Bondi Beach

Magic of mystery

Posted by on Mar 10, 2011 in Blog, Bondi Beach, Life | No Comments

After galloping (ok, more lolling than galloping) along the sand early this morning, I was heading on my uphill home stretch when my eyes were drawn, as always, to a building nestled on Campbell Parade.

This is a building of fairly typical beachside architecture, dark dull yellow in colour and one of many opposite Bondi Beach’s north end. In the deep dark autumn morning, however, it’s windows are lit with a warm glow. There is a comforting, dimly lit eating area with the odd person passing through and a hefty telescope pointed down to the waves.

This triple-storied residence has no signage, a number of hotel-like rooms extending out behind the main building and a rare-as-hens-teeth large, fortressed private car park attached. Who the hell lives here? Who stays here? I’m pretty sure I have full knowledge of the handful of accommodation options in Bondi Beach and this place is not listed anywhere.

I want in! Every morning I want to finish my run by inserting my specially cut key into the front arched doorway and heading into that cosy room, huddled up with a coffee and sussing out the beach scene from the special spying-device planted in the expansive window.

Who lives there? I’m not really after the answer to be honest. Well, I am, But I’m also not. You see, I’m one of those people who LOVE a mystery. Every morning I think up a new little story about who has access to this perplexing private palace. I’m insanely curious. It makes me feel alive with wonder.

Are you one of those people? Or are you someone (like most people I know), who is immediately on a mission to discover the truth…frustrated until you do… then satisfied once the mystery is solved.

I do feel a certain level of satisfaction in an answer but it comes with a sense of let down too. A stab of disappointment. Story finished. Mystery managed. Curiosity quelled. Lord knows there are always more mysteries to solve though so I just readjust my attention on to those I guess.

The old “why are we here” nugget is my favourite. No matter what your belief system, there’s one thing for sure…it all remains a mystery. Religion is just a way to achieve some sort of peace with the huge unknowableness of it all. To mitigate the frustration of the mystery. And full respect to each wondrous story (and god) – we’d never get anything done if we didn’t have some way to get it off our minds.

I’m also a fan of the chicken-or-the-egg fiasco. And the platypus. And the humble tomato (can it really be deemed a piece of fruit?). One of my biggest heros is Sir David Attenborough. He continues on his life mission of discovery throughout the natural world. Bless his safari-suited cotton socks.

And my newest love interest (in the most platonic of ways) is Professor Brian Cox. All you folk out there dancing away with me in the clubs in the 90′s may remember the anthem “Things Can Only Get Better”. What a song. Prof Cox was the keyboard player for the band D:Ream. A year after they disbanded in 1997, Cox was awarded his PH.D. degree in high energy particle physics. And thank god for that.

This guy is great. Loveable, intelligent, gorgeous and bang up about physics. He is on a life mission of discovery throughout our physical world and out into the far reaches of the universe. This is a guy who clearly loves a mystery. And in the spirit of discovery, I’ll say no more and let you check his sexy, soothing, sci-fi self out for yourself (just google him).

And oh the mystery of space time. Where the hell has the morning gone? Over and out Houston…

x Andy

Heavens Above

Hi Ho!

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in Blog, Bondi Beach, Goals, Life, Plans | One Comment

Yeeehaa!

I’m free! I’ve had a couple of days to attend to domestic duties I have been neglecting (washing, shopping, cleaning, etc) and am now ready to get cracking.

I’ve had a few people shocked that I’m not going to take some time off after finishing up my day job but I just can’t. I’m bursting at the seams to get going on my new creative ventures. I don’t want to waste a day!

The good news is, my new lifestyle demands that I start the day at a cafe, sipping coffee, whilst reviewing my experience. Followed by some more time in the sun and cool breeze blogging away. Tough times.

I then head home to continue work in my office. Yes, my workspace is a desk in my bedroom because the space:affordability ratio in Bondi Beach is horrific but SO worth it to have the sunshine and sea breeze streaming in my window and the ocean mere minutes away for my midday break.

And on Day 1, I’ve taken the first step to achieving my goal of creating a network of women in the area that I can touch base with regularly to share support, motivation, ideas, skills and so forth. The main idea, really, is to have to provide progress updates to my peers (nothing like some healthy competition between friends…).

So, my gorgeous blonde friend and I are having our first meeting next Friday morning. I’m giggling already at the thought of us both desperately cramming on Thursday night! Nah, I think we’re both super keen to get our projects up and running which is one of the reasons I approached her. She’s also fun, positive, intelligent and full of ideas. Can’t wait to start our meetings (can’t help thinking of the name The Gaggle for our little gal group of two).

So, hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go!

x Andy

Off to Work I Go

Knuckling down

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Blog, Bondi Beach, Goals, Health, Life, Plans | No Comments

Yes, sorry folks, my blogs have been slowing down in frequency. You know when you can see light at the end of the tunnel and you’d just prefer to wait until you get there instead of fumbling around in the dark?

I have 4 more days left at my day job and last week I went off the rails a bit with writing, exercise, healthy eating and so forth. I thought I’d just wait until all the pesky working-for-somebody-else thing was over and done with before I got cracking on all my grand master plans.

But, as of yesterday, I realised that all the things that keep me sane, happy and healthy were the things I had given up. Why would I do that? Why stop jogging when it makes me feel so good? When did overeating ever work for me except in the very moment of stuffing my face?

What happens when I start dropping all my ‘good’ goals is my health starts to wane, my mood drops and my inspiration begins to fade. I’m at the point now (it only took 20 years or so) where I can recognise this change and jump back on board quickly.

So, there I was a few hours ago in the dark, quiet of the end-of-night (let’s not even pretend to call 5.30am ‘morning’) jogging along the promenade, wind in my hair, bounce in my step, lightness in my being and all was well. And it’s never more important to remember how good it all feels, how essential it is, to keep motivated and committed to your goals on the last day of summer.

Yes folks, tomorrow is Autumn and many people suffer a form of grievance. I am rejoicing! I love the coming of the cool, jeans, boots and coats, bright rustling leaves, the bailing of the Bondi backpacker, the snuggling in. And the knuckling down.

I couldn’t think of a better time of year to focus on a new life. I can’t wait to bunker down and snuggle into my new life. Just 4 more sleeps to go!

x Andy

Snuggling In

The cover up

I’m really disappointed folks. But also incredibly inspired by the very same event.

I know a lot of art is ephemeral. Some of it involves risk. But all of it involves putting a little bit of yourself into it…your thoughts, efforts, emotion and artistic expression. So when I see a 20 metre stretch of art get covered up with stinking, stark white paint it bites a bit.

As I think I’ve mentioned, I live in Bondi Beach. It is my home in every way and will be for life, no matter how far afield I travel and for how long. I’m centred here and inspired, happy, healthy and grounded. I’m at home.

And one of my favourite places in Bondi is the graffiti wall along the beach promenade. I jog along it most mornings at an ungodly hour and it greets me like an old friend, the various artworks encouraging me along from end to end. Some mornings there is no change, some mornings I’m met, wonderfully, by a new piece of graffiti art and some mornings there is horror.

By way of background, art on the wall must be sanctioned by Waverley Council. God knows what you have to do to be allowed to make your mark. I do know that you have to sell your soul (plus a buckload of cash) to get granted a resident parking permit so I dread to think what red tape faces artists in this situation.

A few months back there was a new piece painted up that was kinda nice but also made me a bit sick to the stomach. I’m guessing (but really happy to be proven wrong) that the Council organised an artist to throw up a ‘bin your butts’ message. While I’m all in support of no ciggie butts on the beach, it made me a little queasy that this gorgeous space for artists had become advertising space for Waverley Council. Unless some totally independent street artist had really strong anti-butt feelings they wanted to express through art? I’m guessing probably not.

Aaaanyway, this ‘sanctioned’ message along with a couple of others (one stencil work I loved, one I was far less enamoured by) were painted over by some truly fabulous, almost old-school, vibrant, colourful graffiti work on a striking black background. I loved it! It made me want to jog back home and grab my camera but, alas, I had to scuttle off to work like any other day.

Unfortunately I left it too late to head back and shoot the piece as it was this fine new work that was whitewashed by Council and plastered with warning signs. Seemingly they didn’t fill out the necessary forms.

I admit I’m conflicted over it. I’m bitterly disappointed by the loss but inspired by their courage. I’m sad for my previously-admired sunny stencil piece but grinning naughtily on the inside, encouraged by these colourful covert creatives. I really do like to mostly abide by the rules and I understand their importance in the case of Bondi’s public art space but I also feel like rebelling against it. Maybe it’s just my Libran nature. Perhaps part of the whole ‘conflicted artist’ thing. I don’t know. But I find it fascinating.

If you find these issues interesting, you MUST see the Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop – one of the finest films of 2010 (put your hand up if you think he – brilliantly – orchestrated the whole thing?!).

I’ll probably spend a decent amount of time talking street art. I love it. As you’ll see from a large proportion of the work in Flash Life: New York (oh my god, I can’t believe I plugged my own work again!!). Let me know what you think about the whole street art thing and, in particular, the ‘Waverley Council Whitewash’ affair.

Yours in artistic rebellion…

x Andy

On Notice