Monday, 31 March 2008

Sunday March 30

The Red Eye from Perth last Tuesday was just fine thank you very much - Business class on a 747 is pretty nice (even though it's not international business class - more premium economy I guess) it was the crash landing into the new week that was hellish. Arrived to more work than I could possibly deal with, and then a rapidly developing laryngitis which took me right out of the work equation for a day or more, and then so far behind it was like picking up after a war. I still have a husky voice that makes men and women beg for more (and the more I give the less voice I have to give) deep deep down... Darth Vader eat your heart out.

Of course I then went racing today in the ocean blue - the race of all races - the one I've been training for all year right here at my home beach!!... and I'm sick, I'M BLOODY SICK, like I've not had much of an appetite for a few days, nose is digusting - we won't go there, but the muscle aches and pains are gone (or is that the aspirin I took for the headache this morning?) I still have my fitness, but there ain't no extra left for the surge to the beach. Mentally I'm not helped by the coughing along the course - not frequent - but a reminder that I'm not at my peak - even though I do try and ignore the reminder and push on - which I do - to finish a respectable 16th out of 'almost 300'. Can you complain? But I wanted top 10! I wanted to beat everyone in my age group! That run up the beach today felt like I hadn't been running at all, all year! Bloody hell, I deserved a medal just to get to the finishing line!

A cute guy from Tamarama surf club greeted me over a banana at the end - seriously - so I was pleasantly distracted from my aches and pains for a while. Then The Frenchman arrived, much later in the pack than he'd normally like - but he was sick too - so I was relieved that he actually finished (I think he wanted a cute lifesaver to bring him home). His family there to greet him - all the way from France - I don't think anything would stop him competing either.

It was the perfect day today too, warm and sunny with just a light breeze - we had a gathering for lunch at ours' and had the most chilled out day - with spectacular light a great group of people and a great birthday celebration for The Frenchman's dad. A sojourn to the beach here in the afternoon for some playing in the sand with the kids and swimming in the surf, the perfect end to the weekend.

Here we have The Frenchman's mum serving home made birthday cake with Champagne.
See, the light really was awesome!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Easter Long Weekend : Western Australia

Western Australia is right now the place to be, and not just for the gorgeous men. It is very much still summer over there and accordingly our Easter Long Weekend was spent along the coast from Perth to the far south, exploring beaches, wineries and diving right in.

First and second stop was Cottesloe Beach which, while not the best for catching waves, is a beautiful protected beach just south east of Perth. Good Friday it was jam-packed with people, from families having picnics to friends out for some fun in the sun. The water heated to just perfect degrees and painted bright blue we ventured in again and again. Sylvain managed to find a brightly coloured jellyfish, which I proceeded to spend 10 minutes photographing, and we both spotted a similarly beautiful beach bound beauty who looked like an ad for apple ipods… let me just click the home delivery box.

A little later on, something stung me on my last swim for the day - maybe an over photographed jellyfish...

Subiaco fed us dinner, Japanese in a flash, and we headed to the Camelot Outdoor Cinema in Mosman Park to watch Juno under the stars. The warm evening was just perfect for it. I laughed out loud a lot more than once - film and cinema recommended.

Afterwards we went for a late night run around the city and along the swan river. I could have kept running it was so good, but we were due to pick up The Frenchman’s family from the airport at midnight. And so Perth welcomed them in summery style. Our Nephew had cried pretty much all the way from France, so sleep was something they all needed. (and possibly the rest of the plane)

The Ibis hotel was fine for just that but we won’t be going back there any time soon by choice.

Saturday had me taking the girls out shopping as The Frenchman took his Brother and Dad to get their campervans (not as easy as it sounds). With all the logistics sorted we headed back to Cottesloe where the crowd had thinned, yet the day was even more spectacular. We all hit the water and played in the sand, the Frenchies looking especially stark in contrast to the deeply tanned locals. The atmosphere here so good we stayed and had lunch – Italian by the sea.

Convoy in tow we headed south, to Yallingup – great name – better place. The waves are huge, all shades of blue, green and white, and filled with surfers and body boarders who provide more eye candy than is probably safe for human consumption. My sunset swim here was probably the most spectacular in a long time – I watched as these suddenly huge waves crashed over me – with the tubes of water so incredible I was laughing out loud in this crazy surf. Colours, light, movement – I needed my underwater camera – but it was too late – and given how I was dumped by the first wave I caught – probably safer without it.

The weekend continued with exploration of the Margaret River region, wine tasting, late night dinners and chocolate in so many guises.. Easter eggs, brownies, milkshakes, hot chocolate (just heavenly - from a gourmet vendor at the beach after my early morning swims) home made choc chip cookies, chocolate tasting at the chocolate factory… I think I’ve found my limit. We left the Frenchies at Cape Leeuwin as we headed back to Perth for our Red Eye back to reality.

I hope you all managed a great Easter break.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

WA Full Report : Coming Soon

I'm just back from an Easter trip to Western Australia.

Full post to come in the next 24 hours... (I'm playing with the pictures - like this one above) and, quite happily, I have quite a few to choose from. In the meantime you can work on your wild wednesday challenge... (below)

Wild Away Wednesday

Today’s the day to find the perfect weekend escape. Find a cheap flight to nowhere – or to somewhere glam. A beach house, a farm house, a camping spot by a river, lake or beach, trekking in the middle of nowhere… a hotel room in your own city, or one far far away.

Click onto your favourite cheap flights site, your, ozstayz, or trekking guide and find your way out from wherever you are. Book it for this coming weekend, the next one – or sometime in the not too distant future. You might want to do it alone, with a friend or with a whole group, it’s all good, but now is the time to get it organised. Your Wild Away Wednesday.

Where will YOU go?

Friday, 21 March 2008

Qantas Club Friday

I'm in the Qantas Club lounge in Sydney as I type. The rest of my hospital night was fine apart from being called to see someone just minutes before I was due to leave - and subsequently made me late... We arrived minutes after the cutoff for our flight luggage check in (we often travel carry on only - but not this time with all our camping gear) so are booked on the next flight - which really isn't too long after our planned flight. It also meant I had time to retrieve my phone which had fallen out of my pocket in the car, and to have breakfast here at the Qantas club - the bircher muesli is really really good. I've read the paper, and I actually now feel more in holiday mode. Nice to have an enforced rest - although I guess there'll be as much of that on the flight too... but hey - no complaints here.

It's drizzly and cool here in Sydney - over in the west it promises to be 30+C. We'll be meeting up with The Frenchman's family (5 in all, including our nephew) who are similarly flying in from France to our destination, where we'll travel together for Easter and leave them to continue exploring as we return to work. We'll then be out and about at various points over the next few weeks. It promises to be a busy and fun time - with work also expected to be a bit demanding also in the next week or so.

The Frenchman thinks this end of the Qantas club is the gay end. I think every end is... But I'm just here for the muesli, the paper, and the food.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Superchilled from birth to 12 months…

Superchilled: Born March 15th 2007 to a dad who really didn’t know what he had created. But as with many dads, he kinda liked the whole procreative process. And so superchilled was born, an unplanned but loved baby. As with many initially unplanned babies it turned out gay, but gay is just one aspect of him. Life is too big to narrow the focus too too much.

Superchilled got to know some other newborn blogs, and some who were already toddlers or older still and learned some good and bad habits through contact with these. Through a process of trial and error superchilled got up onto his feet, encouraged by support from people he never knew existed in all parts of the globe from Colombia to South Africa, The Netherlands to Canada and beyond… Of course he has tripped up and fallen on occasions, and not everyone in the playground has been nice. But for the most part his first year has been fantastic.

Biggest lessons he has learnt in the first 12 months:
Expect the unexpected. Not everything you post will be read the way it was intended.
Blogs are not the way to discuss personal issues with friends.
You have to be yourself, not try to be someone you’re not, and your blog needs to reflect that.
While it’s nice to post regularly – it’s not essential – a good post later is better than a boring post sooner.

Plans for toddlerhood?
When you get up on your feet you want to explore new territory all the time. See what there is out there, and how much of it you can experience. Superchilled is heading wherever he can… predicting his future path is futile.

To those who comment and email. Without you there would be no blog
To The Frenchman who has endured my time away from him being creative & writing these 392+ posts.
To Aussielicious who first made me aware of the power of blogs and blogging.
To those who link to superchilled. Without you no-one would be reading this now.
To everyone who reads and gets something out of it. You're why superchilled exists.

Wild Underdressed Wednesday

To be successfull in today's challenge you have to pull it off with confidence. The goal is to be underdressed. If you're supposed to go Black Tie - try very sexy casual. Smart casual - go semi naked. Winter conditions? Go summery. You may wish to go underwear free today - so that only you or those you tell know - or something a lot more conspicuous, but to make a real go of it - you have to look so confident that everyone else is going to wish they were you - not the other way around as one might normally feel in such circumstances.

Above all, have fun with it!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Million Dollar Quiz

You're thrown into Heathrow Airport with $1 million that you have to spend in the next 48hours (plus air travel times, if you choose to fly - up to 24 hours' worth).

What are you going to do?

update: nobody wants to spend $1million?
I'm happy to double the money - $2million - half of which you have to spend for yourself and half on anything that's for anyone else.

What will you do NOW?

update 2: it seems it's only me, so this is what I'm going to do:

1. With my million I'm going to hire a private jet to take me places with a select group of people close to me - it will depend on the weather on those places so I'll decide where at the time at my whim. I'll have my preferred architect flown to me where I end up and have him or her design my beachside home, or at least get started on the project that will use up my remaining pennies.

2. With the million I have to give away, I'll find someone with inside knowledge of scholarship programmes for students in developing nations and direct all of the money at funding scholarships where there are applicants but no current funds for same.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Race Day

So on Saturday night I get some good sleep - though my dreams are vivid, in one a bunch of guys from a big ute are attacking The Frenchman, in another I'm supposed to jump from this insanely high waterfall off a mountain basically and glide to the river at the base in some raft. Both are disturbing and both wake me up. But I get back to sleep and wake in time to prepare for THE SWIM. Today's focus. Well, one of them.

I have a bit of a routine for pre-race mornings, and I follow the plan. Butterflies have started and I'm visiting the mens' room more than I'd like - but this is normal, so I go with it, no choice really. We arrive in Cronulla ahead of schedule and find our way to the beach past scores of cute fit men, (I'm sure there were others too, but I don't recall them so well.) They give us these new Powerade pre-race drinks - complete with added caffeine as we register. The sun is out in force and the day sparkling. We're surrounded by cuteness, and the world is a beautiful place.

I test the water - there is a lot of shallow water here today so I figure I'm going to have to use that running practice I've been doing at the beginning and the end of the race. I'm braced and ready - and bang we're off and running... and running... and finally swimming, and I manage to keep in the front pack - but some of them do slip by - I'm doing my best, any faster and I'm going to be too lactic for the guts of the race - so I settle into race mode and gradually pick up pace through the 2.3km. In the final - and longest leg - there are 2 competitors right behind me and I have to pick up my pace progressively right through to the finish - I'm actually sprinting by the time I get to the beach and then I have to run to the finish line, and run and run... beating them both and managing to take out 3rd place in my age category.

I can't breathe and take a minute or two before I can move again- I'm stoked - although not as stoked as when I was told I was 2nd, but they later found out there was a technical glitch... So I manage my aim - a podium finish - and get a prize to boot. The Frenchman has a great swim - his first for the season - and I manage to photograph him (kind of) as he finishes... as you can see below...

I've obviously used all my reflexes for the race... but he still looks cute.

In the afternoon we head to the everpopular diggies to catch up with good friends. It feels like home there and cocktails / food / more is accompanied by a most excellend DJ on the deck watching the waves (and men) roll in on North Beach. I envisage the DJ at the launch of their new CD series Cafe Del Diggies, but figure they'll have to find a better name.
I can't think of a better way to spend the afternoon quite frankly - heaven- so we stay a while longer. We all decide to buy the house across the road and then we leave to go and sell our houses and prepare for the move.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Saturday 15-3-08

So The Frenchman and I head up to Sydney on Saturday afternoon. It's a fantastic day, a delayed summer, and I have no complaints. Heading away for Easter next weekend we make our way to Kent Street in the city which has all the outdoors stores you can think of (for the camping gear we need), and manage a park on the street right in the middle of them all (not an easy feat). Looking at the signs everywhere it seems it's sale time at ALL of these store, and the sales started yesterday! We've not done any research and had no idea, so there's more than a little bit of lucky floating around today. By the time we've looked in 3 stores we know what we want and know that at Kathmandu, everything we want is 50% off - think thermarest / sleeping bags and the like, and so we load everything into the car parked out front, while eating the party food they had at the counters for this event. The staff were working well in adversity (it was a jungle of people in there.)

Next stop the tennis where a friend is competing in a doubles final. They're down when we arrive, but as soon as we get there they win the 5 next games straight and then the match, and we're regarded as lucky charms. I think we might be asked to come again.

The day is too good to be hanging around the tennis court so we take off to the victor's favourite beach - which is Freshwater (and no the water's not fresh). Despite the waves being quite small, they're emminently catchable and we body surf until the sun goes home, spotting a stingray in the so so clear water along the way. Of course in doing all this we've canned dining out before the theatre we have tickets for and instead eat fish and chips sitting by the Opera House watching the world go by. The night is so balmy that I think we've chosen the better option, the fish was superb.

Vertical Hour is the play and I quite enjoy it - political , emotional, insightful, and despite one fake american accent is worth catching.

Home now - and a few butterflies for Sunday's race...

Need rest.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

My Olympic Trial

Sunday is the next stage of my plan for world domination in ocean swimming... The Shark Island Swim in Cronulla, in the south of Sydney. Its name is enough to scare most people off, but what a better way to get you to swim faster!? It's a 2.3km race, and The Frenchman will be joining in the action too.

I was going to have a quiet swim this morning as the triathletes had gone off running while I was still at work at 7am, in lieu of swimming... but alas when I arrived at the water's edge this am, there were some of the guys hitting the water for a swim session as well. Coach Jamie convinced me to join in and it was good! I'm feeling (over?) confident for the swim on Sunday. I've tackled 4m swells, raced after herculean lap times, cross trained, tailored a gym program and even paid attention to my diet... Maybe (if I can keep my composure) I'll make it to the end of the race with a time to make it all worthwhile... but it isn't the ultimate goal... that comes in 2 weeks time with my local ocean race the Stanwell Park Ocean Challenge... this Sunday is my Olympic trial...

Weather prediction for Sunday:

Mostly Sunny Min: 19°C Max: 25°C

It's been a problem all of its own

As particular as I am with grammar and spelling, I've always had problems geting my head around the whole it's or its word usage. So I googled it - and here's the site that I found that hopefully will ensure I don't make too many more mistakes... it seems I've made a tonne of them so far...

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wild Art Wednesday

Today's the day to do something arty. The Archibald prize (and it's comic alter ego the Bald Archies) have recently had their awards here in Oz, and I thought it was as good a time as any to make it our wild wednesday challenge. But you don't have to restrict it to portrait painting. A photograph or two, a drawing sketched on your note pad, or even just the simple act of going to see some art - whether it's a gallery, an opera, or the theatre. It can be a whole lot of fun, and sometimes a bit challenging... what will YOU choose to do?

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

QUIZ: Favourite Things

What are your favourite NON SEXUAL things that you like to do in bed?
The possibilities are (almost) endless. I'm going to leave it wide open today and post my preferences last.
I'm sure though, that if this man were in my bed I'd have trouble focussing on the answer to this question...
Your time starts now.

Monday, 10 March 2008


Can you be exhausted and still full of energy? That's how I was Friday night. Eventually got to bed and slept like a baby, waking to the perfect summer weekend. Despite it being autumn.

The beach was a definite theme and we never got more than about 1km away from it. March is a great time at the beach - warm water, still warm air, and loads of guys at their physical peaks after months of outdoor activities, sigh... and with a Cuban themed cocktail party for the birthday of my favourite cafe, the theme was set in stone. Great and gregarious people, food and drinks aplenty, we were sad to leave. They sure know how to throw a party.

Sunday saw me out of my depth. It was fantastic. I was swimming in a sparkling ocean with schools of fish, armed with my camera to steal some images. I was in the water so long I was hypothermic when I got out, laying in the hot sun for 20 min before I stopped shivering. Sensational! Here are a few pics.It looks like I'm in a fish tank - apart from the waves...

Norten got into the action with a swim with us here in Coalcliff. While there we ran into some local friends who were having a BBQ on the rock platform by the beach (exposed in the low tide). It's kinda like seeing a dinner party in the dessert - I love the eccentricities of this place.

Anyone else have a beach themed weekend?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Random Questions

  1. What does one wear to a Cuban themed cocktail party?
  2. Is there any scientific evidence that there is a god?
  3. If an obscenely wealthy person buys the house next door - do you get worried or be happy?
  4. Is there any proof that religious people lead happier or sadder lives than non religious people?
  5. What is the perfect menu for a brunch?
  6. Does anyone who reads the blog swim 1km or more most days?

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Thursday Morning

It's my morning off, and I awake to a day they say is going to be 27 degrees and sunny. I look outside, I feel outside, and I think they're right. After downing breakfast - a mix of cereals and some peach slices on top, I head to the national park beach where I strip naked and jump into the surf that looks like this:

to float around a while. I eventually get out and rinse off in the freshwater creek that trickles down from the mountain and then in the shade I read "The Swimming Machine" which, contrary to popular opinion is not autobiographical. There's not a lot of people around, which is surprising for such a fantastic day, but I'm enjoying my solitude and I when I get hot again I dive back into the water and wonder what would happen if I swim too far from shore.

I treck back up the mountain and pass 8 people heading down, one guy swears at how steep it is... but he's going down, and I don't mention that he has to go back up some time, and it's getting hotter.

I get home and Norten, who looks like this:

has dug a few holes in the lawn, so he gets solitary confinement for a while. Once I think he understands what it's all about I take him for a walk to my nearby beach which is also looking pretty brilliant, and as I stand there watching the waves roll in (with Norten dragging me too and fro like a buoy in the swell), a surfer, who looks like this:

(only cuter and blonder) walks up from the beach and stands right next to me where he proceeds to takes off his full body wetsuit. I can't say he's the cutest thing since Brad Pitt was a young adult, but in fact, he is. It confirms another reason I like living near the beach, and while I could easily hang around a bit longer I take Norten back home because I have to go to work. And then I post this, making myself even later to work than I really should be. But the story had to be told.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Wild Hot Sex Wednesday

What better way to punctuate the week than with Wild Hot Sex on Wednesday? Life's too short to live for the weekend, today's the day to get jiggy with it.

It's not in your diary? Seriously? You need to book youself a 60 minute meeting entitled "wild hot sex with X" or "lunch - out of office - take towel" if someone else reads your diary and they're not X. Perhaps its a morning thing - surprise your other half this morning by waking them up to this week's wild wednesday theme (if you've read this and morning is long gone - then Thursday will do). An evening under the stars - starkers - could also go down a treat... pun definitely intended.

Do you need me to go on? I think you can think of a few possibilities - I certainly have.

Have a wild, hot, sexed up Wednesday. It's on the house!
I like this theme - I might continue with it next week as well...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Gods of Sport

The guys from Naked for a Cause have asked me to post some details of their upcoming book, which promises a lot more than you'll find in the calendar.

"Gods of Sport is the first photography book dedicated to the hot Aussie sportsmen and comprises a huge, 224 page collection of previously unseen images of 24 leading Rugby League and Australian Rules Football stars who stripped off to raise funds for a great cause. Proceeds from sales of Gods of Sport benefit The McGrath Foundation œ a charity which funds breast care nurses and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of cancer among young women."

You can find more details here: at the naked for a cause website , and I believe pre-order an advance copy for a significant savings.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Out with the Old. In with the New

I guess I'm not a history buff. I like things that are newer and better than before. Sometimes you have to look to history to see where things have worked and not worked before, but for the most part - onwards and upwards I say. I guess this shows a little in the wild wednesdays I post here which are a challenge to do things a little differently and step outside one's comfort zone. Because only when we are challenged do we really grow. Change for change's sake is somewhat ignorant, but there are almost always things we can do to make our future brighter, more richly rewarding and more fun, and that's when change is good.

This year's Mardi Gras has taught me that while the past is to be respected, it's not a blueprint for me to follow. Life is what I make of it, and there is no well trodden path ahead of me that I want to take. But there are people around me who I want to take with me, to explore new paths and find the beauty in the future that is ahead.

I'm looking forward to the new.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

The Parade

So I did actually head up to watch the parade last night.
Mardi Gras' 30th Year...

Upon first arriving on Oxford Street we were greeted by a physical biff between two very gay men... so we moved off Oxford St to Flinders St which was a little less testy and met up with our team, later joined by our Canadian to make 3 guys and 3 gals, so very balanced! Finally we had a reason to pay attention to the bare breasted women in the parade "hey girls - have a look over there" ... as we looked for more palatable options. The parade continued in it's usual style - with a mix of well organised and all-over-the-place floats, some very sexy moments, some big pauses between groups and some true moments of pride , especially with groups representing the police, fire brigades, surf life savers and armed forces being represented in force. Of course there was more, and despite feeling early in the evening that I really wanted to go home, I was glad I didn't.

Oh and despite a slightly cool breeze, it was a perfect evening weather wise!
I can't tell you about the pary - but perhaps a few of you revellers out there can fill us in?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

The Finale of Summer and Mardi Gras

It's on everyone's lips: "What happened to summer?"
It's been a very wet summer. Rather coolish too. Right now I'm in a jumper and jeans when I'd normally be in just shorts... Officially today it's all over and this is Autumn. The reality is, the weather is usually quite warm right through until April, and the ocean warmest now. I swam this morning in the surf and despite the winter air it was definitely summer water. The surf a mere ripple compared to last week, but a pleasant contrast. Just one stingray sighting, and another great Friday breakfast at diggies sitting in the sun peaking through clouds. I'm not convinced it's going to get warm again though - I'm praying to whatever god will listen for a few more little rays of sunshine, but I'm braced for a continuing chill. I've been searching for sunsational photographic weather for more underwater shots, but they've been elusive ( should have taken the camera for the divine ocean race last week) . So I've really had no great additions to my photo archive for the past month.

I could take my camera to the Mardi Gras parade tomorrow - if we go... I have mixed feelings about going though. We've been asked to join some lesbian friends at the parade, and I'm actually more looking forward to catching up with them than anything else. We're not headed to any parties of the dance kind, despite me being probably the fittest I've ever been. I'm feeling more for a quiet night in with friends. The weather people predict a daytime top of 21C (70F) and low of 15C which is positively chilly for this time of year - and especially not good for the parade, with the potential of rain sure to cool things down even further...

But I do hope it all goes well, the weather is surprisingly warm and dry, the parade a huge hit and Kylie, Madonna, Bette and Barbara all join Olivia to entertain the masses. Maybe there'll even be a change in political climate, but I think in this case it's called preaching to the converted.

Despite the adversities I've had a great summer. Hopefully despite the weather it will be a great Mardi Gras. What ever kind of celebrating you're engaging in today, I hope it exceeds expectations (in the best possible way, of course).