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Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Well, it's been a big year. A year of change. It started with a bang. Dan Ilic and I wrote a film about gay marriage which made it into Tropfest. The first six months saw me teaching law at Sydney and Macquarie Universities. I owned a scooter in Sydney. Silver Cinder played at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and at The Vanguard before it came to its end. I worked at the Lowy Institute. And finally, I moved to a new home in Canberra to work for the Government in human rights. Along the way I fell in love with the writing of Frederick Buechner... and there's more to do there. I bought a piano and set up a home studio... and there's more to do there as well.

There'll be more musing and whining next year, but for now, thank you to those random selection of people around the world who continue to read this blog. I hope it serves some purpose for you, as I know it does for me. For now though, have a great New Year.

In the words of my old friend Eric Demay: Don't settle. Stay young. Stay foolish.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Men Who Swim

I recently saw this beautiful little documentary about a group of middle-aged men/misfits in Stockholm look for meaning in their lives by joining a synchronised swimming team. The documentary follows the lives of the team-members as they train for the inaugural All-male Synchronised Swimming World Championships.

This film snuck up on me. At first it seems like a fairly eccentric look at the life of an ex-pat (Welshman and Director Dylan Williams) in Sweden who is seeking to make sense of everything around him as he arrives at middle-age disappointed and frustrated at his hitherto lack of success/fulfilment. However, as the the documentary rolled on, I found myself drawn into the lives of these men - ordinary men, all seeking something extra-ordinary.

The beauty of this film lies in its celebration of the small everyday struggles and victories that life offers up to each of us. The loss of a job. The rueing of youth past. The unexpectedly expensive vet bill. The finding of love. The film holds up these little moments as having one incredibly special thing in common - they are present moments. Through synchronised swimming, this group of men - men who up until now have either looked expectedly to the future, or ruefully to the past for meaning - learn to find meaning in the present moments of their lives.

The trailer doesn't do the film justice at all and the film's distribution is a little sketchy, but if you manage to catch Men Who Swim on a shelf in a dvd store, it's well worth a watch.


Have just been looking over this blog and some of the posts that I've put up here over the last 5 years. I feel like I haven't written anything meaningful for weeks now. I don't know what it is. I just don't feel like posting. Don't feel like commenting. Don't feel like listening to my life.

I even had a draft post about Paul Keating's leadership capabilities ready to go... but I can't bring myself to finish it.

Ah - where is the muse?


Photos from the recent day-trip to Braidwood, a little gold-mining town just outside of Canberra. Old antique shops, crazy bush ranging ancestors, boiled lolly shops, a well populated Gallipoli monument, three churches and - my favourite - the local town cultural hub, the "national" theatre.


I've been looking at buying a keyboard for about 3 years. I've tried acoustic uprights, grand pianos, electric pianos - the lot. I finally pulled the trigger on the Nord Stage 2 last weekend. It has been mind-blowingly awesome. If you've ever played one, or have heard of what they offer, you'll know what I mean. My little studio is coming together.

The immediate plan is to record a few songs that have been kicking around in my head and see what happens from there. Stay tuned...

Australian Summer Sky

Road to Braidwood from Canberra