Posted by: Mike Rubbo | November 22, 2009

Marvellous morning at MacMasters

Last Saturday, I happened on a wonderful community market at MacMasters beach.

A lady at the fish shop had told me about it, and remembering what a charming spot it is,  with its  modest little community hall, we  could not resist going along, Katya and I,  and me taking my E bike with me.

Here’s  the view down on the little hall from the road.

Can anyone imagine a scene more charming than this?  Or how about looking  back at the stalls in the trees?

Ah, the delight of dappled light on a sunny Saturday morning, with nice people all around.   Of course the lady who’d done a bike painting caught my eye first.

She had placed it in front of the Wagstaff hall in her picture,  (the nicest community hall on the Central Coast) but had seen the bike elsewhere, just the sort of bike I favor, sit-ups. Well painted too, no?

Katya was off looking at books which I never got round to doing,  and buying jams.

I had a mission of sorts.  I set up my E bike under a tree in front of the Band,  and then went for a wander.

They was playing jaunty Dixiland stuff, just right for the time and place.

I have a  pod on the back of the bike, and in it , some pamphlets about this sort of E bike,  in case anyone was interested.

About this turquoise pod, hand made out of fiberglass, I like to say;  my car knows it place, on the back of the  bike!

My sign, lettered for the occasion,  makes  a bunch of modest claims about E bikes.

Soon,  a fella did stop for a sticky beak.   He turned out to be a bloke called Max, from Sydney who has a relative living up here.

A marvelous  Saturday morning type of chap, was Max! He went for a wobbly  ride whilst I wandered around.

I had to explain I was not  selling electric bikes,  just an enthusiastic advocate.

Here’s these bikes in action and me tricked into a stunt.

What a typical Aussie posture,  I thought,  that bloke there,  talking to the Sheila . Make a good painting,  they would,  half listening to the Dixieland but in their own world too

She turned out to be his Missus. More about them later.

Then,  there was the little girl who was wondering how the Wheel of Fortune worked. Having fun spinning the lucky mermaid.

And the dapper bloke who’s  painting was good for a laugh. He was fun.

He called it; Grandma’s last smoke, It showed  an unrepentant Gran enjoying a last puff before she kicks the bucket.

The smell of sizzling sausages filled the air as they usually do on such occasions, but ,  happily,  we were both able to resist  them

I met a nice old bloke who’s look intrigued me, a bushie type,  he seemed.

His name is  Les Waddington, he’s 88, and he’d  just bought a painting from the lady who did the bike.

Les, it tuned out,  much admired my beloved Uncle, Francis Sutton, the environmentalist who died this year at 97 . Here’s dear old Frankie Boy

Francis was way ahead of his time, proposing in the early seventies,  that we shouldn’t be wasting our sewerage by piping it into the sea .

I made a film about him called: The Man Who Can’t Stop, and f0llowed his story as  saving water  became a lifelong challenge for him.

Thinking of Francis,  who Katya and I both loved so dearly, and then meeting a stranger, Les, who’d admired him  too, was a strange thrill of  the six degrees type.

Katya and I suddenly had this flash of being  suspended in a moment of perfect contentment, in our little world, so green, so tranquil.

Doesn’t  she look  contented?  And me, in my converted helmet?

We are realize how much we like things in moderation. How much we love funky little community halls like  MacMasters, stalls with not much on offer ,  just a patient little chap, waiting to be of assistance.

We went to see Mike Moore’s new film a few days ago, Capitalism, a Love Story.

Katya was shocked that we were the only two in the theatre. We both felt Mike nailed the greed behind so much capitalism,  very effectively.

Speaking of small, Nina’s little shop, is something to visit before Nina is gone. Sadly, she’s selling up. I made this movie last Xmas as an Xmas surprise for Nina.

Back to Mike Moore and Capitalism. I feel a theory coming on. I don’t think the “ism”  of capitalism is the core problem. As Katya said coming out, things were just as bad under the other big “ism ” communism,  when she was growing up in Moscow.

No,  our underlying human problem,  is our addiction  to excess. We adore excess,  even as we know it’s bad for us and the planet.

Excess is everywhere,  almost equally,  even though the US has for long been a sort of excess theme park,  and is both loved and hated for being just that.

But it’s  here too. The mainstream media live off  local excess, often the greed of some rascals  in the business world,  or Pollies on the take.

So, I’m hoping to get around to doing a Mike More type film  which will be about excess.

But by contrast, it will be and must be,  made for virtually nothing. Excess pinned to the mat by moderation, the the goal.

I might call it. Saving the world, The Cheap as Chips way. We’ll plunder the internet, youtube, etc.  to make this movie . They  will be our cornucopias , the excess we draw upon .

I was daydreaming as the jaunty music played on towards noon.

The squatting bloke, Ian,  is a horticulturalist,  he told me,  and his wife is  something to do with nature and balance.

We might do a small project together. I would like to see my bike burdened with  trees as a green delivery vehicle, for example.

Like those bikes which won the war  for the Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh trail, years ago. They are thinking about it.

Ian would provide the trees and I,  the bike.

The other exciting thing to come out of our morning  at MacMasters, was to hear from Barbara Wills about their dream of a building bike path south from MacMasters through the Buddi National Park.

How good would that be , eh?

And on shady bushland trails too!

I volunteered to make a film to promote their idea.

I’ve  walked the famous Abel Tasman  track at the top of the NZ’s  North Island a couple of years ago,  and wondered how come the Kiwis get all the foreign visitors,  when we have a coastline just as spectacular to offer?

And you know, what we both have to give, us Antipodeans is wild places. The bush, the sea,  and silence,  or gentle wave lap,  all of that is  never far way.

Now,  is this below, NZ or Aust?  You guess.



  1. I am quite tickled that you liked my painting of the bike in front of Wagstaffe Hall! We are quite proud of our little part of the world.

  2. Oh Mike, well done on making me well and truly ‘home sick’ for NSW! When I first came to Australia I was so shocked by the diversity of landscapes and the beauty of the bush – I’d half expected the entire nation to look like the red centre (well, that’s the impression they give you in class in the UK, you know?) I don’t think Visit Australia do themselves many favours either… they’re always out filming the Kimberleys and the Gahn and, well, that’s great, but it’s the cafe culture and the shaded trees and pleasant beaches and rocks and bush of NSW that I really fell in love with when I was there. And I agree, a cycle trail up the NSW coast would be superb.

    Well done for getting out there and pushing your E-bike agenda, that takes some guts!

    I also agree that rampant consumerism will be the downfall of the Western World, but try telling the Western World that!

  3. Wait, no, We don’t have those kinds of trees near the water. So Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

    • You are right the scene is actually in Sydney harbor at Greenwich just down the road from my friend, Bruce’s house. You can see Bruce doing the sydney ride with me if you for a film on the blog called: Biking up the wrong tree.

  4. Aotearoa definately. 🙂

  5. Great to read about your morning at Macs and know you understand what we love about the place. I wish I’d had a chance to have a go on your e-bike. Hopefully next time 🙂

    • Thanks, Smiley, please do pass this around. You’ll see I’ve added the movie I made about Nina’s little shop which should add interest. Mike

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