Wash Out

A washout. Overexposed wasteland blues.

Where days drop like flies and the months march by.

I got rolls of film in my pocket and i’ll expose the lot.

And dip into my savings for the scans.

Summers here, Spring is but a turn in the winds. And bindies in my heel.

This time of year is crap. All heat and sea-spray. Though the light starts to linger a bit longer.

So you gotta carpe diem and all that comes with it.

Something in me feels that day siezin’ ain’t what it was once for me. A trip to the beach and a beer in the shade mightn’t be what some might think of as grabbing life by the throat.

Maybe.

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Screech

A town covered in grey. Granite paved streets without a soul on them. We walked in the cold rain to find a drink and a feed.

Most kitchens weren’t open till 6pm and it had only just struck four. So we went for a crawl about town. Our old motel had the cheapest piss and a fireplace. Good music and a large smoking area. No food though. So we made a move to a place up the road. The one not recommended by the bar staff.

When you’re fairly cut and step into a bikie den, most times its a good idea to have your drink and move along. But we had our meals, a few more beers and shared a few lingering stares with rough heads in leather vests.

We went back to the Hotel Motel and I drank 4 buck schooners of Coopers until I was out of coins. A piss-head approached me at the urinal.

“You with the Girraween Times mate?”

He was getting close. I would be pissing on his leg soon.

“Seen you been taking photos around town with a fancy camera. What for?”

‘Just like taking photos, out here hiking mate. Camera ain’t fancy, just old’ I shrugged

And he left me to finish up at that, with a nod and a stumble backwards out the door.

Got up the next morning for a hike and it was very pretty. The skies cleared. The roos came out and  the sun shone on massive mounds of granite sticking out of the bush.

Another Postcard Afternoon.

It stunk out. A stiff northerly kicked up a dust devil as I stepped out of the car and walked to the drive thru bottle-o. Grit’s whipped into my eyes. They weep as I’m peeling the shirt off my back, I step into the cool room and quickly find the cheapest slab pale ale.

“Cheer up mate, cant be that bad” the bald mad with stubby digits says to the chuckle of a small crowd of local boozers queuing up at the counter.

Back in the lot. Looks like a wreckers backyard. Cars parked haphazardly wherever they’ll fit across the potholed mosaic of asphalt and broken glass. Its always been like this since I’ve known it.

But it wont be forever. No.

A passing glance reveals a wee tsunami of gentrification washing through the streets of old Palmy. Shiny white Cafes, Hip restaurants, boutique shops and trendy barbers. A dozen or so popping up in the last year. The pissheads with the blistered coupons wont be chuckling when they cant afford the rent anymore.

The slabs in the boot. I spark up and sink back into the cab.

Suns getting low.

Lighting up the faded pastels of the highway motels real nicely.

Lights go red.

Lights go green.

Lights go red.

Traffic backs up and we all crawl along in this beautiful stinking postcard afternoon together.

 

Death to Smoochy

There was an ice skating scene with a Barney the dinosaur knockoffplayed by Edward Norton and a clown played by Robin Williams. I was watching it hungover. It was in the afternoon. On analogue television a long time ago and I thought it was pretty great at the time.

It was out of all context. Just a holiday to someplace.

You know Dany Devito made films?

Wood Chips

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It’s another Monday in the kitchen. The weekend rush is over, now its time to get to work organising the kitchen for the week ahead, to restock the cold room and unpack the largest, bulkiest delivery of the week, which is comprised of dry goods and long holding products, like cheese. The washing machine is on the fritz and the frier needs and oil change too but thats enough mundane detail from the life we chose to live. As thrilled as I know you are to hear it.

I’m joined by Tommy Gun the cool Kiwi who is slicing very ripe tomatoes as I unpack the delivery.  Now join me as I run my knife along the packing tape of a box to reveal a collection of goats cheese logs…

I pick up the perfectly round cylinder and flip in in my palm, slapping it down on the bench to grab Toms attention.

“What do you think of this Goats Cheese we’re using?”

Tom shot me a downcast look, “Not great bro, I don’t really dig it hey”

“The taste?”

“Yeah there’s something about it, hey. Its not right”

“Yeah its shitty alright” I roll another roll onto the bench

“You know what it tastes like? Its like a goats cheese made by a robot in a some kind of, not too distant, dystopian future where automation has progressed to a point where all food production has been taken over by robots.”

“Yeah, its got no soul!” Tommy exclaimed excitedly.

“And it tastes like plastic too… Cheap though.” I say, with a resigned shrug.

I bundle up the rolls and grab some other bits and make my way to the cool room. Outside the clouds are rolling in, creeping over the sunshine. A few customers are walking up the steps, two by two. Another trucks pulled in with the fruit and veg. He’s fudging about in the back of the truck, no doubt somethings missing, I’ll deal with that the on the way back in…

Across the road the last rays of light hit the ocean as the traffic begins to back up through the intersection.

And I step off the steamy street, into the cool air of the walk-in.

Washout.

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I shot this test roll in the afternoon while I waited for the tide to drop at Duranbah. The camera’s a Yashica Minister 700. It’s a Rangefinder. I’d never shot with a rangefinder before. Lining up that yellow blob to focus. Hard to do with natural patterns, easier with hard edged structures and people. It felt strange. With no light-meter I guessed exposures. I’m happy with how it all came out. It felt good to shoot film. The mystery.

How good is that Valiant?