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: 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 @ the zoo

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 @ the Zoo [08.08.20]

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, I (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


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


Since taking a break from uni – I’ve taken it upon myself to try new and old hobbies (i.e. art, photography, guitar etc.). Something that I haven’t spoken much about is my newfound pleasure in reading. I thought I’d chat about some of the books I’ve read and the one I’m reading at the moment.

I don’t think at any point in my life I would have called myself a ‘bookworm’ or anyone who was super into reading. I think I did read a fair bit when I was younger up but not enough to crown myself as a ‘bookworm’. Growing up, there has always been plenty of books around the house. My parents have always been really keen on me and my siblings to read a book as a child. Once I got to high school I stopped reading so much – partly because I didn’t think it was cool and also because high school is mega stressful. I didn’t read much else apart from the dreaded required reading (no offence to Shakespeare and Kurt Vonnegut). Then uni comes around and its pretty much the same story minus the cool part. Uni is stressful and throw in my poor time management skills – makes it hard to sit down and read a book. Even though I always had a book that I was reading – it took me ages to finish it.

So even though I’ve never been obsessed with reading – I decided to give it a try. Turns out I quite like it. Over the past couple of months I have read five or six books (I promise that I’m not trying to brag). One of the many ways I have been spending up during iso has been ordering some books online (getting a parcel is up there with the best things in life).

Back, After the Break – Osher Günsberg (I learned that it’s pronounced ginzberg)

I cannot say enough good things about Osher and his books. Anyone close to me knows that I love Osher. This book was one the first books that I read over these tumultuous few months. I could go on for a long time about why I liked this book so much. I started becoming interested in Osher’s story when I stumbled upon his podcast (you should definitely check it out). I felt connected listening to his mental health journey – parts not entirely different from mine. It was a totally surreal experience. Straight after I listened to that episode I did two things: I wrote him an email and I bought his book.

The book is basically about his life and living with mental illness. It’s an honest, engaging read and writing style made it an easy read. He recounts the struggles and challenges that came with his mental illness, encouraging conversation on topics that aren’t easy to have.

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

I’ll be honest with you and say that I chose this book because it was one of the top fiction books on Angus & Robertson and I liked the look of the front cover. The story is basically about a girl who was abandoned by her parents and siblings and her survival in the Marsh in North Carolina. Somewhere along the way two young men enter her life. Years later one of the locals – the football buff Chase Andrews is found dead and everyone in the town thinks it was her. It was a really nice read – there was a bit of poetry which is cute but at the same time there was the whole mystery element to it.

Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

This book is definitely on the chunkier side (864 juicy pages) and I don’t think I have read a book that big since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I loved this book. Basically it’s about a 13 year old boy, Theo Decker who survives a bombing in a museum that kills his mother – he escapes with a famous painting (the Goldfinch). The story follows Theo into adulthood and how he is led into the ‘criminal underworld’. It is beautifully written and engaging. There is so much to unpack in this book. There’s stuff about grief, loss, addiction, love and lots more. Obviously it’s a bit long and there were at times, a part of me that just wanted it to wrap up – but still totally worth the read.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

The book that I’m reading at the moment is Little Women. I’m trying to get into the classics to make me seem smarter. It’s actually not that bad – I only have to look up a few words on each page.

I’m really enjoying reading – it’s a peaceful hobby. I could spend hours reading and not even realise it. The satisfaction of finishing a book that you really enjoy is the best. Hopefully I can keep it up.

clara x 2020

p.s. here are some books I wanna read:

how to be an antiracist by ibram x. kendi

my Tidda, my Sister: stories of strength and resilience from australia’s first women by marlee silva

growing up aboriginal in australia by anita heiss

white fragility: why its so hard for white people to talk about race. by robin diangelo

humankind by rutger bregman

jasper jones by craig silvey

lolita by vladimir nabokov

boy swallows universe by trent dalton

such a fun age by kiley reid

update on film photography

If you read my earlier blog post on “a new hobby” then you’ll know what this one is going to be about. If you haven’t read it – you’re welcome to look at it. Otherwise – basically I found an old film camera and I have been playing around with it over the last week or so. I didn’t know what I was doing (and still don’t) and so I had pretty low expectations on how they would turn out. I’ll be honest: I was a bit disappointed at first with the results. I know I said my expectations were low but I had hopes that I would turn out to be an amazing photographer.

I thought I’d share with you the bad ones and then the not so bad ones.

Some of them were blurry:

this is me and my sister

Something that I probably should be mindful adjusting the focus (there are a few basic distances to set it to around the ring of the lens) depending on how far away the camera is from what I’m shooting.

Some of them were underexposed:

Some were overexposed:

at the BLM protest (06.06.2020)
i actually still really like this photo

Even though I do kind of like the look of overexposed pictures; I wouldn’t mind seeing if I can get them to have truer colouring. I might need to play around with the aperture (the aperture is the hole in the lens that opens and closes to let more light into the camera to expose the film (thanks google)) settings. I did learn that you can set the aperture depending on the weather – e.g. if its super sunny and there aren’t any clouds, you would set the aperture to f/16. F-stops are the aperture measurement – the bigger the number, the narrower the hole which means less light is exposed in the film. The smaller the number, the bigger the hole which means more light is exposed. My camera has f-stops ranging from 2.8 to 22.

After a bit of googling I have discovered that the overexposure can happen when the selenium light meter (the thing that decides the exposure settings) starts to go bad (uhoh). Let’s hope that it’s not that.

Here are some ones that I don’t mind:

this one is from a church around the corner from my house
even though this has a weird effect – i still like it
this was at the BLM protest in Brisbane (06.06.2020)
i might not like how i look in this photo but i like the quality of the photo
some notes i’ve been making

Okay so the photos aren’t perfect and there are things I want to play around with more. I might not be some amazing photographer but I’m still learning. I’m having fun so I’m going to keep learning and shooting.

clara x 2020