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First time surfing. Well, I’m not sure you can exactly call it "surfing." Imagine a branch from a tree in a tsunami made of ten waves; this was us. To say the least, we got absolutely slaughtered by the waves.
Within the first full day of arriving, both Clement and I were pretty up for trying to go surfing with our newly bought equipment. We had the full gear; surfboards, wetsuit, wetsuit hood, gloves, and shoes. The reason we need this is because the sea temperatures are around eight degrees. Most people would probably go surfing in the summer, where they would only perhaps have to wear a thin wetsuit or perhaps just some shorts and suncream to keep getting burnt in the hot sun. Not for us. We decided to go surfing in early February where the sun was barely shining, and it was raining the majority of the time. As we had researched the temperatures before the move and thought it would be wise to invest in equipment which would prevent us from getting hyperthermia, so we purchased the correct kit for the job.
Wetsuit, head crushing hood, gloves a little too big for my hands, and boots—we were ready. After both my sister and Mum mocked us for looking weird and then taking a photo of us for future mocking, we entered the cold, sweeping water. Despite the sea being seriously chilly, our adrenaline was high; we had both had our surfboards in our rooms on display over the last few months in our homes in the UK and we were desperate to try them out. The waves were around 5/6ft and to say the least, the first few destroyed us. It was only until two weeks ago that we found out how to "duck dive"—a surfing technique where you push yourself and your board underneath the wave to stop yourself from getting wrecked and nearly drowning. Neither of us stood up on our first surfing session….. I’m sad to say that after nearly four weeks since then, we still haven’t. I’m blaming it on my very short surfboard. Nothing to do with my skills at all….
It’s been a couple of weeks since both my Mum and sister flew home. During the time they stayed I mostly took the time to show them around the island, sort out the house and explore the local area. I dropped my sister and Mum off at the airport as they had to head back for college and work. It was great having them both here, not only for my sister's amazing cooking, but also because it was great to see them relax and enjoy a week away from home… They are also surprisingly good company!
The following weeks consisted of a rough routine being formed, catching up with work, sorting out our WIFI, and being as stingy as possible towards using electricity and water to enable us to cut down our bills.
We did take two days off when we decided to get out of the house and spend a night in the vans. We drove down the south of the island, followed some logging trails towards the beach, and set up camp for the night. Followed by waking up with the sun and a morning surf, it was a great little break.
Our daily routine would consist of getting up, be working by 9AM, having lunch, and then towards the later part of the day, we would relax; either go for a surf, a skate, or read. One late afternoon, we did set up the "crab pot" when it was low tide to try and catch some fresh fish to eat. Unfortunately this didn’t go to plan; we caught nothing. We take it in turns to cook our evening meals, so we can both learn and experiment with different dishes.
As we were paying for the bills during our time here; gas, water, and electricity, we both agreed that we wanted to spend as little as possible. We discussed how we could cut them down—well known ideas like using lights efficiently, turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, and having short showers were such things we talked about. Since this first conversation, stingier methods have come into play, such as turning pretty much all radiators off, using the fire place every night to heat the house, and even the great (and kind of gross) motto of "if it’s yellow let it mellow" is now a daily saying in the house. Ideas such as going to the toilet and showering with a head torch were plans we briefly discussed, but we decided that it was a little extreme, even for us.
To most, this lifestyle would sound like a dream (don’t get me wrong, I love it!) but unfortunately, everything comes with its stresses, worries, and confusing times. After being here for a month, some of these stresses and worries have become apparent. I talk about these in my next blog entry. From the unknown career path that I have taken to money worries, I’m attempting to shine some light on exactly what these are and why they are a problem. No matter who you are, where you are, or what job you have, everyone is going to experience these stresses and worries. It’s just about how you deal with them that makes the final outcome either negative or positive.