If portraits are supposed to capture a person’s essence/character, I’ve totally failed with this one. Flemming comes across very differently in real life than in photos. There’s just something quite significant missing here… perhaps the Force is hard to capture in an image.

I finally got to meet Flemming for the first time on Friday, after a couple of years of online interaction, blog comments, twitter conversations, emails etc. And it was a bit strange, like meeting a long lost friend without actually having met them before. This meetup was fairly off the cuff (famous wanderers have busy calendars), so I was too thrilled to think about it too much, which was good: hermits have been known to spontaneously combust if left to dwell on the social aspects of things.

So what does one do when hanging out with a nomad superstar?

A chat over a cup of much-needed caffeine, and a walk around the wharves of Fremantle in this case. The original plan was to do some tug boat spotting, but the harbour was pretty dead that evening, so we did our best.

We did spot some tugs at rest through a fence though. From left to right, the sandy-coloured bulky things with spiky towers are the Svitzer tugs Falcon, Wambiri and Eagle respectively:

CharleneWinfred-Flemming-3837Yes it’s a bit of a nothing photo, but I remember feeling really happy just looking at them through a fence.


Not content, we meandered down to the Freo ports perimeter to see if we could get any closer.

It was fenced in by the Black Gates of Mordor.


The Force is strong in some people though, and they are undeterred. Me and my manky knee had to be content with taking pictures of the feet of giants…


We did however, spot the Paddy Troy, a fire engine red pilot boat, at berth along the Black Gate. The working life of harbour pilots would be a sensational project to pursue.


The Stirling Highway bridge was as far as we got that evening. There is a walkway underneath the bridge, out some distance to the river, which you can wander along until it ends at the foot of a pylon. We sat there for a while hoping for some boat activity, but there was none, so had to be content watching the dock loaders instead and wishing the train bridge wasn’t in the way.



And then I took a picture of Flemming’s shoe sole. Don’t laugh. This could be the defining shot of my posthumous fame!


It was a quiet evening that we had, mostly padding along with our cameras and chatting about random stuff (Sabrina and Ray, were your ears burning?), but it was a good one.

Thanks for being awesome company Flemming; safe journeys, and catch you in a few weeks!


I should mention that credit for my new profile picture/avatar goes to Flemming. Thanks mate!


  1. sabrina says:

    Jealous that the two of you were together but so happy you finally connected. I could have sworn that I felt the Earth spin a little faster! I’m lovin’ all these images of your day together and especially the ones of Flemming. And by the way Flemming, you did a smashing job with Charlene’s new avatar! I can’t wait until the four of us met. Epic Part 2! Oh and Ray is sitting here beside me saying “Ditto!”. oxo

    1. charlene says:

      ‘Ray is sitting here beside me saying “Ditto!”’

      You talk to your bearded self too much Sabrina ;) A full WorldNexus meeting would be EPIC. Must start plotting, bigtime. No images from the PNW chapter?

      And yes, how good is my new avatar!

  2. Cathy says:

    Looks like you had fun! Is that shot of Flemming just about to jump over the fence, or hanging there and taking pictures? Or is he just using the Force to hover??

    1. charlene says:

      Hovering, with aid from the Force… and just a bit from the fence siding ;) Heh.

      It was fun!

  3. Thanks Charlene for a great evening! It was such a fun and great meetup and so happy we finally got to meet. Sabrina, I think the force did make the Earth spin a bit quicker!

    Friday ended up hectic for the both of us, probably a good thing so the hermits had no time to think or get nervous, just meetup and lets go for coffee and lets go find some tug boats! Next time I hope we can cruise the harbour on “my” boat :)

    Good thing we are both strong in the use of the force when Charlene turns towards a Wrong Way sign saying “I should not be driving at night with my new eyes”… :D :D

    That first image I quite like that and I am like you, portraits of me are not something I usually like looking at! It may not have captured the force, but I still like it.

    I will write a blog post about our meetup as well when I get around to it, right now I am out of the door to explore Phnom Phenh of Cambodia.

    1. charlene says:

      Wrong way signs!! Yes, forgot about that, and the annoying everyone on South Mole with high beams to make sure I didn’t drive into the sea… *shakes head* I am fully appreciative of street lights now…. they make a world of difference.

      I have February to attempt to capture the Force. It may be more apparent in the Millenium Flemming once that’s underway…

  4. Radek Kozak says:

    I can tell you guys had a great time !! Love the Feet of the giant image – epic, is Flemming flying over the fence there cause i can’t see the cape :-) hope to see some footage (no pun intended) of you guys from Nick Brandt’s exhibit (or after) too

    1. charlene says:

      There’s bound to be something. I’m so totally looking forward to the Nick Brandt exhibition. I was flipping through his books not too long back and they are mindboggling-insane-good.

  5. Radek Kozak says:

    I know what you mean, i got “A shadow falls” on my bookshelf and i often found myself going back to it, got the same notion with Michael Kenna’s work. I gotta say i’m a little jealous of you guys seeing the exhibit but i’ll be there – spiritually :-)

    1. charlene says:

      I’ll keep a lookout for your ghostly presence ;)

  6. Charlie says:

    That’s so cool – Flemming seems like a very interesting guy – it’s always good to know these kinds of exceptional people, they have a tendency to drag you along up to their their planes of thinking. Nice piccies too :)

    1. charlene says:

      Agreed with you on exceptional people completely!

  7. Love the comment about how meeting online friends is like meetings an old friend one has never actually met. It’s so true. I’ve been corresponding online with Flemming for more than three years. We were drawn together by our mutual passion for Australia — a similar reason to how I first connected with you. It’s wonderful and strange the way the Internet makes it possible to connect — in a very real and meaningful way — with people widely separated by miles but connected by interests and ideas. So great that you finally got to connect in person.


    1. charlene says:

      Yes!!! It’s like a modern penpal community isn’t it? Weird but very cool.

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