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Excited to see “The Shuffle Show” at Sydney Fringe, 10-13th September 2014

This is such an awesome concept and I was gutted to miss this show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in March of this year. Thrilled to say that “The Shuffle Show” is back and it’s coming to Sydney! I’ll be attending opening night and can’t wait to see this talented pair of performers get their shuffle on!

 

shuffle show
One hour. 1000 songs. Sounds ridiculous? It is.

Straight from their incredibly successful premiere season at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival musical comedians Elena Gabrielle and Grant Busé are finally heading Sydney to present an epic musical adventure inspired by your favourite and most embarrassing iTunes playlists.

From The Beatles to Beyoncé, The Shuffle Show has something for everyone…except fans of One Direction…actually…okay, still no.

“This show is amazing from start to finish. Elena Gabrielle and Grant Busé are fantastically and undeniably talented. From their faultless voices to their acting prowess, this is not a show to miss.”
– Yawp Comedy Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014 

Adult: $20
Concession: $18

Where?
The Den, Chippendale Hotel 
97 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale

Wednesday September 10th 8.30pm
Thursday September 11th 8.30pm
Friday September 12th 8.30pm
Saturday September 13th 8.30pm

https://www.sydneyfringe.com/whats_on/event/c6512d18-e131-4218-94dc-caa72093e351/

Check out more details on the Facebook event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/520254668102829/?fref=ts


Sydney – South Coast of Australia

A wonderful little weekend trip when staying in and around Sydney  is to take a drive down the South Coast from Sydney. You head out from Sydney towards Wollongong and keep going down from there. This can be a great little one day trip down to Nowra and Jervis Bay or you can keep on going and spend the night in some of the many beautiful towns along the way.

 

Here is my advice for a nice 3 day trip spending 1 night in Stanwell Tops or Berry and 1 night in Jervis Bay area.

 

The drive itself from Sydney down our Southern Coastline is stunning. Taking the coastal road via Stanwell Tops is a great start and if you are taking it slowly then spend the morning at SYMBIO WILDLIFE GARDENS. Symbio is fantastic as it has Australia’s most loved Native Animals and you can get right up close and personal with them, cuddling a Koala and feeding a Kangaroo. You can then squeeze in an afternoon of Hang gliding from Stanwell Tops down to the beach at Stanwell Park below, or simply grab an ice cream and watch others give it a go.

SYMBIO ANIMAL PARK: http://www.symbiozoo.com.au/

HANG GLIDING:http://www.hangglideoz.com.au/

 

Next stop is Kiama. First driving past the gorgeous Bombo beach and through some terrific countryside and catching a glimpse of Australia’s diverse natural environments. Kiama has some great little restaurants and cafes by the sea where you can relax and watch the Pelicans soar in. A visit to the Terrace shops for cute gifts and some old fashioned lollies is a must. Before you head on, take a drive up to the blow hole and Lighthouse on the point- this is always a great thrill for tourists and something that is never boring.

KIAMA: http://www.kiama.com.au/pages/welcome/

 Kiama Blowhole

Back in the car and its back to the views of the countryside and winding coastal roads with the ever changing scenery to the right at all times. This drive can be done all in one day or take your time and enjoy the little towns along the way. Berry is the perfect place to put up your feet and rest for the night. Whether it’s camping near the 7 mile beach, keeping it cosy in a little B& B or pulling up to a caravan park, you will find all sorts of accommodation here. Great antique shops, boutique fashion stores and homely food will keep you busy when wandering around this lovely little town. The opal store and Chocolate Factory are two of the best attractions, so make sure you’ve got some cash on you.

BERRY: http://www.southcoast.com.au/berry/Central Berry

 

The drive then continues down quite straight towards Nowra from here. You will reach the Shoalhaven area and pass many fruit picking spots and vineyards (depending on the season) as well as little beach suburbs. I would suggest renting a house for a night in Collalla Bay, a little further then Nowra or continuing closer to Jervis Bay, Huskisson or Vincentia. Huskisson offers wonderful fishing spots and great whale and dolphin watching cruises. Jervis Bay Caravan Park puts you right out there in the middle of nature with Kangaroos bounding up to your cabin door and always stopping by for a pet. Nearby is also the Valhalla Horse Riding Centre which will take guests through the bush on 1-3 hour guided tours. A brilliant way to see Australia’s Natural beauty.

Valhalla Horse Riding: http://www.valhallahorseriding.com.au

 

Stop by Nowra’s Information Centre or Visit the Website to get all the hot tips on the Shoalhaven area: http://us.sydney.com/town/Nowra/Shoalhaven_Visitor_Information_Centre_Nowra/info.aspx

 

So whether it’s a one day trip or a three day trip, there are plenty of options of great things to do and see all along this beautiful coastal path. You can zip straight back after your weekend in 3 hours or again take it slowly with lots of nice stops along the way.

 

Please see here for a map of the route:

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=sydney%20-%20nowra


Melburnian for a weekend

I like Melbourne. Yes I said it! I like Melbourne.

 

But please don’t tell anyone! I have kept up the pretense of disliking it for so long that it would be such a loss of face at this point in my life!

 

My Melbourne mate Ben actually sent me this article just after I left: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/tale-of-two-cities-vain-sydney-trumpets-its-supremacy-to-itself-20091025-hem6.html

 

Hilarious! About the great divide between Sydney and Melbourne and the ongoing rivalry. I think the best thing about the article was in fact the comments below. The residents of these two cities JUMP on the defensive when this topic is mentioned…. It’s rather amusing when you wish to ruffle some feathers.

 

I went to Melbourne to visit a number of friends, predominantly 2 of my best friends Sam and Adair who I met in Mexico. We basically lived in each other’s pockets for 4 months and then didn’t get to see each other for 4 months. A reunion was in order.

 

As mentioned in my earlier blog ( https://lovellyinc.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/airport-travel-with-a-broken-back-verdict-not-bad/) I was apprehensive about travelling with my broken back.  However, the alarm was for no reason and after touching down safely I was only filled with joy and excitement.

 

My lovely friend Ben picked me up from the Airport which was great to be able to catch up with another friend before setting off to see my gorgeous Adair’s house. It was incredible when I met her family as we had heard so much about each other that we really felt as if we knew one another well. Very strange feeling, but very comforting.

 

A quick change and then off to FITZROY GARDENS for a night of frivolity with the Melbournites that are Adairs circle of friends. We drank and ate in the park until the early evening then strolled to Brunswick Street for more…. frivolity. A quick duck into the incredible LITTLE CREATURES Bar, which actually more resembles a barn, where we witnessed an amazing fire dancing show and sampled their signature beer. Then it was off to PERSAVERENCE which was a mere hop, skip and a jump down the road. We danced, I sat ( back needed a rest by this time) and then we overpaid for our drinks – $12.50 for a vodka red bull is a joke regardless of the venue! Cab home and flop into bed. It was a big day out!

 

Adair was working Sunday so it was just a lazy day of looking at photos from Mexico, playing with the new baby kittens, and watching odd movies with Adair’s brother. An afternoon stroll took us through St Kilda to Carlisle street which is bustling with little boutique stores and trendy cafes.

 

We ducked into one cafe and decided to have an afternoon snack. It was 3pm on Sunday, I guess time was getting on, but really you would think a cafe would have a good stock of ingredients for their menu items…. well no, not always the case. All three of us asked for something on the menu, and all three of us were politely asked to choose an alternative as they had run out of that for the day. So, although we didn’t get what we asked for, we got what we were given… service in Melbourne is world-class I tells ya!

 

We continued our stroll to the Melbourne highlight of Luna Park and the lovely beach down at St Kilda. I was excited to see it as the TV series from a few years ago The Secret life of Us was filmed here. One of my faves I must admit. It’s a trendy, calm, relaxed place with some great venues. The sun was shining and the blue skies were all around- the perfect afternoon to grab an ice cream and sit on the beach. All visitors to Melbourne must go to TRAMPOLINE ice cream! Spiced chocolate, Caramel Pear and Violet rumbly just to name a few!

 

Sunday evening was a nice meal at home with my gorgeous friend Sam who I had spent so much time with in Mexico. The three amigas reunited! We told stories and reminisced for hours. A curry, some wine, good company and a lovely Spring evening. What more can a Sydney girl want from the Melbourne hospitality!

 

Monday was to be a busy day of sightseeing- MELBOURNE STYLE! But as I slept in til 10.30am ( apparently I looked angelic and peaceful in my slumber and was left to rest) it was a slower start to the day. We managed to cram in a lot though.

 

– Lunch with Ben near Elizabeth street… I don’t remember the name or exact location….I’m new to this city!

– Collected my Mexican friend JCarlos from the hostel on Flinders Street and proceeded to Flinders Street Station ( stopping briefly at my Little cupcake for a delicious little treat) and then on to watch a short street performance.

– Met Adair’s friend Steph and shopped in the lovely little lanes

– Rooftop – A very hip bar on a 7th floor roof terrace for Sangria and to meet another friend Vas who I lived with in London. Alarming how many people were drinking at 4pm on a Monday. Doesn’t anybody work anymore?

– Off home, with a slight detour to a political rally about the boat people and Tamil, whilst managing to collect yet another friend to add to our party.

– Home to Adair’s to make a 6 litre bucket of Sangria and homemade pizzas before retiring to the balcony to watch the sunset and enjoy each others company. 6 random people on a balcony on a Monday- I was in heaven.

 

A 5am start was required the next day and an after thought about the Sangria perhaps not being the best idea before an early morning jet setting adventure. We made it though! Got to the Airport in plenty of time but left feelingvery sad as I left new friends and my new love… Melbourne.

 

Melbourne. I hate it but I love it.

 

Thanks for showing me such a great time and I’ll see you again soon!

 Adair and I, together again. BUENAS AMIGAS


Mexico is Pretty in Pink Taxis

I have just come across this post http://sify.com/news/Pink-taxis-for-women-now-on-Mexico-039-s-streets-news-Features-jkvpsofgbhh.html.

 

Puebla in Central Mexico now has Pink taxi’s with female taxi drivers for the comfort of women travelling in the city.

 

Women are reacting extremely positively to the latest trend in transport. “The people stop us on the street to congratulate us and the women ask us how they can request one of our units,` Lidia Hernandez, one of the cabbies with Pink Taxis, a company that says it’s the first of its kind in Mexico, told the Spanish news agency EFE.

 

Having lived in Mexico for 4 months, I can understand the need and desire for such a service. Women’s rights are not so openly discussed in Latin American countries as they are in Australia and other western countries. I feel as a woman here that I can speak freely and do what I choose to do as my government, colleagues, friends and family support me in that area. It is not always the case in Mexico. This service would allow women to feel more comfortable in their enivornment and in going about their daily activities.

 

There is also at times a protective attitude towards women and children, with families often feeling concerned when they are out on their own- especially at night. Some of the exchange students that I studied with experienced this when participating in a home stay as the host family would be concerned when they would travel alone.

 

I personally was not worried about travelling in Taxi’s or walking around the city alone when in Mexico but for some women it was a problem. I would not say that the streets were dangerous and every town was different, but to have the option would be great. If it makes people feel more comofortable and safe then it’s a great thing. A need has obviously been identified and this service is doing very well to satisfy the gap in the market.

 

I can also see the pitfalls of such a service and the negative effects it can have on the push for equality. Some might see it as dividing society and bringing to light some gender stereotypes. But the simple fact of the matter is that some places do have large differences between the genders and for the comfort of women and children within the society, a service such as this could be highly beneficial.

 

I would be happy to see pink Taxi’s bustling around Sydney. It would be fun! Girls night out, grab a  pink cab! But perhaps the debate and divisions it would cause would far outweigh the benefits and novelty.

 

Felicidades Mexico!! Well done! I hope that this initiative helps the women of Mexico feel happier, more comfortable and safer within their communities.

Women -only taxi's


Look at me~ Look at me!

One of my favourite blogs is by Mr Seth Godin, Marketing Guru. His daily insights into the world of marketing and the world in general are fantastic.

 

His one today came at a perfectly apt time for me as I have just oined Twitter and created this blog. It’ all about this LOOK AT ME! phenomenon that is happening all over the internet. It’s crazy! And it is so easy to be sucked in. I was…. am…

 

So, I would like to STOP worrying about how many comments I get, how many followers I have and how many people know my name. Instead I will focus on quality posts, blogs and thoughts. This blog is to tell people about my travels and to share my experiences. I want people to read them and take something away from it…. not simply click on it and raise my stats.

 

So quality over quantity is the motto of the day!

 

See Seth’s blog at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/10/creating-sustainable-competitive-advantage.html

 

Today’s gem:

 

“Notice me”

 

If the new web has a mantra, that’s it.

So much time and effort is now put into finding followers, accumulating comments and generating controversy… all so that people will notice you. People say and do things that don’t benefit them, just because they’re hooked on attention.

Attention is fine, as long as you have a goal that is reached in exchange for all this effort.

Far better than being noticed:

  • Trusted
  • Engaged with
  • Purchased from
  • Discussed
  • Echoed
  • Teaching us
  • Leading

What a legend!

 My dear friend Rich has just returned from one of the most incredible experiences of his life. Climbing Mt Kilmanjaro.

 

I am so inspired, amazed and unbelievably proud of the groups achievements. The amount of effort and time that went into the planning, organisation and practice for the trip is incredible. Not one thing was overlooked in the preparation for the big trip and it was a true success.

What I think is so incredible is that they organised the trip themselves. Although going with tour guides and having a prominent charity as the beneficiary, the rest was done by them. Flights, tour group planning, travel to and from the mountain, training, equipment, website, charity communication and fundraising. IT’S INCREDBILE!

 

I have always thought that oneday I would climb a mountain and last year when I saw Mt Kilimanjaro as I drove through the open plains of Tanzania, I knew this was the mountain for me. I am so happy that I now have a close friend who has done the trip before me and this has filled me with such an eagerness to get there and do it.

 

My friend Jarred and I are planning to do an 8 week trip next year in December with one of the main goals being to CLIMB KILI!

Again, what an achievement! Really. Congratulations team!

Here are a few words from the group and, most importantly, details on how to sponsor and donate to the charity “Help for Heroes.”

 

“Kilimanjaro 2009 – Many thanks from all the team for your support. We made £2000 for Help For Heroes which is brilliant. Of the team, Ian, Andrew, Brownie and Jo made Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters. I made Stella Point at 5756 meters and Kathleen and Pete…… made Gilmans Point at 5685 meters. Not bad when Everest base camp is at 5200 meters. Cricket played at Stella Point.

http://www.aimhighchallenge.com (19,344 feet to be precise)

Or if you want to be the one to push us over the £1400 mark for H4H then this can be done at http://www.justgiving.com/aimhighchallenge


Trouble with travel

The trouble with travel for a flighty, spur of the moment and adventurous person like me is the planning of a trip.

 

I do love to adventure and trip around but to be bound by schedules and times and dates really does take a little bit of the excitement out of it. And yes, there is the option to “wing it” and just off and trip and see how you go, but there is always the initial planning of getting to the place before you can become foot loose and fancy free.

I am currently making plans to go to India for a wedding, Nepal to see a friend and then on to London, Scotland and Germany to see family and friends. Sounds like an amazing trip huh! But the problem is trying to arrange the dates, flights, locations and people so that it all fits neatly into a step by step travel path….. it’s not working!

 

There are some great websites like STA and Student flights which allow you to map out your trip. Trouble is, the computer then decides what the best route is for you- and does not take into account the time, cost or whether or not your Aunt Beryl will be in Scotland when the flight is best scheduled to arrive.

 

I know once it’s all planned and set that it will be fine and I will have a great time, but really and truly the amount of time and effort that goes into the planning process is crazy.

 

Sigh- the things we do for love.


Hey hey, It’s political correctness gone mad!

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/873534/hey-hey-mdash-aussies-not-racist-poll

Not sure if you have heard about it but there is some crazy debate going on all over the blogging world about the recent HEY HEY It’s Saturday renunion show.

See the link above. Basically, people are calling Australia racist after a skit on the show and its sent the media into a spin. Worldwide debate has sparked and Australia is baring the brunt of it.

I’m finding this all a bit silly really! I think this is yet another case of media hype, over reacting, over sensitivity and the world being overly politically correct. You want to say Australia is the most racist country in the world? Well, I’m sorry but that is completely out of line. Why is it ok for America to get up on their high horse and tell the world how to behave in regard to other races- is it not there former President who was “hunting” down members of other countries and branding them all as “terrorists”. Please don’t tell me you go to the Southern parts of America and find peace and harmony and love between all people of colour, race and nationality?

 

I’m not America bashing either. What I’m saying is peoples opinions vary across the world, and we need to stop jumping the gun. An entire nation cannot be labelled as racist based on a television skit by a few guys having a laugh. Take it with a grain of salt.Lighten up!

 

I have travelled to a fair few countries now and I have seen and heard my fair share of racism. Does that mean that I will forever think of those places and the people from it as racist? God no! It was simply opinions being expressed by them. Whether right or wrong is another story, I believe racism is wrong, but I am not going to crucify someone over it. I would simply tell them I disagree, IF I say anything at all

I was astounded when I went to South Africa at the open racism and naming of classes, castes and people. But honestly, they do not see it as racism sometimes because it simply is the way it is.

 

Racism is bad. We should not judge people based on their country, origin, skin colour- and for that matter other things such as lifestyle (gay/straight/single/marrried) , choice of professions… geez the list goes on.

 

I see that people were offended. And I think it was good of Hey hey to apologise to those offended. But I do not think that the ongoing criticism and jumping on the “racist” band wagon is acceptable.

 

Let’s all step back, take a little deep breath, and stop chastising people over things they say. There have been far worse things in the past and I believe this is simply blown out of proportion.

 

I just hope that as I continue to travel the world, I will not be labelled as racist simply because I come from a country where an issue of racism was raised…. for is this not too a form of racism???


Explorer Girls

I have stumbled across a new website due to my wonderful mentor pointing it out to me. EXPLORER GIRLS.

www.explorergirls.com is a girls only site, sorry boys. The site allows girls who love travel, adventure and meeting new people to create profiles and connect with other adventurous girls all over the world.

I was lucky enough to be in touch with the site director to talk about doing some writing for their online magazine and now I am hooked on the site! It’s so much fun! Maps of all the places you’ve been, your own bloging page, forums, emailing, PHOTOS and cool articles.

It also allows you to show whether you would house swap, meet up with girls in your city or theirs, and make travel buddies.

It’s great to have a place just for girls and focused on our keen interests!

I look forward to many more hours of blogging and connecting.  Now, just to get more girls on there for a wider network. SIGN UP LADIES!


Pre Departure Stress

There is always a few times before a trip that you start to doubt the nutty idea you are having to trek all over the known world. And with good reason!

Undertaking an overseas trip is a big thing! It’s exciting, scary, emotional, fun and daunting. You are set for totally new adventures and new experiences with every step you take. For some this sounds like heaven, for others this sounds just horrible. For me, it’s the dream!

BUT! And that’s a big BUT! It does not mean that I don’t worry, feel scared, anxious or nervous before trips. I mean, there is so much to do!

I have over the last few days had a number of “I can’t do it” moments when thinking about my fast approaching trip to India. I have decided to go to not only India, but whilst I’m out the country and spending loads of cash head to another few destinations. I would like to go to Nepal then come back into India to visit another 7 cities before I head to England just in time for Christmas. For New Year I am toying with the idea of Scotland and then on to Germany to visit friends in 3 cities.

Approximately 8 weeks all up. Mostly staying with friends and family. However, it is now dawning on me that I need visas, money (and lots of it), contacts, trip planning and least of all flights!

I started to think… perhaps best not to go. Or I could go to Delhi, India, for the wedding and then just potter on home. I can’t even imagine going on such an adventure now. But then I will get there, see the beauty, feel the bug, and regret greatly the decision.

So, although we have these minutes or hours or even days of doubt, ultimately the experiences we have abroad will reward us in so many other ways that these fears will be long forgotten.

After much fretting and worry, I know I will take this trip and you will read about the many adventures! If you have fears or worries then just acknowledge them, contemplate the various options and decide what is best for you!

The rewards for taking the risks and taking the adventure far outweigh these worries and concerns. Trust me!

Happy travels!


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