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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Byron Loker

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Black cat

So I Iost one of my four temporary charges–three black cats and a black dog–for a day and it was a short trip from there to despair and searching of the soul and such matters. I got to thinking about how I should be somewhere else, in my own home (with my own dog) and not wearing someone else’s for a week like a sorry hermit crab, talking to someone else’s beloved pets like a crazy man–they just stare back in what looks like alarm and then bolt and hide for as long as they’re hungry–and to hell with cats anyway, who just want to run away for good as soon as they find the gap to a better life.

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Charlie’s good food

I drove a ski-boat down to Alexandria, Minnesota for something called “winterization”, listening all the way to the country music stations popping up from town to town: Tim McGraw singing how he’ll always be, and another man singing them pantyhose ain’t stayin’ on for long if the DJ puts Bon Jovi on.

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VIDEO & PRESS RELEASE: First ever Joburg surfing team scores at SA Interclub Championships


The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa's first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager) , Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).

The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa’s first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager), Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).


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Hailing from the “mining town” of Johannesburg, aka “the big smoke”, the Joburgboardriders Club became the first ever landlocked team in South Africa to compete in a national surfing event—the 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Surfing Championships—held this past weekend near Cape St. Francis, site of the legendary Bruce’s Beauties break.
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Launching a short film crowd-funding project!

Dear friends,

Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated. To cut to the chase: I am crowd-funding the production of my first short film as director, working title ‘Irregardless’. It was written by American screenwriter John Porter (writer of the feature ‘Lost Mother‘), in whom I have found a kindred spirit and hope to collaborate with on many a film project in the future.
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Licensed to thrill: a rumination on the new James Bond film

I wanted to rate Daniel Craig’s performance as cold and detached, until I saw it for what it is: brilliant and efficient.

I wanted to rate Daniel Craig’s performance as cold and detached, until I saw it for what it is: brilliant and efficient.

I think Spectre it is a perfect film. (You don’t have to read on, this is the age of Twitter, after all). All I can say is I feel very proud of the storytelling industry at the moment. Ok, that’s not all I’ll say then:
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Death in Venice part II

Dalebrook tidal pool in Kalk Bay

HEAVY WATER: The hardest thing I have ever done in my life happened during that winter, and it was to get out of bed just a handful of times and walk down the Main Road to the Dalebrook tidal pool, dive into the ice-cold water and swim a few lengths and then sit for a time with Hans and talk to him about the fight for my life.

Click here for Death in Venice part I

For Hans Soltau: 05 05 1945 — 09 09 2015.

“You are fighting for your life,” Hans reminded me, “And my job is to corrupt your thinking. Let me tell me you something that might surprise you—do what is evil. You don’t have to do what you think you have to do, or what you think other people want you to do. Do what is evil.”

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Man killed by motorist on Malibongwe Drive and a lesson in citizen journalism

A man estimated to be in his early twenties was killed on Sunday at approximately three PM on Malibongwe Drive in Muldersdrift, just north of Johannesburg. According to an eye-witness, the man was struck by a silver Hyundai containing four occupants while attempting to cross the busy road—popular with motorists making weekend trips to resorts in the Hartbeesport Dam area.

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Board members

Pierre de Villiers

SUNSET INDUSTRY: Scarborough-based Pierre de Villiers is known for his eclectic but thoroughly big-wave tested surfboard shapes. Photo BYRON LOKER

Published in The Times newspaper, Oct 7, 2015

As a surfer of limited means (which many of us tend to be for some reason), I have always had a rather fraught relationship with the tools of the trade, so to speak. When it comes to the acquisition of “new” surfboards, I usually scour the second-hand surf-shops and Cash Converters of the neighbourhood where I happen to find myself resident and fetch up the cheapest, most serviceable-looking shape I can find—beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. » read more

Death in Venice part I

Then there was the time while I was living in the English Professor’s home in Kalk Bay and wondering what to do with my life, that I got Depression really badly and nearly died. I had stopped taking the medication a year previously because I thought I was fine and cured and would be OK, but, as it turns out, I wasn’t.

At the worst time of it I couldn’t get out of bed for four days, except to take a piss. Eventually, I knew I had to get up and go outside and try to do something to stay alive when I couldn’t even get up to take a piss anymore. I still had the job then where I would work on the Internet all day copying and pasting things, so I could work from home most days of the week and not get out of bed on those days, and not manage to eat anything. » read more

Fish out of water


Eastern Cape surfers don’t know how good they’ve got it… one of the most memorable sessions of my life—banging, six foot, chunky runners down the point, eight guys out—at the crown jewel spot in Slummies, Nahoon Reef.

One of the perks of my new so-called career as a project manager based in Hell, aka Johannesburg, is that I am still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. (Some of the other perks being the colourful assortment of ulcers, cancers and nervous conditions I am accumulating in the soft tissues of my body.) » read more