Kiama is a quaint little town down the NSW South Coast, that's mostly known for beach, blow hole and ice cream. But on a recent weekend away, we explored the rocky quarries of the little coast walk...and we had it pretty much all to ourselves. We also heard some Friday night live music by Sean and Lee, wandered the Saturday morning markets and gobbled up some tasty dinner at The Hungry Monkey, which I'd definitely recommend. Perfect little getaway, and the scenery really is spectacular.
Hello there.... I took a little sabbatical from Blog-land... obviously;-). When I began this blog, I did it because I wanted a place to write stories I discovered that didn't fit neatly into someone else's editorial plan. Blogging sounded like an escape from the constraints of media-- where I could free myself from the pressure of 'pitching' and just write. Well, talk to random strangers, and explore, and write.
But here's the thing. Blogging has a formula too. And its own etiquette (thank you Google, for spelling that for me). I could write exhaustively researched and beautifully written long form stories that let you into people's lives....or delve into the nuances of new research....but those aren't the stories, or posts, that get shared. And so if you don't already have a critical mass, you can't develop one by writing like that. People like advice that makes it seem easy. They like lists. Quotes and anecdotes that sum up an idea neatly. They like, as one big-time Aussie blogger told me last year, "to be told what to do."
So is there a place in Blog-land for a cynic like me?
I am not really sure. Late last year I wrote a guest-post that generated thousands of "likes." I learned that I know how to write for mass appeal...but I'm not always comfortable doing it. I am a person who sees nuance, and the internet rewards black and white....
At any rate, I think I'll resurrect this space, but allow it to grow organically. I have been exploring Sydney, and I'd love to share that with you. I've also been thinking a lot about the freelance life-- the hype and the reality, the decisions I've made that have allowed me to pursue this path in the long term, and what I've given up as well as what I've gained... so maybe I will blog a bit about that.
We'll see, I suppose:)
A few days before Christmas last year, a guy broke into my flat while I was home. As I reflect on the last 12 months, that event often comes to mind as a turning point to the year of slow and incremental change that followed. This is what I've learned:Read More
'Merry Christmas Miss, you having a good day?' asks the man smoking a cigarette and pacing outside Dapto train station on Christmas day. My friends are running late to pick me up for the extended-family celebration.
'I am, and you?' I reply, jovial after a lingering breakfast in Darlinghurst and then a 90-minute train chat with a fun uni-student down from Brisbane for the holidays.
'I am... it's my first christmas out...'Read More
I'm missing beautiful Tasmania at the moment...Two years ago a few friends and I paddled down the Pieman River on the edge of the Tarkine and then walked along the coast to the Interview River. The pictures still make me smile. What's happening in the region...not so much....Read More
Founded in 1922, the CWA is struggling to shake its grandmotherly image and attract a younger generation of women. When my friend invited me to tag along on her inaugural visit to the Orange branch of the CWA, I had one question. Do you think they'll serve slice?Read More
“When faced with the stranger, do we open or close the door? Do we reach for a weapon or extend an open hand?”
Filmmaker Heather Kirkpatrick had just arrived back in Tasmania after years overseas when she saw a news report highlighting a community’s polarised response to the opening of a detention centre just north of Hobart.
Upon hearing that a local knitting group was considering making beanies for the asylum seekers, Kirkpatrick began attending their meetings. Some knitters wanted to welcome the men, who were all from Afghanistan, while others worried that the men would cause further financial strain on an already struggling community and questioned why these men should be shielded while Australians were losing their lives in Afghanistan...Read More
‘I know you…’
A skinny old man with a small protruding belly and white hair is standing beside me.
I am in the corner table at a franchise coffee shop in a little village about 20-minutes south of my current home-base; I lived here for four years prior to moving to Tasmania, but all of my friends from the region have since moved on too.
I come here when I’m feeling writing-inspired and want to go unnoticed…Read More
Over the years, I have taken thousands of portraits…I have outlined stories, scribbled down names and addresses and key words, promised to keep in touch, planned to write the most amazing stories…
Sometimes I’ve followed through. More times, I haven’t. Here's what I'm doing about it...
Finding beauty & adventure in the most unlikely places [Photography by Will West]
The thing about “Curly” that strikes me surprising is her impeccably groomed eyebrows. They sort of stray from the sewer rat persona just a little.
Neither Curly nor her mate Will, a slight gent from Boston, are dreadlocked, though as her name implies, Curly is bestowed with a mass of tangled, blue-tipped brown-rooted ringlets. At first glance, they both look perfectly blend-in-able.
Curly and Will are “urban explorers” or “tunnel folk,” to use the term Curly prefers. Curly grew up in Sydney and was still a teenager when she first connected with the Cave Clan, a crew of trespassing drain crawlers that clamber underground in sewers and hydro-ducts, abandoned mines and other man-made dark and dank places...Read More