Showing posts from 2009

For Stu

With a beam of sunlight burning across my chest, I wake up late. My alarm didn't go off and now I am an hour late to meet Sarah. She's going to be pissed.


A quick check of my phone confirms this with one missed call and four texts sitting there waiting for me.

I pull on yesterday's clothes, clean my teeth and gulp a glass of water before lugging my board out and angling it into my car. Get in there!! Why is everything so hard when you're in a rush?

On the way to the beach I get stuck behind someone driving ten under the speed limit, which is simply frustrating. As we round the headland I can see the swell... if that's what you could call it. It's small and lumpy and the wind is already picking up.

Damn it!

I follow the slow driver all the way to the beach, where they take the last available parking space, leaving me to drive back up the top of the hill, to park and walk back down. Stupid morning joggers. I didn't even check to see if Sarah's car is the…

Saturday double-ups!!

I love home.

And I love that even when the waves are mediocre and the wind is onshore and the clouds are gathering and the BBQ cooks too slowly, my friends still get excited.

(Photos stolen from the lovely, Ms Rose Speers)


I comfort myself with the knowledge that men like Derek Reilly - men who allow sex to be described as "consensual rape" in print - are destined to have daughters.

Independent, feisty, promiscuous daughters.

Life tends to work out like that.

Board tree

Oh! So THAT'S where surfboards come from?

(I stole this photo from my friend, Isabelle Braly - nose-rider extraordinaire!)

Wax On - Hazelhurst Gallery


You should go to this exhibition - Wax On. It opens on 5th December and it's going to be amazing!!

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre is proud to present Wax On: From Cronulla to Palm Beach and Beyond, an exhibition that showcases artworks about surfing and its significance within contemporary Australian visual culture.

For an example of some of the works that will be exhibited, you can check out the Wax On blog.

The sounds of my night

For the past few months, I've been staying in the bedroom that was mine as a child. My family has lived in this house, which they built, since I was 4 and sometimes it feels like it is my entire world. This is the room I first shared with my sister. This is the room where we used to play. This is the room that I vacated as a young woman leaving home. This is the room I come back to.


Of an evening, I look up and out of the windows above my bed. I can see the stars clear and unobscured by the small-town lights. The number of stars and the size of the night sky, never fail to dazzle me. When I'm in the city, I miss the stars and I have learnt to pay them due attention when I'm home. The view out of the the window is through fly screen and a security grill, which my mum had installed years ago to protect her three daughters from the evils of the world. It meant that we were allowed to keep our windows open through the sticky, humid summer months and it also meant that we…

32 (again)

And a tile too!! How lucky am I today!
Thanks mum. I love you.
(and Gerry again too!)


Oh my!! Look what I got given today!
Tea time!

Art that you can use is the best kind of all.

It's my favourite new thing!
Thanks Kate, Carl and Miss Leelu. And thanks Gerry!

A walking view

This is a view from the walk around the headland where I live. It's a really special walk and ridiculously pretty.
When I take the time to walk this track, my day is always, always better.
One day I'll tell you more about it.

Washing day

Drying off in the sun.

Last Night

Last night, as I tied the boards on my car, I looked up.

When is a compliment not a compliment?

Yesterday I went surfing with my friend, April. She just won a new board in a comp raffle and was excited to try it out. She rang to invite me to come along with her, so we met up in the carpark of a busy local break and I sat and chatted with her as she waxed it up and put in the fins. There was a guy a few cars down from us in a van.

I just asked that chick over there out, but she's got a boyfriend.

He pointed at a bikini-clad woman over by a car on the other side of the carpark, while staring at us and waiting for us to respond.

Oh, right. Um, well, at least you asked. Good for you.

I had no idea who this guy was. Nor why he was talking to us. I looked at April.

Yeah, you didn't have anything to lose!

We went back to our own conversation. But he wasn't done.

Would've been better to wake up tomorrow morning with her in my bed but.

Oh, OK. Ha ha.

It was weird. It's weird having a conversation with a stranger about him trying to pick up girls, while I'm just in my swim…

Gerry Wedd - AGAIN!!

Ok, so as you already know I really, really like the work of Gerry Wedd. What I like about it is the texture, the lines, the colours and the ceramic forms, which always make me think of the shards of eroded and smoothed terracotta I have found on the beach over the years. There is something poetic about the way he works with pottery to tell stories and say things about oceanic experiences that makes sense.

One of his latest offerings particularly resonates with me, and I appreciate the thought and observations he presents in the images and structures. Wedd offers images and stories in places and contexts where they haven't yet been presented, and this seems to be especially sensual in the form he gives them in this case - as an urn.

As Wedd points out in the attendant blog post (click pictures to go there!), images of women surfing in Australia from the 50s to the 90s are minimal, and this is something I have thought about a lot too. So where were the ladies then? Even if they weren…

Surf Ache by Gerry Bobsien - a review

The beach and the ocean are often the setting for Australian stories of teenage romance, reflection and sexuality. And understandably so! For many young Australians the coast is a place that is a central part of our world, our lives, our friendships, and can't really be separated from the ways we have grown up. My own teenage world was defined by the beach - I would walk home from school along its length, I would meet girlfriends for weekend sun-tanning sessions, I would retreat there when I was sad or confused, I would take afternoon walks to the headland with my mum, I would avoid the town beaches patrolled by the clubbies and their binoculars, I would go there for parties at night to play and explore and make mistakes (and jump in the salt water the next morning to clear my head of the hangover). I mapped my life by the sections along which my friends and I all lived - my beach, Kelly's beach, Lyn's beach, Joel's beach, the caravan park, Ren's beach, the creek, …

The Common, but Contrary, Comma.

As someone who enjoys words of the written variety, I take an interest in issues of grammar. Some might argue that I don't take quite enough of an interest much of the time and, to be fair, most of my working knowledge has come from a kind of osmosis through reading. While I can find fault in the punctuation of others, sometimes this radar is a little under-used on my own work. But I try.

Years ago when I was visiting a friend in the UK, she gave me a book that we both found tremendously informative AND hilarious (my favourite kind of book). It's called Punctuation by Graham King and it is genius!For example, the main chapter on punctuation is called Devices for Separating and Joining and the sections within have names like Scree-e-e-eech! The Full Stop and The Common, but Contrary, Comma and The Serviceable Semicolon and The Seductive Embrace of Parenthesis (Brackets). Aren't they great names!

Anyway, I have been spending a nice half hour reading a little bit of it again a…

Flat Spell

Some days, it all just works. Some days it feels right. You have flow, inspiration, motivation, enthusiasm, energy and it all comes easily and without effort.
Your ideas, thoughts, excitement, heart, mind and body all spill out through your fingers, hands and feet. They move out through the things you create and easily become lines, sounds and shapes on a page or a canvas or in the water.
It all makes sense.
And then, some days, it’s not like that at all. You stall, and the lines and shapes are stilted and awkward. Ideas come to nothing, there is no motivation and everything feels heavy and cumbersome and badly drawn. Trying harder and pushing more makes little difference and the only thing you can do is…
Stop fighting and give yourself time to cool or warm, or time or change direction or whatever it is that moves you out of the creative doldrums.
You can stop looking for inspiration and instead allow yourself to just enjoy and feel, and have it sit with you in that moment only – stop…

How to stuff a wild bikini

Oh. My. Lord!

This song is from the 1965 film, 'How to Stuff a Wild Bikini' and I could no longer endure it on my own.

Words cannot even begin to describe my responses to the lyrics of this spectacle, but here are a few choice ones; alarmed, confused, confounded, stumped, breathless, flummoxed, astounded, uncomfortable and yet... amused.

The bit that really gets me though is the line (delivered with all the personality of a post)

It ain't nothin' without the stuffin'!


If it seems like a long time between posts (and it has been lately!), then you might like to look for me over at Kurungabaa as well.


Is it really so wrong to spend a Friday morning watching North Shore on YouTube?


Surfergrrrl asks a good question...

Why weren't women invited to Mavericks?
The Mavericks Surf Contest recently announced the 2009 invitees, and all 26 are men. WTF?! Sarah Gerhardt, the focus of One Winter Story, has been surfing the big waves of Mavericks for more than 10 years. She was invited to the contest in 2001, but only as an alternate. Jenny Useldinger and Jamilah Star are also Mavs regulars.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards aren't so sexist. Maya Gabiera, who charges with the guys on massive waves at spots like Dungeons, is up for XXL Monster Paddle. Women's surfing icon Layne Beachley is in the running for XXL Ride of the Year for taking on a big one at Ours.

I asked Keir Beadling, Mavericks CEO, why no women are on the invite list. His answer? "Hmm..." C'mon, we want to know why the contest is ignoring half the population. Are you afraid a woman might win?

I hope you don't mind me re-posting that here, Surfergrrrl? I just thought it was an inter…

Bringing the beach to work

This morning I was sitting listening to a talk, when I got distracted by the hem of my jeans. It was slightly turned up, which in the scheme of things means little, but when you are looking for something, anything to occupy you as you politely endure someone else's rant, it seems significant, so I reached to my ankle and turned it down. When I folded my hands back in my lap, they felt gritty and grainy and were covered in sand. I looked at the floor to see tiny grains of rock, crystal and shell spread like icing sugar across the floor beneath my feet.

Last Sunday morning I'd been wearing these jeans as I sat in the sun-drenched sand dunes checking the surf and waiting for Amy to meet me. The sand must have been from then. We had a fun surf that morning.

That memory and all the attendant feelings and warmth were alive in that tiny artefact - trapped in the fabric of my (unwashed) clothing and spilling out simply because I got bored. Its presence there on the floor of that room,…

I feel pretty

This Nike advertisement isn't new, but I'd never seen it before this morning when a friend used it to talk about gender performances and expectations in sport. I'm not going to delve into that particular discussion here, but I do like to think that Nike understood all the ideas and contradictions that weave their way all through this advertisement.

Then again, I am an optimist!

Look out the back! (el rolo)

I need to begrudgingly admit that I didn't find this myself - I snatched the link of someone else'sFacebook post (thanks loom).

And look, I actually don't even know WHAT THE HELL THIS IS OR WHERE IT'S FROM and I'm much too busy to look into it today but it needed to go up here. And oh my lord has it made my day!

If you DO have further info, I would love you to share it with me. If there is more where this came from, it should be shared and broadcast!

Please, enjoy.

(P.S. the lyric "get up on your feet pretty baby" seems to get lost in translation!)


Last week I went for a surf and for the first time ever, got out of the water feeling absolutely worse than before I’d gone in!
It was awful.
Granted, we’d chosen to surf a particularly and notoriously popular, busy, crowded break, but I can usually cope with that. You accept your decision to surf that spot and accept that it’s going to be a bit chaotic. It’s a little like making a deal with the Devil. Fine. But this was different.
The crowd wasn’t too over-the-top as far as number go. And there were waves enough, even if they were only a kind of messy. But there was also this incredibly aggressive and macho vibe, which was both overwhelming and confronting. It wasn’t like there were any blow-ups or anything, but it was just that everyone was totally in it for themselves. And I’m not talking about some wave-sharing, ‘spirit of surfing’ crap that you hear about – I don’t expect such mythical behaviours – but there was no courtesy, no consideration, no care for each other. Like I said, a t…

The Premiere of "_" (finally!!)


What are you doing next Friday? Come watch a film!!

For kate

OK, so...
It's pretty clear that I'm not writing much at the moment. Which is massive. For me.
Truth be told, I'm not doing much of anything at the moment, so please don't think that my lack of inspiration/motivation/productivity is limited to this modest little blog, because it's not - I'm generally useless in every aspect of my life right now! Sigh.
But I am trying. I really am. I am looking everywhere to bust myself out of this lethargy, but it was a particular little comment on my last post that really kicked me into gear to post something today. So this post is for Kate - who always manages to encourage and inspire me! xx***** I have a lot of wax on my board. From the nose to the tail and out to the rails, I've pretty much got the whole thing covered!
It rises up from the deck in piles, like little drip-castles that you build on the beach, letting the wet sand run between your fingers to form unstable, piled-up stacks. Most surfs, I add to these wax castles …


This morning I went up to visit my friend Kris. He lives on the escarpement overlooking Lennox Head and Seven Mile Beach. It's beautiful. We sat outside drinking coffee and chatting, looking at the view, watching the birds, the headland, the ocean. Kris got the binoculars so we could check the surf better.
I wish every surf check was like this.

What are you working on?

Kurungabaa: a journal of literature, history and ideas for surfers, is calling for submissions for the next issue. The issues will be framed around an over-riding theme of longing...

Longing for waves, lover, place, smell, healing, gods, goddesses, water … The December issue of Kurungabaa is on “Longing”. We are looking for submissions – poetry, art, photographs, writing, dreams, frustrations.

For more information, hit up the website.

When all else fails...



Joe is zipping his wetsuit as I pull up.

I jump out of the car and rush because it's already 5pm and it's getting colder and darker by the second.

See you out there. Joe slams his boot shut and turns to go. And then stops.

Shit, do you reckon I need wax? he asks me, looking at his board.

I reckon if you're thinking about it then you probably do, Joe.

He considers.

Ugh, nah. I already locked my car, he decides and turns again to go.

I've got some if you want? I offer.

What is it?

Orange Sex Wax.

Ah, a connoisseur. He walks over and takes the dirty, white cake out of my hand. I didn't think you'd use this.

Huh? I look at him, confused.
Well, what type of wax did you think I'd use?I dunno. Maybe Palmers or something.Nope. No Palmers. I just get this.Although I got the feeling it was throwaway line, I was instantly intrigued as to how I could be so particularly defined as a type of wax? And why it even matters?I've known Joe for ages but I hadn't ever surfed with …

A city for lovers

No matter how many times I see it, this ad for the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup in Paris just never gets less excellent.

Making friends with the water

A few years ago I was talking to a friend about surfing and why he loves it so much, and something that he said then has stuck with me and I often think about it when I'm in the water.

And although my memory fades and his precise words fail me, he said something like this,

Sometimes surfing feels like a friendship. It can be as deep as that, which sounds like a cliché. But when you need to, you can go out in the water and just be cool and not talk and you feel better. It's not like a sport, or a lifestyle or anything, but, well, the wave's a mate.

I think it's sweet.

Photo hijacked from The Endless Bummer


I don't even care if it's totally doctored (worst sound effects ever!). It's funny!

See more funny videos and TBT Videos at Today's Big Thing.

The last day of the winter sun.

"I'm sorry"
These are the words I don't ever want to hear again.
They are words that are used to express regret, apology, forgiveness, but it seems to me that they are actually connected to sadness, pain, hurt, exhaustion and anger. That they're just the words we say when there are no other words left.
They're words that I've heard both too much and not at all. They're the words that sometimes I ache to hear but that often just clang through my head like church bells, ringing through my thoughts and heart whether I want to hear them or not.
"It's my fault, I'm sorry"
"I'm sorry but that's not possible"
"I'm sorry, I lied"
"I'm so sorry to tell you this, but..."
They're words that bring you to your knees and push you down into a chair just so you can cope with hearing them. They're words that sting and punch.
They're words that break your heart.
They're the words you say when there …

Some things just make life worth living!


Surf boot

The other day I was sitting in the water when I noticed one of the young, teenage crew that I haven't seen in a while. I waved at her and she paddled over to say hi and as she did, I noticed that she was wearing what looked like a massive, black, plastic ski-boot, but only one one leg! As she got near me, I laughed at her,

What's that all about?

Oh, I broke my leg! But I'm sick of not surfing so, yeah.

Jeez, are you serious? Is it ok to be out here on it?

Oh, I had to get this thing on because I walked on it too much and it didn't heal...

Ummm, surfing on it might not help either!? And doesn't it make that boot stink?

I'm not really standing up though!And yeah, it gets wet and won't dry, but, whatever.

And she wasn't either. She would paddle into a wave on an old, borrowed McCoy and when she got it she would kneel on one leg with the other one bent behind her.

She gets a full ten points for enthusiasm!

In the boot

I really love owning a car.

I don't know if I'm supposed to say that, but I do. It's not about status or anything, it's about access and freedom. If I didn't have a car, my life would become completely impossible and I would probably fall into a fairly significant pit of despair. I know that sounds melodramatic, but at this point in my life, my car enables my life to run the way I want it to, the way I need it to. Living between two different places that are a couple of hours apart and being a surfer of the longboarding variety, a car comes in handy.

This car, Agatha (Aggie), is my third car after Emily (white '79 Corolla) and Ruby (maroon '93 Excel), and while she is in no way my favourite (Em will forever claim that revered title), she is my most user friendly. The best thing about her is that my board fits INSIDE, and the worst thing is there's no cup holder - it really annoys me.

The boot has lots of room and I keep a roll call of items in there at all…

Social lines

I got the funniest wave I've ever caught yesterday...

Every evening that I've been home for the past few weeks has been spent at one of my favourite breaks, which also happens to be one of the busiest breaks IN THE WORLD*!! The waves haven't been anything mind-blowing, but they've been fun and so, so long and glassy, and even thought it's the middle of winter here, it's been incredibly warm and you can surf happily til well after sundown! Basically, it's not a bad way to end your day!

Anyway, last night Jules and I paddled out at about 5pm, hoping to get a couple of waves before it got too dark. It looked crowded, but no-one seemed to be dropping in much. We walked out through the shin-deep water to the rocks, and sat on our boards, waiting for something worth paddling for. I didn't wait long til something soft, glassy and fat came my way, so I paddled into it and set a little line (not much else to do on waves that fat!).

The wave seemed to go for ages an…

Dear & Yonder

Frustrated at my apparent inability to actually commit words to paper this morning, I went and looked for some inspiration at my some of my favourite blogs including one where I found this film poster (thanks!)...

Click the poster for a link to the trailer

Although perhaps a little cliche (water-colours, slow-motion shots, giggling), the surfing looks like its rad and this film looks pretty interesting. While seemingly full of the usual suspects, their blurb seems to point to exploring women who aren't professional or already well-known, which is exciting I think. Although they are amazing, I do get sick of seeing the same women surfers all the time, so it's good to see new surfers, styles and stories about women. Although there seem to be a growing number of examples coming out of the USA, these kinds of films are sadly lacking here in Australia!

I want to see it!

So now, instead of finding inspiration to write, I have simply found a reason to wish I was living in New York at the…

Music to glower to

Whenever I'm pissed off/have a seething rage/slightly cranky and find myself in need of a good 'angry' song, I always find that a Johnny Cash* moment does the trick...

And The Horrors aren't too bad for it either...

*Yes friends. I know it's a Depeche Mode song. But this version is so much better!

One surf

SeagullsTerns2 x Brahminy Kites (aka Red-backed Sea Eagles and the logo for my old hockey club) 3 x pelicans (all flying together) lots of fish a pod of dolphins feeding under my feeta shark (apparently) a Humpback whale (breathing not breaching)bush turkeys sunshine

The time that 1980 got it so so right!

Please, try and describe something to me that is better than the heady combination of Olivia Newton-John, ELO (that's Electric Light Orchestra to the uninitiated), rollerskating, gold shoes and jumpsuits.

"Xanadu! Your neon lights will shine for you, Xanadu!

Xanadu indeed!

Although she could probably stand to lose that fluffy-haired guy.

(Is it Friday yet?)

Gerry Wedd has an exhibition!!

If you are lucky enough to live in Sydney at the moment, then you might like to take the time to get on down to the Legge Gallery in Redfern and check out the Gerry Wedd exhibition on there. But it only runs til the 25th July so hurry!!

That's what I'd be doing anyway!!

I've written about him and his work before and I am a fan and I can assure you that if you go, you won't be disappointed!

And if you do go, can you please lust over it all on my behalf as well. Thanks.

P.S. And buy me something pretty while you're there..?!

Dear 1989, what were you thinking?

Yes. Yes I did go and find this clip today.

You only have to watch it to the 1.30 mark, but dear lord is it worth it!

(Cringe factor? One billion!!)

Some days it pays to have a good sense of humour...

This morning I paddled out at Wategos - it was small, but it was a spectacularly sunny winter day and every so often a nice set would come through that made the whole exercise worth it.

So after some conversation and consultation with the old mal crew on the beach, I went out...

I got a few waves and it was nothing special, but it was fine. I was just cruising and enjoying the day, blah, blah, blah. The old guys would paddle past me and take waves, but whatever, it was fine.

Then a nice set came through. I decided they could kiss my arse and I was getting me some of that. There was a guy behind me, but he'd just come back out and he knew it was my wave so he backed off a bit. I turned and paddled harder and just as I felt the wave catch me, I also felt a "helping hand" on my foot, giving me a push into the wave.


I mean seriously. How many dude-stra…