the Wheel turns, the Seasons change

Towards the end of the northern Summer, through tiredness I can control less pressure on the blade face, the muscles need a rest and the mind some peace. Its been a busy year, wedding and all, so when Dave Carroll and myself went to Ulla Slides on our last day in Norway for a photoshot for forthcoming articles, its was with mixed emotions and tired arms.

This is one of the few shots Dave did not manage to get into. Like some comic theme, Dave would manage to get into the corner of a shot, grinning widely and giving the thrumb’s up.

The Ulla Slides is really one of the most amazing rapids around, where the gradient is not so steep, get due to the length and nature of the slides, as you enter the first slide you can pretty much see all the way down the run. Although it looks fast, like most slides, there seams to be ample time to make your line, great fun for all.

From Norway, I went on to Finland for resting, sauna and a little of city life in Helsinki with my wife, Satu. During this time every year, I re-write websites and get on with video editing. These days its Genotype 2, an instructional DVD on the fundamental core skills needed for WW Kayaking. Its going OK, as ever things take time, and video editing really takes time, especially when animations and the alike are added.

Anyway at the end of August, Satu and myself went to Portugal for a belated honeymoon. More a sunny relaxed long weekend with some surfin’, both in Playboats and Long Boards. A slow swell with 2m faces, made it ideal for long boarding and getting some pop on wave moves in our playboats! An evening dinning of tiny snails was an interesting event.

Satu waiting in the sun for the next set of surf waves just off Peniche, Portugal

England for the weekend, and my sister’s wedding in sun kissed Somerset, made for a great time, pub lunches and green pastures with family and friends.

On our way out of the UK, we had a lunch appointment with Kate Donnelly and Liz Bell in London town, as ever I am one for reverence, and I always try to see Winston Churchill’s Statue in Parliament Square. Why you ask, it’s more for the fact that in 1941 Winston Churchill faced with the tide of events running against him, looked within and found a strength to move a whole nation. A lot can be said about the Square’s latest addition Nelson Mandela, clearly popular with dozens of people getting photos taken with the statue of the great man.

From London to Ljubljana, a Monday morning meeting at VW, to order a new bus for 2008. For Gene17, an offer for an ex-demo was just too good not to take up, and especially with a new instructor training programme, (D4DR WW) coming on line next Summer. Commited to the purchase I headed into Soca, it was low water, and sun days. Alas after a day, this changed radically and rain, alot of rain, a huge thunder storm, plus no power for 12 hours gave us 2 wicked runs on the Soca, running above 150 cumecs. Can you recognise the Slalom course below?

No sooner than I arrived in Soca it was time to go, I left the car in Austria to get a new clutch, got a lift to the train station with Olli Grau, who was as ever excited about his next new hobby, off road motorcycling, and then to Munich for beers with Matze, before Helsinki again.

Another week of editing and Autumn unfolding outside my window. The past weekend was excellent with highwater at the local playspot, plus beer and sauna in the evening. The beautiful sunset was all the more amazing for the colour of the leaves, the wheel has turned and the season has changed.

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