Category Archives: People & Culture

Minimal beat

As is the way with the internet, I was looking for one thing, stumbled across another and before I knew it was back ‘down the rabbit hole’ again. This happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. Rarely does it add any value to my life, but when it does it’s a joyful victory.
Anyway one day as the googling began, I discovered Lindsey Stirling. I don’t know much about her and had not heard of her before, but I now think she is very cool and rate this music video as one of the best ever. No booty shakin’. No gratuitous making out. Just a very talented babe, doin’ her thang.

More importantly – she’s doing it all over the world.  I don’t really live anywhere at the moment and am travelling more often than not so I can really relate to this video – especially when your work is the reason your travel as it is with Lindsey.  People seem to think it is a very glamorous life, and don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of cool things about it. However the reality is that it exists because of the work, so just like you, we get up, fumble for coffee, pull all the creative stuff we need out of our brains. We work all day – or sometimes all night as time zones are a huge feature of my job – and wistfully think about hanging out with friends and doing cool stuff.

Anyway check out Lindsey’s very cool video and enjoy a very small round the world trip to break up your day.

No. THIS is 40.

I will turn 40 this year and as I hit the home straight, exhilaration washes over me, mixed with relief.  There is a certain calm and stillness that seems to have come with getting older and I could not be more thrilled about it.  It’s difficult to tell what in my life is about getting older, and what is about finally living the choices I should have made years ago.  I spent a really long time trying to find my way, and had to, so I could learn all I did to be here right now.  It is overwhelming to see things go right at last, and to know now more than ever, I am at last becoming who I am.

Apologies to all the women over 40 who already know this and are now rolling their eyes at me.

 

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Superhero Wednesday

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I have a regular gig writing editorial for DarwinLife Magazine, which I love.  I get to meet lots of really great and interesting people and although there is somewhat of a formula to this kind of work, I am given the freedom by my blessed editors to be as creative as I please and this kind of trust and faith should not be taken lightly.  It’s wonderful really.

This month I met some inspiring women as part of a feature on International Women’s Day and this post pays tribute to them. They all come from different backgrounds and all have a story to tell.  Writing the opening article for this feature reminded me what a unique breed Northern Territory women are.

“They roll up their sleeves and get on with it.  They are resourceful and hard working and it never occurs to them that their gender might be an issue.  They toil away until the wee small hours then get up to pack lunches and do school runs.  They drive trucks and bake cakes, go fishing and develop property. They run companies during the week and coach sport on the weekend. They help and heal and soothe and problem solve, they campaign and support and love and laugh.”

Amidst all the meetings with all the great people there are many surreal moments. This month’s happened at a photo shoot for the fabulous team at Sprout Creative. We had talked about their photo ideas the day before and they said they would organise costumes to fit with the magazine’s ‘International Women’s Day’ feature titled ‘Wonder Women’.

Little did I know as we marched to our shoot location that I would be striding through Darwin city with more than a dozen superheroes in pursuit.

Just another day at the office really.

 

IMAGES © MELINDA BARLOW

Always believe. Always.

I always wanted to write.  I always loved writing.  But NEVER, when I was a child, did I know it was an actual job. That I could DO.  Never did I think I could ‘be a writer’.

Jarret J. Krosoczka’s recent TED talk shares his inspiring story and reminds us that sometimes the thing we are searching hardest for, is right in front of us.

He’s made it to my list of everyday heroes.

Check out his work, blog, and books online at Studio JJK

Cre8 Foundation: Connect your creativity

Mid last year I got the opportunity to work with Cre8 Foundation. I am thrilled to be involved with them and want everyone else to love them too!

They are an incredible group of people all working together towards a common goal – to inspire creativity.

Check out this fab video and find out how you can get involved at www.cre8foundation.org

Brains AND brawn

‘You wanted control, so we waited.  I put on a show, now I make it.  You say I’m a kid, my ego is big I don’t give a shit, and it goes like this…’. Words by Adam Levine, Benjamin Levin, Ammar Malik and Shellback.  ‘Moves like Jagger’ – Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera. 

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You know that moment when something first comes into your world?  For me it was a random chat at home.  “I’m going to see some jazz possibly” said my housemate in his thick accent.  “Chess Boxing?” said my friend, sitting at our kitchen table.  “No.  JAZZ.  Possibly” said my housemate.  “Chess boxing?!?!” said I.  Then we giggled, fumbled over the confusion and moved on.  Just three days later wandering around a flea market, I found a flyer for it, and an hour later we stood on the 6th floor of a carpark, in the dark, with less than a hundred others, about to watch Chess Boxing.

So there we were, watching two adorable teenage boys, silky shorts, hands strapped, leaning intently over a chess board in the middle of a ring.  Move after move, we all bounced around on tiptoes trying to get a better look.  Before we knew it the bell rang, two beefy dudes moved in to whisk any sign of chess away and the real action began.  Or should I say civilised controlled demonstrative punchy punch.

Anyway it was a very sanitised form of the boxing I grew up with – blood and saliva flying in a silver pink arc through the floodlights to follow the crack of fist on jaw.  Sweat and heat and muscly fury.  That was always kind of exciting – to see men punch on in a show of primal strength and determination.  This however held nowhere near the same allure.  Especially when the next round involves a lot of people watching two men….think.  I never really got the point of spectator chess.  But hey, I never really played chess either.

After extensive research I now know that chess boxing runs for 11 rounds – six chess, five boxing.  Three to four minutes per round.  A minute break between rounds.  Also that the ‘sport’ has been around for 20 years now.  AMAZE BALLS.  Who knew?  I’m not saying it wasn’t great – but if they want to raise the profile of chess boxing, they really need to pitch it to the ladies.  Do they not know how much we love brains AND brawn?

IMAGES © MELINDA BARLOW

You, and Me. Always. And Forever.

‘Then we watch TV, till we fall asleep.  Not very exciting, but it’s you and me, and we’ll, always, be together.  You, and me, always, and forever, bah, bah bah, bah bah.  It was always, you, and me, always, and forever.’ Words by The Wannadies. ‘You and Me Song’ – The Wannadies.  

As I raced along Kaiserdamm, in Charlottenburg earlier today, I was slowed in my tracks by two women, and not just because of their pace.  Where to begin – so many questions!  Who chose first?  Was it a two-for-one deal on contrasting tops? Did they flip a coin for who’d wear black with white, and who’d wear white with black?  I marched beyond them and into the U-bahn, with the hope that one day that might be me, strolling the street with a woman I adore, both giggling inside as we play dress ups into our twilight years.

B&Wgals

IMAGE © MELINDA BARLOW 

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Short Story. ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy’

Excerpt from short story. ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy’.  As yet unpublished.

“Cowboy? Princess? Fireman? Millionaire.  All reasonable.  Three of them are actual careers.  The 4th is the result of a very successful career, or some other stroke of fate or luck.  The way that dream looks when it is first made in our mind is not the same as the actual job you’d end up with though.  We know that right?

‘I wanna be a cowboy’ is about wanting to ride a horse and wear cool boots and a big hat.  It’s not about wanting to ride around for hours chasing stubborn cattle on a hot and dusty station, battling flies and thirst.  Plus – does anybody know what a cowboy gets paid these days?

‘I’m gonna be a princess when I grow up’.  First of all, no girl who says ‘gonna’ is going to be a princess.  Secondly, I bet Kate Middleton never knew that Princess actually meant Duchess.  None of us wanted to be…”

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