Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas and Bon Voyage

I'm writing from my cousin's pc in Nelson Bay (where my photo id here on the right was taken this time last year). My extended family migrates here for Christmas these days and I've just driven the 300km or so to get here. My cousins are night-owls like myself, and at 2.30am they're both up and about, as normal. I always feel right at home here. The Frenchman has gone back to France for Christmas, so we're spending it apart for the first time in years, and while he was still on his delayed flight home I was already missing him. Sad isn't it!?

Anyhow, tomorrow night after the festivities here, rather than stay a few days here in paradise I'm headed back home and thence to the airport because on Dec 26th both the Frenchman and I head to South Africa, from very different continents. I've been warned of mugging and personal theft/assault and I'm trying to mentally prepare for losing my cameras, phone, and the rest of my looks. I haven't backed up my phone contacts as the bloody pc connection thingie won't work for me, again, so if this is the last you hear of me - you know why. (That or I just decided that I didn't like you any more, and have made this post as an elaborate excuse).

I'm going to have a hard think about my plans for 2008 over my time away and the real value of continuing Superchilled (which I will update regardless, pending physical incapacity).

Help with my decision making by answering the final poll for this year...
Should Superchilled Stay, or Should it Go?

Regardless, I do wish you all a Fantastic Christmas & New Year. It's been a pleasure to have you on board. Thanks for persevering with me, my posts and my 12 Days of Christmas which is now so big it takes almost until 2008 to load.
X
Trevor.

Monday, 24 December 2007

The 12 Days of Christmas : Day 12

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Twelve Swimmers Swimming
Eleven Chefs a-Cooking
Ten Goat Herds Bleating
Nine Jet Planes Flying
Eight Models Showing
Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

If you'd like to send a gift of goats or alpacas or wells, or the like to people who really need them, go to this World Vision site for details. Give a gift that won't go to E-bay...

Sunday, 23 December 2007

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 11

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Eleven Chefs a-Cooking
Ten Goat Herds Bleating
Nine Jet Planes Flying
Eight Models Showing
Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 10

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Ten Goat Herds Bleating
Nine Jet Planes Flying
Eight Models Showing
Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.
If you'd like to send a gift of goats or alpacas or wells, or the like to people who really need them, go to this World Vision site for details. Give a gift that won't go to E-bay...

intoxicant intolerant

I go to the cinema and see these fantastic ads for beer, wine, and spirits, and while they're spectacular, there is never any drive for me to have or hold one of these magnificent glass vessels. Similarly the sensational ads for coffee have me looking around for signs of when the movie might start. People talk of coffee as their must have in the mornings: "Don't even talk to me before I've had my 2nd espresso" they say. It's an experience I'm familiar with, but from the sense of me saying "Here, you need this," as I hand The Frenchman his coffee of a Saturday morning. I don't even drink tea.

I'm the person people end up apologising to and explaining away their drinking patterns when I say no thanks to their offers of all of the above. The one who people try to get to drink more at parties both to see what might happen to me and to feel better about their own drinking habits. I'm the designated driver, always. The social outcast who isn't. I go to dance parties from time to time, but while others see elephants on my shoulders and stare at the lighting effects like it's a whole new world out there, I'm having a great time laughing at them, enjoying the music and feeling fine the next day.

I guess it started with a family who had no alcohol apart from gifts my dad got at Christmas which sat forever in the disused downstairs bar that came with the house. They refrigerated vintage red wine before serving, and mostly used it for cooking. Coffee they drank (and still do) in bucket loads "a mugaccino please" orders my dad, but I never caught that bug. So while I enjoy the smell of freshly ground coffee, that's where the romance ends. My siblings have moved into normality and indulge in all those beverages I decline. From time to time I'll drink a little alcohol to see if I enjoy it much, but rarely do. I've been wine tasting in all parts of the world, and can identify the style of wine and region where its produced reasonably well, but more than half a glass - and I'm giving it away. A whole glass? Under duress!

Of the 4 times I recall drinking beer, 2 of them were from decidedly gorgeous men who thrust them in my hand. But on none of those occasions did I make it beyond the first serve (of the beer).

While it is a little socially estranging these (lack of) habits of mine. I'm managing to cope. Though I do think it does limit my social invitations from time to time. I'll keep buying the wine beer & spirits for events we have and inviting people out for 'coffee' and 'drinks'; just don't expect to see me actually drinking much of the stuff any time soon.

Friday, 21 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 9

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Nine Jet Planes Flying
Eight Models Showing
Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas Gay

Last Sunday we had our annual "Christmas Gay" where some of our gay friends come for a relaxed lunch and afternoon - (and for some dinner as well) . It's a no-gift event and more of an escape from the traditional Christmas than a celebration of it. We usually head to the beach at some point in the afternoon for a swim en masse, but this year the rain kept us indoors eating and chatting - at length, which was loads of fun and a great annual tradition. I decided against taking photos this year as I didn't want people to be worried about the threat of being "blogged" and sometimes keeping the camera at bay makes an event a lilttle more special - dont' ask my how or why, it just does. The fact that everyone brings an item of food to add to the menu makes it a lot more fun both for the variety of food, and the fact that we have more time to spend actually interacting with people and not all the time in the kitchen (where it seems everyone else wants to be anyway!). Thanks everyone for helping create a great afternoon, evening & night. Same time next year!

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Eight Models Showing
Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Seven ipods playing
Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Wild End-of-Year Wednesday

With Christmas upon us, and the New Year just a step away, it's time for the ultimate wild wednesday. Do the unexpected. Surprise yourself, and do something that scares you. It could be telling someone you love them, it could be going to that gay bar you've always been too scared to, telling your parents you're gay, eating carbs after 7pm, getting naked on a beach, contacting a friend you've lost touch with, doing something special for someone who's been nice to you all year but who least expects it, buying a one way ticket to somewhere else... there are no bounds.
It's been fun being wild with you this year. I hope you've managed to get into the wild wednesday spirit at some point through the year. If not - here's your final chance. If it all goes pear shaped, there's always next year...
End 2007 with a BANG.
Surprise everyone.

Surfer Man

Now this isn't the guy I saw at the beach today - this guy isn't as cute, but he's close. I was walking Norten, who seemed oblivious to my instant infatuation when he appeared in my world. There's something about tall blonde surfer men, with muscle definition everywhere, that takes my mind away from everything else. He had with him two other guys who, on a normal day, would be equally distracting. They left wrestling together, packed in the front bench seat of their ute. Damn it - I'm going to dust off the surfboard and spend more time out in the surf. I might even catch a wave or two.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The 12 days of christmas: Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Six Men a-Singing
Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Monday, 17 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Five Original Songs
Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Four Swimming Pools
Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

Zap # 3

I've posted him here before - but here's the 3rd of Michael Chilelli's ZAP series - because they're good. You can see them all live here at his youtube page.

3min 56sec

Saturday, 15 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 3

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Three French Men
Two Purple Bugs
and a Model with a Peace Prize.

London Preppy in Oz?

London Preppy is selling himself, or at least an old photo of he and his boyfriend, and Superdrewby wants to bring him to Australia - 'for promotional purposes' - and for FREE. (Read: to deface our public spaces in the name of commercialism - see artist impression above).
We've had enough things sent to Sydney Harbour from the UK that they didn't want any more, it's time to end it all, one queen already is too much!

The photo deserves a good home - a shrine built to honor the deep committment of two men to muscle definition, and a serve of love along the way, (I might be able to find a spot) but don't let it be Our Opera House, Our Harbour Bridge, or Our Kylie (?) . Go to London Preppy's blog and suggest better places for him to stick it.

Surf's Up

It was a spectacular day at the beach Friday. Sunny, warm, awesome surf; it reminded me of why I like summer so much... all the gorgeous men come out of the woodwork. I had a quiet work day - with people to see who lived near this particular part of the coast. So this is where I had lunch. Surfer's galore. Sweet as.

Friday, 14 December 2007

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
2 Purple Bugs


and a model with a peace prize.

Jingle Bells or Jingle Hell?

In the middle of summer we have jolly men sweating in Red Suits chuckling 'ha ha ha' because it's now considered politically incorrect to say 'ho ho ho' for fear children might think they're being called prostitutes. There is tinsel strewn all about and fake frost sprayed onto windows because Christmas is supposed to be wintry, yet we're all in shorts and t-shirts. We're buying gifts for people we see once a year and have no idea what they really want. The religious Christians of us are preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ, but many of our 'gay families' have left religion completely because it's not tolerant of us, or we've simply moved on. The obligatory time with family can be stressful because of family rifts and intolerance, and isolation from family can mean loneliness and sadness.

It's no wonder that a lot of people are hating Christmas.

But I quite like it. I like buying things for friends and family, trying to find something that they'd like, even though I know it's hit or miss. I like spending time eating great food in copious amounts (though I'm much better now at limiting that quantity- it's taken me years), and spending time with family I may not have seen for some time - but have missed. I like the fact that it's summer and we have a few days free to just chill out in the long warm days and not think about anything other than chilling out and spending time, although this year I'll be travelling hundreds of kilometres just for said celebrations and escaping thousands of km afterwards for summer in another world. But it's something about the tradition of it all, of seeing family all together that is fun and homely and even a little nostalgic.

I'd happily forgo the whole commercial slant of it - remove the gift giving and the religious side of things and just use it as time to reconnect and spend time. But without those specific events, we'd probably eventually lose that family time & connection. For some that would be a godsend... For me; I'd be a little sad.

Do you love or hate Christmas? Or is it a mutually tolerated thing?
Feel free to Comment or Take the poll.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The 12 days of Christmas: Day 1

You need to sing this (at least in your head) to the music of the same name.
Officially The 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day, but who wants a climax on January 5th? So here we go...

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
A model with a peace prize.

okay yeah, I know it isn't Shakespeare but work with me on this one... there are 11 more days to redeem myself...

The 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas ....

COMING SOON

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Wild Wednesday


Embrace the ice

Expose yourself to the elements and be a Wild Wednesday Enthusiast today. You might be in an extreme winter or a heatwave summer and if so you have the best chance to get into it - and enjoy the chill or burn, if just for a while - test your endurance (not your life expectancy). Walk in the rain - without an umbrella - sweat it out in the heat, roll in the snow, sail in a storm... if the weather is mild, you might need to be a bit more creative - find a sauna, perhaps do that hot yoga class I recommended here, have drinks at an ice bar - but don't wear the winter woollies they provide. It's all about going beyond your comfort zone. Find your zone, and then take a step outside.

Monday, 10 December 2007

The Perfect Weekend?

Utterly sensational, the weekend just gone.
The festive season brings with it the usual parties and gatherings of course, but above and beyond all that this weekend was some great connection with some great people. Sometimes when I least expected it.

The inimitable Sam returned home from Sudan, and while he looked somewhat waif-like in his "don't feed the models" t-shirt, he ate well and told us stories of great adventures, Jaclyn being probably the most significant one. (If you're reading this J, it's time to say g'day/ hi howareya... or whatever it is you Americans say. I know what you look like now... so there's no escape.)
Ain't love grand!

Colin introduced us to a brand new puppy who gnawed us just a little, then took us on a backstreet tour to Bondi, where we wandered upon a collection of men so buff they bounced.

With Jon & Gordon we discovered how early cafes close on Saturdays in Sydney, and wondered where the international city we thought we had really existed. Jon then joined us for a perfect swim at the Boy Charlton pool. All in all a most excellent afternoon in the setting sun.

Sunday started delightfully hot, even before the sun rose. We spent time with my folks (and some family friends) in their new apartment, now so funky we're kicking them out to hold all our parties there! They have the most kick arse sound / video system, stunning views and a constant sea breeze that makes you feel like you're floating on the ocean - I can visualise things we could do there they haven't ever imagined.

Closer to home we had the yearly street party chez our good friends Sean & Philip. Their newly renovated beach house, also seemingly floating on the ocean, was the perfect venue for a summer evening. (Thanks guys - you're both stars!) Apart from catching up with friends, locals, and a few newbies, what stood out for me was probably the very easy intermingling of the heavily mixed crowd. Sexuality wasn't an issue and life experience was fluid. Being a local doctor here it was very satisfying to have people, including the local surfer lads, say that they really appreciate me being their GP. It's nice to feel wanted, and for my being gay to not be an issue. But above all - it was a load of fun.

The Perfect weekend?
Pretty damn close.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Zap

I was over at Just Beautiful Men, and found this impressive youtube video by a budding filmmaker which I thought I'd share. I watched the 2nd installment as well.. you can find it, and more, at his youtube page .



ZAP #1 - 4min 51sec
Update: His name is Matthew Chilelli, and he is now linked under 'blogs to watch' here. With both his general work and the continuation of this ZAP series.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Opportunity Awaits

Sexy, hot, gorgeous...

Sex sells, there's no doubting it. But does it really satisfy? Or is it fast food on our way to somewhere else?

At the gym today, despite self imposed exile under my headphones, I overheard some of the god-like men conversing. It was an unfortunate event. One tends to associate great things with those whose looks are cover material, but today; as is all too often, the converse was true. The depth of their godliness ended with their musculo-skeletal systems. I'll never see them the same again, the mighty have fallen in these eyes. But am I unreasonable in wanting more of my model men?

We do have a culture that enshrines six packed, bronzed masculinity. And I have posted more than enough photos of same here to show I'm certainly embedded in this culture. But I need more than that. A leading man without a leading brain falls off the mark, a leading man with brain and brawn is most excellent, but higher still is someone who has managed to use all of these things to make a better world of ours. Scientifically, in humanitarian quests, formidable business success with social responsibility... I think it's time we started looking to success in more ways than solely physical and financial.

Can anyone think of people who have managed success in all these areas? People who are still likable and down to earth? Who take care of themselves, and the world around them? I want names!!

I see great opportunities to make a difference in this world. We have everything at our fingertips quite literally. Is there anything you can't make happen from where you're sitting right now? But what do we actually choose to make happen? And what opportunities do we let slip by? Do we want to purely entertain ourselves, or do we want to make a better world?

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Summer Storm

An intense start to the working week sees me taking a break Tuesday afternoon and I walk in to the beach to chill out in the summer warmth. As I'm walking in there are cracks of thunder overhead but it's still hot and sunny, and from the cliff top I see a rain cloud hovering over a perfectly blue ocean. I wish I had my camera for this because it's spectacular, but instead imprint it in my mind. I keep walking, the rain seems quite localised and I can cope with a passing shower. I get to the beach and the water is vibrant - it's like a photoshopped postcard. Blue-green waves fringed with white froth and a sky of various shades of blue with prominent white and grey clouds. There's a very cute guy (who preceded me on the path) and a handful of others scattered over this postcard and I'm glad now that I pushed past the thunder. I deposit my backpack, towel, and most of my clothes in the shade and wander the beach, contemplating a swim and enjoying the scenery.

Right when I think things just can't get better, I feel spot of rain, and another, and then someone opens the trapdoor and all the water falls out of the sky. Instantly drenching. It's suddenly dark, there's even hail, the cute guy has bolted and I see no one else on the beach. I cover my head in case the hail gets bigger, which it doesn't, and I rush to my gear which is already saturated by the time I get there. I've turned off my mobile on the way because my shorts are already wet, and soon it will be too, and throw it into a seemingly dry section of the bag. I stuff everything I have under a rock and a bush and try to form some kind of water management plan which seems futile anyway in this rain. I leave my shorts too and stand there naked in the rain. The ocean has a matte finish from the rain and the clouds make it feel inviting and cosy, like the summer lake we used to camp at as a kid. So I decide it's time for a swim, there's nothing better than swimming naked in the rain anyway is there? And there isn't. As I swim I see this guy standing naked back from the beach, bulging out from under an umbrella. It seems absurd. I laugh and dive back into the water. I feel like a kid again and dolphin dive around in the waves watching the huge drops of water rising out from where others have fallen.

Eventually I get out, and it's still raining. I stand on a rock overlooking the beach looking back at the waves. It's still warm, spectacular and then it starts to hail - again - I just stand there and laugh uncontrollably. The beach is all mine now and I think it would be the perfect time to be making love here now in this rain, but alas as I have already said I'm alone on the beach - so I just keep laughing - surely that will ensure no one will make it happen anyway. The rain fades and the sun edges out from the clouds. The water is cool on my skin, but the sun is hot, all at once. I retrieve my gear and find my phone dipping in a shallow pool of water within it. I hang my clothes on bushes and rocks and wring out my towel which now weighs a tonne. My backpack contents scattered, I head for the water again - it's now glassy, crystal clear and even more spectacular with waves perfect for bodysurfing, so I oblige.

Eventually I emerge, shivering in the hot sun. I have no idea of the time, and it feels like I'm on summer holiday. Work, what's that?

Notes to self : Always take waterproof camera to the beach. Novels and water don't mix. Consider better backpack. Take The Frenchman (or equivalent) for next beach rainstorm.


Todays Wild Wednesday activity is anything with the theme: naked, wet, stormy and hot.

Monday, 3 December 2007

The Weekend in Pictures

Here are a few photos from the weekend. Brighton Beach with all the colourful sheds and sunset over the ocean a little farther south on the Melbourne Coast.






Sunday, 2 December 2007

Melbourne 1

The Frenchman gets home from a work Christmas party at 1.30am Friday Night - we have to leave home at 6.45am for the airport and he's grey from a very well enjoyed party... We rest well - but way too short and in the morning he's still looking ill and I (unusually) drive us to the airport. Thankfully he is a Qantas Club member and we check in, snack and download The Chaser's War on Everything before I collapse onto the plane and sleep for much of the flight.

Melbourne is sunny and warmish on arrival, and our hire car is upgraded about 4 levels from 2 door runabout to an impressive Toyota Aurion (think family sedan) in which we explore the coast south to Brighton Beach. There a party of brightly painted beach huts iconicise the place and entice me to take loads of photos because one just must. We head to St Kilda and eat our third breakfast in the open air at a funky cafe, vacating our table to celebrity Andrew G and his dad. He's very cute - Andrew, not his dad. So we shop Chapel street for things we don't really need - and manage to find surprisingly little. Is 80's memorabilia today's fashion? I'm not really too keen to wear flouro t-shirts again but they're ubiquitous, and the Frenchman and I argue about how everyone is looking gay - I say they are gay - he say's they're straight but in what they're wearing - I'd be very surprised. So from what I'm lead to believe, straight guys are looking and behaving gayer than gay men these days. It's a pity as I used to like the look of straight guys...

We catch up with our good friend Michelle who takes us to ever fashionable locations where we catch up on bits we've missed since last we were here, and then head deep into the suburbs where Mr & Mr Suburbia have established a little gay haven in an otherwise dessert. A sunset swim with them at the beach closes the day perfectly (it has turned into a very warm one) with dinner at theirs afterwards. The day has been full, I'm going to rest well, still out here in the quietness of this oasis.

Thanks Anon. for your recommendations for here in Melbourne - Tomorrow I'll see if we can check them out.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Melbourne Here We Come

Up up and away.... We're off to Melbourne early Saturday am. Saturday mornings are for sleeping in as far as I'm concerned, but alas we're still headed south at the behest of the Frenchman (and because its been an eternity since we were last there). I guess we can do brunch somewhere in the southern city Saturday. Sunday as well perhaps. Does anyone have any recommended places that do a good breakfast / brunch? We will have a car so we can go anywhere!


Having done absolutely no planning for the weekend I have no idea if anything else special is happening in Melbourne this weekend that we shouldn't miss. We have very little booked, save for dinner Saturday night. A spot of shopping on Chapel street I expect, the Frenchman will seek out a good macchiato or three and we'll need to swim somewhere...

Suggestions are very welcomed for all the above. Any particularly good art / photography exhibitions? Any great new clothes stores? Places rife with gorgeous men? Pools to die for? Coffee havens?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Wild Wednesday in Perspective




Sometimes it's good to take a different perspective, to look at the world from another point of view. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, but always with feeling ;) . Taking someone new to your town on a tour of it can allow you to see it in a new way through their eyes, it may take you to places you rarely go. It certainly has for me over the years. In an argument, taking the opposite side to which you believe and arguing as if it were your own can be liberating. Stopping to photograph something that you'd normally pass by without pause. Taking the point of view of someone who is complaining about something you've done. Sitting in that park you walk past each day, and just watching the world go by for a few minutes, rather than being that world passing by...

The above photograph is taken at the uni pool where I swim - it's taken looking up at the sky through the water, there every time I swim but not a perspective I usually see.

See if you can find a new perspective on things this wild wednesday.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Gym buddy for a day

My good friend, who we'll call The Canadian, arrives this afternoon for a visit while on a break from his work out on the mine fields. We plan to head to the beach, but the rain has other ideas, so instead we head to a place nearby that I've never been to before - he'd found a state park on a map - and so there we head - sure it is raining - but underneath it all we're all waterproof, and it turns out to be a whole lot of fun. The place is empty, as who'd be silly enough to be out in this weather? but we focus on the waterfall signposted at the car park and dodge the puddles on the way. Coming here in the rain is actually a good idea as the waterfall is in full force and even the plants growing around it are being battered in the water flow. We discover hundreds of tadpoles in pools above the falls - one false move and they're gone - but the frogs about seem to have made it through the hazards.

I take The Canadian off to my pool & gym and despite a sense of fatigue he soldiers on and both swims and gyms (though I don't see him in the pool at all as my squad training session is so intense I even forgot to follow the cute ST George / Illawarra League players who have also dived in.) Despite my exhaustion, at gym I have a gym buddy for day - and it's great. I don't feel like I'm stuck in my own world as I move about today, I have someone to chat to, to hassle and do some new abdominal exercises with. I have missed that. We order Vietnamese take away and eat it at home with The Frenchman after which everyone collapses exhausted onto the couch.

A perfect rainy day.

The Race Returns


Update: bonus clue below It's been some months since the last leg of The Race, where you're challenged to identify where the photo I've shot is taken... Here we were in a place which is bitterly cold but stunning. This was taken on the way to a swimming pool which was a whole cultural experience on its own (you can see the building in the distance behind the trees). Steam rooms filled with naked men ( I mean FILLED) some of them not unattractive... but no - not that kind of steam room... And a whole different pool etiquette.

Prizes to the first to identify correctly the location and to the most elaborate story to explain the picture.

The race starts now.

Bonus Clue: It seems this location is a bit tricky - so I'm adding a landmark from this same city below to help...


The Race continues...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Into the Wild - movie review

We saw an advanced screening of the film Into The Wild Sunday night, and it certainly is a movie that makes you think. It's equally insightful as it is visually stunning, and certainly moving. It follows a young man's journey to find himself, and to escape the world of his parents who have caused him much unspoken grief. There are a lot of stars in small roles who certainly pack depth and meaning into a powerful overall film. It will get you thinking - it might even change the way you look at various aspects of life. Highly worth a viewing, it opens this Thursday. Those of you in the States may have already seen it - as it's been out there since September - if not, seek it out. Written and directed by Sean Penn, an increasing force in cinema.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Howard's End

So it seems we have a new Federal Government. Our conservative Prime Minister John Howard looks like he hasn't even made it into the parliament, losing his seat to former television journalist Maxine McKew.

We'll need to get used to "Prime Minister Kevin Rudd". It's a weekend of change in this end of the world. There was ample French Champagne flowing in a house filled with gay men here tonight accompanying the sense that we will have less oppression with this new government. Hopefully it will mean a lot of changes for the better in the future. Only time will tell.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Rainy Saturdays

It's a rainy day here this election Saturday. Perfect.

Things I like about rainy Saturdays:
Sleeping in is guaranteed.
A lazy wake up usually follows.
I'm not in a rush to get out and about - so I'll laze and read and potter about.
I feel good about not going anywhere.
When I do go out to a local cafe or similar I enjoy being closed in with the elements raging outside.
The garden can take care of itself.

These are the exact opposite of a sunny Saturday...

Friday

I'm woken at 3.50am to a fire alarm. I lie in bed, where just a short time ago I fell asleep... to see if it goes off on its own. (There was a false alarm last night here at the hospital, and these things are ALWAYS false alarms). It switches off and I don't hear the next false alarm at 4 something because by then my body doesn't care about fire any more - it just wants sleep. At 7 I hand over to the next doctor and go back to bed - swimming is off - my body still needs sleep, and I'm happy to oblige.

Today's breakfast special at the beach is a mix of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, semi dried tomatoes and fetta cheese all melted into a huge mass on top of some now invisible gourmet toast. Washed down with a banana pineapple strawberry smoothie I feel like I should have swum, but regret nothing. A regular breakfast buddy leaves early and my coach texts from his New Zealand triathlon camp, I think he's missing breakfast at diggies. I read the paper which tells me mixed signals about the election tomorrow, and skim through the October Details magazine which has a lot of style but no discernible substance. A light rain blows onto me from time to time, they worry at the cafe about a cocktail function there that evening.

Finally I get to work and it all goes smoothly. My afternoon swim is just right, but at gym the ipod chooses all the wrong music. Slow when I need upbeat, upbeat when I want slow, and too loud when I need... you get the picture. I might need a new gym buddy soon, or to download something more to the ipod. I decide downloading will be easier. I'm in the change room when I get a call from a friend who can tell I'm somewhere waterproof by the echo, and asks if there's anyone hot there... I think of London Preppy's Gym Tour and realise that I am completely alone in the newly renovated white and stainless steel space. I report same and he's disappointed, as am I, but I manage to cope.

I leave in a burnt tangerine shirt for the first and largest (270 people) of many various work Christmas parties. The Frenchman makes a guest appearance and we get told the following: 1. I thought you two split up? which is news to us. 2. I can't decide who of you two is the cutest. which we're both happy with. 3. We like working with you because you never lose your cool. to which I definitely don't get upset, and finally 4. when asked my age: I thought you were (about ten years) younger. So I feel all my Christmases have come at once and we go home early, happy with that stash of gifts thank you very much. Though we had to return the first one, it just didn't fit.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Federal Election Tomorrow

I've been chatting with some friends this week - and I'm stunned by how many people don't know much about the political happenings in this country at the moment...

The main thing that worries me is that there are a lot of gay guys & girls out there who don't seem to realise that the Greens and Democrats are the only political parties (as far as I can tell) who actively support and fight for gay rights in this country. The Liberal party seems vehemently anti-gay, based on about a thousand things they've done in the past 11 years, not least of which was to force the ACT government to withdraw same sex partnership legislation. The Labor party says it cares - but I'm not really very aware of whether their heart is in it as there has not been a lot of movement from state governments of recent with this, but at least they sound better.

I'm going to go all out and recommend that at least for the upper house (senate) you consider voting green / democrat and then preference who you wish after that, because I'd much rather them have a bigger say in controlling my life than say the Christian democrat or Family First parties, because they'd have us all sent to an island and shot if the real truth were to be told.

Many of you reading this won't be in a position to vote - being foreigners and all, but do feel free to ask your Aussie friends what they're thinking and encourage them to be gay friendly in their voting.

Please feel free to debate any of this here.

Multi-tasking Mania

From the time I was doing my higher school certificate, I learnt to do a thousand things at once. At university, studying medicine, it was just expected that you had to be able to multi-task. 9 exams in 4 days? - sure I can do that. My parents instilled the practice in me, and it seems I've exponentially increased the activity. I'm not sure there aren't many minutes in my day that don't have something planned for them. Even then I'll usually add more things to do in the time I have. Mostly I'll get it done. At work it can be a challenge though to keep up the pace given that people do need time to absorb things; you can't always rush a discussion about a terminal illness for example, but you can make it the most holistic event in a patient's life, and so I try to encompass everything conceivably possible and beneficial into the time I have, at the same time ensuring I'm not rushing them. Its the whole thing of making something complex seem effortless. The busier I am, the more efficient I get, and it seems the easier it is to do the things I want to do. 

It means that at the end of the day - I sleep very well.
And tonight I will sleep very well indeed.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Aboriginal dancing goes Zorba the Greek

A friend sent me this video - and I love it - very unexpected.
3min 14sec

Team Wild Wednesday

This week it's time to get a team together to make it a really wild Wednesday. Your task is to arrange something with a group of people (at least three, yourself included) for either today - or later in the week. It might be a hike, a mountain bike trek, a dance party, an election party (which is what I'm contemplating), a slumber party, a kayaking trip, a dinner, a trip to the beach... you name it - just do it as a team. There are no limits, just arrange it today (which may well be Tuesday for you guys in the Americas). Let me know what you're planning - it should be fun, it may be risque. The wilder the better, it is after all Wild Wednesday. If you're planning something sexual... be sure to be safe.




Today's photo by Justin Monroe Photography

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Interview Panel: Blogging

There has been talk of blogger flux of late and this question asked of the superchilled panel might answer some questions about the art of blogging...

How long have you been blogging and what has been the best thing you’ve gotten out of it?

Aussielicious: About to have my second blogging anniversary. I get some great emails from people saying my blog has helped them. I've also met some amazing people who've become good friends. (Superchilled note: he's just now passed 2 years)

Gay Banker: Since February 2005 and it's been my therapy through difficult times.

London Preppy: About 9 months. Family Guy series 1 in the post.

Single in the City: I started blogging in January 2006 (it was my new year's resolution) and have kept going with over 100,000 hits (a lot for a gay blog without naked pictures). The best thing is the amazing friendships I've made through the blog!

Superchilled: Since March 2007 (though I started a few blogs for friends before this). Some fantastic connection with people I least expected from all kinds of places.

The Green Light at the end of the Dock: I have been blogging about 9 months. Two bests – the fact that it acts as a Diary, I have always wanted to keep one but never have, the second is some of the people I have gotten to know.

What are your experiences / thoughts on blogging?

Monday, 19 November 2007

I'm living with a black man.

I arrive home from work on Saturday and am confronted with this man who seems to have replaced The Frenchman. He looks a lot like him, but is caked in blackness that I am not familiar with. Norten seems a little frightened too. Once he is attacked with a garden hose The Frenchman returns and I discover he has been cleaning the guttering on the house (why he's managed to get this black I don't quite understand, but he seems to be revelling in it, so I make appreciative comments and collapse in a heap on the couch).


A little later in the evening we attend an opening. The hosts are immaculate in their attention to detail and we manage to catch up with a number of friends we have not really spent time with for a while. On to the next late-night social event and we find ourselves with buddies from our Croatia Cruise earlier in the year, some of whom are staying over at ours. More catching up on Sunday is in order and the day is again perfect.
Here we are spotting migrating whales...

A trip to the beach finds me chasing stingrays in the surf, as you will see below and then the late afternoon brings even more interesting people into our world, so we chat ceaselessly into the sunset. I'm just getting into this weekend thing, and it seems it's all over. But I've managed to connect with some fantastic people and life feels not entirely unreasonable.

video
Chasing a stingray

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Friday


I wake up at the hospital and the day is overcast but warm. I have slept 5 hours but feel exhausted and as I plunge into the pool for my morning laps I feel as energetic as a cat fallen off a skyscraper balcony for the 10th time... But I manage to swim up and back a few times and feel more awake by the time I sit down at diggies for breakfast by the beach with my good friend Janet.

While there's not a lot of direct sunlight there is a hell of a lot of sparkle coming from the ring glued to her finger. The cluster of pink and white diamonds announcing She's Engaged!! (Note, I never really take notice of these things and she probably waved it around for hours and had to actually point it out before I noticed it - the classic gay best friend it would seem I am not...). Despite my slow uptake I'm quite thrilled. She's a real catch and why it's taken this long for the straight men in this world to notice I simply don't understand. Finally I've also moved to second place in her mum's books which a whole lot healthier place for me to be. While I'm there not noticing the ring, I am noticing the incredibly hunky guy wandering around dressed just in a towel and surfboard, he has a chest and back to die for and the rest ain't so bad either, so in those few minutes I think we must have been discussing wedding plans - because I don't recall any.

Then I head to work for the day where the most remarkable experience is standing in a hospital room for a palliative care consultation while an entire family piles into the room, surrounding me. There must have been a dozen people entering the small room. Why some of them didn't pass out I'm not sure, but I felt like it myself at one point as I didn't really feel for euthanasia talks right there and then, but such is life, and death. And everyone seemed happy in the end. If you really can in such circumstances.

So after work I head back to the pool and gym. I'm still feeling like that cat in the pool from this morning, so get out early and take my weary body to the gym. I remember to take the ipod which has become my gym buddy and it energises me with a random selection it chooses perfectly. I lose count of how many abdominal exercises I do and feel happy moving about the gym as if in another world, oblivious to everyone around me. Somehow this makes me feel mysterious and interesting, even though right now I'm neither mysterious nor interesting. I'm introduced to a cute guy called 'Hussein' and all I can think of is how I really shouldn't say anything related to his name as it would be inappropriate, but he has the cutest smile and still I have Saddam and Iraq and 'The War on Terror' going through my head and say nothing much because I can't think of anything else right now and I'm so fatigued and it really doesn't matter - this is the gym and I'm being mysterious anyway.

And so on my way home I realise I've left my work shoes at the pool, my head somewhere in the clouds, and tomorrow morning (yes Saturday) I have to work again...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

if this is religion...


Maybe I should rethink... take a look at the new mormon's cute misionsary men calendar!

Sculpture by the Sea

When in Sydney my favourite beach is Tamarama. It's a small beach with a tongue of sand upon which quite a glamorous crowd congregates, but it's the beach itself that is the most spectacular. So The Frenchman and I head there Tuesday afternoon prior to meeting up with our friend Matt who is visiting from London. This time of year it features the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition which winds from here to Bondi beach along the coastal walk (a must do if you're visiting Sydney). I take my camera for a fun exploration of the very creative exhibits. It's the perfect afternoon for it - and when I tire of the sculptures (which I don't) - there's always the sculpted bodies of men who frequent the walk - and the beaches - and they are plentiful also, so it's a full on feast for the eyes. It's a pity you can't touch most of the exhibits because sculpture is such a tactile artform, but regardless of instructions, the penis on a very much larger than life man is touched upon by many a shrieking young girl...
So as we walk about staring at all these beautiful things and enjoying the summery warmth of the evening, we contemplate buying a house just near the beach, because wouldn't this be the perfect environment to have at your doorstep?
Here you'll see some photos of my favourite sculptures - you can, of course, enlarge them by clicking on them.

The glass layers in this are mesmerising - best live.








It really feels like they're going to lift off !


Lots of ways to interpret this one...




This moves with the wind - and in so many axes it's awesome to watch. You'll have to trust me on this.




Revenge of the killer car-eating ants?




The writing's in the sand...?

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Wild Wednesday



Take your mind back to the last time someone did something that you just couldn't possibly see yourself doing (but would like to do). Probably something quite outside the realms of your 'normality'. There are probably tonnes of things that you'd like to have done but have been too shy, too self conscious, or just too scared. Maybe it's speaking up for someone, or for yourself. Complaining to a boss, coworker, colleague or friend. Singing. Tap dancing. Eating Sushi. Asking out that cute guy from the gym (or at the bar). Coming out to your grandparents. Getting Drunk. Staying sober! Holding your boyfriend's hand in public. The possibilities are endless, but uniquely yours.

Today's the day to make just one of these things happen. Step over that line and enter the freedom of Wild Wednesday. See where it can take you. And then step some more...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Interview Panel: Session 4


What have been the happiest and saddest days of your life?

Aussielicious: The two happiest days are the days my niece and nephew were born. The saddest would be stuck in London without my family the day they called to say my grandmother had died in her sleep.

Gay Banker: I remember a night, in the early 1990's. I was falling asleep cuddling boyfriend number 1, and for no particular reason, I suddenly just felt incredibly happy. That was the point in time when I realised for the first time that I'd worked by way through all the gay issues of coming out etc, and had found a lovely guy to spend the rest of my life with :-). And the saddest, was recently when I realised that after all that we've been though, we might end up splitting up :-(.

London Preppy: I don't get sad because I don't let myself do it. I don't get happy cause I can't.

Single in the City: Happiest days are probably when I have been with my loved ones and days when I'm on holidays. Saddest days are when I lost a friend who committed suicide. I have been very lucky in that I have many happy days and very few sad ones!

Superchilled: Happiest would have been when I fell in love with The Frenchman, and realised that the feeling I knew I was waiting for really existed. Life hasn’t been the same since. Saddest… when my grandmother died. She was like a mum for me, had mauve hair, used to sing opera but I'd never heard her sing, was the most giving person - giving much more than she had to give and very good at sussing out people. When she died I put on Gorecki - turned it up loud and cried for hours. I still miss her.

The Green Light at the end of the Dock: It recurs – the happiest is when my sister comes home to visit from the UK, and the saddest the day she leaves. It never gets easier.

What have been your happiest and saddest days??

Monday, 12 November 2007

Mika - Happy Ending



Mika - Happy Ending
3min 47sec
We all like a happy ending... and this song is fantastic played loud : the orchestral sound boosts the emotion (worth buying the album too - very addictive) . I know it's only Monday - but despite the name - it's a great way to start the working week.

Pearl Beach

Pearl Beach Rockpool Views

The Hub

The Views to Palm Beach - Sydney's North
So close - yet so far away...

Our good friend Colin celebrated a birthday this weekend in grand style on the Central Coast in a place called Pearl Beach. A beautiful location and a very relaxed, stressless time. Thanks guys.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Motivation

Wednesday I'm surprised when my friend Ursula calls me at work to ask if I'm going running today, because she wants to run and swim at lunch time. This is despite it having been raining all morning, and she hates running as much as I used to. And so I get there to find she's already started running laps around the oval, in the thankfully light rain. I deliberate over getting my relatively new white running shoes dirty, but figure I'm not a real runner unless I do, and face it, she's already doing laps and I need to catch up. So I slosh my way around the oval one lap more than I had been doing and feel great when I dive into the chilly water (it's been raining and windy for days so the pool's solar heating has not been quite so effective.) I'm also spurred on by the fact that the most gorgeous surf life saver and general all-round sportsman has started training with me at squad training. He's distractingly handsome and an incredibly good swimmer, and I need to up the ante to keep up. So there's greater purpose to my swimming, just keeping up with a god in the pool is enough in my head to make me train harder. But I don't mind the motivation. So when Thursday comes and I'm back at training - he's there, and so are an increasingly gorgeous collection of swimmers - my times are getting faster, and I'm a whole lot more focused.. and distracted, all at once.

I now have dirty shoes, and they're all mine, and my clothes are all starting to get loose on me. I didn't think this would happen - but perhaps that summer 6 pack might arrive in time...
And for those who have been following the trials and tribulations of The Frenchman; Thursday morning he headed to hospital to have his kidney stone lasered and crunched and pulled out of him (remember there is no cut - so you know how they've had to go in...). It was supposed to be day-only surgery - but he's been admitted overnight with persisting pain and another tube internally... Thankfully that gets to come out tomorrow morning - and hopefully he'll be as good as gold - or technically diamond - as he seems to be good at making precious stones... And tonight I'm the doctor on duty here at the hospital, so I'm planning on no emergencies with him involved thank you very much.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Wild Hot Wednesday

It's a cool Wednesday here today, so to hot it up, I'm sending you all off to yoga, Hot Nude Yoga, or Bikram Yoga if you prefer to sweat with your clothes on. It's a fantastic opportunity for a whole new body-mind experience. They're in heated environments so you'll keep warm even if you do nothing at all. I did my first Bikram Yoga class in Melbourne which seems to be a Bikram yoga capital! It was good fun, just prepare to get wet. Locations are linked below.

Hot Nude Yoga: I guess it's exactly what it sounds like...
Sydney has a session Wednesday evenings
New York has a Wednesday Lunch class at 12.30
London has courses you need to register for and seems a little more sexual...

Bikram Yoga - is in a heated room too and you can do a class today at these locations:
Sydney(Darlinghurst) has classes throughout the day
Sydney (Lane Cove) has classes throughout the day
Adelaide has classes in the morning and evening
Melbourne:
(Richmond & Prahran) multiple classes throughout the day
(Elsternwick) this is where I did my first class - again classes throughout the day
London has classes in various locations throughout the day
New York
(Upper West Side, Midtown, Upper East Side, Flatiron) classes all day
(Chelsea, Soho) classes all day

There are more locations - just google your local area for a class near you!
Enjoy.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

She loves you.. she loves you not...?


With gay men being less threatening, more in touch with their emotional side, and let's face it - just so damn attractive, it's hard for any woman to resist. No wonder every straight woman wants a gay best friend. But sometimes their expectations heighten, and the best-friendship is just so good (certainly much better than with most of their potential straight boyfriends) that the attachment becomes more than platonic. But how do you know when this is going to happen to you and your girlfriend/s? Sometimes you'll find there's more than one involved and then it gets downright scary as they compete for you - even though , technically, you're not even in their market. What's more scary is when you have a boyfriend already - and they're shoehorning into his position.

Usually by the time you're aware of it - the problem is way past any prevention strategy.

So what are the tell tale signs?
You get calls, texts and emails from them more than from your boyfriends.
They know more about where you're going and what you're doing than anybody else.
They automatically sit in the front seat if your car when you're also picking up your boyfriend.
Birthday and Christmas gifts are more extravagant than anyone elses.
They don't have any boyfriends any more because "they don't understand me like you do".


How do you avert the clear and present danger?

Hammering the point that you're gay and they're a woman will just make them cry.

Focussing on the fact that they're missing out on sex might work for a man, and some women, so it's worth a try, but don't expect them to stop the wedding plans with just that.

Finding a true potential boyfriend is probably the best thing you can do for them. It will take an army of men, and a selection process that makes getting work at Macquarie Bank look easy, but it will be worth it for both of you in the end. (And think of all the men you might find who just haven't found the right girl because they were looking for someone more like.... you) - though these are NOT the men you should talk about with your dependent girlfriend - or despair may be yours to share.

Have you been in such a relationship? Take the new online poll.

You gotta love 'em - just not too much...



Interview Panel: Session 3



If you had to pick a celebrity for a husband – who would it be?

Aussielicious: Jake Gyllenhall, I don't think an explanation is required. He's hot and seems down to earth.

Gay Banker: Difficult, because I don't do vacuous. But Oscar Wilde or Alan Turing would have been good in their prime, both good homos from my part of the world who definitely weren't vacuous :-).

London Preppy: Josh Lewsey from the England rugby team. I want blonde children

Single in the City: Tough one....I think I'd love to be with Brendan Fraser (the actor). I think he's a hottie, but also seems very smart and with a great sense of humour. The only thing I'd change would be his accent...I'd give him a British one!

Superchilled: I think I'd choose Matt Damon - he's creative, intelligent, not too ugly, and outside the celebrity norm.

The Green Light at the end of the Dock: Rupert Everrett

Who would you choose?

Monday, 5 November 2007

A Taste of Adelaide

We wake up pre-sunrise on Saturday morning - and within a few hours we're here on the map in a place called Hahndorf, south east of Adelaide (South Australia). But we have to get there yet, so let's go back a step.

The alarm goes off and I feel like I've slept minutes - there's some light in the eastern sky so I know it's been perhaps a few hours instead. We collect the prepacked cabin-only bags, pat Norten goodbye and head to the airport. We're given exit row seats without asking and breakfast at the Qantas club has me going back for seconds. The basic theme of the weekend has been clinched - travelling and eating.


It's misty and rainy in Hahndorf as we arrive in our RentaYaris. Half the stores still aren't open, and of the ones that are, half seem to have opened last century and still have the same stock, while the rest have prepared for the drizzly weather with copious amounts of chocolate, cheese, pastries, and home made (yet professionally bottled) jams and relishes... just ready to be sampled.
This is wine country - and with various food stocks already, we explore the landscape for things more fluid...



... and find boundless varieties.




Working up an appetite we stumble on Cafe Lime, which turns out to be an extraordinary find, and a very gourmet meal with drinks is had by us both with change from $35. We feel like we've ripped them off, but they're all smiles as we head back to Adelaide city to catch up with friends.

Encountering a school of baby cars on the way...

Of course, I'm competely exhausted after all this (or was it the sleep deprivation I'm experiencing?) and we check into our hotel and crash for an hour or two. Waking up we head to the roof top pool which is about 20m shorter than it looks in the photos, and after 20 or 30 laps I'm really spinning.
The evening finds us walking to our dinner hosts' home tucked away in the city's north. We'd not been there before, but google maps does the trick and their dogs and grand kids rush to greet us at the gate as we arrive. Instantly we're at home, and what a grand home it is - with exquisite art work that we demand a tour of and find incredible fondness of from all involved in the tour. Dinner has been forgotten at this point, because the conversation and connection is just too much fun, but when we do get back to the dining room - I find truly one of the best meals I've ever had. The main of Salmon with lemon butter sauce and accompaniments is just divine... But I won't go all foodie on you - just think mouthwatering and delicious, and made lovingly by our hosts with whom we chat (with other family present all equally warm and engaging) until it's way past everyone's bedtime. If you can imagine the dinner party in "6 Degrees of Separation" the movie, then you have an idea of the evening. I had a camera in my pocket - but decided this event was beyond pictures.


Sunday we wake late but go to the cafe owned by the son and daughter-in-law we met the previous evening, for a delicious brunch (I told you it was a food weekend) at their Queen St Cafe. It feels kind of Melbourne, and we're very at home there.

Eventually we leave and head to the coast to explore it to the south. It's windy and cool though - so the life savers impress us as they paddle into the surf. We keep warm, and head to McLaren Vale...


whose rolling hills are saturated in grape vines...



...and, loaded with the region's produce, we head back home for the working week.