Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Deaf girl goes surfing

Deafinitely Girlys silence over the last few days has been because Ive been on holiday in Cornwall.

It was a visit of many reasons – a wedding, a catch up with an old friend, and a chance to gatecrash London Aunts holiday in Padstow.

And what a brilliant time I had.

The first two days were spent catching up with the Blinky – an old uni mate who now lives and works on the beach – and we had a great time, reminiscing about old times, chatting about new ones and consuming rather a lot of beer some things never change it seems.

When I was at uni with Blinky, we used to get itchy feet on a regular basis and after a night out in Pompey, sometimes find ourselves in the Isle of Wight, or on one occasion just pulling into St Malo harbour on a giant ferry.

Then, on Saturday, it was Gingerbreadman and the Singing Swedes wedding – in the middle of nowhere. It was so in the middle of nowhere that Google directions sent me to the wrong place, my satnav for iPhone stopped working and I ended up driving down a bridle path in the pouring rain. But, eventually I got there, the rain stopped, the sun came out and we got to celebrate the marriage of two of my favourite people.

And then, before I knew it, it was time to jump in the car and head to Padstow, where London Aunt was staying with London Cousins 1 and 2, in a gorgeous cottage right in the heart of the town.

Padstow is quite unlike anywhere Ive ever been before. Virtually car free – you leave yours in a car park on the outskirts of the town and walk in its almost like going back in time, and as I wandered through the narrow streets to the house, with the time nearing midnight, I marveled at how safe it all felt.

The next morning it was announced that London Cousins 1 and 2 were going surfing, and secretly, I have always wanted to try this. So when they begged me to join them, I threw caution to the wind about wearing a tight black wetsuit, poured myself into one and duly followed Windy from Waves Surf School down to the waters edge.

It was windy, it was rainy and the waves were big enough to do that washing machine thing if you fell into one, but it was the most exhilarating two hours of my life. I told Windy I was deaf and he was great – making sure he looked at me when talking, somehow instilling a confidence in me that made me eager to tackle the waves rather than run screaming in the opposite direction. Basically, I fell in love with the idea of catching a wave.

And did I manage it? Well, I stood up a few times, for a few seconds, swallowed more sea water than I ever though possible and actually managed to face plant to the beach after coming to an abrupt stop.

Will I do it again? Oh most deafinitely – as soon as I possibly can

And so, it was with a heavy heart – and a very achy body – that I clambered back into my car yesterday to make the 250-mile journey back to London. I waved off London Cousins 1 and 2 into the waves with Windy and set off, iPhone satnav plugged in, and a playlist of cheese to keep me going.

But throughout the journey, my music kept getting interrupted by a voice, which I assumed to be the traffic alert kicking in on my radio, and it always occurred when I was changing motorways, making crucial sections of my journey or about to go hideously wrong.

At the M4/M5 junction, it just wouldnt shut up. In fact, not even yelling, Shut up at it, shut it up, and with no idea what it was saying, I was left exceedingly frustrated. And then I entered London, my speed dropped below 70 miles an hour and the roar of my engine subsided.

The music faded and up came the voice again. Turn left at the roundabout I heard it say, before realising that it was in fact my satnav nattering away to me, and that all the annoying chitchat earlier had in fact been vocal guidance to stop me hurtling the wrong way up to Hereford.

Being deaf, I didnt know that satnavs talked. I thought they were visual aids which helped you see when the next turning was, and now Ive found the mute button on mine, thats all mine will be.

And what did I get out of my fabulous long weekend away? Well, I learnt that being the one before the one is not always a bad thing and that it sometimes gets you fabulous wedding invites, I learnt that surfing when youre deaf is actually not that scary and that lots of surfers wear ear plugs anyway, and I learnt that no matter what I do, my friends will always set me up with guys who leave the country.

This one left for Ghana yesterday

But as one leaves, another returns – thats how the saying goes isnt it?

Happy Tuesday peeps.

DG x

2 comments:

Liz said...

Surfing is something I have wanted to try but not brave enough to do. It looks good when I have watched surfers in amazement. Bournemouth was where I have been recently and there were surfers there, ready to catch the waves.

Surfing looks fun.

Xpressive Handz said...

"LIKE" !

Subtitled Cinema: Daydreaming of a better deaf world

Sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself the chance to daydream about all the things on my deaf wishlist coming true... It's a bit li...