Sunday, 29 March 2009

The moral to the story?

Sometimes I wonder what kind of influence I have in the world. Ideally I'd like to think I can make a difference and make a great change for the better. But who am I to say that I can influence positive change? Perhaps my influence is more damaging than beneficial. Some people theorise that one can't change the world around them, that it's destined for deterioration and chaos regardless of what they do. I'm just not one of them.

We all get caught up in our own worlds and what seems right to us may be very wrong for someone else. But I think so long as we're looking for improvement, we're headed in the right direction. Sometimes we're going to get it wrong, but if we're lucky we'll stumble on something that is very right and may just make a difference. Sometimes a small positive  influence on one other person creates an avalanche of benefit in an entirely different universe to our own. Mostly we'll never know it. Similarly something wrong for one person may create a whole series of problems - and it seems we're more likely to find out about that. 

While I think some people do intentionally do things to harm others, for the most part people cause negative impacts unintentionally. At least that's the way I see it. 

The moral to today's story? I'm not quite sure, but if it helps make a small part of the world better, then I'm happy for having written it.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Stanwell Park Ocean Swim

There's a box of clocks sitting ticking on the corner of my desk. Los Angeles says 11:55 Tokyo 11:00  New York 12.50  Sydney 11.58  and London 12:00. They're all wrong, but they go on ticking. 

This morning at 8.30 a series of alarms go off on clocks that do tell the right time. The sun is shining against a partially closed blind, underneath it the light bounces off the ocean and into our faces. It's the Stanwell Park Ocean Swim today and we do our pre-race preparations in the morning of a stunning day. There is a gentle breeze as we watch the surf life savers in their inflatable dinghies zooming along the glistening ocean placing the marker buoys along the course that passes us. We head out the door and down to the beach where we're given fluoro pink swim caps, I'm asked how long it is until I'm in the next age category ( I answer VERY) and the general atmosphere is jovial. There are many distractions along the way in the form of stunning fellow competitors, so waiting for a bus to Coalcliff for the swim start is not so traumatic. Not so traumatic at all. 

I meet a few unexpected people at the race start - and a few regulars & friends. The water is beautiful and when I do a warm up swim I feel fantastic. Can't wait to get in for the race. The race itself is harder than I expect and it's a bigger mental battle than usual to get my body going as fast as I want it to. The end result isn't so bad though and I roll onto the beach the other end with sand all over me, a lot closer to the lead than I expected. The sun is still shining and The Frenchman heads up the beach smiling. He's been pleasantly distracted by a competitor racing against him. A group of us who have collected at the end laugh, a lot. We then head back to ours for a tour of our new home and brunch. 

If time could stand still, as it does in the corner of my desk, right now would be perfect. 

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Swimming with the sharks...

It was a perfect start to Sunday morning. Sunny, warm and at the beach with friends. Cronulla had delivered gorgeous people and an ocean race to swim off into.

Half way around the course I swam into rough water and wind developing from the wind of a very low helicopter. I didn't recall having them that close before in any of the swims but figured it was a film crew getting in close for a better view. I was wrong.

There was a hammerhead shark literally metres away from swimmers, perhaps me? I don't know but I still swam fast - so fast it hurt, so I know I did my best and thankfully they managed to scare the shark away from shark island... and the swimmers and The Frenchman & me.

You can see the footage (updated Ed.) here at channel 7's site ( for a limited time. I can't find a way to paste it directly in here, but if anyone figures out how I can, please let me know.

Anyone coming to swim with us at my home swim next week? Come on, it seems this is now an extreme sport. Will you brave the elements?

Wireless and Connected

I'm still wireless, but this time wirelessly connected. The net is back. We've ditched the land line and a new phase of life has begun. I am at a desk in our new place which is much more ergonomically sound but still in the middle of all the action. The ocean is reflecting moonlight, The Frenchman and Norten (the labrador) are both in a restful slumber in the living room suggesting life hasn't changed all that much, at least not yet.

There have been relentless reports of people being munched on by sharks here of late, so to test the theory we ventured down the road to our new local beach this evening around 7pm (near shark feeding time) and dived in to spot some sharp teeth close up, alas it was not to be, just sensationally clear water, great waves and sand sand everywhere. We did a few test race starts and finishes in preparation for our swim Sunday morning at the, wait for it, Shark Island Ocean Swim race in Cronulla. It was great, no, sensational. Lets see if we can eat up the competition tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Wireless at home

It's been an incredibly busy few weeks. We've been painting, cleaning, packing, moving and arranging all the things you do when you change address. Being keen to keep the Internet connection running smoothly I arranged the connection weeks in advance. Despite this it seems we won't be connected for what could be some months. Even that is speculative. They haven't managed to connect a land line either. So I'm VERY unimpressed. Right now I'm using the Frenchman's iPhone to post this. Despite the Internet hiatus the new location is sensational and it feels like we're on holiday all the time. Posting here will be somewhat patchy until connection is restored. So please bare with me.

Apart from the Internet, I'm looking forward to the new fridge arriving too as we're using a powered esky at the moment which is somewhat limiting but enhances the holiday feel.

It's surprising how rapidly we're feeling at home here but we are yet to get into a routine. The keys and wallets have no place to call home yet and remembering where everything is stored can be a challenge.

That's all for now but watch this space for new developments.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Sunday's PSB Music Video

I found this Pet Shop Boys video at absoluteric's Restoring Love, and find it kinda catchy. Look out for the gay guys too, no not the PSB's themselves. 

PSB's Love Etc. 3min 30sec