A number of years back I found myself cycling from Glasgow to Stornoway (you guessed it, that was before parenthood descended with a bang) and it has to be one of the most memorable weeks of my life. I'll keep the stories for another time, but one thing I did find out about was localism. Once in Stornoway I booked into a bunkhouse above a surfshop, started talking with the owner and the next thing; I'm wearing a wetsuit, a board is under my arm and waiting for him to start up the surf bus. Two days where spent paddling, driving, exploring, talking, laughing, lot's of drinking and loving the sensation of actually being able to stand on a surf board and catch a wave. It was during those two days that I was introduced to the term localism. The guys from the surf shop had their favourite spots. It's fair to say that I would have ended up in hospital, or even worse if I'd even set wetsuit in water at their favourite breaks. Some breaks required a jet-ski or boat to escape the imposing coastline and head out towards the horizon. The great thing about the guys in Stornoway wasn't that they only embraced the areas that they discovered, but they were also keen to show them off and prove just how good surfing could be in the the Outer Hebrides. A far cry from some of the anecdotes from other global surf spots.
|if you look closely there's an old windmill|