Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No ankle busters here

We headed to the Mull of Galloway on a big North Channel Swell to find a few cars with boards strapped on top, folk smiling like monkeys and half a foot of slop. Bonkers. But the legend lives on and I have heard it can be good. I swear I saw barrels at Balantrae.
Tom, Coylton

I'm a surfer who grew up in Lewis and have surfed there for 6 years now. I had to move away for work but miss the surf in Lewis. I've had some awsome surfs and seen some very heavy ones too. Once I saw a west coast reef break which was jacking up at 25-30 feet, looked magic, stuff Hawaii, Lewis rules!
Ronnie, Stornoway

St. Andrew's doesn't get much swell due to the wierd, tucked away location of both beaches. Also the swells that do come in are, more often than not, torn apart by the baltic onshores. West sands is an almost exclusively long board wave due to the super mellow (read: weak) way the wave breaks. East sands, though more finnicky, is the best bet on a short board. As for the balls out, suicide reef in between the two: I've never heard of it being ridden, probably because you have to thread a line between dry reef. It's possible though, so next time it's big and you find yourself in Fife, drop by east sands and we'll tempt our fates.
Ted, St. Andrews

Good break. You can park at the west end or the east end near the lifeguard hut. Seemed to pick up a similar amount of swell to Thurso East but in westerly swells is probably a bit bigger. Clean water!
Adam, Yarm

Nice looking beach, but fickle. Been there many times, yet to see it bigger than knee high. There is a rivermouth break 10 mins walk around the headland (south end of beach) but never surfed it. Does pick up way more swell than the beach though. Faces N/NW, so S/SE wind is offshore.
Iain, Balchrick

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Surf's Up" by The Beat Poets.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Garrett and Willie

So Garrett Barry . . . . What an amazing life this gentleman led. He was born in Inagh, County Clare, during Black 47. The famine robbed the lad of his sight (malnutrition and famine sickness), but it never robbed him of his spirit; as a child he took up the uilleann pipes and that's how he made his livelihood.

He remained a piper until his death in 1899 and although he passed away in the Ennistymon Poor House, he richened the lives of countless folk in West Clare with his music. In addition to the famous jig that bears his name, Barry is remembered in other tunes such as "Garrett Barry's Mazurka" and "Garrett Barry's Reel." He is also associated with the "I Buried My Wife And Danced On Top Of Her" (name a better song title than that one; I dares ya) and "The Humours of Glen."

Barry's legacy perpetuated thanks largely to a chap named Willie Clancy. He was a man of many talents -- whistle and flute player, singer, storyteller -- but his speciality was the uilleann Pipes. Barry's piping style was passed on to Clancy from his father, Gilbert. According to many, Barry is known and cherished today because of Clancy's determination to pass on his music.

Let's raise a pint to both Garrett and Willie. Here's Kevin Burke with "Garrett Barry's."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Smoke up, Johnny!

Claire Standish: You know why guys like you knock everything?

John Bender: Oh, this should be stunning.

Claire Standish: It's because you're afraid.

John Bender: Oh God, you richies are so smart, that's exactly why I'm not heavy into activities.

Claire Standish: You're a big coward.

Brian Johnson: I'm in the math club.

Claire Standish: See, you're afraid that they won't take you, you don't belong, so you have to just dump all over it.

John Bender: Well, it wouldn't have anything to do with you activities people being assholes, now would it?

Claire Standish: Well, you wouldn't know, you don't even know any of us.

John Bender: Well, I don't know any lepers, but I'm not going to run out and join one of their fucking clubs.

Andrew Clark: Hey. Let's watch the mouth, huh?

Brian Johnson: I'm in the physics club too.

John Bender: Excuse me a sec. What are you babbling about?

Brian Johnson: Well, what I had said was I'm in the math club, uh, the latin, and the physics club... physics club.

John Bender: Hey, Cherry. Do you belong to the physics club?

Claire Standish: That's an academic club.

John Bender: So?

Claire Standish: So academic clubs aren't the same as other kinds of clubs.

John Bender: Ah... but to dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?

Brian Johnson: Well, in physics we... we talk about physics, properties of physics.

John Bender: So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?

Have a listen, okay? It's Math And Physics Club with "Holidays And Saturdays" and "You'll Miss Me."