It’s usual to see an ‘about’ page on a website .. something about the author – a little flesh and bone – an autobiography of sorts.
Fair enough – so here’s mine.
Sent to boarding school aged seven / taught to box by the nuns / buggered off out of a bathroom window after two years and headed for Sydney 73 K’s away, never made it / educated later in life at Waverley College / played breakaway / terminated early and without a Leaving ticket due to some irreparable behavioural problems / had my best mate monstered by a paedophile / continued the education at South Bondi / bleached my hair / bought a couple of balsa surfboards / challenged the front row of a local football club unwisely late one night under a full moon / blood everywhere / missed the Vietnam birthday call-up by five days / never played golf or tennis / took an office job in Sydney purely on the grounds that two lovely girls sold black Nepalese hashish in a stairwell across the road every Friday afternoon / continued the Walk of Life at Hawkesbury River and Tallangatta with the Outward Bound School / met Antarctic explorers, mountaineers and merchant seamen / buried five boys and two instructors who drowned in the Hume Weir during a winter squall / met the Duke of Edinburgh at a boat handover / tried for a job on Bill Tillman’s Antarctic expedition / behaved badly in every pub in the eastern suburbs and paid handsomely for it / blood everywhere / travelled south from Sydney to South Australia via Melbourne on the fruit-pickers’ train / picked grapes until my hands bled / crashed enough church hall dances in Mildura to know we weren’t welcome / stayed at a mate’s place in Melbourne who’s sister was an airline hostess, she short-sheeted my bed for three nights but I never got the message / travelled north to Noosa looking for the perfect wave / drove past Lennox Head without even looking at the Point / grounded in Byron Bay ’63 with only Queenslanders as friends / didn’t have the cash to by a fifty quid plot of land at Wategos / found work and the meaning of life at Walker’s Slaughterhouse / realised that the smell of powdered blood never went away / bagged a seat in Jimmy K’s red Merc with all his South Sea Island brothers / made friends with the hardest boys in town / met their sisters mothers fathers and uncles / was taught the meaning of generosity.
Got on a ship and sailed away forever / landed in the UK in winter and got on a train to Earls Court / found the poms a little moody, their girls were a different matter completely / challenged a tough little pom to a street fight but didn’t see his mate behind me holding a bottle / blood everywhere / ate fried rice in a chop shop for dinner every night for six months / did Calais to Oporto in the back of a car with two Canadians who didn’t understand me / found that Portugal had a few waves and cheap beds / met one of Salazar’s senior ministers in a Lisbon bar but all he was interested in was the American girl I was sitting with / found Tangiers was full of English ‘Strange’ and quality kief at bargain prices / didn’t surface for a month / ate a lot of tuna fish and tomato rolls and reckoned the literary whiff of Burroughs and Kerouac was still strong / travelled over the strait to Gibraltar and stayed for a year / took certain liberties on a game fishing boat from time to time / met the sharpest cigarette smuggler in the Med / just avoided being seriously smacked around by armed UK marines full of piss and on leave from the Biafra uprising / saved a nightclub boss from a solid belting by the local plod and earned his lifelong friendship / found many Moroccan men were ‘hands-on’ friendly.
Got on a ship and went to the US forever / bought a wreck in Trenton New Jersey and drove to Mexico via Florida along some very strange roads / came across a lot of state police who didn’t like long hair on a man / met a black waitress in Phoenix who thought Australians ate Aboriginals / found stopping for a feed in an all-night truck stop in Alabama wasn’t a wise move, long hair again / found quality waves in Mexico and had my board thrown off a cliff in Baja then shat upon by a mob of Californian dimwits / washed up in a Vancouver motel in winter for a month with only $54 US and two old paperbacks by Steinbeck / ate serious clam chowder for the first time / sat in a train for four days travelling from Vancouver to Quebec with a young bloke who looked like Bob Dylan / flew back to Gibraltar for the dark-haired girl / introduced Blonde on Blonde as ambient music in a couple of nightclubs / bought the dark-haired girl back home to Bondi to meet the family / worked in enough Sydney pubs to learn how to land a punch / washed cars / wired up old river mansions / worked in bars, hotels, nightclubs, building sites / slaughterhouses / worked in China and Singapore making two plus two equal five / established a financial reputation / ate plenty of chilli offal / found work in hotels / farms / orchards / car-yards / boat sheds / game-boats, river boats / offices / bought tickets for John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, John Fahey, Larry Coryell, David Fanshaw, Weather Report, Dave Brubeck, Mike Oldfield, the Stones, the Necks, Philip Glass and Miroslav Vitous / qualified as the Australian spreadsheet champion of all ages / re-visited Hong Kong every year for thirty years / challenged the Avalon Mafia to stop me from taking photos of their surf for an online surf reporting site/ studied for five years to get an accounting certificate so I could get into the big money / helped build ten one hundred foot ocean-going yachts / helped meaning I counted the company’s money for them and was trusted with the petty cash / bought a farm back of Bangalow with ten mango trees, no fences and a hundred wild dogs living in a gully just down the rise / killed every brown snake I could find / met an over-large wild cat named Big Ginger late one night when she sat outside my bedroom window growling like a hungry bear / grew a bit of this and that here and there / found cattlemen to be a different breed of working man / wrote five books / still go to church / just another old man kneeling in the back pew.
Living on the Richmond River now – watching the water and reading the sky.
.. and thanks for getting this far.