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

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.

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 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 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).