Monday, December 29, 2008

Saunton beach



















The photograph above is a low quality version and is copyright of top West Country photographer Richard Austin.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Book recommendation

Any Human Heart
by William Boyd
(Penguin, 2002)
Follow the hapless and very human Logan Mountstuart as he charts his way through the literary and artistic worlds of the last century. Brings out the subtlties and weaknesses of the human condition with such empathy and humour as to pull at the reader's very own human heart.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trestles saved

I hear from Mike Arnot over at the excellent surf site Daily Stoke that the world famous Trestles surf break has finally been saved thanks in particular to the Surfrider Foundation. For more on this story, click here.

UK Closing down sale!

I see someone's set up a "UK Closing down sale" website! See www.ukclosingdownsale.com.

Birthday card from Roscoe the Dog



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book recommendation: A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
(Bloomsbury, 1990)

Funny, tragic and touching, it is a privilege to get to know Owen Meany through this beautiful book.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More of Friday's surf



















With thanks to and copyright of surf photographer and photo editor of Drift Magazine Jamie Bott. For more of his pictures click here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday's surf



















With thanks to and copyright of surf photographer and photo editor of Drift Magazine Jamie Bott. For more of his pictures click here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another surfing barrister

I was delighted to hear from another surfing barrister today. Esther Schultz used to practise in London and gave it all up as she says on her blog "For a man I met surfing while on vacation in Los Angeles. I still can’t believe it myself. One day I was a single, young professional living in London, the next I was a Hollywood wife." She's now a freelance writer and able to surf whenever she likes. She also keeps a blog which you can read here.

Christmas surf comp

Here's a head's up for a Christmas surf comp organised by Mike Arnot at DaliyStoke.com. As Mike says, "It's the only "surfing contest" regular weekend warriors like me can enter." Prizes for the next 12 days include 'Just Add Water' with Clay Marzo on DVD, Quicksilver t-shirts and a year's membership of the Surfrider Foundation. To enter, click here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saltwater Buddha

There's a great new book just about to be released called Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea by Jaimal Yogis. It follows the author from the day he ran away from home aged sixteen in order to learn to surf in Maui right through to becoming an award-winning journalist years later. It's an honest account of his ups and downs and spiritual awakenings which are precipitated both through his experiences in the water and his Buddhist faith. In his musings on the sea the author is poetic and reminds me in many ways of perhaps my favourite writer about the ocean Thomas Farber. But this is also a personal Odyssey in which the writer has followed his dreams and listened to the quiet whispers of his soul as if they were carried on a gentle offshore wind. It's an inspiring and thought-provoking book which may well have you returning to it again and again. You can buy the book on amazon.co.uk here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New dog















I'm getting a puppy on 8th January, a little border terrier (pictured, along with his mother). Trying to think up a name at the moment. Favourites so far: Jack, Mr Scruff and Jester.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Saunton surf last Friday

Highly recommended: Not California DVD released

Top surf film-maker and Woolacombe local Richard Gregory has just released his much-awaited surf movie 'Not California' on DVD. It's a revealing portrait of surfing in and around Brighton and explores the five main breaks in the area and vividly expressing the different vibe of each place. You can see a promo clip for the movie here. There's also an extensive array of bonus material, much of which was shot in Devon and Cornwall. You can buy a copy of the DVD for £12.99 either from Loose Fit in Braunton or on their website here (price includes free shipping).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Highly recommended: Musica Surfica

I've just finished watching a new surf movie called 'Musica Surfica' and I can fully understand why it won Best Feature at the New York Surf Film Festival. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best surf films I've ever watched. It's based on the concept of taking Richard Tognetti, the artistic director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and a bunch of top surfers and shapers including Derek Hynd and Tom Wegener off on an artistic/surfing retreat in which they all experiment riding finless boards. As the retreat progresses the creative atmosphere not only affects the way everyone views surfing but it also permeates into the approach of the musicians as everyone starts to get beyond the status quo. If ever you wanted to see clear evidence of surfing being an art rather than a sport, this is it. A beautiful and inspiring film of which writer and director Mick Sowry can be justly proud. It might also prove to be the seed for all sorts of other artistic collaborations based around a shared passion for surfing. You can buy a copy of Musica Surfica here. Mick Sowry also writes a great surf blog at http://safetosea.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top West Country photographer

Today I was privileged to meet top West Country photographer Richard Austin. His photographs are used all over the world in newspapers and magazines and he is also the author of two best selling books: Animal Magic & More Animal Magic. His website is here and his books can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Surf and destroy

Great collection of surf pictures and opinions at http://www.svrfandestroy.com/.

Musica Surfica - where surfing and classical music meet

Musica Surfica is a documentary which involves a unique gathering of classical musicians and surfers, with a purpose to opening minds to new ideas by demonstrating the benefits of taking risks in their art. Shot on King Island in Southern Australia, the documentary follows one man’s creative journey, Richard Tognetti, leading violinist and Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, as he seeks new inspiration from traditional and classical music. He teams up with Derek Hynd, one of the world’s most influential surfers, who challenges him (and 2 time world champion, Tom Carroll) to ride an un-finned surfboard, which demands fresh thinking, or ancient methods, to keep control. Winner of Best Documentary at the New York Surf Film Festival, it is written and directed by Mick Sowry who also writes at http://www.safetosea.blogspot.com/. To buy a copy visit the website here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alltop Surfing News

There's a new site for surfing news called Alltop which describes itself as an "online magazine rack" for major topics. The surfing news page can be found here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Richard Davies QC

I was shocked to hear today of the death of one of the very best barristers in the country, Richard Davies QC, who tragically passed away last week. Described by Chambers UK as "intellectually brilliant" he had the preeminent reputation in the conduct of sports litigation as well as being Head of Chambers at 39 Essex Street. I met Richard when he presented a webinar on sports personal injury cases in June along with fellow sports law specialist and barrister Jonathan Bellamy. I was struck not only by his intellect which shone out but also by his understated, warm and down to earth manner. A really tragic loss. A condolence book can be found on the 39 Essex Street website at http://www.39essex.co.uk/.

Charkin Blog

I see Richard Charkin's excellent blog on publishing (with a sprinkling of cricket) that he wrote during his time at Macmillan has now been made into a book. You can read the blog and browse the "Charchive" here and you can buy the book here. Here's a few examples of his posts:
Supporting public libraries
Top publishing blogs
On royalties
On blogs becoming books
Favourite film quote ("Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me")

He also provides a damning quote (here) about lawyers from Auberon Waugh who said: "Generally speaking, the best people nowadays go into journalism, the second best into business, the rubbish goes into politics and the sh*ts into law." As for his own industry, he says, "I suppose publishing lies somewhere between journalism and business. I hope so."

Escaping the 9 to 5

Here's another blog from a lawyer working towards a simpler life called EscapeThe9to5. To read more, click here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen) - Baz Luhrmann


The original text for this song was written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune on 1 June 1997. The full text can be found here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dove Grey Reader

I stumbled upon a gem of a blog recently called Dove Grey Reader by a lady in Devon who shares her "bookaholic passion" with the world through numerous reviews of an eclectic mixture of books.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saltrock blog

Great to see that surwear company Saltrock have started a blog. Click here to keep up to date with what they have to say.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Marshmallows: the ultimate test of success?

Intersting article in the Daily Mail suggesting that a child's future success can to some extent be determined by the marshamallow test. It was devised by Professor Mischel and involved leaving a child in a room for 20 minutes with a marshamallow with the advice that if they could resist eating it they would be given a second marshamallow as a reward. As the article says: "The children who took the sweet straight away turned into teenagers who lacked self-esteem and experienced difficult relations with their peers, it was found. Those who waited for a second marshmallow turned out to be more socially competent, self-assertive and academically successful. The boys and girls who waited even scored an average of 210 points more in their school exams than those who didn't." To read more, click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Four Hour Work Week

For any budding surfing lawyer, they may be interested in Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Work Week which covers subjects from mini-retirements to outsourcing your life. Described as "the Indiana Jones of the digital age" Tim also keeps a blog here. To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another lawyer gone surfing...

After my post yesterday about the Washington DC lawyer slowly giving up his job to follow his dreams, I was sent today by the Editor of Blawg Review a link to a post at FourHourWorkWeek entitled How to Surf Life: Attorney Turned Surf Guru. It describes the story of Hans Keeling who gave up his high-flying job as a lawyer in Los Angeles after having tried surfing on a visit to Brazil in 2004. He returned from that trip and immediately handed in his three-week notice. He then moved to the tropical paradise of Florianopolis, Brazil and set up a premier surf-adventure company called Nexus Surf. The article concludes:

"These days, he often sees his former self in the under-joyed and overworked professionals he takes out on the waves. Waiting for the swell, the true emotions come out: “God, I wish I could do what you do.” His reply is always the same: “You can.”

The setting sun reflects off the surface of the water, providing a zen-like setting for a message he knows is true: it’s not giving up to put your current path on indefinite pause. He could pick up his law career exactly where he left off if he wanted to, but that is the furthest thing from his mind.
As they paddle back to shore after an awesome session, his clients get a hold of themselves and regain their composure. They set foot on shore, and reality sinks its fangs in: “I would, but I can’t really throw it all away.”

He has to laugh."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Adventures in voluntary simplicity

I read on the excellent legal blog Swordplay recently about a lawyer in the States who is keeping a blog in which he invites readers to "Follow along as a highly-paid lawyer gives up a life of material comfort and unencumbered excess, and embraces the beauty and freedom of simple happiness." To read about his progress in downsizing, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spirit of Aloha

All about cycles

With all the talk of short term boom and bust, it's surprising that more people are not taking a longer term approach and looking back to the Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev. Before he got carted away and shot by Stalin, he predicted that a fall in the world economy was due some time in the 1930s, having examined the previous two depressions from the 1830s and the 1880s. He also suggested the existence of long term economic cycles which last 50 or 60 years.

Well, the next global correction hadn't arrived by the late 1990s but this was perhaps due to the fact that governments artificially staved off the inevitable fall through a bloating of the credit markets. Now, with the economy sicker than ever under his ill-advised guidance, Gordon Brown wants to try and stave it off even longer by spending his way out of trouble. But we've already suffered enough from his profligate ways. As any responsible householder would tell him, if you're in a financial mess of your own making and up to your ears in debt then a bit of discipline and prudence might be the order of day.

More worrying still is that he's using the recession to bring forward even more of his reckless spending plans to coincide with, you guessed it, a general election in the next couple of years. If only he can hoodwink the electorate one last time. But let's be clear. His days of creative accounting and tax and spend by stealth are over. This is a blunderbus of the most obvious kind. Socialism in all its most self-interested misguided glory. Which at least provides an opportunity for the Tories to kill it off once and for all.

I just wish they'd stop pussy-footing around and get on with it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New book on stress

I'd like to recoomend a book by Dr Hugh Koch and his son James Koch called 'Active Steps to Reducing Stress - Life Skills for Feeling Calmer'. Both authors are psychologists and in this book they explain many of the psychological tools which are available to those who live and work in stressful environments. First they analyse exactly what is stress and why it can cause problems. Then they go on to look at how people can change their thinking, their lifestyles, their communication and ultimately their behaviour as part of a strategy to reduce stress. It is a down to earth and practial guide to this important topic and I am sure it will help many people who have hectic, busy and stressful lives. The book is published by Bracken Books and if you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can email Hugh at enquiries@hughkochassociates.co.uk.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Recession-busting USB Cell

I've covered the USB Cell rechargeable battery before. This year it's producer Moixa Energy has been an EU Cleantech 100 company and Barclays ‘Green Leader in Business’ – www.usbcell.com/awards and also won an iF Gold top 50 global design award with Apple at Cebit this year.

The rechargeable batteries are a great example of a product you can buy now and carry on re-using hundreds of times – simply by recharging them in USB ports on computers or games stations, instead of spending hundreds of pounds on disposable alkaline batteries that are bad for your wallet and very bad for the environment on C02 and landfill waste. USBCELL batteries are an example of numerous ‘recession proofing’ products, such as installing solar panels for free home electricity, home insulation to reduce heating, water filters to avoid buying plastic bottles of mineral water and low energy light bulbs.

In the Seventies everyone looked for ‘local resilience’ in building Green homes and self-sufficiency and labelling every light switch with ‘Save-It Stickers’, but the end of the then oil crises combined with the last 30 years of Financial ‘Exuberance’ has obscured the need for consumers to use products and energy more efficiently. Interestingly, Moixa believes that green energy and re-usable products may become viable currencies in their own right – as consumers use/exchange them with neighbours. Solar powered homes in Germany already ‘sell’ energy to neighbours or back to the grid, and is more likely to become law in the UK given recent support by the UK Prime Minister for a ‘Green Feed in Tariff’.

For more information on the USB Cell rechargeable battery, click here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surf Nation moves to A1 Surf

Delighted to see that Alex Wade's excellent blog on surfing in Britain and Ireland which started with The Times has now moved to A1 Surf. To read it, click here. To buy a copy of the latest edition of Alex's book of the same title, click here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CPD Webinars - a new way to do CPD

Please take a look at CPD Webinars which provides online video training in personal injury and employment law. I helped to start it at the beginning of last year and it has already become an extremely popular way of getting your CPD hours. For more information click here. To receive a FREE webinar which will give two CPD hours, click here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wave Dreamer

Heads up for a great new site called WaveDreamer which is run by cinematographer and film director Richard Gregory. Having produced a movie on the Brighton Surfing scene called Not California, he has since turned his attention to North Devon where he now lives and is currently in the process of producing a movie about its surfing which will be called 'One Day' and which will, as the label suggests, be filmed in a single day. He has already had a practice run recently and a clip can be seen here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New album from Douglas E. Powell

Braunton folk singer Douglas E. Powell has a great new album out on the Twister Valley Records label. it's called 'Iron Coast' and I highly recommend it. You can listen to samples and buy the CD here. Look out in particular for track number 8 'Birth, Birds and Trees'.

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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

North Devon foraging



















Redcurrants and blackberries for wine, sloes for gin (actually vodka this time), mountain ash berries and rosehips for jelly.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New home for Surf Nation

Surf Nation on The Times, written by Alex Wade the author of the book of the same name and covering all aspects of surf culture with a particular emphasis on Britain has now found a new home at http://www.surfnation.co.uk/. Highly recommended.