20 February 2015

Pocket to pocket

It was Dave's birthday on Sunday. I'm not sure how old he is; a few years younger than me, I believe. We met for a skate at Fitzroy bowl because it was a convenient spot for us to meet and meant he could slip away to work on his next comedy show instead of coming along with us to another skatepark in the 34 degree heat.

I promised Dave I would do the 'pocket-to-pocket' transfer in celebration of his life thus far, and he agreed to do it as well. It’s a deceptively simple looking trick in which you sort of ollie/float from one bowl into another via the bowled corners. The last time I did it was nearly a decade ago, when I first moved to Melbourne and used to skate the bowl on a daily basis. I remember it feeling easy, but I've tried it many times since and always found a way to talk myself out of it at the last moment. My feet will be in a slightly weird position or some idiot will be doing something in my peripheral vision, like sitting on a bench. Sometimes I think I’m going too slow or too fast or I've carved in at the wrong angle. It just doesn't feel right, so I don’t end up doing it, and it kills me.
With skating it's often as simple as saying you're going to do something, because that takes the idea of the trick out of your brain. It becomes something you have to do, and doing it only takes a second. There is a chance you will fall and hit your head and die, but considering that possibility is the most likely way of making it happen. You have to suspend your disbelief for that second (and a few seconds preceding it) and trick yourself into knowing it will be fine. You have to become an idiot, basically, or sort of aggressively meditate. It really is a head fuck if you think about it, but it isn’t if you don’t. It’s sort of like most things, really.

After a few (dozen) attempts, Dave landed the transfer with ease. I got it a few minutes later and it was as easy as I remembered it. We congratulated each other and vowed to return and do it again, many times, on a regular basis.

I saw Dave again today. He was working on his comedy show and I was ... I'm not sure what I was doing. Trying to make a spreadsheet work in Google Drive, some bullshit like that. We got talking about how funny and ridiculous it is that we both still skate, and how great a thing it is to go for a skate on your birthday.

9 February 2015

Jason's birthday jaunt

It was Jason's fortieth birthday on Saturday. He booked a holiday house on Phillip Island and invited us all down there for the weekend. After much discussion, it was decided I'd leave Rosie, Fred and Tess to fend for themselves while I headed down there and got really drunk. With a heavy heart, I packed up and hit the road.

I arrived to a familiar scene, albeit in a setting that wasn't the Lord Newry or a skatepark.
I was very happy to find Jenny was in attendance. Predictably, we had a great laugh. We went to the beach but I didn't take this camera there, silly.I took 'real' photos so you'll have to wait for a while before you can bathe in their out-of-focus splendour.
Dion and Tree share a quiet moment over a few hats and glasses.
Phil, an old workmate of Jason's, is my Fuji friend on Flickr. Here he is taking a photo with his phone (!) up on the deck while the sun set. The forums will be alight with this controversy.
Ali, pictured here, drove us to the supermarket in Cowes, which turned out to be a hilarious trip. She loves Coles! Along with our planned purchases, we found all manner of funny things and had a great time driving to and fro. Sam saw a pelican at one point and exclaimed, "I just saw a pelican." as if it was a grim but exciting thing to witness. Jenny and I exploded in fits of laughter in the back like a couple of kids. Sam later explained he was excited because he had seen a clip of a pelican eating a pigeon. I knew the internet would have something to do with it.
The birthday boy. Such a lovely chap! That's Murray lurking in the background, and Lauren also.
The birthday boy consoles Dion. "Don't worry Dion, it will be your birthday soon!"
The birthday boy, Lauren and Kat. I think Jason is drinking a can of Canadian Club with dry ginger ale in this shot - just one of the hilarious gifts we picked up for him from the supermarket.
The sunset was quite incredible. There were weird lines running through it. It was crazy.
And it kept changing. That's the thing about sunsets isn't it.
It was a tough group to wrangle for a group portrait, especially with like four Canon 5ds in the mix. Phil took this for us.
The birthday boy again. He deserves lots of photos because he's the birthday boy!
Chris 'Patrick Bateman' Ackroyd
I told Sam not to use the pelican eating the pigeon story as a conversation starter, but did he listen?
Here he is a bit later having a kip on the roof. I took this just before sunrise when I was tramping around going to the toilet and stuff.
This is what the sunrise looked like. The sky changed colour really quickly. It was a more gentle version of the sunset really. I was hungover and confused.
Here's Sammy again.
And Lauren. They both said they woke up for sunrise too but I didn't see that happen to be honest. We packed up and hightailed it to a cafe for breakfast. Then some of us went to play mini golf, which was really funny, but again, I didn't take any photos with this camera. Then we went and had a skate at Cowes park, which was glorious. Then I drove home.

1 February 2015


One of my favourite things to do is take photos of my friends skating. I also love filming skating, but a good photo feels like more of a special thing you've done together. I've been taking skate photos for a really long time and I don't think I've ever really cracked it, but I do occasionally get one that I like. One of my favourite people to take photos of is Keegan. He has a really nice style and he doesn't get embarrassed in front of the camera. He's a bit of a character, too.

Here he is. "I must admit," he said, after I commented that we would have to get a photo of him skating in his red and white outfit, "I did get dressed today hoping that you'd take a photo of me." He is a compelling subject.
Backside tailslide with trademark Keegan style.

Another compelling subject: French
Croydon skatepark is always worth the drive, even if it is often overrun by scooters and those drifting tricycle things. It has lots of nice trees and a few really interesting obstacles like the little bowl corner/spine thing, perfect fodder for our enthusiastic, yet world-weary take on skateboarding. Keegan started trying these frontside flips near the end of our time there, prompting Sam to utter in disbelief, "That's actually a real trick!"

It was a tough one to photograph well. In the end I decided to start filming instead. The startling results can be seen below.

And here's a picture of Fred meeting my brother Pij last weekend. Sayonara!