Lollypop Beach is a website about transitions and belonging. It’s where my tap tap tapping on the keyboard led me back to my hometown of Geelong, to a healthier lifestyle, a creative community, family comfort and new love.
From my own experiences, I’m here to remind you that no matter what kind of diagnosis or upheaval you may be faced with, there is light, hope and joy waiting for you.
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 achieving your best possible health and 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
Sharing my favourite reads, events and images throughout the aussie winter.
Brrr, I don’t remember winter in Geelong and Melbourne ever being this cold. My beanie, gloves and brolly go everywhere with me. Winter has been all about finding beauty to brighten up the gloomy days.
♦ Bodytorque is the Australian Ballet’s annual program of works from emerging choreographers and young dancers. This year, art met science in Bodytorque.DNA. Mysterious and powerful, DNA is the engine of life and each of the five choreographers used movement to tell our human story. Fast, raw and daring.
Winding up the Australian Ballet’s winter program in late August will be Stanton Welch’s reinvention of the classic La Bayadère, with “a hint of Bollywood sass”.
♦ Mid winter and things started to heat up. Femme Fatale at Metropolis Gallery features intricate works created by Jazmina Cininas and Lucy Hardie. If you’re in Geelong, don’t miss this stunning show (and if you’re in Melbourne, I recommend making the trip down and combining Femme Fatale with lunch or afternoon tea at Geelong’s newest French café, Bistrot St Jean). I’m looking forward to the Artist Talks on Saturday 16 August, the last day of the exhibition.
Lucy Hardie is a modern romantic whose meticulous ink drawings reflect influences of the Symbolists and Pre-Raphaelites as well as natural phenomena, fairy tales and Integral Philosophy.
Great Life, Great Death
Read about Lucy and view more works.
Jazmina Cininas re-imagines the female werewolf throughout history in exquisite, reduction linocut portraits drawing on early modern woodcuts, Baltic folklore, Victorian gothic literature, comics and contemporary cinema.
Read about Jazmina and view her works.
♦ I love this tribute to Chrissy Amphlett, who was born in Geelong and spent her childhood and early teens here. The mural by local artist Glen Smith is in Dennys Place, Geelong CBD. I like how Glen’s included the words “a fine line” (from the Divinyls ‘Pleasure and Pain’) and incorporated images of a classic Chrissy pose. As well as being a mesmerising performer, I greatly admired how Chrissy was open about her MS — and then cancer, she helped so many people.
Visit Glen Smith’s facebook page for other exciting projects he’s involved in and details of his latest exhibition Territory, featuring around 70 new works and showing 8-30 August at Boom.
♦ Over at Art at Wintergarden gallery, a display of skill and emotion across various art forms. The Ten 4 Ten exhibition, from 3-31 August, celebrates the gallery’s 10 year milestone with 10 featured artists. Each artist is well-known in the region and has played a significant and continued role in supporting the gallery, helping it to prosper through their art, time, ideas and friendship. Artists include Bruno Callori, Victoria Edgar, Lianne Gough, Mick Kupresanin, Jacinta Leitch, Mirjana Margetic, Faye Owen, Steve Parkhill, Louise Price and Jill Shalless.
♦ A visit to Bendigo Gallery is a constant of nearly every season and this winter fashion returns to the spotlight. Bendigo previously showed the awesome Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibition and Modern Love: fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA, among others. I’ll be checking out Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion in early August, along with The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece.
♦ The last couple of months have also been a time of war and terror in the news (do they ever go away…).
The Great War — a graphic legacy at the Geelong Gallery is a timely reminder of the human tragedy of war. Among the many powerful images on display are the eloquent works by German artist Käthe Kollwitz. Pictured on the ad (left) is her heartbreaking image The Mothers.
♦ An interesting article on Conscious Media News: According to scientists, this is the most relaxing tune ever recorded. The eight-minute song, featuring guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes, helps to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress. Lovely, but personally I prefer Radiohead or Clare Bowditch.
It’s worth thinking about what you listen to. The article states, “Sound therapies have been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being. Among indigenous cultures, music has been the heart of healing and worship”.
♦ Worth remembering. In Wendy Atterberry’s article on Mamamia The single most important thing a friend can do, she writes, “The best friends aren’t necessarily the ones you’ve known the longest or have the most fun partying with, but are the ones who SHOW UP. Showing up is THE single most important thing you can do as a friend.”
I also liked this grounded article by Joshua Becker on his Becoming Minimalist blog. In The Pursuit of selflessness, he states, “Selflessness is an important key to marriage, friendships, and relationships. It is also an essential key to happiness and fulfillment. But unfortunately, often overlooked.”
♦ There was a time when there was no talk of ‘superfoods’, just foods that were good for you. There’s no doubt superfoods are now a well-marketed industry.
A recent article in The Age, Superfoods or superfrauds? Scientists are unimpressed, stated “It is no secret that certain foods contain more nutrients than others. What makes the claims about superfoods dubious is the notion that because a product is high in a given nutrient, eating lots of it will prevent specific diseases or cure a health problem.”
I’m of the belief that a balanced diet featuring foods mostly from the local farmer’s market doesn’t need a whole lot of additions from a health food shop.
♦ Pictured right: I received this fun reminder from Allison Koberstein to get out there and enjoy a walk in the fresh air (she was writing from currently-sunny Vancouver, but I still noted the message and have been doing more walks since).
♦ Huffington Post’s list of 18 things highly creative people do differently is an interesting read. I now do many of these things, but this wasn’t the case a few years ago. The article states, “Creative thinking is a stable, defining characteristic in some personalities, but it may also change based on situation and context.” Nowadays, I seek regular solitude and take time to dream, I observe, I write at any hour and lose track of time, I seek self-expression, I question things and I take risks. Allowing time to express creativity enriches our lives in ways that no amount of extra money could ever do.
I also liked this: Everything we needed to know about well-being, we learned by age 9. So true.
♦ I was honoured to have my story about travelling with MS included on the wonderful OMS blog and their Facebook page. Following the recommendations of the OMS program (I attended the Overcoming MS retreat at the Gawler Foundation in 2003) has helped me stay well and also benefited my life in many other ways.
Protect your health while living your travel dreams
♦ Another MS group I like following is MS Get Involved on Facebook. A community page created by the MS Society —ACT/NSW/VIC, it offers research updates, inspiring messages and discussion about issues affecting people with MS.
♦ Chris Guillebeau wrote about the lasting impact travel has had on his life. I related to it all and to many of the comments people posted. If you’re a traveller you’ll enjoy a read: How has travel affected your life?
♦ Due to the similarity in our names, I came across an interesting UK travel site Lollipop Holidays. The beach holidays section focusses mostly on Europe and includes options we here in Australia would seldom consider, such as Spanish beaches and Cyprus beaches. If I ever head to Europe again, I’ll be adding a beach visit. Susan Jones writes on the site, “Beach tourism is not just about relaxing on beaches. Many coastal islands have an ecological importance. It is also an ideal place for diehard wildlife and nature lovers. Take a walk through these places and you will understand the difference. The best time to go for a walk is early morning. As the veil of the morning haze lifts, the chirping sounds of birds are heard which will take you to a different world, perhaps the most natural music you have ever heard in your life!” Wish I could be beamed over there right now.
♦ Thank you to the footy gods for making AFL a winter spectacle. Footy under lights at Kardinia Park, with the Catters continuing to amaze, and just a short walk from home = happy. Up next, Freo and their jovial supporters, then we’ll be heading to Etihad Stadium to brave the Carlton nutters.
Update: Two tight wins. Pictured below, Kardinia Park on the night Cats beat Freo by two points. Happiness — and lots of flying footies!
♦ Watching a lot of sci fi. At the movies: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Lucy. On DVD: Four seasons of Battlestar Gallactica (how did I not watch this years ago? Loved it, I miss those characters so much).
♦ Geelong hosted the National Non-Fiction Festival 2014. Held at Deakin Uni’s Waterfront Campus, highlights for me were hearing authors Tara Moss, Sian Prior and Jesse Fink talk about their books.
♦ My favourite event of the winter is likely to be Elvis to the Max. Both Steve and I are big Elvis fans (I’ve been to Graceland, Graceland, in Memphis Tennessee). We’ve been playing Elvis songs and Steve’s been growing his sideburns for the show at GPAC on 17 August. Oh, and we’re in the front row…if I’m lucky I’ll get a scarf put around my neck or a kiss or sweated on. What do you mean it’s not the real Elvis?!
Update: Thank you verrry much to the fabulous Max Pellicano and band for a super-fun night down memory lane. Got ourselves a handshake and high five :)
♦ More beauty to finish on, a video taking us through 500 years of female portraits in Western art.
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