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january 2014 articles

wednesday 21st january 2014

Ben Newman, Backside Feeble, Prevail SkatehouseHappy New Year readers! Here's hoping 2014 brings whatever you want from life ;)

Most recent news this year was an unexpected surprise in the form of a couple of visits from my good friend "Tassie" Ben Newman - a major contributer to the mayhem both years in Wanaka, NZ.

CJ was browsing Facebook, and happened to notice that Ben had posted a picture of the New Forest - odd, we thought, and upon following this up it turned out that Ben and his girlfriend Adele were visiting her family, who lived just up the road on the other side of the forest!

Adele, Ben and I  celebrating Bens birthday in BournemouthSo after a flurry of messages back and forth, Ben duly arrived in Bournemouth to grab some beers at the Christmas market, check out Bournemouth and skate Prevail.

It was awesome to see Ben after a gap of seven years, the last time we were skating at Benmore dam just before he left.

We chatted about friends and what we had been up to in the intervening years - it felt like it was only a few weeks since we last saw each other. Good times :)

The second time, Ben came over with Adele and her family to celebrate his birthday with a meal and drinnks in Bournemouth, so we went out to Wagamamas, drank Saki, and went for drinks at the pub. Adele is very chatty and amiable, and it was great to see them before they left the next day, returning to Oz to move into a new place near Manley in Sydney.

What a great start to the new year! :)

In November, I arranged a meet-up at Prevail with fellow streetboarders Paul Nash, Andy Garrett and Flipside's Adam Walder joining local riders Tim, Pat and I.

It was quite a busy evening at Prevail with loads of BMXers congregating in the street section, so the riding was cencentrated on the 3ft mini, the main bowl, and the foam pit.

Adam, Paul and Pat on the foam pit roll-in Adam Walder, Corkscrew, Prevail Andy Garrett, Rodeo in the main bowl, Prevail

It was the first time that Tim and Pat had met Paul and Andy, so I had asked local rider J Adams (who owns Smoking Aces bar in Bournemouth) to reserve us a table - and we spent a few hours drinking in town afterwards together, Pat eventually getting home near Dorchester just before the sun rose... ;)

November and December were unseasonably mild, and a combination of good weather and Christmas exhibitions in the Bournemouth Gardens provided a plethora of photo opportunities.

Richmond Hill sunset, Bournemouth CJ on the pier on a crisp November Sunday, Bournemouth A neon art exhibit in Bournemouth Gardens

In the run-up to Christmas, I have seen my little neice Camille a couple of time - once for her birthday, and once at Christmas. She has grown up really fast over the last few months - now walking and talking, and the icing on the cake was the last time I saw her, she said my name!

Birthday present success! Camille knocking out tunes on her xylophone :) My sister Cesca and Camille, Christmas in Salisbury

In other news, one double-edged sword on the horizon is the news that my left wrist is going to be operated on at the beginning of March... Probably the right decision for the long-term, but in the short-term it means no skating or driving for 6 weeks after :(

Still, if it strengthens the wrist, and staves off arthritis - its probably for the best...

But, back to the now, I am in Chamonix snowboarding for the last 2 weeks of January, being joined by long-time friend George Moy for the second week - so hoping that the mild December won't have compromised the snow base-layer too much, and we can get some decent riding in, and some good footage down...

So until the next time, keep it real, and enjoy 2014 :)