The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Give us a wave, Australia

11 days on from Brisbane sees six members of the team in Sydney, two on a plane back home and another two in the UK already. Becs, Bev, Dan and Si leave on Sunday, Kate and I a little later in mid Feb. The feet have been resting, although the occassional skate has been allowed and oh my goodness it's nice to roll around just for fun, knowing that I don't have 70km to commit to. BoardFree Australia's major engagements officially ended on the 31st January with a reception at the British Consulate in the City, a marvellous affair which brought together faces from the past six months, all to chat and reminisce and stare gawping at the stunning view through the window, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge majestic despite gloomy, grey weather. All quite English.

The post-Brisbane vacuum hasn't had much chance to suck the life out of me. Physically I crashed and burned after the 22nd, nausia and lack of appetite punishing me for five months of hard pushing. Still, rest was needed and a haven was provided, I rested up with Kate, Dan and Si on the Gold Coast with our new extended family: Chris, Nat, Tyla and Kye Cleator, enjoying fine company and warm Queensland swimming pools. But underlying everything, however relaxing life was for those few days, was planning. Typical Dave, there's no time for a week's holiday when there's a future to plan. Work work work, think think think. And the ideas start to form. Fundraising events in Sydney and back home, a homecoming gig in Swansea on the 1st March. BoardFree the book, title still to be decided, is in the formative stages. The chance to capitalise on Elsa's fame is handed to me by Peter Sanftenberg of rollsrolls, who wants me to market the board to a wider audience. His dream of being "rich in life" is one I share, I have found few things more satisfying than seeing the beam of delight radiate from the face of a person who has just ridden a rollsrolls for the first time - I remember how I felt and I still feel the same after all this distance. Of course, I need to eat and the money is helpful, but I would spread this board around for free if business wasn't an option. It's more than a big toy, it's a lifestyle. Skate to work, skate to school, skate and roll and ride. Life feels good.

In Sydney, we've been staying with Alex and Connor Gardiner. Connor has Lowe Syndrome, and sharing a house with him deserves a blog of its own, it's on the way....

It's just passed midnight, some complimentary tickets from the English Cricket Board via the British Consulate gave, Kate, Dan, Si, Becki, Bev and myself the chance to witness a strange thing tonight, England beating Australia!!! What an occassion, my first live cricket match, the realisation that watching cricket is a drawn-out social meeting with plenty of sub-plots. The cricket itself was great, but the day's main headline was farcical. On the news this morning it was announced, "No Mexican Waves Allowed at the SCG tonight." And they were deadly serious. Recent mexican waves led to the unforgivable sin of spilt drinks and soggy suits, and therefore they were off the agenda for today's game. But, and here's where it gets good, that didn't stop the crowd. 30 overs into the first innings, England were 170 odd runs for 3, and a bellow of cheers reverberated around the ground, gaining momentum as a beautiful cascade of colour rippled around the stadium, forging laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. "We're not allowed to do this, but we're going to do it anyway! What, exactly, are they going to do? Arrest us all?"

The police moved in, offered the 34,000 a double-take, and then started to wrestle man after man out of the Barmy Army contigent and out of the stadium. It became apparent that the instigators of the deadly wave were to be evicted, yet the party pooping continued. Mexican waves are great at sports games, they're harmless, make people happy and improve on the spectacle, so they continued through to the end, everyone present grinning goofily at the fact that they were having fun and breaking the law at the same time. Every time one of the poor sods in the stalls was frogmarched out of the ground for having fun the crowd turned and boo'ed the police, often offering a parting farewell to the brave heroes who had once led the placid rebellion in the form of a small, breaking Mexican Wave. Cheers around the stadium, brilliant! And then, once the fun could have dissipated, it began again in an even more foolish style. 'Beer Snakes,' I'm going to call them. Empty plastic cups, slotted into each other, will eventually become long and impressive. Across the stadium, short white lines were held aloft by proud cricket fans, drawing cheers and applause at the inventiveness of it all, and inviting a torrent of more empty beer cups from surrounding supporters, which prompted the line to disappear for a few minutes and then be held aloft again, longer now thanks to the extra cups. Just brilliant. By the end these Beer Snakes were popping up all over the ground, more eyes on them than the cricket, some of them over 20 metres in length - just how many plastic cups would it take to make them? - and the whole situation, with poor blokes still being led away for starting a wave, became a wonderful pantomine, topped off by the simple fact that England, after all of their rubbishness in past months, finally pipped Australia to the post.


  • At 5:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a frequent visitor to your site and blog, I find it very disheartening to see little gratitude with regards to your team. I only hope that you have thanked them in person even if not publicly on your website.

  • At 8:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Since when did blogging become the Oscars?! I saw Dave thank his team on national television. Can you get any more public than that?! Jeez...


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Dave's Blog by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner