a short trip to straddie

On Wednesday morning I went off to straddie (a.k.a north stradbroke island) for a night. My longest and dearest friend, Rachel invited me over with her family because they a house over there. Rachel and I have grown up with each other – I can’t remember a time without having her in my life. Anyway – even though I wasn’t there long, I had such a lovely time! We spent our days at the beach, eating ice creams, reading, lounging around (we did this a good deal) and going on walks (I made a lil video on them).

The traditional custodians of north stradbroke island are the Nunukul, Nughi and Goenpul clans of the Quandamooka people and is known as Minjerribah. It’s basically a big sand island off of southeast Brisbane. You need to take either a ferry or water taxi to get there. I got on a water taxi to Dunwich and Rachel was kind enough to pick me up (most people get the bus into town). It takes a little while to get there but once you do its all worth it. The views are beautiful, the beaches are amazing and the whole ~vibe~ is very relaxed.

The weather on Wednesday was pretty hot and humid – perfect for morning and arvo swims. We walked from deadmans to flannagans beach – doing a good deal of walking on the beach, walking through some tracks and occasional rock hopping (pic 1/2 and first half of video).

On Thursday morning Emma, Rachel and I went off to have breakfast at the local cafe (the blue room). Afterwards we went on the gorge walk (3rd pic & second half of the video). It was pretty cloudy but it didn’t stop rachel and I having a quick swim. It was surprisingly calm and the temperature was just right – plus we were pretty much the only ones in the water.

warning: wholesome content ahead

I went home on Thursday arvo but had such a nice time. I feel so lucky that I live near such a beautiful part of Australia and that I have friends that are nice enough to let me stay with them. Hope everyone is staying well and looking after themselves.

clara x 2021

*** btw I went to straddie before qld lockdown

whoopsies film fail

So – I have a confession to make: I stuffed up a roll of film. When I say stuffed up I’m definitely being dramatic and I still like how the photos turned out but once I got them I felt a pang of disappointment. I then realised that I had put the wrong friggen exposure settings the whole time. I went to the beach on a super, sunny day (which is hard to capture anyway) and I set the exposure to like 8. I don’t know if it was because I haven’t used my camera in a while or it was just the sunny weather effecting my brain cells but I set the settings to the complete opposite of what I wanted/should have been set to. Instead of putting the f-stop at a higher number (meaning that there would be less light exposed in the film – which is what you want), I set the exposure to like 8 (which is a bit lower than you’d want). I probably should’ve put the f-stop to either 16 or maybe even 22. Check out my other blog post to read about me chatting more about settings and stuff. That sounds really confusing but moral of the story was that I used the wrong exposure settings.

Regardless, I had a lovely day at this beach with my friend – the water was nice and refreshing, we hung out, ate some good food and I left feeling whole again.

Here they are:

Again, I don’t think the photos are necessarily bad (in fact, as I’m looking at them all again some of them I really love) n- I’m just not as happy as I have been with other rolls of film. Normally I would start writing a post as soon as I got my roll – I held off from posting. Anyway – this post is more of a reminder to myself that its okay to make silly mistakes and that I really need to try to not be so hard on myself (new year goal?). Yeah the photos didn’t turn out exactly how I’d hoped but I had the best day out with my pal so who really cares. But hopefully next time I’ll get it right.

— clara x 2020 (not for much longer)

life update & another gig (HANNI & syrup)

I feel like it’s been ages since I last posted on here! Lately I’ve felt kind of unsure on what to write about – feeling like I haven’t done anything super interesting. Blogger’s Block if you will. I’m still keeping myself busy – working, going to the gym, hanging out with friends/family and hanging out with myself. I haven’t really been concerned about not writing on here because I’m in a really good headspace right now (proud of me).

Anyway, on Saturday night my friends I went along to a free gig – part of brisbane’s ‘valley fiesta’. I wasn’t even planning on writing a post about it (hence the crappy photos) but halfway through the first act I was like, wait a minute… I might write about this. Now here we are. There were a bunch of bands playing at o’skulligans – a venue that I’ve never been to before. I went along not knowing any of the artists and was pleasantly surprised by some of the acts (particularly syrup).

The first act of the night was HANNI – a singer-songwriter from brisbane. She has a lovely energy and beautiful vocals with amazing range. Her music is a kinda alternative/pop/dreamy vibe. It’s the kinda music that makes you smile. Her latest song is called Golden Eyes – listen to it. She’s only got a few songs out but she’s one to watch out for.

HANNI Returns With Catchy New Track 'Crazy' – Good Call Live

Next up was Syrup, another brissy-based band. They are a super groovy band – full of fuzzy synths mixed with a cool, deep vocals and some nice electric guitarness, creating an alt-pop dream. Definitely had a bit of a boogie (restrained of course (more of a head bobbing because of covid restrictions)). I really enjoyed their set – bonus points for their bongo drums. Definitely not the style of music I’d typically listen to but I vibed it. I really liked their song Collison Course – check it out if you wanna have a boogie.

Syrup - Turn

I had a lot of fun – going to free gigs is sometimes a hit or miss. But this time it was definitely a hit – mostly. I wasn’t sure whether to talk about the last band to play: feelsclub. I’ll just say: not my cuppa tea (no disrespect tho). I guess you can check them out if you’re into weird space club music. Or if you’re curious.

I had a nice night out with my pals – it’s so nice to see so many other people out and about now that restrictions are easing! O’skulligans is a neat little dive bar in the valley and I’m keen to go back there for another gig sometime soon.

I think I’m getting over my blogger’s block – it’s hard to not put pressure on myself to make some amazing post. But I really need to remind myself more often that I’m literally doing this for myself – first and foremost. Anyhoo, I’ve got a few gigs coming up and some other blog post ideas. Stay tuned.

clara x 2020

dmas @ the tivoli

I’m back at it again – the girl who likes to go to gigs and then write about them. Last Sunday afternoon I was lucky enough to see the DMA’s – probably one of my fav bands ever. If you haven’t heard of them (where have you been though??) – they’re a three-piece alternative rock band from Sydney.

DMA's On World Cafe | NPR Illinois
these are the three chaps (matt, tommy and johnny)

I had super high expectations and they totally lived up to them – apart from the fact that it felt slightly shorter than I’d expected.

I went off to the gig with two friends (shoutout t and k) last sunday arvo (the 2nd out of 6 shows) at the tivoli – a nice venue in brisbane (everything was totally covid-safe). It was a pretty intimate gig – mostly seated (we lined up a bit earlier so we were pretty close to the stage) – which was fitting as it was part of their ‘Unplugged & Intimate’ tour. The shows were supporting their latest album The Glow. It’s their third album. The best way for me to describe it is music that makes you feel like you’re in a movie. It’s got a bit of a different vibe to some of their old goldies – it feels a bit bigger and bolder. I’ll admit it isn’t my favourite album of theirs (please god forgive me I still love them endlessly) but that’s not to say it isn’t fab. I like the vibe of Hills End and For Now a bit more. In saying this – there are a bunch of really good songs on the record (especially Silver, Learning Alive and Criminals). Definitely worth the listen.

Delete was the first song they released (which, sadly they didn’t play – but it’s definitely one of my favs) and it was the first song that got me hooked. The DMA’s have so many good songs – I honestly can’t say that I have a favourite. It would be like choosing a favourite child. I love So We Know – with its soft mellow guitar at the beginning but really big ending. I love The End because it gives me goosebumps every single time. I love Silver for the smooth guitar and Tommy’s soaring vocals that make me feel gooey on the inside. Don’t even get me started on how good their cover of Cher’s Believe is. It is honestly mind-blowingly good.


The beautiful Clea (pronounced ‘clay’) opened up the show with her lovely lovely voice. I hadn’t heard of her before so it was a really pleasant surprise that she performed. I really liked her song Sugar – her dreamy, floaty voice carries an important message about. She has one of the most beautiful voices.

As soon as the DMA’s stepped onto the stage I was so giddy! How cool was it that I got to see my fav band!? Throughout the whole afternoon/evening I felt totally starstruck by their presence and in awe of their performance. I’m 99% sure that I wasn’t alone in it. They captured the attention of everyone in the audience. Tommy’s angelic voice filled the theatre alongside matt and johnny on piano and guitar. They had an amazing violinist and drummer which added a whole other level to the night. I felt like most of their songs worked well as more stripped back – swapping in different parts like synths for the violin was nice to see. They created a beautiful, intimate atmosphere throughout the whole evening . I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a stray tear or too.

They played some of my favourite songs like Silver, The End, Criminals and The Glow. Bonus – they did a cover of Better Be Home Soon which was such a nice moment – the crowd singing along, swaying along. It was unfortunate that they didn’t play Delete because I felt like it would’ve been a really nice addition to their set list. There were a lot of people who were feeling the same.

the end -> the glow

I had the best time and even though the show was a little shorter than expected and they didn’t play ALL the songs I liked (let’s be real – if they did, it would be a long long gig). The DMA’s and their music is something that I will forever cherish. They’ve made a really big impact on my life. Their music has helped me through some rough patches but also uplifted me in the good times. As always – I’m beyond grateful that I’m able to see live music and the fact that I got to see DMA’s was so unbelievable.

clara x 2020

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.


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.