I grew up near Callington in South East Cornwall. Like a lot of Cornish towns, Callington used to be a mining town - Nowadays it is notable for being home to the beige culinary delight that is the Ginsters Pasty and for also being about as far from the coast as is possible in this peninsula of a county.
My mates at school used to dream about being old enough to run amok through Union Street at night, chasing the saccharine buzz of Barcadi Breezers and pursuing the elusive Plymouthian maid. I also used to dream about becoming a surfer.
Intently poring over and escaping into the articles in surf magazines; listening deep as my Dad regaled stories of him and his friends surfing hollow waves like Porthleven in the West of the county and big waves like Milook in the North. We would load up the car with surf gear every weekend and when the spring started to win-the-war over the winter we would go after school too (my dad being a teacher at the time). You could find me scrapping around every lineup from Tregantle to Sennen - styling in my ill-fitting, blue and beige Gul winter suit.
It is why that when I look at this shot of myself surfing at Porthleven, back in November (shot by @amysmithphotography) featured in the latest issue of Carve Magazine I am proud to see a surfer stare back at me. The same kind of surfer that I used to read about and heard my Dad talk about.
I say this not in a ego-driven, self-congratulatory way but in rather more humble manner - the accomplished satisfaction of perseverance . It doesn’t matter where you grow up or how much natural talent you possess, it is always worth working hard for the things you are passionate about. But hey, what do I know - I’m only a surfer after all.