Monday, November 24, 2008

Highly recommended: Musica Surfica

I've just finished watching a new surf movie called 'Musica Surfica' and I can fully understand why it won Best Feature at the New York Surf Film Festival. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best surf films I've ever watched. It's based on the concept of taking Richard Tognetti, the artistic director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and a bunch of top surfers and shapers including Derek Hynd and Tom Wegener off on an artistic/surfing retreat in which they all experiment riding finless boards. As the retreat progresses the creative atmosphere not only affects the way everyone views surfing but it also permeates into the approach of the musicians as everyone starts to get beyond the status quo. If ever you wanted to see clear evidence of surfing being an art rather than a sport, this is it. A beautiful and inspiring film of which writer and director Mick Sowry can be justly proud. It might also prove to be the seed for all sorts of other artistic collaborations based around a shared passion for surfing. You can buy a copy of Musica Surfica here. Mick Sowry also writes a great surf blog at

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top West Country photographer

Today I was privileged to meet top West Country photographer Richard Austin. His photographs are used all over the world in newspapers and magazines and he is also the author of two best selling books: Animal Magic & More Animal Magic. His website is here and his books can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Surf and destroy

Great collection of surf pictures and opinions at

Musica Surfica - where surfing and classical music meet

Musica Surfica is a documentary which involves a unique gathering of classical musicians and surfers, with a purpose to opening minds to new ideas by demonstrating the benefits of taking risks in their art. Shot on King Island in Southern Australia, the documentary follows one man’s creative journey, Richard Tognetti, leading violinist and Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, as he seeks new inspiration from traditional and classical music. He teams up with Derek Hynd, one of the world’s most influential surfers, who challenges him (and 2 time world champion, Tom Carroll) to ride an un-finned surfboard, which demands fresh thinking, or ancient methods, to keep control. Winner of Best Documentary at the New York Surf Film Festival, it is written and directed by Mick Sowry who also writes at To buy a copy visit the website here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alltop Surfing News

There's a new site for surfing news called Alltop which describes itself as an "online magazine rack" for major topics. The surfing news page can be found here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Richard Davies QC

I was shocked to hear today of the death of one of the very best barristers in the country, Richard Davies QC, who tragically passed away last week. Described by Chambers UK as "intellectually brilliant" he had the preeminent reputation in the conduct of sports litigation as well as being Head of Chambers at 39 Essex Street. I met Richard when he presented a webinar on sports personal injury cases in June along with fellow sports law specialist and barrister Jonathan Bellamy. I was struck not only by his intellect which shone out but also by his understated, warm and down to earth manner. A really tragic loss. A condolence book can be found on the 39 Essex Street website at

Charkin Blog

I see Richard Charkin's excellent blog on publishing (with a sprinkling of cricket) that he wrote during his time at Macmillan has now been made into a book. You can read the blog and browse the "Charchive" here and you can buy the book here. Here's a few examples of his posts:
Supporting public libraries
Top publishing blogs
On royalties
On blogs becoming books
Favourite film quote ("Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me")

He also provides a damning quote (here) about lawyers from Auberon Waugh who said: "Generally speaking, the best people nowadays go into journalism, the second best into business, the rubbish goes into politics and the sh*ts into law." As for his own industry, he says, "I suppose publishing lies somewhere between journalism and business. I hope so."

Escaping the 9 to 5

Here's another blog from a lawyer working towards a simpler life called EscapeThe9to5. To read more, click here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen) - Baz Luhrmann

The original text for this song was written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune on 1 June 1997. The full text can be found here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dove Grey Reader

I stumbled upon a gem of a blog recently called Dove Grey Reader by a lady in Devon who shares her "bookaholic passion" with the world through numerous reviews of an eclectic mixture of books.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saltrock blog

Great to see that surwear company Saltrock have started a blog. Click here to keep up to date with what they have to say.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Marshmallows: the ultimate test of success?

Intersting article in the Daily Mail suggesting that a child's future success can to some extent be determined by the marshamallow test. It was devised by Professor Mischel and involved leaving a child in a room for 20 minutes with a marshamallow with the advice that if they could resist eating it they would be given a second marshamallow as a reward. As the article says: "The children who took the sweet straight away turned into teenagers who lacked self-esteem and experienced difficult relations with their peers, it was found. Those who waited for a second marshmallow turned out to be more socially competent, self-assertive and academically successful. The boys and girls who waited even scored an average of 210 points more in their school exams than those who didn't." To read more, click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Four Hour Work Week

For any budding surfing lawyer, they may be interested in Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Work Week which covers subjects from mini-retirements to outsourcing your life. Described as "the Indiana Jones of the digital age" Tim also keeps a blog here. To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another lawyer gone surfing...

After my post yesterday about the Washington DC lawyer slowly giving up his job to follow his dreams, I was sent today by the Editor of Blawg Review a link to a post at FourHourWorkWeek entitled How to Surf Life: Attorney Turned Surf Guru. It describes the story of Hans Keeling who gave up his high-flying job as a lawyer in Los Angeles after having tried surfing on a visit to Brazil in 2004. He returned from that trip and immediately handed in his three-week notice. He then moved to the tropical paradise of Florianopolis, Brazil and set up a premier surf-adventure company called Nexus Surf. The article concludes:

"These days, he often sees his former self in the under-joyed and overworked professionals he takes out on the waves. Waiting for the swell, the true emotions come out: “God, I wish I could do what you do.” His reply is always the same: “You can.”

The setting sun reflects off the surface of the water, providing a zen-like setting for a message he knows is true: it’s not giving up to put your current path on indefinite pause. He could pick up his law career exactly where he left off if he wanted to, but that is the furthest thing from his mind.
As they paddle back to shore after an awesome session, his clients get a hold of themselves and regain their composure. They set foot on shore, and reality sinks its fangs in: “I would, but I can’t really throw it all away.”

He has to laugh."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Adventures in voluntary simplicity

I read on the excellent legal blog Swordplay recently about a lawyer in the States who is keeping a blog in which he invites readers to "Follow along as a highly-paid lawyer gives up a life of material comfort and unencumbered excess, and embraces the beauty and freedom of simple happiness." To read about his progress in downsizing, click here.