I packed my bag last night to put in the boot of the car this morning so I could go straight from the train station to the beach for a run or a swim after work. On the train to work, the ocean was smooth and glassy and I knew there was still a wee bit of swell around, so all day long I was thinking about maybe going for a surf, and visualising the fastest way to get to the beach after work.

On the train on the way home the waves were all lumpy but there was still that little bit of swell. I bolted home, grabbed my board and rushed down there, work clothes and all. The surf was tiny but there were a few guys out, and I decided, what the hell, I’d join them. It was 5.30 pm, and I’m ripping off all my clothes, knowing I didn’t have the time to squeeze myself into a steamer, so went out in running shorts and my cossie.

The sun had sunk as I caught a couple of little lefts. The water was 22 degrees, a bit weedy and lumpy, but lovely and crisp. An almost-full moon had risen above the cranes in the port behind us. The next wave I caught, I surf into the lightpath thrown out by the cranes reflecting onto the water, I paddled back out watching the street lights along the groyne light up against a backdrop of dark-grey clouds.

20 minutes was all I got, but it was worth it.


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