Monday, December 24, 2012

The School of Life Australia.


January is just around the corner.
So is this exciting project!
The first international School joins the UK's hugely popular space.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Ocean is a Meadow.



Aren't these little North Pole sea-snowflakes utterly beautiful? They're called 'frost flowers' - little sculptures of ice that stretch for miles. A blossoming sea, what a sight to see.

(via NPR, pics by Matthias Wietz)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I've Got a Secret...



This morning I woke up thinking about secrets.

About what makes us tell those sometimes questionable, often exciting and very, very personal snippets of our thoughts and lives to others.

I suppose part of it is about the ego, that little part in all of us that sometimes peers around the corner and says, "Hey! Look what I've got! Look at what I know!"

And part of it is just oral storytelling - a sharing, in a private moment in time, of a story or precious thought with a precious person.

I tend to view secrets as a testament to my love for others. The more I love and cherish a friend or lover the more I want them to know everything about me. And, I about them. There are those who know you in one dimension and others who know you, the real you.

It's a special thing watching secret-keepers work to keep yours safe, when they metaphorically jump in front of buses to change subjects that they know are hurting you and cutting a little close to the money-spot. A shared ritual that operates on a vice-versa basis.

But the older I get (ah, yes, that ole line) I'm growing more attracted to the notion of privacy and an awareness that happiness, freedom, confidence, acceptance and all of those things we seek through our time with others, can all be found within our own secret hearts.

A secret-keeper is a high office indeed, not one to be taken lightly, for the burden often outweighs the excitement of knowledge.

To those who know and hold my secrets: thankyou for continuing to keep them safe. And, merci for trusting me with your own.

Time to go out and enjoy the day, ok?

Friday, November 2, 2012

When We Come Apart.

As I write this I'm lying in bed at home. Home, home. My country home. It's been a bit too long. A long winter, as they say. In my case, literally and figuratively.

Sometimes we come apart from ourselves.

Like the end of a thread, nestled against a seam; an accidental pull, a spare length just a tad too long threatens to pull everything apart.

I love this print by Rachel E Foster called "The Kissing Checklist". I have one in Ladyland. It's so simple, so whimsical and most importantly it conjures up so much emotion - vivid memories of first love(s) and frenzied bellies, full of butterflies.


We sometimes need reminders of what to worry about and what not to worry about. What to spend our time doing and what (and who!) to just ignore. To prioritise things that help our warring internal tribes stay together.

Every Friday Facebook is littered with the exclamations of relieved masses about the joy of reaching the end of another week. Half of those then seem to go out and get trolleyed because they were so happy but they then spend the rest of the weekend in the depths of depression for doing so. We've all felt those Sunday evening blues at the prospect of facing another unfulfilling week.

We need to change the cycle. To practise mindfulness, to chase down and pounce on the things that make us joyful. Then keep 'em close. As close as can be. To compartmentalise the grey parts of our lives that bring us down and turn us into those supermarket-zombies. Easy, right?

If I was to mould my reminders into a list it would go something like this:

Play the piano.
Go to bed no later than 10:30pm every night.
Sing loudly in the car along to the radio, iPod, the hum of the engine.
Go camping. As often as possible.
Watch re-runs of The West Wing.
Stop worrying that you'll disappoint people.
Go for very long walks.
Stop offering everything to everybody.
Turn phone to silent when it's not absolutely necessary to have it on.
Write. Anything. Using a pen.
Hit the road, discover new country towns and pillage their op shops.
Stop trying to ensure that every single person you meet will like you.
Go home.

What's on your list?

I recommend giving it some thought with this ol' favourite as your soundtrack.
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Colour Bomb.



Following up from the little audio mention below...here is the clip for Colour Bomb's first single 'On The Run'. Love it, people, love it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BBQ Days.



I love special Saturdays with special friends. It's been a bit of a mad month, as I'm sure you could tell from my radio silence.

So, a country adventure at Ro and Kate's place was such and exciting and terrific prospect, and reality, made even more special when the stupidly-talented Tom captured our fun on his iPhone. Gawd, I need to learn this kind of stuff, stat!!

Oh, and check out just how stupidly-talented Tom is...click here below to hear his first single.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Loss.


Today has been hard. 
The cruelties of life were brought just a little bit close to home.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

For those who have come before.


This is not a joyful post. But it's not without joy. Stay with me. 

I often think about the dead. Sometimes irrationally, sometimes maturely. Often.

It's so easy to think that it's just all about us isn't it? Those of us living at this moment.

I look at those beautiful black and white photographs of (mostly famous) people who have come before and they feel so un-real. Who are all of those other people? Were they just constructs of our imagination? But then someone well-known will die and I feel sadness. A real heart-pang at reading or hearing the first newsbreak. And I remember that people like Marilyn Monroe and Martin Luther King Jr died when my parents were alive so they were real, not just one-dimensional people in gorgeous vintage photographs and old 8mm frames.

The first two years of my life on this planet were shared with some familiar names who were in the last one or two years of their own: George Balanchine, Ira Gershwin, Joan MirĂ³, Tennessee Williams, Ansel Adams, Truman Capote, Michel Foucault and Marvin Gaye.

I share my January 8 birthdate with Elvis and on that same date, many years ago of course, both Marco Polo and Galileo died.

In the past I've often thought that we all need to write serious journals as a record of the things we learnt and discovered and dreamed and thought. About how amazing it would be to read about the lives of my ancestors in great detail. But lately I've been so enamoured with the concept of each of us disappearing. Quietly, gracefully. As the generations forget, one at a time.

Hopefully for all of us we have many, many years before we have to think about this, but it's sometimes good to ponder, don't you think? Oh those who have shared this world.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Smokehouse.



It's Monday in Australia which means that some people (hopefully lots) are springing out of bed and heading off to their jobs, eager to take on the world. And of course there are also many people who are perhaps not so excited to be heading off to work. Perhaps they're a bit hungover, perhaps they hate their boss, didn't have a good sleep or are stuck in a soul-less job.

So I am perhaps a bit cruel to be sharing this on a Monday morning. I'm being far more friendly to those of you overseas who are able to watch this as a last little bit of inspiration on a Sunday eve.

My dear friend Rohan Anderson is a dreamer. But rather than just romanticising and wistfully dreaming of his ideal life he has worked his butt off to create it and live it.

It's not easy.

Ro chronicles his adventures hunting, fishing, foraging and growing his own food on his ridiculously popular blog, Whole Larder Love. And the best part is that he pulls no punches. He shares the crappy bits too.

One of the most exciting things he's done in the last few months was build a smokehouse for Smith Journal magazine. A step-by-step account is in Vol 4 of the mag (on sale today) and the amazing filmmakers at Commoner captured the build for you to watch here now!

Dream away.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beginning, For the Second Time.

University College, Melbourne University

I first moved to Melbourne in February 2001 as a wide-eyed country girl ready to take on the big city. I had just celebrated my 18th birthday the month before.

I lived on campus at Melbourne University (just to the north of the city centre) for two years and then in the four years that followed I mostly lived within a couple of kilometres of that first site. That was until the bright lights of bigger cities called my name.

A couple of weeks ago I moved into my very own pad in Brunswick and I now drive/walk/tram past my old college stomping ground on a daily basis. In oh-so-many ways it feels like yesterday, as if the past ten years hadn't even occurred. But then, of course, at the same time it feels like forever ago. As, indeed, it was.

Although so many of my biggest and most cherished memories of these past (hugely important) years have been set in Sydney and L.A., Melbourne's streets still remember my stories.

It's always funny isn't it when you move house and then you realise you used to party at the bar around the corner, or once parked down the road or shopped at the bakery across the street? At the time you'd never imagined that you could be living just around the bend one day. In my new-old neighbourhood memories are evident on every corner.

I see a muddy, mouthy girl traipsing through the park after a college sporting match; an overexcited teen, bouncing at the gate of a college across the road for her leggy best friend to claim her birthday present; a desperately sad early-twenty-something lugging bags into a friend's sharehouse after a messy breakup (twice); and - in the depths of my memory bank - a very small child peering out the windows of the car that wound its way through the northern streets for special city weekends.

And so, here I go again. I'm back in Melbourne. I'm back at the beginning. Ready to make some new memories.

It's so darn exciting.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Honey Bees.



There's a not-so-quiet food revolution happening in Australia, and specifically in Victoria. It's so wonderful.

And two quiet achievers who are building a seriously great profile are Vanessa and Mat at Melbourne Rooftop Honey.

Check out this gorgeous video (shot by Mark Welker for Milk Bar Mag) to hear more of their story.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Spring.


Hello, first day of Spring.
We're going to have a terrific time, you and I.
*Smiles*
(pic by insanely amazing photographer, Anna Wolf)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lights at Longwood.






Isn't this just amazing?

UK artist and lighting designer, Bruce Munro, has created a one-of-a-kind installation in Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens.

Set across 23 acres (yes, that's 23 acres) Munro's field of orbs and light artworks have been integrated into the natural landscape. The result is, as you can see, so ridiculously beautiful. If you're in the US, apparently it will be on show until 29 September.

Oh, I would love to row my new boat around that lake and marvel at the view.

(via Wilder)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Road Trippin'.











Tonight I'm listening to Ryan Bingham and dreaming of long American road trips. For future days.



pics 1 and 5 via http://viciouslycyd.tumblr.com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

To the trees.












Just thought I'd share some recent snaps from Jamie's birthday walk. 
Ah, nature. Get out there already will you?

A Good Deed.


I'm loving this poster by Jon Contino, available for sale here. A chunk of the profits go to Smile Train, helping children born with clefts (a major problem in developing countries).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

These City Streets.


I went wandering tonight. As I left the house I thought I'd walk until a tram came along. But then I just kept walking. Along main streets and side streets and into the maze of the city.

I was wearing 'Red', my new cape that has quickly become my favourite winter friend. Perhaps it was being engulfed in her special world while walking along Melbourne's blustery winter streets that did it but there was something in the air tonight.

And so I walked. And thought. And looked up at the lit windows of office blocks and loft apartments. Wondering who was working late and cooking dinner and fighting with their lover. Who was crying and who was laughing.

After a brief city meeting I somehow found myself in the same situation homeward bound. The tram was going to take a while so I figured I'd just walk a block. But then I just kept walking.

I walked past small restaurants lit low with candles or morning-sunlight yellow lamps where couples sat in the windows. Were they happy? On a first date? Or a last chance?

Do you ever have those moments when you're walking, or wandering, and listening to music on shuffle and a certain song comes on and it is so perfect that it makes you stumble just a tad? It's as if The Shuffle Gods have sent a spider into that hidden part of your heart and picked the perfect song? I know you know what I mean.

As I was walking down a Fitzroy back street and marvelling at the light on the tree above the opening bars of a certain song came creeping in. As if it were a personal movie for just me and that tree, swaying in the breeze.

I often think about the country. About the rolling hills that are my home, those that I've imagined and longed for oh-so-often during long trips away. The hills that provide space, freedom, comfort and an overall sense of the world being ok. I still have a visceral reaction when I drive down the dirt road to the farm gates. And wonder how I could possibly find another space in the world to love the same.

And yet I find these city streets just so damn beautiful. Beautiful in their chaos, their mystery, their melancholy. Oh, the secrets hidden in those cracks. I think, as much as I was coming back to the hills, I was coming back to these streets. Craving light-filled evening adventures where, for a perfect moment in time and rugged up against the winter winds, the heart is free to swoon. And stumble to an odd song or two.

But even at our swiftest speed
We couldn't break from the concrete
In the city where we still reside
And I have learned
That even landlocked lovers yearn
For the sea like navy men
Cause now we say goodnight
From our own separate sides

- Brothers On A Hotel Bed
Death Cab For Cutie

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Heart.


I've long been preoccupied with the heart. I am emotional, sensitive, creative. I feel things deeply and, often, physically. In my heart. I'm sure many of you are the same.

When discussing my work, people often ask me to describe my standard clientele (I work in PR/marketing/business development/management) and I will often end up saying 'people with a great story and heart-filled art forms or products'. The heart follows me around.

Yesterday the MMs and I went adventuring to the beach, on Victoria's Southern Peninsula to listen to some classical guitar and have a couple of vinos.

We visited a heart-filled town. I saw hearts everywhere, my favourite being on the flywire of the window in the little general store.

Since that moment the heart has been my constant for the past few days - in street names, on doors and windows, in text and conversations. I know, I know, the reason I'm seeing them is because I've all of a sudden started looking for them but it doesn't dilute the magic.

I was also reminded of Pia, who has made an artform out of chasing wandering hearts, you can read more about her project here.

This morning Little One and I went to the most glorious 2-hour yoga session. It was the perfect way to finish the weekend, and the perfect way to start a Sunday. Mid-way through the session our gorgeous instructor, Kate, asked us to put a hand on our hearts. I couldn't hear or feel my heartbeat. It was slightly alarming. So I got to thinking about the heart and my personal adventure from the day before.

Kate finished the session with the most beautiful speech. I wish I could remember word-for-word but alas. What I can remember were her final words:

"Listen to your heart. It always knows the way."

Goodnight, sweethearts.
xo

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Take This Waltz




Has anyone seen this yet?

I would very much like to. I like all of the actors and the music and the clothes and, you know, the vibe. Sigh.

I'm slightly perturbed by this line however: 'life has a gap in it, it just does. You don't go crazy trying to fill it.'

Does life have a gap in it?

If it does, does it really have to?

I keep thinking of that annoying London Tube woman repeating 'please mind the gap' every time one boards a train.

We do spend a lot of time striving and searching and seeking in life. Do we forget to just stop? And accept gaps and cracks and the like?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hipstamatic Travels.






Pics 1, 2, 3 - Paris, France
Pic 4 - LA bathroom
Pic 5 - Rabat, Morocco


I stumbled across a hidden folder on my computer, full of magical Hipstamatic shots of some past travels.

Time for a holiday me thinks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Shins.



Three weeks.

Actually, less than three weeks.

In less than three weeks I'll be singing along to James Mercer's blissful songs. Oh yeah baby.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vintage Paris Dreaming.







I think I need to go back to Paris.

I have been dreaming of that magical minx. She with her creamy cheese and cobbled streets and vintage gramophone soundtracks.

She has been on my mind. And on my TV. And when I received a (spam) email from a friend currently living in Paris when I was halfway through this post I took it as a sign.

She needs me.

(Parisians, 1963, shot by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chelsea's Carnival.






When the overexcited birthday girl kept yelling 'I WANT TO GO TO THE MIRRORS!!!' the anticipation was a little one-sided.

But when we walked through the Luna Park jaws and saw the lights, mirrors and (you know me) those skies every grown woman quickly turned into a screaming, giggling girl. 

Somehow nine years have passed and the birthday celebration wave is on again, only this time it's the number 30 stealing the show.

And Chelsea always knows how to take something to the next level. What started as a beautifully formal ladies lunch quickly stumbled into hens territory. Utterly brilliant.

Girls just wanna have fun.