our boys and their hobbies, the fear is that it's a negative, so we're always mindful of it. If football and running are to be Billy's main focus, maybe even career (follow your dream) then keeping in touch with what's going on in the bigger picture, outside of Cornwall is important. No point being a big fish in a small pond. So this was the first measurable chance to see how he stacked up against his contemporary's throughout the UK on a level playing field (ie a set distance on a track), to compare times with other counties and clubs.... and the reality is that he's gone out and put in a performance that would be the quickest in most regions (2.34 seems a popular county record) if not all. In other words, he's doing great. And that's very reassuring and relevant, particularly as he approaches Yr 7 and Secondary next term and we think about a school that will get the best out of him and help him to fulfil his dreams. Oh decisions, decisions.

Billyman crosses the line - the others are there somewhere!

I know, I know, banging on about my boys again! But hey, when your flesh and blood does good, you're bursting with pride. Bring back the guest bloggers! Whatever did happen to them?) I'm not going to stop there either. I'm going to press on with family matters! Findog was also at the event. He battled through his heat to pick up a hard fought bronze in the sprint final, an event that we entered him into by mistake (he's a long distance man and should have run in the 600m). Anyway, he took his chance and ran his little legs off! Tough following in big brothers footsteps, but he's come to realise that if he gets his head down he too can mix it up. His time will surely come. Great run boys, great day. We're keeping up with the big pond.

Findog on the left - he's not used to running this fast without a ball at his feet! His school report commented that Fin has a fifth appendage, a football permanently attached to his left hip wherever he goes.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Full for Bouncing

If you tried to send us an e-mail over the weekend, I'm afraid it would have bounced. Our e-mail box was full - not in-house but on our providers. Just needed to go into the system to delete a few Mbs off the mainframe. All done now. So if you did send us a message and you haven't had a reply yet, our apologies, perhaps you could re-send. Cheers big ears.

Janey Directions

Can I just point out to my Missus that when her friend says on the phone, "We're near the big hill, not Brae Hill" that that means the one near Rock, not Daymer! That was some expedition carrying all the wetsuits, BBQ, food, drink, chairs and towels around at high tide. Fun was had on arrival where Billy's Year 6 had congregated for beach games and grub. Bit of an informal leavers party.

Got the surveyor man in the house doing some measuring. This is the last year of us renting out half our house, we're going to join it all up. We've had visitors staying downstairs in the summer for the last 15 years, but now the boys are bigger, we could do with the space. We're looking at putting internal stairs in to join up the two levels and Janey's talking about building a mezzanine on the top floor. But I'm not convinced we need a Greek Tapas Bar in the house.

So that was the end of the News of the World. Had to buy the last edition as I've been a reader for many years. The inside section displayed all the best front pages since it began. Just illustrated to me exactly why I'm not going to miss it. Yesterday's NotW, today's fish and chip paper.

and there's more

Continuing on from my last blog.... when I got home, cucumber on the eyes, avocado face mask, panpipes and I was restored to normal stress settings! Not quite true (what are you talking about Pete, none of the aforementioned is true!), I have spent the last two days with the vision of this Black Golf 1.6 careering around the corner, imprinted on my brain. Lunacy. Reckless. Selfish. In hindsight what I should have done was not worry about becoming a youtube middle aged angry man lycra sensation and popped him one on the nose then and there. Jab to the nose followed by a knee to the nuts. Jab to the nose, knee to nuts. Jab nose, knee nuts. Nose, nuts. Nose, nuts. Develop a bit of a rhythm. Nose, nuts. Jab, knee. Did I just say that out loud? Turns out he went to College the next day and bragged about it. Ho,hum. The yoof of today - no respect innit! I blame Cher and all that Swagger Jagger.

In my fragile state I've treated myself to some new shoes. I had a meeting to attend down in Falmouth and I observed on the drive down a pong emanating from the foot well. My Snuk’s had got wet and there's nothing more smelly than a damp Snuk! I rushed to the shops to invest in some ‘Hey Dudes’ - similar to Snuk’s but with a rather chunky sole. In my hurry I had missed this fact, and so I know possess a pair of slip-ons similar in style to what my Dad might wear! I call them my 'special shoes'! They smell lovely. (ps I've been asked to leave Tesco's before now for shopping in bare feet! On the basis that I wash my feet daily and my shoes, never - why's that?!)

Yesterday was strange. After the boy's training at HMS Raleigh, we quite often head along to Mount Edgecumbe to give Libby a quick walk and swim. It’s a place that’s very good for the soul, sitting on the bank with an ice cream, watching the boats sail past. Last week I noticed a sign advertising a Photographic Course in the grounds of the historic house which I thought might be beneficial. So I booked on. £25 for a full day, seemed like great value.

On arrival at the designated meeting point it was immediately clear that this was a social group that I would not normally have been part of. We’d been brought together by a love of creativity. However, it was clear that within the structure of the assembled, the severity of any affliction, most notably limps, gave you higher social standing than the quality of your digital SLR. There were more walking sticks than at a fell walkers convention. Simply getting from A to B proved far more challenging and time-consuming than any efforts to compose shots, set f-stops and select shutter speeds. The morning was spent listening to an informative talk, then venturing into the private garden to take snaps of the flowers and bugs. Not a particular love of mine, but a worthwhile mission trying something different.

Come lunch time we were ready to refuel. One lady, who had clearly spent a lot of time stationed at the 'eat all you can' buffet revealed, to raised eye brows, that she indeed was the one who was the sole vegetarian in the group. A wonder of science. My mind imagined a field of wandering heffers and how they too grew to quite a size eating just grass. I concluded that this lady must comfortably be satisfying her five a day quota and therefore would be internally extremely healthy and quite probably, regular. I caught her sneaking a piece of chocolate cake into her bag, “for my friend.” That’ll be the imaginary friend then. To her credit, she was walking ‘sans stick’. Not a speedy walker on the flat. On downhill stretches she was able to build up a good head of speed which would see her pass us on the next uphill stretch, annnd on the way back down again, as she rolled past uncontrollably having just come up short of the brow. Back and forth she went in the gullies. Anyone watching us, could have been mistaken for thinking we were watching Nadal and Federer knocking up.

The afternoon resumed with a lengthy (in time, but short in distance) walk to the pond where the ducks became the focus of our lenses. With the promise of a Photoshop workshop back at the Mansion House, I made my excuses and walked back to the car, would you believe it, with a limp! My new ‘special shoes’ being the cause of the niggle. I chuckled to myself about the day’s events and the onset of my sympathy limp. My Symp Limp. My Slimp. But I was now free to resume my life and living.

My sister is back from Hong Kong and staying down here five weeks. The cousins all picked up from where they last left off as if they’d been away for an afternoon. No chat about what each had been up to. The conversation went "Hi" "Hi' "Alright?" "Yep" That was the sum total of their catch up. Then straight outside to the garden for a Nurf gun battle.

Above are a few photos taken on my 'Course' - it's art but not as we know it!