A Night To Remember – The Book Launch for MAKING HEADLINES

My eBook, Making Headlines

My eBook, Making Headlines

Today, it’s exactly three weeks since the Book Launch for my eBook MAKING HEADLINES and life has been so crazy since I let it loose on the world, that I’ve only just got around to Blogging about the actual night.

Prior to the launch, I wrote a post about my indecision as to whether I should hold a party or not. Post-party, I can say without a doubt – I am absolutely thrilled I went ahead with the night and will hold it dear as one of the most significant events in memory.

Yep – that’s a big statement, so let me explain. To me, it was a celebration of a project that I was passionate about. So much so, that despite having many major hurdles and doubts along the way, I saw it through to the end, allowing it to absorb a huge part of my life.  The ultimate goal was to have the book published, so I could share this story with the world and hopefully provide a tale that would engage, entertain and also offer a few insights into an unusual world. To have the book be given the tick of approval by a major well-respected publisher – Harper Collins – is, for me, a major achievement and something well worth celebrating. On the night, everyone who is an important part of my life and who was able to be there, turned up to celebrate with me and the room was filled with the most wonderful, supportive energy. So many people commented on what a happy evening it was – and that’s exactly how it felt for me too.

Hotel Brighton

Hotel Brighton

 

The venue, at HOTEL BRIGHTON, was perfect, with the upstairs function area providing a classy and intimate environment – as well as fabulous food and service. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to host a private function! There was also a screen so we could show my Book Trailer.

 

Big thanks to everyone for coming and helping to make it such a special occasion. Especially to my dear friends Brigitte Duclos and Mitch Catlin who took on the roles of MC and interviewer respectively, making it much a more entertaining night than if I’d been up there in front of everyone on my own!

Brigitte Duclos and Ann Peacock

Brigitte Duclos and Ann Peacock

Mitch Catlin and me in matching polka dots!

Mitch Catlin and me in matching polka dots!

As well, a huge debt of gratitude to our friends and Fletch’s NEIGHBOURS fellow cast members for coming along and helping garner media support  – and for hamming it up beautifully for the cameras. Here are some of the best shots from these wonderful people:

Jackie Woodburne, Stefan Dennis, Gail Easdale and Natalie Bassingthwaigthe

Jackie Woodburne, Stefan Dennis, Gail Easdale and Natalie Bassingthwaigthe

Stefan Dennis and Fletch

Stefan Dennis and Fletch

Fletch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Fletch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shocking read! Gail Easdale, Jackie Woodburne and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Gail Easdale, Jackie Woodburne and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Stefan Dennis and Fletch

Stefan Dennis and Fletch

Here’s some of my speech from the night, along with some photos from the evening:

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“I could never have come this far without the help of an incredible writing teacher and she’s here tonight. Thank you SO much to Olga Lorenzo from the RMIT Writing course. Olga taught the Creative Writing unit and I studied with her for three years. I could not have finished this book without her invaluable input and guidance.

Olga is also herself an acclaimed and brilliant writer and has her second novel THE LIGHT ON THE WATER coming out in a few weeks, (TODAY!) so congratulations Olga – I can’t wait to read it.

Olga Lorenzo and me

Olga Lorenzo and me

A big thank you as well to all my fellow students at RMIT who gave me valuable feedback during work-shopping sessions in class. In particular, to my friends that grew from that course to develop our own writers’ group – to Ann Bolch, Lisa Bigelow, Kaye Holder and Clare Strahan.

An extra special thank you to Ann Bolch who also worked as the first editor of the completed manuscript and did a superb job. If you ever need a good editor, Ann is exceptionally talented and very, very wise.

A congratulatory hug from Ann Bolch

A congratulatory hug from Ann Bolch

Lisa Bigelow and me

Lisa Bigelow and me

As well as the Writer’s Group, two of my friends and my sister took the time and effort to read early drafts. Thank you to Jill and Rick Molinsky for your encouragement and support.

Also a huge thank you to my dear, wicked, gorgeous, talented, close friend, Rochelle Nolan, who is sadly no longer with us. Rochy was always my biggest supporter, read an early draft of the book and pepped me up whenever I was feeling negative about my writing. I wish she could have been here to see the book in its final published form. I miss her every day.

To my dear friend and stepsister, Sian Prior, another superbly talented writer, who inspired me to take up the RMIT PWE course in the first place.

To my wonderful friend and author Ellie Nielsen, who also not only encouraged me to take up the RMIT course, but inspired me with her own book ‘Buying A Piece of Paris’ and then invited me to that very apartment where we shared what was ostensibly a writing sabbatical but also involved plenty of champagne in the work-shopping of ideas, lively conversation and literary debate.

Ellie Nielsen, Michelle Van Raay and me

Ellie Nielsen, Michelle Van Raay and me

To special friends who were always there with love and support – to Julie, Brigitte, Andy and Mitch – as well as all my friends who came on the night.

Anne Peacock, Libby Ross, Andy Webster and Julie Milnes

Anne Peacock, Libby Ross, Andy Webster and Julie Milnes

Steve and Ineke Carey with me in the middle!

Steve and Ineke Carey with me in the middle!

Fletch, Tania Gogos-Wilson, Jen and Ross Wilson

Fletch, Tania Gogos-Wilson, Jen and Ross Wilson

Margaret Zita and Maryanne Gianarelli

Margaret Zita and Maryanne Gianarelli

Nick Holland and Aki Kotzamichalis

Nick Holland and Aki Kotzamichalis

To my work colleagues at Smoothfm; to Jane Elliot for her help on the publicity front and to Mike Perso, for his amazing and enthusiastic on-air support.

Mike Perso and me

Mike Perso and me

Tanya Simpson, me and Jane Elliot

Tanya Simpson, me and Jane Elliot

Nova's Matt Smithson, Sophia Lazarides and Matt Thomson

Nova’s Matt Smithson, Sophia Lazarides and Matt Thomson

THE SMOOTH TEAM - Program Director Pete Clay, Lauren Saylor, Mike Perso, me and Ty Frost

THE SMOOTH TEAM – Program Director Pete Clay, Lauren Saylor, Mike Perso, me and Ty Frost

Ty Frost and me

Ty Frost and me

To my former news-reading partner, Mal Walden, for understanding that NO character in this book is based on him!

Mal Walden and me

Mal Walden and me

Present and past co-hosts!

Present and past on-air colleagues

To Harper Collins; for agreeing to publish this work; in particular, Mary Rennie for going above and beyond in managing to take this book to the next level from its original draft.

To my parents and step-parents; Mum and Ken, Dad and Margot, for their never-ending encouragement and support.

Me and Dad (John Hansen)

Me and Dad (John Hansen)

And lastly, to my immediate family – my husband, Alan, and two children, Veronica and Tom. I am very much indebted to you all for putting up with my absences while I was holed up in my office, writing. For understanding that when I disappeared into ‘Book World’ I should not be interrupted.

To Alan, for his patience and love throughout; to Tom for actually reading the first few chapters and proving to that me he will one day be the best writer in the family; and to Veronica for finding great words to replace the rude ones.

My beautiful children Veronica and Tom, with Tom's gorgeous girlfriend Carrington Hannah

My beautiful children Veronica and Tom, with Tom’s gorgeous girlfriend Carrington Hannah

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So that was my night of nights! Again, thank you to all who came and to all who have since bought the book online. Thanks also for the continuing social media support. If you forgot to post something on social media on the night, please retweet this Blog to help get word out about the book. The more it sells, the more chance I have of it being printed as a hard-copy book!

My eBook, Making Headlines

My eBook, Making Headlines

 

For those wanting to buy a copy, MAKING HEADLINES is available on iBooks and Amazon AND Google books.

And for those interested in enquiring about a function at HOTEL BRIGHTON, phone the wonderful Grace Eddy, Functions Co-ordinator, on 9596 3244.

 

How to get a beach body without going to the gym or taking a holiday…

It’s been a gloomy old week in Melbourne. Weather-wise I mean. Grey and wet all the way, which leaves one feeling like you’re stuck in the middle of an endless English winter.

A bleak week in Melbourne

A bleak week in Melbourne

Work-wise it’s been a different story. I’ve had a fantastic week. I’m settling in at smoothfm and starting to feel a little less like the new kid on the block.

Tropical paradise

Tropical paradise

But with my new working hours and this dismal weather, I’ve started to hanker for a bit of sunshine. You know that feeling, when you start to fantasize about a holiday in a tropical island paradise?

Just looking at this picture makes you feel warmer, doesn’t it? You can feel the sun on your skin, the sand between your toes and the smell of sea-salt in the air.

 

I'd like to look like this please...

I’d like to look like this please…

I’m also missing my regular gym work-outs and feeling a bit on the pale, bloated side. I did actually manage to summon up enough energy to make it to one gym class earlier in the week because the name appealed. It was a ‘Beach Body workout’. What could be better, I thought? A workout, plus I’ll start to feel all lithe and summery – fabulous!

 

 

No such luck. There was a lot of sweaty, hard grunt-work but in the end, I realized it would take about a hundred such classes to transform the white flabby shape in the mirror. However, the ‘beach body’ concept stayed on my mind and I started to think up ways to make this happen without all the hard work…

No one wants to look like an Oompaloompa

No one wants to look like an Oompaloompa

And then it came to me in a flash. Of course! All I needed was a bit of fake tan and I’d instantly feel slimmer and more summery! I’m not talking about some horrible orange smudged on goo – more like a light frosting of summer – an elegant, subtle tan that leaves you glowing instead of marching around town like an Oompaloompa.

And so, for your benefit (and mine!) I’ve given a few products a test run to help steer you in the right direction.

My fave product for a gradual glow

My fave product for a gradual glow

 

1. DOVE Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion.

This is the best of all the gradual tanning lotions I’ve tried. It’s easy to apply, dries relatively quickly and doesn’t streak Use the ‘Normal to dark skin’ colour for the best results.

Price: 400ml – $11.57 (larger bottle pictured)

Rating: 8/10

 

 

Duwop body foundation

Duwop body foundation

2. Duwop Body Foundation.

You used to be able to buy this from specialty cosmetic store Mecca, although most recently I purchased this online through Amazon. This is a great product for when you get ready for a special night out and realise your legs look like white sausages. An instant remedy, but also washes off so no lasting benefits. Use a sponge to apply and it’s not too difficult to achieve an even finish.

Price: $24 – 120ml

Rating: 7/10

 

Pure Tan instant bronzer

Pure Tan instant bronzer

3. Pure Tan Instant Bronzer

Like the Duwop Body Foundation, this is an instant fix for white skin. It also comes with a handy applicator mitt, however, it’s a little more streaky to apply. It still works, but takes a little more time than the Duwop. The other difference is that this is a more translucent liquid, leaving a more natural finish, whereas the Duwop can look a bit like heavy, pasty foundation if you apply too much.

Price: $23.95

Rating: 6.5/10

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze gel

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze gel

4. L’Oreal Sublime Bronzer gel

This is a favourite of mine for a deeper, lasting tan. It should be applied the day before a special event and it helps if you have a friend or partner who can cover the back region. It leaves a glowing, natural colour that lasts for about a week and is the closest result to a natural tan that I’ve found.

Cost: $16.76 150ml

Rating: 9/10

 

So there you have it. How to get a beach body without going to the gym or taking a vacation. It’s the quickest, cheapest way to get a holiday-pick-me-up and beat those summer-withdrawal blues. I bet you’re feeling better already!

 

My first week at smoothfm

This past week has been a whirlwind, to say the least. So many new experiences, my head is spinning. A new job, new sleeping hours, a new gym and new work buddies. It’s all great and I’m loving it, but at times it can feel a little over-whelming.

My new role is news presenter on Mike Perso’s More Music Breakfast Show at smoothfm. I also enjoy a chat with Mike when we take a look at the traffic and talk about what’s happening in and around Melbourne.

My new newsroom at smoothfm

My new newsroom at smoothfm

This first week has brought back memories of when I first started reading the news at Channel Ten – the butterflies in the tummy, the adrenalin rush and the fear of making a mistake. You see, just as it is for anyone starting a new job, there’s a steep learning curve. Except that most of you don’t have to risk mucking up in front of thousands of people…

The week hasn’t been without its hiccups, but ninety-nine per cent of the time it’s been fantastic. I’ve loved working in news again and the immediacy of radio is brilliant. Best of all, it feels completely natural and comfortable to be reading news live to air again. That bit hasn’t phased me at all.

Mike Perso

Mike Perso

 

The biggest plus is that everyone I’m working with is absolutely lovely and supportive. It’s like they’ve all absorbed the vibe of the whole station – chilled and positive. Mike himself has been delightful and welcoming and I’m in awe of his seamless and relaxed delivery on air; juggling interviews, competitions, music and the challenge of working with a radio newbie like me!

 

As for the newsroom staff, they couldn’t have been more helpful if I’d paid them a million bucks each. There’s been a lot of new technology to absorb and me and technology don’t usually get along well at first so anyone teaching me, requires a LOT of patience. Which is why I have to thank these amazing people from the bottom of my heart:

Nova news presenter Matt Smithson

Nova news presenter Matt Smithson

smooth fm journalist Bronte Coy

smooth fm journalist Bronte Coy

Journalist John Michael Bric

Journalist John Michael Bric

Putting a bulletin together really is a team effort and I’m very lucky to be working with a group of such talented writers and operators. I’m also very much looking forward to the time in a couple of weeks when apparently – they keep telling me – the button-pushing bit will have become second-nature.

My new office

My new office

When I started at smoothfm last week, the person I was assigned to ‘follow’, who was going to teach me the ropes, was the super-talented Pip Mooney, the on-air newsreader I’ve replaced. Pip has chosen to take on a new role in the corporate world for family reasons so was more than happy to share her knowledge with me before she left.

Pip Mooney

Pip Mooney

Watching Pip at work was mind-boggling. The speed at which she completed her work, the high level of her capabilities and her professionalism on air made me wonder how I could ever fill her shoes. Again, like the rest of the team, her patience in explaining all the processes was infinite and much appreciated.

Also a great personality, I was sorry we weren’t going to be working together for longer when she left last Friday.

There’s a couple of other ‘thank yous’ required here. My new starting hours mean waking up at 4.30am, so I’ve pretty much dropped the ball on the domestic front this past week while I focus on my new job. (Because I also very much welcome an afternoon nap to get me through!)

As a result, Fletch has taken over the running of the household – even to the point where he did most of the home prep work for a family gathering on the weekend to celebrate his OWN birthday! (And our daughter Veronica’s as well.) AND he hasn’t complained about the alarm going off at 4.30am. Or making school lunches.

A birthday double

A birthday double. (And no, I didn’t bake the cake…)

So thanks a million, Fletch. Your support means everything. I promise to start looking inside the laundry again soon. Really, I promise!

 

 

 

 

The new ladies in Doctor K’s life…

I’ve had to endure my husband having many relationships with different women over the years. Of course, he’s had his on-screen Neighbours wife, Susan, for more than 18 years and that’s been easy because Jackie Woodburne is such a wonderful human being and good friend.

Then there was Nicola Charles (Sarah) and Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Izzy) who were love interests on the show for a spell and also both gorgeous, so I can’t complain. Natalie has also become a close pal.

Jackie Woodburne, Fletch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

Jackie Woodburne, Fletch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte

But now, not only is Fletch surrounded by stunning women on set, he’s embarked on a musical project that means he’s going to be working closely with THREE beautiful and highly talented young women. I mean, really, if they weren’t so damn nice, I might be feeling a little bit over it all…

Alan first met The Pacific Belles when they came along to a regular gig where his band Waiting Room was playing at The Elephant and Wheelbarrow in St Kilda. From there, Alan learnt about their unique musical style and plans for a collaboration grew. You see, The Pacific Belles aren’t any old girl group. They’re a retro swing trio that emulates the harmonies of The Andrews Sisters from the 1940s.

The Pacific Belles performing at The Paris Cat in Melbourne

The Pacific Belles performing at The Paris Cat in Melbourne

 

We went along to The Paris Cat in the city one evening to see them perform and were blown away. Not only is their repertoire tight, pitch perfect and entertaining – they mix up the old with the new – even singing a jazz influenced version of Wonderwall. Impressive.

 

 

Laura Monaghan (pictured above centre) – better known as ‘Betty Belle’, is the lynch pin of the group and the mastermind behind the concept. She firmly believes she was born in the wrong era, which probably accounts for their authentic sound. ‘I came over to Australia from the UK and I’ve always wanted to sing in a trio,’ she said. ‘I love singing harmonies so I thought, “Let’s do a 1940s singing trio.” That’s the music I’m really passionate about. It’s a glamorous era. I love the fashion, the lipstick, the hair – everything.’

The Pacific Belles

The Pacific Belles

 

They’ve definitely got the look down pat. Quick frankly, listening to them sing downstairs at The Paris Cat, I really did feel like I’d been transported back to another era…

 

 

 

They’ve already built up quite a following in Melbourne – playing at functions, popular venues, weddings and events. Tonight they’ll be performing at the launch of Melbourne’s Fringe Festival with shows booked during the festival as well.

A vintage tea party with The Pacific Belles

A vintage tea party with The Pacific Belles

‘Our next public performance dates will be during the Melbourne fringe festival at Madame Brussels on the 22nd of September and then again on the 5th and 6th of October.  Our show is called Sing, Swing, Get in The Mood and we’d love everyone to come along for the afternoon tea and a show.’

As for Fletch’s new musical collaboration with The Pacific Belles, that’s under wraps for the moment, but I’ll give you a hint. It might have something to do with Christmas…

Fletch and Belles

Fletch and Belles

They make a good team, right? Oh, and the Pacific Belles will be back at The Paris Cat in November. In the meantime, they’ve also got an album and video clip to finish. Ultimately, they’d like a hit song in the UK charts. I can’t wait to hear the finished product!

The Pacific Belles

                                The Pacific Belles

For Bookings and enquiries please contact Betty Belle –
Tel: 0448 698 900
Email: thepacificbelles@hotmail.com

 

 

Some people don’t believe she’s REALLY my Mum

When I tell people my Mum rarely drinks, never smoked, doesn’t swear and often goes to Church on Sundays, people raise their eyebrows and question where I came from. Okay, so I don’t smoke anymore, but really, I’m not THAT bad!! We just do some things differently…
Regardless, we spend a helluva lot of time together because our families are close and Mum and my wonderful stepfather Ken, do an enormous amount to help out on the home front. They even walk the dogs for us when I’m strapped for time. (I know – I’m spoilt.) When the kids were very young, they’d have sleep-overs at Grandma and Papa’s practically every Friday night so Fletch and I could have a social life. (Again, yes, very spoilt…) And if Mum babysits, I often arrive home to find the ironing all done. (Okay, I’ll shut-up now…)
But I also have siblings – two older brothers and a younger sister – so most of the family get-togethers involve lots of relatives with aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and fabulous, noisy mayhem. So the one day of the year I get Mum all to myself is when I take her to the annual Crown Mother’s Day Lunch. It’s always a very special day and we both feel very lucky to be included.
Mum and me heading off to Crown

Mum and me ready to head off to Crown

This year’s event was at the uber cool Mr Hive restaurant at Crown’s Metropol Hotel. Ken even drove us in – bless him – so we didn’t have to bother with parking or a taxi.
Mr Hive Restaurant at Crown

Mr Hive Restaurant at Crown

As we walked out of the lift, you could hear the buzz from the restaurant – the place bursting with excited conversation as we arrived – everybody trying to get around to as many people as possible before we took our seats. The room looked stunning, each table adorned with a beautiful floral arrangement.
Host Ann Peacock

Host Ann Peacock

As always, Crowns’ General Manager of Public Relations, Ann Peacock was there, stylishly dressed and greeting everyone with a warm smile. Knowing what Annie was going through, with her mum, Susan, battling cancer, I knew it must be a tough call. It was the first time in sixteen years I’d been to the lunch and not caught up with Susan. For Annie to see everyone there with their mums and not have her own by her side must have been bloody awful.
Yet still she took to the podium and made her annual Mother’s Day speech. Bravely, she spoke about her Mum’s ordeal and what Susan and her family were going through. Every year I take a tissue to this lunch because something emotional happens and I’m a big sook. But this year I wasn’t alone. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when Annie finished and was met with a standing ovation. She spoke with grace and dignity, her words of love and pain, direct and honest. God knows how she didn’t fall apart… I’m betting she’s inherited a good dose of her mother’s strength.

If there’s no greater love than that of a mother for her child, you can imagine the feeling in Hive over lunch – all these mothers with their children – to whom they have given so much love and support, enabling their kids to get to where they are today – it’s a pretty powerful vibe.


Jules Lund with his mum, Judy

Jules Lund with his mum, Judy

Here’s a photo collection of some of the mums and their sometimes famous off-spring – starting with radio host Jules Lund, whose mum was giving him an earful over his new piercings – all part of an on-air dare. Jules has promised Judy he’ll have them removed as soon as possible. And yes, there is also one just under his lip – it’s not clear in the pic.

Brigitte Duclos with her mum, Shelia.

Brigitte Duclos with her mum, Shelia.

Jane Kennedy and her mum, Jill

Jane Kennedy and her mum, Jill

Heloise Waislitz and her mum, Jeanne Pratt

Heloise Waislitz and her mum, Jeanne Pratt

Patti and Lauren Newton

Patti and Lauren Newton

Andrea Moss and her mum, Diane John

Andrea Moss and her mum, Diane John

Lauren Phillips with her mum, Liz Coningsby

Lauren Phillips with her mum, Liz Coningsby

Tania Buckley and Janine Minnici

Tania Buckley and Janine Minnici

Tim Campbell and his mum, Heather

Tim Campbell and his mum, Heather


Anthony Callea and his mum, Santina

Anthony Callea and his mum, Santina

We were lucky enough to be on the same table as the delightful Anthony Callea and his partner, Tim Campbell – both famous and talented in their own right and a gorgeous couple. Mum wanted clarification though – she couldn’t believe Santina was Anthony’s mother. ‘She’s far too young!’ Mum exclaimed.

A highlight of the day was hearing Anthony and Tim sing together, along with leading vocalist Susie Ahern – a truly spine-tingling moment. And when Anthony sang ‘The Perfect Fan,’ for his Mum, the tissues came out again and there was another standing ovation.And then there was another standing ovation…

And then there was another standing ovation...

And then there was another standing ovation…
I could relate to that song. My Mum has always been my perfect fan, as most mothers are of their children – whether they’re in the public eye or not.
I was part of an acting workshop recently where some of the students revealed stories about traumatic childhoods where they were abused by their parents. Shocking stories that made me sad and angry. And also very, very grateful. I have only ever known huge love and support from my Mum. I remember when I first started reading the news and Mum would phone me almost every night to tell me what a brilliant job I had done – even when I hadn’t.
Dessert anyone?

Dessert anyone?

Before we knew it, it was time for dessert. Whoa – now THAT’S what I call a dessert! That’s one thing Mum and I DO both share – a love of sweet treats.
As we tucked in, I looked around the room at all the other mums and felt quite smug. There were lots of other lovely mothers there, but quite frankly, I know mine’s the best of them all. It’s just not debatable.
(Love you, Mum. xxx)

Something original for the races ‘POPS UP’ at Crown

The Spring Racing Carnival is underway, so time for some fun and frivolity, hey? I’m sure that’s what thousands of Victorians are thinking. Although when you look at the statistics, the money generated by the fashion and tourism industries during this time is staggering – well into the millions of dollars – so in fact, it’s a very serious business.

I’m sure a lot of that money comes about from people (like me) who leave race-wear shopping till it’s almost too late, then splurge in a fit of panic-buying. Because really, getting any kind of an outfit organised for the Spring Racing Carnival is a bit of a nightmare. Life’s already a circus act of juggling ten balls while snow-boarding down a roller-coaster (can you book the dentist, pick up the dog food, phone your Dad, visit your sick friend, write a best-seller, do the accounts and bring in the washing – all in five minutes please?) so finding time for fashion is a bit an indulgence. Usually it’s a last minute affair with a combination of things from years past, spruced up with perhaps a new necklace, worn in the hope that no-one will recognise your recycling efforts.

This year I tried to be a bit more efficient and actually phoned a milliner two weeks ago (I thought well in advance) only to hear her practically snort with laughter and say I was waaaaaaaayyyyy too late. Seriously? Yep. She was all booked up and worked to the bone. I didn’t bother trying anyone else, thinking I’d get the same reply. So that little task went to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list and I imagined at some point, I’d madly dash into David Jones or Myer and grab anything they had left off the shelf – probably the day before Derby Day.

The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium

The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium at Crown

 

Then – JOY – an easy solution arrived in my email box. Balls had been falling off my roller-coaster ride all week, so I sighed with relief. Surely THIS was the answer to my all-important hat problem? One of Australia’s most prestigious and talented milliner’s, Richard Nylon, was to exhibit and sell his designs as part of a POP-UP shop at Crown and I was invited to a preview.

(For those of you who aren’t up to speed with the concept, a POP-UP shop is a temporary store set up for a short-term purpose in the middle of a permanent shopping establishment)

 

 

 

Richard’s wares would be show-cased alongside the very fancy jewellery of LK Boutique – their joint project entitled, naturally, The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium.

The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium

The LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium at Crown

Many a fashion expert has dubbed Richard Nylon as Australia’s best milliner so I do think the chance to wear one of his pieces to the races and actually pick one off the shelf, is a rare and wonderful opportunity. Not to mention convenient!! In fact, I think you could justify your purchase by arguing that his hats are in fact, works of art. And what price a rare work of art?

 

Richard Nylon and Amber Petty

Richard Nylon and Amber Petty (trying on one of Richard’s designs)

 

Besides his talent, I adore Richard’s innate and original sense of personal style. He stands out in a crowd with his penchant for perky caps, colourful costumes and neck-ties. Sometimes I wonder whether he would have been more comfortable living in a by-gone era, but am glad he’s in the here-and-now so we can enjoy the benefits of his creativity.

 

 

 

James Kennedy of LK Boutique with Ann Peacock

James Kennedy of LK Boutique with Crown General Manager, Public relations, Ann Peacock

 

Hosted by Crown’s endlessly elegant Ann Peacock, several other well-known faces also came along to the launch to enjoy a glass of champagne while deciding which hats suited them best.

Kim Watkins, Ginny Gibson, Toni Skaife

Kim Watkins, Ginny Gibson, Toni Skaife

 

 

 

 

 

Canape or fascinator?

Canape, jewels or fascinator?

 

 

 

Checking out the range, I voted the evening head-pieces (surely these ARE art… ) and lady-bug necklaces as first past the post when it comes to style. But enough from me. I’m going to let the photos of Richard’s stunning work, along with some LK jewellery, speak for themselves.

 

Crimson plumes by Richard Nylon

Crimson plumes by Richard Nylon

Pill-box Love hat by Richard Nylon

Pill-box Love hat by Richard Nylon

Blue pleats with feather fringing by Richard Nylon

Blue pleats with feather fringing by Richard Nylon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink and white feathers by Richard Nylon

Pink and white feathers by Richard Nylon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening headpiece by Richard Nylon

Evening headpiece by Richard Nylon

 

 

Neon magic by Richard Nylon

Neon magic by Richard Nylon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Butterfly by LK Boutique, $7200

Diamond Butterfly by LK Boutique, $7200

Quartz and diamond Lady-Bug necklaces $3500 each

Quartz and diamond Lady-Bug necklaces by LK Boutique, $3500 each

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what did I pick? Well, choosing something so EARLY suddenly felt a bit odd… Where else would I get that adrenalin rush from putting it all together at the last minute? So I didn’t pick anything. I’m going to live dangerously and come back next week. (plus I need to colour match with outfits!!)

As an added bonus for customers, LK Boutique is offering a 30% discount on selected items, such as the Diamond Butterfly necklace to the right which is usually $9000. The POP-UP store, LK Boutique & Richard Nylon Spring Racing Emporium, will be open until Stakes Day. Happy shopping!

Time to Disconnect to Reconnect

Do you ever get the feeling that social media is taking over our lives? That you can’t function unless you’ve checked your Facebook account, sent out your latest Twitter update and Blogged something event-worthy in your life and ALL that’s BEFORE getting out of bed?? Or maybe you’re a complete social networking addict, like a friend of mine who carries two I-Phones to juggle her separate business and personal accounts?

Juggling social networking

Juggling social networking

As reporter Kate Jones wrote in an excellent opinion piece in the Herald Sun today, it makes you wonder how our kids are going to turn out when so much of their interaction is electronically based… Will they understand the ‘ancient arts of handwriting and conversation?’

Which is why I was drawn to this media release which landed in my email system, titled:

              DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT THIS SOCIAL SEPTEMBER

Social September is an initiative sparked by Bianca Venuti, daughter of famed entertainer Maria Venuti. While she admits she’s a huge fan of social networking, Bianca says the time has come to ‘switch off’ and do it for a good cause.

‘We love using social media, but also believe connections and conversations in the real world remain invaluable,’ she said. ‘Social September takes us back in time to experience the benefits of good ol’ face to face interactions with the people in your lives.’

Maria and Bianca Venuti

Maria and Bianca Venuti

The latest statistics show Australians spend one in every five minutes on social media. So  Bianca wants us, alongside a host of well-known Aussie celebs, to come up with fund-raising ideas that will encourage people to ‘switch off’ and get together IN PERSON (remember how to do that?)  to raise money for The Reach Foundation.

Reach is a really good fit for this cause. Because by ‘switching off’ and actually communicating with each other in a face-to-face setting, we feel a whole lot better about ourselves and life. And Reach is all about helping young people improve their self-esteem, thereby inspiring them to achieve. Both Social September and Reach recognise building relationships face-to-face  is crucial in promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. So turn off that digital technology and start talking!

Bianca says she’s got a couple of specific plans in mind for herself. ‘I’m pledging to Disconnect by leaving my phone in my handbag (particularly in social settings), and Reconnecting – by hosting an Italian cooking lesson to catch up with friends I haven’t seen for ages.’

But she says people are free to choose to disconnect in whichever way suits them. ‘We’d love everyone to get on board in a way that makes sense to them. I can’t wait to see the reconnect event ideas people come up with!’

I think I’d like to play a REAL game of Scrabble with someone, instead of Words With Friends. Any takers? Maybe a fund-raising scrabble tournament? Hmm… this could be good.

The Trust

The Trust

Social September is being launched tonight in Melbourne at The Trust Bar. I think I’m going to have to pop in just to see if anyone dares pull out a mobile phone.

If you’d like to get involved, register at www.socialseptember.com and spread the word. That’s where you can also learn more about specific events taking place. For each $75 raised, one additional young Australian can be invited to a face- to-face Reach program.

 

Some of the inaugural Social September Socialites include Adriano Zumbo, Laura Dundovic, Maria Venuti AM, Danny Clayton, Sam Burgess, Sami Lukas, Joshua Horner, PJ Lane, Trevor Ashley, Zoe Sheridan, and Joe Avati.