Martin Johnston, New Brighton NSW
Who are you?
Martin Johnston. But my mates call me Marty.
Where are you from?
I was lucky enough to grow up around Byron Bay. Places like Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Federal, New Brighton and Billinudgel.
Where do you reside now?
My girl and I have just bought a small block of Land in the beach side village of New Brighton, only 15 minutes from Byron Bay. We’ve got plans for a small house and will hopefully start building early this year. For now, we live next to the Billinudgel Nature reserve. Up here, we are surrounded by bush and wildlife. It’s truly peaceful.
How did you meet?
Over a bottle of Champagne. Actually, its was Passionpop ha ha. We were at a friends 21st in Brisbane and she was struggling to open the bottle. I came to her assistance and later that night we danced to a song by The Rapture. I didn’t see her for about a year after that but randomly bumped into her at a concert where The Rapture just so happened to be playing again. We joked about the song and I told her that if she hears it, she had to meet me on the dance floor. When I heard the guitar, I looked around and sure enough, there she was. We danced and laughed but this time I got a kiss. That was 7 years ago now…
What do you do?
Besides dancing with two left feet, I like to make furniture. I’m a Cabinet Maker by trade and specialize in bespoke furniture and fine cabinetry. It’s the perfect profession for me. I get to collaborate with some really interesting people and see some of Byron’s most beautiful homes. I also get to channel my creativity whilst perfecting my craftsmanship and I love the challenge of designing a piece for someone’s home.
Do you have any morning rituals?
If given the chance, I love to start the day with a surf. All I need is a few waves and I swear I’m a happier man because of it. It really does help your day roll on.
Name a few of your favourite things
I enjoy making my own surfboards. Even though I suck at it, I guess I just like the process of making a functional board and watching the idea come to life.
I also like photography. This obviously goes hand in hand with travel and I love to pack up my Ex Army Land Rover and head into the bush to roll the swag of for the night. I like my “stuff” too. My Akubra collection, an old whip, a 22 rifle I bought at a garage sale for 50 bucks and a beautifully restored Kelly Axe from Tasmania a friend gave me. My Art collection is forever growing and I really appreciate a good whiskey!
What can’t you live without?
The undying support of my friends and family. Simple. They are my back bone.
Any bedtime rituals?
I wake up super early so by about 8:30pm I’m completely useless. Almost Zombie like.
Everyday without fail I’ll brew some coffee in my little percolator and enjoy a bowl of Muesli with fruit. Or if it’s the weekend, I’ll Visit Haley at The Footbridge Café for a hug and something off the menu.
My neighbour makes Chai from his home and when he packs the tea, he puts a massive fan on to blow away the dust making our whole street smell like cardamom. Everybody here loves the smell.
What’s on your bedside table?
Next to nothing as I like to keep it neat. Some wanky architecture magazines, an old note book and pencil, my annoying phone and a glass of water that will inevitably fall over at 2am every night.
Favorite sound to fall asleep to?
As we are surrounded by bush, it’s amazing to listen the night birds, crickets and frogs but I’ll never forget how silent the Sahara Desert can be at night. We camped there for a few nights whilst traveling and I can remember falling asleep to pure silence. It was a moment in my life I’ll never forget.
Tips for a restful nights sleep?
An honest day at work, stretches and magnesium.
Tea or coffee?
Oh man. Moonshine, a local coffee company, has just released their cold pressed coffee in these cool little beer bottles. It’s seriously the perfect thing for a North Coast summer but in saying that, I do love a strong black tea. So get the kettle on, I’m a coming ‘round.
Best solution for Monday morning blues?
Music. Dust off the old records and keep at it. It’s only Monday.
Favourite place on earth?
In my bed, between my IN BED sheets with my girl.All images courtesy of Martin Johnston