Friday, September 28, 2012

Song for a Friday

1. It's impossible to feel sad while listening to Nat King Cole chirpily sing about love.

2. In my experience, this tune is best served with champagne.





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To do list

Since I found out about it a few years ago, the World Bellyboard Championships have been high on my 'to do' list. The whole event looks like so much fun, and, for me anyway, really captures all the things I love about surfing - being in the ocean, catching waves, spending time with people, having fun and not taking yourself too seriously.


And now that I have been in touch with the lovely Sue (that's her riding the wave in the picture above), I'm even more excited to (eventually) get there. Check out the bellyboards she made for the event!


Aren't they fun! Sue's so clever with her designs - from what I can see she really captures the Cornish spirit of the event! This design reminds me so much of my summer living in Mawgan Porth, a village a little farther north from where this event takes place. I ate many, many clotted cream teas (which are entirely delicious) and got terribly (and happily) fat from doing so!


You can see a heap more images here at Swellchaser!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'The Heart and The Sea': A review before viewing

If you read any surf blogs then you have probably already seen this clip for Nathan Oldfield's new film, The Heart and The Sea. It's everywhere! But, well, what do you do? Because I can't deny that this film looks lovely.

The Heart & The Sea: Official Trailer from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.

A while ago I was talking about music with a friend who described the tunes we were listening to as 'insincere'. He explained that his cynicism for any tune (or film, or etc) is always tempered by sincerity. Like, if he feels that the sentiment of the piece is 'sincere' and true to the person making it, then that cuts through any kind of uncertainty for them. And no matter how good a tune is, if he feels that the musician is trading on a fad or trying too hard to fit an image, that insincerity ruins it for him. And he doesn't just mean that they like it. He means that they believe what they are saying, rather than they are trying to fit into some idea or sell you an image.

I'm pretty much the same.

I've admitted before that I can be a bit of a cynic, and that I find it hard to approach new films (etc) with a completely open heart. And I don't deny that is a failing I should work on. But, like my friend, no matter the subject matter, no matter the film-maker, if I feel there is a sincere connection to the topic and the way they have gone about it, I can be swayed to see value of the film even when I don't agree.

With Nathan Oldfield, I've always felt that there is sincerity. He isn't trying to sell an idea or an image, but is showing us a space and time and approach to life that connects with him. And I say this to recognise that Oldfield's films fit into a certain space in the odd world of 'surfing culture', where there are a number of films that are trying to sell us something, to convince us of something, to convince us of who they want to be. And I don't really get into films like that. They might be pretty, or clever, or fun, or have great surfing and show interesting landscapes, and that's fine, that's great. But with films like that, I never quite feel the weight of their message, nor that they even really have one. And while not every film or artwork needs to be profound or tell a story or carry a message, I just prefer it when they do. For me, the message of a film doesn't have to be big or earth-shattering. Mostly these tales are simple, like, 'don't be an arsehole', or 'be kind to your family', or 'try and think about how you treat the world around you', but simple often connects with us on a personal and everyday level. And this kind of connection - personal, everyday - makes them strong and effective. And sincere.

Look, obviously, I haven't seen this film, but I will. And I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bathing Beauties

Yesterday I got home to a package all the way from Cornwall! It was a print from Sue, who has the blog, Studio Window. Sue makes great art and prints, that reflect some of the rich beach and surfing culture in her gorgeous part of the world. Her work is really lovely and I've admired it for a while now.

My package contained a print from a wood engraving that she made (if you scroll back through her blog you can check out the process of her making it, as well as a clearer image of the print).


The next thing I would like is to get one of the bellyboards that she beautifies! Maybe when I'm over that way next...

Thanks you so very much, Sue. I'm stoked!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Things the light does

When I have time I love going through the rabbit hole of following hyperlinks on blogs. It's fun and I always come across a heap of new sites that get instantly linked into my reader. crying never solved a damn thing is one of those finds that I can't even remember how or when I stumbled across, but which has become a bit of a favourite.

Checking it today, this image really looks like a lazy Saturday when you wander on the beach, catch a few lazy waves and have time to look at the details.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Cedric Nunn

Oh! And I lifted this great photo by Cedric Nunn from the Otelo Burning Facebook page.


I love this photo. It's basically everything I like about surfing - being in the ocean, catching waves however I want, being with friends and having fun. It's the best surfing image I've seen in ages.

Cedric Nunn sounds like a pretty cool guy who is talented and has interesting ideas. You should definitely check out his website.
'I am committed through my photographs, to contributing to societal change that will leave a positive legacy for the children of Africa'.
Born in 1957 in Nongoma, KwaZulu, and raised in Hluhluwe, Mangete and Baynesfield. I began photography in Durban in the early eighties, my initial impetus being to document the realities of apartheid that I thought were being ignored by the mainstream media.

Otelo Burning

So, I just heard about this film, Otelo Burning, today;



From the Otelo Burning website:

Shot in Durban and directed by Sara Blecher (Surfing Soweto), the film tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing. It's set in 1989, against a backdrop of brewing conflict between two political groups in Lamontville.
When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it's clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa.
I'm one of those terrible people who is sceptical about anything that makes grand claims in terms of 'surfing is freedom' or 'surfing for peace', but considering the historical and political context of this story, it could be really interesting and meaningful. While I find it irritating when it's a 'kid from the wrong side of the tracks come good in suburban/working class Australia' kind of tale, this story is set in a different time, place, culture and context, so I reckon I need to be a bit more open. The director, Sara Blecher, has made some interesting-looking films and documentaries, so it looks as though the subject matter is in good hands.

Anyway, it's around, so it is probably worth checking out! Do let me know if you happen to see it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

awesummer.

Despite being filmed in north Florida, this fun little film made me oddly homesick. (via, mersea beaucoup)



Or maybe I'm just longing for some summer surf action myself.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

You know you're "an iconic Australian lifestyle" when...

So, the Royal Australian Mint has just collaborated with Surfing Australia to release a commemorative coin in celebration of Surfing Australia's 50th anniversary in 2013.

Surfing Australia is a not-for-profit "National Sporting Organisation that was formed in 1963 to establish, guide and promote the development of surfing in Australia". To clarify, by the development of surfing, they mean the development of the sport of surfing, which is fine, but I think that it's an important distinction, especially since their vision is to "become a mainstream commercially sustainable sport, and to promote surfing as an iconic Australian lifestyle".

From the Royal Australian Mint press release:
The uncirculated coins are each packaged in their own unique surfboard shaped coin holder. The holder features an image of five-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore.

Some things to note:
1. The crappy punctuation in that sentence is the Royal Mint's own.
2. They included a woman on this (what will become an) historical artefact.
3. What a shame this coin won't go into circulation. It's actually pretty fun.
4. "...to promote surfing as an iconic Australian lifestyle." Mission accomplished, Surfing Australia.
5. If you want to buy one, you can get it here.