Blog – a work in progess

Pacific heights: North Shore of Oahu hits the jackpot

Waimea Bay’s waves are legendary but yesterday brought the biggest swell in years and a dramatic surfing contest. Andy Martin reports from Hawaii Wednesday, 9 December 2009 What’s happening?” yelled a woman leaning out of a gridlocked car. “Waves – huge and incredible waves!” replied one of the thousands of spectators lining Waimea Bay on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. “Awesome!” said the woman. For once that adjective really was justified. The “Eddie” was finally happening. The “Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau” to give it its official title is a big-wave surfing phenomenon that takes place only when the waves at Waimea Bay remain at a sustained 20ft-plus (measured Hawaiian-style from the back of the wave, or 40ft from …

BBC RADIO 3

BBC Radio 3 is broadcasting my memoir of ‘Jacques Derrida, My Mentor’ on Tuesday March 23 at 11pm. Can be picked up on the web for a week afterwards or downloaded here when I get the CD…http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rjym

NO TRACKS IN THE SNOW

I wanted to make a splash with my first article on Drift, so I thought I would have a chat about surfing and life with one of the most interesting men on the planet. As it happened, Stephen Hawking had other plans. But the man who did eventually give up his time for Drift is Andy Martin – a professor of French at Cambridge University; author of ‘Stealing the Wave’ and ‘Walking on Water’, as well as books on Napoleon and Brigitte Bardot; writer of diverse articles for major newspapers and contributor to various BBC productions. Most importantly, however, he’s a surfer like the rest of us. [photo by John Callahan.] Andy, you once wrote that you were “born in …

1,576 Steps (Heaven Help Me) to Clarity

If only King Kong had known about the Empire State Building Run-Up, where for one miraculous if masochistic morning each year people are allowed to climb the inside of the landmark building, he and Fay might have lived happily — if asymmetrically — ever after. That’s what I was thinking as I stood on Fifth Avenue at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, staring up at the Empire State in all its glory, waiting for the 33rd annual running of New York’s famous vertical marathon. Panicking. Like a surfer about to paddle out on a big day at Waimea Bay, I was filled with a mix of ecstasy and terror. At least horizontal-marathon runners don’t have to look at the whole course from the …