Friday, 28 November 2008

Far North Queensland

It's hot, very hot. It's also very humid. I heard someone say today "you can drink the air" as we climbed down the stairs from our Qantas 767 when it arrived at the terminal in Cairns. I feel wet and I haven't ventured anywhere near a pool.

It's strange to fly in the same longitude in your own country and have the time go back an hour - but such is Queensland - a daylight savings non-believer. And the day is still young. So it's 11.30am and we're climbing into our black Astra hatchback. Why on earth do they have so many black cars up here? The rental carparks are filled with them. Surely they know that black absorbs heat, not something one needs to conserve up here. Thank god for air conditioning I say.

We head to Pool , yes that's the name of the place we're staying at, in Port Douglas about an hour north, and it is just like in the photos. When we jump in the mammoth pool though it's not quite the refreshment we're looking for - at above 31 degrees the water feels like a bath, so laps are attempted but it's futile. We splash about though and in the end feel cooler and it is feeling like a holiday after all. I collapse on the lounge afterwards having slept about 3 hours last night at work, and then head out to Zinc for an alfresco dinner featuring barramundi as main. The food is sensational, and when we leave despite declining dessert we feel overstuffed, or is it just the humidity?

There were no storms that they predicted - and I'm wondering what's in store for us tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Matt Mitcham Wins Again

Matthew Mitcham last night won Sports Performer of the Year award, beating a host of high profile athletes to the top position. The report on the event here in the Sydney Morning Herald suggests he still doesn't have any sponsorships, which seems rather surprising, and somewhat disappointing. The $50000 prize surely won't cause him any grief though. 

I think he looks as sexy in black tie as he does in speedos. 
A big superchilled congratulations to Matt.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Wild Hot Exercise Wednesday

It was the perfect day for a run in the park, and today that's just what I did. Headed to Boy Charlton Pool here I met a good friend and ran around Mrs Macquarie's point, along the Sydney Harbour shoreline through the botanic gardens, around the Opera House and back. The sun was out, a cool breeze to keep us from overheating, and a dip in the pool for some laps afterwards refreshed us for the evening's events. A perfect activity for a late spring afternoon. 

As you might tell, it's another superchilled wild exercise wednesday. Today is the day to take a friend and go get hot and sweaty for a half an hour or more. As with prior challenges any for of exercise will do, a walk, a run, a swim, or some very active sex, but be sure to make it last 30 minutes at least - you'll get hotter and leaner by the minute. And at the end you'll feel great... or your money back!

Monday, 24 November 2008


In contrast to the week before it, the weekend was positively fantastic. I'm typically a gregarious person; there's nothing more that I love than catching up with friends and spending time. Some connections were by pure chance, some arranged well in advance and others much closer to the moment, but a collection of different people shared food, drinks, watched movies, walked swam or ran, discussed life the universe & braved the quite stormy elements with me this weekend. I've eaten some truly amazing food - highlights are the Tapas selection at diggies, the flourless chocolate cake at Fireworks cafe in Austinmer (honestly the best cake ever), the hot chocolate at Bourke Street Bakery, and the lamb strips at Onde. But the connection with all is they were meals and experiences shared. Perfect. 

I also managed to find a new pair of speedos that I like, and I managed to test them out in a brief moment of sunshine at Boy Charlton pool. They swim fast.

I'm very much looking forward to the week ahead. Who knows what will be thrown at me this week, but I'm recharged and ready for it!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

localised showers

It was a day that started off badly. I was woken up at 5.20am to do work that should have been done a day before. I then slept one hour at a time (between work bits)  before ultimately throwing myself out of bed and into the pool. A boys' school group arrived and the first 5 minutes of bliss in a crystal pool became a spa pool of so many deodorant smells it was a sea of teenage angst. The guy who hit on me at the pool a few weeks back apologised at the scene of the crime - he had been about to abduct me back then - so it was kind of appropriate - we had a surprisingly reasonable conversation. 

Breakfast was at the usual suspect, diggies with a surprise friend. We chatted about all and sundry, including the medical dramas developing during the week, in the pleasant breeze of a perfect spring morning. I had a breakfast of bircher muesli mixed with with yoghurt, marinated strawberries & cranberries. I was surprised at how good the cranberries actually tasted. I'll order that again.

My breakfast buddy invited The Frenchman & myself to a tapas dinner back there in the evening with some of her friends after we'd mentally re-landscaped her garden. It was all over too soon and we were both off to work again. I arrived at the hospital, dropping my phone on getting out of my car to promptly step on it. Perfect.

With one patient I asked about how long she'd had the cancer affecting her liver to which her partner interjected (or should I say, lectured me) that she didn't know and until right now no-one had told her about it. He knew of course. There are so many things wrong with this scenario that I don't know where to begin. 

At gym after work I had an unexpected gym buddy. He was doing pretty much the same routine as me, running, then weights then abs then stretching. We'd chatted quite a few times there and at the pool - sexy man I might add, and it was great to actually spend some reasonable time chatting about life & loves in between the puffing and sweating. 

Dinner back at the regular was with my breakfast buddy, The Frenchman and 3 as yet unknown diners. We stayed until there was no-one else left at the restaurant, enjoying conversation that was sparking on all cylinders right to the end. I could easily do this regularly. I find out later that they in fact do do this every Friday - and we're welcome to join in the tradition. 

It wasn't such a bad day after all. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wild Wednesday

I've had my own Wild Wednesday - only on Tuesday this week.
It's not exactly something I want anyone else to have to go through so we're abandoning the communal aspect of the Superchilled Wild Wednesday today.

I'm not usually on the other side of the doctors desk, but Tuesday was the day - and I wish I could rewrite the whole of the day with more a tone of comedy than of drama, but alas, it is not to be. 

The rest of my day was spent reliving the consultation & investigations and the consequences of same. It's funny how your perspectives change so rapidly when you're faced with problems of significance.

I'm not going to go into detail, but if it gets a bit quiet here at superchilled - just bear with me. 

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Something to wake up to

When I woke up today this music clip was in my inbox. Geoff & Terry sent it thinking I might like it. Oh how right they were!

Ultra Nate: Automatic 
3min 27sec

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Look Both Ways - do you?

Look Both Ways: preview

When I first saw the movie Look Both Ways a few years ago, it was quite revelatory. It became apparent that I wasn't the only one who visualised all manner of bad things happening as I went about my everyday life. As you can see in the preview here, there are illustrated imagined events happening involving shark attacks, car crashes, train wrecks... I see people riding motor bikes recklessly and I visualise them in ditches and trees farther down the road, I see cars crashing and trucks veering over the road into my path, and since Sept 11, I frequently see planes in the sky spontaneously exploding. You name the scenario - I have seen the worst possible end result.

Now I'm not neurotic, I'm not anxious and those who know me often describe me as being in fact as superchilled as the title of this blog. Certainly it seems that I have a creative imagination, although sometimes I'd like to watch a plane taking off at the airport and not wonder where it will land when it crashes. I like the way the film has put it into perspective - the imagined events are split seconds and the reality continues fluently despite it. It's like an aside, a 'what if' scenario that is mostly speculative, though sometimes eerily close to reality.

I'm curious if anyone else has these moments. I'm guessing from the film that there are a lot more out there who do. If you do - you'll love this Australian film.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Newcastle - The Movie

We've just been to see Newcastle, in Sydney. Newcastle the movie that is. It's written & directed by Dan Castle whose short film The Visitor is my favourite ever short film which I saw a few years back at the Mardi Gras film festival.

I was totally absorbed. As with The Visitor it's beautifully filmed, with most of the cinematography taking place in or by the ocean. The water based filming is mesmerising and beautiful.  The cute guys in board shorts or less aren't a problem either. It's an engaging story too, following a focal point in the life of twin brothers living in the industrial  seaside city of Newcastle, one of them gay, one a budding pro-surfer and their coming into their own. It's funny, heartwarming, heartwrenching and at times nerve racking. The story surrounding the gay brother is quite fantastic actually, and I'd recommend the movie for just this, but the complexity of growing up, relationships and families is skilfully intertwined and makes it a powerful and rewarding film. 

Lachlan Buchanan stars as Jesse

It rates a superchilled 4.5 stars. I'd give it more but you might think I was biased. 
Take yourself off to see it while you can on the big screen.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Wild Relationship Wednesday

I was catching up with a friend today who's in emotional turmoil. He's been seeing a guy for a few months, and they just click. Nothing is difficult - they just connect on all levels and since he's been seeing him there has been absolutely no interest in anyone else apart from the new guy. It's really a first for him to have this emotional connection. He's a great guy who doesn't mix in gay circles, never heads to pubs or clubs nor internet sites seeking men. The thing is, the new guy is still attached, to a boyfriend who lives overseas around 50% of the year for work, and now the boyfriend is back, so it's all up in the air. That prior relationship may continue or it may not, and having fallen in love, my friend is living in limbo waiting for things to be resolved and wondering what direction to take. His heartache is palpable. It's hard to watch, also hard to resolve. Matters of the heart are a complex beast. On the positive side he's found that there are guys out there with whom he can connect, in a sea of people he finds incredibly disparate. And chances are there is someone else out there with whom he can again form a similarly strong bond should this current situation not resolve in his favour. 

It's not easy for gay guys who are living in the wider community to meet other like minded guys though. So it's been a long time for him to get here. Will it take the same length of time to find the next one?

For those readers who are in a relationship, today is the day to appreciate the relationship you have, to work on what you have to make it better, to celebrate it and enrich it. If you know someone who is seeking but hasn't yet found the right one (or ones) then be mindful of the difficulty they can have and maybe keep a look out for them. You never never know what might happen. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Beach Graffiti Noosa Style

It was a Noosa weekend. A get away from it all weekend, head to the beach before breakfast, after breakfast, shop a little, go for a hike, body surf a little more, walk some more, dine out by the ocean and eat icecream. Sounds stressful doesn't it? We coped. As did our friends who made the journey with us. One of whom managed a number of firsts: first trip to Noosa, first wild dolphin sighting (a pod of them in fact), first nude body surfing, first goanna sighting, there were more, but I can't remember them all. It was fun to be there for all the firsts, and especially all the elation at the new experiences. I love when you can show people things they've never seen or experienced before, and to see the wonder in their eyes, the irrepressible smiling and laughter. 

A first for me was the beach above. I've seen this beach before of course, but the beach graffiti was very new. I'd seen rocks formed into words like this in a volcanic crater in Iceland, but not on the beach, which quite frankly is easier to read than rocks on rocks.... (click the image for a larger clearer version). It was kinda fun, even if it did leave the beach looking a little less idyllic than the postcards usually show. The fun part is a heavy surf will clean the slate for a new set. Or perhaps this was a one off?

It's been a while since we had a weekend away. Noosa is the place to head to chill out, a short flight and short drive and you're in a holiday house on the beach in balmy subtropical surrounds. Sounds like an ad, yes, but then there's always Byron Bay... or our next stop where the hotel is named after one of my favourite places - the Pool!

Monday, 10 November 2008

A reason to watch cricket

Or at least to buy a new calendar. Cricket is after all, a little mind numbing, and until now hasn't made it to the superchilled 'how gay is your sport' rankings. While I'm still to be convinced about the sport, this player, who I believe is Ben Hilfenhaus certainly has me reconsidering.

He was first spotted in the Sunday paper at the airport on our way back from Noosa. I'm disappointed with The Frenchman - he works for 3 and only now have I discovered they are sponsoring the Calendar, which is being released to support The McGrath Foundation / Breast Cancer. 

To reserve your own copy - go to the 3 link here.

Oh and as for Noosa, it was a great weekend - more details soon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wild-Bake Wednesday

I've baked rusks again, of the South African variety, with a recipe courtesy of Martin at The Green Light at the End of the Dock - they're starting their overnight journey in the oven. I want to eat one now, they're highly addictive, but I'll have to wait until the morning. This is batch number 3 in as many weeks, and after the first batch I have modified the recipe each time. (Prior to this baking frenzy the last time I'd baked anything sweet was like a year ago.) Here is a photo of batch 1. This new lot will have more nuts added in various forms, gotta love nuts.

Through the night we're going to smell the continuing baking process this Wild-Bake Wednesday, and I'm going to wake up hungry.

So what's the Wild Wednesday challenge? I'm glad you asked. It's to hit the kitchen and bake something special. I think all around the world we're focussed on the election in The States, so your work in the kitchen will hopefully result in something to celebrate with. Failing that - some consolatory baked goods can't hurt. My next favourite thing to bake is banana & chocolate cake (the chocolate is in bits / chunks). It's a great one to share. 

Oh and Martin - if you're keen to share the rusk recipe - feel free to post it in the comments, but given it's your family recipe, I'm going to leave that to you.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


On Sunday a friend gives me the September copy of something he's just started working on, Men's Health Magazine, and as I look at the cover it's someone I used to train with (albeit briefly) at the gym. It says "BUILD A BEACH BODY - see results in 10 days", but his body wasn't a 10 day job, surprise surprise. It's nice to see him again even though it's in print, and he's as gorgeous as ever. 

What a job my friend has having to sort through photos for Men's Health, help with the photographic shoots, pore over endless images of idyllic men. I contemplate the idea of it when The Frenchman reminds me of the surfers I get to work with, and I realise I don't have it too bad. But still. 

We have just checked out the new hotel on the block, The Beresford, though technically it's not new - just newly revised and quite the job well done I must say. And on this Sunday afternoon it feels like we're at a dance party in sheer volume of men. The outdoor courtyard is cavernous but still packed with men, and it's a lot of fun. I could stay a long while.  The three of us have arranged to have dinner about 5 blocks away and as we're eating the four cutest guys we've all voted top picks from the hotel arrive for dinner at the same place. I have no idea who they are, but as we leave I wonder if in different circumstances we might be great friends. But I guess I'll never know. 

And for those readers from the USA who are about to vote (or at least have the option of voting) just think, only 2 more years until another election campaign. God damn it I can hardly wait. I think I've heard more about your election than our own. Given that we are more influenced by your policies and economy than ever before I think we should be able to vote too!  But can you imagine the International Election Campaign? Let's just draw straws. Obama straws?

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Read My Mind

I'm not sure if there's anything that annoys me as much as people who 'know' what I'm thinking.

You know the ones. They look at you and laugh that you're just dying for the weekend to begin, you're thinking about what to have for lunch. They think you want to have a long extended conversation with them about their family problems, you're thinking about how you're dying for the weekend to begin and how far away it seems right now.

They are offended that you didn't tell them something because you were feeling guilty about it. You felt it was none of their business and were actually concerned about someone else at the time. 

They know that when you smiled when you said something - it meant it was all about you. You smile and correct them, but they wink knowingly. You know that when you say "my friend...", you mean "my friend..." .

I don't know why people continue to assume what I'm thinking, because they're so frequently wrong. But what I find offensive is when people assume what they're thinking to be true without actually asking first, especially if it is something significant. My high school English teacher always said when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me',  and it remains a motto for me. Never assume anything. And so I ask questions, a lot of questions. Break things down until I can break them down no further. Of course the answers I get aren't always the truth, but then if I get it wrong - it's not completely my fault. But when people assume things of me these days I tend to let them assume what they like. They might think I'm evil, or scheming or whatever, but who am I to correct them.