Pilbara Sunrise

Pilbara Sunrise


Sunrise. Whether you are bright and bushy by this time or stumbling around with your eyes half shut, crashing around in the kitchen for the first cuppa of the day. For me, it’s a time to set intentions, be it for the following hour, day, week, month or year.

I am very fortunate to wake up in the beautiful Pilbara Desert of Western Australia. The sunrise here not only allows me to set these intentions and prepare for the day ahead, but serves as a reminder to why I am here, the sacrifices I am making and that it is the right thing and the right path for me to take for now.

The known effect that mining life can have on individuals and the land fades into the distance when I disconnect from the work going on around me. The colours, foreign landscape and nature provide the most spectacular colour vibrations.

The historical significance of this grandiose land, the burnt red dirt, blue skies with an earthy hint of greenery at times. The feel of dryness and drought and the absence of anything around you. I note the gorgeous pinks and oranges, greys and blues mixed together like some incredible water colour painting. No picture captures this better that the naked eye.

With a blink, the scene changes in colour, feeling and temperature. The expression on your face, the mind, the heart transitions, heightening and enlighten emotions and thoughts. I find myself speechless.

I work in the kitchen on a mine site. I am a plant based earth lover, wanderer, social justice pioneer, dirty pour paint experimenter, yogi, reiki healer, colonic hydrotherapy student and self-acclaimed free spirit. Most of the time, I feel completely lost in an opposite life, trapped from expressing, encouraging, lifting, guiding people the way I love and used to in my past city dwelling life. There are times it’s difficult to stay positive in my daily grind as it challenges my morals and ethics in work, life and play. I struggle to remember who I am and what my purpose is, as I sell myself to ‘the man’.

It was at a time of struggle, my wholehearted, rambunctious beautifully spirited friend Miss @salty_wild_moon_child asked if I would write a passage for @Thesaltywild

Signs are sometimes sent and received at the most poignant time in our lives, this timing kept me motivated, grounded and will keep me going until my release from the mines.

I imagine I will intermittently send ramblings with pictorial gatherings to Moon Child for posting here, you may stop by to engage, you may skim through, but I hope you find comic relief and insight into me, my world, my experiences and way of being.

Much Love,

La Qaintrelle (@jembraam)

Every plastic toothbrush ever made, still exists today.

Big Little Brush

This shocking statement made me really think about my consumption, and the small actions we make daily add up to big impacts.
In the last year since joining the big little brush team, I’ve been inspired to take my plastic reduction at home to the next level. I’ve always thought household plastic items from the supermarket are really ugly, so one of the pleasant side effects of moving toward zero waste is that my house actually looks better.
Note I said ‘moving towards zero waste’, as trying to make better choices is a progression and it doesn’t happen instantly, will look different for everyone, nor will it ever be perfect.
Completely package free is really hard to find. Obviously anything single use is not ideal, but in my mind glass, metal, paper or other organic matter (especially recyclable) is better than a plastic things, since plastic is toxic and will be around forever.
Below I’ve shared which swaps I’ve made, from easy through to hard. Make one swap per week or even one per month, every bit counts.
 Instagram snap from Big little brush
  • Toothbrushes. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush, like big little brush is stupidly simple and saves so many years of plastic pollution in landfill soil or the sea.
  • Dish brush, and other household brushes. Lots of wood ones available, like this.
  • Plastic wrapped produce. For salad greens, grab a paper mushroom bag! If you must have a bag to keep things separate, you can get reusable versions of those.
  • Takeaway stuff. Coffee cups, disposable bags, straws, plastic bottles and the like. Get a KeepCup (or drink it in the cafe), any old reusable bag (or a really pretty one), and a reusable drink bottle. Try and avoid takeaways that you know come in plastic, or opt to eat in. Find out which places deliver in cardboard if you’re uber eat-ing e.g. pizza.
  • Body wash. There are so many nice bar soaps out there that come with minimal packaging, from high-end to cheap. If you can’t deal with bar soap, get the largest bottle of Dr Bronner’s you can find, and dilute, this also works as hand soap.
  • Plastic wrapped toilet paper. Who Gives a Crap, deliver recycled TP to your door and the only plastic in sight is the tape on the box. Bonus: they are also a social enterprise!
  • Bulk food shopping. You will need to have a a bulk food store nearby, and a plan of attack. The Source Bulk Foods is seriously amazing for those that live in Australia, and these stores are popping up in many other cities and towns. Bring back Bin Inn! Aside from fresh produce, meat and dairy, The Source has almost everything. My favourite thing is filling up my large jar with protein powder which costs me around $10. Once you get into a routine with bulk food shopping, it’s just as easy as the supermarket.
  • Skin and hair care products. You can get many nice things in bar form now, with minimal packaging. I’ve swapped shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body lotion. Lush is well priced and easy to get, and NZ brand Ethique is at the higher end. I honestly feel like the quality is on par, if not better than regular products and they last ages. I buy the largest bottle of jojoba oil for moisturiser and oil face cleanser and customise with essential oils.
  • Makeup with less plastic. Brands like RMS, Kjaer Weiss have either plastic free pots or refillable options. I can’t wait to see more inexpensive options like Elate cosmetics pop up too.
  • Refillable household products. Refill stations are amazing. I’ve found a small shop in the South Melbourne Markets that allows me to refill hand soap, dish soap, washing powder, wool wash, spray and wipe, bathroom spray etc. It’s cheaper too. The Source also do refills (but i find them a bit more expensive)
There are so many things which I haven’t mastered yet. Sunscreen! Online shopping! Composting! Second hand things! But I’ll keep chipping away. I’m always on the lookout for refill stations for things, and more sustainable and plastic free options.
It’s so satisfying when you find a swap you can make, and I highly recommend starting small and going from there.
What are your best zero waste tips?
Post written by the talented and passionate – Laura Arcus, Melbourne, Australia
If you are interested in writing, but don’t want to commit to your own blog or just would like to share your story, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Seconds Beach, Dunedin

We visit Dunedin in New Zealand often as this is my partners home town. We always stay in the best part, (St Clair) right next to the ocean. There is a little cafe and bar strip along the esplanade and at the end there is an outdoor saltwater pool, similar to the one in Bondi, on the rocks next to the ocean, but much less crowded, less instagrammed and much much colder.

To the right of this is a little track which takes you to some beautiful cliff faces and Seconds Beach. Sometimes you can see seals, sunbathing on the rocks, other times you have this mini sanctuary to yourself. Occasionally James would suit up and paddle out if the swell was right.

This is one of the first set of photos we took with our DLSR. It was just after we bought it in Dunedin from a local camera shop called “Jonathans Photo Warehouse” and I remember how James’s mother encouraged us to support the locals (we have way too many chain stores these days!).

You can see how good I was at keeping still while poor novice James fiddled around with the camera settings. At this point I was oblivious to how I may start using these photos to document  stories and I was very naive at how difficult it was to capture the right photo with the right light. Lucky enough for me, I was marrying an artist who would later teach me the importance of the right balance between light and shadows.

So with my salty hair drying in the wind and the sun on my skin, I frolicked along at seconds beach with my partner by my side who was constantly analysing whether the storm that was brewing would bring waves.

Secret Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

The secluded beach, built by a father for his daughters so they could enjoy privacy out of the castle.

Will share more photos shortly….

Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand




Aramoana; Pathway to the Sea

Aramoana is a small coastal town in the South Island of New Zealand. This little town has less than 300 residents and the Maori name translates to “Pathway to the Sea”. I visited this beautiful sea town for the first time four years ago and part of the natural beauty I experienced was this eerie feeling from the land. It’s only a 30 minute drive away from Dunedin and full of wildlife, Sea lions you can usually see at the spit, penguin sightings at sunrise and sunset as they run across the sand. There are no shops or stores, so ensure you bring a picnic with you and a jumper because it gets pretty cool and windy.

The pre surf stare at Aramoana, New Zealand James Kerr

Location – Aramoana, New Zealand, James Kerr

@Jamesbkerr took me here as this was one of his local surf spots he grew up on, with the beach break at its best during north and east swells and plenty of uncrowded lefties and rights with a hollow tubes and picturesque “A” frame waves that all bystanders can appreciate.

I came across this collection of photos this Valentines day, the same day that we had the horrible news from Florida, America about the school massacre, where seventeen people lost their lives and I reflected on the eerie feeling I had this day in the photo where the camera was capturing what I could not see, but feel.

Friends doing the pre surf stare at Aramoana, New Zealand

The pre surf stare at Aramoana, New Zealand James Kerr and Niall McColm

As beautiful as Aramoana is and how lovely the word sounds, it ruminates the memory of New Zealand’s largest massacre, where thirteen people were shot by an aggravated local who had disputes with his neighbors and was not mentally well. That day resonates with most New Zealander’s, I was only four at the time, but recall studying this in school in my later years and that has always tainted the name for me. The decision was made to burn down the perpetrators house three days after the incident and what many people fail to see as a positive out of all the death and tragedy that happened, that day paved the way for the review and restriction on gun laws and all weapons. These new laws were passed in 1992 and I am proud of little New Zealand and the choices that were made at that time. This does not mean New Zealand is gun free, actually there are more than 1 million firearms in New Zealand, its just there are more permits required before you can order a gun online, restrictions on amount of ammunition sales, inspections and requirements so weapons are securely stored and requirement of re-vetting of all licensed gun holders every ten years. I think this is important to remember as there is a perception that reviewing gun laws will result in, no guns.

Aramoana, New Zealand

Eerie beach break, Aramoana, New Zealand

Although little New Zealand did great, I think its also important to look at the facts. That day I researched whether the additional laws reduced the deaths occurred at the hands of guns in New Zealand. I came across a paper which conducted a review of 40 incidents following the two years of implementation of the firearm policy. What this paper identified was that of the 40 incidents resulting in death, 62% of them were registered guns and of these, 100% were shot by a family member, spouse, friend or acquaintance and not in a dark alley way or because of a robbery but in their home, work or perpetrators home. The average age of the perpetrator was thirty-one and 83% of the victims shot, were shot by someone who had never had a criminal record or conviction for a violent crime. These facts alone made me rethink the way I feel about guns and whether we are doing enough even in Australia and New Zealand.

In a perfect world we would not have violence or guns, however not one human is perfect. We are full of imperfections and feelings. We react at times in anger or become depressed and every normal being has these feelings and its what we do at these times which can prevent the future violence and harm of others in the community. Would the world be happier with out Guns? Sure, however, that not necessarily possible and with the facts at hand, even reducing the risk to ensure personnel are law abiding citizens who are mentally well at the time of applying for a gun licence does not fix the ongoing issue. So, would it be better to talk more openly about anger management, mental health, bullying and domestic violence and educate and create identifiers and reporting lines in the community to prevent these crimes before they happen?

I think this may be the best solution forward. I’m sure there are more checks and restrictions we can add to the management of gun laws and I fully support this, however I think prevention is key, educating people that guns are not bad, but every person, regardless of how smart, educated, happy, rich they are, has the potential to at one point be pushed to their limit and react in a way that could hurt or harm others and themselves.  This may change how people feel about owning one or reporting on their friends and family when they are in times of need if they are gun owners.


Click Here if you would like to read a study conducted on the 2 years after gun laws were ammeded, by Philip Alpers & Barbara Morgan.

Margaret River – Yallingup Gugelhupf

Pinks and Blues.

Sometimes colour can make you so happy. Embrace it wherever you can.

Yallingup, Margaret River

Photo Location – Gugelhupf Bakery, Yallingup, Western Australia

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Pre Surf Stare – Margaret River, Western Australia

Regardless of how long it took us to get there, how pumping the waves are, how long its been since the last surf, my partner does not break the ritual of the pre-surf stare.

I used to think it’s his way of focusing on the surf, checking out the conditions and best spot to paddle in, however I realised regardless of the conditions he will still surf (I should know better) and it couldn’t be the latter as the habit still happens at our local break.

I used to get frustrated and impatient. (Seriously, there has got to be someone else out there who has a relationship with a surfer and has to deal with this long extended silent stare) I just did not get it! He was always so amped (how I feel when I see chocolate cake) and then as soon as we get there, rather than getting straight into it, he just stares at it! The crazy thing is, the better the waves, the longer it’s been since the last surf, the higher his anticipation, the longer the stare! (Unlike me, the more delicious looking the cake, the closer I am to it, the less time it has to live).

Over time It stopped bothering me because my patience grew as it seemed all surfers would do the same carpark glare, however it wasn’t until recently I developed a theory on the why. I realised it may be a form of mediation…

Reading about colour therapy, I thought how the blue sea tones bring calm and tranquility. So after some digging I learnt that staring at the ocean actually changes our brain wave frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state. The ocean breeze and smell soothes you while the blue colours calm and restore peace which may have something to do with the negative ions in the air that you’re breathing in. It then dawned on me, he’s not staring, he’s completing a pre surf meditation, his personnel way of zoning out and connecting with the earth, just watching each wave roll in, preparing himself for rolling out into the waves. Upon realising this I began respecting this moment and wishing this worked with me and chocolate cake.

My surf wife life has tested my patience over the years, but I have learned that taking him to the ocean ensures he is always in the best headspace, whether my theory is right and the pre surf stare makes him a better person or its just the endorphins generated from the physical output of actually surfing, he always comes out of that ocean stronger and more loving than ever.

If you have some more insight into my little surf theory, please share, I would love to hear what you think or know, or what I don’t.

Photo Location – Main Break, Margaret River, Western Australia

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