Saturday, 31 March 2007

Washing Machine Swimming

Just back from another social ocean swim in Austinmer. A southerly wind had blown in and made for some rough swimming - like being in a washing machine really. We were out there around an hour and at times I couldn't see any of the other swimmers for the waves. But it was great, loved it - and the hot breakfast & hot chocolate at the cafe afterwards... ahh heaven. The weekend has started, the sun is shining and I've got blood pumping through my veins.

It's the weekend - time to chill out


There's an image in my head from today that I'm not sure is going to go away for a little while. Lifeless and cool, and gaunt, and young. I'm an onlooker, a person who has life looking at a person who does not. A house filled and surrounded by family and friends in various stages of grief. The driveway packed with cars and bikes, people walking sombrely, sitting quietly, or just not sure where to go or what to do. It was an anticipated death; as cancer death usually is.

While surrounded by death or the prospect of it quite routinely with my work, I'm not frequently there at these moments. Entering as an unknown entity to such a situation is quite an alien experience. Not one I like or would recommend. But the images in my head and the hush of their grief are unforgetable. He was 32.

Life is a fickle thing. A funny and warm and beautiful fickle thing, filled with love if we let it be so.

Friday, 30 March 2007

A Time of Flux

It seems that right now is a time of big change for the people around me. Every day someone is changing job, moving away, starting a new business, having a baby, starting a new relationship, or embarking on a new way of life... New Year's Day is usually the focal point for contemplating change and that often lasts for a few moments, or perhaps days, but for me it has been surrounding me for months. I know life is full of change - as the proverb says - it's one of the only certainties of life... but right now it's all around, and its intense. Sometimes its unsettling as you can't make firm plans because of the uncertainly that accompanies change, and frustration follows. Sometimes you lose the closeness of friends who move away.

But there are positives.

All this flux makes you more aware of the possibilities around that you might not have seen before. People changing around you makes you look at what you might change within your own existence, the things that you could do differently, the paths you could follow that you may have walked past before. It opens you to new things - friends moved leave spaces for new friends or enriched relationships with older friends and family. New lifestyles lead to different time schedules and different interaction with different people. New patterns to your life. It can be hard to break out of the old and enter the new, but the change around me brings change inside me, and that then influences change in people around me.

This blog is perhaps a reaction to change around me. And maybe in some way it will influence change well beyond me.

Can I change the world? I think so, I certainly want to.
How am I going to do that?
I'm not quite sure yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

introducing Sylvain

If we lived in an advanced country this is the man who I'd call my husband. But for now I guess he's the guy who lives in a house we bought together and have lived with for over a decade... Imported from France for this purpose, he also makes a fashionable accessory and is a welcome addition to anyone's home.

when blogs meet

Me, Craig, Norten

Overnight, Craig (of The Patient Man blog fame) came down to stay. Now we met and became good friends way before blogging became a verb but curiously decided to start blogs independently of each other, simultaneously. So we're both building empires together and you'll see a very cool video, that he discovered and I helped post, on his blog right now. After an awesome roast salmon meal (he is a very good guest and cooks for us!!) we strolled down to the beach and took a few photos some of which you're looking at. This also introduces you to Norten, the labrador ('the white wolf' in Craig's blog).

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Superchilled Wednesday

I've been contemplating a new look for work, and I think this just might be it. I mean, there are enough watches to never be late again, a collar to look professional, black and white for the cultured edge, swimwear for the regular lunchtime swim, glasses to create the intelligent look, ear phones to prevent from actually being disturbed... Yep I reckon he's fit to be my next patient.

I'm not sure I'd find anything wrong with him, but there's no harm trying.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Surf's up 2

The promised photos. Not sure they quite sum up the awesome afternoon, but they'll do.

I took some photos of my other half today down at the beach too - anyone want to see him? If I get enough interest (and he objects weakly enough) then I'll post him too!

Surf's Up

A few pics from Coalcliff this afternoon. More to follow a little later...

What's YOUR favourite backyard sport?

I've never really been one for skateboarding... but I wonder if I could find the right 'board' for surfing?
I stumbled across this at L'HOMME EST UN CONCEPT which is notable for some pleasant imagery of a whole different kind, (there is stuff to read too, if you understand French).

music video of the day

David Guetta Vs The Egg: Love Don't Let Me Go

Ready to Retire?

"Last week America’s first low cost housing development aimed specifically for gay, lesbian and transgender retirees opened in Hollywood..."

click here for more

Monday, 26 March 2007


Is corporate life taking over your world?

If you have a work owned mobile phone, blackberry or notebook computer - chances are work isn't just a 9 to 5 thing. Increasingly work is becoming more flexible, we're working more and more from home, from the train, from the cafe around the corner... Some of this is good - I mean - you can be at the beach and be at work... but at the same time it can mean that even when you don't WANT to be at work - you're at work... parties, dinners, hot dates... And while the corporate world tries to put a homely, friendly spin on all this flexibility - they're engineering more and more profitability and less and less long term commitment to their staff... "I'm afraid for corporate reasons you're no longer compatible with our values and systems, it's been great having you, we love your work and you've made us bazillions of bucks, but goodbye and here's the minimum we have to legally pay you (thank you Mr Howard), good luck. Brutus will escort you to the door, your phone, car, notebook, lifestyle and keys please?"

When will corporations recognise the value of their employees and make a real commitment to staff ahead of shareholders? Sure, some staff need shaping up or shipping out, but why is the commitment to greed and not human endeavour and progress? Surely profitability will improve when staff actually feel empowered and enjoy their working environment? Find me a company that cares - and doesn't need a spin doctoring consultancy to tell them how to look like they do it - and let's support it, help it to grow and replicate it to make a real difference in the world.

Sunday, 25 March 2007


What is it that makes us hold back from doing the things we most want to do? From taking the plunge into the ocean blue?
It might be as simple as this guy's reluctance to de-brief on the nude beach, to leaving or initiating a relationship, to starting up a business... What are the things that stop us from taking these big steps? We are constantly fearing failure, fearing the unknown, the possibilities that might not work because something went wrong - or the embarassment that might result if it doesn't go quite to plan. A lot of people I know lack the confidence to make the first step - but in reality they have more than enough reason to be confident in themselves and in their plans and ideas.

Sometimes reality can be harsh and one or two set backs will undoubtedly make one more prone to longer contemplation in future. But I think I'd rather see people who tried and failed (or quite likely succeeded) than those who didn't try at all. Sometimes you need to go out on a limb and see what happens. Sometimes when it all seems too daunting, and the setbacks seem harder to take than the benefits of persevering, we need to 'phone a friend' or use that 'lifeline', but too often we are scared to do even that.

The guy in the shorts did eventually take the plunge.
Perhaps we should all do one thing each day that scares us...
It will at least make for some great stories.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

The weekend is here

Up this morning for the promised swim at Austinmer - one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast. Water was clear and a great temperature, with 7 of us swimming north to the beach above Headlands Hotel and back. Saw 3 bullrays along the way - like giant shadows below... and thousands of fish. A washing machine like section around the headland didn't quite make me seasick - but made me wonder what it must be like, calmer waters either side of it though. Finally breakfast at AustiBeach Cafe, and the weekend is in full swing.

Don't forget to vote!


I now have my email linked in here - it's and is also in my profile.

I'm wondering what I might find in my inbox next time I check... (pictures of the cutest city are welcomed - ideally including evidence; it is the weekend). I think it is time to update the profile too... but what to include? hmmm...

Some guys are going for a social ocean swim this morning and I think I might just go - Austinmer Beach and around the point - sounds perfect.

Friday, 23 March 2007

The World's Cutest City - a poll

Where is the world's cutest city?

I was chatting with a work colleague today who was travelling to Cornwall just because her travel companion was a keen viewer of a TV show based there... and it made me think, why do we go to some of the places we go? And if we had more insight - might it change our travel plans?

Cities should have a cuteness rating, that is, for the cuteness of the men in those cities, to enable we discerning travellers to best plot out travel itineraries...

In my travels the most highly rated cities are Berlin and Gothenburg ( a narrow margin but Berlin is currently on top) based purely on aesthetics (although positive interactions socially with the Swedes do give them a slight edge). It might be to do with the tall nordic/northern germanic good looks and outdoorsedness which I am rather partial to... But I know it makes me want to go back for more! Conversely, Bucharest is at the other end of the scale, and there isn't a whole lot else about it to draw me back there either.

The german contingent

There are a lot of cities out there.
Where is YOUR cutest city?

Thursday, 22 March 2007

A Coastal Life

Swimming in the national park this morning before work sans speedos in a crystal clear surf... is my idea of heaven. The view under the water was kinda like in this photo.

Ahh the life aquatic...

the power of the night

The world is divided into 2 kinds of people - late night and early morning people. I'm a late night guy, always have been, always will be. As a young lad I'd stay in the living room staring into the late night contemplating life the universe, and how George Michael must also be gay while listening to his Cowboys & Angels, or Waiting in the small hours. These days I find myself reading, writing, communicating, designing, creating all manner of things (like this animated eye), educating myself and sometimes others deep into the night. It's a powerful time allowing me to develop a greater perspective on things, to accomplish things I want to get done and to chat with like minded late night msn'ers from time to time. Morning people, as a rule, don't quite get late night people. I've often been considered lazy for a perceived slothfulness, though the opposite tends to be true with me sleeping a lot less than most early morning counterparts. The late and the early don't quite see eye to eye... I do enjoy early mornings - although I'm more likely to see them from the other end...
Are you an early bird or a late nighter?

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Jay Brannan

Those of you who have seen the movie Shortbus (which I highly recommend) will recognise Jay from it. He sings in the movie once or twice and he's great. We have conversed briefly by email and he's really sweet and its worth having a listen to his music. For more, click here: Jay Brennan

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Painfully Beautiful

I'm not a big fan of bluebottles. I don't know who is. I was seconds from diving in for the North Bondi Ocean Classic swim when it was called off, and hundreds of earlier wave swimmers returned home casualities of the blue bottle plague blown into the bay... But look at them up close and they can be incredibly beautiful. Painfully beautiful. Curious how some of the most beautiful things - are also the least friendly...

self portrait

Taking Control... the one usually on the other side of the lens.

What can a thousand words say that a picture won't?
I'm not sure I have a particular niche - I like to move between them - I work as a doctor but that doesn't define me - I enjoy people and helping people make sense of their worlds, or sometimes to just make it through the day whether it be their first or last, or somewhere in between. I swim, it's almost a religion for me, but don't tell my folks I think they'd still like me back in church... a pool, lake or ocean wins hands down, any day. I have a partner - he's originally French - but now is Australian as well. It's been over 11 years since my mum first introduced us - but that's a whole nother story... I can spend hours on things graphic and aesthetic - although am completely self taught; websites, flash animations, photographs all kinds of things. I've put friends through hell making short films , creating photo essays, and all kinds of adventures straining their creative envelopes. I guess I like to see people reach their full potential and to try to seek mine as well. One day I'd like to write a feature screenplay that changes the way the world thinks. I love interaction - and encourage it heartily.
Life is too short to wonder 'what if...?'
Have something to say?
Please, type away.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Stanwell Park Ocean Swim

The Coalcliff to Stanwell Park ocean swim was on this weekend - most of the world doesn't know where that is but it's on my doorstep, and so at 10am on this overcast Sunday the Frenchman and myself headed out into the wild blue with 276 others hot on our heels for the next 2.3km... I let 11 or 12 slip through but managed a respectable finish in front of a home crowd. We hung about home the rest of the day and here is a pic from a later walk back to the beach with Craig. I love rust, throw it together with the ocean and I will photograph for hours... makes for tricky showering here in Coalcliff after a swim though.
(Sorry there are no pics of the actual swim - I was in competition mode - but it essentially goes from the far left to far right of this photo)

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Hitting the beach...

What's the first thing you look for when you go to the beach? The surf? The Men? The surf life savers? The women? The sun / shade? The wind? A busy or quiet spot? ...
This pic was taken in Byron Bay last weekend... Surf, Men and Shade were my top three then... Or maybe Waves were 2nd...

Friday, 16 March 2007

Are YOU cool enough?

Why do we strive for conformity? - We buy the brands that 'celebrities' buy, watch the tv shows everyone watches, go on holidays to the places that are popular... I guess if people look good in what they're wearing or driving or holidaying... then we think we might also look good - and become as popular or glamorous... I find increasingly the most attractive people are the ones who find their own way - defy the crowds - wear things a little different - do things that aren't exactly commonly done, but it works for them - and they are more interesting and appealing.

Are you cool enough?

Chances are if you don't really know or don't really care - then you probably are.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

inaugural post

The start of my own personal blog... under construction both physically and in my head... There will be photographs of mine like this one, some of cute guys that unfortunately mostly won't be mine... and discussion on a wide range of issues...
watch this space.