Friday, August 27, 2010

Yesterday after hearing of all the great waves being had I cleared my desk and dove down for a quick splash. What a waste of time... feeling like I'd aged thirty years and was no longer the limber whipper snapper that I once was..

Hold on.. I have... and I aren't!

To top it off, I pulled a shoulder muscle trying to get my hood off.

Dangerous things, them thar hoods.

Deciding to retreat to the safety of a computer screen I was pleasantly surprised by a touch base from an old friend, Mike Jenkins.

Mike I've known for a very long time, we rarely see each other, but I had heard he had a mid life renaissance as an artist. After having a chat and checking out his site I thought it worth sharing as he is having a fair amount of success and it is lovely stuff. Another interesting side bar to Mike is he is brother in law to the legendary Wayne Lynch, though that doesn't stop him from being a very decent surfer himself, when he finds time, what with all the creative juices keeping the inspiration burning and therefore limiting his water time.

Pics, all by MJ.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I meant to add this to my last post.

That restless lens, Ed Sloane, posted this of a sand bottomed point on our coast that only rarely shows its form. Ed claims he is a neophyte in the shooting moving pictures department but to me he sure demonstrates a fine aesthetic.

Love the music, and with local ballet dancer Sasha Leitmanis being balanced by blow in noseriding diva B.Baggs, its a lovely little show.

Sand Bottom Point from Sloane Photos on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I was talking to a mate the other day, about the Bells area and its hinterland.

He intrigued me when he mentioned a little secret valley nearby, a path following a creek line, a path lined with rare orchards, untouched by the casual visitor and indeed rarely trodden by anyone. He'd recently been introduced to it by a naturalist friend and had been astounded as the bushland opened onto a lush green field with kangaroos a bounding.

So there I was yesterday, sitting on the tailgate of my car, prying off a wetsuit booty, back to the sea and looking out over the Bells back blocks after a couple of hours and a few waves at Winkipop. A fun three or four feet with the very odd bigger one, the aftermath of the whopping day before that saw occasional ten foot sets at both Bells and Winki, a day I'm glad I missed as I think in my current state of fitness I'd have drowned.

Anyway, as I said, there I am gazing into the distance when the sun strikes though the clouds onto this patch of emerald populated, as I could barely make out, by a mob of very content kangaroos. I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple off, looked to the screen to enlarge what my pinholes of eyes couldn't resolve. Sure enough, roos lolling about everywhere, grazing, looking or just doing that wonderful roo elbow on the ground, taking in the world.

Pics: A Winki bomb, and the Green.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

As part of a project I'm working on I had cause to head to the coast the day before yesterday, naturally timing my visit so that I could include a short "board meeting" at Bells before the more serious work took over.

On the way through I popped into Maurice Cole's to say hello, and while there snapped a couple of shots while he was serving a young chap picking up a 9'6" beast killer intended for Big Voldemort, The Break That Must Not Be Named. The board was a beauty, twin redwood stringers and plenty of meat. It looks like a lot of fun, that board. Nearby, in the racks, was Ross Clarke-Jones' new Hunter as well. With the tendency to try to paddle bigger and bigger, the boundary of when you can tow is pushing out, so the alternative, if you want to surf, is paddle.

Now where did I leave my wallet? And I wonder if Maurice will accept moths?

Pics... Chunky Bells, MC talking shop and MC's messy table, in tones of blue.

Monday, August 16, 2010

As I mentioned on Friday there was to be a bit of action in NY for those lovers of the different in music and surfing.

I had a flurry of texts from Richard Tognetti in NY both before and after he played at the Mollusk Surf Shop.

To quote: " What a gig! This is the coolest place. Just amazing"

I know the feelings were reciprocated, and the local crew that made the time went away with a fresh look at what the world offers. Chris Gentile of Mollusk sent this to me this morning:

"Absolutely insane! Best thing that has happened in the shop hands down! People were blown away! Thanks so much for putting this together Mick! Peop[le were seriously choked up after the film too!

Well my pleasure Chris. All I did was pick up the phone.. ( a few times) and attempt to give back a little to my favourite surfing town north of the Victorian border, and to help some friends.

Anyone manage to get to the Glide today?

Pic. Musica Gasometer Molluska

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New York New York

This weekend if you're in the Big Apple and you have a cultural bone in your body and a block of wax in your back pocket, there are a two events on that are must sees, because miss them, hear about it later and you'll be on ebay for the Best Arse Kicking Machine money can buy.

On Saturday August 14, that's this Saturday folks, Mollusk will have, free to all comers, Australian Living National Treasure Richard Tognetti, plus Satu Vanska and Julian Thompson, doing a masterly live performance of soul stirring strings before a Live on the Gasometers evening showing of Musica Surfica.

You may have seen the film, but there is nothing like these guys live... it's a mind boggler, and it is all to promote what is on the next night.. The Glide, at the Poisson Rouge.

Only ever performed twice before, and perhaps never again, this is a life altering experience and unforgettably beautiful.

With incredible vision by Jon Frank, arguably one of the great masters of surf cinema, shot in Iceland, Waimea Bay, South Africa and elsewhere, and music by Bryars, Elgar, Shostakovich and Tognetti...

Look, I could go on like a broken record, but really, you owe it to yourselves, on both counts. Take your mum, take your wife and kids, just.... Go!

The pic, a grab from the Glide.... enjoy the show(s)..

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A different weekend has just flashed by.

On being informed that Musica Surfica was showing at a wonderful little gallery/coffee shop in Manly called Saltmotion, and that my partners in crime, Richard Tognetti and Derek Hynd were going to be there, both to play and speak, I thought it appropriate to throw caution to the wind and join them.

Not least in my list of reasons to go was the realisation that it would be the first time all three of us had gathered for a showing at the same time... so I saw the chance to say thanks for the ride, catch up for a laugh, and join an appreciative audience in never passing up a chance to watch Rich, Satu and Julian play live.

The show went down a treat, and if you visit the Saltmotion site you can see some pics of the proceedings.

Luckily the swell coincided with the stay and we all scored a fun splash at Manly and later I joined my mate Simon Phin in a few fun peaks at Freshwater, the home of Australian Surfing, as it was on that beach that the Duke had his historic ride, way back when. I also had the privilege of standing in front of the Duke's board, in plexiglass case, and seeing a serious piece of surfing history, in the empty clubrooms on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

So the pics... me dutifully saying cheese, Derek looking like the cat that just got the rat, and Rich looking aghast at something Derek must have just said, plus a Manly peak, and a little of the performance.

Tomorrow another post as New York is in for a treat this weekend.

To Joel and Saltmotion, thanks. It was a great night.

And to Simon and Nicole... thank you too for putting me up, and putting up with me.

Friday, August 06, 2010

While editing the Tales from the Chook Shed 2 naturally frames fly past that though not for the subject at hand nevertheless hold gold because they are what they are.

Out in the pretty solid Bells swells, that lovable Derek was charging away on one of his finless creations.

The unique thing about Derek, as boards finless make inroads in their alaia variants around the globe, is his take, approach, attack, call it want you want, his thing, is taking it to whatever the ocean dishes up.

Tiny slappers.


Beach break peaks.


Screaming J-Bay walls.


And Big Bells Boomers.

Great Big Tick.

This pic below was a Boomer, and Dekka chose to go the whole hog and ride it through the whitewashed inside, holding a line where even finned boards struggle amid the snow, all the while with a looming hook clawing to claim him.

He made it, the crusty old coot, he made it.

(I can call him that because I'm even crustier)

This shot is from the morning session. In the afternoon session I paddled out and saw one wave in particular where his judicious application of power with control takes the idea that it is all just a slide show and throws it out the window.

Pic is a frame grab from the shoot for MC's Chook Shed, shot by Luke McNee

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Last February while on a flight to Western Australia I was lucky enough to have a window seat in the daytime, glorying in the view granted by a three thousand mile cloudless day.

Over the southwest, where the wheat fields give way abruptly to the wilds of the interior, a madman's chequerboard, or perhaps his dining table, stretched out below.

I'd love to drive the area one day, to see what I was seeing.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Yesterday I was all packed up and ready to go, anticipating a swell that was supposedly ahead of a threatening storm front. Alas it bamboozled the best of us, and me as well, with little action to warrant the drive or, as they progressed, the miserable conditions.

So, instead, I had number two son, Beezlebubbles himself, hanging at a loose end long enough for a yarn and a chance to add to my family snap collection. Mucking about with the apps in the iphone is great fun, technology allowing almost a dark room in there if you work it hard enough.

Below is the butter wouldn't melt in his mouth Sunday afternoon incarnation of mischief, before he excused himself to do some.

As an accompaniment, a view of the shed interior, and a moribund painting of Joey I really need to finish.

I must say though, I do miss a real camera.

STOP PRESS: And this, at bottom, from Ed Sloane. It's why I love Vicco.

Les apr├Ęs-midi (the afternoons) from Sloane Photos on Vimeo.