Growing – Fergal Smith’s Quiver

More people should be watching these, if you haven’t subscribed already get on over to the Tube and do it. This little series follows one of my favourite surfers to watch, Fergal Smith, as he settles into a simple life at home in Ireland. This clip is the best so far, I absolutely love the mellow piano tune and Ireland’s waves. Fergal’s quiver is quite tasty too. Look out for the looooong left at 3:31, the drone footage really makes you realise how good a wave that is, great shape to it, I have to admit, I don’t fancy the paddle much though.

Mk1 Ford Escorts are Cool

I checked out For the Love of Cars at the weekend, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest but there was nothing on and this was about cars. I ended up really enjoying it, the show followed Philip Glenister (Fire up the quattro yo!!) and his mechanic friend as they rescued a rotten old Mk1 Escort Mexico and restored it in all it’s glory. It’s left me with a real hankering for Ford’s rear wheel drive legend. Definitely now top of the classic car dream list. Here’s a nice little clip showing what they’re all about…..

Ornamental Drive

Ornamental Drive, New Forest
Sequoias at Ornamental Drive. See, there are trees in the New Forest!

I’ve met a few visitors to this area that have said they find the fact it’s called ‘The New Forest‘ funny considering there’s not many trees. One fella even claimed there were no trees. He’d had a few of Ringwood’s finest though, so his claims had to be taken with a pinch of salt. I think  on the whole tourists don’t expect to see so much heath land – there is a fair bit of that throughout the forest, however there are tonnes of trees too. Generally if people haven’t found many trees then, they haven’t been looking too hard. Ornamental Drive is one of the prettiest of the wooded areas in the forest, and it has trees, tall ones. Big sequoias and redwoods can be found here as well as some great cycling routes – on and off road. If you’re visiting the forest it’s a definite spot for the checklist.


Mountain Biking in the New Forest

Putting my new Cube AIM Disc 29er through it's paces.
Putting my new Cube AIM Disc 29er through it’s paces.

Since moving back to the New Forest I’ve rediscovered mountain biking, the trails aren’t technical but there’s a few fun hilly sections and plenty of mud about! Not surfed in a good while so getting on the bike has been a welcome distraction however I will sample some South Coast soup soon and report back.


I’m pretty scared of heights and hence have a fear of getting loosely strapped into something that’s going to climb very high and then hurtle you towards the ground, so considering I’m not a particular fan of Blackpool either you can quite rightly be confused as to why I battled 7 hours of torrid motorway to go on The Big One.

A brief bit of sunshine inbetween 40mph gusts and hail.... it's grim oop north.
A brief bit of sunshine inbetween 40mph gusts and hail…. it’s grim oop north.

It wasn’t my idea this Blackpool trip, the family forced me to do it and standing in the queue for the Big’un listening to the announcement tape (that I think is supposed to get you amped up) saying that you’ll reach 85mph, climbing 250ft on one of the biggest coasters in Europe and be placed under loads of over 3G (not the phone signal G) I was bricking it. I wanted to bail out even more when I saw that only lap belts kept you in the car- not the re-assuring over the shoulder jobs that weld you in place. In the end I took some advice from my sister’s boyfriend who just approached the ordeal in a different way – ‘it’s a task that has to be done, just get through it and you might enjoy it at the end’


And actually he was right, I survived and the Big’un was pretty damn fun, I’d even go on it again, I’d have to figure out a different way of getting up there than the M6 though – that’s a ride I don’t want to repeat.

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K-Grind, circa 2010
K-Grind, circa 2010

Not sure if I can still do these to be honest, haven’t picked up the skateboard in a while, over a year I think. The place in the pic evokes some fond memories though…. Growing up as kids this was one of the only spots near us that had a skateable curb and was undercover – so when it rained a lot and you were in need of a roll around and a few grinds this was the go-to spot, the curb was tiny as well so a great place to learn new stuff and then take it to bigger ledges which was always a bit of a learning curve. For ages I had tailslides dialed at this Subway spot but couldn’t ollie high enough to get them locked in on bigger ledges, it took months till I got there but with most things if you set your mind to it and practice – you’ll get there. I must admit I really do miss the days of rolling around the skate park and hanging out with friends all afternoon having so much fun you forget to eat and only stop when the sun goes in but we can’t stay kids forever… Or can we?

Photography & Thoughts on Surfing, Cycling, Football and Some Other Crap