Saturday, December 29, 2012


We've been getting up and surfing early every day that I've been home, which makes me incredibly happy. The mornings have been clear; the light and colours soft, golden and warm. So lovely.

My friend, Jono, has been taking pictures...

(This one is this morning, at my home beach.)

Considering how taken I am with looking at the colours, light, forms, and contrasts of the sky and the sea, early mornings and late evenings are pretty happy times for me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I live in a beach town

Look! Even the carpet at the local golf club is in on it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas post

I'm not really into carols. I find them... unappealing. However, if all carols were executed in this way, by these people, I'd probably give them more of a chance!

(via The Bloggess)

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Overview Effect

So, if you know me, then you know how embarrassingly excited I can get about The World. I'm always happy snapping clouds, sunsets, plants and flowers, and pointing out colours and shapes to any close by me. Like I said, embarrassingly excited. The thing is that I just can't get over how beautiful our environment is - and in that I include art and buildings and gardens and museums and design and all those urban things as well. I mean, I live in a city now and I'd be foolish and naive not to find beauty and purpose here.

The thing is that paying attention to the world around me and locating myself as a part of that helps me keep perspective when things go to shit. It gives me a sense of connectedness, place, rhythms, time and cycles of life.

So imagine how stoked this film, The Overview Effect, made me feel! (via but does it float)

From the website:
On the 40th anniversary of the famous 'Blue Marble' photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts  life-changing stories of seeing the earth from the outside - a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect... Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

This film runs for 20 minutes and I strongly recommend that you take some time out from your day to watch it. The images are completely mesmerising, but besides that (as my friend Jen just pointed out), the astronauts they interview are highly intelligent people who have been through loads of training and testing and education to get to where they are. As is clear from the ways they describe the universe, they make sense of it using physics, astronomy and philosophy. Like, the moment when Edgar Mitchell describes looking out the shuttle window and really feeling the astronomical and philosophical understandings that we all came from the stars, that we merely are all stardust... Mind blown!

My friend, Marcus has long argued that all world leaders and politicians should have to view the earth from space, and he's totally right.

Christmas waves, ham and the guy in the red suit.

I know, I know; it's an advertisement. But it kind of cracks me up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Surfing like a girl, in Bangladesh

Check out this link for a short news report about the experiences of, Nassima a young woman from Myanmar, who lives and surfs in Bangladesh.

Girl defies surf customs in Bangladesh - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

A friend once told me that when you look around at women who surf, you won't find any "shrinking violets". She didn't necessarily mean that these women are aggressive or bolshy or in your face. She meant that they are women who are strong, persistent, determined, stubborn and willing to stand up for themselves. Nassima* takes this strength and determination to a whole other level.

*Thanks surfergrrrl

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The problem with having fun

The problem with taking a few days out to have fun and surf and relax with loved ones is that when you get back to work in your river city home, all you can think is, I'd rather be surfing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pictures from home

I just spent a wonderful few days at home, where surfing is as ubiquitous as christmas...

Izzy, Ryan, Sarah, Murray and I had some (frustrating) fun on this afternoon.

Santa and his reindeer getting sick fairylight pits! (Thanks J.Ware)

 Cheesy backpacker van.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembered. Still.

It has been a year now since my mum died; a year since I discovered the depths of the links between my pain, grief, loss, love and the ocean. I am still at a loss as to what to do or say, or whether there are any words left to even talk about it.

We marked the moment by returning mum's body to the beach, to the sea. Even though what we poured amongst the water, sand and rocks yesterday was merely ashes, it was a relief; She would have hated to know she was stuck in a little box, inside.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Yes, siree! 

And we'll be celebrating in style.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Melissa Combo

A lot of the female longboarders you see featured in DVDs and images, surf in ways that are delicate, technical and light. It's very pretty to watch and as surfers, they are highly skilled. 

But the women I like to watch are strong, focused and critical in their surfing. There's something earthy about their style. I don't really know how to describe it. It's no less log-gy, it's just, strong.

Melissa Combo is one such surfer. I'm always stoked when she's in the water.
She's amazing, really. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surfing Mavericks

I just watched this short film from Vice about people who surf at Mavericks. Mavericks seems to be the break of the moment, which I guess is directly related to heavy marketing for the forthcoming film, Chasing Mavericks, which looks, um, kind of, well, kind of like every other surf film about heavy waves. That is: Young guy with a troubled home life aspires to surf heavy and somewhat mythical break, so finds a grizzled mentor, and after a difficult and determined 'journey' he achieves his goals. Meh.

Anyway, this short film is much more interesting and gives a range of perspectives and experiences related to surfing this break.

The two things that really caught my attention were Sarah Gerhardt talking about trying to be calm about surfing the break for the first time, while all the guys she was with were getting amped on tunes, and Flea describing that when he admitted he had a drug  problem, his sponsors walked away from him and withdrew their support. Also cool to hear how and why people's relationships to taking risks change (or not) when they have kids. In-ter-es-ting stuff.

(Apologies for the weird embedding issues on my posts. I'll try and sort it out sometime soon...)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Heavenly Elvis

Seriously though, look at the man. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Because it's the end of a long week, okay.

For more photos of Trotter wearing outfits, you can check out sonyayu on Instagram. (via Colossal)

 (This one is for Jacob Kurtzer. Go Giants!)*

 And these two should obviously get together... Hahaha!!

Similar to Naboo, my housemate, Jen, has taught me that looking at pictures of animals can be calming.

Alright, I'm done now.

*I TOTALLY got my Giants references wrong. Oh well, I'll leave it up anyway.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I wish!

It's no great secret that I l.o.v.e. Gerry Wedd's very distinctive and beautiful ceramics, so you know that I totally wish I could go to this exhibition.

If you happen to be close by Middleton in South Australia, I highly suggest you get yourself along to this exhibition. It will be amazing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Song for a Friday

1. It's impossible to feel sad while listening to Nat King Cole chirpily sing about love.

2. In my experience, this tune is best served with champagne.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To do list

Since I found out about it a few years ago, the World Bellyboard Championships have been high on my 'to do' list. The whole event looks like so much fun, and, for me anyway, really captures all the things I love about surfing - being in the ocean, catching waves, spending time with people, having fun and not taking yourself too seriously.

And now that I have been in touch with the lovely Sue (that's her riding the wave in the picture above), I'm even more excited to (eventually) get there. Check out the bellyboards she made for the event!

Aren't they fun! Sue's so clever with her designs - from what I can see she really captures the Cornish spirit of the event! This design reminds me so much of my summer living in Mawgan Porth, a village a little farther north from where this event takes place. I ate many, many clotted cream teas (which are entirely delicious) and got terribly (and happily) fat from doing so!

You can see a heap more images here at Swellchaser!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'The Heart and The Sea': A review before viewing

If you read any surf blogs then you have probably already seen this clip for Nathan Oldfield's new film, The Heart and The Sea. It's everywhere! But, well, what do you do? Because I can't deny that this film looks lovely.

The Heart & The Sea: Official Trailer from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.

A while ago I was talking about music with a friend who described the tunes we were listening to as 'insincere'. He explained that his cynicism for any tune (or film, or etc) is always tempered by sincerity. Like, if he feels that the sentiment of the piece is 'sincere' and true to the person making it, then that cuts through any kind of uncertainty for them. And no matter how good a tune is, if he feels that the musician is trading on a fad or trying too hard to fit an image, that insincerity ruins it for him. And he doesn't just mean that they like it. He means that they believe what they are saying, rather than they are trying to fit into some idea or sell you an image.

I'm pretty much the same.

I've admitted before that I can be a bit of a cynic, and that I find it hard to approach new films (etc) with a completely open heart. And I don't deny that is a failing I should work on. But, like my friend, no matter the subject matter, no matter the film-maker, if I feel there is a sincere connection to the topic and the way they have gone about it, I can be swayed to see value of the film even when I don't agree.

With Nathan Oldfield, I've always felt that there is sincerity. He isn't trying to sell an idea or an image, but is showing us a space and time and approach to life that connects with him. And I say this to recognise that Oldfield's films fit into a certain space in the odd world of 'surfing culture', where there are a number of films that are trying to sell us something, to convince us of something, to convince us of who they want to be. And I don't really get into films like that. They might be pretty, or clever, or fun, or have great surfing and show interesting landscapes, and that's fine, that's great. But with films like that, I never quite feel the weight of their message, nor that they even really have one. And while not every film or artwork needs to be profound or tell a story or carry a message, I just prefer it when they do. For me, the message of a film doesn't have to be big or earth-shattering. Mostly these tales are simple, like, 'don't be an arsehole', or 'be kind to your family', or 'try and think about how you treat the world around you', but simple often connects with us on a personal and everyday level. And this kind of connection - personal, everyday - makes them strong and effective. And sincere.

Look, obviously, I haven't seen this film, but I will. And I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bathing Beauties

Yesterday I got home to a package all the way from Cornwall! It was a print from Sue, who has the blog, Studio Window. Sue makes great art and prints, that reflect some of the rich beach and surfing culture in her gorgeous part of the world. Her work is really lovely and I've admired it for a while now.

My package contained a print from a wood engraving that she made (if you scroll back through her blog you can check out the process of her making it, as well as a clearer image of the print).

The next thing I would like is to get one of the bellyboards that she beautifies! Maybe when I'm over that way next...

Thanks you so very much, Sue. I'm stoked!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Things the light does

When I have time I love going through the rabbit hole of following hyperlinks on blogs. It's fun and I always come across a heap of new sites that get instantly linked into my reader. crying never solved a damn thing is one of those finds that I can't even remember how or when I stumbled across, but which has become a bit of a favourite.

Checking it today, this image really looks like a lazy Saturday when you wander on the beach, catch a few lazy waves and have time to look at the details.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cedric Nunn

Oh! And I lifted this great photo by Cedric Nunn from the Otelo Burning Facebook page.

I love this photo. It's basically everything I like about surfing - being in the ocean, catching waves however I want, being with friends and having fun. It's the best surfing image I've seen in ages.

Cedric Nunn sounds like a pretty cool guy who is talented and has interesting ideas. You should definitely check out his website.
'I am committed through my photographs, to contributing to societal change that will leave a positive legacy for the children of Africa'.
Born in 1957 in Nongoma, KwaZulu, and raised in Hluhluwe, Mangete and Baynesfield. I began photography in Durban in the early eighties, my initial impetus being to document the realities of apartheid that I thought were being ignored by the mainstream media.

Otelo Burning

So, I just heard about this film, Otelo Burning, today;

From the Otelo Burning website:

Shot in Durban and directed by Sara Blecher (Surfing Soweto), the film tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing. It's set in 1989, against a backdrop of brewing conflict between two political groups in Lamontville.
When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it's clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa.
I'm one of those terrible people who is sceptical about anything that makes grand claims in terms of 'surfing is freedom' or 'surfing for peace', but considering the historical and political context of this story, it could be really interesting and meaningful. While I find it irritating when it's a 'kid from the wrong side of the tracks come good in suburban/working class Australia' kind of tale, this story is set in a different time, place, culture and context, so I reckon I need to be a bit more open. The director, Sara Blecher, has made some interesting-looking films and documentaries, so it looks as though the subject matter is in good hands.

Anyway, it's around, so it is probably worth checking out! Do let me know if you happen to see it!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Despite being filmed in north Florida, this fun little film made me oddly homesick. (via, mersea beaucoup)

Or maybe I'm just longing for some summer surf action myself.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

You know you're "an iconic Australian lifestyle" when...

So, the Royal Australian Mint has just collaborated with Surfing Australia to release a commemorative coin in celebration of Surfing Australia's 50th anniversary in 2013.

Surfing Australia is a not-for-profit "National Sporting Organisation that was formed in 1963 to establish, guide and promote the development of surfing in Australia". To clarify, by the development of surfing, they mean the development of the sport of surfing, which is fine, but I think that it's an important distinction, especially since their vision is to "become a mainstream commercially sustainable sport, and to promote surfing as an iconic Australian lifestyle".

From the Royal Australian Mint press release:
The uncirculated coins are each packaged in their own unique surfboard shaped coin holder. The holder features an image of five-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore.

Some things to note:
1. The crappy punctuation in that sentence is the Royal Mint's own.
2. They included a woman on this (what will become an) historical artefact.
3. What a shame this coin won't go into circulation. It's actually pretty fun.
4. " promote surfing as an iconic Australian lifestyle." Mission accomplished, Surfing Australia.
5. If you want to buy one, you can get it here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Board Jenga...

No ideas where this image is from, but I got it in an email today from my buddys at Brisbane Boardriders.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's not wise to drop in on a wookie...

My friend pointed this poster out to me in a a Brisbane shopping centre the other day. It was sitting in the window of a picture-framing store. Ah, pop culture. How I love you.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
[R2-D2 and Chewbacca are playing the holographic game aboard the Millennium Falcon]
Chewbacca: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh! 
C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you. 
Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee. 
C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid. 
Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that. 
Chewbacca: Grrf. 
C-3PO: I see your point, sir.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Blue Hour

I have been following Brian Ferry's blog, The Blue Hour, for some time now. I turn to his images in the middle of a busy day, or when I'm feeling stuck indoors. They're green and warm and cosy, and there is something calm about them - a quality that I don't naturally possess and need to locate elsewhere! These few really struck me this evening, so I was stoked when Brian gave me the okay to re-post them here.

You can see more at The Blue Hour, but I recommend looking through his portfolio as well.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A request

Hello out there,

Can someone please organise some nice swell in Noosa for this coming weekend? I'll be up there for the weekend and I've been looking at the forecast which is pretty uninspiring/frustrating, so if someone could change it, that would be great. Nothing major - I'm not asking for all-time conditions or anything - just some nice little waves to play around on.

Oh, and sunshine.

Sincere thanks in advance,

Rebecca Jane Olive

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Women's bodies in the news.

(Alternative title; 'Oh Yeah. Sexism! I'd forgotten about that...': Reload)

There have been a number of stories involving women's bodies circulating in the news over the last 24 hours, and most of them are fairly upsetting. Two in particular have sparked controversy, which is frustrating, because these statements aren't 'controversial' - they're wrong. And sexist. And damaging. And scary.

The first concerns the comments of Republican Senate candidate, Todd Akin. Let's see what all the fuss is about (via BrisbaneTimes);
Republicans have moved quickly to distance themselves from Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri, after his comments that women's bodies can prevent them from getting pregnant from "legitimate" rape, obviating the need for an abortion.
"Legitimate" rape prevents pregnancy? Um, what? Like, what? I'm assuming this has something to do with Todd Akin being a staunch and unwavering (ie. fundamentalist) believer in God, but my friends who are Christian would never go about saying things like this, because they can reconcile their faith with that thing called, 'science'. And anyway didn't the new testament preach values like compassion? Because this doesn't really seem to connect with that line of thinking. Incredibly, although Mitt Romney did eventually say that Akin's words were "inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong", initially he merely said that he did not agree with Akin's views. Yeah, no. Because they are not "views", they are untruths - dangerous, terrifying, ignorant, misogynistic untruths. Because his comments aren't "legitimate". The Republican party should revoke their endorsement of his candidature. Immediately. 

This focus on rape leads disturbingly well into the next troubling comments from a politician (and I'm limiting myself to two), where British MP George Galloway said that the rape claims against Julian Assange had no basis, because having sex with a sleeping woman does not constitute rape (again, via BrisbaneTimes);

"Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him, claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion."
Yeah sure it can happen, if it's consensual. But holy shit! This does not mean that if I've had consensual sex with a guy and go to sleep near him, that he can "insert" himself into me any time he wants. This is completely outrageous, and, I'm guessing, would not necessarily be Galloway's opinion if he was ever to become the insertee*. He should lose his job. Immediately. 

Here's the thing, Akin and Galloway, if you want to have sex with someone, you need to make sure they consent to it. Every time. And if they say 'yes', but look or act uncomfortable or unresponsive or terrified, you stop. You stop because physical responses and body language are a powerful and real form of communication. You stop because it is the right thing to do. 

I know it shouldn't, but it continues to astound me that people are still saying this kind of stuff about rape and women's bodies. The worst bit is that with people like this - like Akin and Galloway - their opinions and statements actually do have impacts and power over others, over what is deemed acceptable for others. For women. It's terrifying.

*Having said that, I have no idea of Galloway's sexual preferences and behaviour and am making a massive assumption about both, and am willing to admit that I could be wrong.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello Friend...

My friend, Ollie Nicholson, has just returned from a year or so living in south america. He is a prolific and clever photographer, so in order to share his beautiful images he has organised a tumblr that trickles them to us, one at a time. The site is called Hello Friend... and you should check it out.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gray Malin - The beach from above

How I think about the beach is so often in terms of ruggedness, being alone, wind-swept open spaces and risk. These associations reflect the beach I grew up on, which so many people shunned in preference of the more glamorous and user-friendly beaches in town. As a teenager, I could go down to the beach and be the only person for, literally, kilometres. That's rarely the case any longer, but that was what it could be like.

These days, my time on the beach - on the sand - is quite limited. Beaches have become places I cross to get to the surf. I spend enough time in the harsh Australian sun, so I rarely linger pre- or post-surf in an effort to minimise any further exposure. I no longer own a beach umbrella, large, soft towels to lay on, or minuscule bikinis for sun-bathing. I no longer partake in beach culture outside of its connections to actually going surfing, which is kind of weird, when you think about it. Surfing has become my main experience of the coastal culture, which is separate to those who spend their hours on the sand and paddling in the shallows of the sea.

But beaches are not like that for everyone. Often they are much busier and more populated places, coloured with umbrellas, towels, buckets and spades, resorts and masses of bodies. The beach for them is defined by the shore, rather than the waves and the surf.

This was all highlighted for me by these aerial photographs by Gray Malin (check out his website and blog for more images). For me, they tell a number of stories about coastal culture, about the ways our uses of the beach are broadly common across societies, about the way that the ocean, sand and rocks can be so similar in a global sense, but different in terms of our intimate relationships to colour, texture, geography and form. That is, these beaches are equally so similar and distinct from each other. Years of travel, looking at photos, watching films and reading magazines helped me recognise the coastlines by their differences, which surprised me a bit. But then, Malin's aerial perspective also added a common humanity to those differences, tying the places together in a way that is quite lovely, and which makes me feel small.

 Coogee Beach

Two Mile Hollow - East Hamptons

 Hamptons surfers

 Sea Kayaks - Malibu

 Nude beach - San Francisco

 Rio de Janeiro

 Saint Tropez

 Saint Tropez

 Venice Beach

Manhattan Beach

 Caribbean resort