Friday, December 26, 2008

One of the more interesting years has come and nearly gone, and I hope yours have been all you could have hoped for within the limits of a global financial meltdown and the usual swathe of disasters that seem to grow in frequency as the planet heats up.

Here I have to agree to disagree with my Dear Old Dad as he is of the geological persuasion and opinion that it is likely a part of the natural warming and cooling cycle. Fair enough, but I think the evidence is pointing a big fat hairy finger at US as having a bit to do with it.

What am I doing about it?

Not as much as I should. Still drive to work too often, but then it's a bit hard to whizz about with boxes of Musica Surfica on a bike. Still drive the kids to school more often than I like too, still drive to the hospital every time Tom nearly does himself in, no solar panels on the house, still drive an hour and a half for every surf that blesses me with the opportunity.

But the kids are healthy, or scabby at least, Sue is treating me like I'm not an alien at the moment, and the film is selling steadily. We're looking forward to an 09 that won't be boring...

Will I get my house back? Hmmm, not so sure about that, but if I manage to get another filmic project off the ground and pay the bills, then this time next year I'll be pretty happy.

Have I made a list, a plan, a road map of resolutions...? No, but the next three weeks will give me some thinking time as we head up the glorious south coast of NSW for a well earned break... though I will be taking all my work gear as I'll probably have to arc it up at some stage .. remote working on holidays kinda sucks but I have to keep feeding the beast.

If you're reading this then you're probably at least an occasional stopper at this Safe to Sea, and I'd like to thank you for doing so. When I started this blog it was to try and get in touch with the parents of a young guy that died in Nias not long before I first went back in '04. That never happened, but the world of friends I've made and in some cases now met has meant a lot to me.

I've noticed people dropping by from the most unlikely places. Estonia, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, odd surfless places that you don't expect to see, some come by more than once, I hope they enjoy the visit, after all it is just stream of consciousness from a boofhead in the deep south, but if they get something from it, good.

If not.... well there are a lot of blogs out there.

Highlights of the year for me.?

Getting through it always counts, but finishing the film properly, finding there are people interested enough to buy it, and to top it off, getting to New York and it's Surf Film Festival... then trying to stay awake and then discovering we'd won over there. Such a blast as I had no idea it was competitive until I arrived.

There were some very good films in the mix too, so it was a great honour to be so well rewarded.

Plus I got to go surfing.

The other big highlight though, on reflection... Mr Obama and his election does raise the bar in the hope department. If only more politicians had the brains and generosity of spirit this guy has... though I have to say Mr McCain's concession speech showed a class act heading a crap party.

Since this is a surf related blog, there has to be a surfing highlight too... and for me it's a tie between my trip to the Banyaks and... my trip to the Banyaks. Nothing really comes close to a couple of sessions I had there when it all came together as much as my aging bones will allow, and having a dry reef gurgle next to me while I gazed out of a throaty Treasure Island tube was, though not as frequent as I'd like, fun.

That my family has made it to the end of the year happy and healthy, all I can ask, though my Dad has had a rough one. He is well on the mend as I write this, and hopefully, as today is his birthday, he'll have had a nice red and big juicy steak to celebrate turning 81. The frightening thing for me is my earliest memories of Dad are when he was less than 35 years old, whizzing me around with my hand skimming the water at the beach. Perhaps that is where it all started.

Thanks Dad. And Happy Birthday.

So, to you all out there too, thank you for dropping by, and have a great beginning, middle and end to 2009.

Stay safe. I leave you with where I'll be playing for the next twenty odd days.

Late Addition: If anyone wants to listen to me rabbit on a bit about the film and other stuff, they can hear me on Surf Talk Radio with Scott Bass, from about halfway through the podcast.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I have a correction to make and an apology that goes with it.

If any one reading this has purchased Musica Surfica, (most of you I hope... if I haven't given it to you) then you will note on the credits at the back the track list for the soundtrack cd included.

One of the tracks is the Largo from the Second Violin Concerto by J.S. Bach, with the credits going to Richard Tognetti, Satu Vanska and the ACO.

When I got the track from the studio it was a master with no detailed credits attached but my assumption was that it was exactly the same musicians as played the track on King Island, plus the entire Orchestra.

A little email came my way they other day telling me that in fact on this particular track the two violinists were not Richard Tognetti and Satu Vanska, but Richard T and Helena Rathbone.

Helena is the Principal Second Violin in the ACO, and it was only through my not being informed the mistake was made.

Sorry Helena... and on the next round of packaging there will be credit where credit is due.

And as for me, me, me... the weekend finally saw me getting in the water, and another attempt at finless.... more success this time, many more made waves, but the spin eludes me..

I am though, forming an understanding.

Please read the accompanying biography for Helena. You don't get into this Orchestra until you are at the absolute top of your game... and as you can see a lot of hard work and talent goes into making it in this most difficult of disciplines.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My little bloke Tom would have to be every parent's heart attack.

I get home last night, Tom's at the skate park, and Sue tells me Tom nearly killed himself today. Oh yeah I say distractedly... thinking I've heard that one a few times before..

But then Sue says have a look at this as she pulls out Joey's phone to play me the latest catastrophe... and there's Tom bouncing up and down on the trampoline at Harry's place. Uh oh I begin to think as I hate trampolines and put the devil incarnate on one and all sorts of shit can unleash itself.

So I ask what's he trying to do... a double back somersault layout.. or something like that.

OK by now I'm getting the hair going up the back of my neck standing up and just then up and over he goes.. once twice... well almost twice and he lands on his fucking head and then bounces onto the grass.

Of course I laughed .. that nervous sort of laugh when you should be crying and then in walks Tom... and he's fine, tells me about all the new tricks he's mastered, scabby face and all. then goes and raids the fridge.

Today he rings me as I begin to fret some more. Where are you little mate...?

I'm at Harry's... on the trampoline!

I hate trampolines.


Monday, December 15, 2008

No surf on the weekend as I had to work, barely moved from my desk the whole time, and the waves were crap anyway.

A big low sitting smack dab on top of my home town meant screaming on-shores and so much rain I swear the animals were start to queue, it was cold, bleak and er.... cold and bleak.

So not much to report in that department but I do feel urged to bring a young guy to your attention who is about to release a book, well, in May he is, but in truth it was his blog that really got my attention, as I'll tell you all about the book a little later... like April.

Jaimal Yogis' site is a mixture of observation, poetry and quirky illustration, his life journey has so far been quite extraordinary and I have to confess he has a sense of himself in the universe that definitely eluded me at the ripe old age of 28 or so.

So have a read and I leave you with a shot I pinched from his site. It's him just pulling off a wave, but if that ain't dancing, my name is Ned Kelly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

While not trying to push Musica Surfica too much, this review from Swellnet is an absolute beauty, and is worth reading just for the writing.

Of course a certain amount of bias on my part is, I hope, forgivable.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Finally, finally... I managed a surf over the weekend.... in the most mindbogglingly crap waves I've ever paddled out in, Bells the venue and I was by myself for most of the time.

That bad. A Sunday. Alone. At Bells Beach.

So out I paddle on my finless Derek Hynd experiment and had a ball falling off for three hours. A few times mixed in there I made some distance and eventually a young guy named Ben paddled out and remarked he thought I'l left my fins off the board until he woke up to the strange bottom contours.

Naturally I did nothing except examine the sea bottom that time, while another on another wave the rail of the board closely examined the area between my legs.

Though not too hard, it was enough to make me concentrate a little more.

So thanks Derek... I wouldn't have even paddled out otherwise.

My big surprise though was that the post op wounds and soreness prove to be no hindrance at all... so I'm back in action... albeit with a still puffy tummy... or perhaps that is old age.

We'll see.

Yesterday... I spent the day shooting cows.

I've got an advertising job going at the moment and went out to a dairy farm to do a TVC, and discovered I have a perhaps worrysome affinity with my bovine friends.

A pity I like steak so much.