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Follow the Breadcrumbs to Storyville…

Follow the Breadcrumbs to Storyville…

Walking down a small lane on cobblestone streets in the inner belly of Melbourne can always delight and surprise. 

Perhaps like us you find a doorway, decorated with scrolled writing promising to stay a part of you forever. Echoes of childhood mingle with joy and discovery, and you realise you are walking into something exceeding magical. You have entered the realm of Storyville, Melbourne. 

The Enid Blyton inspired tree foyer leads to the Mushroom palace, Tinkerbell’s birdcage, then on upstairs you explore to the giant library and the Chronicles of Narnia corner. This is one joint that has managed to tap into the theatrical drama of Melbourne, and the inner child is awakened fully. Transfixed? You will be!

Our host Alex welcomes us warmly, and our conversation cannot run smoothly because a grown-up- transported into childhood is an excited mess. I order a Goblet of Flames beverage, and we chat. 

With magicians on Thursday nights and drinks to match the experience, Alex tells us Storyville has been an overwhelming success.

 “Melbourne is the city that embraces a late-night culture, everyone supports putting on weird and wonderful things, they turn up.”  Alex’s personal favourite drink is Poly Potion, a Harry Potter-inspired concoction of Gin, Kiwi Fruit and Basil, a sweet and sour sensation. We spotted So long and thanks for all the fish – Tanqueray Gin, Cocci Americano, Dry Vermouth, Lemon, Grapefruit & Orange (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams 1979 – 2009) We know right? NEXT LEVEL. 

So how long did it take to build this dreamscape? 

Around a year Alex tells us, and when I ask was it difficult to NOT keep adding to it,  he nods enthusiastically. The hospitality aficionado says the launch got put back multiple times with something else to be added. The meaning of scope creep is understated. After admiring the hand-sculpted trees, we can understand why. 

With a giant clock installation on the horizon and a matching food menu, creativity knows no bounds in a place like this. What inspired Storyville? 

“A range of things, we wanted something entirely different, a venue based on multiple stories, and we are all literature fans and had lots of inspiration. We felt like other people would relate to it too. Being able to link the product to the concept, events and the smaller things like the magic shows, comedy shows and literature launches, the reactions to the experience, being able to walk into a wonderland and lose themselves- all of this.” says Alex. 

From the videos on the back of Qantas seats to the thousands taking photos of what is an Instagram dream, Storyville should most certainly be on your Go-To map of Melbourne explorations. You may want to bring breadcrumbs though, you won’t want to leave. 

Check it out for yourself here on Insta- https://www.instagram.com/storyvillemelbourne/ 

Storyville is located just off 185 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000 

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We are the positive story tellers. Life is about light, shade, love, laughter, tragedy and triumph with a sprinkle of quirk. We stand out in the world of media, because we are about connection. 

Ponderings is completely self funded and dedicated to delivering REAL stories and connections. We invite you to become a part of our Pondering family. 

For $24.95 a year, you get a coffee table worthy copy of our Anthology magazine (eco all the way with this beauty) as well as articles delivered to your inbox each week, access to the App and Ponderings Radio so you can listen to the articles and our podcasts on Spotify.

 

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Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality

by Jasmin Pedretti and Melbourne Social Media

by Jasmin Pedretti 

Life goals vs reality.

A phrase we see bouncing around the insta-phere is life goals. So, what is the ultimate life goal? For some, it might be climbing the Eiffel tower, for others it might be running with bulls, but with some of us at Ponderings, it is just finding a hobby that we like. So, we have decided to search for a hobby. Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality?

Japanese forest bathing.

First of all, we have the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku, described in Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki’s book ‘The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health and Relaxation’. And we put it to the test.  

 Jasmin told Kate that they would be dabbling in the art of Forest Bathing. She got quite a shock when she found Kate wrapped in a pink, velvet dressing-gown with a matching shower cap, holding a giant rubber duck. Kate thought this attire would be suitable for bathing, little did she know there was no water involved.

Jasmin tried to show her how to connect with nature, relish in the healing power of trees and immerse herself in the forest atmosphere.

While Jasmin’s stress slowly depleted, she looked over at Kate, only to see that she was playing with her rubber duck. There was more quack than luxe. Let’s just say someone ended up with a splinter somewhere we shouldn’t mention.

Crocheting

Life goals vs reality. A phrase we see bouncing around the insta-phere is life goals. So, what is the ultimate life goal? For some, it might be climbing the Eiffel tower, for others it might be running with bulls, but with some of us at Ponderings, it is just finding a hobby that we like. So, we have decided to search for a hobby. Will the #lifegoal meet the #reality.

 No longer the past-time for nifty-nanna’s, and according to most reputable hipster clubs, the art of crocheting is now a funky past-time for millennials to master. 

 Jasmin could not wait to learn how to create a beautiful rug of her dreams. She watched as Kate seamlessly thread yarn through a stick. She nodded enthusiastically as Kate showed her the technique, her nimble fingers expertly looping and interlinking, slowly creating an intricate masterpiece. How hard could it be? Finally, it was Jasmin’s turn. 

To this day, no-one knows what happened. Quicker than a clove hitch at a Scout camp, Kate was presented with a twisted, tangled, terrified Jasmin.

Who knew that baby-pink wool could be so menacing. Is knitted shame a thing?

Maybe we should check in with Brene Brown.

Got a cool hobby? Drop us a comment on our Facebook Page with a pic of your latest achievement! 

Want to become a VIP Ponderer?

 

We are the positive story tellers. Life is about light, shade, love, laughter, tragedy and triumph with a sprinkle of quirk. We stand out in the world of media, because we are about connection. 

Ponderings is completely self funded and dedicated to delivering REAL stories and connections. We invite you to become  a part of our Pondering family. 

For $24.95 a year, you get a coffee table worthy copy of our Anthology magazine (eco all the way with this beauty) as well as articles delivered to your inbox each week, access to the App and Ponderings Radio so you can listen to the articles and our podcasts on Spotify. 

Some of the country's best writers and the stories of of some our bravest, most courageous and interesting fellow humans come together to Ponder, to reflect, to be inspired and prosper. 

We wordsmith with purpose on purpose because we believe the stories of our collective humanity bring us together. 

Yes I want a copy of Ponderings Magazine and a Year Subscription to Ponderings Online, App and Podcasts. I want to support Ponderings!

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Melbourne Quirk Scape

Melbourne Quirk Scape

Kirsten Macdonald – Wordsmith and Quirk Expert

So have you heard?  In a survey conducted by TimeOut, Melbourne had more live music venues per resident than any other city on Earth and is ranked number 2 of the best cities in the world. 

What is going on in Melbourne?  We believe it’s the quirk factor that makes this hub of creativity so inviting. We took a day to explore, bringing you the quirkiest places,  with the vibe of a city that really supports and high fives the passion of those that want to take it to the next level. 

First stop is accommodation. When in Melbourne, your inner wanderer will be inspired for all things vintage glam at caravan oasis- NOTEL. 

 

James Fry took an unused rooftop in Melbourne’s city innards and turned it into something crazy fun- an antithesis to accommodation and a salute to the wanderer within. Using original 1970’s airstream trailers from America, James transformed the space into what we coined Van-Boho heaven.

Notel (No- Hotel) features fake grass and flamingos, a jacuzzi and cacti. You will be enamoured with the bespoke mini bar, and every urge must be taken not to run your hands along with the silver mirror finish of these gorgeous kitsch giants. 

 All the small details are included, and the place is a hive for events and outside the box experience. The word cool doesn’t match the reality- this is the place to be.

 

 

Next stop- Winter Village Federation Square. 

Pop up winter wonderland anyone? If you like fine-dining in an igloo and snow, ice skating and high tea, then you have got to get yourself to the Winter Village. 

Now extended to September this icy wonder will have you clapping your hands and asking- How? With mulled wine and snuggly chairs adorned with fake fur throws and elegant tables, the thoughts of Tumnus float through the air. It’s hard to believe you are in the city. 

 

Time to check out the internet sensation Mork Chocolate in Errol St, North Melbourne

 

When hot chocolate becomes an international viral sensation, you know it’s the place to be. Usually queued to the hilt, Mork knows how to do hot drinks. Luck was on our side and a table awaited along with the iconic campfire hot chocolate. This place oozes silky slippery sensations of hot cocoa and melted decadence. Quitters of Sugar – be WARNED. You will not leave without drinking. 

 

 

Recommended by a friend whose eyes twinkled when they reminisce StoryVille went on the list, and it will stay there forever and become a go-to when visiting. It’s grown-up time. 

 

As you enter the realm of StoryVille Melbourne, you soon realise you have opened the door to more than a bar. Located in a Lonsdale street laneway you are in for a treat. Exceedingly magical, you enter the Faraway Tree inspired foyer, then the Mushroom palace and onward to Tinkerbell’s birdcage (an Instagram dreamscape)

 

There are cocktails named the Goblet of Flames and Poly Juice, or The Secret Garden- well we know right? Next level. Perhaps the giant book library created by movie set designers may tickle your fancy or the Inkwell DJ booth. A schooner in the Narnia corner or the multitude of childhood literature hints around the place will have you all wrapped up in inner child happiness. Check out their Insta legendary status here. 

 

 

We returned home with full bellies and exhausted from a day out, experiencing smiles, joy and the knowledge that we had filled our quirk tanks. 

 

If you have a favourite place in your city you would like us to explore, get in touch! We write for the people, and therefore we believe every person has a right to know about the best places to explore and hang out. Click here to tell us your story! 

 

The Hot Breath of Humanity and The Art of Growing Up

The Hot Breath of Humanity and The Art of Growing Up

by Kirsten Macdonald

Friends, Romans, Countrymen lend me your ears…

 John Marsden has the knowledge, and he’s not afraid to use it.

 John wrote a book, and it comes with a warning tag because in case you haven’t yet heard, The Art of Growing Up is not for the faint of heart. With over 5 million books in circulation and a teaching career spanning more than 3 decades, is this bloke really an expert on young people and humanity? Let’s find out.

Are we going to wax lyrical because we have a fan base here in the Ponderings office? Not on your life. This work deserves more.

It’s a  book that will challenge and create bedlam. On purpose. With purpose.

From the angel brat to parents behaving badly, the educational insights of Bart Simpson to the hero complex; The Art of Growing Up will get you thinking.

 

 

 

 

First-hand accounts will have you gasping, they are frightening accounts if we are honest. 

He takes complex modelling and hypothesis and turns it into a manifesto, not just about parenting but humanity. It’s time for humans to grow up. 

Marie Berg’s description of the umbilical cord pulsating, and the journey of a mother learning her baby’s cries,  skin against skin may bring tears.

His unapologetic compassion for children and understanding with a “we”  and “us” tone gives rise to humour around adaptability and the playful mocking of his beloved dog for the lack of opposable thumbs.

One moment you are reeling from a statistic to visualising a Divi van being rocked from side to side.

Transported to a Dickens novel listening to John take off Mrs Jellybe in raucous female tones,  could leave you with violent belly laughs. (Tip- we couldn’t resist the author’s voice in the audiobook version.) John Marsden certainly has a voice for painting a picture, and he’s not mucking around. 

Exploring the paradox of being human is presented in visions of people carving their initials into beached whales, only to be years later showing compassion.

Does he think we are all idiots? Not quite. Well maybe…

 

Is change possible? Can public opinion be shifted?

The irreversible damage to children is likened to climate change and deforestation growing right alongside narcissism. The physical and emotional abuses to kids just needing to be kids may induce either a deeply saddened sigh or a clenched fist or both.

Is there hope?

Nourished Life Ad

John’s suggestion that it may be time to honour those with progressive views may be a warning siren at the eleventh hour, and we agree, more than band aids are needed.

I can’t help but feel this is a  teachable moment paradoxically intentional. For a moment, you feel like this mentor has lost faith in humanity, and let’s face it,  he would not be alone. The contempt for ignorance is not so subtle.

We are seasoned with the reassurance of the evidence of people working tirelessly for a better world and teaching children to defeat the forces of self-interest and ignorance. You get a distinct idea that public opinion can be reversed if not re-engineered.

What is the answer? Open minds? Committing Good Deeds?

You don’t have to agree with him, but that’s the thing with Progressive thinkers, they aren’t asking you to.


Scroll down to read the interview…

We interview John Marsden about his new book The Art of Growing Up

John Marsden writer Australian novelist The Art of Growing Up

KM: There are some ideas that say the way the current western world is organised is intentional to keep it turning economically for the powers to be. Russell Brand and Brene Brown talk about the intricate idea- the way to rule the world is clear- you invoke fear, give the masses of the middle class a bully to be fearful about and introduce whatever power you like to control and exhume power. It is quite interesting. Do you think the fear coming through from parents is a post response to this- the need to protect the young? 

 

JM: In general, I agree with Brand and Brown, although of course there are other factors at work, such as the insatiable ambition of sociopaths for power. But a desire to protect the young has been a trait of human parents since time immemorial, in most or all societies… it does, however, seem to be getting too obsessive, partly in response to the realistic fear that the havoc wreaked by humans has reached a stage where we are in considerable danger.

 

KM: So much of the baby boomer era is marked with abuse, the cane, the blackened eyes and physical abuse as well as kids not getting “too ahead of themselves” and the very colonial idea of knowing one’s place, do you think parents now have mistakenly overstepped the balance, going too far the opposite way in an attempt to be better at everything? 

 

JM: Yes, although emotional abuse has also been a factor in previous generations, and physical abuse is still happening today. But it does seem that many of today’s adults and parents are angry at the way they were raised by their parents and angry at the way they were educated by their schools and teachers. This does, almost inevitably, cause a strong swing in the opposite direction.

 

KM: Bravery has been the theme of many of our stories because you don’t just wake up and say I am going to be brave today- bravery is a response to a situation, and you make a choice. You are a brave person in our opinion because, in many instances, you have pushed head-on into the “establishment” for the benefit of children’s education and their fundamental right to be heard and respected. The Alice Miller school’s namesake really explains a lot. What was the tipping point for you when you thought- this needs to be written? 

 

JM: The choice to be brave is usually only possible for people whose lives are built upon strong foundations, although sometimes it can be a reflex response to danger. I’ve written The Art of Growing up because of a growing sense of urgency… my feeling that the lives of many young people nowadays are so lacking in first-hand experiences that solid foundations for adulthood are not being laid. If children know little else than their home, the school campus, the shopping mall and the barren local playground, they enter adult life so lacking in understanding, initiative and imagination that their prospects are about as good as those of a snail on the MCG in the middle of the Grand Final.

 

KM: Courage is not easy for many people because the need to be liked is stronger. How do you forge this tenacity and foster the strength to be true to your ideas?

 

JM: It’s the inner person who matters most. A child subjected to relentless criticism is as badly off as a child subjected to mindless lavish praise. Children who confront plenty of authentic challenges – not fake ones – and are supported to overcome those challenges using their own resources (such as intelligence, creativity and learned skills) are likely to be successful in navigating the challenges of adult life.

 

KM: Do you ever get scared about not being a good enough parent or a teacher? 

 

JM: Sure, of course! But I try to be thoughtful – to draw back from a situation and get as much perspective on it as I can. And I’ll use common sense, instincts and my own life experiences… when they seem to be ringing true notes.

 

KM: Have you witnessed the playing of Fortnite, and what are your thoughts on gaming socially?

 

JM: Yes, most of our boys at home got into Fortnite pretty avidly for a few months, but then they moved on. Gaming can be a very sociable activity, especially when two or more kids are at the computer and there is some collaboration happening (which could be one kid shouting advice and/or criticism at the other of course!). 

I’ve got no problems with people playing computer games quite regularly (I’m pretty good at Crossy Road!) but not every day, not compulsively, not to the detriment of other activities. Essentially, computer games are mindless most of the time and meaningless all the time – but so are a lot of other leisure activities.

 

KM: Do you believe teachers should have to achieve a higher ATAR to get into University to make sure we are getting passionate teachers that really want to teach? In Finland a Masters Degree is required, it’s impressive. Thoughts?

 

JM: In general, yes, we have to do a lot to raise the standards of teachers. Unfortunately, teachers often give their own profession a bad press! For example, they complain to their students about how hard and frustrating and rewarding their job can be. This can result in the best and brightest students – the ones whom we desperately need as teachers – choosing other careers! 

 

KM: What is your favourite part about being a teacher? 

 

JM: I guess two things – one is that it’s a very creative job. Creating a lesson, creating the materials for it, opening metaphorical doors to young people – it’s exhilarating. The other is the opportunity to help children or teenagers who are struggling with their lives. When you see them make some progress, perhaps after a long period of stagnation or worse, you do feel that you’re doing something useful.

 

KM: If you could choose any fictional character from your books to be Prime Minister who would it be? 

 

JM: I’ll give the obvious answer and say, Ellie Linton. I like that she is gutsy, thoughtful and honest. She can look at herself in the mirror and acknowledge that she makes mistakes and has flaws –like every other human in the history of the universe. My second choice would be Lee, who is a complex guy and a deep thinker.

 

KM: What do you think about Ponderings and the telling of stories with an authentic voice rather than “selling a tale that grabs eyes” journalism? 

 

JM: Anything which allows and even encourages the authentic search for understanding and avoids the glib, the superficial, the shouting of slogans: it’s great to see. The shopping recommendations look O.K. too.

The Art of Growing Up Is Available at all good book stores.

We highly recommend the audio book, but we can’t ignore a good traditional book too.

Click the Book of the month link to buy both.