“Why do people call you Rev?” I am occasionally asked. Have I (unbeknown to all,) become a man of the cloth, a minister for the all seeing , all hearing fictional character from the heavens above? Well no. Of course not. Anyone who might admit to knowing me- grudgingly or otherwise will no doubt tell you, that such an occurrance would be more incredible than a miracle being performed by the mythical son of the said forementioned fictional being from above. Some would have you believe that I would fry if I stepped over the threshold of a religious building. This I have proved to be totally untrue; having sat in the holy temple of football, namely the Bet 365 Stadium, home of Stoke City FC and survived.
No. The answer is much more simple (and plausible.) Let me explain.
I am a terrible surfer. Fact. I could put it down to my dodgy, crumbling knees or from far too many years of playing football and playing too many games of drunken leapfrog. Or for climbing in and out of a van far to many times a day. (At this point if my children read this they would like to point out that I wrote “far to”- and laugh.) It’s a family thing – like saying do do, as in you do do silly things.
So being a terrible surfer, and don’t even get me on paddleboarding; that’s a whole different balancing act! I spend a lot of time in the water spotting waves for other people. I’m fine with this.
“But what has this got to do with being called Rev’,” I hear you cry. And so to the crux. Picture this. I stand waist high in the cold swell of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere on the North Cornwall or Devon coast. Arms outstretched, welcoming the oncoming sets of waves towards the frongs of fellow surfers. Occasionally shouting advice such as “You missed that one” (always popular.) Or. “Look out this one is a big fu… Whereupon you can find me washed up on the beach with a face full of sand and a seaweed wig.
And all the while I am offering this advice I am resplendent in my non flattering black wetsuit, which is stretched tightly (too tight some would say) over my white rash vest. This creates the illusion of me wearing a clergyman’s dog collar. “You look like a vicar” one of my friends said. “We’ll call you Rev’.” And so the legend of the Very Reverend Whitewater came to pass.
Far more believable than any celestial being. Especially if you want to catch a good wave.
Footnote: I’ve since learned that Body boarding is so much easier and you have less distance to fall- as you start off lying down anyway. So if you see me stood in the water with my golden board made by (blatant plug) Morey (tastefully named the Holy Grail,) give me a wave. And yes people, the pun was intended.
Hence the naming of this blog page “Rev’s View” and also my instagram hashtag revspaperview, which weirdly is my view on the stories in the newspaper.
Amen to that.