15 October, 2014

Surfing!!?? If that's what you call it.

Many, many months back in oooh, July it was time to go surfing again.  Love how that sounds 'surfing again'.  Makes one think I can actually get up on the board.  I can, actually, get up on the board but I can't stand on it.  Kneel? Just about, but stand?  No.
Fitsmile had done their thing again and organised a fun weekend away (do love those girls) and I got to go with them again.  I also got to have a road trip with my main partner in crime, Ms. Geraldine A!!!  I now have a new partner in crime too, she's very cool.  Her name is Ciara and she is very, very funny and swears a lot and, apparently, likes rather large willies very much or something, but that's another story.  We'll need rum, mint and lime for that one.
The whole way down to/over to Sligo we laughed and traded filthy stories and laughed.  Took brutal selfies when driving (am sure there is a law against that) and eventually arrived at the beautiful Surf Hotel in Sligo.
Well holy moly.  You should have seen the place.  It was gorgeous.  Balconies facing towards the sea, sigh.  And all for twenty quid a night??!  Bargain!
Snigger, we went in to the reception of the Surf Hotel and they said 'Er, you're not staying here.  Go out of the gates then take a left and another left and keep driving until you see the sea and it's there on your left."  Turns out we were staying in the Surf Hostel not Surf Hotel.  No balconies in this place let me tell you.  I can't believe we honestly thought we were getting something that awesome for twenty five quid.  The Surf School is very nice and the guys who run it are fantastic craic but salubrious hotel it ain't.  Can't remember any of their names now but can remember one fella was particularly well endowed, he's a carpenter.  Long story.
Everyone had arrived by six and we had a BBQ.  If you live anywhere near where the gorgeous Marta and Alicja of Fitsmile do their classes JOIN.  These two women are wonderful.  They are kind, funny, never stop moving and make sure there is great food for cooking at six in the evening in Sligo.
Have you ever been to Sligo?  We were in Strandhill and it was very beautiful and the sunset was gorgeous and the ice cream was lovely and . . . it's really, really pretty.
All the zumbaers are so nice.  Finally met E and learned things about locking up a fellas privates.  Met T and we fought over who loved Ger the most and my aul' mate Ee would not get into the water.  She's afraid of the sea.  The beautiful sea.  So sad.
I think I woke around seven the next morning, in a panic.  Had that dream again.  The one where I don't fit into the wetsuit! The horror.  Everyone up and good to go by 8 and having breakfast and enjoying the sunshine and banter so I took that as my cue and legged it to get my wetsuit and put it on quietly and privately in our teeny, tiny bedroom.  Seriously, four of us in two sets of bunkbeds in a room smaller than Nos. 2 and 3's bedroom upstairs.  Way smaller.  Ever try and squeeze yourselves into a rubber costume in the bus aisle?  Nope?  Well that's what it was like for me.  For us all in fact as it turned out.
Ger, Ciara and Maire arrived back just as I fell against the bunks in hot, sweaty relief at being in the fecking thing and not needing anyone to tuck my arse in for me (or was that Ger's arse last year?).  "Jaysus" they said, "that was quick."  Then Ger, kindly, pointed out that my knee pads weren't in the right position.
I tried and tried, God did I try, to hoick them back into the right position but no luck.  I had to take the fecking thing off and start again.
Aargh.  Getting into a wetsuit is fine when you are happy and collected and not panicked and sweaty.  By the time I got the fucking thing off I was a hot sweaty mess.  It took both Ger and Ciara to help me back into the sodding thing.  Mind you, Ciara, was having her own issues and palpitations.  If I looked anything as terrified and as stressed as her, and I bet I did, whilst she was shrieking 'I'm not going in, I'm not going in' it must have been an absolute picture.  Ger and Marie just slipped into theirs.  Wagons.
Thanks to the wetsuit er, helping on of etc. I now know Ciara better than I know quite a few people.  Snigger.  She also now loves the term 'wank' for stressful situations.
Then it was time to pick up our boards and parade through the town to the beach.  Bloody stony beach.  Big stones that you have to try and go down sideways so as not to fall over on.  Fail!  Fell over twice.
Into the sea and .. . . bbliss  I am a shite surfer.  Like, absolutely shite but I love it.  I love the laughing and the swallowing of water and the split second I get to my knees to whoop whoop before falling off.
So the er, well endowed surfer dude.  Ciara had an expression.  "He's a show-er not a grower"  which, I think, means he has a huge willy.
If, like me, you are shite at surfing and wouldn't recognise a cool, surfable wave, coming up behind you if it smacked you in the face (which it does) you find yourself lying on your board, feet in the correct position, and a chap at the nose of your board who is looking back out to the horizon for a wave he can send you off on.  Got it?  You're lying there with your face level with his crotch.  Well holy Jaysus, but yer man who was waiting to send me beachwards had the most enormous bit of tackle I've ever seen.  Just hanging there, chilling out beneath his suit and all.  At.  Eye.  Level.  Mortified.  I got so distracted by it or rather by trying not to look at it that I started asking him questions about what he did when he wasn't surfing.  He's a dad and a carpenter.  Oddest three, felt like sixty, minutes of my life.
Before you knew it, sure it was time to get out of the sea, carry the boards back to the hostel, shower and chill for the rest of the day.  When I was walking out of the water I noticed my foot felt funny.  Knew it couldn't be a broken bone or anything but it didn't feel pleasant.  When we got back to the hostel we discovered that our key was having coffee in the town and we were stuck having lunch (left over BBQ - that stuff lasted days) in our swimsuits.  Pretty.  Oh, and my odd foot?  Turns out I had split my gorgeously rose coloured big toe nail right down the centre.  Jesus I was weak at the idea of it.  Still shiver when I think of it.  The only thing to do was to rip it off.  Ugh.  Ciara adviced nail varnishing the skin to match what was left o
of the nail so it didn't look odd .  .  . .??

After lunch we went across the road to have a quick pint with those who were leaving for Dublin (a few of us were staying two nights) and a natter.  The thing with these gorgeous zumbaers and Fitsmilers (I think it's a cult) is . .  they hardly drink and they eat no crap food.  Lots of food but all healthy but no beer.  The surf lads had left us a big bucket of beers and ice and none were drunk??????  They were as surprised as I was.

Turns out there was a reason for not drinking.  We were gong on a hike!?  Yup, allow me to introduce the fresh hell that is/was Knocknarea (ahem, Knocknarea (/nɒknəˈr/; Irish: Cnoc na Riabh)[2] is a large hill west of Sligo town in County Sligo, Republic of Ireland.  The 327-metre (1,073 ft) high limestone hill is visually striking, as it is monolithic in appearance and stands in a prominent position on the Cúil Irra peninsula between the bays of Sligo and Ballysadare. At the summit is a large mound (or cairn) of loose stones. Although it has not been excavated, it is believed to conceal a Neolithic passage tomb.  Never mind the fact that we'd been in the sea for hours we were now due to climb the nearest mountain?!  WTF??? I think I may even have said that aloud.  They never stop.  As I have never climbed a mountain before I only had my trainers, turns out trainers aren't good for climbing mountains.  Too slippy and no grip.  You need mountain boots.  I now own Mountain Boots!

So off we all went.  Nice gentle incline to start with.  Halfway up it wasn't so fucking gentle and I sounded like Darth Vader.  I love Ciara.  Have I told you that yet?  I absolutely love her.  She told me not to panic and that she understood exactly how I felt (like I was going to die).  She had been the same when they went to Poland earlier in the year (they climbed everything that was over 10m on that trip) and herself and Ger just chatted to me as I tried not to be roaring red and not breath like I was gong to die.  I'd say we got within 100m of the top and I gave up.  I could see the top but there was no fucking way I was going to make it.  I didn't want to see the top.  I just wanted to lie down and die. M&A said they'd wait with me (I think they thought I was going to die too) until. I was ready to go up and told me I was well able for it and so on.  I, politely, told them to fuck off and I was incapable of taking another step.  Very hard telling these two ladies to eff-off as you don't want to hurt their feelings and . .  you can tell an Irish person to fuck off and they'll tell you to fuck off, you'll all laugh and happy out but. . . M&A are not Irish people.  They are very lovely, polite Polish people.
Still, they, eventually, left me to myself and I lay on the side of the mountain and watched the clouds scud past and enjoyed the sound of my breathing returning to normal.  When it finaly returned to not sounding life threatening I, briefly, considered climbing the remaining 100m to the top but . .  that passed and I got to lie in the sunshine for a lovely long while.

If I thought going to the top of the mountain was a bloody nnightmare  So fecking slippy.  Jaysus.  Thought my leg was going to snap at the knee as I went, quite quickly, down hte hill and my left leg went er, nowhere.  It went backwards, or stayed still.  Depends on your perspective I guess.  Never.  Again.  Back to the hostel for tea and a movie (psycho killer personal trainer) and I nearly peed with laughing and exhaustion when I limped out of the sitting room to go to bed and realised that I would have been nearer the stairs if I had've used the other door.  I don't normally get upset when having to walk an extra 2 metres but . . you should have seen the state of me.  Big toenail-less.  Bruised.  Bloody and oh, so sore.  That extra 2 metres was a killer.  As for the 13 stairs up to our room??

I woke up about 6am feeling very sorry for myself.  First off, the room stank.  I mean, STANK.   Us three wimmin could give the lads here a run for their money in the stinking room stakes.  Ger wouldn't open the window, you see, because it was along side her top bunk and she was convinced that, somehow she was going to shimmy downwards, whilst sleeping and fall out the window!?  Where was I?  Oh yeah, I woke up feeling terribly miserable due to a thumping hheadache(I have a feeling my headaches may be caused by stress - yesterday had been very stressful, what with the toe and the falling down the mountain.  Twice).  So I sat up to grab a drink and take some painkillers.

Holy fuck!!!!  Never.  EVER sit up suddenly when you are sleeping on the bottom bunk.  Especially when you have a headache.  I swear to God but I saw stars.  I just fell back and wailed quietly in my head . .  so quietly I was able to hear Ger pissing herself laughing at me.  I had hit my head so hard I woke her up.  She then reminded me that not only did I have a sore head, a bruised body and a very achy arse I also had no toe nail on my big toe (have I told you about that yet??).  FFS.

Sleep, breakfast and then (because I'd strolled down to the seafront and seen the lack of waves) I begged the chap in charge not to make me go surfing again that morning.  He took in the state of me and gave me both my money back and a voucher for the local Seaweed Baths.  Seaweed baths are the dogs bollocks.  Even with a scabby, bruised arse and no toe nail it was divine.  After that I had lunch with a friendly crow and enjoyed the book I borrowed from the hostel.  I could see everyone on their surfboards playing games (no waves so they had to do planking and stuff . .  how is this fun?) and I can promise you I didn't feel one bit envious.

Sure then it was time for lunch and time to hit the road.  We stopped for icecream (not as nice as the Strandhill shop, called Mammy something or other) and before you knew it I was home and in bed.   My lovely gorgeous bed with no bed over it.  Happy sigh x

p.s. M&A invited me to go snowboarding / skiing with them next January.  Am quite impressed that they managed to ask with a straight face.  Think they are trying to kill me.

Ooooh, so pretty.
We're not bad either.  Theresa, Moi, Elaine, Ger and Emma 
An unfiltered gorgeous west of Ireland sunset, where else would you rather be?
Two in the bed, in the very small bed.
State of me
Love this, you'd swear I knew what I was doing
Look at me!!!!!!  Shame Elaine looked away as I my le'p up into standing surfer position.
Where'd the sea go?
I don't even like pear cider but this tasted like heaven.  
Sad sigh, everyone bar us two were on the top of the mountain.  We sat on the side, can you sit on the side of a mountain??
Mmmmm, first lunch
My dining companion


  1. That was really nice reading before midnight ! Great memories and some bursting chuckles about recognizing those historic- heroic times...very well done!!!,..:D..Maire

  2. It was the best fun, wasn't it?