Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at DailyStoke.com

The following is a review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at a great resource for surfers called www.DailyStoke.com. To see the article click here or read below.

I’ve recently stumbled upon a very interesting and unique book where surfing is a…err…groundswell…throughout. The book, titled Why Lawyers Should Surf is written by Tim Kevan, a British surfer (and lawyer, to boot) and Dr. Michelle Tempest, a British shrink. As the title so clearly and un-lawyer-like suggests, the book is less about surfing and more about life. It is a welcome contribution to bookshelves at your local shop filled with tales of “making the drop at Pipeline in the mid-1980s” etc. (As an aside, I think I did a double take the first time I saw the truly beautiful cover, reading it to be Why Lawyers Shouldn’t Surf. There’s your sequel, Mr. Kevan!)

To give readers some context, the book is divided into parts that delve into psychology. The first is Mind Power - which explores how thoughts and visualization determine how we end up living our lives. The second is Communication - which explores ways for more effective communication in all aspects of life, but particularly for those where effective communication is very important. (Notice I haven’t mentioned aerials just yet.) The third is Taking Action - which, to use a surfing metaphor of my own - is the transition from surfing in theory to getting out and paddling for some waves. The final section is about the Work-life balance (perhaps one of the easiest part for a surfer to contemplate, given that even the surfing-lawyers out there must all be working in order to surf. I won’t comment on that.) The strongest part of the book is the first part about Mind Power. This book will help anyone understand how our thoughts and words control of our day to day lives and our own approach to living. How we live is directly correlated with how we choose to think, speak, and believe. It would be impossible for me to cover the complexities of this book in this review - and it is not light reading. That said, I was hooked from the get go. All of those elements in surfing that surfers might take for granted - such as paddling out or waiting in the lineup for seemingly endless minutes - are good metaphors for the times where we can’t get to the beach and are chained to our desk. The book couples the surfing metaphors with inspirational quotes and stories of surfers and non-surfers alike.

Why Lawyers Should Surf is essential reading not simply for lawyers or other professionals but for surfers of every stripe who are seeking to understand how to better live their liges. ”Don’t fight against the rip” might have more to do with your life than you had ever thought. Read the book and judge for yourselves. For surfing fanatics and those interested in improving themselves, you can pick up the book here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

In memory of Lorna Wilson (1941-2008)

My aunt Lorna Wilson passed away on 13 September 2008. The following is the text from the addresses made at her funeral in St Andrew's Church in Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales on 19 September 2008 and also an article in the Sedbergh Lookaround. Photos of Lorna can be seen here.

Address by me

How is it possible to sum up such an extraordinary lady as Lorna in just a few words? A lady who touched all our hearts with her unique personality of humour, irreverence, kindness and above all love.

Well, the first place to start is with Bruce. He was the love of her life and this raven-haired beauty was his. Just as the Dee river runs into the Clough so their souls were and remain inextricably entwined. They were one together and today I thank you Bruce on behalf of us all for being such a loving husband. Lorna was a spirit as free as a wild horse and yet she belonged to you absolutely.

But I thank you also for sharing this special person with so many of us through all the seasons of her life. From your first days at Abbott Holme and the fresh smell of Spring. A time of discovery in which Lorna found her calling as a shepherdess both of the Rough Fell sheep which she nurtured and of the people who would come and sit by the fire and talk over a cup of tea.

Then there were the hot summer days in the fields and by the river. A time when so many people discovered the open house, the warm hearth, the laughter and the love for all. The stories, the jokes, the incredible food and above all, the twinkle in her eye and that Lorna smile.

As the leaves start to turn we remember how Lorna extended her family into the golf club and yet another group of people came to love and admire this lady whose intelligence and gentle humour always allowed her to see the world for what it really was and to communicate that to others through her wise and earthy words.

Then when the frost arrived and Winter set in, the house was warmer than ever. There was time to look back and reminisce. There was time to travel and finally, there was a time to weather the storm and like the trees that bend with the wind, Lorna saw it through with the strength, dignity and concern for others that personified her whole life.

One thing is for sure now. She would not want us to be maudlin and weepy. She was always positive and would undoubtedly want us to remember all the happy and funny times which everyone here will have had with her.

So here we all are supposedly saying goodbye to Lorna. But we will never really say goodbye. She will always be with us – so strong has been her influence on family and close friends. Above all, the love which she gave to so many of us will not only live on but will flourish as we share that spirit with others. As Lorna now enters a new Spring we can remember that her Christian faith was not only important to her but embodied her deeply held values. Her kindness, her fierce opposition to injustice and above all her love. As Christians we would say that she was a true child of God and enriched the lives of all who knew her well. May God bless you Lorna and reward you with a special place in heaven – in the kingdom of our Lord, your shepherd.


Address by Rev Vic Hopkins

Thank you Tim for those personal memories of Lorna.

Apart from the family there are quite a few people here today who will not be familiar with Lorna’s background so I would like to start by filling in a few details of Lorna’s early life. Lorna Veronica Catherine Kevan was the second child of the late Dick and Kate Kevan. She was born on Saturday 22 November 1941 at Kepwick in the North Riding of Yorkshire where her paternal grandfather was vicar.

She was the second eldest of six children having two sisters and three brothers. In 1944 the Kevan family moved to Sedbergh and lived in the temporary accommodation at Pinfold before moving to Beamsmoor in 1947.

Lorna attended the National school in Sedbergh and passed her 11+ examination and went to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School at Kirkby Lonsdale. She was not happy there and two years later after various escapades, which often involved the riding of nearby horses, she was called into the office of the old fashioned and somewhat fierce Head teacher, Mr Defoe who said to her "You're not happy at this school are you?" Lorna replied "No". Mr Defoe, wishing to be addressed in a manner befitting his station, said "No, what?" To which Lorna replied "No, I'm not.” Mr Defoe promptly called an end to Lorna's time at that school.

Lorna finally left school at 15 and went to work with horses at Caton before returning to work in Sedbergh, in Miss Woolcock’s shop and also at the egg packing station at Birks.Her life changed following a New Year’s Eve dance at Sedbergh where she met a young farmer’s son, Bruce Wilson. They fell deeply in love and were married on 21 September 1963 and went to live in the cottage at Abbott Holme which they would occupy for the whole of their married life. Bruce tells me that three weeks after marrying Lorna he broke his leg and for some months it was in plaster – one can only wonder at what Lorna’s comments were at the time!She became a true dale farmer’s wife and helped with all the jobs on the farm. Her particular interest was Rough Fell sheep and she could handle all the tasks that accompanied this passion – no matter what time of day or year they might be needed.

Later there came the planning and building of the Sedbergh Golf Course – an enterprise that Lorna put her whole heart into. Anyone who ever faced a ‘full monty’ there is unlikely to forget the experience.

I have heard many stories and anecdotes about Lorna and these are few of them:

* She really enjoyed living at Beamsmoor because they were next to the Milburns and practised swearing so that they could be like them.

* [A nephew said] The one thing I loved the most about Lorna was that she had a naughty side. When I was little, I thought it was the best thing in the world because I thought all adults were sensible and not naughty. She used to spoil us with as much chocolate, fry ups and pop combined with non-stop swear words that would have as all in stitches! Lorna - WE LOVE YOU.

* Oh, what a naughty laugh.

* “Hey up, lad, do you fancy a brew?”

* Lorna’s mash potatoes were lush – the best ever.

* [Bruce and Lorna] never stood on ceremony and you could relax and be a kid there. You were always treated as an independent person and were allowed to scrump apples from the tree in the garden!* I remember after Bridget's funeral David and I were standing in Granny's kitchen feeling very sad (the rest of my family were all on holiday at the time and so only myself and Dave attended). Then Lorna came over and said "eh you Lyle gannets!" It just broke the tension and made us smile.

And one of my own:
My wife Linda and I went to play golf one day and mentioned it was our wedding anniversary. As we finished our round and returned to the golf house – she gave us a bottle of wine to celebrate. It was so typical of her.

It is easy to think that Lorna’s life was idyllic and untroubled. This is not so for she had to come to terms with not having any children of her own, the early death of her sister Bidget, the death of Ollie Statham, the breakdown of relationships leading to the changes at the Golf Course and, of course, her own terminal illness. Yet none of this darkened her outlook on life.

Her brother Richard uses the words:
Distinct, Special, Incomparable, Unmatched, Without equal, Inimitable.
Words with which I am sure that all of us who knew Lorna would agree.

She was earthy, kind and generous. There are a large number of people who can testify to that - none more so than Andrew Mattinson and Neill Ferguson. For many people the cottage at Abbott Holme became a warm, safe refuge from the harshness of the world.

We have heard of the strength and constancy of Lorna and Bruce’s love for each other and their concern for the people around them.Jesus Christ gave us two great commandments – the second of which was, “love your neighbour as yourself.” Well, for my money Lorna was the epitome of that. She was not one to take a narrow view of anyone – unless they were being pompous. She was not judgemental, she was realistic about people and always embraced people for what they were, “warts ‘n all.

This realism extended to her own final illness – she was fully aware and it fitted into her understanding of life and her confidence of the future. She didn’t proclaim her Christian beliefs in words but in deeds: in her love and care for others. Her Christianity was highly personal but gave her courage in her last battle. She gained comfort from the fact that she understood the meaning of the resurrected life that flowed from the love of God. She didn’t talk about it she just lived it with a joy and zest for life that is the envy of us all.

We can be assured that she is now embraced, safe and comfortable in the love of God.


Lookaround, October 2008
The following appeared in the October 2008 edition of the Sedbergh Lookaround. The original can be seen here.

LORNA WILSON..........
on behalf of many friends.

Where oh where do we start ? They surely broke the mould when they made Lorna. The lovely, loveable, amusing Loma, unique in many ways, came into most of our lives with the advent of Sedbergh's new golf coursein the early 90's.

Lorna quickly became the key figure, the hub of the wheel, a wheel that turned quite rapidly in those early years. A friend to everybody, all who came to Sedbergh Golf Club came to know Lorna. Many came back. again and again, leaving every time with a happy smile and fond memories of a great day (and an enormous plate of food.!)

There are letters galore, thanking the Golf Club and Lorna in particular, for a memorable day and the amazing "Full Monty" (a mixed grill of gargantuan proportions, which challenged many and defeated some!). People around the Golf Clubs of Northern England still enquire about her and it, some fifteen years later!

There are letters also (only two) about a touch of flowery language which Lorna could turn her hand tonow and again, generally in jest rather than anger. She would always call a spade a spade! Most took in in the humorous spirit it was intended. Two didn't!

Heart of gold, Lorna may have gone but will be remembered forever and it is easy to picture her, looking down from above, watching Matty drive off the third tee, then saying quietly to the Angel next to her, " By gum lad, he splatted that!!"

God Bless you Lorna, from us all. ☺

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In memory of Lorna Wilson (1941-2008)

My aunt Lorna Wilson passed away on 13 September 2008. The following is the text from the addresses made at her funeral in St Andrew's Church in Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales on 19 September 2008 and also an article in the Sedbergh Lookaround. Photos of Lorna can be seen below.

Address by me

How is it possible to sum up such an extraordinary lady as Lorna in just a few words? A lady who touched all our hearts with her unique personality of humour, irreverence, kindness and above all love.

Well, the first place to start is with Bruce. He was the love of her life and this raven-haired beauty was his. Just as the Dee river runs into the Clough so their souls were and remain inextricably entwined. They were one together and today I thank you Bruce on behalf of us all for being such a loving husband. Lorna was a spirit as free as a wild horse and yet she belonged to you absolutely.

But I thank you also for sharing this special person with so many of us through all the seasons of her life. From your first days at Abbott Holme and the fresh smell of Spring. A time of discovery in which Lorna found her calling as a shepherdess both of the Rough Fell sheep which she nurtured and of the people who would come and sit by the fire and talk over a cup of tea.

Then there were the hot summer days in the fields and by the river. A time when so many people discovered the open house, the warm hearth, the laughter and the love for all. The stories, the jokes, the incredible food and above all, the twinkle in her eye and that Lorna smile.

As the leaves start to turn we remember how Lorna extended her family into the golf club and yet another group of people came to love and admire this lady whose intelligence and gentle humour always allowed her to see the world for what it really was and to communicate that to others through her wise and earthy words.

Then when the frost arrived and Winter set in, the house was warmer than ever. There was time to look back and reminisce. There was time to travel and finally, there was a time to weather the storm and like the trees that bend with the wind, Lorna saw it through with the strength, dignity and concern for others that personified her whole life.

One thing is for sure now. She would not want us to be maudlin and weepy. She was always positive and would undoubtedly want us to remember all the happy and funny times which everyone here will have had with her.

So here we all are supposedly saying goodbye to Lorna. But we will never really say goodbye. She will always be with us – so strong has been her influence on family and close friends. Above all, the love which she gave to so many of us will not only live on but will flourish as we share that spirit with others. As Lorna now enters a new Spring we can remember that her Christian faith was not only important to her but embodied her deeply held values. Her kindness, her fierce opposition to injustice and above all her love. As Christians we would say that she was a true child of God and enriched the lives of all who knew her well. May God bless you Lorna and reward you with a special place in heaven – in the kingdom of our Lord, your shepherd.


Address by Rev Vic Hopkins

Thank you Tim for those personal memories of Lorna.

Apart from the family there are quite a few people here today who will not be familiar with Lorna’s background so I would like to start by filling in a few details of Lorna’s early life. Lorna Veronica Catherine Kevan was the second child of the late Dick and Kate Kevan. She was born on Saturday 22 November 1941 at Kepwick in the North Riding of Yorkshire where her paternal grandfather was vicar.

She was the second eldest of six children having two sisters and three brothers. In 1944 the Kevan family moved to Sedbergh and lived in the temporary accommodation at Pinfold before moving to Beamsmoor in 1947.

Lorna attended the National school in Sedbergh and passed her 11+ examination and went to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School at Kirkby Lonsdale. She was not happy there and two years later after various escapades, which often involved the riding of nearby horses, she was called into the office of the old fashioned and somewhat fierce Head teacher, Mr Defoe who said to her "You're not happy at this school are you?" Lorna replied "No". Mr Defoe, wishing to be addressed in a manner befitting his station, said "No, what?" To which Lorna replied "No, I'm not.” Mr Defoe promptly called an end to Lorna's time at that school.

Lorna finally left school at 15 and went to work with horses at Caton before returning to work in Sedbergh, in Miss Woolcock’s shop and also at the egg packing station at Birks.Her life changed following a New Year’s Eve dance at Sedbergh where she met a young farmer’s son, Bruce Wilson. They fell deeply in love and were married on 21 September 1963 and went to live in the cottage at Abbott Holme which they would occupy for the whole of their married life. Bruce tells me that three weeks after marrying Lorna he broke his leg and for some months it was in plaster – one can only wonder at what Lorna’s comments were at the time!She became a true dale farmer’s wife and helped with all the jobs on the farm. Her particular interest was Rough Fell sheep and she could handle all the tasks that accompanied this passion – no matter what time of day or year they might be needed.

Later there came the planning and building of the Sedbergh Golf Course – an enterprise that Lorna put her whole heart into. Anyone who ever faced a ‘full monty’ there is unlikely to forget the experience.

I have heard many stories and anecdotes about Lorna and these are few of them:

* She really enjoyed living at Beamsmoor because they were next to the Milburns and practised swearing so that they could be like them.

* [A nephew said] The one thing I loved the most about Lorna was that she had a naughty side. When I was little, I thought it was the best thing in the world because I thought all adults were sensible and not naughty. She used to spoil us with as much chocolate, fry ups and pop combined with non-stop swear words that would have as all in stitches! Lorna - WE LOVE YOU.

* Oh, what a naughty laugh.

* “Hey up, lad, do you fancy a brew?”

* Lorna’s mash potatoes were lush – the best ever.

* [Bruce and Lorna] never stood on ceremony and you could relax and be a kid there. You were always treated as an independent person and were allowed to scrump apples from the tree in the garden!* I remember after Bridget's funeral David and I were standing in Granny's kitchen feeling very sad (the rest of my family were all on holiday at the time and so only myself and Dave attended). Then Lorna came over and said "eh you Lyle gannets!" It just broke the tension and made us smile.

And one of my own:
My wife Linda and I went to play golf one day and mentioned it was our wedding anniversary. As we finished our round and returned to the golf house – she gave us a bottle of wine to celebrate. It was so typical of her.

It is easy to think that Lorna’s life was idyllic and untroubled. This is not so for she had to come to terms with not having any children of her own, the early death of her sister Bidget, the death of Ollie Statham, the breakdown of relationships leading to the changes at the Golf Course and, of course, her own terminal illness. Yet none of this darkened her outlook on life.

Her brother Richard uses the words:
Distinct, Special, Incomparable, Unmatched, Without equal, Inimitable.
Words with which I am sure that all of us who knew Lorna would agree.

She was earthy, kind and generous. There are a large number of people who can testify to that - none more so than Andrew Mattinson and Neill Ferguson. For many people the cottage at Abbott Holme became a warm, safe refuge from the harshness of the world.

We have heard of the strength and constancy of Lorna and Bruce’s love for each other and their concern for the people around them.Jesus Christ gave us two great commandments – the second of which was, “love your neighbour as yourself.” Well, for my money Lorna was the epitome of that. She was not one to take a narrow view of anyone – unless they were being pompous. She was not judgemental, she was realistic about people and always embraced people for what they were, “warts ‘n all.

This realism extended to her own final illness – she was fully aware and it fitted into her understanding of life and her confidence of the future. She didn’t proclaim her Christian beliefs in words but in deeds: in her love and care for others. Her Christianity was highly personal but gave her courage in her last battle. She gained comfort from the fact that she understood the meaning of the resurrected life that flowed from the love of God. She didn’t talk about it she just lived it with a joy and zest for life that is the envy of us all.

We can be assured that she is now embraced, safe and comfortable in the love of God.


Lookaround, October 2008
The following appeared in the October 2008 edition of the Sedbergh Lookaround. The original can be seen here.

LORNA WILSON..........
on behalf of many friends.

Where oh where do we start ? They surely broke the mould when they made Lorna. The lovely, loveable, amusing Loma, unique in many ways, came into most of our lives with the advent of Sedbergh's new golf coursein the early 90's.

Lorna quickly became the key figure, the hub of the wheel, a wheel that turned quite rapidly in those early years. A friend to everybody, all who came to Sedbergh Golf Club came to know Lorna. Many came back. again and again, leaving every time with a happy smile and fond memories of a great day (and an enormous plate of food.!)

There are letters galore, thanking the Golf Club and Lorna in particular, for a memorable day and the amazing "Full Monty" (a mixed grill of gargantuan proportions, which challenged many and defeated some!). People around the Golf Clubs of Northern England still enquire about her and it, some fifteen years later!

There are letters also (only two) about a touch of flowery language which Lorna could turn her hand tonow and again, generally in jest rather than anger. She would always call a spade a spade! Most took in in the humorous spirit it was intended. Two didn't!

Heart of gold, Lorna may have gone but will be remembered forever and it is easy to picture her, looking down from above, watching Matty drive off the third tee, then saying quietly to the Angel next to her, " By gum lad, he splatted that!!"

God Bless you Lorna, from us all. ☺


Photos of Lorna

To save any of these photos, just click on the image and you will get the full picture. Then right click over the image and click "save as" and take it from there.
























Thursday, September 4, 2008

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at YouClaim News

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at YouClaim News. To read click here or read below.

Surfing may solve a personal injury lawyer's problems

The life of a personal injury lawyer is a high-pressure one, with the compensation claims under your wing being highly important things in the lives of the claimants who are making them. Perhaps, then, it's no surprise that one highly successful barrister swapped a ten-year career for a surfer's life on the Devon coast.

It's the story of Tim Kevan's book, Why Lawyers Should Surf. Even without knowing his life history, it's easy to guess his opinions on the matter from that title. Then, once you move into the text of the book itself, you get phrases like "The human connection with the ocean is primeval and touches the very depths of our souls", moving into this:

"Surfing is far more than pleasure. It is a connection with nature, the world, with God. Some might say it is love itself. It is a sense of timelessness, of other worldliness yet at the same time as connected to this world as it is possible to be."

This is uplifting, inspirational stuff, and well-informed, too; he brings in Goethe, Eliot and Captain Cook to support his argument, as well as psychology - the last, perhaps, as the book is co-written with an aptly named doctor of psychology for watersports, Dr Michelle Tempest.

Surfing isn't always taken as the simple activity, but as a metaphor for motivation itself for all personal injury lawyers - the sense of self-motivation that is central to any profession is powerfully supported here, and that means it's probably transferable to jobs beyond the law.

There's material on communication skills, goal setting, work-life balance and how to change your life. Not everyone need change their life so profoundly as Kevan, but thinking about how your life could change for the better can often be a good thing.

Andy Martin's review in the Independent begins with a joke - "If anyone had asked me before I read this book why lawyers should surf, I would have said that they would feel right at home with the sharks." But he, too, comes round to the book's persuasive message.

But there's more to the choice of lawyers being the ones that need to surf than it having been one author's profession; the other author argues from her psychological perspective that the personality traits of a successful personal injury lawyer can, in fact, be harmful in life outside the world of compensation claims.

These include a tendency to pessimism, which can help perceive the weak points that opposing lawyers may attack in, say, a work accident claim, but may not go down so well in the pub after work. Similarly, their 'high-dominance' characteristics are very useful in the verbal battle of a claim, but less so in the friendlier world outside. However, it's true that characteristics like these can be found outside the profession.

If you're interested in reading more about the book, there are excerpts on Kevan's blog, where the book is also available for purchase. Or you could simply skip that part and go surfing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mention of 'Why Lawyer hould Surf' in Irish Independent




Mention of this blog was made in the Irish national newspaper The Independent last Thursday. Here's what they had to say (the full article is here):

Blog Digest

By Marie Boran

Stop. Breathe. Relax. It’s summertime and everywhere I look people are working hard and not stopping to smell the roses (well, come to think of it, the roses are soggy given all the rain we’ve been having). So this week we’re looking at blogs which celebrate slowing down and living in the moment.

The (ex)Barrister Blog

http://timkevan.blogspot.com/

THIS guy was a successful, high-powered barrister for 10 years and then one day simply decided to retire early and spend his days surfing. He even wrote a book about it: Why Lawyers Should Surf. One thing blogger, Tim Kevan, feels is missing from our modern lives is silence. We drown out our inner voice with noise – from the office, the high street, the internet, TV. Out on the waves there is no noise, just you and the sea. So, if you’re looking to escape from it all, catch a wave.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NSW Law Soc review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf'

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' in the New South Wales Law Society Journal (August 2008) by Stephen Titus (solicitor). To read, click on the image on the left or here or see below.

A surfing fan says catch a wave

TIM KEVAN IS AN ENGLISH BARRISTER, writer and surfer, and Dr Michelle Tempest is a psychiatrist with a graduate law degree. Their book, aimed at lawyers, legal students and anyone interested in improving their working life with passion, uses the metaphor of surfing to show how to improve their work and achieve a balance with other interests. it succeeds.

All those who surf know the pleasure, connection with nature and sense of timelessness of surfing: the surfer's routine of waiting for the right weather conditiond, being in the right place at the right time, practising, utilising a rip to get out more easily, considering where the waves are breaking, choosing a wave, committing to it and getting the reward.

The authors apply this to the work environment, comparing surfing with preparation for a court case: the perseverance, patience and timely commitment, knowing the facts and law, being bold and committed where necessary, enjoying the process, the rewards and the exhilaration of a job well done.

The legal linkage works well. But one does not need to be a surfer, or a lawyer, to appreciate and enjoy the well-written, humourous and enjoyable examples and suggestions the authors make.

They provide helpful examples for self-improvement and mind power. They advise setting the right course, covering the groundwork, getting into as good a position as possible and making the right choices. They suggest living life with a passion, and balancing the natural world and work.

There are helpful tips on advocacy techniques, body language and the power of words. They talk about utilising communication skills, visualisation, setting goals and building rapport. They make suggestions on dealing with stress and emotions, time management and business development and maintaining a balance with health and leisure.

There are quotes and vignettes from Lou Reed, Thomas Edison, Rudyard Kipling, Rosa Parks and conservationist Rachel Carson, among others. All are thoughtful, some inspiring. Phil Edwards, iconic surfer, is quoted on not fearing the unknown: "To rise to the challenge and see the benefits of taking some risks. To feel alive. To realise that through acts of courage, facing fear, insight can flourish. There are uncounted millions of people who now go through life without any sort of real, vibrant kick ... the answer is surfing."

And Gregory peck, in the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird: "You have to dream, you have to have a vision, then you have to set a goal for yourself that might even scare you a little because sometimes that seems far beyond your reach. Then I think you have to develop a kind of resistance to rejections and to the disappointments that are sure to come your way."

The book makes you feel like working smarter and going surfing, or whatever activity provides a release for you. I have always felt more focused at work after a morning surf. Going surfing gives a clarity to life that other people yearn for.

ITV Local plug 'Why Lawyers Should Surf'

Thanks to ITV Local for a plug of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf'. To read it, click here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reviews of 'Why Lawyers should Surf' at The Times Online

Two reviews of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' have been published at The Times Online's Surf Nation blog in the last few months. The most recent is by Tom Anderson author of 'Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave' and the earlier one is by Alex Wade the writer of the blog and the author of 'Surf Nation: In Search of the Fast Lefts and Hollow Rights of Britain and Ireland'. Click on the date to be taken to the original or read below.

August 12th 2008
Meanwhile, why should lawyers surf? Having been one, I'd say that the answer is that if they don't, when they finally return to live once again by the coast they'll be condemned to languish forever in the intermediate zone, sometimes getting it right, sometimes getting it wrong. But Tim Kevan, author of a book cunningly entitled Why Lawyers Should Surf, begs to differ. He's quit briefs in the City for clean lines at Lynemouth, and his book is reviewed below by Tom Anderson, a Welshman who had many scrapes with the lawyers (not least, a night out with me which we somehow both survived) but never became one. Instead he leapt straight to being a writer and surfer, penning the much-acclaimed Riding the Magic Carpet. I'm not jealous, honest, so without further ado, here's Tom review.

From the days of the Hawaiian kings to the present, surfing has always captured people's imagination and managed to take them out of their day to day lives. It is uplifting and spiritual and provides a connection with nature and forces greater than ourselves. So it seems only natural when the authors point to surfing as a way of helping cope with the stresses of modern living and of re-gaining some balance in life.

Why Lawyers Should Surf is written by a former barrister and a psychiatrist. I particularly liked the way they avoided the cheesy, self-satisfied tone that instantly puts me off most motivational books, which too often come across as some sort of instruction booklet for life but which forget the art and lose sight of the soul. This book on the other hand not only provides an extremely clear and accessible introduction to cutting-edge techniques for getting one's mind into shape but it also provides a context. It stresses the need to feed the soul and listen to your own heart just as surfers monitor the movements of the ocean.

The use of the metaphor of surfing works surprisingly well. It not only taps into the inherent power of the sea but also has the benefit of resonating with those who have perhaps previously only ever surfed the internet. What's more, the book subtly introduces the reader to a wide mix of literary, scientific and spiritual sources. As a surfer I particularly liked the enormous range of the quotations and reflections on the meaning of surfing itself and our almost primeval connection with the sea. (In many ways it is a song for the modern age which could well become a cult classic like perhaps Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea.

As for the reference to lawyers, it is clear that they are simply being used as an example of the work-shackled majority who perhaps yearn for something more in their lives. Certainly it applies across the board to anyone looking for inspiration. The tone throughout is authentic and a nice footnote is that since co-writing the book Tim Kevan has indeed walked the talk and given up the trappings of the bar for the surf of North Devon. He is now living in Braunton and writing a novel for Bloomsbury Publishing. That's what I'm talking about!

Spot on for surfers, lawyers and anyone else looking for inspiration.

28 March 2008
During my Wrecking Machine phase, I was a lawyer (that's two plugs of your first book. I'll let you off because it's your birthday. Ed.). This was a profession whose intellectual aspects always intrigued me but whose rigmarole wasn't my thing. At all. Today I'm off to interview a lawyer I met in the line-up at Freights yesterday, this for a weekly slot on lawyers with interests outside the law (which today features sometime contributor to this blog and Perranporth surfboat rower Andy Cox). The Bajan lawyer's name is Barry Gale and watching him surf yesterday put me in mind of Tim Kevan's book, 'Why Lawyers Should Surf'. Kevan's book is a passionate call for professionals to destress themselves by gliding on a few turquoise walls. Kevan, with co-author Michelle Tempest, makes more than a few nods to the Romantic notion of the sublime, a trait that he shares with many writers on surfing (though to my knowledge, Kevan is the first writer to co-opt TS Eliot - arch-modernist and poet of despair - in favour of surfing). While avowedly a motivational book Why Lawyers Should Surf contains many fascinating curios on surfing and makes me wonder whether, if I'd been surfing as much as I'd wanted to do during my legal (illegal) days, I might have avoided the Wrecking Machine phase.

'Why Lawyers Should Surf' is available at http://www.amazon.co.uk/ at £9.49.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at Swordplay

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at Swordplay. To read, click here or see below.

Surfing and the law go together about as well as Formula 1 and Chelsea basements. Right? Well, no. According to barrister turned blogger/writer Tim Kevan, today’s stressed out lawyers would do well to immerse themselves in what the Hawaiians call ‘the sport of kings’. For Kevan, surfing has a spiritual essence which is the perfect antidote to the high levels of stress and depression found among lawyers. He should know - Kevan recently quit his life as a London personal injury barrister to live by the sea in North Devon, where he regularly surfs. Not many lawyers will necessarily be able to make quite such a radical move, but they might well find themselves inspired by Kevan’s recently published book, Why Lawyers Should Surf. A motivational and erudite read with plenty of esoteric material on surfing and some well-researched pieces on the reality of life as a lawyer.

'Why Lawyers Should Surf' is available at http://www.amazon.co.uk/ at £9.49.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' at Slide Magazine

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' in Slide Magazine by Alison Aprhys. To read, click on the image on the left or see below.

Written by a barrister and a psychiatrist and with an introduction by a champion boxer, Why Lawyers Should Surf (WLSS) appears to be the love-child of a self-help motivational guide for success in work and life and a marketing exercise to encourage waveriding. Crimewriter P.D.James once said, "Lawyers are intelligent people whose profession is argument", and authors Kevan and Tempest seem to agree. They quote a John Hopkins University study, which found that lawyers in the US suffered four times the average depression rate. deciding that the cynicism that lawyers use so successfully in their professional lives was too often pouring into their private time, causing unnecessary stress, unhappiness and depression, Kevan and Tempest use the metaphor of surfing and the ocean throughout this book to discuss methods in which they can better communicate and improve their lives through employing the glass 'half-full' approach. This is often referred to be surfers as, 'there'll be another wave in a minute mate'. Recently Australian chapters of Surfing Lawyers which bills itself as 'a non-profit organization of attorneys who promote and preserve the lifestyle, causes and concerns of surfers around the world', so there's probably a market in Australia for the book. But if groups like this can change life for the legal profession as we know it, or whether WLSS will cause a flood of solicitors and barrister forgoing golf and buying up longboards is debatable.