Monday, January 31, 2011

Three Wood

Clockwise from the top - Noosa Longboards' manager Pete at the wheel of their old V8 Woody rumbling towards the National Park, Tea Tree bay woodland and Parrish Watts, wood craftsman from Vintage Pacific Surfcraft with one of his many wooden devices - this belly board says "Surfers make me laugh.... They act so cool with all their fancy tricks!"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flash Larkin

wherever your travels lead
Remember - keep left

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Fleetingness

Friday fleetingness
Butterflies in my stomach
Thick fog burns above

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Born to Be Mild

"Get your motor running
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way"
from the song Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf 1967
All over Australia the last stragglers are going back to school today after the summer holiday break. And all over Oz this signals the grey light - when retired Baby Boomers hitch up their caravans and their boats and hit the highway (while they still can), tapping their toes to the tunes of The Easybeats, Chain, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, the Beatles, the Stones, Hendrix, Dylan and possibly Steppenwolf as the endless vastness of Oz is "blowing in the wind".
"The Grey Nomads", as they are called, pump a lot of money back into our economy - getting petrol and supplies at remote inland whistle stops, buying camping and boating gear - longer surfboards, even. So next time you overtake a couple of old timers on the highway, give them a wave.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"That's a ripper bonzer cobber!"

It's been a deadly, sick Australia Day today - lots of language, lefts and laughing. Over here, words like "deadly" and "sick" have two, opposite meanings - excellent and wonderful on one hand or fatal and unwell on the other, so tonight I'm celebrating our ever changing Aussie version of the English language.
My late grandfather grew up on a farm and used to call me his cobber. He was born over 100 years ago. I haven't heard Aussies using that term lately, but "mate" or "friend" is about the same.
Bonzer board image by Campbell Brothers
I like the bonzer surfboard idea - three or five fins with big single to double concaves. The Campbell Brothers have built some deadly sleds over the last 40 years. They look like they would rip. "Ripper" and "bonzer" both mean roughly the same as "excellent" over here.
Lately I have seen some Aussie slang books in the shops. Hopefully, they explain the correct use of phrases like these - most of which have fallen on hard times and unused as our language continues to morph:
1     Silly as a two bob watch or
       Falcon short of a car park
       Not much common sense or intelligence.
2     Mad as a meat axe
       Mad as a gum tree full of galahs or
       Bit of a crank
       Very mad, odd or eccentric
3     Crack a mental
       Lose one's temper
4     Flat out, like a lizard drinking
       Extremely busy
Hope you had a bonzer Aussie Day cobbers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jung vs Chevrolet

Is life as random as we think? A friend asked me the other day how I work out what to blog. I answered that if I don't stress ideas always come to me - sometimes little themes, like a series of monochromes, other times seemingly unconnected events and images that work together or like tomorrow - Australia Day, special events. Or sometimes random ideas just pop into my head and I have no idea where they come from.
I'm no expert in the Jungian notion of synchronicity but this is what happened this morning. I was riding along the local bike track thinking about putting a series of shots of a black Chevy on the blog. It was a random occurrence a few weeks ago - driving along beside the brine, I spotted this beautiful old car and thought "that would be a great shot". Pulled over, put some serious glass on the serious camera, clicked off a few shots and went on my merry way.
Now a few of the bike track bridges around here have been damaged from the recent crazy floods, so I had to go a different route this morning using a few back streets - a route I have never taken. There in one of the side streets was the black Chevy. Yes I checked the number plate - same one. Happy coincidence? Synchronicity? Randomness? But why did the car appear within an hour of me first thinking about it? Oh and the shots were taken a good 50 kilometers from where I spotted the Chevy this morning. One to chew over at the Australia Day bar-b-que.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Left = Right

This is clearly a right hand point and once in a while it's dark rock ledges fire long walls shorewards. Occasionally the tide and swell will conspire and craft a peak that splits providing a left or a right. With wall to wall surfers, sometimes you have to take the opportunity that exists.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back in the Kennel

about uncrowded surf...
When I was interrupted by a loud bang 
followed by crackling and 
a woman's voice screaming 
somewhere up the road.
The power went out
and we all discovered that this bloke
in a huge Mack truck
loaded with serious
earth moving equipment
had torn down a few overhead wires
while taking a short cut
though our quiet leafy lane.
Hand painted sign on the truck read
"Back in the Kennel"
Epic fail.
Now back to the daydream . .  .

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

East West Dawn

Dawn at a campsite with a few pals. Above - the view to the West. Below - the view to the East. Magic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tragic Logic

The recent devastating floods across the majority of eastern Australia will eventually subside and we'll discover under the mud, the dodgy bacteria and the stench that some Aussies have lost dishwashers, clothes washers and brain washers.
Greater minds than mine have had a stab at explaining the seemingly illogical savagery and destruction that nature can deal out to we who think we have a handle on all there is to know and control - a tragic logic that sees one house spared and the next submerged, one life healthy and the next cut short. What I do know for sure, 100% crystal clear, is that right now those poor buggers just don't need a hand to scrape mud off floors. What they will be needing in the months ahead, when this issue drops out of the news, is cash - money to buy dishwashers, clothes washers, TVs, radios, computers, beds, cupboards, pots and pans, stoves, cars, paint and trades work. So if you can spare a quid, a Euro, a Peso or a Dollar send them to a reliable flood relief charity such as the Queensland government-run Premier's Flood Appeal. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Say "Hello" to the Duke

I see your face in the commuter crowds from time to time, even though it's two years today since your last breath. I miss our raves about art and music and politics and your surreal humour. Say "hello" to The Duke for me. Tell him thanks for coming to our island in 1915. Tell him a lot of people here now enjoy sliding across waves. Say "hello" to Jimi. Tell him that his cover of "All along the watchtower" still blisters all over Dylan's original. Say "hello" to Marx. Tell him that when the workers finally took control over the mode of production, they didn't know how to lead it. Say "hello" to our Dad. Tell him bodysurfing has made a big comeback and that Kirra has sand again. Tell him we had another big flood like in '74, but Mum's OK. Aloha brother.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tale of Two Cyclones

Apart from increased floods and potential property damage, this is why some of us are busy tracking the course of the current cyclones - Deam Brady above at Boiling Pot, Cyclone Uluie March 2010.
Same spot almost 30 years before during Cyclone Freda - a cyclone that tracked the coaast for two weeks and sat way out near Vanuatu, March 1981 enabling the swell to organise itself into pulsing sets. The boards are better - the crowds are worse. Patience and respect, a must.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now

Nothing like a bit of music to beat the blues. When I finally was able to contact my sister, who spent two nights this week in a flood evacuation centre, she told me they sang "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" to keep their spirits up.

Hopefully today they can sing the old Johnny Nash classic "I can see clearly now the rain has gone". I cranked up the Hothouse Flowers version over breakfast and felt a whole lot better.
"I can see clearly now the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright
Sun-shiney day"
from "I can see clearly now" Johnny Nash 1972
No matter whether you are in the brine or cleaning up out in the bush or the 'burbs, I hope you have a bright, bright, sun-shiney weekend.

Friday, January 14, 2011

After the Rain

Many thanks to all who have sent messages of support and shared information during the last week. Between the radio, TV, Facebook, email and texts we have been able to ascertain what was going to happen or what had happened. Big applause to the local leaders who have put partisan politics aside and got on with the job of leading. Pic below is the bicycle track and creek that I can see from my kitchen window. We were lucky. No property damage unlike those to the south, north and west of here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

King Wally

We normally get about 80 inches of rain per year. Map below from the weather bureau shows in the bottom right where all the rain fell in the last week - the country between the Gold Coast and Noosa, where we have had up to 24 inches of rain. 
As a result there is widespread flooding, property damage, crop and livestock loss and sadly loss of life. While my place is high and dry, there are 30000 properties flooded and 111000 homes without electricity. Flood peaked this morning and the sun is out. Clean up is going to take ages.
One thing Aussies are good at is keeping our spirits up by having a laugh - even in the face of adversity. This shot, by an unknown photog, is of local football legend "King" Wally Lewis outside the local football stadium which is flooded. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Water, water everywhere - but not a drop to drink

No time for blogging for a few days and no guarantee of power supply. The ancient mariner and his woes have beset our part of the universe with the worst flooding in 200 years of white settlement.
Thoughts to all who have lost loved ones and relatives.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All Hail Gail

BIG thanks to Gail Austin, owner of the Goodtime Surfshop for putting up a grand of her own cash to support surf photography - a crazy activity where you spend lots of cash and time capturing other people having fun for limited financial reward. (Yet I love it.) Pic above won me a $500 voucher to spend at Goodtime. Stoked!! Not the first time Gail has put her hand in her pocket to help the local community, either. Deadset legend.
Now, how to spend that voucher? Another log or another short board? There's dozens of possible options at Gail's surf shop - one that actually sells a variety of surfboards, fins, wetties, wax, DVDs, grips, helmets, matts and caters to surfers of all ages, abilities and preferences. So now I will consult The Treasurer who will be funding the shortfall...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good barnacles

Today's post is dedicated to the hardworking folk of the transport industry who keep supplying us with essentials - rain, hail or shine. I doff my truckers' cap in your direction.
I was accidently sliding down the sloping rock jump off at Noosa National Park yesterday with 9'4" of heavy fibreglass under my arm thinking "I don't remember this ever being that slippery", when the barnacled section stopped my embarrassment enabling me to launch into the brine. We have had so much rain in the last month that there is slime growing everywhere - on the trees, on the rocks. Don't stand still, lest it take a hold.