Louis‘s Diary - Day 37-44


Day thirty-seven: 8-12-22

Still no waves, and it's gonna last! 

No problem, I spent my morning in Ballina where I wrote some not very realistic but very advantageous CVs.

I'm going to put them up tomorrow in the hotels in Inishcrone. 

On my way to print them in a small local shop, I started chatting to the lady sitting behind the counter. She was very nice, and when I asked her how much I owed her for the 15 sheets printed, she nodded and winked. 

"You re a good boy, you'll pay me when you find work."
"I'll pay you twice, thank you!”
She laughed a lot, and I thanked her several more times for this gesture. 
Once again, the Irish know how to live! 

I then went for an hours run in the town's woods. This allowed me to get warm enough to take a cold shower. 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

I listened to several podcasts about Ireland and its history: harsh, austere and backward not so long ago. 

What little swell we get will be windblown over the next few days, hopefully it will change... Good night.


Day thirty-eight: 9-12-22

Woke up *UCKING GLACIAL. It took me an hour to motivate myself to get out from under of my duvet. After three hot coffees, it was 10am and the thermometer finally decided to cross the zero mark. 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

"Hey Louis, why don't you install a little heater before you leave?"
"I don't have the time or the money, and anyway it's not much colder in Ireland than here thanks to the Gulf Stream!”

You learn from your mistakes, don't you? 

I'm learning well here. 

It's going to be a serious week for the cold. 

Anyway I get out of my truck freshly shaved and in my shirt, heading for the first hotel I see. 

I introduce myself nicely at the counter, and while I'm giving my pre-chewed speech, a manager pops his head out of his office and introduces himself. He is French and asks me to wait for 2 minutes. 

The boss comes in and gives me a job interview right away. 

I receive a text message an hour later asking if I am available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 


I'll be working nights, as a hotel porter (4 stars please).

Finding work took me ten minutes, thirty if you count shaving. 

I spent the rest of the day trying to use the address of the local pub to get my PPS number. I have a feeling that this process will take me a little while. 

A page is turned but the journey continues, and more and more. It's cool. 

I went for a few pints in the local pub while watching Switzerland get crushed by Portugal. I walked out of the pub promising the local lads that France would crush England in their next game.

“If we don't do it for France, we'll do it for you!”

They liked it a lot and some of them asked me to stay. I didn't feel like drinking tonight and left them in a pub that was a bit too empty. 

I have two missions before starting work, learning hotel vocabulary and getting used to working night shifts. 

So, see you.


Day thirty-nine: 9-12-22

Still as cold as ever! 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

I went to the help centre for my PPS number. I have to make an appointment at CastleBar to get my papers and proof of residence etc.

I sipped a hot chocolate in the local cafe before heading back to the surf. The waves were on shore, periodless and really musty. All this in the freezing cold. I still got in the water, alone, on a longboard. I got a few bits and it put a smile on my face. 

A few days without a wave and without talking to many people and your morale drops quickly. When you are alone in a truck, the evenings can be long. 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

It seems the waves will be coming back after tomorrow. I listen to a lot of old music. 

Courageous people are known for adversity, not comfort. Right? So I'll stop complaining and turn off this phone that reminds me of home a little too much. 

Music: Portugal, Georges Moustaki


Day forty: 10-12-22

A very ordinary day. The waves didn’t arrive so I went for a run for an hour or so before taking a €2 hot shower behind a bar.

First day at work. I was warned straight away, "no one ever stays in this job, no one can stand such loneliness”. 

We'll see. It was a very peaceful night. I made several rounds and did the housework. The hardest thing right now is the time difference. 

I was able to have a great breakfast at the end of my shift at 7am. When I went out the streets were frozen and I could see the snow-capped mountains in the
Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co


Day forty-one & two: 11&12-12-22

Working at night stings, especially when you sleep in a truck. There is obviously more noise during the day and you wake up two or three times during your sleep.

In addition, in winter it's almost impossible to surf, it gets dark quickly and you wake up at 3pm. The job doesn't suit me at all. When I was told about being a night watchman, I thought I would just be taking care of the hotel security and I would be able to read in peace. Not at all! 

I'm supposed to clean the whole hotel and deal with drunken guests who want a nightcap at the bar at 3am. 

Physically there's no problem, I've done plenty of much harder jobs, but mentally it's unbearable. I can't stand being in a white shirt and black trousers, serving drunken rich people who talk down to you. I would have stayed in that hotel for two nights. I had the opportunity to rent a flat in front of the sea for 50€/week, and I had the right to a great breakfast in the morning.

Despite all this I don't think I made a bad decision. I would much rather stay in my frozen truck eating pasta, freely.


Day forty-three & four: 13&14-12-22

Still no waves! At least nothing crazy. 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

I didn't think it would be this cold in December. The thermometer shows -3 but the feeling is -9, at least that's what Google says. 

I went to see the France-England game in the pub with Dermot. 

I felt like I was in France, as soon as the French scored, the whole bar was screaming and applauding. Same enemies! 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

Since my arrival I have already heard many incredible stories about the civil war, the poverty in which the English kept the Catholics, stories of the Irish flag burning every year in July in the streets of Belfast. The tension is still there. There are more than twenty walls separating Catholics and Protestants in the streets of Northern Ireland. 

How is it that no one in France knows about this? 

This country is coming out of extreme poverty, "thirty years ago we saw young people going to school barefoot”.

Right to abortion for women: 2018! 

Anyway, I'll have more to say about this when I know a bit more.
I had a great time at the pub, evenings are always good when there are no waves the next day. 

I then took the road to Bundoran, I was able to surf before it got dark. It was half a metre and glassy at the local beach break. I don't remember surfing in such cold weather in all my life. I almost fell several times while sliding on the beach. A layer of frost covered the sand. In the water you could only see the sets when they were 30 metres away, because the "heat" of the sea created a thick fog.
We are supposed to reach -10 tomorrow next night. 

Living in a truck in these conditions is not so bad if you have good clothes. 
I've started Kerouac's Big Sur. 

Louis Memain Rebel Fin Co

I'm driving to Donegal today. There have only been small northerly swells for a week and it will continue. I hope to find some waves there. It's one of the wildest coasts in Europe along with Scotland, I can't wait to see it! 

I won't be able to get on the road before 2, 3pm, because of the frost. 
I'm not drinking another drop until my birthday, which is Saturday. 
On the road again. Kisses.


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