Thursday, May 31, 2007

Perran Nippers Party On

Beach training kicked off tonight for Perran's Nipper squad. Relentless showers and leaden skies throughout the day looked certain to drizzle on the BBQ that was planned for after-surf. But fortune smiled and peeled a thin, blue band of sky on the horizon, painting up the beach with sun as the tide turned. It was a night of novelty and same.

New day, new training structure and despite the veritable shoal of bodies turning up, Nigel's masterplan looks like bringing something resembling order to the chaos and cacophony that is Nipper's night. The Dude was sorely missed, all laid up, achilles tendon torn.

Some things never change. I was tempted to make a bet with Sea Nymph that Spike would finally appear in a wetsuit - a bet I would have lost. Does that woman never turn blue? Bob the builder did the BBQ. I was going to say he slipped me an extra sausage - but he's a cockney - and that probably means something else up the old East End. Like Ginger Beer.

In between guiding waves of infants duck diving and body surfing, well out of earshot of the kiddies, Ian shared a joke or three that involved a woman in a coma and some oral. Nipper 2, made his debut, got his funny hat and had a ball. The waves pounded me - punishment preferred.

Here's last season's little heroes - and here's looking to some mighty craic this coming summer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Surf Lessons On-Line

From now on in, Cornwall will start to head towards the point in summer where its population doubles as the tourists trickling in become a veritable flood. The Run To The Sun (RTTS 2007) - where VW enthusiasts from all four corners of the earth (and possibly other planets) converge on Newquay - passed off with fewer heads cracked by the strong arm of the law, a positive dearth of high powered water pistols but much beer consumed as ever. Clapped out combies still scattered by the roadsides, RIP.

Many will have headed to the surf stores, hired a board and had a go at surfing. Many more will flail and flounder in their wake. Now, scoff and scorn but tips like these from a company that's just an "s" away from salaciousness - that's Videojug by the way - will help. Look and learn.

VideoJug: How To Surf A Wave In One Day

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lost In France - Disconnected in the UK

I hope there's some truth to the theory that drinking red wine will lower your cholesterol because the gusto with which I have been sampling Provençal cuisine for the last week will surely put it to the test. Although not a specialty of Provence, I found an eatery in Fontaine De Vaucluse serving andouillette - a plump corker of a sausage I'd discovered on some earlier sojourns. Made from the colon and stomach of the pig, some comment on the pungent, almost fecal whiff as the porcine porker - laid out in my case stacked atop a pyre of frites - is wafted from the kitchen to the table. Wonderful - I'm still digesting it. The cherries tasted like forbidden fruit, the Pastis slipped down chilled and milky. Vive la République!

And back in the UK ... BT (that's British Telecom, my ISP) are still conspiring to keep my broadband running at a snail's pace, disconnected, distant call centres and conversations endlessly repeated and reflected as in parallel mirrors. No TGV here. Back in the ocean Thursday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shark Bait

Sharks get a bad press - I always thought that was rather unfair but then it only takes a few bad apples... like in the video clip below. And Roy Scheider, something about his eyes - I always thought he looked like a great white - which was troubling. Mind you, I think Fergal Sharkey has a head like a tortoise - so what does that prove?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beach Bum In London

Beach Bum and Sea Nymph had reason to leave the fair county of Cornwall, the coast and the beach and subject ourselves to the fleshpots of the borough of Chelsea. There's a blog - it will remain unmentioned since it has wallowed in its fame long enough - that chronicles the life of a commuter on the London underground. Woe is me, thrice nightly that we descend to these depths to get from A to B. The scuttle and the shushing of the doors, the elevators leading Jubilee to Piccadilly all Escher-like and steaming. Crass, crass an ecstasy of fumbling. But the art was good. I saw Picasso hanging in a window - you have money, much money - come buy all suits with Porsche and city bonuses. And Jackson Pollock waves and swirls and dances. And if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out. Normal service will be resumed when it wears off.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pink Mother Of Pearl Fins - Evolution Style

Beach Bum doesn't often rush to post stuff that's offered up for this form of artificial dissemination without checking out the angles and the motivation of the supplicants. But when someone from LX.TV pushed this clip my way, I was prepared to make an exception and stoke up the the marketing shenanigans for Evolution Surfboards.

It was the pink mother of pearl fins that did it for me. Only the Reef wallpaper has had me hit the pause button so quickly, all slack jawed and staring. Olo-style, handcrafted balsa boards designed by Clark Reidel. Olo boards, I learnt, were originally designed for use by Hawaiian royalty. Yes, a thing of beauty and a joy to behold - but you'll need access to equally regal coffers to afford one.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Coastal Surf To The Rescue

Beach Bums are scroungers, hagglers and traders who prefer the backstreets of the souk to the swish of the debit card and the fixed price tag so beloved of even the most purportedly mellow surf shop. Now, I understand as well as the next poor punter that business is business but for me, as often as not, RRP stands for Recommended Rip-off Price.

I wasn't always a Beach Bum you know. Back before I had sense I used to flog some stuff for a living. The best business bums were those that knew it was ultimately their customers that kept them in a job.Take a little, give a little, get a whole lot more.

So when I find a surf shop that seems to realise this fundamental, I will heap praise. A week or so ago, I was trawling up the main drag in Perranporth trying to find a full length wetsuit for Nipper 2 who's due to start at the club soon. Someone at a certain surf shop tried to persuade me to part with over £50 quid for an O'Neill kid's suit. Look mate, if I'd printed out the dosh that morning, if old one-eyed Jack himself had popped up from behind the counter and offered me a wet one, you wouldn't catch me spending that on any Nipper's neoprene.

Coastal Surf on Beach Road to the rescue! Hat's off to a certain Lifeguard with a penchant for girls & guns that pointed me in their direction, but fair play to Nick in the shop for getting the lad kitted out at a sensible price. Four stars.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Beach Bum's Barbie Tips

"I love the grill, I excite at the thrill. Using the Heat Beads is what my tucker needs, to perfect my BBQ skill."

So says Kellie from Victoria, Down Under. As I pointed out earlier, Aussies may claim to own all beach sports but they're clearly not a nation of poets.

Still, when the logistics division (Sea Nymph) of my HMC (Home Management Centre) had me preparing this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend for maximum beach time like Operation Overlord, these Heat Beads were high on the shopping list along with beer, Guinness and alcohol.

Truly they are the best BBQ briquette going, this side of the Pecos. Available on line at Tesco's here in the UK, they cost a bit more than your usual, crumbly old briquette but, trust me, as you can read here, the extra quid or so is worth it. And, as befits a Beach Bum, I do love quality BBQ's.
Now, there's a time and place for the £1.95 disposable BBQ, and on that perfect beach, I'd be cooking freshly caught mackerel over hot stones and making my own marinades. But with Nippers biting at your toes, you need convenience and surefire results. That's why I recommend the Smokey Joe Silver. Nuff said, see you on the beach!
PS - if you're reading this Kellie, a picture of you getting excited at the grill will be much appreciated by some of our readers.