Saturday, December 19, 2009

359 days till Golf Trip

Place the club face behind the ball. Stand comfortably with feet shoulder width apart. Draw a line that extends from your right foot through your left and all the way to the pin. Set your feet into the ground. Bend your knees. Focus right at the spot on the ball where the club face is going to make contact. Turn your head to trace the trajectory the ball is about to take. Visualise the flight of the ball in reverse. From the hole, rise and swing through the sky, downswoop to its position here on the ground. Head over the ball. Slow, solid, smooth backswing. Watch the ball. Watch the ball. Describe an arc. Transfer weight from right foot to left. Drive with left hip. Watch the ball. Take a mental snap shot as the club head violently slashes across my vision, witnessing the leading edge folding over the very tips of damp grass, the satisfying sound of contact. The ball suddenly receives a large delivery of kenetic energy.

Simple game really. It had been over a decade since I'd last picked up a golf club in anger. Back then it was a fun round with the brother of a girlfriend. I recalled hitting the odd decent shot, but spending a lot of time looking for lost balls and had filed it away as something that I wasn't very good at and low on the enjoyment to hassle ratio. This time around I once again hit the odd decent shot and also spent a bit of time hunting for the mishit ones. But I thoroughly enjoyed it all. Maybe I'm mature enough for golf now?

When I stop and consider it, I keep ticking a heap of boxes and wonder why its taken me so long to get around to realising that golf is something I could/should put some effort into. It is perhaps the socially accepted pinacle of honing a useless skill. Most other sports can, even vaguely, translate into helpful real world skills; but golf is totally pointless. I thrive on teaching myself complex and useless skills!

Plus, I really enjoyed spending a few hours walking around a beautiful setting with a bunch of cool guys. I also found that I can chip like a pro. I've no idea how or why, but chipping balls ~30m up onto the green via a nice high parabolic arc came really naturally to me. The ambrose round where I consistantly delivered the best approach shots was a huge turning point in my fledgling golf addiction.

I'm definately going to require some time at a driving range working on my tee shots though. Oh boy, where they ever inconsistant.

Meredith Music Festival

By my own admission I'm well out of festival form. Prior to the weekend, the last camping festival I attended was a wet Spendour in the Grass which I didn't take much enjoyent from. Combined with the memories of a wet, cold and windy Falls Festival a few years earlier and I had kind of sworn off camping festivals.

With this in mind, along with horror stories of the conditions from the previous year, I woke up at 3:30am last Friday with some trepidation. We were heading via charter bus to the Meredith Music Festival. After exchanging some angst with the bus driver about whether or not he would be waiting in line with us for 2 hours until the gates opened, we finally made our way to Outter Mongolia and claimed an excellent camp site. The weather was looking pretty good all things considered. Patches of sun and blue sky through grey clouds, which let loose nothing but small sprinkles all weekend.

I was determined to have a large one, even knowing that I'd be backing up directly after Meredith to head off for 4 days of heavy golfing and heavier drinking. This lead to Friday afternoon quickly building towards a huge Friday night. I didn't really have any bands on the ticket which were "must sees" so I just hung around the stage and gave everything a shot. I was my usual gregarious self and made a number of new friends.

Sia was impressive, I have a theory that her set alone would have led to about 25% higher rates of curious lesbian encounters. Patrick Wolf's set was probably my musical highlight of the festival, I regret not being up and dancing for the whole 45mins he was exploding all over the stage. Tumbleweed put on an excellent rock show.

We happened to be standing next to the world's biggest Royal Crown Review fan when they took the stage. At first I was chuffed, as his obvious excitement was spilling over onto everyone around him. I surprised even myself with how quickly I grew tired of his incessant annoucing of how amazing this all was, along with the complete backstory of how someone so young was such a fan of such an odd band, combined with the group hugs between each song.

I only caught the earlier bands on Saturday, highlights being; Pharoahe Monch, Combo La Revelacion (seriously, if you like a bit of salsa music you need some Combo) and Heavy Trash.

Paul Kelly's set was good, but seemed a bit out of place with the vibe of the crowd. Animal Collective and Javis Cocker both also left me a little "meh". I think I was just in a different party mode than what they were performing on stage, but I often found myself annoyed that the bands were stopping the DJ's from continuing to spin more cool tracks.

I only heard the Yacht Club DJs set from the campground, but it really sounded like it was pumping. If only they'd been on at 10:30 instead of 1am :)

All in all, I had a total blast. The music was damn good, but really these festivals are 50% about the people you're with (I'm giving 25% to the weather and 25% to the music) and I was lucky enough to spend my 1st Meredith with a crew who've essentially become professionals and also met a bunch of excellent people.


For those hardy few who have continued to find their way to my little corner of the internet through my sporadic posting habits, thanks. For those who hassle me to update, thanks even more.

My life in the recent 3 months hasn't exactly contained much that I've felt the need to share. The low bits are fairly obvious to those who know the details and the high bits I haven't felt the need to post about because the majority of people who I'd like to share the details with have been there by my side.

Still, I've been slack. In amongst the trials and tribulations of day to day living, I have continued to have the occassional insight into life the universe and everything. I've just been too lazy to spend time at the keyboard writting about them.

I've found myself looking at the calendar and declaring that I'll get my life back on track in the new year. I have big ideas of rejoining the rat race, meeting a new collection of cubical drones, learning the ins and outs of another business. I am excited.

Until then, my focus remains 100% on enjoying life. This, I've realised, is a simple process; find good people to be in the company of.

I certainly did a bang up job of that over the last week; 1st at the Meredith Music Festival and then at Golf Trip.