Monday, October 31, 2011

Lately I've found myself reflecting on what it was like to be 16, using 1970 as my yard stick with the combination of innocence, fear, and wonder that went with it.

The Vietnam War was in full swing, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin had just been there and done that, big time, being our first official space tourists with ground time, and to my young eyes hippies were everywhere, my hair was too short, I'd just been on my first surf trip, camping with 13 mates, 11 of whom were named Mick (true) and the beginning of the ruin of my life had begun.

Just entering the final two years of high school, pissed off I was spending most of every weekend lugging bricks from the front of the house to the back to help the builders put an extra bedroom on the back of the house, watching the wind just in case it got over 30 knots and the crap waves that blew up on Port Phillip Bay let me get a splash (imagine the Great Lakes wind slop and divide it by 3), and hoping some girl, any girl, would look sideways at me, and that paints a fair picture of my time in the manhood starting blocks.

Add to that pimples, smelly feet, too much action in the underpants department, as in all dressed up and nowhere to go... Well it's about as much fun as sticking your head up an elephant's backside and trying to recite the soliloquy from Hamlet.

Fast forward forty two years and I am staring at two me's, one a Mini but catching up fast, and a Maxi, but stronger, faster, with more lip and more attitude, better looking and they have got me stumped.

The world has moved so much, the internet and the black spaces it offers have informed too much, and any challenge I mount to their all conquering world view is met with derision, as I lived in the stone age, and never did anything anyway.

True in a way. Got drunk at sixteen more than a few times, then decided it was for the birds and didn't touch the stuff again, until introduced to the glories of English beer at 24. Never smoked anything either, ever. So yep, boring young fart, now a boring old fart but I loved and still love my watery delights, living in my head, trying to love my family, re-inventing or perhaps de-inventing my working life and that is more than enough for me.

Where is this going? Not sure, just venting a little as working out how to guide and protect is becoming an increasingly tough gig.

One day I might write a book about it. For now I'll buy another box of band aids for my noggin. Headbutting the door to make a point has its drawbacks.


Tiny but fun Winki and Bells. Solace for a Sore Head on Saturday

Monday, October 24, 2011

A nip down on a sunny day, trying to outwit the crowds and get the light onshore after the glassy morning as an odd surprise new swell drifted into nooks and crannies across Vicco.

Sadly up there for thinking was too smart for its own good and what I got on arrival at the beach was a fair handful of devil wind riffling a lineup that would have been pretty magic.

I'd picked up old MC as he is car-less at the moment, so we hunted wider from where we might usually wet the boards, eventually settling on a spot nearby with headland protection and a nice little right that wasn't too shabby.

For a while there though it was hard to get a wave as the local lads of the throwing air variety had also woken up to the spot, so old fatboy  was doubly restricted by age, slowing reaction times and hot kids thirty plus years my junior getting the better of me.

Mind you Maurice wasn't slowed down much, and he's only two weeks younger.

But I ain't him.

Eventually a few dances to crow about, as the wave had speed and steepness, and the odd bit of size though the shot was taken after the tide started to fill on a quick turn around walking back up the track.

The sets were at least twice as big.

Pics: One of the airboys and MC looking a bit waterlogged.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Once more with feeling perhaps as it seems as though the show might again be on the road.

Those that follow this meander know the story of Musica Surfica. Changed my life, turning it both into a joy and a train wreck depending on what side of the bed I get up in the morning. 

The sometime surf film with a lot of brilliant music and oddly compelling surfing. A group of strange bedfellows making beauty and talking a very different cultural story..

Making beauty is what it is all about, a little bit of lift to make days worth living. We succeeded to some degree, I think, and we (are, may..) be about to have another crack. On paper it is done and dusted, filming next May but there is the little issue of 'finding the money' and that journey is what is underway now. One way or another something will happen, it is just the scale of the venture that is in the lap of the gods.

The knowns are some brilliant music, and a whole new composition, just for this. An incredibly exciting prospect, with, again some wonderful people.

Watch this space, as I said innocently in early 07, not knowing what was in store.

The Reef. 

Coming soon. 

I hope.

Pic: A little snippet of continental edge, much further south but coloured in the reds and lilacs that beat the eyes senseless in our wide and wonderful land.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

When I made (with a fair bit of help) Musica Surfica back in 2007 I reconnected with Maurice Cole, relatively fresh back to Victoria after years of wild success and some adventure in France and Western Australia.

I'd known him pretty well since about 1972 but we've now become great friends and to watch the guy go through a day, attack life so hard, and keep coming up with a positive spin on even the blackest of news is a source of wonder.

This past week I've been putting together another Tale from the Chook Shed, this time around a more detailed explanation of the why and how of his boards.

Full of passion and a deep surfing knowledge, the separator for MC is that at 57, he can back it up in the water. Every surf is R&D, the results speak for themselves as he flies through sections, with those beady blue eyes always on the look out for the next poor soul who "thought he wouldn't make it".

Friday, October 07, 2011

Parenthood, whatever your age, is not an easy gig.

Being a teenager, and sixteen at that, can be a much darker place, when what it should be is full of hope and discovery.

Scribbled after a drive back from wherever, being tired brings things out as you sit and watch miles fly by.

Good, bad or indifferent, it's for every kid out there who is doing it hard, with a personal bias to one in particular who I love so very much.

The Dark, the Light, the Joy.

When will you see the sun,
my son
When will you see the day?
When will you see the light,
my son
And come back, my shining boy?
The dark is not your place
my son.
The night is not your home.
When will you see the sun,
my son
and fill your life with joy?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Over the last couple of days a mate from north of the border has been on a bit of a road trip to Mexico (as the New South Welshmen like to call Victoria) and although he chose to pick a less than optimum time for swell he did choose to go to the best possible spot when it comes to picking any up and dealing with the devil winds out of the south east quarter.

Talk about a lucky boy.

As it turned out the best banks in what might be the history of the universe have settled in to a range of phalanx like triangles up and down this particular beach, and managed to communicate to the surf gods a message that spelt out 'send me your most perfect and straight three to four foot swell"...

The jackpots have been sounding up and down the beach, Mark is near comatose with muscle failure after days of hours and hours and hours of paddling back for another.

I managed one trip down to enjoy it with him yesterday and partook of three prime banks over four hours, including one left and right peak I had to myself for two of them. The pics were taken with the sea breeze on it...

Most of the time it has been sheet glass.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Now to get rid of the permanent drill in the side of my head caused by Beelzebubbles.

Pics: Waves, empty peaks and a couple of kids dancing in the Southern Ocean.