A surfer on a wave. He's crouching, touching the wave with his hand as the wave breaks. The wave is chest high, blue-green color. There are brown-green hills in the background on the land.

Photo courtesy Louie's friend 'Flat Rocks'

The actually impressive thing about this photo is...

At the time I lived 4 hours drive from the surf, had a wetsuit with holes in it, didn't own a car...

Or a surfboard.

The surf around Britain doesn't get that good very often, and it's bloody cold.

It's not Hawaii.

I got to surf like this by being resourceful, tenacious, and being a computer geek with no girlfriend at the time.

Bungee Jumping


Louie bungee jumping upside-down
Photo @ AJ Hackett, Cairns, Australia

I was in Cairns - the extreme sports capital of Australia.

The day before I'd been whitewater rafting.

The day after I did a skydive.

People ask 'which was scarier, skydive or bungee jump?'

Bungee jump by far.

In a skydive it's all so fast and you're up up-in-the-air looking down at the clouds. It's kind of surreal.

But the bungee jump felt very real as I climbed the tower, slowly, floor by floor, thinking: 'I'm going to jump off this bloody thing.'

As I jumped, I saw the blue horizon above the trees in the forest, and the world paused for a moment, like when a cartoon coyote runs off a cliff...

Then the ground rushed towards me, my heart pumped, a primal scream came out of my chest that I don't remember making, and my life literally flashed before my eyes.

...It felt amazing after I'd survived the first bounce.

And I boinged around merrily laughing until they eventually lowered me into rubber dinghy in the lake below.

I was so pumped on adrenaline that that evening I got drunk on about half a schooner of beer.

I think I've been boinging around merrily in my head ever since.

I was 19 years old at the time, travelling the world, between school and university, which is what adventurous British kids do if their parents are doctors, lawyers or accountants.

The idea is you have all the adventure in that one year and then settle down to a boring office job forever, and give up on life.

It's not a mentality that I ever much subscribed to. But that's another story...

First aid at work


Photo courtesy of Recussi Annie