Sydney is home for two fine young men named Declan and Matt, however the weapon duo are separated by the vast yet stunning Sydney harbour. Despite this distance they some how make it work effortlessly. How you ask? Well despite their common love for pushing buttons on camera’s, they also share a love for a unique secret location. This location (which I’ve been told cannot be disclosed) has been an ongoing rendezvous spot for quite some time and seeing it myself, I guess I can agree that there are good reasons why.
So in Sydney on summery and often Sunday afternoon, Declan and Matt throw their to-do lists out of their van windows and send the message to meet at said secret spot. With their day kits prepared (mainly just beers and darts) they meet at the undisclosed location where they *lizard into the long hours of the afternoon.
**'Lizarding; is the act whereby one or more sit, lie or perch in the heat on rocks. An enjoyed sport for the old folk whom now look like leathery bags'
So who are these two? Well...
Declan is a re-birthed Gold-Coast kid who moved his life to Sydney with his stunningly beautiful girlfriend; Hannah. He takes forever to get to the point in any conversation or story and has one of the cheekiest grins I've seen in a human. Declan is not shy to give people shit for almost everything and somehow gets away with it after flashing his loveable yet devilish grin.
On the contrary Matt is a tall, Tarzan looking guy with piercing blue eyes. He's soft spoken with dark features home to the ultimate resting bitch face. Despite the face, Matt is a beyond friendly person who will hug anyone when he first meets them. Matt also stocks some of the best one-liners that sting if you let them.
The pair are both as bad and as great as each other. Both have a rubber arm and are always up for a good time making for quality people to have around.
So in a a typical Sydney summer afternoon the boys head to this unnamed wonder that is sun drenched with warm buttery yellow’s silhouetting Sydney’s skyscrapers. Personally, I have only been fortunate enough to visit this location once however it did become apparent that the place is essentially just a playground for adults. With sizzling rocks begging for you to lie on them and a calm swaying ocean whispering your name ... one could question if life really could get much better?
Despite my availability, the boys would continue to visit this playground in my absence. However each time they returned like sunburnt idiots I would be continually informed about some strange things they had started to pick up on. Each visit they noticed more peculiar things than the last. It goes something along the lines of the boys not knowing that their love of the place had been long before discovered by someone else….
So while lying on the beach with Declan, Matt, Hannah and myself I began to question them about their multiple experiences at this place. Here’s what iv’e come to gather so far....
It’s a textbook summer afternoon in Sydney, 2017 and the pair have sent the memo to meet to master how to put their skin cells through trauma. While in the midst of the duo’s semi-romantic hangout both start to notice dubious objects scattered around the area.
These miscellaneous items include; an Aboriginal painted kayak with the words “COON” painted on it, 3 soft grey sun beds seemingly ripped from a luxury yacht, sandstone boulders arranged around another sandstone rock that looked like what could be a table and pair of black budgie smugglers coupled with a black rash vest.
“SO WHO’S STUFF WAS THIS!?”- I ASKED
“I’M CONVINCED HE’S NOT REAL” – HANNAH SAID.
“Well obviously someone who has clearly got it all figured out” Declan said “someone highly proficient at basking in the magic of this spot.” The KING LIZARD per say.
Over sometime the boys still saw these items and began to think they were local enough to use the yacht like sun-beds for themselves. So now laying on the sun-beds with a beer in hand & enough cancer sticks to go around, it would seem the two were very happy men.
Later, a dark figure with a painted paddle in hand began to walk over to in the direction of where they were laying. The boys turned to each other pausing for a moment and without hesitation Matt said to the man with a pointed finger;
“I know exactly who you are”
Declan described the moment to me as if “everything slowed down, just like I could see the world for the first time” (like i said.. talk's loads of shit )
It was the man himself. A mysterious legend and acclaimed owner of well… all the stuff. The man who owned the racially painted kayak, the man who had written COON on a pair of flippers and the man who was flaunting the black rash vest and black budgie smuggler ensemble. So how did they know who this man was in an instant? Well when the man walked closer to them and out of the sunlight they noticed he was carrying an aboriginal painted paddle in his right hand. Could that be the paddle that went with the kayak?
“ So…you’re the guy who has done all this!”Declan said
Indeed it was. Though the man was not Aboriginal, nor was he nesting at this spot. In fact he is not even from Australia..
In their description, he was a smiley, short, eccentric & bald European man aged around 60 living in the comforts of Coogee.
He liked the fact the boys had discovered his stuff and that it was being utilised in some form. "What's your name?" they asked, “Coonter” he said.
Coonter then continued to reel of some facts to them about the area and how long he had been visiting there. Facts included that he had planted the large tree that they were laying under 35 years ago, and that he had hand carved a Buddha in the rock to “keep him calm”.
Still laying on the beach not really believing half the shit they telling me, I asked why the hell he had painted a kayak and paddle in Aboriginal colours.
“Well I guess it’s the same as putting up ‘do not enter’ signs”, Declan said . “It’s just an efficient way of keeping people out of your area.”
Painting racially offensive words ‘COON’ & ‘NOONGA’ on his own stuff ultimately uses white Australians entrenched prejudice to his own benefit. Not that I think its right but, that’s actually pretty smart I thought.
The duo then told me that the more they hung out with Coonter the more they just thought he was just geeing them up. As if none of it was really true... Was he crazy?
Additional facts were shared from Coonter about weird epidemics, conspiracy theories and claims about him being in the Olympic diving team and that he had built his own catamaran from scraps in Manly where he thatched his own sail. It wouldn't be inappropriate for one to question whether perhaps it was just a made up bunch of shit? I mean if his Thai wife Jane believes it and it's entertainment for the day...that is all that matters right?
Upon another visit to this spot, the pair met another unique and infamous character of the area. A strange man from Iran, who was always seemingly drunk, not drunk.. borderline blind. His name is Yassim. Yassim was described to me a very friendly man who doesn’t stop talking although no one can really understand him. Is this place just home to weird and wonderful people?
Yassim decided to introduce himself to Declan and Matt after noticing the boys already knew Coonter. Yassim was an overly active human being who only really spoke about wine, yoghurt and weed. Dynamite trio? Yassim who was probably high also had some questionable sunbaking techniques—see below.
In the end the boys had made significant progress in identifying who basically set up half their life at this place and met another bloke who was one for the books.
Coonter and Yassim are nonetheless friendly, approachable yet interesting individuals that were deserving of a write up, i'm sure this is just the beginning of a long sequel of stories.
I only hope I meet these mystery men myself. I'd like to meet the guy who claimed some of Sydney’s prime real estate and the man who could probably show me some new moves.
All in all, these two characters have become ingrained in the fabulous beauty and essence of the place. Although they are both not Australian by heritage, they showcase how many of us adore the unique landscape Sydney has on offer. With close proximity to bustling Sydney the spot just keeps delivering.
Thanks to Declan & Matt who let me share this story. I’m sure there will be plenty more about this and others to come.
Love ya both.