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1. Top billing this week goes to the new edit our clever team athave been working on.
2. I’m currently reading Underland by Robert Macfarlane, which I am enjoying, if finding a bit of a slog. Reading it reminded me of the debate about the ‘new’ nature writing, which is summed up nicely here by this piece politely questioning the trope of the ‘lone enraptured male’ (the reason I’m finding it a slog, if I’m being honest) that tends to get top billing in many of these books. Macfarlane’s response to a similar piece is also worth a read.
3. I’ve been trying to persuade Kate Rew, founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society, to come on the podcast for years now. She’s still not biting; probably too busy organising worthy activities such as this forthcoming OSS x Right to Roam webinar. Speakers include Kate, Al Humphries and Nick Hayes - find out more here.
4. “Wow, this is a heartwarming story for Beach Grit,” thought I, while reading this post about Topanga local Michael deNicola’s record-breaking wave during January’s once-in-a-hundred-year storm. Then I read the comments. Oh 😂
5. Mainstream articles about our world that get it right are worth celebrating, as in this case with friend-of-the-show Sean Ingle’s recent story about Mia Brooks. Shame about the pics tho - again!
6. In a world of piping hot AI/ChatGPT takes (ZZzzzzz), I thought this piece by Jen Sherowski on the importance of the ‘heart and soul’ metric was nicely argued
7. Haroon Mota from Muslim Hikers is a true force for good, as demonstrated by his reaction to the latest bout of racist abuse his group received.
8. There’s still just over a week left to enter Finisterre’s Women’s Filmmaker Competition. As the comp blurb says, ‘Open to all filmmakers who identify as a woman, we invite you to submit your pitch for a five-minute film that champions women in surf and commandeering space in the line up. The winner receives a £5,000 contribution towards the production of the film that will be guaranteed a place in London Surf / Film Festival’. Enter here.
9. I found this Patagonia film about women climbers from Afghanistan in Yosemite really moving.
10. I really liked this piece, which basically asks (I’m paraphrasing, obvs) “Is it still ‘vitamin sea’ when you’re paddling through shit?” Which in a world of vapid, meaningless IG sloganeering, is the type of rhetorical question I can really get behind.
Completely beyond me how the Guardian can use a photo of the wrong rider in an article. They also seem insistant on using photos of riders snowboarding badly, messing up their trick. I want to know the process of choosing these images. I can't imagine it happening in mainstream sport. Nice 10 Things Matt, cheers. Perfect for a slow day in the office in a VERY rainy Aime-La-Plagne.
With you and Kathleen Jamie on Robert McFarlane et al. Her LRB essay is brilliant - just ordered one of her books as a result!