Thursday, 22 May 2008

Wolfgang Bloch Profile

Untitled, 2005
Saw this interview with Wolfgang Bloch on Surfline... definitely worth a read. Joel Patterson charts the history of Bloch's art and the words are accompanied by a host of pictures and audio too.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Don't Ban Bilbo!

Bilbo in action down at Sennen

Now I am a big fan of the RNLI but I read this on The Telegraph website today and I have to say that on this occassion I question the judgement...

Bilbo the dog lifeguard sacked by the RNLI

Bilbo, a seven-year-old Newfoundland, had to pass fitness and swimming tests before he could join patrols on the beach at Sennen Cove in Cornwall and he has been credited with helping save three lives. But the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) - which recently took over the running of the beach from the local council - has decided that his services are no longer required.

A spokeswoman said: "The RNLI is contracted to provide a professional lifeguarding service on the beach and has fully trained lifeguards to do this. Bilbo is a privately-owned dog and does not belong to the RNLI. The RNLI will not be using the dog to save lives at sea but does not have the authority to ban dogs from the beach." Bilbo was a regular fixture on the beach and often seen wearing his lifeguard's vest which carried a number of safety messages on it, warning swimmers about the dangerous areas.

The Newfoundlander's great size and fondness for water makes them well suited to the role of rescue dog. "Everyone loves him and he's become an indispensable part of the team," said Steve Jamieson, Bilbo's owner and the head lifeguard on the beach. "If an alert comes in, his ears start twitching and he knows something is on. Once when we were at an otherwise deserted beach checking equipment he heard some body boarders shouting. He ran into the water and swam out to them. They weren't in any danger and were just enjoying themselves but Bilbo was there in case they needed him."

Mr Jamieson, who patrols the beach on his quad bike with 14-stone Bilbo riding on the back, told The Daily Mirror newspaper he was shocked by the decision. "It's a scandal, an absolute disgrace. Bilbo has had fantastic support."

So he's allowed to hang out on the beach and can still turn up for a photoshoot but I think it is a great shame that the RNLI will not recognise that Bilbo has an official role to play. He is a fantastic asset to the team and regardless of his inability to perform CPR or drive the quad bike he undoubtedly raises awareness about the dangers of swimming in the sea, makes the lifeguards more approachable and has been a fantastic PR for the vital role that Beach Lifeguards play up and down the British coastline... all of which the RNLI should use to their advantage.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Surfing in the Sixties

My uncle, grannie, mum and auntie sharing a wave - Cornwall 1964

Monday, 12 May 2008

Surfwise or not so clever? You decide.

I happened across this trailer on YouTube the other day and was intrigued to find out more. Surfwise chronicles the fascinating journey of "Doc" Paskowitz, his wife Juliette and their nine kids. This Jewish man meets his life partner in Juliette and they immediately start a family which just keeps on growing. After two failed marriages, "Doc" packs up his conventional life and goes Bohemian, living off the earth while teaching people how to surf.The family travels around in a 24' cramped trailer – all eleven of them, eating healthy, educating the children 'at home', and surfing everyday. To fund essentials, the Paskowitzs founded a surf school and "Doc" would occasionally take low-level medical positions.

The children became champion surfers and the family featured in more than a few magazine articles and on television. Although many outsiders perceived this nomadic lifestyle idyllic, as the children matured into young adults they started to rebel against "Doc." He was unyielding, offering them few options and as the children left the fold several became estranged from their parents and from each other.

This film comprises inteviews with "Doc" and his family, combined with original footage and photos from the family's travels. What makes the film so appealing is the individuals it portrays - "Doc" is an engaging character who commands your attention - and the realities of living out such an 'idyllic' lifestyle. The freedom, travelling, surfing and innocence all have their price to pay and the children missed out on a formally recognised education which restricted their options in adult life and made integrating back into the "real" world pretty tough. But although "Doc" imposed his way of life on his family you can't really fault him for trying to give them the best that he thought was right - eating well, preserving the planet and loving one another.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Maggie Marsek Exhibition

Another event I would love to go and see. Maggie has some fantastic pictures on her website, I really like the first image on her homepage. You can order prints from her direct but I bet there are some sweet new images at her solo show down at Shelter Surf Shop which opens 31 May. Hopefully someone will post some photos then.

Talking of posting exhibition images, Ryan Tatar rocked down to The Surf Gallery to see the current Long Live Love exhibition... if you like the art of Andy Davis and Tyler Warren you should take a look.