Andrew Cotton

Friday, 31 December 2010

Tough call

Thought I’d post this old clip that Mr B made a few years back in Scotland. There’s a couple of things that stick out in my mind about this clip, the first is the same swell was hitting Ireland and the call was that Aileen’s was going to fire. I also knew Scotland was going to be good and had one of those situations where you just wish you could be in two places at once; it wasn’t an easy decision with hours spent on the phone to Al Mennie and Tim Nunn trying gage conditions and swell size to make the right call, but I managed to make it but proceeded to insist on phoning Al every hour to get a Irish swell report which would then affect my mood depending on the news, you could say it was an up and down few days full of different moods and self flagellation.
The other thing was Mr B who was filming had this hideous back problem and could only lie down or stand up. So he spent the whole drive up there lying in the back of the van moaning with every bump and corner as he was in so much pain, poor bloke even had to stand up when we went out for meals. I remember on the last night eating at this nice pub and getting some odd looks as myself and Tim tucked into our steaks sitting at the table and Mr B tucked into his whilst awkwardly standing up looking down on us grimacing in pain with every bite. That shows the commitment right there I think you’ll have to agree.
Oh and If I remember correctly Aileen’s was huge, Al tried to paddle it and Ben Skinner, Mole and a few other Irish lads towed. Mole got a cover shot on Pit Pilot mag and Al got cleaned the fuck up trying to paddle from the bottom of the cliff. Still not sure if I made the right call or not.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Pissed up bloke I once saw outside the pub.


I’ve got this vivid memory of seeing this guy outside the pub one night smashed out his face, he seemed to be alone and just rolling around on the bonnet of this car (which obviously wasn’t his) spilling his beer all over himself before smashing it on the floor. I just watched him for a few minutes as he tried to pick himself off the bonnet of this car and stagger off down the road laughing and shouting to himself like some sort of lunatic. I remember thinking ‘fuck that’s that saffa guy that rips and he’s possibly the most pissed person I’ve ever seen’.
Although then I didn’t know his name or ever speak to him, 15 years later I’ve come to know this pissed up saffa personally, spending months with him in Hawaii and hanging out at home. He’s put a bit of weight on now mind you since I first saw him but he still surfs pretty good and like most saffas from the Cape Town area likes to charge too.
Well he’s been back In SA now for a few months and for some reason has taking up filming, shame really cause I think he’d do pretty good in front of the camera, just for the fact it’s inspiring to see such a keg with legs surfing so good but lucky for him his bro surfs pretty good too and he’s slightly slimmer and more pleasing on the eye. Check out the clip I think you’ll like it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Britain's best naked Plumber

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing bey?” “What’s it look like Barry” “I’m being Britain’s best naked plumber.”  
I know it is a slightly odd thing to do on a building site and Barry was slightly worried about the Health and Safety aspects but I had to start somewhere if I really want to make a name for myself in this plumbing world. I did originally enter myself for Britain’s best young plumber award which was on TV the other week but I didn’t even make it through the first round, they said I wasn’t passionate or committed enough and the fact I only really plumbed for about 2 months of the year I couldn’t really even call myself a plumber and there was a slight indication what sort of person they were looking for in the title and being 30 doesn’t really qualify me as ‘young’.
Obviously I told them I didn’t even want to be in there shit programme anyway and was going to make my own award and programme hence me being butt naked at work on Friday morning, thing is I’ve got to act fast if I want to make it as the best naked plumber in Britain because come January I don’t have the slightest intention of plumbing one bit, in fact on new year’s eve I’m going to drive to Baggy Point and launch my pipe benders off the end then throw all my spanners at the moon. But until then I am available for hire, although I do charge slightly more for the naked plumbing day rate as I am currently the best in Britain.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Loose Human

I’m a loose and unpredictable human, it just the way I am. I also hate the cold; really hate it which is why like a lot of my behaviour and actions leaves me slightly confused. After plumbing my fingers to the bone the past month and getting some cash together I’ve decided to spend the next 3 months in Ireland, yep not Indo, Hawaii or any other warmer climates where the sun shines and the waters warm. Ireland, where the wind blows and the average air temp is sub zero. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never fully committed too, usually shying away at the last minute or opting for the sunnier option and who could blame me as I do really really hate the cold.
I’ll be taking my GoPro cameras to do my standard DIY stuff, I hope to make a couple of short clips with the help of Richard at Wavedreamer, they’ll consist of the usual things I like filming, maybe some rocks, fields, defiantly some animals and hopefully a couple of waves.
 As usual the photo has very little to do with this but it was taken in Ireland when I was over there last time with the old boys and bear the dog. Bear had a bum deal to be honest, he cut his foot on the first day so was having a shocker from word go, he couldn’t walk properly or join us on our searches for flotsam and as if like a final kick in the swingers they don’t even let dogs in the pubs. So as you can imagine he spent a lot of time on his own probably thinking that Ireland s the shittest place for a dog to go on holiday ever. Hopefully my 3 month little stint will be slightly better.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Flotsam

Found this boat in a field pretty close to a little bay on the last day I was in Ireland, the old boys I was hanging out with are obsessed with walking the coast looking for ‘flotsam’  Which basically means they walk along the shore line looking for wood, fishing boys, nets, rope and any other random junk that gets washed up on the shoreline. They collect it all, drag it back to the van and just hoard it, occasionally spending 5 minutes to knock up an odd fishing boy/rope/wood piece of art before discarding it and leaving it to roll around in the back of the van. You can’t knock it too much as they occasionally find some pretty cool stuff which can be interesting; it’s just an acquired taste I suppose. I don’t mind tagging along just not really into collecting all the ‘flotsam’ and dragging the shit miles back to the van but it is a good way to check out the coast line and scope out waves. When I came across this boat though they got pretty excited and I can pretty much guarantee if they could of dragged it off and fitted it in the back of the van they would of, luckily it was in a field and miles away. I did have to mention that although the boat was in no way sea worthy and looked as it had been there rotting for years, i was positive someone actaually owned it and it would be missed. Instead we just tried to work out how old it was and how many lobster’s it had probably caught which filled a good 10 minutes before going back to looking for flotsam again.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bad dreams

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Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re getting chased by something or someone horrible and scary and can’t get away, then you turn down a dead end and have no choice but to face them. Then you suddenly wake up in a cold sweat and panic screaming out in terror? Nah neither have I, but I was just curious.
This is just a little clip of me doing a pick up for Gmac at Nazare last week, like I said in a previous post this place is pretty gnarly with heaps of aerated foam on the inside which can be a nightmare when driving the ski, that combined with the fact that 6ft walls of white water wash up the steep beach so if you don’t find a gap pretty quick you’re up the beach high and dry. Luckily in this little clip I find one just meters from the sand.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Clean socks

I just have to have a clean pair of socks every day, if I don’t I just feel dirty. Odd really as I haven’t shaved in well over a month and since I’ve been on my little mission, with a brief visit to Nazare in Portugal and now in rural Ireland with the old boys and bear the dog my personal hygiene hasn’t been top notch so to speak, you could pretty much say my clothes could stand up and walk off by themselves. But who’ve I got to impress? haven’t really be socializing with any normal folk the past few days and we have been going in the sea every day which kind of counts as a shower, well apart from the bit of having to put my wetsuit on which coincidently stinks of cats piss as it to hasn’t been cleaned in some time.
Home next week as Barry the builder from Braunton keeps leaving messages on my phone, something about radiators need moving in the front room and I’m holding everyone up, again. God I hate plumbing.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Calculated Crazy

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Plumbed my face off last week and hated every second of it, if you could have heard the involuntary groaning noises, agh. So the plan was to give myself a well earned holiday and take a little break with the old boys, Skelly, Stenno, Bro and Bear the dog in Ireland surfing fun waves on silly boards and generally just being old and odd.
The only odd thing that happened was 6 hours into it and half way across the Irish channel I got a call which lasted about 10 seconds and consisted of about only 10 words, ‘it’s on tomorrow’ ‘can you make it’ ‘that’s a green light then’ ‘go go go’ before I knew it I was dropped at a train station and making my way to Dublin airport for my flight to Portugal.
It wasn’t completely out of the blue as we had been speaking on email for a few weeks but I never thought it would actually happen as the Atlantic can be a pretty fickle place and everyone I spoke to about it said I’d be crazy to even consider going there on a big swell, the place is called Nazare and you can read their blog HERE about what Garrett’s been up to there over the past month.
An amazing couple days which is hard to put into words and you really have to see with your own eyes to believe. My take on it is calculated crazy and that is what I sort of took from Garrett who is absolutely frothing on this place, from surfing the waves to actually having to rescue someone on a ski there has to be 100% calculated. Just check Garrett even putting the ski’s in the water on the first day, I’d say he’s pretty calculated...............crazy.
Would like to thank everyone involved for inviting myself and Al down and making us feel so welcome, hopefully be seeing you down there again soon.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Braunton Man catches record breaking fish.

You seen the size of that fish on the back of the North Devon Journal? Everyone’s talking about it and its all I’ve heard from my mates this week, it’s a record breaker apparently and matey boy from Braunton caught it off Ilfracombe. Sort of puts things in perspective really, while I shoulder hopped on a wave in Ireland getting me a cover shot on the Irish Times, Wavelength Surf mag (which is out next wednesday/thursday) plus getting plastered all over the 2 biggest surfing websites in the world, you could say things were really kicking off with all the hype involved and I was more than happy to enjoy the ride and savour every second.
Although that wave was pretty big the reality is there’s just no comparison to that massive fish, brilliant isn’t it. Rob Tibbles gave me a great little write up in the surfing section though which I was stoked about and you can check it out here.

But check the size of that fecking fish on the back page, Christ!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

first few waves in over 6 months.


Cotty's knee meets hurricane Igor from wavedreamer on Vimeo.


Remember when I was in the depths of despair, girlfriend leaving me, massive knee operation, got told I wouldn’t be able to surf for 9 months. Went slightly insane and only talked to a cuddly toy I called ‘Big bird’ for a solid 8 weeks, had huge internet binges and was generally slightly crazy.
All because I couldn’t surf, well 6 months later despite advice I got back in the sea. Here are my first few waves.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Prowlers Today

Agh involuntary groaning noises , I've been so good about this waiting to surf big waves thing but today I crumbled. Made a quick 24 hour dash to Ireland, with huge swell and rare winds forecasted there was no way I was gunna stay in Devon. With chart like that and talk of new spots on the cards I was pretty amped. All the boys got bombs Al, Richie, Paul, Barry and Jerome with Aaron Pierce, Joe Kennedy and Conn Osborne shooting from the boat. The spots named Prowlers and the guys have had there eye on it for some time, you can pretty much say we scored, this was my last wave of the day. May not tell my physio or mention it to Andy the knee surgeon from London at the end of the month but you could say i'm I'm pretty stoked.
Photo:Conn Osborne www.surfingphotography.com

Friday, 5 November 2010

Hot London

Been doing this Bikram yoga last weekend, it’s amazing. For those you have no idea what I’m banging on about or a clue what it is, basically it’s like doing Yoga in a sauna and this guy Bikram patented it along with a few moves and now charges people a shit load of money to copy him. Clever flexible hippy I say and also it’s a surprisingly hectic workout that absolutely roots you.
Personally I’m not much of a yoga fan and that sort of thing has never floated my boat but hanging out semi naked in a hot room mainly full of woman doing funny stretches and poses in front of a mirror can be pretty fun. There was one little scenario on the second session with the old woman in front, who happened to be wearing baggy shorts, when doing this particular pose was pretty much letting it all hang out so to speak. Believe me it wasn’t a pretty sight but it was one of those situations where even though you know you shouldn’t I just couldn’t help but look. I was going to say something like ‘excuse me I can see your fanny’ or maybe just have a quite word in her ear to save the next poor person who happens to be stood behind her from permanent mental scarring as she seemed to know what she was doing so she obviously was a regular. But I didn’t seem to find the appropriate time, not that that’s ever stopped me before. The only drawback to this hot Bikram yoga thing is that you have to drive all the way to hot London to do the bloody stuff which does seem quite excessive. But that’s just life sometimes.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Lately.

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What you been up to lately? Well the past week I was a councillor and shoulder to cry on for a good mate whose fiancĂ©e left him in his prime, tough job for anyone but as a good friend and bloody nice bloke somehow I came up with some positives and a few words of wisdom to try and get him out of the god almighty depths of insanity and the ‘meaning of life’ thoughts he found himself asking.
Then I decided I wanted to get some quality waves and hopefully get barrelled so looked into going on a little surf mission to the North East, then it was Scotland then finally Ireland. All of which never came to fruition due the uncompromising ways of mother nature so I ended up randomly going to a party in London which a friend very kindly got me tickets too. After being slightly socially inappropriate to strangers and being a loose cannon I decided to use my phone and be inappropriate on social networking sites, realising the errors of my ways I then threw my phone at the moon, shaking my fist screaming ‘dam you modern technology’ and ‘why?’ at the top of my voice. Well it was either that or I left it in the taxi that took us home but none the less I woke up without it which added to myself inflicted guilt. Having not learnt my lesson from the previous night I descended into one almighty internet binge which ended in me somehow chatting to an ex girlfriend who I dated for 4 years about 6 years ago. Turns out she’s now married, has kids, a house and is very happily living abroad which then lead me to think and ponder about the ‘meaning of life’, choices and paths I could of taken and actually what the hell have I been doing in the past 6 years since we split up.
Then yesterday the surf was flat so I went to the gym and rowed until I almost puked as some sort of punishment for being such an inappropriate idiot over the weekend, like that’s going to teach me a lesson. After that I went to see Richard Gregory at Wave dreamer to put the finishing touches to the clip we’re putting together. This is when I realised maybe my personal choices aren’t all doom and gloom after all, I get to share some amazing times with some special people and I’m pretty dam lucky in life. I also found this little clip of my fisherman mates from The Cliffs of Moher which I took when over there last month. I wonder what these two guys have been up to lately. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

AG Board short test 1.

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When I got invited to a board short test I jumped at the chance as to be honest I was thinking like a week in the Caribbean or maybe Indo surfing, wearing boardies. So I’ll have to admit when I found out that it was a day in Bedford and at a Flowhouse I was slightly disappointed and also worried for my limbs as I’ve heard the odd horror story about these things and with my luck wasn’t prepared to take any silly risks. Being the switched on sort of person I am I came up with a plan which involved inviting young Alex Baker along to do my side of the testing and risk taking, he surf’s pretty good, can do airs and shit so this flow rider thing should be a walk in the park for him I thought.
Well it isn’t as easy as it looks and I can honestly say it’s nothing like surfing, skating or snowboarding but when your natural show off like myself, faced with a small crowd I did manage to lay down some turns and generally impress, although I think the highlight was just messing about on the body boards. As for Alex, well it didn’t go exactly to plan, although he did meet all the crew at Analog he wasn’t as natural as I thought he might be which was slightly annoying for him and quite amusing for me.  

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I LUV COCK......... and Mullaghmore

Oh how the Irish love the crack, so there I was driving round rural Ireland waving to all the old boys in their tractors and folk alike. Got a lot of attention when I rocked up at some surf spot too, but I just put it down to they must recognise me, that’s understandable as I do get the odd shot in the mags and I was even on telly once. Little did I know I was sporting a new personalised number plate! Must of looked like a right twat as I got changed for the surf thinking I was all cool as the group of lads kept looking over, probably muttering to each other ‘look at that English toss pot who the feck does he think he is with a number plate like that?’ even made a point of jogging past them on the way to the waves and shouting ‘alright’ and doing a little wave. I’m just happy I noticed before I got pulled over by the cops or at customs at Fishguard. Of course I had an idea who it was but it wasn’t until I received this today from photographer Conn Osborne that I had the proof, Al Mennie the funny big ginger fecker you’re a comedian.
Oh yeah, if you haven’t heard already yesterday Mullaghmore was off the dial, huge and offshore. Al being Al decided he was going to paddle no matter what, as I sat on the ski in the channel and he dodged Wide clean up sets and tried to position himself in the pretty much impossible line up, nutter not a chance I’d of grabbed me tow board in a instant but as he tried to convince himself and me it was a good idea he told me ‘I could tow these waves all day long, I just really want to paddle into one’. Fair play you big crazy fecker. The boys who had the sense to tow, if that’s possible! Mikee Hamilton, Dave Lavelle, Paul O’Kane, Barry Mottershead, Richie Fitzgerald, Neil Britton, Peter Craig, Rick Hutton, Dylan Scott and Kurt Rist
took it apart and charged harder than ever, really raising the level out there and inspiring me beyond belief, If I don’t see some cover shots from Aaron Pierce who was shooting from the boat I’ll be amazed, good work by all involved. Just give me a couple more weeks till I get the all clear from Andy the knee surgeon from London and I’ll be right out with you, Can’t wait....
photo: conn@surfingphotography.co.uk

Monday, 4 October 2010

The weekend bender

I’ve just worked out in the last 2 weeks I’ve eaten 83 sausages, that’s a fuck load off sausage for any one man to eat and hardly the diet of an athlete. It’s like everywhere you go they sell hot sausages in Ireland and I just can’t help myself as I just love them, from garages, corner stores to supermarkets they all seem to have these little deli counters that sell hot sausage. Obviously I have eaten other things to try and balance it out, like fruit etc but I’ve pretty much only really been eating sausages.
So this is me at my favourite right hander after a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner of sausage, the shots by Aaron Pearce who I was surprised to see there as he’s usually shooting death slabs or huge Mullaghmore which is where I often see him and know him from.
Been riding this board which diplock has leant me called ‘The mushy pea’ I’ve re named it ‘The weekend bender’ as its loose, fast and loves good lines, it’s also my re-hab board which I got to help keep me on the straight and narrow so to speak and it’s been doing just that.
You seen the chart for tomorrow? Shit the bed, probably be seeing Aaron again!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

A left hander, Myself, Terry, Doris and a red tractor

I finally know what I want to do when I’m older, not that I’m young but I’m talking maybe in a couple of years when everything’s become too much and I feel the need to eject myself from normal society and day to day life. I’m gunna sell all my worldly possessions, which to be fair only really consists of my van and, um, my van. Yeah that’s about it; well my van and 23 surfboards but I wouldn’t sell those for the life of me. So I’m going to sell my van and buy a old red tractor, get myself a dog and call it Terry and also a goat which I’m going to call Doris.
So Myself, Terry and Doris are going to live in front of this insane left which I surfed today and when not surfing were all gunna cruse round in my old red tractor, maybe to the local pub or just through town, Terry by my left shoulder and Doris by my right and I’ll talk to them, but not in English just in dog and goat noises like ‘woof’ and ‘bleat’ or whatever noises goats make. I’d be known as ‘That weird English bloke that drives that fucked old red tractor and talks in dog and goat noises.’ But I’d be happy, who wouldn’t with an empty sick left hander to surf, red tractor, a dog called Terry and a goat called Doris in your life.
Job done and my future sorted, might call the folks and let them know; hope this left pumps again tomorrow. If not I might get started on this life plan of mine and buy myself a goat.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Coffee for two

The other day I was standing outside one of those coffee places, you know the ones that do those loyalty cards which when you spend £30 on coffee they so kindly give you one free. I’d just bought an overpriced latte and was about to savour my first sip, when this old fella comes up to me and asks for a 1 euro for a cup of tea. I didn’t even think and it was almost an instant reaction as I handed him my stupidly overpriced latte ‘have that mate if you want’ ‘just got it and haven’t even had any yet’. This guy was obviously in a bit of a scenario with life although he didn’t look that rough and seemed to be slightly more cleaner and sober than the likes of my mate Szczepan from Poland but he took the latte off me and had a sip. We both stood there momentarily in silence as I watched him drink the coffee then out of the blue he broke the silence and said ‘you want to share?’
Blue tractors have nothing to do with this but I like them and spotted this one while I was looking for waves today, Surfs been pumping.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Jog on.

Just a little observation I’ve made. The Irish love to walk, not normal walking like when you walk a dog but this funny little speed walking scenario which isn’t quite jogging yet faster than a normal walk, they dress like there gunna jog but haven’t quite got there yet or maybe there just warming up to it yet I haven’t seen anyone actually jogging.
In the past 48 hours I’ve surfed 5 waves and spent about 14 hours on this fecking jet ski, why so long in the sea and so little waves? You’re probably thinking. Well I’m not as stupid as I look or sound no matter what you think and I managed to find that bit of self control that I seem to lack so often in life and take it as easy and as safe as I possibly could, this meant a lot of watching and choosing my time really because technically I shouldn’t be fully surfing yet although my physio did say I should build up things to where I want to be instead of just throwing myself in at the deep end on the 9 month mark, which is when I’m supposed be back to full surfing fitness. The ski’s been like our car as in we’ve just been cruising about and making the most of the waves which have been in the 6 to 10ft area, all in full paddle range which Big Al made the most of and some of the local crew who charged Aileen’s. Which is always good to witness from the channel, while I quietly had words with myself and ensured that my hand break on life was firmly on and I didn’t listen to Derrick who lives in the other side of my brain.
I filmed my whole 5 waves and 14 hours on the ski with my GoPro camera which is possibly going to make the most tedious and boring GoPro clip known to man, which will be a feat in itself as there’s shitloads out there on the world wide web! But hopefully Richard from Wavedreamer is going to help me on the edit so you’ll have to check it out when it’s done.
Might put my running kit on now and go for a walk, you look silly but everyone’s doing it here and I just want to fit in.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Good things come to those who wait.

I haven’t made one of those involuntary groaning noises in the past 24 hours, um well actually make that 10 as I briefly made a couple this morning when I woke up in the van freezing and realised that it was howling northerly which meant our surfing plans were limited. I got over it pretty quickly though as deep down I knew I shouldn’t really be going to nuts at the moment, ‘take it easy’ is what every fecker keeps telling me, easy for them to say as they haven’t been hanging around all summer listening to every tom, dick and harry banging on about waves, surfs and sessions they’ve had. I think my melting point was when someone said to me ‘oh, so I suppose that’s it for your surfing now then’ not sure what he was getting at or he just wanted to make me feel shit, but I just agreed with him and said I’d taken up croaky instead and was aiming to turn professional at the end of the year. Anyway today we started to goose chase which isn’t something I’m into really, I usually take the piss out of few of the boys at home that drive around all day looking for shit waves which are usually crowded or if not below average, but we managed to find some shelter at this spot, no ideas what it’s called but no one was there and it was pumping.

So no word of a lie this is my first real wave in over 6 months since my knee operation and was my only one of the day, ok I did have a couple of sessions at a little onshore beachie yesterday just to see how the old knee felt but you could hardly call it surfing, just like flapping and stomping maybe? I did cheat a little as I got my big ginger mate to jet assist me but the idea was to get a feel for it for tomorrow, as that’s hopefully when we’ll get some cooking waves. So this is a shot of my first and only wave so far with a new knee, Thanks to Andy the knee surgeon from London, I’ll see you in November for my final appointment and also thanks to James my physio in Barnstaple who had to deal with me winging at him every week for 45 minutes. Oh and of course Al the big ginger fecker for the Jet Ski assist, I love you mate x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Very, very loose facts.


Oh the rain and cold how I’ve missed you. So I’m over in the emerald isle for a couple weeks trying to get back in the swing of things, and as luck would have it there’s a pretty exciting chart on the cards. I can hardly contain myself and don’t really know whether I’m coming or going or should laugh or cry but I have quickly decided to write down some very very loose facts about Ireland which may or may not interest you. When I say facts I don’t really mean actual facts although I’m sure some of them are facts but others might actually 
 not be 100% factual, if that makes any sense.


 

  • Michael Jackson briefly lived in Ireland and it was said it helped to inspire him write music.
  • Unless you’re bald you have to wear a swimming cap in the public swimming baths.
  • Ginger is a very popular hair colour.
  • There’s more class wave set ups per mile of coast than you can shake a stick at.
  • My favourite band Westlife comes from Ireland, as do the Corrs.
  • Guinness tastes better here, or that’s what I tell myself when I’m over here.
  • 93% of Ireland is covered in grass.
  • 37% of rocks in Ireland are the same size now as they where 200 years ago.
  • 82% of Americans claim to have Irish ancestry.
  • In Northern Ireland they use Pounds, in Eire they use Euros.
  • Some people say the Irish are lucky.
  • Arther Guinness invented Guinness; apparently the hops are from the same plant as hashish. No wonder they’re so chilled out.
  • Irish girls have pure white skin and big fresh tits……………apparently.
  • There’s some legit big wave set ups here and even though some spots like Mullaghmore have been surfed for years they’ve only recently been getting international exposure.
  • Irelands the only place in the world where you can find four leaf clovers and see leprechauns walking down the street.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Pricks in suits



Summers over and the majority of the surf dudes have gone home but there’s still a few about. Now I’m not usually one to repeat myself, well that is unless I’ve had a couple of ales and am in full social swing but I just had to post these photos up. Yes its wetsuit shopping all over again with both cases being in Braunton which is a good old car journey from the sea.
Case1: God knows how this blokes got a girlfriend, but he must be doing something right as he’s thinking about taking his lucky lady for a slap up meal at The Riverside restaurant in the centre of braunton, the only trouble being he forgot to take his wetsuit off after his epic session at Croyde earlier but it doesn’t seem to bother her.
Case2: What’s more ridiculous than guys who wear boardies over their wetsuits? Guys who wear boardies over their wetsuits and go shopping in Tesco’s! Yep Tesco Braunton seems to be a hot spot for these wetsuit shopping freaks for some reason. I’m still confused to what these surf dudes are actually thinking, are they  going or coming back from the sea and where's their clothes? But where ever this guys going he looks freaking cool and I wish I knew him so we could hang out and go shopping in our wetsuits together, with boardies over the top of course.
Thanks Mike Copping and Horley for the shots, good skills guys.  

Monday, 13 September 2010

Happiness is..........

A couple people didn’t like my last post about the shitty toilet in Newquay but Look how happy I am.
Ok so the reason for the unusual amount of happiness has nothing to do with Newquay but check the sheer joy and excitement on my little face. There are sort of a few reasons for this, I finally feel after some months I’m back in the game surfing wise, which could mean a slightly different approach to my blogging so it will hopefully include some surfing and not just random dribble, all I have to do now is just dust off the cobwebs so to speak. So what better way to celebrate by going and surfing the Severn bore in the pitch black over the weekend. I’m not gunna lie, although it was amazing and slightly different wave riding fun, hanging round in a field for 48 hours to only have the opportunity of catching 4 waves at specific times of the day and night can be slightly tedious if not testing but it was worth it.
There was a small scenario with some guy who kept letting off flares whilst trying to surf the river which was the talk amongst the rest of the fellow bore riders and no one quite knew who he was, although they all thought the guy was a prick as he surfed down the river looked into his flair that he’d just let off, blinded himself then surfed into a tree. ‘Could have killed himself’ was the chat and then ‘anyone know who it was?’ I just pleaded innocent and totally agreed with everyone ‘yep what a complete tool’ ‘what on earth was he thinking?’ the fact that phantom flare surfer did it the next night but with slightly more success took the piss. It did look quite impressive while the flair was going off but I still couldn’t quite make out who it was with the shadows, then the second it went out it took about 30 seconds for everyone’s eyes to adjust back to the darkness causing everyone to go blind and half of the surfers to fall. I was lucky though as I had a couple of pretty long rides. Some guy even shouted at me ‘stop hogging the river’ which I didn’t quite understand but I guess it’s the sort of lingo I’ll have to brush up on if I do it again.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Shit you not.

You’re probably thinking why the hell have you got a photo of a shitty toilet on here or maybe I’ve developed some sort of weird shit fetish but I kid you not this is real life shituation I witnessed in the cold light of day, It was almost like I walked into that scene from Trainspotting, as I gagged and dry wretched, eyes watering I somehow felt the need to take a photo, a strange thing to do granted but I just needed photographic evidence as no one would ever really believe me.
The mind just boggles as to what actually happened here as this scene of mass destruction was in a once grand hotel in Newquay but which is now like most once grand hotels there a hostel, even though it looks like Beirut from the outside and obviously has a few slight issues with cleanliness and the general up keep the place gets packed every weekend full of stag and hen party’s frothing on the Newquay night life. Although the guy who was running it did say there were a couple of people who did actually live there as it was pretty cheap accommodation. Most of the people who stay here probably leave after their weekend of debauchery with one of those red hoodys that say ‘Newquay Life Guard’ on the back which makes me shudder every time I see one. Oh the joys of the stereotypical British sea side, I just love it.
So if you haven’t guessed I’ve been enjoying the delights of Newquay this week with Dan from AG and before you jump to conclusions, no we didn’t stay in the hostel although we did spend some time in it for various reasons and the experience as a whole was pretty eye opening and interesting.
 

Friday, 3 September 2010

Feeling Invinci-ball

I just got my SAS Invinci-Ball tickets in the post, not gunna lie I am a little excited. Myself and A Blake (nice bloke big features generally) are going so it should be a action packed weekend with hopefully not to many cringe worthy scenarios but you just never know as he can be a bit of a loose cannon at times, well a lot of the time to be completely honest and I’m pretty easily led, some may say.
I just hope it goes better than the last time I went way back in 2004, which only saw me at the ball for approximately 30 minutes, got a little over excited you see and when that happens the outcomes can go either way. It was an odd one though from the start, as to how I even got hold of the dam tickets in the first place. A week before the ball I just so happened to be wrestling at a house party in Croyde, it was one of those wrestles which almost got out of control, like they start off all playful but quickly get a bit serious. The problem was it wasn’t one of my mates this tom foolery was happening with; it was a grown woman that I barely knew. The next day I was already giving myself guilty death threats when the phone rang and it was Nick from Redwood surf shop, he seemed to be reviling in his own sobriety from the previous night which is enough to tip anyone over the edge but when he dropped the bombshell that my said wrestling partner had dropped an envelope in for me my heart sank, what the hell could it be? Thoughts of the worst case possible outcome obviously go through your brain and that situation arises where you need to know what’s in that envelope before you can do or think about anything else.
Just so happened that in the envelope was a pair of VIP tickets for the SAS ball with a little note about what a good wrestler I was! Bonus. I thought I was gunna get sued or possibly a restraining order but instead I get given a pair of VIP SAS ball tickets, I couldn’t quite work it out but suddenly life felt good again and Nicks sobriety not so much fun after all!
As I said my VIP ball experience was short lived and went a little like this; I’d given the 2nd ticket to life companion, housemate and interesting drunk Horley, neither of us knew what to expect and got there a little early, actually really early so the first 20 minutes were spent doing dance floor skids, like the really goods one you used to do at discos when you were at primary school, everyone just stood round the edges not really knowing what to do until someone steps up and breaks the ice by doing a running dance floor knee skid, well that was how we spent the first 20 minutes minus anyone really watching, just a few comments like ‘twats’ and ‘grow up your not in primary school anymore you dicks’. After that the next 5 minutes we spent hunting out the VIP area where the idea was to harass strangers. VIP areas are great for this because everyone’s so bloody cool and these people make perfect targets. Our plan was floored though as the VIP area was pretty much empty, everyone knows cool people are always late. So this moves me on to my final 5 minutes and I have to say this possibly wasn’t the finest 5 minutes of my life.
Some band had started playing and now there are a few more people milling around, I stood at the back of the marquee drinking a beer when something in my brain just clicked and I took off into an auto pilot situation, running across the dance floor, side stepping a couple of people and diving over the barrier in front of the stage, I didn’t want to get on stage or anything, or although no doubt If given half a chance. But I think I’d just seen that sort of thing on TV when watching these festivals with the big crowds and bands playing, crowd surfing, people fainting and getting pulled over the barriers to safety etc I wanted to do that and somehow saw this as my only opportunity in life that I would ever get. Looking back I don’t think it’s that kind of place. The bouncer just grabbed me and asked me to come with him; he quickly cut my VIP wrist band off then bundled me out the Marquee. I spent the rest of the night in the car park thinking thank fuck I didn’t have to pay for that ticket but I’m pretty sure Horley enjoyed himself.   

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Malloy me not


What on earth was I thinking when I left the house this morning to go for a surf, maybe along the lines I thought  I’d actually woken up somehow as a Malloy brother or I was a distant relation to Rasta or Donavon. But it wasn’t till I set my sights on the waves, that the realisation I had only put a wooden belly board in my van to surf with and I was still Me hit hard. It took the old surf craft selection scenario to the another level, as I’m sure any surfer has had that dilemma of what board to ride no matter how big or small their quiver and what the surf conditions.
I’m no stranger to the wooden belly board, as in fact I was ranked No2 in the world back in 2004 and it was a close call between myself and first place who also just happened to be my good mate Skelly, the thing was he loves surfing weird or slightly odd surf craft all the time but for me the reality is when the surfs good I could think of better ways to be ridding waves, like the good old trusty short board, that’s why they call it progression, isn’t it?
Skelly and Myself (Worlds No1 and 2 Wooden Belly Boarders 2004) often travelled together in the past yet every time we plan a trip he’d always do the same thing. My golden rule is never go on a surf trip without a bog standard short board, it’s your bread and butter board and always gets the most use, but skellys odd outlook or maybe ‘broader perspective’ on surfing is somewhat different yet he never seems to learn. Two examples of this; On a 3 month trip to West Aus when packing he decided, out of the 5 boards he was going to take none of them were going to be a standard short board. I warned him he’d regret it  and after 3 weeks of surfing super fun 3-4ft waves on a 6’8 semi gun he crumbled and begged to borrow mine ‘Please Cotton, just one surf’ ‘you could ride your 6’3, you haven’t ridden that much’ he said. ‘Not a chance, I told you’ was my reply although I do seem to remember caving in on a couple of occasions and letting him have a bash.
So as most people learn from their mistakes I went to Scotland with him a couple years ago. His quiver choice was an impressive array of surf craft with consisted of a blow up surf matt, wooden belly board, 6’10, 90’s Maurice Cole piny which had mental channels in, A twinny that looked like it had been found in a garage 30 years ago and probably should of been left there and a 6’8” gulfstream pin tail which was only slightly normal board he had. He was stoked with his selection and on the 14 hours drive up there explained in every detail imaginable what conditions he’d surf every board and why he’s brought it along. Three days into the trip the 14 hours Scottish board selection justification and lecture had been long forgotten, as I waxed up my short board and he was starring at either the blow up matt or the twinny that looked like it had been found in a garage 30 years ago and probably should of been left there. ‘I do like all my boards but I’d have to admit something more normal to surf does seem quite appealing right now.’    
  

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Job Title

‘Cool hair mate’ is what people generally say, well apart from that woman the other week who said I looked ‘gay’ but I only spoke to her for 30 seconds and she said a couple of things which made me think she was slightly socially inapt, so I suppose she doesn’t even count.
The other thing which I’ve noticed people say is ‘So what do you do now?’ This always puts me in an awkward position as I never really know how to answer them. I could answer them in a number of replies, ‘I get by’ ‘lifeguard’ ‘shop worker’ ‘unemployed’ ‘plumber’ ‘pro surfer’ or ‘Labrador breeder’ but I don’t as I know People really only ever ask this if (a) there really stuck for conversation (b) being nosey or (c) they want to follow up by telling you how fucking brilliant there life is.
As soon as I get asked this question I instantly panic and usually answer by saying ‘um not much really’ then this opens up the follow up question ‘Oh what do you do now then?’ which is what they really wanted to tell me in the first place. So they can launch into their life, how great they are and how well their doing. Don’t get me wrong here I like to hear how well people are doing in life; it’s just the labelling thing or job description that gets my goat.  I couldn’t care less what you call or label yourself, it’s just a title which usually is made up, or blown out of proportions anyway. It honestly doesn’t bother me whether you’re title or job description in life is a Bin Collector or the Richest Man in Britain, I try and take people at face value but some people have massive hang ups on this shit.
A few months ago I found out all this out in a real life situation when I jested by calling this guy a ‘Painter and Decorator’ the fact was I couldn’t give a shit what he did or does as it just doesn’t matter, it was just instant a reply to ridiculous email that this ‘Person’ sent me in the first place.
 "Your reply to that e-mail was full of personal malice directed at belittling me and all other painters and decorators! You wrote from a seemingly aloof perspective, when in fact as a plumber your remarks say more about yourself."
Was his reply, then he launched into a rant about how rich he was and what he actually did, putting digets on his wealth and estate that he owns which I won’t quote as its just embarrassing yet at the same time very, very funny. To think that anyone would actually put that on paper in a reply to just a simple joke about a job which they don’t even do! Humans are just so strange sometimes.
Analog and Gravis just sent me some new business cards, check out my job title.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Emotional times

I’m an emotional little fella, you probably wouldn’t know really as it’s something that I try and keep hidden and a side I only let a few close people see. Its freaking odd the things that make me emotional though, one of which is when I watch films, I think this is why I don’t really watch many anymore, its happened in the past where when watching a film I pretty much have to switch off and ignore the plot just in case I get to involved and the water works start. My usual film watching time now is where I have no real choice on a flight and it can get quite embarrassing. Before I know it and failing to do that switch off thing my brain sort of gets emotionally attached to the characters, then for no reason the smallest scenario within the film will set me off and I just lose it and break down in tears, sometimes I just can’t stop myself. Other things that set me off are some real life documentary’s which I think most will admit can be pretty gut wrenching at times and randomly enough Deal or no deal. Yep you heard it right, I get so into that game show so much it’s actually bought me to tears, almost like I feel and pain and joy of the contestants and feel what they’re going through as I sit there sipping my tea from the comfort of my living room. I got so into this show I ended up applying, after one of the longest and most annoying application forms I’d ever taken the time to fill out, which for me is an achievement in itself I didn’t hear anything back for months. It got to the point where I pretty much forgot all about it then out of the blue I had a phone call, I got interviewed over the phone then asked to attend another audition in Bristol which if I was successful would see me hanging out with Noel in Bristol for 2 weeks while filming the shows and a pop at winning £250.000. I was so stoked and couldn’t quite believe my luck. ‘Should probably take the time to fill out more application forms more often’ I thought ‘probably starting with some job ones!’
Anyway, went to the audition and had a shocker. It involved sitting in a big semi circle with 30 other grown adults and playing a mock version of the game, no real emotion was involved no matter how the rest of the applicants tried to fake it as they over enthusiastically played and I just felt like a complete plumb as everyone else got into the pointless and embarrassing game. I didn’t break down or cry during this I felt like a bit of a twat and was sort of gutted I was wasting my time. I didn’t pass this audition which was no surprise but it did make me feel slightly more normal oddly enough.
All this as usual has nothing to do with the vid at the beginning of the post. But just take the time to watch it, don’t just watch it once take the time to watch and listen to it 2 or 3 times. It gets me going and hits hard for some reason, not just the places it’s filmed which feel quite familiar to me it’s the words that are spoken and the sincerity from Mickey. Truly amazing and emotional stuff.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

you look..........

It’s amazing what a new hair cut, skinny jeans, baggy v neck T and some deck shoes can do. I went through a stage where I cut my own hair, just in front of the mirror with the kitchen scissors. The first few times went well and to be honest I don’t think anyone could tell but as time went on and at about the 18 month, 2 year mark my hair got so far away from an actual style I started to look a little bit ridiculous and people didn’t want to be seen in public with me, especially my ex girlfriend and it was her who persuaded me to go to a professional high street hairdresser and get a real hairstyle. It cost me freaking £25 which I couldn’t quite believe and had to ask twice, I quickly worked out that in the 2 years of my DIY haircuts I’d saved myself well over £150 which I was quite happy about it and eased the pain of the £25 mugging I’d just had while sitting still for 20 minutes being asked loads of annoying personal questions which I didn’t want or feel the need to answer.
So the last 3 or so weeks I’ve been on a bit of a tour, this has involved a lot trying to get some colour on the ginger skin, a bit of training mixed with some late nights and generally having a blast. I’ve managed to increase my alcohol tolerance levels to 5 pints, at which point I start going blind in one eye, getting a nervous involuntary twitch and speaking in tongues, it’s quite impressive for me but hopefully that will lower again as it is getting quite expensive. The thing is when I cut my own hair no one ever commented on it, but over the last few weeks and my late nights out I’ve had some random comments which has had me slightly concerned. The first was in Santander, I was quietly ripping up the dance floor when this complete stranger came up to me and shouts ‘David Guetta’ in my face, obviously I was like what the fuck. Then in really broken English ‘you look like David Guetta’ then just turned around and walked off. The second was, I saw these 2 girls getting out a taxi one night and the only reason it caught my eye was one of them had a skirt on which could of been worn as a belt, as she walked towards me she looked me right in the eye and laughed pointing ‘ha look, it’s that guy off pineapple dance studio.’ The next one was when I was chatting to a friend when some really horrible drunk girl decided to butt in, she was so drunk her face was all distorted and she looked like one of those girls you see on the programmes about booze Britain and how shit we all are at binge drinking ‘it’s JJ off big brother’ but she didn’t just say it once and fuck off she just kept saying it like she was stuck on repeat. The final one was in the cold light of day and actually left me a little speechless. When chatting at a trade show last week, this woman says to me ‘I know I don’t know you and we’ve never met before, but you look so gay’.
It’s all given me a bit of a complex really; think I might start cutting my own hair again.    

Friday, 13 August 2010

Chinese whispers

This is Dave, he’s alright really no matter what any photo says about him, although after what I’ve heard about what the fecker has been up to in the last few years you might have a different opinion.
We go way back you see, as like any small village and community everyone knows everyone, their girlfriends, ex girlfriends, where they’ve lived, who with and what went down in each seedy dwelling over the summer months and winter suicide watch, how often they go down the pub, who they talk to and what about when their down there, actually hang on this sounds a bit like facebook! Anyway, me and Dave have known each other for some time; we even worked together many moons ago in at gulfstream surfboards. Eventually Dave managed to leave the bubble for pastures greener, yet I didn’t see or hear from him for some time the old stories always filtered back, slightly exaggerated or misinterpreted
but they still came back. That’s why when I got told he’d bought a ski lodge in the Swiss alps I was thinking ‘yeah right that old chest nut’ then 6 months later I also hear he’s bought or partially bought a surf camp in the Mentawai’s. I was thinking it’s all been taking too far this time, these Chinese whispers just can’t be correct and have to stop just for Dave’s sake if no one else’s. Its gunna be more like he was cleaning for some lodge in the Swiss alps then cooking in some shitty surf camp in the Mentawai’s - living the dream briefly for a couple of years before he has to come back home to sunny Devon where nothing’s changed apart from the price of a pint in Billy buds.
Oh how I was wrong, I heard it all from the horse’s mouth just today, so maybe the photo is right! Check out Dave’s endless fun time sun time and mutter ‘cunt’ under your breath!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Szczepan comes to Croyde for the first AG coffee morning.

This is Szczepan, he’s from Poland and has been travelling round the UK for a year and 7 months, nice bloke and I’m guessing that when he said travelling he means sleeping rough and boozing shit loads as he doesn’t look like he’s been working much over the past year and when I met him at 7am on Saturday morning he was surrounded by empty cider bottles, although I could be wrong about the work comment as I didn’t actually ask him that. He speaks perfect English and couldn’t really understand what the hell I was doing down the beach on a rainy, windy Saturday morning so early, armed with piping hot coffee and fresh donuts which I’d just picked up from the bakers in Barnstaple, but he was pretty stoked to see me.
Just started doing these Analog coffee mornings you see, the idea is to just rock up down the beach put up a gazebo and just give out free coffee and donuts to whoever passes by and have a little chin wag and hang out. Unfortunately on Saturday the weather was horrific with wind and rain and Szczepan was the only bloke down there for the first 30 mins but it did pick up and by 8am the word had spread and everyone was digging the free refreshments courtesy of AG. Luckily for me I persuaded my mate A Blake to come down and help so I wasn’t too suicidal when I was struggling with the gazebo in the rain, nice bloke, big features generally.
I’m hoping Szczepan will be down there when we do the next one as we got on so well, I said I'd let him know so he can make another appearance but he's a pretty hard guy to keep in contact with as he's not on facebook yet.

Friday, 6 August 2010

life swap

video
I couldn’t think of anything more de motivating than having to surf a comp in 1-2ft, yet spirits where high and the whole Devon team bonded well and worked as a unit which got results in all areas, fair play actually as most of them were punching well above their weight in the age groups they had been entered in.
Apart from the surfing what impressed me most was the other afternoon I was walking back from the shop I passed a group of girls, I looked down at my feet as I passed because these sort of groups of girls can be somewhat intimidating for a grown man like myself but out of the corner of my eye I noticed one of them wearing a Devon team hoody. What the fuck, I thought one of the little shits must have lost it or left it behind somewhere already and the girls must have found it. I got back to the beach and everyone was hanging by the gazebo ‘ok, who has lost a hoody’ I said, everyone was silent and no one came forward ‘well I’ve just seen a group of chicks and one of them was wearing a Devon team hoody’ ‘ah’ one of them pipes up ‘well that was mine you see’ ‘we met those chicks after lunch last night while waiting for the bus, we invited them down the beach to check us out in the comp today.’ ‘When they left I swapped my hoody for a bracelet and a kiss.’
 I’ve heard it all now I thought, I didn’t say anything but I was pretty impressed, I’d been out 3 times and not even spoke to anyone slightly female, in fact I spent most of my time speaking to Greg Robinson about Devon surf spots, long boarding and why some people are so annoying let alone get a chance to invite some hot chicks down the beach to check out my rig and watch me surf, then swap my hoody for a kiss. I really need to step things up.  

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Tits

video
It’s been testing but I’m bearing up under the strain, pressure and responsibility, there was a small scenario with losing my phone and a gazebo but you’ll all be glad to hear I haven’t lost anything or anyone else and i did recover the gazebo but unfortunately i still have no phone.
Actually I’m loving it as the last few days have been an amazing roller coaster ride of highs and lows and a whole heap of laughs. It just cracks me up some of the things the groms have come out with and how they see things. The first day one of the little fellas came out with some priceless quotes, he looked so excited sitting there on the beach with the biggest grin on his face which had me a little worried as he couldn’t of been stoked about the surf as it was shit ‘what you up to?’ I nervously asked ‘this is so good’ he excitedly replied ‘I’ve never been to a beach where the girls get their tits out before’ ‘they don’t do it at Croyde’. Needless to say they were all well behaved that day as they sat there taking it all in, we had a few surfs ran about a lot then headed back to the accommodation at last light. But he did say an absolute clinker on the coach home which had me crying with laughter. With a straight face and deadly serious ‘I’ve seen about 50 pairs of tits today’ there was a bit of silence and before I even had a chance to reply ‘that’s 100 nipples’ he then said with the biggest grin i've ever seen.