Hello there. I’m just back from a weekend surfing in Croyde and feeling tired but happy. It was, as always, a most relaxing weekend; a time to switch off from the usual pace of life and kick back to a more gentle rhythm, dictated by the tides and the endlessly rolling waves. The pace was dampened further by the fact I left my phone behind by accident and there was no wi-fi at the cottage. There is great liberation in being disconnected, even though many frustrating conversations ensue, e.g. ‘What’s the name of that actor? You know, the one with the brown hair… I’ll google it. D’oh.’ We even played a 1970s version of Monopoly one evening, which added to the mood of old-school simple pleasures. £2 rent for Old Kent Road – blimey, times have changed.
My surfing action was unfortunately tempered rather, firstly by a large hole in the crotch of my wetsuit, which meant I had to spend Saturday patching it up and waiting for it to dry rather than hitting the waves. The school-girl error of not checking my suit before I left home made me rather crotchety, tee hee. Then by the time I could surf on Sunday, the waves were tiddlers and there was a gossamer sheen of frost across the beach. Beautiful but COLD. Still the weekend was an absolute tonic. Highlights included:
- A beautiful sunset coastal jog on Saturday evening. Muted pastels over the sea and a red globe sun faded to inky blue, shot through with the sulphur yellow of lichen that clings to the vertiginous sheets of rock at Baggy Point. The ghost of Lundy Island wavered on the horizon and the cry of seagulls filled the air as I wended my way along the coastal path with just my steaming breath for company.
- Catching two beautifully peeling waves at the sweet spot where it feels effortlessly thrilling, even on a day when the waves appeared to be pants. You can’t beat that feeling of sliding down the wave’s face, feeling carried by the power of the ocean (even when the ocean is having a bit of a feeble off-day).
- Feeding crumbs to a robin that decided to pay us a visit in our kitchen. It hopped around the cottage for a while, checking out all the rooms, and was most reluctant to leave. I love the ballsiness of robins, but did you know that they are one of the most aggressively territorial creatures we have in the UK? They will literally fight to the death if needs be…
- Learning a brilliant new phrase to describe those of a hippyish/Earth mother bent: She’s very ‘knit your own yoghurt’. I laughed a lot when I heard the phrase – it encapsulates so much, so concisely. In a similar vein, there was much ‘creative language’ ribbing of my abstinence experiment this weekend. For example, every time a round of teas appeared, my proffered redbush/green tea was described as anything from ‘hairy armpit’ tea to ‘dungarees’ tea. Charming!
- Having a warm feeling as I arrived back home. I had almost forgotten what that was like. Chloe the cat was happily curled up on the Peruvian blanket on my bed, to which she seems to have become most attached, and a pile of exciting looking birthday cards and packages awaited me on the kitchen table.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to say – as I write this, I teeter on the cusp of being 34. Eek. However, I feel in a very happy place right now, so am ready to embrace the extra digit. Goodness knows, it’s been a turbulent year, with brilliant highs and quite spectacular lows. But it’s certainly been a blimmin’ interesting one, from a personal perspective. My annual ‘life audit’, which I tend to do around my birthday in a very unofficial capacity, will be an interesting one this year. But, as a sneak preview, it’s looking rosy. Feeling fit, healthy, surf-happy and generally good about beckymayhem as I sit here tapping away… 🙂
Finally, a quick abstinence update: well, all is going smoothly so far (apart from I had some blueberry yoghurt today without thinking, which probably has some sugar in it – but I’ll let myself off in a ‘birthday-cusp’ bout of leniency). I still haven’t truly buckled, although it was reeeeally hard declining double choc cookies at the weekend (you know, those big, bendy ones you get in bags from supermarket bakeries, mmmm). I have deliberated long and hard about whether to have a day off on my birthday tomorrow, but have decided not to, as it would negate the effects of the abstinence rather, and skew the results of the experiment. I want to know how I feel at the end of 40 days without caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol, so plod on I shall. I am actually starting to feel the first hints of smug perkiness that I hoped would lie ahead, but I still don’t think I look any different. I am holding out for bright, white eyes, smooth spot-free skin (I can dream) and luscious, silky locks, not to mention endless energy. Hmmm, definitely not there yet, but then I am nearly 34, so I do have to factor in my age these days…