Arriving late last month my new pool toy, a 4th Gear Flyer Standard hand-made by Paul Gross (delightfully described as a "surf raft" on the postal declaration form), finally found some worthy walls to curl up to. A mission that was to have company unravelled into one solo. This however, is never a lamentable outcome; the journey, a red-lining hurtle across the counties in the belly of our wee 1-litre hornet - it, greedily gobbling tarmac while shrieking its high-pitched arias of homage to the great feats of German engineering, quivers under both the buttocks and the thin fingers in their white-knuckled grapple at its similarly tremulous helm - offers a salve of remedial solace to a house-bound hound. The shake out here on the shimmering fringes of the West begins to vibrate up the spine before one has even perforated the county border - a low pulse, almost imperceptible, like the first feelers of an approaching groundswell. Vibrating in unison is the apprehension of a cruel sea, one too great or too slight. En-route this jake is willfully - though never quite successfully - subdued by an over-consumption of dried fruits, nuts, easy-peeler citruses, heels of stale bread hastily shod with thoroughly incompatible fillings and the now oh-so tepid tea in the ever hopefully reliable thermal mug. Finally, when the last of those arcing parabolas of black tarmac unfurls off the stern and that so familiar cois farraige appears through a wink of fitful fog to deliver its sublime revelation... Everything is overhead on a surf mat. Below: The Joker and Thief, one, zip fate onto its track and so armed with their folly, breach the littoral fringe to dance the old enlightenment. Below: An unknown about to thread the rifle's spiral. Below: Elsewhere and empty. Remember the coming kink and a synergy of terror and freedom is possible. Below: Post kink... hold your line, cross your eyes and pray for cupcakes. Below: Elsewhere and empty. Small, fast and long with a bend throughout that offers the delights of unrelenting acceleration before voiding you into the spittoon of the deep channel beyond. Below: Elsewhere and empty. The unsullied dilates its terrible vacant throat in a thunderous temptation of a fatum incognita for the onlookers who appear to be blithely ruminating on other matters. Or getting back into the nice warm car and making a quiet exit.