New beginnings …

While wandering in the garden at Cooran today, I noticed it’s that time of year for new growth all round …

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OMG. What am I doing with my life? Letting go, it seems…

So, as many of you know, I’m letting go of that thing I’ve been doing for the last ten years – coaching.

Well, I’m letting go of the private practice bit of it anyway … and re-embracing my first true love, books (… with coaching). Complicated? Yes. But no. Because it just means I’m letting go of things I no longer need. Things that others may find useful. It’s like a professional spring clean… (Hooray for spring!)

I spent most of August letting go of my clients. Now, I feel the need to let go of my baby ebook.

OMG! What am I doing with my life? The DIY Guide to creating a life and work you love is a short introduction (with a very long title, admittedly) to sorting out what it is you exactly want out of life. Complete with exercises that will get you on your way.

This little book has had so many lives. It started as an ebook for the Centre for Human Potential, then became a self-coaching course, then a promo ebook for my worklifedesign website. Now it’s for you my friends. Please use it to create a life you love.

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Brilliant! Guerrilla crafters strike again in Pomona (Qld, Australia)

In December, I wrote about stumbling across some guerrilla craft adorning a post in my nearby town of Pomona (Qld, Australia). Well, knock me over with a crochet hook, they’ve been at it again this week and the results are spectacular. The little nature strip at the entrance to the main street has been beautified with the woolly and the wild.  We have cosies for rocks, beanies for bollards, wool ties for grasses, pom poms, tree sweaters, crocheted flowers and felty critters galore.

I can’t tell you how much I love this. It makes me smile everytime I see it. And I love the fact that nobody knows what to think of it.

Go Po crafters. You are brilliant.

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More unexpected moments in street art: Craft graffiti in Pomona and Rogue Cosies in Brisbane

I love finding unexpected moments of knitting and crochet on the streets.

My favourite is Rogue Cosie who has adorned the streets of Brisbane (Australia), San Francisco, Boston and New York (and I’m sure more…) with crocheted and knitted (?) delights. My favourite installations are the thanksgiving turkeys in SF and duck shawls in Boston. I like the cut of their cultural jib.

Rogue Cosie Turkey, San Francisco, 2008.

And, of course, Guardians of the Bridge is awesome for its scale and audacity.

Rogue Cosie Guardians of the Bridge, Brisbane, 2010

Street art of the aerosol or crafty kind is usually found in urban areas so I was caught unawares when venturing out for my supplies to Pomona (Qld, Australia) early this morning, when I was greeted at the newsagent by this wonderful crafty rainbow newcomer.  I was so surprised to see this in sleepy ol Po that I squealed with delight.

Guerrilla craft pole, Dec 2010, Pomona, Qld, Australia

Go the guerrilla crafters! Can’t wait to see more…

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Unexpected moments in street art: So you think you can graff and manga girls

I’ve had a couple of “WTF Wow!” moments recently where I’ve encountered street art (graffiti, aerosol art) in either unexpected places (such as Brisbane’s way-outer suburb, Victoria Point*) or with unexpected content (such as the bondage manga girls in Newtown).

I not only love the disruptions these two pieces had in my city wanderings, but also the work is stunning.

So You Think You Can Graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane.

November 2010

So you think you can graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane. November 2010.

So you think you can graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane. November 2010

So you think you can graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane. November 2010

So you think you can graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane. November 2010

So you think you can graff, Victoria Point, Brisbane. November 2010

Apparently, So You Think You Can Graff was a collaboration by Sofles and Mystik.

Bondage Manga Girls, Newtown, Sydney.

December 2010

Okay, I shouldn’t be surprised to find an image like this adorning a wall on a King St corner in Newtown… Newtown is the home of amazing street art, pop culture and urban dykes… but I was. Sure, pages could be written on its representation of women etc but but I just really appreciate its double-take powers…

Bondage manga girls, Newtown, Sydney. December 2010

Bondage manga girls, Newtown, Sydney. December 2010

(If you know who sprayed the manga girls, let me know so I can credit it.)

Happy wanderings…

*Yeah, yeah… I know Victoria Point is not a Brisbane suburb but for the sake of geographical clarity we will just say it is for the moment.

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Best chocolate croissant ever at Oxford St Bakery in Bulimba (Brisbane)

Here’s some food porn for your Sunday morn…

Best Chocolate Croissant Ever at the Oxford St Bakery Bulimba

I have a thing for chocolate croissants.

It’s a perfect food. One that you would imagine could never go wrong. Chocolate + Croissant = Sublime experience.

But my friends, it so often does goes wrong. I have sampled hundreds of these humble treats in my life and am often disappointed by the dry, rubbery, chewy, bland, skimpy chocolate offerings by people who call themselves bakers.

And then, I come across this delight. This is the real deal. The Best. Ever. Chocolate. Croissant.

What’s so good about this one?

Well, in a nutshell, the folks at the Oxford St Bakery get it right.

Firstly, the croissant is fresh. (They only seem to make them on the weekend – although I could be wrong. They may have just run out on the week days I’ve been there.)

Then, not only is the croissant fresh but it’s light and fluffy and buttery with a moderately crispy shell.

And then there’s the very liberal amount of chocolate found within. The chocolate is added after the croissant is cooked and cooled so it’s sweet and soft (rather than hard and bitter). It’s not just a smear of chocolate we’re talking about. There is so much delicious chocolate that I usually end up with it all over my hands, face, furniture, cat…

The croissant is then finished with a light dusting of icing sugar … to give us the perfect chocolate croissant.

It’s a sublime sensory experience of the food kind.

And and and… today’s chocolate croissant experience was made even better by the lady at the bakery confirming my purchase by asking, “You’d like a choccy croissant?”

Yes! I’d so like a choccy croissant.

Here are some more pics to torture you…

Best Chocolate Croissant ever. Photo 2

Best Chocolate Croissant Photo 3

You can find the best chocolate croissant ever at the Oxford St Bakery in Bulimba (Brisbane, Qld, Australia).

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Up The Coast: A history of the Sunshine Coast through photos, art, memorabilia.

Up The Coast exhibition: Final day today at the Cooroy Butter Factory

If you’re up the coast today be sure to check out the exhibition on display at the Cooroy Butter Factory.

Up The Coast: Our Stories, Our Collections brings together memorobilia, art and photos that tell the stories of the Sunshine Coast as a holiday destination.

My formative years were spent holidaying in fibro shacks at the beach (albeit “Down the Coast”) so this collection is not only a great history of the region but, for me, it brought back memories of carefree days in truly laidback destinations.

Here are my favourites from the exhibition. (There was also a Model T on display but I didn’t get a photo).

Up The Coast Ma and Pa

Sunshine Coast surfing legends, Ma and Pa Bendall

Up The Coast surf board

Early surfboard.

Up The Coast Fibro Beach House

Swoon. A photo of classic fibro beach house on the Sunshine Coast. From the collection of Roger Todd.

And… my favourites by Susan Schmidt

Sunseeker by Susan Schmidt

"Sunseeker" - 2009 (print) by Susan Schmidt

Welcome by Susan Schmidt

"Welcome" 2009 (print) by Susan Schmidt

Up The Coast is on at the Cooroy Butter Factory until 30 October 2010. (Today! Go, Go, Go!)

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Joy Retro Disco remembers DJ Mandy Rollins 1968 – 2010 : Shine On mate

mandyrollins

Tonight, we remember Mandy Rollins.

Early last month news reached me that Sydney DJ and event promoter, Mandy Rollins, was missing. It is believed that she took her own life on 4th September 2010.

I was mates with Mandy when she lived in Brisbane in the early 90s. We shopped and swapped tunes. We DJ’d together at Damnation. She DJ’d for me at my Joy parties. She was a gorgeous girl with a beautiful spirit.

I lost touch with Mandy when she left Brisbane but I was so proud of her when she played her first Sleaze Ball in 96 and gradually made a name for herself for her fine DJing and became a legend in the underground scene.

So where ever you are Mandy Rollins, thank you for bringing so much joy into my life mate. You will always shine on in my heart.

If you’re struggling with life or feeling depressed, pick up the phone. There are people who will listen and help you move through the difficult times.

In Australia,

Lifeline
13 11 14
www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue
1300 224 646
www.beyondblue.org.au

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These are a few of my (100) favourite things: The 100 thing challenge

100items

I’ve been living between two homes recently. As they are over 100km apart and I travel by public transport most of the time, I’ve become very selective in what I lug between the two places in my backpack. It’s had me asking myself, “What physical possessions do I really need?”

Kelly Sutton, over at The Cult of Less has been receiving a bit of attention lately for his decision to dramatically reduce his possessions and digitise his life. I’m not sure if I’m keen to part with physical books yet but it’s made me start compiling my own list of essentials.

It’s not a new idea. Folks have been intentionally simplifying and downsizing their lives for years. In 2007, a guy called Dave Bruno set himself a 100 Thing Challenge where he reduced his possession count to less than 100 and then lived with only 100 possessions for 12 months.

My working list currently stands at 111 items (and it excludes consumables such as food stuffs, toiletries, notebooks, etc). There are whole categories of things I haven’t included (books, CDs, tools) because the number would lose all meaning if they were included.

Initially, I was aiming for keeping it under 100 items as per the 100 Thing Challenge – and sure, it could drop under 100 items depending on where I was living. The number is arbitrary though. This is all about minimising the clutter and noise in my life. If I own something it has to serve some essential function in my life or be so beautiful that every time I see it my heart swoons.

I still have a long ways to go…

But in the meantime here is my current working list of my 100 Things …

My 100 Things

Laptop

Phone

ipod dock / stereo / speakers

headphones/headset

Backpack

Messenger bag

Wallet

Keys

pen

glasses

long pants casual x 2

long pants work

shorts x 2

gym short

track pants

tshirts x 5

underwear x 6

bra x 2

socks x 3

Singlets x 2

Jacket – heavy

Jacket – light / sports

Jumper

Flannelette shirt

Long sleeve shirt – work

Long sleeve shirt – casual

collar shirts x 2

togs

boardshorts

rashie

Pyjamas – winter

toothbrush

wetpack

umbrella

shoes – boots

shoes – shoe

running shoes

thongs

hat

bed

side table

bedside lamp

heater/fan

desk

bookshelf

chair

dining table

dining chairs x 2

couch

lounge table

tv

tv table

bike

bike helmet

shopping bag

glass

wine glass

cup

plate

bowl

knife

fork

spoon

cutting knife

cutting board

small saucepan

small steamer

large pot

frypan

spatula

large spoon

bottle opener

large bowl

comb

brush

bathtowel

bathmat

facewasher

beach towel

sheets

pillows

doona

broom*

dustpan & brush*

mop*

bucket*

vacuum cleaner*

fridge*

washing machine*

outdoor chairs x 2 *

*these would depend on where/who I was living/with

It’s been an interesting exercise in discovering what physical possessions are important in my life and I intend to use it as a guide for what I keep and what I let go of. Interestingly, as I give each item consideration, I find I’m changing the way I think about consuming. For example, if I have one set of sheets (I’m not sure if that is practical) then they sure as heck are going to be beautiful.

I’m curious to see where I am with it in 12 months.

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VALE Cootie 1993 – 2010

Vale Cootie 1993 - 2010

Cootie 1993 - 2010

One of our family, Cootie, left us today.

Cootie’s been part of my life for 17 years. She came to me as a wee kitten (with her sister Dusty) when I lived at Gloucester St and has been a constant figure in the kitchen, and on the couch, through a succession of houses, flatmates, towns and cities since.

For the last 15 years, Cootie has been known about town as ‘Carolyn’s cat’ – this change of primary Big One followed a successful coup (oi vey) by Ms Ride to lure Cootie’s affections away from me in 1995. But Cootie and I continued to be good friends, sharing cheese and chicken snackies when Carolyn was not looking.

Cootie, and her slacker demands of ‘meh’, will be deeply missed.

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