What Lies Beneath: Exploring the illegal Catacombes of Paris

What Lies Beneath: Exploring the illegal Catacombes of Paris

There’s a world you don’t see. Under your feet. A dark, wet, scurrying world. A muddy, candle-lit, labyrinthine world. Of immeasurable interconnected tunnels, dislodged boulders, vaulting galleries. Private dens, stone-carved temples and sprayed artworks. A world of pit-pat drips and natural springs, sagging electrical wires and bones.

A burrowing, endless honeycomb of a world under the huge, light, airy city you walk through every day. And one evening, this girl fell down the rabbit hole.

Read More

Hey You! Yes You: meet Lynne, who rode a motorbike 7,500km through the Australian outback

Hey You! Yes You: meet Lynne, who rode a motorbike 7,500km through the Australian outback

Meet Lynne Oakes, aka my mother.

Although she might not describe herself as such, she is a gutsy and adventurous lady, and last year she and her lovely fella rode their motorbikes over 7,500km across the middle of Australia. She generously agreed to let me wear my reporter hat and ask her all about it.

Read More

A ting, a pling, a thring and a ding: Learning to play the Harpsichord

A ting, a pling, a thring and a ding: Learning to play the Harpsichord

Published in PRIMOLife Magazine, Autumn 2016

Le Rouge stands against the wall, taking up almost its whole length. He is smaller than I imagined, delicate even, built from acacia wood and painted a dark warm red. Le Rouge is only 17 years old, but belongs to a family that can trace its roots back to the middle ages. He has lived his whole life in France, but travels frequently to perform on lit stages.

Le Rouge is a harpsichord and we are going to get to know one another.

Read More

Anna's Adventures: Rock climbing in the Portuguese wilderness

Anna's Adventures: Rock climbing in the Portuguese wilderness

Published in PRIMOLife Magazine November 2015

I’m in a tough position and I can’t see a way out. My chalky fingertips are pressed hard into the rock. The knot at my waist grates against the wall, and my legs are zinging with tension. I look like a ninja mid fly-kick, splattered against the front of an unyielding cliff. It seems that every muscle in my body is flexed, straining to keep me perched in this unlikely position, and I’m burning energy fast. My right leg begins to ‘Elvis’, shake uncontrollably under the pressure and I know I have to make a move soon. I really, really don’t want to fall.

Rock climbing in the wilderness is well, exactly as tough as it looks.

Read More

Sharp and Trusty: An Ode to My Pocket Knife

Sharp and Trusty: An Ode to My Pocket Knife

When I was 15 years old, I graduated from Scouts. Hold the applause.

While most associate the legacy of B.P (that's Robert Baden Powell people) with dorky scarves and quasi-miltary organisation, it was actually pretty damn cool. We did cliff forward run-downs, midnight abseiling, multiple day canoe camping trips, lashed together barrels and posts into rafts we sailed down the Swan river, hiked a fair portion Bibbulmun track and spent so much time in tents that we couldn't sleep at home unless we tucked a rock into our bed to achieve the same level of discomfort. Oh and we wore dorky scarves and adhered to a quasi-military organisational structure.

On my final night, I was awarded a genuine Swiss army knife with my name and the year engraved on the largest blade. In the years since, that knife has proved it's worth time and time again.

Read More