The Broadcast / Wherever The Road Leads

Wherever The Road Leads

As we face up to a Christmas unlike any other, we’re reminded that everyone does it differently – so we’ve been checking in with our community to see what the holiday means to them.

This week we caught up with Nick Pumphrey and Tina Bingham whose working lives play out on opposite sides of the camera. On the move for work through most of the year, Christmas is shaping up a little differently.


4 min read

Words & Images by Tina Bingham & Nick Pumphrey

What does Christmas and this time of year mean to you, your family, friends and loved ones?


I am always on the move in the summer months, so winter and Christmas is the time when I get to hang with family and friends at home. It's a feeling that I crave more and more as the years pass by. I am so incredibly excited about the thought of big storms, hearty cook-outs with the family, cosy nights and red wine with the lady, and après-surf coffee catch-ups with my friends.


Living abroad for almost 20 years now, Christmas has become the time to be precious and present with my family back in the UK. Daily schedules and commitments are put on hold for a good week or so, where we all spend time under one roof. That’s 8 adults, 4 children and a dog. It gets pretty cosy and hectic at times, but that's Christmas for us. We love it all.

Is there anything different to the ‘normal’ Christmas set-up that you celebrate or make time for?


This year, will mark the first year in my life that I won’t be spending the Christmas period with my family. Having that 'once a year' gathering of love and bonding was an important time to reconnect and to reassure each other in the flesh. We tend to bring up any issues we've been going through and face them head on with each other. This year we’ll be relying on technology to stay in touch and to share those precious moments on screen, as we have all become so used to doing these days.


I think the only thing that may be different (but is probably the norm in Cornwall or coastal areas) is the traditional morning surf at Porthmeor with all the crew. No matter the conditions, the gang is there and it's a lovely old time full of smiles and a few swigs of ‘vin chaud’ to warm us up before getting back to the day with family.

At this time of giving and receiving, what does the ocean give to you and do you give back to it?


Everything I am today is because of the sea; my health, my friendships, my livelihood. During the lockdown in spring, I learnt more about my personal relationship to the sea and realised slowly that it is so good for my mental state. I was unravelling, and the sea literally put me back together again. Through this winter and beyond I plan to explore more and more my creative capacity within the sea, and inspire more folk to reconnect and potentially protect it.


This year brought life changing shifts and scenarios for families across the globe. Personally, some have been very welcome and have brought about positive change. It has reignited the love and appreciation of the relationship we have with the ocean and has been a realisation of how valuable it has been in our lives; the freedom of having the right to go into the ocean and reap the benefits of whatever that may be for you.

What learnings has this strange year brought about already?


With the realisation of the value that the ocean and nature has to our wellbeing, and effectively as humans on this planet, we began to turn it up a notch with educating ourselves on what is happening with our planet. We watched daily documentaries, read studies, reports and began planning out a sustainable lifestyle. It was something that was on the cards for a while now, and will be a work in progress, but slowly we may be able to affect change and regenerate the things we have so blindly been exhausting up until now.


On a personal creative/work level I have learnt to trust in what feels right and just surrender to that. Keeping the illusion of worry at bay and going with my good gut feelings. Being more in the moment and connecting back to nature – I feel that is so important today. We are not separate, we can no longer just abuse and take for our personal gain, but instead try to work in harmony with our Mother Earth.

What’s your relationship with the sea this time of year?


This time of year I would say that the Sea consumes me, even more than normal. My thoughts can't escape as the battering of the Atlantic storms surrounds me. It's more of an effort. It gets colder and colder, darker and darker, but with that comes the flip-side. The accomplishments, the proximity to ‘storm energy’, the low light when it's let out. The mood is a photographic dream. I truly love it all.


Growing up in both the UK and Japan, the end of the year has us well into the winter season. I would normally be buckling up for a freezing surf, but this year here Australia (our new country of residence), I find myself in the ocean less and less, even with a more inviting sea temperature! We’ve been focused on making a shift in lifestyle to become more self-sufficient. We try to get down to the ocean when we can, but this time spent working with nature has only fuelled a deeper sense of connection with the land and sea. Ultimately it’s all connected.


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