January Blues


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We spent yesterday evening in the charming company of Michael Roach at Bideford school. The Blues have been a staple on mine since teenage years and I had come to think of myself as grounded in the basics of blues history. Michael delightfully laid bare my ignorance by a series of insights, participation and stories between numbers. He had some quite radically different takes on the Blues. The music is essentially ‘party music’ which Virginian  slaves grooved to on their European instruments in the few moments they were not working. The way he plays the blues and sings it is hard not to agree with this analysis.

Earlier in the day Croyde hosted a 2-4 foot swell groomed by off shore winds all the way from Siberia. Two hours under blue sky’s and negative temperatures were more than enough for me but the session was certainly well worth the agony of changing into my wet wetsuit in the wind scoured car park.

Today I was determined to get a brief skate in but I did not get beyond the car park stage on this particular venture. I  starred with Mike into B Bowl as fine snow slowly deposited a slippery film onto the concrete. All was not lost as I had a good catch up with my mate and semi committed myself to some skate trips subject to a successful mid week session. XC Going California.

Stumped by the weather,we drove to Challacoombe in the dugs of Exmoor and I spectated whilst my daughter and her friend trudged up snowy hills and slid down them on a body board and plastic sledge. Eventually they clambered back into the car cold, wet and very tired then we went and did the same thing again down a steeper field. They will sleep well tonight.

The staff photographer seemed really pleased with the ‘work’ he had produced of a wiry tree against a skyline.All I can say is that he will keep trying.

7.5 ft at 15 sec on Tuesday with off shores. In before work at the point methinks.