Blog

Books By The Beach: A Kind Gesture at Burleigh

Welcome to Burleigh, stop no.8 on my Books By The Beach tour!

Burleigh Heads is a suburb that extends north to Miami Headland, and south to Tallebudgera Creek, Palm Beach. The centre of the neighborhood is James Street, which consists of cafes, delis, hairdressers, retailers, chemists, restaurants and charity stores.

Burleigh 1
Burleigh Beach

 

Burleigh Heads’ surf break attracts surfers from the Gold Coast and beyond. At the headland of Burleigh, locally known as “The Point”, is a popular vantage point for surfing spectators. On Sunday afternoons, bongo drum players gather in Justins Park for a jam session, which attracts a crowd for a picnic dinner in the park. Many also practice acrobatics, juggling and hula hooping to the beat of the drums.

Burleigh 3
Burleigh Beach

Indigenous Australians inhabited the area of Burleigh Heads for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The Indigenous tribe were known as the Kombumerri clan, who had named the area ‘Jellurgal’. The Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is based at the foot of the Burleigh Headland, alomgside the pristine Tallebudgera Creek.

In 1840, James Warner was commissioned to survey the coastline near Moreton Bay. Warner named the Headlands near tallebudgera Creek ‘Burly Head’ because of its massive appearance. Decades later the name was adapted to the more genteel spelling of ‘Burleigh Heads’ and was declared a town reserve by the Queensland Government in 1871.

Burleigh Heads has a number of heritage-listed sites, including the David Fleay Wildlife Park located on Tallebudgera Creek Road. Burleigh Headland is part of a wildlife corridor connecting coastal forests south to the Queensland New South Wales border ranges.

The Gold Coast skyline can be seen in the distance from Burleigh Heads. The north-east facing beach is protected by the point to the south and offers one of the best swimming, body boarding and surfing beaches on the Gold Coast. A mature stand of Norfolk Island Pines form a backdrop and are home to native birds.

Burleigh 2
Burleigh Hill, with a view north of the Gold Coast skyline

The Quiksilver Pro, an event on the World Surf League, is often contested at Burleigh Heads when the surf is not contestable at Kirra or Snapper Rocks.

A Kind Gesture is yet another short story that put me through my paces. Loosely based on true events, A Kind Gesture tells the story of Stuart, a lonely divorcee who picks up a young hitchhiker on a cold night in Chicago. As their encounter progresses, it becomes obvious that neither is who they seem.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing A Kind Gesture on Amazon. My books are not currently available on Amazon. Instead you can download a PDF version of the story for FREE HERE: A Kind Gesture

Thank-you for joining me here at Burleigh! See you next at Tallebudgera Creek!

Advertisements
Blog

Launch of My NEW Blog Series Books By The Beach!

Welcome to my BRAND NEW blogging series- Books By The Beach!

The world famous Gold Coast is a major tourist destination and is widely known for the high-rise dominated skyline, and also the theme parks, nightlife and rainforest hinterland. The Gold Coast is renowned for its beaches, from the iconic Surfers Paradise to the World Surfing Reserve between Burleigh and Snapper Rocks.

I will be starting the tour at at Paradise Point in the northern Gold Coast, and traveling south all the way down to Coolangatta on the Queensland/New South Wales state border. I will share with you a little about each location, its history and what makes it unique.

At each beach, I will also share with you one of my short stories or books, which will be available as a downloadable in PDF (books will have an excerpt available). I will be giving a little insight into the inspiration behind the story/book and the process of writing them.

I started working on this blog series about a year ago, when I was still living in Broadbeach. However some significant life changes and upheavals caused long delays in the completion of this series, and I have since relocated to beautiful Coolangatta, where the series concludes.

My first stop is Paradise Point, at the northern end of the Gold Coast.

The suburb lies on the Gold Coast Broadwater with direct access to the Coomera River. The area is protected by South Stradbroke Island, which lies off the coast.

Paradise Point is an upmarket suburb on the northern end of the Gold Coast, with many properties worth millions of dollars.

The esplanade parklands along the east side of the suburb makes it a locally popular area for casual waterfront park picnics and recreation, and also a monthly arts and crafts market. As part of a Gold Coast parks upgrade the local esplanade acquired new children’s playground, public amenities, barbecue facilities and picnic shelters.

Prior to its subdivision and development, the area was a quiet fishing spot that could be reached by a track that went through swampy land, studded with eucalyptus trees.

Following World War II, approximately 200 hectares of the land which eventually became Paradise Point was owned by Ralph Faulkinder who had acquired it for £600 from his deferred pay following the war. By the early 1950s, Faulkinder decided to subdivide part of his property.

The views over the Broadwater, excellent fishing spots and proximity to Hollywell provided additional appeal. By August 1954, three houses had been built and there were plans for a store and boating business to be opened by December. A further eight houses were to be constructed in the following months. In 1957, electricity poles had been erected within the estate in preparation for power lines to be installed. By 1959, more than 300 lots had been sold in Paradise Point. The development was advertised at the perfect location for a holiday home and an ideal place to escape the crowds further south along the coast. As a result, Paradise Point was a popular choice for older retirees looking for a quiet home near the water.

By 1983, Paradise Point had approximately 1400 homes, with more being built. With a growing community, the 200 members of the Paradise Point and Northern Districts Progress Association lobbied for improved amenities including a community centre, street lighting, parking areas, bike racks, a fire station, improved drainage, and the Pine Ridge Environmental Park. Land was set aside for a police station.

In 1986, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen opened the $3 million Haddon’s Marina at Paradise Point. The marina had berths for 50 boats, supplied both equipment and boats for hire and was a departure point for boats travelling to Tipplers, North Stradbroke Island and Jumpinpin.

By the 1990s, lobbying to protect the mangroves at Jabiru Island resulted in the establishment of the Phil Hill Environmental Reserve. During the same period, a $200,000 streetscaping project commenced along The Esplanade to remove overhead powerlines, install a swimming enclosure and beautify the area.

In later years, Paradise Point was further transformed by the development of Andys and Griffin Islands into Sovereign Island and the subdivision of Ephraim Island into prestige waterfront housing with deepwater moorings capable of accommodating ocean cruisers.

I hope you’ll join me for the next episode of Books By The Beach, where I will be coming to you from The Spit!

Blog

Paid To Dance Blogging Series Exclusive Interview: Julz Divine

Lismore2012-2

Dancer Name/s: Julz Divine

Age started dancing & where: In Europe.

What did you do before dancing?

I was just out of school, studying psychology at university part time, giving private French lessons and working as a sales rep for a local TV channel selling advertising space to businesses. I was living with my mum who was fully supporting me financially, therefore earning money wasn’t a big concern for me at the time, I was just trying my hand different things and earning some pocket money for fun when I could.

Why did you to start? Did you have an ideal time frame or an end goal?

I saw my first live exotic dance show at Le Lido cabaret in Paris in 1992 at the age of 15. My mum took me there, this is why I got in despite being underage! And my dad paid for it. This shows that I come from a family who are very open-minded about this style of entertainment, even though they are quite conservative in some other ways.

I loved the show and thought to myself: “It would be really awesome to get involved in something like this one day!”

Fast forward 4 years. I was 19 and working as a sales rep for a TV channel, selling advertising. My first client happened to be the new night club due to open in town. At the time I didn’t even know what kind of club it was. As I sat there talking to the manager about the advertising packages I watched a group of beautiful ladies rehearsing some dance moves at the other end of the room. I couldn’t take my eyes off them!

After I’d finished my meeting I approached the ladies and asked what they were doing and how I could get into something like that. They were very friendly and invited me to join them at their next rehearsal. Which I did. And quit my advertising job that very day.

They explained to me what the show was all about and how it worked, showed me some dance moves and suggested that I should audition.

This goes back to the era when strip clubs had choreographed feature stage shows as part of their entertainment packages. Therefore, any dancer who aspired to get a job there had to come prepared with 2 or 3 fully choreographed and costumed solo feature acts, ready for stage!

My mum stayed up all night to help me make my first stage costume. If I remember correctly, it was my ballroom dance dress remodelled to resemble a showgirl costume. I think we did a rather good job of it, if you ask me!

I did fail that first audition and didn’t get the job at that club. I was young and clueless while the other performers were very experienced showgirls. However, those seasoned showgirls encouraged me to not give up and try again. I followed their advice and got the job at the next club! I danced at that club, and then another club on weekends for a few months. I had a ball!

Backstage2011

I then moved on to doing other things – travelling, studying, several day jobs, getting married, getting divorced, travelling again… and so on for several years. That whole time throughout my travels I kept a couple of stages costumes in my bag, just in case, because I always thought I’d go back to dancing at some point. Which I eventually did.

I went back to dancing in Brisbane, circa 2004. I was in my late 20’s then. Since that time I covered just about every genre of Adult Entertainment industry: as a strip club dancer, feature showgirl, lingerie waitress, party stripper and burlesque performer. I’d say I’ve been dancing for around 13 years, cumulatively.

First stage show experience:

My first stage show experience was actually an audition (back in the 1990’s). Now, this would be a nerve-racking experience for anyone, even a seasoned performer, let alone a 19 yo first-timer!

Imagine this: you have to perform a very sexy and seductive stage act in an empty club, in the broad daylight in front of a small group of club’s executives who just sit there with grim expressions on their faces… And this is your first time on stage ever as a solo performer… Can someone please kill me now???

Needless to say, I felt very awkward and ended up experiencing every stage mishap imaginable – from several wardrobe malfunctions to getting my heel caught in between the floor boards and falling over as a result… Not very sexy… Beam me up Scotty!!!

That memory aside, my first ever public performance, once I got my act together, got me instantly addicted to the stage! The adrenaline rush that comes from performing in front of the live audience is incredible!

16996337_10154195829996498_558002856781986316_n-2

First lap dance experience:

When and where I first started dancing there was no such thing a lap dance. It was all about the stage performance.

Once I had re-entered the dancing industry in the 2000’s, I had to learn the whole lot of new things! One of them was the art of lap dance. I just couldn’t understand the concept! Luckily, on my first shift one of the seasoned dancers took me under her wing. My first private dance booking was a double dance with that lady. She showed me all the lap dance moves in the real life situation. And I was just parroting her, ‘monkey see monkey do’ the whole time whilst thinking to myself: “Why would anyone want to pay $200 for this??? Just to see some some ladies gyrating their hips in front of them?” After 10 + years in the industry I still struggle with the concept, to be perfectly honest with you…

Best & worst shifts financially:

The one that stands out in my memory as one of the best was the night when I made around $800 purely in tips in the course of 5-hour bikini waitressing shift and some podium dances in a mining town in West QLD. I didn’t even do any lap dances that night, if I remember correctly. People just kept throwing money at me!

Worst was $50 or more out of pocket after a full night shift. This is how this happens: the night is slow, you make no money whatsoever, but you still have to pay your club fees, the price of those few drinks you bought from the bar, your cab fare home or a parking fee. This could easily amount to $100-200

Besides money, what qualities do you believe make a good customer?

Basic good manners. it’s that simple! Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and offering ladies a drink goes a long way, trust me! Just the heads up, Ladies and Gentlemen: when you treat the club’s staff with respect you get a far better service from them in return. So, do yourselves a favour and be nice to all hospitality staff!

What are/were your customer pet hates? (Things that annoy/ed you about customers most)

1)“The Preachers” and “The Saviours” – the type of customers who come in to the club, enjoy the entertainment and then start preaching to us that our job is degrading/sinful/amoral and that we should be ashamed of doing it. My thoughts: “If you don’t like it, then why are you here?”

Those who say “I can take you away from all this if you would just go home with me”, basically offering me to become his personal sex slave instead. No thanks…

2) Those female customers who treat dancers with disrespect and think they can get away with it because of their gender. No! The same rules apply to everyone. Your gender doesn’t give you any entitlements!

Best memory of your time as a dancer?

Ohh, there are so many… All those exciting show tours I went on either by myself or with groups of fellow showgirls. I got to perform in so many beautiful exotic places all around Australia and meet so many awesome people along the way. I might have to write my own book about those experiences one day, so stay tuned!

What is the most rewarding experience dancing has allowed you to have?

Having the freedom to choose the hours I worked and being able to take time off anytime to do other things. All the travelling I got to do with this job. Performing on stage in front of some amazingly appreciative audiences. Getting to dress up in glamourous sparkly costumes and being paid for it.

17190582_10154195850626498_4994899339164501856_n-2

In the recent years I’ve performed stage shows at multiple charity events and helped raise funds towards some great causes (including Domestic and Family Violence Awareness, LGBTI Community, Community Arts Centre in Broome WA, Animal Rescue Centre end several others) and it has been very rewarding!

Best piece of advice to pass on about dancing?

Don’t take people’s negative comments to heart. Try not to get involved in ‘dressing room dramas’ and conflicts with other dancers, it’s not worth it. And don’t let one bad night bring you down and affect your self-confidence. Bad nights happens to everyone once in a while, even the most experienced and popular dancers.

Are you currently dancing? If not, what are you doing now?

Now I’m 41 and have retired form dancing in strip clubs – those long night shifts in stiletto heels are just too taxing on the body. I still occasionally perform Burlesque stage shows and do some lingerie waitressing shifts every now and then. Aside from that I work as a freelance makeup artist and photographer, do some odd jobs in hospitality and retail, volunteer for RSPCA and study for a Certificate in Community Services.

How do you feel about the statement that some people make that stripping is degrading to women?

*Rolling my eyes* Does a circus clown or a comedian degrade himself by making himself look like a fool on stage? Does he feel offended when the audience laughs at him? No. This is the whole point of his act! Same thing applies to striptease artists. We invest a lot of time effort into making ourselves look like sex sirens and put on theatrically sexualised dance routines in front of the audiences. It’s a stage act, a form of performance art and self-expression. Why is it degrading if we willingly choose do it? This could only be degrading if were were forced into doing it.

How do you feel about the use of sexualised imagery of women in advertising material?

Indifferent. As long as it looks good and doesn’t depict any violence or abuse it’s fine by me. What bugs me, however, is the rampant gender stereotyping in advertising material. Why is it always the woman who’s doing the housework in most TV commercials and the man is drinking beer, playing sports or driving cool cars? This is what needs some revision, if you ask me.

Some people argue that strip clubs shouldn’t exist at all, removing the opportunity for women to be ‘objectified’ in that setting. How do you respond to this?

With an eye roll! They are missing the point! Strip clubs, burlesquer clubs and bikini bars are places where it is safe and acceptable to objectify women because they willingly put themselves into that environment and are comfortable with being objectified whilst getting paid for it!

JulzLive2

Visiting strip clubs and engaging in the services of dancers is an intrinsically male activity. Do you believe that the practice of visiting strip clubs and engaging in the services of dancers is an activity that should be freely available to men, and to the general public, now and in the future?

Strip clubs should continue existing. However I think they could with some changes, the old format is getting boring. They should offer more variety of entertainment, for a start. Bring back the proper choreographed cabaret-style stage shows! This would attract different demographic of customers. Some clubs started introducing ‘ladies nights’ where they would have male topless waiters and performers in a separate section of the club. I think it’s a great practice! Both sexes should me made feel welcome in strip clubs. Offer something for everyone!

Women’s rights are being highlighted daily in the media at the moment. What purpose do you think stripping holds in our modern society? Do we ‘need’ to have stripping as part of our ongoing culture? If so, why?

I think people are taking things too seriously. It’s just another form of entertainment, that’s all. Some people like it, others don’t. Everyone should just chill and let each other be, I reckon. I don’t think we ‘need’ it. Just like we don’t ‘need’ ballet, circus, opera, football etc. But it’s great to have all these options available for everyone to enjoy.

As far as women’s rights go, women should have the right to work in a strip club if they choose to and not be shamed or lectured for it!

Lismore 2012-1

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER in paperback and Kindle eBook for release WORLDWIDE on July 20th, 2018.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

US: https://amzn.to/2MstBPb

UK: https://amzn.to/2KpEKQ9

CANADA: https://amzn.to/2tKXna6

AUS: https://amzn.to/2yODFAb