Sunday, October 31, 2010

The long dry continues, but only figuratively.

This past couple of days we've had a month's rain in two days, the sun just now threatening to show its face before perhaps another cloud skitters by, a grey mask to another grey day.

Did you ever have that deja vu feeling when a smell or a certain light, perhaps the wetness after rain, takes you somewhere else? I got that today and was taken back to long runs around the lake in Hossegor, France back in the late 70's, during one of those endless waits for the swell to get manageable that that delightful french town is famous for amongst those who've stayed for long enough to see its cycles.

You had to wait through them because when it got good, it was every Sunday at once as you held a line in an endless sandy hollow that may or may not end happily. That same sand bottom sort of guaranteed no disasters, the smile over a cafe au lait and a croissant after held me for years on, and to this day I find myself ordering little else when it came to accompaniments to a good coffee.

Today, I didn't have a coffee but split an almond croissant over a cup of tea with Sue before she scarpered off to work, yes on a Sunday, but god bless her it helps. The kids, one off with mates and the other supposedly studying, as it is mid final exams, and me, waiting for the sky to clear enough to think about belatedly clearing a gutter. My plans to have a splash were thwarted by onshores and swell size... again. For a change, I 'pumped' a k out at the pool, first swim in a year or so, and it felt good to stretch the bung arm... Quite pleased with a lap rate of about 48 secs after so long away from it, not trying to strain but really just to work out a still sore limb.

Bit of a ramble this one isn't it? Even doodled some really odd stuff while lying in bed last night, don't ask where this crap pops from.. though the multi eyed guy started from a drawing I saw on a wall... er... I hope.

If I get time I might try and dig out some shots from those magic days in France, but remember, we were there when there where five surf travelers in town. The locals where a delight and the waves were too.

Today's pic, from the little moleskine, Mr Fish thing and a very good argument for me never to have taken up architecture.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Almost two weeks since I last logged in so this is almost a record. The main reason is total distraction with life, the focus being the fifteen year old and the accompanying trials that all you parents are either facing, have faced or are about to.

Good luck.

The other day I looked at a picture of me and the kids from about twelve years back. It sits on a shelf near the kitchen table, always in view and teasing me about what was, with a complete lack of forboding on my face. Two fresh, smiling little wonders atop the knee of reasonably youthful, happy, youngish, dark haired dad.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Now it would be a wizening, haggard coot, losing ( grey) hair, sanity and other parts sagging under the weight of a 202 pound, six foot three inch 18 year old and a 110 pound fifteen year old I wouldn't wish on Pol Pot.

Happy days.

On the good side, I love the treasures dearly though they send us to an early grave, with an empty wallet.

I did manage to get another bung shoulder test out splash a few days back. A tentative couple of hours, with a wonderful end wave that made it all worth while.. and all on my 6'2" which made the few good turns all that sweeter.

As well, work has finally picked up with a lovely job directing a little corporate film for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Going out and meeting people who have been struck by cruel luck through MS, or brain injuries acquired through accident and misfortune can make your own life trials recede into a sobering reality. I met and filmed some wonderful people. Big personalities hiding until you dug, or keeping you in stitches with wisecracks as we tried to do some filming that made a bit of sense. A lot of fun and the work is being well received.

Today's shot.. A fun semi peeler down the coast last Sunday week, with some promise of better for the weekend.. if the lad behaves.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of the pluses of parenthood, and believe me at present they are rare, is seeing the kids get up to things you never dreamed of doing.

The Devil Incarnate, aka Tom, is always doing this, and lately they are things I never dreamed of because I wouldn't, though he seems to take the whole of life on as a dare.

Within that though, is a knack of picking things up incredibly quickly.
Not so long ago he got a 'fixie' for his birthday, went through the first set of tires in no time flat as he worked out how to stop, and had 'track stands' covered within a few days of buying it.

This shot was taken when I found him doing a track stand in the kitchen, insisting it was alright, mum was ok with it (like hell), but I was so astounded I took a snap before kicking him out. He held this pose, stock still and no hands, before turning the bike around and riding back up the hall... and out the door.

Waves this weekend and the shoulder has a go ahead. Yippeee!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Since moleskine notebooks are so expensive I've started using a couple of different pens and using the book one way, then writing over the notes at right angles so that I extend the life.

Then I might do a doodle over the top while talking on the phone. Below is a doodle over two different sets of jottings... You can tell I'm a little starved for blog inspiration, so consider this post a placeholder until my shoulder is 100%, though typically, the weather for this coming weekend, being my first glimmer of hope for almost three weeks, is looking grim.

This is better, though Canada is a fair drive from here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A long, long time ago I tried to define to myself what I wanted to do. "To show beauty" was what popped into my mind and to this day it continues to do so. At the same time my 'trite' buzzer keeps going off. What the hell does that mean, to show beauty? What is beauty and what is the point?

We all make beauty, either purposefully or unknowingly, many times in our lives, or perhaps just once. Never never. A child is beauty, kindness is beauty, being the best we can be is beauty, and of course, the world has it in every nook and cranny... though sometimes you have to look.

Our different perceptions of what beauty is define our creative world.

The other night I watched a broadcast of Britain's Stephen Fry in conversation at the Sydney Opera House. His deft but unselfconscious use of the language, and his deep general knowledge, was masterful. Beauty to him lives in the word. Alliteration, rhyme, rhythm, the pun, all dancing together over forty five minutes, the whole performance Stephen's equivalent of a well ridden wave. Nothing out of place, with the umms and ahhs a synaptic fizz, as one reviewer described it, matching the climb and drop between spectacular verbal turns.

There is beauty when you least expect it. I remember getting on a bus as a ten year old, and being confronted by one the most singularly unattractive old ladies I'd ever seen. Shortly after, while sitting behind her, some idiot decided to make me the subject of his aggressive attention. Not being a particularly forthright kid in the self defense department, I sat copping it when the said lady jumped up and gave my persecutor a serve of monumental proportions.

At that moment she became the Madonna. I wouldn't have been surprised if sunlight had burst from her wizened brow, and my memories of her face are relief coloured as beauty.

Now at three hundred and fifty six (minus three hundred), in the middle of unexpected and unwanted twists that I should have seen coming, with a fifteen year old tearing and melting my heart at the same time, the same desire to show beauty out that cut my advertising career to ribbons as my obtuse sense of what was right sat at odds with a profession I still struggle with, that sees paintings sit unfinished for fear of technique failing a vision perhaps not so splendid, and my own seeming deep genetic predisposition for procrastination stopping me doing things before I start, still I persist.

Perhaps the struggle is not so much to show beauty.

Just keep trying to see it.

Pic for today, my Dear Old Dad, about three months back.

"Come on Dad, give me a smile."

What a beauty.