Andrew Cotton

Monday, 31 May 2010

Nothing about surfing

The new Wavelength surf mag is out which has got the West Aus trip I did back in March/April in it, I got a couple shots in there and it’s a pretty good read too. Take the opening shot for example; this is me in full depression mode whilst checking the surf in the second week. 10 or so days into the trip and no real gold in the bag to speak of can get you down, that combined with emotional and mental relationship trauma and the thought of a much needed knee operation looming on my return to London, I wasn’t the happiest person on the planet and probably not the funniest person to be around either. But I did pick myself up a couple of times and stuff myself into a place where you can never be sad and things always look a whole lot better, which can make any trip worthwhile and the darkest day a whole lot brighter. Yeeew

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Top's off.

‘U should be here’ was the first message I received last Saturday then a slow stream of messages followed, each slightly more incoherent as time went on, each message filled with out of character  swear words mostly miss spelt but I was getting the gist of what was happening. It was Selways stag do in Dublin you see and I was supposed to go but bailed on it, not that I didn’t want to spend a weekend with him celebrating the fact he was getting married to the amazing ‘Super Hawk’. I just wasn’t into what I expected would unfold and the possible shenanigans that could happen. I’m on one of these ‘no booze’ fazes at the moment and like anything I do, it’s done to excess which means no booze, healthy food and extreme exercise, but there’s no middle ground when I’m in this frame of mind, all or nothing is how I roll, which is a good place to be as it’s been a pretty dark few months for me. I’ve got my sights set on a few goals so with this in the back of my mind I wasn’t to bothered to be ‘missing out’ when receiving these texts, well that was until today when this photo landed in my email.
I was slightly in shock and almost in disbelief when I saw this, the first reason is I’ve never seen Selway with his top off, don’t get me wrong not that I really want to see him with his top off, but I have travelled to a lot hot places with him, yet never hung out with him bare chested or really seen him ‘top off’ for that matter, sometimes if he’s shooting land you’ll see him strutting around on the rocks or beach from a distance with his top off but the second you get out of the sea to check the fruits of your labour, top goes back on. He even offers ‘tops off cuddles’ when you’re having a shocking surf and feeling down but this never comes to fruition, this has always puzzled me and I’ve always wondered why. The second is the look of pain on his face, which I’ve only seen once before but you can pretty much read like a book, ‘Get me out of here’ he's saying and the thoughts of ‘what the hell is going to happen to me next’ spinning around in his intoxicated brain. I would have paid good money to be there and witness this, classic and truly gutted I missed it, tops off and all.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Wetsuit Shopping

I just don’t understand. It confuses me so much my brain goes into melt down; it’s almost a cross between sheer amazement and disbelief. What’s this guy thinking? Is it some sort of dare? Or practical joke maybe? I’ve seen this sort of behaviour before but this is taking it to the next level. Bear in mind that the guy pictured above is shopping in Tesco’s in Braunton which is approximately a 10 minute drive to the sea, at first you probably think ‘strange guy shopping shirtless but give him the benefit of the doubt as it has been pretty hot this weekend’ but then look again and it will slowly start to sink in that this guy is actually shopping in his wetsuit. What processes anyone to do such a thing? or is it me? Am I the odd one thinking that this is just not normal and slightly strange, if so I need to know.
Yeah I like my wetsuit and to be honest its dam comfy but I wear it in the sea and that’s about it. It happens like this. Decide to go surfing, drive to beach, PUT WETSUIT ON, walk to beach, (which is usually 5 min walk at most) surf, get out the sea, walk back to car, TAKE WETSUIT OFF, get changed and drive home again. Simple.
So what the hell was this guy thinking? Or is simply making a statement ‘hey everyone I’m a surfer’ or ‘check me out in my wetsuit, all bare chested amongst the fruit and veg’, Whatever this guys thinking or stating for that matter, nothing takes away from the fact he’s actually shopping in his wetsuit, in Tesco.....

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Getting all 'Old School'

Meet Tundish, nice bloke who likes lying. like lying on the sofa and eating, playing computer games and watching T.V. He’s not just really good a lying he’s also a pretty motivated on getting involved in the local community and not to bad at the old I.T either and has helped me on numerous occasions, usually when I turn up at his door panicing about some dirty disease my laptop has picked up from somewhere. We’re also both on the Croyde Surf Club committee, which I might add is a thankless task of endless meetings about banner’s, gazebos, branding, club houses, spending grants and who can we pay to do elite training for a select few. God how times have changed what happened to surfing and surf clubs being about fun?
Well Tundish came up with the idea of getting all old school and the ‘Mojito Pro’ was born, which was going to be about booze, fun, fancy dress and getting surfers back into the club. Obviously time spent on this at one of the infamous meetings was minimal as it didn’t involve banner’s, gazebos, branding, club houses, spending grants and who can we pay to do elite training for a select few, but how much organisation does it actually take to hold a booze up with a little bit of surfing thrown in, exactly not a lot.
It was carnage as was expected with a good turnout of surfers and funnily enough spectators which are pretty unusual for a CSC contest, the winning team was obvious as it was a tag team timed event but the other winners of ‘best wave’ and ‘best Manoeuvre’ where decided by a panel of invalids, myself included in the Blue Groove over a Mojito and like any good surf contest bribes were accepted. The evening finished with the Cheers Bottle Shop challenge with the usual suspects making the final but with a huge shock upset in the final seconds with Cicely smashing a 9 second heat which no one could even get close too. I did a couple beach interviews which you can check out HERE and congratulations to all the winners, um I forgot who you all are but I am £20 better off. Thank you.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Spun out dog

What is this Dog staring at ? from on Vimeo.

For some strange reason i love this video, Well its not that surprising really as its features a dog which looks particularly spun out and it makes me laugh, I just watched it about 20 times on the trot. Yeah OK I'm not up to much at the moment and maybe this shows it. Not that I've ever seen or met this dog i actually really wonder what its thinking? Its by Daniel Russo who seems to make quite a few of these little off the cuff videos which i always like to check out.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Feeling old?

Agh more involuntary groans, sighs and noises. I’m getting old before my time but I’m defiantly going down swinging, crutches and all, mentally I’m far from ready although when I do get there at least I know what to expect as I had a little test run yesterday with my Grandma. She’s 90 and lives in mid Devon, well Crediton to be exact; yeah I know I hear you! My mother’s side of the family are from Crediton which maybe explains the web feet, close eyes and alcohol problem.
After the usual greetings, small talk and life update followed by some tea and biscuits I usually leave but yesterday was different as I was pretty much stranded, still can’t drive you see and am relying on lifts. I don’t mean stranded in a bad way as in death on a desert island but I just couldn’t really leave when I would have chosen to. We both sat there in our single armchairs starring at each other, crutches by my side and leg up, Zimmer frame by hers with her little trolley of supplies at arm’s reach, I had a flashback of being 8 when I used to visit my Great Gran who was in a old people’s home in Braunton, before they all got sold and split into flats, which was eerie because it was like I was looking at myself sat in the chair, in a room, in silence and unable to come and go as I pleased, oh how the tables turn.
Most of my Grandma’s friends are dead now, the reason I know this is she kept telling me on her 90th birthday, she just couldn’t seem to work out how she got so many birthday cards, 41 to be precise ‘All my friends are dead Andrew, how on earth have I got so many birthday cards?’ She has got one ‘pal’ that still pops round though but as grandma says she hasn’t got the best of memories and sometimes even forgets how she got there and what for but she is sensible enough to keep a piece of paper with her name and address on it in her pocket and handbag just in case.
‘It’s all about keeping the brain busy’ she told me ‘I love my cross words but the trouble is there’s too many people in this country that can’t spell and if you can’t spell how can to expect to do a crossword’

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Get Motivated

It’s strange what motivates you. I had a bizarre email this morning and at first I thought it was someone taking the piss, well it did have the word ‘Fan’ in the first sentence and from how I read it, it was a reference to me! Plus I was also sort of puzzled on how he got my email address. Thinking about it, it probably is a piss take but as I read and re read the email and the thoughts of who it actually might be crossed my mind I decided to blow caution to the wind and reply anyway. It was from a young surfer who is just about to have knee surgery, I won’t go into details but it made me think back to this photo and how I ended up there.
This was my first ever water shot published in a surf mag which Tim Nunn took in Sri Lanka at a BPSA contest, this was 6 months after my first ACL knee reconstruction and at the time I was working for a UK surf clothing brand managing one of their shops. They had a ‘Pro’ surf team which all ripped yet no matter how hard I tried, pleaded and sucked up they just wouldn’t sponsor me, I didn’t want much just a sticker for my board and a clothing package maybe but I couldn’t even get a tee off them, ok I was getting paid to manage their shop but deep down all I really wanted was to represent them in the sea too cause I knew I was capable. Anyway it never happened, although I always tried my best managing and getting sales in the shop it also motivated me to get my shit together, almost like giving them the finger.
After the trip and contest I went back to work and when the mag came out no one from the company ever really mentioned it to me and more amusingly from what I can remember none of their pro riders actually had any shots in there either, which seemed to make it somewhat more ironic.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


God I hate plumbing, actually the one good thing about being injured is that I don’t have to plumb or feel guilty about not doing it either, even the pressure from my parents to get a full time plumbing job and earn some real money has slightly subsided.
Not even sure why I stuck out the apprenticeship as I didn’t really like it from the start, I did have some classic moments though doing it and the guy I worked with was a comedy genius and didn’t even know it. I just laugh out loud when I think back at some of the stuff that happened even though at the time I wanted to cry.
Check this little real life scenario for example, we were plumbing a kitchen in Croyde, he was doing most the work and I was just fetching tools and helping out, the sink we just ripped out was in the garden and he was fitting the taps to the new one. ‘get the old hat from the sink outside’ he shouted out, this is just the screw thing that screws the taps to the sink, I knew what he meant so I went into the garden to the old sink, no joy he must of already taken it off the old taps, ‘um there not there I shouted back’ it went silent for a second then he shouted back ‘the sink outside cotton’ ‘get me the hat off the taps’ *********************************censored***************************************************************
Well I never actually quit, although we did have a cooling off point I finished my apprenticeship, so why the surf shot? I think it just goes to show there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s slightly more fun than plumbing.