Welcome to Lollypop Beach, a blog about transitions, belonging, and being true to your own version of a fulfilling life. The setting for this adventure is Geelong, Australia.
I believe in regeneration of body and spirit. Dreaming during darkness and breathing in the promise of dawn. Nurturing yourself, sharing love and connection, seeing beauty, finding opportunities, and experiencing wonder and adventure.
I understand the healing power of healthy living, compassion and finding the right team for your health and life. I’ve also learnt that building resilience is vital to wellbeing and to living up to your potential.
I embrace that life, like the sea, can be wildly unpredictable. I’ve found inspiration through living in a country with a history of people stepping up during times of adversity. When you believe you have the inner strength to face anything that happens, every day is lived with hope and grace. At Lollypop Beach it’s always that kind of day — your precious life is both sweet and conquerable, an ocean of possibilities.
This is a place for retreat, renewal and to see the world differently.
Thank you for being here. Get to know me on the About page.
Australian writer Tim Winton, Land’s Edge: A Coastal Memoir
An evolving list, sharing my favourite reads, events and images throughout the aussie spring.
♦ Yes! Spring is here and we’re well and truly ready to get outdoors. Sunshine, blue skies, bbqs and picnics with loved ones, hay fever on windy days — bring it on. (I regret the hay fever flippancy.)
The first weekend of spring brought glorious weather and a visit to the first market of the season, the Geelong Waterfront Makers and Growers Market. I’m looking forward to a spring and summer filled with many visits to markets along the coast. Coffee, juices, falafel wraps, flowers and bags full of fresh fruit and vegies to take home; that’s market joy to me.
The end of the winter hibernation also means daily walks and more visits to Geelong cafés.
The next best thing to breakfast in bed is brekky in a cosy café.
♦ Not-to-be-missed: The impassioned speech, Gender equality is your issue too, by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at a special event for HeForShe, a campaign to galvanise as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for gender equality.
“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are — we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”
Transcript of speech. HeForShe website.
♦ Ever since Melbourne was selected as one of 32 cities for the first stage of the project, I’ve been absorbed reading about the 100 Resilient Cities Network, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation in the US. The project aims to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. It’s interesting learning about the resilience challenges each city faces and how they’re tackling the shocks and stresses of today’s world. By addressing the challenges, a city becomes more able to respond to adverse events and is overall better able to deliver basic functions in both good times and bad, to all populations.
Eight takeaways from eight cities gives some fascinating and reassuring facts that are relevant to our own lives.
♦ A helpful article by Kate James of Total Balance to guide us towards a more fulfilling life: 7 ways to proactively create positive change in your life.
Kate writes, “Some situations aren’t easy to change, but the truth is many are. Being proactive about creating change means claiming back your power and ultimately, your energy. It means moving your life in the direction of your hopes and dreams. You’ll be amazed by how much less depleted you feel when you take even the smallest action towards positive change.”
♦ I enjoyed Kelly Exeter’s post The underrated pleasure of aspiration-free hobbies. She writes, “Shouldn’t we just be able to do our thing because we love it?” Yes! It’s one of the two reasons I write this blog (the other is that sharing some of my experiences might help someone else).
I also relate to this older post of Kelly’s: Five reasons why social media is a gift to shy introverts.
♦ In an world where anyone selling something can call themselves an entrepreneur and where you come across those with just a few staff (or even no staff) assigning themselves the title of CEO, it was only a matter of time before a new term was coined to distinguish the stand-out entrepreneurs. Enter the überpreneur. These are the visionaries who create hugely successful businesses or even entire industries that are about more than making money for its own sake; they drive economic, social and environmental changes on a truly global scale. The new book Überpreneurs by Peter Andrews and Fiona Wood examines the lives and achievements of 36 extraordinary individuals across 18 nations and the insights they can offer to businesses seeking to become more innovative, governments striving to build smarter economies and people aspiring to have more meaningful careers.
♦ I still enjoy regular visits to the Geelong Gallery, for both the art and the memories it creates with the people I go there with. Here I am with my sister (left) and mum in 1970.
Recently I interviewed Geelong Gallery curator Lisa Sullivan about the Gallery’s permanent collection and the exciting suite of exhibitions coming up over summer (a guest post for the Artin’ Geelong blog). I hope it might inspire locals and Melbournians to make another visit soon. The Geelong Contemporary Art Prize exhibition exhibition is showing until 23 November.
♦ I also interviewed Jill Shalless, artist and proprietor of art@wintergarden, a vibrant art space in Geelong celebrating its tenth year in 2014. Jill shared some of the highlights of the last decade and the exhibitions coming up over the next few months. Interview with Jill Shalless on Artin’ Geelong.
♦ I enjoyed or will enjoy visiting these exhibitions at other Geelong galleries over spring:
♥ Feature Artists Show at Metropolis Gallery, an exhibition of selected new works by artists represented at Metropolis, showing paintings by Steve Salo, Amber Daly, Charles Moodie, Michael Parker, Gail Willoughby and etchings by Dean Bowen. This will be followed by the annual Collectors Show in October and Adrian Lockhart: Shallows in November.
♥ A highlight will be Urban Delusions by G-TWO, Glenn Fry, exhibiting at Etch Gallery from 4-25 October. We have one of Glenn’s artworks hanging in our house and having seen a little of how he creates his intricate art, I can’t wait to gaze upon the works in this show. Read my interview with Glenn Fry on the Artin’ Geelong blog.
♥ The 12×12 Contemporary Art Prize show at Art is… gallery, 5-26 September. I loved the enchanting portrait of Hedy Lamarr by Joanne Kemerer. So many wonderful little paintings in this exhibition.
♥ Looking forward to seeing two new shows opening 12 September at Wonderwall Gallery at Courthouse ARTS: Joshua Maxwell de Hoog’s exhibition Hands Over Ears Won’t Stop the Voices and Lauren Green’s The Rainbow Hunt.
♥ Late spring, I look forward to viewing the VCE Art Show at the Shearers Arms Gallery.
♦ Happy to read this on the Mic website: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write. Turns out the act of writing leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, such as long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms.
Rachel Grate writes, “Even those who suffer from specific diseases can improve their health through writing. Studies have shown that people with asthma who write have fewer attacks than those who don’t; AIDS patients who write have higher T-cell counts. Cancer patients who write have more optimistic perspectives and improved quality of life.”
Maybe my writing has played a part in me staying well with MS :)
♦ The beautiful cherry blossom image below is by photographer Shannon McDonald, who I interviewed on the blog in July. Looking at this picture, I’m reminded why this season feels so gentle (having a bird’s nest outside up above our front door also helps).
♦ Posted 19 Nov: As we edge towards summer and Christmas, the buzz is “floating Christmas tree”. Day 1: It’s only just been tugged into position and the Geelong floating Christmas tree already has people transfixed. Lights go on 8.15 pm this Friday night. See you there G-folk.
Ta-da! Just one of the many colour combinations:
Past link loves:
Thanks for dropping by.
I joined Instagram in August @lollypopbeach, I’d love to connect with you there.