the beach

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on here! I’ve been waiting to finish my roll of film before I made this post. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been to the beach three times. It’s starting to warm up here and I’ve been lucky enough to get to the beach (its only about an hour’s drive).

Going to the beach is one of my fav things to do. I feel so calm when I’m at the beach (which is always a good thing). There are so many things that I love about being there – the sound of the waves crashing up against the shore, the sweet sweet fresh air, getting into the water and bobbing up and down on those nice lil waves etc etc.

One of my favourite beaches is wategos beach in byron bay. Trust me when I say it’s one of the most beautiful beaches ever. For some reason I don’t have a decent photo of me there but here is one from the internet:

Wategos Beach – Byron4Kids

One of my other favourite beaches is burleigh heads – on the gold coast which is where I’ve been to lately. It’s not too far away and I like getting there earlyish in the morning – have a quick swim, a nice lunch and then get home in the early afternoon. The last times I’ve been there the water has been a little chilly for my liking but still lovely times. It’s a pretty popular beach – but for good reason. The views are amazing and the vibe is pretty relaxed. There are also a bunch of nice shops close-by with some good lunch options. Bonus – there are lots of (cute) surfers to watch while you’re there. Here are some of the film photos I took over the last couple of times there:

Here’s a bonus picture of when I went to tallebudgera beach (another beach in the gold coast) with my dad, sister and of course my two favourite boys (freddy and paddy). I only took one because it was the last one left in the roll.

Not all the photos turned out exactly how I wanted them to – some were a little too overexposed and others a little underexposed. They’re never going to all turn out perfect but that’s kinda why I like film. You don’t have the opportunity to adjust everything and take loads of photos just to pick out one that you like. You take a photo and hope for the best. But I feel pretty happy with how most of them turned out. I can’t wait to go to the beach more often – relax, go for a swim and hang out with friends and family.

clara x 2020

peach fur @ the zoo

I’m back for yet another covid-safe gig (meaning only 100 people in the venue, strictly seated and everything being within covid restrictions and guidelines) at the zoo (fortitude valley, brisbane). On Friday night I went along to the Peach Fur gig with two of my closest friends (shoutout to T and kelly). This was the third gig I’ve seen at the zoo (see here and here for the other two). What a night! If you’ve read any of my music-related posts you’ll know exactly how passionate I feel about live music (basically: it’s my fav thing ever). Best believe this was one of the best gigs I’ve seen (I know I say that almost every time but I swear I mean it).

Peach fur had an electric presence – you could feel how much they loved being up there which made them even more entertaining. I couldn’t stop grinning the whole night – I was so blissfully happy that even after the first few songs they could’ve said sorry that’s it – and I still would’ve thought they were amazing (thank god they didn’t).

PREMIERE: Peach Fur deliver an inter-galactic indie rock jam on Aliens
peach fur !

There were two support acts of the night: Donny Love and Great Sage. Both very cool bands. Great Sage had a kinda futuristic vibe – and there were even some flute solos which, you don’t get enough of these days.

great sage
here’s one of great sage’s iconic flute solos

Next up was Donny Love: also super groovy.

Album Review: Donny Love 'Sensation' |
donny love

They had a guy on sax who kinda stole the show (I’m sorry to the rest of the band) – with his fab sax playing and even more fab dance moves. They had some groovy riffs mixed with the funky sax, guitar, keyboard and bass creating an all-round good time. They were super energetic the whole night and had a great stage presence. Plus, they have a song called Run For Mayor which is about when they ran for mayor in the 2020 gold coast election (iconic). Their latest single is called Boredom Pills – definitely check it out. Here’s a quick clip of them from the night:

Now for the main course – Peach Fur. I’ve only recently come across their music. My friend and I happened to ‘stumble’ across one of their gigs a few weeks ago. I think the first song I heard was All in Good Thyme (one of fav songs). The band is made up of four super talented mates from the gold coast who pretty much make up the dream team. Their sound is a mix of all the good things in life – a bit of rock, surfy rock, some psychedelic vibes, a bit of blues, reggae and all-round goodness. I know it sounds like there’s a lot going on there – trust me when I say that it works. I like the fact that they don’t really have one particular genre that they stick to because it makes their sound unique and extra funky. Their latest EP is called Awake – give it a listen if you wanna have a “good thyme” ;).

One of my favourite songs is Funkn Oath – it’s got some really groovy bass that is carried out throughout the whole song, catchy vocals and sweet sweet guitars. It’s the kind of song that I could listen to on repeat and never get bored of. It’s upbeat and very very groovy which, could be the description of any of their songs. It made it very very hard not to get up and dance. Some of my other favourite songs of theirs are Glimmer, Preloved, Days Go By and Lonely Fellow. You should definitely give them a listen. Also – one of the highlights of the night was when they covered Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – they brought in the “horny boys” (aka two guys on saxophone and trumpet) to help out. It was so so good!!

lonely fellow -> days go by -> funkn oath

Every time I go to a gig, I’m reminded of how important they are to me and how much happiness they bring to me. For those few hours, I feel so whole – music is something that has brought me so much joy and being able to see it live is just a whole other level of joy. Add in the fact that I got to spend time with my friends made the experience even better. Like always – I’m incredibly grateful that I’m still able to see live music in these times. Being able to support local bands and artists is awesome – especially since we have so much homegrown goodness in brissy. Hopefully, sometime soon I’ll be able to have a stand-up boogie at a gig.

clara x 2020

saturday morning strawberry picking & film dump

Last Saturday my parents and I drove out to a strawberry farm to do some strawberry picking. If anyone knows me – they know that strawberries have been my favourite food group since I was little so I was very excited. I’m the type of person who will eat a whole punnet in one sitting. We drove out to Rolin Farms in Elimbah – a bit under an hour drive from Brisbane.

There were SO MANY strawberries! I’ve never seen so many – heaven on earth. We all got 1/2 kilo punnets to fill up and it didn’t really take long to fill those bad boys up.

I had a really lovely day hanging out with the ‘rents – the weather was beautiful, the strawbs were tasty. It was a really nice way to spend my saturday morning!

Here’s some film that I took of the day:

I thought I would share some of my other film that I took on the same roll.

I’m pretty sad about how a few of the others turned out because I accidentally opened up the camera before I had finished rolling the film back up. This meant that the film was exposed in broad daylight – which is bad news. So a few of them turned out like this:

Bit of an embarrassing mistake to make – ah well. Now I know to make sure the whole film is rewound on before opening the back up…

clara x 2020

a chat about the kangaroo point blockade

I haven’t really spoken much about politics on my blog yet but it’s something that’s important to me. I find it hard navigating writing about difficult issues because I know that I might not always know enough about them. I want to be as educated as possible before I speak publicly about something. I keep writing and rewriting this post until I realised that I can never be completely educated on an issue that I feel strongly about. I’ve come to realise that this shouldn’t stop me from sharing awareness and doing my part.

The situation: There are 120 men that are being held in immigration detention at kangaroo point central apartments (brisbane). Most of them are genuine refugees and owed protected, others are asylum seekers and there are some that haven’t had their refugee status assessed. They were formerly detained in Nauru or PNG. All of the men have been medically evacuated to Australia for complex medical reasons – a number of them have severe mental health problems from past trauma and being held in detention centres for seven years. In detention it is impossible to treat the mental health conditions. They came to Australia in search of a safe place but instead they have been locked up. A 24/7 blockade has been setup after the forced transfer to BITA (an immigration detention centre) of Farhad Rahmati, a Civil Engineer and refugee because of his activism. Basically – the men being held in the kangaroo point hotel aren’t allowed exercise or access the community and they don’t have legitimate access to physical and mental resources. (I tried to paraphrase this from this and this source – have a read).

The Refugee Solidarity movement has three demands:

  1. stop the transfers
  2. free movement
  3. community release

I’m not sure when exactly I found out about how messed up this is but once I did – I wanted to do something about it.

I went to my first rally on the 19th of July – it marked seven years since the government introduced the policy that no one would ever be able to settle in australia if they came by boat instead of by plane. I took some pictures on my film camera:

A few days after that my friend and I signed up for a shift from 5am – 8am on a Thursday morning. Our job was pretty much to keep an eye out for police and any suspicious activity going on in and around the hotel.

I went to another rally last weekend that was to protest for free movement – letting the men outside the compound for free movement at their discretion (ie to exercise, walk and connect with the community). There was a heavy police presence. Here are some more photos I took on my film camera:

Just quickly – if you wanna see all the fucked up (excuse my language) things Peter Dutton has done check out this article (its a bit old but still relevant) or read up on his wiki.

On Thursday my friend and I went to a fundraising gig at Can You Keep A Secrete (btw – a very very cool bar). loulou, Nathan Kearney + Bridget Brandolini performed. Btw everyone is sleeping on Bridget. I LOVED her set – she has the voice of a literal angel – check out my fav song, Contagion. She kinda sounds like joni mitchell which is a HUGE compliment – GOOSEBUMPS. loulou: such a cute, quirky band – my fav song is It Spills Out.

If you’ve made it this far into my post – thank you. The message I want to get across is – this is wrong. This is a violation of human rights. There is no excuse. I feel ashamed of our government and the people who let this happen.

It can seem hard to know what you can do and how you can help. I think something that is important is to spread awareness – have a conversation about this with friends/ family/ acquaintances. I think a lot of people don’t really know what’s going on so educating yourself and others is an important way to support the cause. Another thing is to stay connected – turn up and show your support by going to protests or sign up for a shift at the blockade. You can also donate here.

I thought that I would provide some resources to have a look at because it is impossible for me to cover everything – I did the best I could.

Here are some resources:

letthemhug.com has explains the situation and what the demands are

the guardian did a good article that explains the situation as well

heres another article

sbs also wrote an article

I leave you with this video:

clara x 2020

concrete surfers & dopamine

Another week – another gig. On Saturday night my friend Kelly and I went to see concrete surfers at the zoo. If you read my last blog post – you’ll know about the Zoo’s “Anti-Social” series. If you didn’t – basically is a bunch of gigs supporting local artists that are within covid restrictions. My friend and I sat at a table not too far from the action.

It was a great night all in all. I had a lot of fun having a dance (in my seat) and getting lost in the music. Everyone at the gig was grooving along to the trendy tunes and just plain ol vibing.

Dopamine started off the night with a bang. I’ve actually seen them before when they supported Last Dinosaurs – which is a pretty cool. Their sound is a combination of indie-rock, britpop and post-punk. They’re a Brisbane-based band that make songs that show a raw and vulnerable side. My favourite song of theirs is Ordinary People. It’s got some catchy hooks and groovy guitar – very very cool.

dopamine

I’ve seen concrete surfers before – before covid, when I could have a real boogie. They’re a brissy-based band which always makes me feel proud to call Brisbane my hometown. They’re a bit of a rowdy band – lots of energy with a surfy-rock kinda vibe so I was nervous to see how it would all work out when we couldn’t even leave our seats. But in the end it didn’t matter. The excitement of actually being at a gig meant that not being able to dance in a sweaty mosh pit wasn’t really an issue.

One of my favourite songs is Roma Street which they played at the start of the set. If you’re from Brisbane you’ll know exactly where Roma Street (its basically one of the main train/bus stations. This song makes me feel nostalgic – it reminds me of being in high school which I hated. I did have to go into Roma Street station every morning to get to school. So this song reminds me of being moody about having to go to school. At some point I probably was blasting this exact song while waiting for the bus. It’s got that loud teenage angst that (if I wasn’t so much of a goody-too-shoes) made me consider wagging (aka skipping school) .

They also played my favourite song, Shattered Thoughts – its a mix of gritty and groovy, with a catchy chorus. The crowd went crazy for it – loving the energy that the band brought to the stage. I definitely had a good dance to that one.

I had such a blast – live music really keeps me going in life. I got to hang out with my lovely friend AND see a band that I love – I don’t think it could get much better than that. Sitting there I felt so genuinely happy and grateful that I was able to do one of the things that brings me so much joy. 10/10 night – I’m looking forward to more gigs.

clara x 2020

the dreggs & make the moon

On Saturday night I took my dad to a gig at the zoo – a small venue in Fortitude Valley. The gig was part of The Zoo’s “Anti-Social” series which is basically them putting on a bunch of small gigs, supporting local artists through these new and challenging times. It was a small, intimate gig with only 100 people in a venue which usually holds 500 people (everything was within covid restrictions and guidelines). Everyone was sat at little tables and we weren’t really allowed to leave (except for bathroom breaks and to get up and grab a drink). We went to the second session of the night which, although later than my bedtime (it started at like 10pm!!) – was totally worth it.

It was probably one of the most memorable gigs I’ve been to – which is saying a lot. I’ve definitely been to my fair share of gigs but this one was extra special. I have been aching to see some live music ever since the opportunity was taken away from me (if you wanna check out some of my other posts about live music see here and here). I’ve always said that live music, for me is one of the greatest pleasures I will ever experience. If there was one word that I would use to describe the night it would be: wholesome. I couldn’t help but smile throughout the night and even though I was bound to my chair, it didn’t stop me from having a (seated) boogie.

Make the Moon were the support act for the Dreggs. They’re a small band from Brissy/Sunny Coast that play alternativey-folk kinda music. I’ll be honest and say that I hadn’t really listened to them or heard much of them before so I was pleasantly surprised to see and hear how talented they were. They are a very groovy band with some equally groovy songs. They have one song out on Spotify which I definitely recommend checking out.

(make the moon)

Now onto the main act – The Dreggs. I discovered them fairly recently – loving their vibe, finding it relaxing to listen. The band is made up of two guys (shout out to paddy and zane) who grew up in the sunny coast. Their music is indie folk and roots that are mixed with a coastal-beachy-surfy kinda vibe. They had a way of effortlessly capturing the attention of the crowd by their confidence and bang-on stage presence – with the right amount of jokes and banter onstage. Both Paddy and Zane bounced off each other’s energy which was very cool. I’ll add in the fact that they are two very beautiful people so I’ll admit that I was fangirling hard as soon as they came out.

(the dreggs)

Their set was dreamy – with beautiful vocals and sweet sweet guitar. There’s something about having just two guys playing the guitar, making it feel even more intimate. Their catchy songs meant that it was impossible to not tap your feet or nod your head to the beat. One of their songs ‘Simple Question‘ I felt a particular connection to. It’s a song about suicide awareness – which I didn’t know until Paddy spoke about it. Throughout the whole song, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears (when I say a few I really mean a lot of tears) as I’m one the many people who have been affected by suicide and I’m continually struggling with my own mental health. He shared the really important message of asking others if they are okay – which I think everyone (including myself) can get better at.

They played my favourite song of theirs: Give Myself to You – which the crowd went crazy for, everyone singing all the lyrics. It is such a banger. They played “A song to be named” which comes out on August 14 – so look out for that one – it is not surprisingly – also a banger.

(don’t mind the slightly shaky hands – i was trying real hard not to sway but apparently that’s harder than you’d think, especially when it’s a good song)

I’d say that the whole night was a huge success. The kind of music played was perfect for an intimate gig and I didn’t feel that in any way the authenticity was sacrificed along the way. I feel lucky that I am able to support the local live music scene even during a pandemic. The Zoo did such a good job hosting the gig in a way that was safe and fun (which can be hard). I think that live music is such an important part of so many people’s lives – especially mine. The night literally could not have gone any better. I can’t wait to see more gigs and hopefully as restrictions are eased I can have a proper boogie.

another update on my film photography

I wanted to share some of the pictures that I had developed from my last couple of rolls of film. I’ve written a couple of posts on my photography (here and here). I’m still learning but I’m having a ball.

Recently my friend, Iona (she’s the one you’ll see featured in a few of the photos) also just got into film photography and we went on a little trip around the Gold Coast. Here are some pictures that I took.

Takings photos on the beach is hard – but for these ones I purposely had the exposure up a little higher because I like the look of overexposed photos. It has a dreamy sort of feeling to it – vintage-looking.

I took some more when I went to the art gallery (I made a little blog post about it too). Most of these were overexposed – I’m learning that indoor photography is really bloody hard. I’m not sure how I can improve on it – I don’t remember the exact settings. All I know is that I really need to amp up the exposure settings so that as much possible light can get in.

I took some at a rally I went to. I really liked a lot of these photos and how they turned out – I think this is a lot to do with being outdoors and having natural lighting:

And finally – I took some photos when I had a little game night with me and some friends. Again, most of these photos were underexposed because they were taken indoor and it was also nighttime. I may or may not have had too many frozen margaritas which didn’t help either. Most of them are also out of focus (whoops). They did come out with a kinda cool effect though so that’s something.

I feel like this time round I was much happier with how the photos turned out. I didn’t feel as mad that I was spending almost $50 to get them all processed because I reckon around half of them were decent (#winning). I just ordered a new box of film so I’m keen to get back to taking some more photos.

clara x 2020

a trip to the art gallery

On Monday afternoon my friend Kelly and I decided to go to the art gallery (queensland art gallery). It recently opened up since covid restrictions have been lifted. We wondered around different areas, chatting and reading the little descriptions. I brought along my film camera to take some pictures too which was nice.

We looked at a collection of Indigenous Australian art, some classics like early European works and Asian art (there was lots and lots there so check out the website for more info).

I had the loveliest afternoon with lovelier company. It’s nice to be able to go to art galleries again after some restrictions have been lifted. I really love going to art galleries – it’s relaxing sort of floating around different spaces.

clara x 2020

travels

So in light of this whole covid thing – I have come to realise lots of things: how important live music is for me, and how valuable friends are. Something else that me and that I’m sure many many other people have realised is how lucky we were to be able to travel. I have always loved travelling and I feel so lucky that I have travelled so much at such a young age. I thought I would share some of my travel highlights to reminisce on some good times. Before I start chatting about some of the places I’ve been to – I would like to acknowledge how privileged and grateful I am to have been able to travel so much and to so many places. I know that not everyone is as lucky as me. Hopefully, this post doesn’t come across as too braggy – I just thought it would be nice to share my experiences and memories.

One of the first overseas family trips we did was Vietnam. I think I was around 11 when we went. We went all over Vietnam from Sapa to the bustling city of Hoi Anne. I don’t remember too much but what I do remember was the delicious food, the lovely people and the beautiful landscapes.

here’s a throwback picture – exposing me and my family

Another really memorable trip was when I went on exchange in Italy back in 2016/17. This was the first time I went travelling without my family so it was a pretty huge achievement in itself. I was only sixteen! I spent nine weeks there where I stayed with my exchange partner (Maddi)’s family in Varese (a small town close to Milan). I went to school and was fully immersed in the Italian culture. I was really lucky and my family took me to lots of places like Milan, Venice, Padua, Florence and lots more. Once a week I would go to Lugano to meet up with all the other students doing the exchange. I had some amazing experiences, some awkward encounters, met some pretty great people and had the most rewarding time there. I remember it being quite challenging being away from my family for so long. But I learned so much – not just the Italian language. It makes me sad thinking about how little Italian that I remember and that I’m no longer studying it but so happy when I think about all the memories I made there.

I made some videos while I was there:

this is a particularly special video. i visited Tamara – a girl who inspired me to go on the exchange (she was the exchange partner of my sister when she did it two years before)

The last big trip I went on was to South America. I went after I graduated high-school – way better than Schoolies. I went all around – starting in Buenos Aires with my mum and sister. It was there that I did a week-long Spanish course while exploring the city. Then we went on a little weekend trip to Uruguay. After that my dad and brother met us and we went to Peru. After that, we went to Chile (my mum is from Chile). Then my sister and I did a little bit of solo travelling in Brazil (when I say solo travelling I mean without the rest of the family but we were with Maria (a lovely girl who stayed with us for six months while in Australia) and her wonderful family).

There were so many highlights on this trip. Going to Machu Picchu was definitely up there as one of my highlights. I know you hear a lot about it and its a tourist hotspot – but for good reasons. The trip to Brazil was also one of the best few weeks of my life. My sister and I were so well looked after by Maria and her family – they took us to Rio de Janerio and all-around Salvador (their home town). I think this trip, in general, was also a really pivotal time for me and I grew a lot as a person and was constantly learning and exploring new things. I was only 17 at the time so it was an incredible experience to have at such a young age. My mum is Chilean so I felt a kind of connection to some of the places we went to. Even though I was so out of place – as a Gringo – I felt drawn into the people, places and their cultures.

I made some videos about my time there:

Travelling has always been something that I loved and have felt passionate about. I love learning about new cultures and meeting new people. It’s exciting. It’s that giddy feeling when you have booked plane tickets and start to think about where you want to go. It’s all the spontaneous trips and wanderings around a new city. I will say that it’s not always easy. It can be super stressful and as someone who suffers from some mental health issues – it can sometimes take a toll on you. But I can wholeheartedly say that travelling is one of the undeniably great things in life.

Living through this pandemic puts a lot of things into perspective. Again, I want to highlight how incredibly privileged I am to have been travelling and been given the opportunity to. I don’t know if travelling will ever be the same. There’s a lot that is out of our control. In the meantime: stay healthy, social distance, be sensible and look after one another. I can’t wait until I get to travel somewhere again.

clara x 2020

my new electric guitar

So last week I decided that I wanted to buy myself an electric guitar. It’s something that I had been thinking about for ages but I’ve only recently had enough money to actually do anything about it. I have been poking around guitar shops for years testing out electric guitars but never actually buying anything. Today was different (obviously). The guitar I went for was the “Affinity Series HSS Stratocaster” by Squier (Fender). I’m a beginner and I wasn’t really looking for a fancy electric guitar (although I did test out an expensive one and it sounded like a DREAM). I think my guitar is around mid-range in terms of price point. It actually came in a set – which included an amp as well as some other gadgety thingos (i.e. plectrums and cords etc.).

This whole thing came about when my sister and I were having brunch together (see the little pic) and were talking about what we should do with our JobKeeper money. Should we save it? Probably. Or should we spend it on something cool? I voted for the latter. Besides my dad always says that if we are spending our money it means that we are putting money back into the economy. So we’re basically helping the economy (you’re welcome). I was tossing up between buying a Nintendo Switch or an electric guitar. I decided on going for the electric guitar.

brunch with my sister

I took my dad and sister along for the ride. The guitar shop that I went to was pretty cool and there was a little room where you could test out different guitars. This was good because it meant not putting my mediocre skills on display. Especially because guitar shops always have those middle-aged men that assert their dominance by buying expensive guitars, playing fancy riffs and knowing like everything about guitars.

Now the hard part is trying to figure out how to play it. I’m lucky that I already know how to play the guitar (see my other post) – now I just need to use that knowledge and put it to good use. The guitar actually came with a code to log into FenderPlay which is a website set up by Fender to teach you how to play guitar. There are lots of skill courses and tons of songs to learn with interactive videos. Along with the guitar I get three free months of FenderPlay which is brill. Right now I’m learning La Grange by ZZ Top and Always Like This by Bombay Bicycle Club. Some other songs that I’ve saved that I wanna learn are:

  • Hold On by Alabama Shakes
  • Reptilia by The Strokes
  • Last Nite by The Strokes
  • Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine

Otherwise, I like to use Ultimate Guitar tabs which literally has thousands and thousands of tabs (btw: guitar tabs are basically another way to read music where it shows you the fingering rather than the actual pictures). You can literally search up pretty much any song you want and there will be a tab for it. I also like to sometimes use YouTube as wells as using a tab because it gives you a better idea of what you’re doing.

I made a playlist with a bunch of songs that could be cool to learn some day.

I’m still figuring out how to play electric guitar. I really want to learn how to change how the guitar sounds – that’s the next thing. It’s fun playing around with my new toy and learning new songs. I feel like I’m slowly becoming more confident and I think that will come with more practice. Here’s hoping that I’ll keep practicing.

clara x 2020