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Beached Artisans

Leaving the 9-5 for the open road

5 weeks in …

Has it really only been 5 weeks?

It feels like we’ve lived here forever!

Safe to say we have found our feet here and made some amazing friends. Apart from not being around our families, everything feels normal. Not like the normality of being at home and working everyday but normal in a sense that it all feels right.

Since the last blog we have moved from Feral to Hossegor with a stop in Lacanau on the way. Feral was perfect for breaking us in gently with familiar faces and the comfort of knowing our surroundings. We stayed for a week and a half at Feral and then made our way to Lacanau which is about 45 minutes drive south. We only stayed in Lacanau for 2/3 days as it is quite small but those 2/3 days were epic!

Lacanau is basically a strip of bars and shops along the sea front, you can sit and watch people surf all day long whilst drinking a Mojito or eating a Pizza. It’s a really nice place and the surf is pretty chunky! France loves a shore dump, they’re everywhere and they don’t half pack some punch! We didn’t surf in Lacanau as we hadn’t been faced with this sort of break before so we took to the bars instead! (safer option)

The first night we went straight to a restaurant for food as we were absolutely starving, we didn’t say a word to each other when the food came out! There was full concentration on fitting as much in our mouths as we could. The bar/restaurant had an insane DJ playing, it was for a surf film premiere. He was the coolest old guy ever, long grey curly hair and wearing Jesus sandals just loving life. His music was so good, really funky and had everyone up grooving! We ventured further down the strip later on and came across an Irish bar called Le Mulligan, full of French dudes but the pub was so Irish it was hard to believe we were in France. Nothing really went off this night (other than the football) so we headed back to the Vansion for an early night.

The second night started off pretty quiet, we almost came to the conclusion that nothing was going to happen and almost went home. However, the bar man came over with 2 shots of god knows what and put us in charge of the music. Not sure he knew what he was letting himself in for! We delivered some corkers and got the whole place dancing. The bar was filled with people having an amazing time, not one person was sat down. About 2 hours in and we both got on the bar and delivered a great rendition of Coyote Ugly! We were literally famous in Lacanau the next day, we had slightly sore heads but it was totally worth it. It was one of the best nights we’ve ever had! The memories of that night will last a lifetime!

 Lacanau was great but it was time to move further down the coast into Hossegor.

We stayed in a Surf Hostel/Camp Called Shifting Sands for almost 2 weeks which was really cool. I was pretty sad to leave to be honest but that’s what travelling is about I guess! The hostel was more of a big family surf house that is open 24/7, people come and go all day every day and you just get on with whatever you want to do. It has a really lovely vibe to it and everyone was incredible. Max and Jye (the two Aussies that do the surf coaching) were brilliant, we had so many funs with them over the 2 weeks. The first night we arrived was meant to be a quiet one with an early night but this was not the case. We were all chilling outside till gone midnight playing cards, drinking and laughing until I felt the effects of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire … Safe to say I made a great first impression on Shifitng Sands but it was all in the name of fun and it was the beginning of many great nights!

The surf in Hossegor is pretty powerful just like Lacanau and again there is always a shore break. The first day the boys took us surfing was bloody scary, it was big and those waves took no mercy on us. We got beat up continuously until there was no puff left in us at all. But as the days went by and we realised that we are going to just have to deal with these monster waves we slowly became more confident. Jye took us out back behind the breaking waves on this particular day and it felt like a whole weight had been lifted and we had finally achieved something. The waves differ everyday but for the most of our time here ive found myself not being worried anymore but instead taking the time to read the waves and start to understand what is happening. You really do have to respect what The Ocean is capable of otherwise it will eat you up and spit you out 100 times worse than you could imagine. There isn’t really ever any white water to surf here which is what we have been doing for so long back home so it is pushing us tremendously but its also a great feeling once we’ve succeeded.

We have made some lovely friends whilst being in Hossegor as we spend so much time in another Irish pub called Coolin A La Plage. Its the local hang out and its pretty much packed out most nights. There is a huge mix of nationalities here but mainly Australian, which is good because they’re all so amazing. Probably the most laid back and happy people I’ve ever met. They make my urge to go to Australia even bigger!

We took a trip to Biarritz last week with a couple of the Aussie guys that we had met in the pub. There was a small festival going on there so we all took some beers, played some random games on the beach and just chilled until the sun went down. The weather that day was incredible and the sunset was to die for!

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Katy, Jordy, Harley & Sam

 

Life is pretty awesome to say the least and things are looking up on the job front too! (will keep you posted if all goes well)

 

I also bit the bullet and got a new tattoo earlier this week! Id wanted it for a while, the weather was dull and we had nothing else to do so off we went! Its ace and it will remind me of this trip forever more!

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The van has been amazing and she just looks after us day after day! Although it does get pretty hot come 9am but its also really hard to get out of the bed its that comfy!

Today is my birthday so I’m going to wrap this up and order a big old breakfast with a pint!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read our blog and keep up to speed with our adventure! I’m sure there will be more antics to report on over the next week!

Lots of Love

H&K

xXx

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Week One – Complete

Aloha!

So we made it and survived our first week!

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Monday 19th June was one hell of a hectic day –  we literally didn’t stop until midnight because of all the packing and last minute preparations. The van only had its MOT on the same day. Talk about skin of the teeth!

None of it would have been possible without Warren (Holly’s Dad), he is a fountain of all things mechanical. He tuned the van around in about 6 weeks, which is incredible as it had just been sat in a field for almost 2 years doing nothing so the rust had set in. But, with a little determination we all got there in the end.

We owe a big thanks to Holly’s brother also for constructing our bed – kind of a big thing for a endless summer trip! Oh and to Gaynor (Mum) for finding us a memory foam mattress! We were just going to bung a load of mattress toppers in and hope for the best!

Katy’s family were awesome too, they provided us with a fridge and loads of cutlery, bowls and everything we hadn’t bought!  Everyone was amazing during the lead up to us departing. I don’t think they really thought we’d go ahead with it, nor did any of our work colleagues or bosses!

BUT – here we are, sat in a bar with a beer and blogging about the first week!

The drive was awesome, it took us about 1 1/2 days in total as we slept over in a service station after the first day. We put in some miles though and made it pretty far down so in the morning we only had an hours drive to the little ferry in Royan which took us over to Le Pin Sec. After that, it was about an hour to Feral!

The Vansion was incredible, she just kept pulling and pulling the whole way, not even a glimpse of doubt in her! She is so amazing to drive as well, couldn’t have asked for anything better. (When we quote The Vasnsion we have to give all credits to the two Aussies, Brett and Jamie. They think they own it but whatever …)

The weather was absolutely scorching! We were driving in our bikinis it was that hot! Definitely the hottest day by far, but what a day to arrive on 🙂

We hit the surf instantly and found a few feral members of staff down on the beach!

What and awesome feeling it is to be back!

The first week has consisted of Surfing, almost 3 times a day including sunset surfs (which are just divine), eating great food, meeting awesome people and sleeping like absolute babies! We’ve never slept so well! Must be all the sun and hard surfing 😉

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We have progressed with our surfing so much over the past week, our pop ups are solid and the art of catching green waves has begun!

Its going to be one epic Summer and its only just begun!

Note: I just had some awesome news that my good friend from work has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy too! It’s a shame I won’t be there too meet him but as soon as I arrive home I will be heading straight up there to introduce myself as crazy Aunty Hozza!

Anyway, we have been sat inside for far too long so we are heading back to do a big shop and then getting back in the sea!

Over and Out

H&K

xXx

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Are we there yet?

Somehow, i don’t know how, but somehow our trip is only 5 weeks away.

Where have those 10 months gone?

I thought we had ages to wait and all the time in the world to plan this but it turns out we really don’t, i mean 5 weeks and still no where to live yet!

Stress levels are through the roof and someone is about to place a brick through the nearest window (its at that point that we quote Bad Boys and say “woooossaaaa”.

Not sure “Woosaa” will cut it but i know a wise hippie with a statement that would cut it – I won’t go into detail as there isn’t enough web space to describe him.

All were doing is working, working and working but the smell of freedom is literally within touching distance. Im not sure what will happen on the day we leave work for good – what do you do? We’ve quite simply quit everything we’ve ever know for 26/30 years and decided to live in a van for the foreseeable future with no jobs or stability.

F**K YEAHHHHHHHHHH!

We haven’t even thought about what to pack or how many pairs of Vans/Nikes were going to allow ourselves to take! I literally cannot pack for a weekend away never mind an endless Summer!

From past experiences of being in the Sun, all we need is a bikini, a t-shirt and maybe a coat.

As long as the boards are with us I’m sure we will figure the rest out along the way!

We will be heading back down to Newquay for one last trip and to say Aurevoir to all our friends – some we shall be seeing on the other side but as for the others, well, I have no doubt we will be lead back to them!

The Excitement is at its peak now but so is the stress and panic!

However, we are Northerners and what do Northerners say best?

IT’LL BE REYT

Ciao

H&K

xXx

Making a Living or Making a life

Aloha!

It’s been a while since we last posted so this blog will reflect what we’ve been up too!

Since the last post we have been to Newquay, moved house, worked and argued.

We have been so busy planning and earning money since last year that a lot of other things in our lives have been ignored slightly. It’s hard too keep up with friends, family and down time when we’re always working and it seemed that April was the month we cracked a little. But even so we’ve kept up spirits and moved on from it all, planning is back in full swing and the realisation of what we are actually about to do has hit us. Every day that goes by is another day closer to our journey and we cannot stop smiling.

Whilst in Newquay over the Easter weekend we spent a lot of time out of the water catching up on things we don’t get to do when we’re at home and work. It was a great weekend to relax and eat out with great friends. The only down side was I (Holski) was very ill, the Flu had got me hard and floored me for the majority of the stay. Never the less I was still happy to be in Newquay. It really is a strange place that makes you feel more alive. Katy gained another injury also, she impaled herself on her fin and ripped her wetsuit right on the belly button. Sad faces all round. Nothing that a Gilmore’s Mexican Burrito wouldn’t solve though! As for the wetsuit, it can wait till next winter.

Having the flu was prime time to get some emailing done, we contacted loads of surf camps across Europe in preparation. You guys know about our collaboration with Feral Surf already and we will be staying with them from 21st-28th June, needless to say we cannot wait to get back there! We have also been in contact with Shifting Sands Surf Camp who will be welcoming us in July. We will be working with them to produce some interesting blogs about life on the camp. We will be posting a debut blog with the camp next week so keep a look out.

We got home form Newquay in a right old mess, Katy had caught the Flu and we were both stuck in bed yet again. Maybe it was a sign to slow down for a little while, which is why we’ve not posted. They say you should never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. At least we know all this hard work will be worth while to set us up for a better life.

I saw a video on the internet not long ago, it was only a couple of minutes short but it had a really clear point to be made. It basically said:  At what point in our lives do we accept that this is all it will be? At what point do you become ok with the fact that your life will be no more than what we’re currently experiencing?

OR, at what point in our lives do we decide that it will be more than what we’re currently experiencing? We can sit in our office chairs and day dream about living a better more fulfilling life with adventure and happiness, we can think about it and think about it until we talk ourselves out of it with all the negatives and what if’s, OR we can do it. It doesn’t even mean that we sell our homes and buy a ticket out of here, it just means that we can go out and do what makes us truly truly happy.

We all need money to some degree to be able to do the things we want in life but at the same time it restricts us.

 “Money makes people cautious” Alexander Supertramp, Into the Wild, 2007.

All we are left with are the memories we build, how about we make them worth remembering?

The world is your Oyster.

Good Night

H&K

xXx

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Dysfktn Clothing.

We are super stoked too announce our collaboration with Dysfktn Clothing!

Nathan (Owner) has developed a unique brand over the last 2 years that represents himself and the ever growing urban/street fashion.

He approached me a few weeks back asking about our blog and our journey so i gave him the low down and to my surprise he was so keen to help us. He has been in a very similar situation where he was working for the beast but knew he had ideas and the creativity to develop his own lifestyle and live freely.

His brand is ever growing and has his clothing in a few different stores around the country. The clothing isn’t so much aimed at the Surfing industry but it has a relaxed feel to it so i have great faith that it will get a lot of interest. I think it is always good to reach out into different genres and have a play around and hopefully we can bring some good interest from representing the brand abroad!

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Check out the Instagram below:

Dysfktn Clothing

We look forward to the future of working with the brand and we hope you enjoy following our journey also.

Good Night

H&K

xXx

I can plug my straighteners in right?

The thing with surfers is that they just don’t care about anything other than surfing.

I remember I once asked a very serious shaggy blonde haired surfer if there was a power source for me to plug my straightener’s in. Safe to say the only answer I got back was a very disgusted facial expression. It was at that moment I realised we were entering a whole new world of Species.

I’m going to take this blog back to last summer when we first popped up on a board.

We has absolutely no idea what to take or what to expect so the phrase “Sod it” swiftly ran through our thoughts.

We filled a gigantic suitcase full of toiletries, clothes, sandals and bikinis and hopped on a plane to France. As soon as the driver (Dave – utter Legend) turned up in the van wearing nothing but boardies and a homemade t shirt no doubt, we quickly discovered that the suitcase had been packed completely wrong. This discovery was then reassured upon arrival at Feral. NO SHOES OR TROUSERS TO BE SEEN.

I can only admit that it was the most liberating feeling knowing that we had arrived at a place where you could be no one other than yourself. We had literally found who we really are within about 2 hours of being there. Shoes were 100% a thing of the past and as for the straighteners, well, lets just say they never saw a plug once.

We had been transformed from typical Brits who love the high street fashion to Brits who would never shop regularly again unless it meant buying boards or wetsuits! Maybe that statement is slightly extreme but its true to some extent. We no longer indulge on material things – we have learnt to spend and save wisely for an epic future of travel!

We entered the new world of surf species and left as one of them – life couldn’t be better!

We cannot wait to hit the road and get out there, so here’s to the Future of happiness and we hope that whatever you do in life makes you as happy as Surfing makes us.

Remember – you only get one chance.

H&K

xXx

Watershed Ambassadors.

We are both very proud to say that we have become a part of the Watershed family.

We have been friends of the crew since August and our love for the shop and everything they stand for is huge.

Representing this brand means so much to us because of the support they have given us since we met.

We will be bringing photos, videos and general updates of our travels and everything we get up too whilst rocking the Watershed clothing. We shall also be promoting the brand along the way and pretty much being great ambassadors!

James (owner) is possibly the most kind hearted and supportive person you could ever wish to meet. The whole team go above and beyond to help anybody out and they make you feel very welcome! We have yet to meet and thank Jake, who is the co-owner alongside James – he hasn’t seen Katy and I in our full northern glory!

If you could, please check out their online store and follow the Instagram!

www.watershedshop.co.uk

Instagram: @watershedshop // @watershed_brand

Don’t forget to follow our Instagram also to see all the pictures and video’s from our adventures.

@beachedartisans

H&K

xXx

Working with Feral Surf

Good Evening!

(If you are reading from The UK, if not then Good Day!)

This is only a short post to tell you all about our exciting opportunity we have been offered for this coming Summer. We will be working along side Feral Surf – bringing them and yourselves weekly blog updates about travelling and lifestyle.

We have just published the first one so go check it out!

www.feralsurftours.com

Please check out or Facebook page too and give us a like 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/beachedartisans16/?ref=hl

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H & K

xXx

The struggle is real …

This post is dedicated to all those delightful dramas that come with Surfing …

As we all know, nothing is easy in life and certain things are sent to try us.

We firmly believe that the hardest task us humans have ever been handed is – putting on a wetsuit ….

Here are some pointers for showing that skin sucking, tight rubbery outfit a thing or two!

  1. Get in the zone – If like us you live in the UK then there’s no two ways about wearing a wetsuit, it’s got to be done. Prepare yourself for the task in hand by giving yourself a little pep talk – you own the wetsuit and you will look fabulous in it!
  2. Maybe put some motivational music on in the background – We’ve found that the Rocky theme tune works wonders (especially when hung over).
  3. Put it on dry – hang the sucker up after each use so the water can drain out. There’s nothing worse than putting on a soggy, cold suit that makes you feel like you’re being born again!
  4. If you’re rocking a chest zip then this may require some extra grunts and strength to pull that hood over your noggin! I (Holski) have a rather long neck, so pulling my hood over is just terrible. I have to sit on the floor and brace myself whilst Katy lifts it over for me, it’s hilarious but not pretty! Katy has the longest and thickest hair you have ever seen, so getting it all into a hood is also hard work – see picture for effect (CHEWBACCA)

The legend of Duct Tape.

If you know, you know …

This stuff will one day save your butt – there is literally nothing is can’t fix.

A roll of duct tape should always be in your bag of tricks – we have had way too many experiences with it so far, so below you will find a list of how it has saved our bacon!

  1. Leaking car roof – due to having a soft roof rack we have to thread the straps through the car so that they are above our heads, this is great if it’s sunny but as we live in the UK the drive down is normally wet and blurry, THUS causing the doors not to seal properly when shut, so all the water eventually dribbles down the straps and onto our heads (yay). BUT – we did some of that ‘standing outside the car and looking at it for 10 minutes’ like guys do, then came up with the ingenious plan to duct tape ourselves into the car 🙂 WORKED WONDERS – no more leaks but also could we no longer get out of the car haha.
  2. Injuries – Duct Tape has you covered for gash wounds, cuts, blisters and more. We were first introduced to this by the chef at Feral Surf. He’d cut his foot somehow so instead of using a bandage he just cleaned it with salt water and taped it up. Worked a treat! It was then Katy’s turn to injure her foot, so we sent her to Dr Ellis (duct tape chef man) to be treated. She came back out with the prettiest dressing I’ve ever seen (pictured below)
  3. Board repairs – Katy has somewhat a huge lack of spatial awareness and because of this she clacks her board on almost everything and everyone she passes. You can imagine the amount of scratches and dings on it – poor thing. Anyway, not only does Katy often come out the sea with a new ding in her body, so does her board. Our friend at the Watershed is our main port of call for everything surfing and repairs, but when he’s not around we have to take the repair into our own hands and basically cover the ding in wax and duct tape. Again, it works a treat and is very inexpensive!

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 Windy weather can cause serious injuries!

Be careful of your face when it’s windy, it can sometimes be the impact zone for flying boards!

Holski knows this too well …

January 2nd, Towan Beach, Newquay.

It was one of them horrible, grey and very windy days (I think storm Frank was in town) and we were both planning an afternoon surf once the tide had gone out. This all changed when we bumped into the Watershed gang who persuaded us to surf right then. We don’t take much persuading so off we went to struggle into our wetsuits (Rocky theme tune was on of course). Off we tootled down the beach and they all headed into the water whilst I (Holski) faffed with my GoPro for a bit. I couldn’t turn the damn thing on so I made my way towards the water. As I was about to place my board on the water, a MASSIVE gust of wind came along, threw my board back up and straight into my two front teeth. I literally thought I had just been walloped by Mike Tyson. I proceeded into the water to get Katy’s attention to ask her if I had done something to my teeth as I couldn’t feel anything. She just looked at me and burst out laughing – it was at this moment I knew I had lost either some of or all of my tooth. I went and caught one wave because there was no way I wasn’t after all that! I had to go to hospital and have emergency root canal surgery that afternoon – surprisingly I couldn’t feel a thing but nor could I for the next 4 hours after it. I know I look like a hillbilly 24/7 as the damaged tooth is so much shorter than my ok tooth. But hey, it’s a funny story!!

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This photo doesn’t do it justice as the blood had stopped pouring!

 

One of the more recent surfing ailments we’ve experienced is BRAIN FREEZE!

There’s not much you can do about brain freeze other than either get out and admit defeat or suffer for another wave.

We personally prefer to admit defeat and head to the pub for a good meal and a few drinks.

If in doubt – head to the pub 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed reading!

H&K

xXx

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