14 September 2014

Fitzroy bowl, you're alright.

A large proportion of my weekend skating time is taken up by organising, picking people up and driving out to skateparks in far-flung suburbs. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a massive pain in the ass. Sorry, arse. I prefer ass. Anyway, today was such a lovely day and I didn't even want to think about all that stuff. So I went to Fitzroy bowl.

It's a famous place that has always been just down the road from where I live, in a sweet park. But I hardly go there, and neither does anyone else I know. It's something to do with the 'bowly' vibe, which seems to involve a lot of drinking and yelling and living up to the obnoxious perception a lot of people have of skaters. But today we went there and it was just wonderful.

Dave has been skating there a bit lately and has been working on some very pleasurable lines. One of the locals - Paddy - was also there, skating the bowl in a way that was actually quite remarkable and beautiful. He told me a few tricks to the place and it helped me to enjoy it more too. At one point, all of us were skating around in a big circle, taking turns flying out of the bowl, laughing maniacally, even Sam. I should've taken a photo of Sam skating, actually, but I was too busy skating myself. 

Here's Riley doing a lovely frontside grind. It was such a nice vibe. Nice to be in the middle of everything for a change, rather than out somewhere weird and unfamiliar. Nice to be around other people hanging out in the park, enjoying the sunshine. It was nice that Tess could run around and do her own thing, even if she insisted on barking at people when they were in the middle of tricks. And noone was drunk or yelling stuff. It was cool! 

25 August 2014

A quick visit to Adelaide

Last weekend, we packed up the Holden Astra and drove over to visit my folks in Adelaide. The drive was pretty long, but not without its merits. You know the kind of stuff that makes a road trip enjoyable: fog drifting over paddocks like The Nothing from The Neverending Story, smalltown bakeries, celebrity heads, podcast after cloyingly clever podcast...

Eventually, we made it to D and Joy's house in Warradale, not far from Marion, in Adelaide. Tess was instantly happier than she could remember being, thanks to lots of sunny spots and a huge, cartoonish bone she received upon arrival.

There he is, my dad, eating some muesli and musing on the quiz.

Joy was also enjoying muesli on the morning of this photo shoot. Thanks for looking after us guys!

We went out with Bub to visit her mum, my grandmother, Jay. She is lovely. I forget sometimes how similar I am to her. I used to love visiting her little house where she lived by herself with lots of lovely lamps, interesting magazines and biscuits. She is perhaps the best op-shopper I know, always dressed stylishly in designer stuff she found for cheap. She even found a stuffed emu in an op-shop once, and set it up in her living room, complete with reading glasses and suede boots.
Jay is very old now and didn't seem to remember me, but just as we were leaving she grabbed my hand and asked me if I had to leave so soon, because she hadn't seen me for so long.

Next stop was my brother Pij's place. He lives in a cherry orchard/vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, which I now realise is not only extremely beautiful, but perfectly placed for road and mountain cycling, a passion of his that I am beginning to understand better. Luckily, it was Pij's day off from working at the zoo, so he made us a cup of coffee and we sat in his front yard and marvelled at him.

Because I don't get to see my family very often, I always try and make the most of every moment when I'm around them. I imagine it's quite tiring for everyone concerned, Rosie in particular. Here I am about to jump over an agapanthus bush, with Tess in pursuit. Mid-air, my left leg caught on a rose branch, pitching me to the ground on the other side, shoulder first. This resulted in some doubled-over laughter, so, you know, job done.

Bub and Anna showed up with their dog Penny (hiding under chair).

Here's Penny again, this time at Anna's new house. Anna showed us around the lush garden, striking characteristic poses for photos along the way:

Here's beautiful Rosie, less squinty and more in focus than Anna.

I put on a purple dressing gown and read out the menu for the pub we were going to for dinner in a funny voice. Job done again. They loved it. The next morning, we drove back to Melbourne.