Surf holiday 2018 Day Fecking One

Or…

How important is it to have a towel/correct towel on holidays/in life.

Packing is a good way to start any holiday!  Automatically assuming that there would be a towel/serval towels at surf holiday accommodation.  I always travel light with as much inappropriate, non-practical clothing as I can fit into my hand (job) luggage…aka NO towel EVER required, Jah will provide.  High five myself for fitting everything into my hand luggage case and in my friend’s massive suitcase which can carry two whole huge bags of toiletries. I was told in the departures queue that there were a couple of towels knocking about (let’s face it there always are a couple) in the holiday house. Boom! Sorted.
We arrived at our location in Anchor Point, Morocco at about five pm  that evening, after getting boards and a FREE medium ladies, cool Capri pant, 3/4 sleeved wetsuit for myself… Obvs everyone else had checked in massive luggage with warm wetsuits!  The sun was out, the boards were on the roof and too excited about practicalities, I changed into my tiny FREE wetsuit (no booties or flip-flops). Hey, it was warm and there were only a token amount of rocks, boulders, dog shite and broken glass to overcome on the way to the beach. Be GRAND. Totally ignoring all instructions about lockboxes (something you can put keys in with a four-digit combination code); there were two apparently; one attached to the car for the car keys and one attached to the balcony table for the house keys with different number codes. So that is 2 two sets of codes, with 4 numbers each in random orders…
Given it took me SIX YEARS to memorise my own mobile phone number there was no chance of me trying to remember any of these, obvs.
Whooooooo weeeeeee there are camels on the beach (OK one camel) the sun is setting and the water is, well coolish actually…So I jump into the sea with my 9 foot Bic, (which is a make of board not a large lady razor/pen).  As normal, everyone paddles out far further than myself as I am too excited looking at the camel, squealing at the jumping fish and getting dragged out by the current, with my now drafty backless Barbie sized wetsuit (bearing in mind I am six foot one with average size boobaloobas, which are amazing.)
After getting dragged around in the sea catching a few junior waves as the sun was setting over the Atlantic Ocean, I decided to get out, to make my way across the pebbly, bouldery beach to the cars where one of the lock boxes is dangling from the back undercarriage. I remembered where one of the boxes are! How great am I!  Unable to recall from my imaginary imagination what the code was for the first lockbox, I just started yanking it.  One of the locals came up to me thinking I was breaking into the car! Moroccan carpark neighbourhood watch?
He started to ask me what I was doing!  By now it was getting dark, I was freezing cold and my fingers had started to go white. He then managed to convince me to look after his tiny puppy called Linda, who would be asleep ‘on the shelf’ (I know how that feels luv), whilst he goes into Taghazout town centre for the night!  Okay I reply.
I cannot get into the car, however, I know where the second lockbox is, right?  So I make the journey from the car down and across the rocks with my white fingers, backless wetsuit, carrying a nine-foot board.  Barefoot. I find the second lock box locked under the table. I can barely make out the numbers (that I don’t know the code to) in the failing light. So my next super great idea was to go back to the car, minus the board and somehow the first lockbox would have magically opened!
Errrrr it hadn’t.
And what about Linda the puppy what time were my puppy sitting duties due to commence? Did she have a blanket? Food? What would I do if she started to cry, what would Linda do if I started to cry!
Oh it was all too much responsibility…
Eventually, the rest of the lads came back with stories of lockbox codes which involved their ages and a blow job (69) and ages of women they would like to be with! Totes sense! I cannot believe I didn’t think of that!
By now I am totally freezing and damp! And I didn’t even have a towel!  In the kitchen, there was this stiff piece of blue and white fabric which had the texture of a wall hanging and the look of a tea towel. I instantly fell in like with it!  This 4 by 4 centimetre square of cloth was going to save me!
Panic!  No hot water!  Just get changed before hyperthermia sets in!!!! Apparently, the blue tap is hot and the red is cold, and breathe… I finally warm up  and dry my non ‘medium’ self off with the 4 by 4 square, (who I have now named ‘towel’) He is totally a fully functioning drying implement and does truly deserve a proper name.  Note to self must buy a ‘proper towel’ and discard ‘towel’ I don’t say this to myself out loud as I don’t want to offend ‘towel’ who has pride of place drying of the back of my plastic bedroom furniture chair.
Two days later I am still using ‘towel’ and some of the stains are looking a bit dodgy; I do hope he has not been doubled up as an actual tea towel by my fellow surf buds and I will probs keep quiet if he has! But I truly love him!  Maybe the life lesson is this; Just get any old towel and just maybe he will work for you? But until that day I will keep not looking for the super deluxe, fluffy, well rounded/squared/rectangled, fat, age-appropriate towel!
Yours,
#Bitchmittens Ellen
Morocco.

10 Reasons I Love You

I Love You #Surfing

1. Mind space.

Bad day? Woke up the wrong side of your own bed by yourself (again)… Drive to the coast, posh lounge pants and OMG push up Ultimo bra in shocking pink leopard print… Turn up the stereo, open the windows! Feel the stress following out of your veins and into the ether…. Pulling into the beach car park, rubber necking to see the size of the waves. Feel the excitement! Once in the water all that you notice are the sea, the noise of the waves, the sky and how quickly you can catch your first wave of the morning/afternoon/evening….my mind is now clear of any “busyness”.

 

2. Rush.

Once up on that wave; ones position on the board is good. Feeling the water and the power of the swell beneath you, pushing you forwards, #babscartland. Getting up (eventually) to your feet/knees/whatever body part (not lady garden). Up and riding along the length of the wave – “thank god I am alive and truly blessed to be able to have this experience, on earth” #heavy.

 

3. Tan

“to be sure”…apply fake tan before entering the water. To make it look like you hang out at the beach all the time! Even in the winter sun you can actually get a tan/wind burn from surfing! Bonus…

 

4. Nature

Waves, birds, sky, seaweed, even the odd seal. Need I say more?

 

5. Flip flops

Amazing, versatile footwear. Who needs an excuse to buy havaianas in thirty different colours??? Team them up with thick hand knitted woollen socks, to go from summer to winter!

 

6. Hair products

Lady-folk have to buy products during “holiday season” to get beach & festival hair. You can even get a blow dry that looks like you have been to the beach! Just create your own “beach look” by actually going to the beach!

 

7. Social (Real kind)

Surfing attracts all types of people and it is totally social as long as one has an open attitude. And guess what – you all having surfing in common!

 

8. Well fit

The first time I surfed I couldn’t believe how out of breath and just generally tired I was, after only an hour. It is an amazing all round work out. Good cardio, works the legs, walking out into the waves with a rip/current isn’t as easy as it looks! Paddling is an amazing upper body and shoulder work out. “Popping up” (standing up) on the board, “riding” the wave. Good for core, balance and joints.

 

9. Fun

It is the most fun in all types of weather!

 

10. Chips & Mayo

A lot of beaches have beach-front eateries. Being in the water sat waiting for waves and smelling chips, is the best! They also taste the best after a surf!

 

This Top 10 was brought to you by:

Ellen

~BitchMittens ELLEN

Ellen Baggs, when not being a beach babe can be found teaching Yoga all over the place. Check out her Bookface page https://www.facebook.com/EllenBaggsYoga/ but try not to perve, as she is totally lush.

A Class Act

Going to class is about more than learning. It’s about connecting with people, something that an online classes just can’t give you.

Yoga MicraI was driven to write this article after I read an online article about yoga teaching and how hard it is. It went into the horrible scenario of injured yoga teachers who had to carry on teaching. It talked about the lack of qualifications  among many yoga teachers, and it also talked about the competitiveness of studios verses dedicated yoga schools. The article also implied that a lot of persons have switched to on-line yoga.

I firmly believe people should attend a class with a qualified instructor. In fact, this is applicable for almost all sports, for example with my other love – surfing. The real reason I attended my first ever surf lesson was to meet other people. AKA hot men. Well I didn’t meet any! But… I made some great friends, and I still have them four years later.  

The same goes for yoga classes.

Mental health issues are at the forefront of today’s society. However, studies have shown that mixing with other people can really impact the effects of depression. Exercise is also great for over all wellness, and the feel good hormones that get released after exercise can make a big difference to those coping with depression.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine!  (Source: WebMD) 


I walked into my regular weekly yoga class recently, and thought to myself “how many years have I been coming here?”

I asked a good friend of mine when I got onto my mat. She said  – it had been from so before she had her first born child; probably six years!

She also said “and now look at you; you are a yoga teacher!”

Then we spoke about all the things we were able to do now that we couldn’t do when we first started yoga; reverse park etc lolz. I was thinking to myself that it’s crazy to do the same thing for six years!!!

I then rationalise the process as a whole. I love Iyengar yoga, I learn something new, mostly every class that I wasn’t able to “hear” in previous classes (instructions take along time to reach some muscles). I love my teacher in a gushy not normal way, she (and other Iyengar teachers and willing helpful volunteers from my yoga class and circle of friends and family) helped me through my teacher training. I like the other people in the class, many who have been doing the class for the same amount of years as myself. We are like a ” yoga family”. We have a shared experience/passion. We are connected to each other (whether we like it or not!). We go on yoga holidays together! We are – as a group of individuals  – a little bit crazy, bonkers, quiet, reflective, flexible, questioning, non-questioning. individuals.

The things I like most are that it makes me feel better and we laugh! I reach a quite place in my yoga practice in my mind through the “asanas”. I am at one with my body, mind and I am in the present.



We are all human beings, and interactions with others is what life is all about. (As well as being kind, friendly, caring and getting your “Ching Chong on”) What I am trying to say is anyone can do online yoga, and go through the motions in front of a screen.  But you will probably feel more rewarded by being brave and going to a real class, either by yourself or with friends.

“Just Do it” as the people at Nike say. 

My advice? Look for a qualified instructor, enjoy yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously! Always approach a lesson as a beginner, try not to work from the ego. Listen to your body. And remember falling off your mat (or your surf board) is just as fun as doing “it” properly.

xxx

BitchMittens Ellen

 

Postcards from the Ed:

Ellen Baggs is a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher. She teaches class in the Engine Room, Portumna, and in the Culture Centre Tulla. She also runs dedicated Yoga classes for GAA players. (Yo-GAA!)

Like her Facebook page for motivation, advice and general bonkers Ellen-ness over at https://www.facebook.com/EllenBaggsYoga.

Surf: August Weeverfish Warnings From A Wellhard Mermaid

August = Weeverfish = Boots on!

EllenNow you might be forgiven for thinking that the Weeverfish have something to do with hair pieces or the Bayeux tapestry. NO, that is not the case!  They are actually the most venomous fish found in European coastal waters.

Irish Water Safety CEO John Leech is warning swimmers, surfers and all beach users to watch out for the little sandy coloured fish that lives in the sea on our beaches. Should a bather step on a weeverfish then the pain is excruciating as the spines embed into the human flesh and discharge their poison.

 

Ellen Lahinch August Green Glitter Eyes Lahinch August 2 Weeverfish

The weeverfish spends most of the time buried under the sand with just its venomous black dorsal fin showing above the sandy bottom. The fish grows to a maximum length of 15 centimetres. The Weaver fish can be found all round the Irish coast but they are particular to sandy areas where the water is warm and shallow, and close to the mean low-water tide line.

A great older surfer once told me that wearing boots wouldn’t let me be “at one with my board, man” (thank you to Ben’s Surf Clinic) so I decided not to wear boots despite lots of fellow surfers warning me I should.

I was under the impression at the time that I was in fact, a two footed mermaid of the sea. Complete with sea fleas, green glitter eyeliner, lipgloss, hair products and mascara (none waterproof).  I thought nothing would harm me…

When I stepped on the weeverfish, it felt like what I would imagine being bitten/stung by a jelly fish would be like… (not that I had ever previously been bitten/stung by a jelly fish) so I kept trying to surf. (#wellhard) Twenty minutes after being stung it was too painful to even stand on the board so I got out of the water and I found myself being accompanied by a young David Hasselhoff to the lifeguard station.

Rubber gloves, a washing up bowl and boiling hot water were applied to the injured foot. It was quite painful. (Ed – understatement alert! – See footnote)

The young boy/man/lifeguard did save me! He got the sting out of my foot! Hot water seems to make the venom less toxic. The recommendation is to soak the bite in almost scalding water for at least half an hour. I was totally surprised and shocked to find my foot and leg numb (ish) for nearly two weeks afterwards.

The moral of this story is, don’t live in the moment, don’t try anything “different”, don’t follow your basic instincts, always be safe and try not to leave the house and remember there are other less painful ways to attract attention to oneself.

tongue_smiley

 

 

 

Surf Bitch Ellen

 

Footnote: Ellen’s ‘Quite painful’ is more clearly described here by proper medical types over on emedicinehealth.com as “total body (also called systemic) symptoms such as fever, chills, seizures, fainting, nausea, low blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular or extra heart beats), headaches, sweating, and difficulty breathing”

Editor’s Notes: 

If you are heading for the coast for some beach action, here are links to the recent weeverfish warning, and some tips for immediate action if you do get bitten. Also, any ideas you might have about peeing on the bite won’t help. (Unless of course, that sort of thing generally cheers you up…)

Links and tips

Weever Fish Warning

Treating the sting 

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