It was the tea bag that did it. I woke up on Monday morning in a van that resembled an industrial cold storage unit. The windows were coated in a thick layer of ice, the water cannister had chunks of ice floating around in it, even the duvet felt a little crispy. But the worse thing was the used tea bag in the sink. When I prised it off the draining board, it was like a rock.
To cap it all, the swell had virtually disappeared.
So I bowed to the inevitable, and headed for warmth, comfort and civilisation. But not before a hairy drive home. The VW really isn't designed for winter. No heating, very damp and a tendency to slip around on ice like a snake on skates. As the snow continued to fall, I thought I might have to pull over and wait until morning - though given the van has been my home for four months, it's not quite the same as being stranded. Just being forced to camp somewhere that has too much snow and no waves. In the end, I made it to within half a mile of my destination, which was good enough.
I fear I may have to return to Norfolk, having only surfed in Cromer, which I grew to like. Unlike Winston Churchill.
"I'm not enjoying myself very much" - a young Winston Churchill, c. 1885.
Oscar Wilde was closer to the mark, though he was still three letters out. "I find Cromer excellent for writing, surf better" is what he meant to say.So the van is temporarily a van, not a home - at least until after Christmas. I'm already missing the freedom. But not the sub-zero temperatures.
Happy Christmas! Let's hope there are decent waves in the New Year.