I’ve approached this a thousand different ways over the past few days and I still don’t know but I’ll give it go.
I’m not sure if it feels like yesterday or years ago that I was sat in your kitchen, listening to John Martyn too quickly approaching, it seemed at that time, saying good bye to you and my other friends and family before I set off on my adventure across the world. We pondered where we would be in a years time. On 25th September my alarm reminded me of it. I said I would call you and tell you where I was, what I had been doing so here goes.
Taiwan was epic. You were right, I was fine on my own in that unfamiliar world and I realised my strength. We lost you I think a couple weeks that I was there. I had a missed call from Tim at 4am and I knew something must be wrong. I couldn’t have told anyone if I had wanted to, but I didn’t want to share that with people I didn’t feel connected to; it was too impersonal. There were no waves that day. Really, there weren’t. Weird isn’t it? And it rained. I went out on my scooter and I cried. I cried all day. I don’t think I had ever cried that much, in that way; hollow and heavy.
I carried on. I went to New Zealand after that, worked, lived, surfed. I did night surfing by the full moon at Manu Bay. I drank a lot of good coffee. I saw Rob and Lydia!
I didn’t want to go home when my return was due so I went to Australia and hey, guess what, I’m still here. Living the dream 😉 I have seen such wildlife (everything wants to kill me I’m pretty sure) I’ve seen some epic views met some incredible people. I thought I was in love for a little while but I’m not sure now. Everything got confusing when my Granny died. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised that I found it hard to keep myself afloat for a little while there but here I am still bobbing along.
I never went home for the summer like I planned. In our summer I went to South Australia and worked in shearing sheds: hard graft, salt of the earth people. I never hated my work but at times I hated a situation and I got myself out of it. You taught me that. It might seem that we have no choice, that we are stuck on a certain course but we have the power to leave.
I thought you should know the impact you had on me (and I think everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting you and the sheer delight of being your friend). But first I have to tell you this: man, you annoyed the shit out of me the first time I met you. I’m being honest now, as I know you’d want me to be. My first impression of you was at Widemouth, a busy day of solid lines and you were so loud! Ha! I could hear you all the way over at black rock man! After that you came bowling into our community and I wasn’t sure really. Could anyone be that fucking nice? To everyone? All the time? Be that stoked?! Yes. There has been one person on this world who though he felt the same pains, disappointments and suffered the same set backs as the rest of us was the most positive, kind and absolutely STOKED to the brim.
I’m not always that good at it but I try to “LIVE LIKE PRITCH”.. You inspired me to live fearlessly. More you taught me that to give selflessly we must think less of ourselves: to be less self conscious. At work, especially working at Kids surf camps I realise the worth of being silly as much as possible. It’s good to be silly, to be loud and unashamed of it.
Thanks Pritch. You’re a legend. Hope you’re getting some sick cloud barrels up there in heaven or wherever you are, hope you’re getting pitted. 🤘🌊😁❤️
Now how about some John Martyn to play us out…