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We can no longer escape the inevitable in these parts, winter is descending. Stinky wetsuit boots are just around the corner along with thick neoprene and numb extremities. Waddling down the beach like a covert Michelin man is nigh. But a little discovery I made this summer is going to make it all a little more bearable. I’ve possibly found the best post-surf invention ever.

I like a nice cup of tea, I especially like a nice cup of tea after a surf. For those of us not yet blessed with a wagon equipped with a gas hob, the Kelly Kettle could be your new best friend.

The Kelly Kettle was invented by an Irish fisherman way back in the 1890s. It’s basically a bowl on a sort of double-skinned billy can with a hole up the middle. Find some stuff to burn, stick it in the bowl and ignite, the hole acts as a big chimney, water goes in the side spout and because of the big surface area the water heats up really quickly. Boiling enough water for four cups of Sri Lanka’s finest in less than four minutes. Time wise, it actually kicks the gas hob’s ass…

I don’t know how it took me so long to find it but it is an amazing invention. I stumbled across it a few months back, frothed over it for a while and finally took the plunge and bought one. At £37 it’s not the cheapest cup of tea, but multiply that by well, lots, this winter and it’s a sound investment.

One hitch however, there’s less combustible stuff in the dunes than you might think. Romantic hunter gatherer notions were soon banished. On our first outing we found more fuel lying around the car park, namely three ice-lolly sticks, half a peg and a pencil, which is not nearly enough. We received some strange looks ferreting through bins for discarded fish and chip wrappers, though they did the job.

So with a boot full of nice dry twigs and newspaper, a cup of tea is always on the cards after a surf. The easy option would be a flask of course, but where’s the fun in that?

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