Friday, August 31, 2007


Sometimes the web throws up stuff that is absolutely unbelievable.

A couple of days ago I was trolling about, and, like we all do once in a while, I googled my own name. Now until I started doing the Musica Surfica thing, nothing ever came up.

Talk about a low profile.

This time there where a few, and as I looked down the list, there was an entry that, amidst a sea of french text, was my name and my sister's.

I nearly fell off my chair as this could only be one person in the whole world, and one who I hadn't seen or heard from in over 25 years.

Way back when, I met Muriel when I was doing the surfing through south west Europe thing, and at the time I was in Peniche, Portugal, getting set for some time on the island of Baleal, just north of there. Back then you could rent little cottages for bugger all, and when we arrived on the island my first memory was of a lovely French girl throwing the biggest wobbler you've ever seen,.

Who's that?

That's Muriel. She's cool, but watch her temper.

Muriel was travelling with her boyfriend Steve, another Australian, and another surfer.

That put paid to any bad ideas I had, but over the next month or so, we became great friends, and enjoyed many, many laughs. Come the time we all parted ways as our journeys went on, addresses were exchanged, and off we went.

On the way back through France I'd intended to catch up with her, but as we'd taken so long on the return journey from Morocco, we zipped through, and I missed on seeing her, much to my regret.

We kept in touch for awhile, and indeed my sister Kath made contact when she visited France shortly after and they too became great friends.

Life went on, addresses where lost, I got married, all that stuff, and it seemed that a little bit of my life, and a bit that I always treasured, was gone.

A tiny death.

I always wondered what happened to her, how she was doing, like you do. So to discover this entry so many years later was beyond incredible.

Now I have back someone I thought was lost forever. Thankfully my Sue doesn't mind. Life's too short, she says.

Here's to you dear Muriel. Alive and well.

(She's already calling herself "a bad French auntie" in an effort to get Tom to wear a helmet... though I doubt whether even someone as scary as an angry Muriel will make any difference.)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Over the past few months we've been busily working on MusicaSurfica. The edit is coming together, and a second stage of filming is coming up on the north coast of NSW.

This little snippet gives a taste of two forms of virtuosity. Richard Tognetti and Satu Vanska on violin, and Derek Hynd surfing finless at a variety of breaks on King Island. It's shot in wide screen format so YouTube has done a bit of a squish, but I'm sure you'll get the drift.

Performed in the the Old King Island Dairy, the piece featured is the pizzicato from Pagannini's Caprice 24. Richard picks holes in his playing here, but keep in mind he'd been surfing for 8 hours this day, as had Satu, and he had also face planted the bottom, hence a rather red forehead and nose. I think they did pretty well, all things considered.

And keep an eye out for the chap in the audience at the end... it's the infamous Wire, first surfer on King Island, and guardian of all its secrets.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another average week of surf down here and a short surf with my son Joey on Sunday.

Two and three quarter hours driving for an hour and a half in the water. God I'm keen.

For the first time in ages I rode the longboard, just to up my wave count... in the dribble... in the short time available, ....and took my little happy snapper out, stuffed down the front of my wettie to amuse myself out the back.

I even attempted to film a little mpeg of a ride by holding the camera in my teeth, catching the wave, grabbing the camera, pushing the start button, then pointing said camera in the general direction of the ride.

Laughable result,.. Brian Conley I'm not.

So I pointed it at Joey..

"Dad, what the hell are you doing... you're such an idiot"...

..then the near flat horizon.

We must amuse ourselves in our twilight years.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Today a diversion.

You've heard me mention my lunatic son Tom (12) and his frequent visits to emergency.

This is why.

(An amendment as of 1:25 Saturday)

Just had a 'conversation' with Tom.

"Dad I wish you hadn't put that on you blog... it makes me look like a try hard... so I took it off."

Not happy. I tried to explain it wasn't about him being a try hard, because apart from a certain amount of parental pride, it was for me more about sharing something we all have to face as parents... the degree to which you need to let them find their challenges, and meet them, knowing you're there to metaphorically catch them when they fall.

And we've since had a loooong conversation about helmets. We now have an understanding... I hope.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Don't you just hate it when you don't make the run for some waves because you're tired, it's pissing down rain, cold and gale force winds... or so you thought?

Day before yesterday I took some friends from Sydney down, waves attached, but it was hard yards because of the 35 knot offshore. We got a few but it was difficult to get into them.

Today... I just couldn't be stuffed, then I check the cams and the wind's slacked off... but the crowd would have tripled.

Time for a nice hot coffee.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ya gotta laugh.

Checked Swellnet this evening , as you do, and there's some shots of the weekend at Winki. Oh yeah, I think. Finally some shots of our bit of coast and I nearly fell off my chair when, scanning down the images, is some plonker on a yellow board and hood that makes him look like a special forces reject with no chin and a big hooter.

Still, after having such a moan over the session in the last entry it looks as though I had a half decent session.

Seems the glass was half full, and not half empty.

Thanks to Adrian Coleman and Swellnet for the shot.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Relax, no poetry today.

Got a splash at Winki, contest on at Bells, slightly mixed up swell but not bad. The usual friendly(ish) zoo and managed to snag a few but to be honest what game I have wasn't that on today. Very boggy off the top. God I envy those teeny somethings as they lightfootedly slash one after the other for a hundred and fifty metres.

Save that, had a couple of nice chats out the back and went in knackered, four hours out there in mid winter Vicco, so the wetties holding up.

Drove home listening to Shubert, for what it's worth.